International Hijab Day, Respecting or Violating Human Rights?
February the 1st is named as International Hijab Day, due to efforts of Nazma Khan, an American Muslim, after September 11 attacks and the wave of what they call “Islamophobia” with the purpose to encourage non-muslim women to spend a day wearing Hijab and then share their experience with others. On the second Saturday of February, there is another event called “International Purple headscarf day” which has been established by a Libyan woman. Both these events occur to defend Hijab and provide different points of view about what is mentioned regarding Hijab in Islam, based on the presumption of what has been said so far are all falsifying the truth. Thus, we need to find the answer to the main Question of What is Hijab? And what rules are mentioned in the Quran and Islamic jurisprudence (Sharia)? Thereafter compare them with International Human Rights Documents to reveal the reality in the regard. Before we continue it is vital to bear in mind that there is a principle in Islam called Taqiyeh (White Lie) which is allowed with the purpose of extension of Islam and Islamic Purposes. Hijab in Islam: Despite the quotations regarding the background of Hijab introducing and becoming compulsory in Islam, the main source to become familiar with it is the Quran itself. This book is also known as “Osman’s Book” – Osman is the 3rd Sunnis’ Khalifa – verses Mohammed claimed are told to him by Allah, was gathered and written by Osman and this is the reason that Shia claims the book is distorted and the original Quran is with the 12th Imam that will reveal it when he comes back to the earth! Surprisingly all Muslims have consensus on the issue that Quran is Mohammed’s miracle and Allah, himself declared it can never be distorted in 15-9: “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it against corruption” and 41-42: “Falsehood cannot approach it from before it or from behind it; [it is] a revelation from [Allah who is] a Wise and Praiseworthy”.
The first thing that needs to be clear is the claim that commoners are not able to understand and comprehend Quran and a mullah (Shia) or mufti (Sunny) must interpret it, otherwise, any interpretation is considered invalid, even though one just point out the verses in Quran. This assumption is wrong from the beginning as in Quran, as exactly on the contrary of what is said, repeatedly it is mentioned that any interpretation is invalid because Allah told it in an easy language that needs no interpretation and everyone can understand it. So, according to verses as follows, the truth is what is mentioned in the Quran and not the interpretation:
19-97: “So, [O Muhammad], we have only made Quran easy in the language that you may give good tidings thereby to the righteous and warn thereby hostile people”
44-58: “And indeed, we have eased the Qur’an in your tongue that they might be reminded”
54-17, 22, 32 and 40 (Four-time in one chapter with the same words): “And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?”
So, it is just a fallacy by Muslims to falsify the truth and provide a different nature for Islam.
The second point is that they claim, men and women, are equal in Islam and has invented the “Islamic Feminism”. This is a false claim as well and some examples will be provided to reveal the true behavior and assumptions of Islam toward this issue:
4-34: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means and pay them their allowance. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them, guard. As to those women on whose part you fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them, refuse to share the bed, (and finally) beat them; but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all)”. This verse begins by indicating that men are before women and they are their owners, also there is an order to “beat” a “disobedient” woman. Muslims try to ignore this and claim that it does not mean beating, but looking in the Arabic context of the Quran, this order is in form of an imperative verb, plus the verse is talking about “disobedient women” and the ways to punish them.
2-223: “Your wives are like your farms for you, so come to your place of cultivation however and whenever you wish and put forth [righteousness] for yourselves. And fear Allah and know that you will meet Him. And give good tidings to the believers”. Interpretation of this verse, in, either way, would end in the result that men are before women. On the other have, making love in the modern world acquires the consent of both husband and wife and if the wife does not agree she can file a rape case against her husband, but according to this article, “whenever and however” the man wishes to have intercourse, the wife cannot disagree and cannot file a case against her husband as it is mentioned that a woman is the property of a man like his farm and this is the owner who decides when and how to do that. Not to mention that if the woman disagrees she will be a “disobedient woman” and the punishment is mentioned above for her.
In the same chapter of Quran, when it talks about rules of inheriting, to make it short a wife receives one-fourth of heritage if they don’t have any children while man receives half of his wife’s heritage and if they have children the wife receives one-eighth of heritage, while husband receives one fourth. Also between siblings they boys inherit double than girls.
In the same chapter, also when it talks about blood money, a woman’s blood money is half of a man’s (and blood money is calculated by the price of 100 camels). Let’s assume a woman is killed and a man has lost his testicles, the blood money for the woman is 50 camels while the man receives 100 camels for his testicles, 2 third of which is for the left testicle and 1 third for the right one, in comparison, a woman’s value is even less than the man’s left testicle. Also if a man killed the woman, her family must pay half of the blood money to the murderer if they wish to do the punishment known as “Qisas (eye for eye/life for life rule)”.
Based on the verses provided, and considering Islamic Jurisprudence, it is clear that men and women are not and can never be equal, but a woman values half of a man and is considered as his property and as long as she lives, she must be under custody and supervision of a man, especially father, a grandfather from father side or husband, and if they do not exist, their male relatives such as brother, not to forget that any Muslim man has the right to punish a Muslim woman if she disobeys Quran and Islam’s rules and orders.
