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Important Advice in Light of the Veil Ban

In light of the ongoing anti-veil agenda we the undersigned would like to present the following important advice to the Muslim community here in the UK, irrespective of school of thought, sect or organisation. 

1. The Muslim community should remain united regardless of its differences and opinions about the veil. This request is in response to the countless number of Quranic and Prophetic traditions that command Muslims to be united. Among these is the Quranic verse that says, ‘Hold fast, all together, to the rope of Allah and do not be disunited.’ [translation of 3:103]

2. We strongly condemn any attempt by any individual or organisation to create disunity in the Muslim community. We see such a move as an attempt to create friction and disruption in the whole society through indirect discrimination. It is the nature of modern pluralistic societies to be constituted from different communities coexisting peacefully as a single political entity. It is completely irrational, when trying to achieve community cohesion, to instigate disunity and racial tension.

3. The veil, irrespective of its specific juristic rulings, is an Islamic practice and not a cultural or a customary one as is agreed by the consensus of Muslim scholars; it is not open to debate. 

We advise all Muslims to exercise extreme caution in this issue, since denying any part of Islam may lead to disbelief. Not practicing something enjoined by Allah and His Messenger (Salla-Allahu alaihi wa sallam) – regardless its legal status (i.e., whether obligatory, recommended or praiseworthy) – is a shortcoming; denying it is much more serious. Allah says in the Qur’an: ‘It is not for a believer, man or woman, that they should have any option in their decision when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has indeed strayed in a plain error.’ [translation of 33:36] 

4. We recognise the fact that Muslims hold different views regarding the veil, but we urge all members of the Muslim community to keep this debate within the realms of scholarly discussion amongst the people of knowledge and authority in the Muslim community. Allah says in the Qur’an, ‘When there comes to them news of some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they spread it (among the people); if only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly).’ [translation of 4:83] In another Quranic verse, we read the following instruction, ‘So ask those who know if you know not.’ [translation of 16:43 and 21:7]

5. Furthermore, we warn Muslim individuals and organisations to avoid seeking to capitalise on this debate in order to further political or personal interests. Such despicable tactics are judged by Islam as working against the interests of our faith and the Muslim community, and are, accordingly, a matter condemned in the strongest possible terms. Allah says in the Qur’an, ‘The believers, men and women, are Awliya’ (allies, helpers, friends, protectors) of one another.’ [translation of 9:71] The Prophet (Salla-Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, ‘A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim; he does not oppress him, betray him, mislead or fail him.’
 

6. We would like to call upon all members of the Muslim community to show solidarity against criticising the veil or any other Islamic practice as this might prove to be a stepping-stone towards further restrictions. Today the veil, tomorrow it could be the beard, jilbab and thereafter the head-scarf!

Such a strategy, unfortunately, has been widely used by many European countries. Similarly, we feel that this campaign may be employed to gauge the response of the Muslim community. Therefore, our reply should be firm, sending a clear and powerful message to those who are trying to promote the banning of the veil or any other common Islamic practice. We, the Muslim community, will not tolerate such attitudes nor will we compromise on our values and common customs. All Muslim women, especially those who wear the veil, should play a major role in this response since their voice will be the most effective.

7. We understand the viewpoint of those who may find the veil a barrier to communication. However, we believe that the level of discomfort caused is insignificant, particularly when compared to the discomfort and problems that result from other common and less widely condemned practices such as sexual promiscuity, nudity and alcohol consumption by other segments of society. Moreover, we feel that it is against the interests of the whole society to single out a significant part of it, such as the Muslim community, or to put them under the spotlight and abuse them for their practices, as is now an oft- recurring theme in the media.

8. The unexpected and ruthless reaction of the media over the past few weeks on this issue gives an indication that there is a political agenda behind this campaign. It is very disappointing that the media and many politicians dealt with this issue as if it is the greatest national concern. This becomes more apparent when observing the already tense climate facing Muslims, which is contributing towards creating hostility in the wider society against the Muslim community. Therefore, Muslims should take this matter seriously and defend the veil with all their ability. This could be a battle of ‘to be or not to be’ for Muslims in the UK. {We urge all brothers and sisters to strive in countering these attacks by utilising the various avenues open to them including sending letters to the relevant authorities, their MPs, human rights activists, and so on. The most important guideline to observe is to react in a wise, sensible and responsible manner and avoid any action that might be used as an excuse for furthering any unfavourable agenda. 