What is Hijab? The word “Hijab” in Arabic means curtain but in the last century is used to define a way of wearing for Muslims. Muslims use this gap and claim the Quran has no rules about the hijab and it means both men and women must keep their hearts and eyes clear from doing sins. Some, otherwise, claim that hijab means just “headscarf”, they are right because in Islamic Jurisprudence it is mentioned as “Setr (i.e. something that hides and covers something else)” and in Quran, it is called by another name which will be discussed below. Having a look at some verses in the Quran reveals the truth:
24-31: “And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! Turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss”. In this verse, Hijab means anything that covers all the body and only the face and hands from the wrist can be not covered, although there is this interpretation that it is compulsory to cover the face as well, so they must wear the burqa (veil). It is even more surprising when it says a Muslim woman should not reveal her face or body to non-muslims women because there is the risk that a woman describes her for a man and he imagines her! This verse even says women should not walk in a way that her footsteps are heard and so a man commits a sin!
33-59: “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful”. “Outer Garment” is a translation for the Arabic word “Jalabib” which is the plural form of “Jolbab” which is a high fabric that covers from head to toes and is also known as Chador.
33-32: “O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women. If you fear Allah, then do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should covet, but speak with appropriate speech”. Although this verse is talking about prophet’s wives, in Islamic jurisprudence it is expanded to all women and that’s the reason some Muslim women put their finger in their mouths when they talk.
The question that must be answered by Muslims is that in which one of these verses or any other verse Quran says men should use hijab? In which verse it is mentioned that women can choose to wear or avoid wearing the hijab, and according to Islamic jurisprudence the interpreters have consensus on the compulsory nature of hijab, then a choice, and not wearing it, is blasphemous which can even end in an honor killing by whether father, grandfather, husband, brother, brother-in-law or any Muslim man reasoning the defend their reputation and prejudice.
So far, we had a look at Quran and evaluated Muslim Activists’ claims regarding Hijab, and it is now proven what they claim has nothing to do with reality and is just a white lie to make hijab sounds usual. These activists have already gone too far and talked about “Islamic Feminism” for which an article is written by the author of this article, and anyone who starts challenging their wrong ideas would be accused as racist or Islamophobia. In international documents, the human being is considered equal regardless of their gender, and any gender-based discrimination is forbidden, thus a woman must be treated as a free human being, and not a slave or property of a man. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, UN Convention of the rights of the child, and Unesco 2030 treaty (bearing in mind except the first one, most of the Islamic countries ignored signing the rest conventions), on the contrary article 5 of Islamic Declaration of Human Rights, announces that men and women are equal on their dignity and in compliance with Islam and articles 3 and 6 their rights are respected as long as follows Islamic laws in Quran and are under the custody of a man.
The issue regarding the dressing code is not mentioned clearly in international documents but most commentators believe it is under the category of Freedom of speech and freedom of idea which is recognized by article 19 of UDHR and ICCPR. Therefore, we divide the women into two groups: those who choose to wear hijab by free will, and those who have no will about it and are pushed to wear it, as a result of being born in a Muslim family, fear of convicting as disgraced or protecting their lives. The writer of this article cannot believe that a human being wills to restrict his/her freedom and no reasonable person agrees with that, thus the first group are a very small group who turned to Islam by free will, yet, they have not chosen to wear hijab by free will as it is a consequence of becoming Muslim and it is compulsory, however, there is no doubt that those who choose to wear hijab by free will must be respected. But the second group, who are forced to wear hijab and are the majority of women, choosing a day called “International Hijab Day” or “International Purple Scarf Day” and officially being accepted by governments, especially Secular or Non-muslim governments cannot be considered or interpreted as supporting their Human Rights, but it is a flagrant violation of human rights and approving discrimination against women in their territories. In other words, when a non-muslim woman travels to an Islamic State, she is forced to wear, whether she likes or not, a Muslim who comes to Secular or non-Islamic states must respect their values and rights which are gained after years of fighting against patriarchy systems.
Unfortunately, in recent years, and mostly the last decade lots of Muslims have left their homelands and immigrated to European countries as refugees and they claimed they could not live with Islamic norms anymore, but after a while by misusing the “freedom of religion” nowadays they are asking these countries to respect Islamic rules and for example, open segregated schools and accept a little girl must wear hijab when going out. There must be a strict answer to their requests in this regard and that would be: “If you wish to live in compliance with Islamic rules, you can keep it for yourself as an individual and cannot dictate it even to your wife or daughter, let alone other women in society. If you feel you cannot cope up with the existing rules and respect the social values you are more than welcome to return to your country and stop ignoring and ridiculing women’s fights to earn their rights”. What is happening by Muslim Activists is not using the freedom of religion, but misusing it and supporting hijab is supporting the violation of human rights, on the basis that a little girl since she is born hears that if she wants to be a good girl and God loves her and goes to paradise after death, she must wear hijab and this plays a vital role in her mind and unconscious conscience that she must wear hijab and if one day, by any reason, she decides not to wear it anymore, she feels committing a sin and the element “free will” plays no role in choosing to wear hijab.
February 1st, 2020