9. We would like to advise the sisters who observe the veil/ niqab in the work-place or in educational premises to avoid making it a matter of dispute between them and their employers or school authority. Such disputes will attract more unnecessary media attention, and thus may cause various negative consequences including the imposition of certain dress codes in work places, and in turn, used as justification to legislate further restrictions on wearing it in other areas. 

10. Finally, let it be noted that {quotes}we appreciate the noticeable level of understanding and tolerance shown by considerable parts of the wider society towards many Islamic practices. However, we ask all society to deal with the Muslim community without prejudice, and to exercise genuine openness and tolerance towards Islamic practices, even those they may not like, as this is the real test of tolerance to others.{/quotes}

Furthermore, we urge people to be supportive for a woman’s right to wear the veil as on one hand, this complies with the values upon which western civilization was founded – the protection of human and religious rights; and on the other hand, these practices aim to promote values of modesty, decency and good-manners all of which should be the aspiration of any peaceful society.

We conclude by asking Almighty Allah to guide us to that which is better and to make truth and justice prevail in British society as a whole.

 

25th Ramadan 1427
17th October 2006

Signed (in alphabetical order):


1. Dr Daud Abdullah
Deputy Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain (MCB)

2. Khurram Bashir Amin
Trustee and Editor, Monthly Dawn, Central Mosque, Birmingham

3. Munir Ashi
Chairman, Dar ul-Isra Islamic Centre, Cardiff

4. Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari
Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain (MCB)

5. Shakeel Begg
Imam, Lewisham Mosque, London

6. Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt
Sharia Adviser, Institute of Islamic Jurisprudence, Bradford

7. Moulana Ilyas Dalal
Head teacher, Ilaahi Masjid, Dewsbury

8. Dr. Khalid Fekry
Imam, al-Taqwa Organization, London

9. Sulaiman Gani
Lecturer in Islamic Studies, Tooting Islamic Centre, London

10. Moosa Gora
Islamic Scholar, Jame Mosque Batley, West Yorkshire

11. Dr. Haitham Al-Haddad
Director of Muslim Research and Development Foundation (MRDF), Judge (Islamic Sharia Council U.K. & Ireland), London

12. Dr. Suhaib Hasan
Secretary, Islamic Sharia Council U.K. & Ireland; Chairman, Masjid and Madrasa Al-Tawhid Trust, London

13. Muhammad ibn Ismail
Imam, Al-Medinah Masjid, Brighton

14. Hafeezullah Khan
Editor-in-chief, Sirat-e-Mustaqeem, Monthly Magazine, Birmingham

15. Dr Khalid Khan
Imam, Lambeth Islamic Cultural Centre, London

16. Wakkas Khan
President, Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS)

17. Shaykh Amjad Mohammed
Head Teacher of Olive Secondary School, Bradford

18. Shaykh Ashraf Osmani
Imam, Markazi Masjid Northampton (MMN), Northampton

19. Ismail Patel
Chairman, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Leicester

20. Shaykh M. Abdul Qayum
Head Imam and Khateeb, East London Mosque, London

21. Abdul Fattah Saad
Director of al-Muntada al-Islami Trust, London

22. Qari Zakaullah Saleem
Imam, Green Lane Mosque, Birmingham.

23. Massoud Shadjareh
Chair, Islamic Human Rights Commission

24. Mohammad Sawalha
President, British Muslim Initiative (BMI), London

25. Shaykh Haytham Tamim
Chairman of Utrujj Foundation, Educational, Training and Research Institute, London

26. Mawlana Abdul Hadi Umri
President – Islamic Judiciary Board, Birmingham

About Editor

39 comments

  1. Wahhabism is a misnomer, Saudis call themselves Sunni, not Wahhabi. That’s enough evidence that the Westerners again, are propagating this myth to cause division.

  2. Wahhabism a misnomer
    according to bonafide and many like her/him, wahhabis in saudi arabia force the wrong practice of niqaab or hiijab on women in islamic countries. This is not true, just as the lie that writer Graham is propagating in his book “How Islam created the modern world”. While Graham praises Muslims for their sciences in the past, he says many incorrect things, like the above. “Wahhabi” is not found anywhere in the qur’an, and Saudis do not call themselves Wahhabis, this is a word used by the Western haters of Islam, to make it appear that Sunni Muslims are divided into sects, but Saudi Arabia is the most Islamic country despite it’s modern-day faults. May Allah guide us all. DD

  3. Mohammad AbdulJabbar

    Continued to say it and do it
    To all the Practicing Muslims around the Globe Never Give up no matter what Never never Give,Sisters when you are down STAND UP even when STANDING is not easy and Be mindful of ALLAH and HE will be Mindfull of you assalamu alaikum remember never give up Stand up Stand Strong

  4. Project Niqaab

    Asalamu alaikum,

    I am currently undertaking a project to try and change the image of Niqaabis in the West – the aim is to provide society with a more accurate image of the woman behind the veil, to show that she is educated, active in her community and certainly not invisable. It is hoped that we can show that Muslim Women in the west are not being forced to veil, rather its a free valid choice made by thinking sane women who have a lot to contribute to society.

    I ask all Niqaabi Sisters to Contribite – Please send a blank email to [email protected] to find out how. Brothers please get your wives involved by passing on the link – and non niqaabis you can still help by fowarding the link to others.

    Jazakumullahu Khairan

  5. What is our repsonsibility in all of this?
    I only recently came across this very informative and enlightening website, so forgive me for the delayed response to this article. However, I feel the veil is an issue which will not be disappearing any time soon, which is why I felt it necessary to compose a response.

    As someone who chose to adopt the veil a couple of years ago, I believe the attacks on the veil spurred me to take this action and affirm my muslim identity further rather than to deter me. I guess this was one way of channelling my passionate grievances on the issue.

    Other ways in which I tried to tackle the issue of misunderstanding the nikaab, is by actively going out and discussing it with our local community. A couple of years ago I took out a few of my students during the Islamic Awareness week to carry out a survey. We asked ‘What is the first word which comes to mind when you see a lady wearing the veil?’ and what was the most popular response? Surprise, surprise… “oppressed”. We then presented them with a little booklet on why women wear the veil to clear up this misconception and to hopefully provide them with a more accepting and favourable view of Islam.

    However, the answer to our question wasn’t what surprised me. What surprised me was that there appeared to be a general fear amongst the community with regards to the veil. This was quite saddening; especially knowing that Islam is a religion of peace, and yet evidence proved that this is not the message which is being communicated to the general masses. And I guess the most upsetting factor was coming to terms with the fact that in some ways we have failed as an ummah to spread the Prophet s.a.w.’s message that Islam is a religion of peace.

    This has led me to the conclusion that on the issue of the veil, really I believe it is the responsibility of my muslim sisters to go out there and clear up these misrepresentations of the media. And it’s not just the media which have created this image of a veiled cult which utilise the privileges of living in a western society, but don’t wish to integrate and contribute to the society they’re living in. Not everyone may agree with me, but I believe by shutting ourselves out and not being active in communicating with other non-muslims, we are attesting to and helping the media to paint this negative picture of veiled muslim women. To a lot of people we appear to be less than human as they feel uncomfortable with the uncertainty of not knowing what lurks behind the veil. We need to let them know that we do speak, we do have a brain, we do feel; that we are indeed human.

    From what I have read on the issue so far, people have taken a very defensive stance, and although we have a right to be defensive, I believe this is the easier position to take rather than actively going out to tell people otherwise. We have the knowledge of the wisdom in wearing the veil, whereas those who have taken the view of the media and the misconstrued ideas formed in their own minds due to ignorance and a lack of understanding, don’t know otherwise because we haven’t told them. And it is this lack of understanding which creates the fear, which in turn breeds hostility and unfortunately an unwillingness to tolerate or accept the beauty of the veil.

    Just some thoughts… I ask for forgiveness for anything I have written which may be against the teachings of Islam.

  6. Hard truths about the Niqab.
    For those of us who are believers in Islam, the word of Allah is clear and the debate is truly over. Read the Hadiths, and follow them as Allah demands. Niqab is obligatory. A Woman’s appearance and voice are not to be seen or heard in public by those who are not her closest relatives. Period. That is the truth and as hard as it may be for those in accept in the West it is Islamic law. Us women who call themselves believers have no choice but to don the full niqab, complete eve veils, overhead abaya, gloves and live a life of observant Purdah as soon as possible, venturing into the non Islamic world the absolute minimum necessary. Except for those closest to us, you must consider your entire body a private part as forbidden as any, to go out uncovered, to show any skin at all, it the moral equivalent of nakedness. Is this harsh, Yes, but it is the truth. Those us us in the west who make the effort to conform only delay the inevitable acceptance that will come of our correct lifestyle and harm themselves in the eyes of Allah. I implore my sisters in Islam to stop being afraid of what your nonbeliever neighbors and family think and be more worried about what Allah commands. Cover yourself, veil yourself, glove yourself and live in the modesty for which we are all commanded to. Salaam.

    Shyala Nikoor, London

  7. Hard truths about the Niqab.
    For those of us who are believers in Islam, the word of Allah is clear and the debate is truly over. Read the Hadiths, and follow them as Allah demands. Niqab is obligatory. A Woman’s appearance and voice are not to be seen or heard in public by those who are not her closest relatives. Period. That is the truth and as hard as it may be for those in accept in the West it is Islamic law. Us women who call themselves believers have no choice but to don the full niqab, complete eve veils, overhead abaya, gloves and live a life of observant Purdah as soon as possible, venturing into the non Islamic world the absolute minimum necessary. Except for those closest to us, you must consider your entire body a private part as forbidden as any, to go out uncovered, to show any skin at all, it the moral equivalent of nakedness. Is this harsh, Yes, but it is the truth. Those us us in the west who make the effort to conform only delay the inevitable acceptance that will come of our correct lifestyle and harm themselves in the eyes of Allah. I implore my sisters in Islam to stop being afraid of what your nonbeliever neighbors and family think and be more worried about what Allah commands. Cover yourself, veil yourself, glove yourself and live in the modesty for which we are all commanded to. Salaam.

    Shyala Nikoor, London

  8. Hard truths about the Niqab.
    For those of us who are believers in Islam, the word of Allah is clear and the debate is truly over. Read the Hadiths, and follow them as Allah demands. Niqab is obligatory. A Woman’s appearance and voice are not to be seen or heard in public by those who are not her closest relatives. Period. That is the truth and as hard as it may be for those in accept in the West it is Islamic law. Us women who call themselves believers have no choice but to don the full niqab, complete eve veils, overhead abaya, gloves and live a life of observant Purdah as soon as possible, venturing into the non Islamic world the absolute minimum necessary. Except for those closest to us, you must consider your entire body a private part as forbidden as any, to go out uncovered, to show any skin at all, it the moral equivalent of nakedness. Is this harsh, Yes, but it is the truth. Those us us in the west who make the effort to conform only delay the inevitable acceptance that will come of our correct lifestyle and harm themselves in the eyes of Allah. I implore my sisters in Islam to stop being afraid of what your nonbeliever neighbors and family think and be more worried about what Allah commands. Cover yourself, veil yourself, glove yourself and live in the modesty for which we are all commanded to. Salaam.

    Shyala Nikoor, London

  9. hijab defender

    they should put hijab banners in zoo :p
    hijab ban is so disgusting!

  10. but still
    muslimas should wear hijab no doubt but it doesnt speak 4 her iman.hijab should then be worn corectly(jilbab,chador,tudung)but veiling only actually draws more attention .may allah preserve the muslimat .amin.

  11. Beverley McKenzie

    Chairperson Irish Hijab Campaign
    Assalamu alaikum,

    Dear brother and sisters, and all those who believe in safe-guarding our civil liberties. Remember our rights to freedom of expression, the practise of our religion etc. These rights have already been enshrined in the numerous statutes, laws and constitutions. Learn what your rights are and protect them. You will be held to account for settling for the bread-crumbs under the dogs table, missing your God-given right to something better. Give reasoned responses and continue to deal with the media hype/misconceptions.

  12. Some ‘nominal’ muslims in Bosnia don’t like to see sisters wearing niqab!
    assalamu alaikum
    The debate over niqab and brothers with beards is present today in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They are attacked in media, on streets… But Allah s.w.t will surely give victory to Muslims, inshaAllah

  13. khadija pollak

    male signataries only?
    I am a woman and support the signataries. We don’t need to sign it alone as our men will fight for our rights from our corner instead of leaving us for depraved old men like jack straw. In the age of technology and communication, we recieve email, make phone calls and send text messages without ever having to see anyones faces, yet we get along just fine. Some people even meet their prospective partner online simply going by what their personality is like instead of being judgemental about ones skin color, pretty/ugly face or age.
    Women in the west were brought up to believe that to be dressed as bare meat for all men to enjoy is to express her freedom and is a sign of her strength, success and courage. Rather, she feels insecure about who she is and seeks to satisfy this void by gratifying men through prostituting her body.

    In this example, a woman in the west who sells her body for money to several men every night is the most successful and free woman in contrast to the woman who couragously decides for herself to express her freedom to choose to cover up. What a filthy and despicable set of values uncovered women share. Tut tut. Shameless…

  14. Veil: Unite and Fight.
    Assalamalaikum,

    I am shifa from India. Lets unite and fight against the one who is stopping us from wearing it. Tell them who does’nt like that WE MUSLIM WOMENS ARE NOT MODELS TO SHOW OFF”. We are modest and is always respected by pure and pious. WE MUSLIMS ARE TO PUT THINGS ARIGHT AND NOT TO FORGET THAT THE MOST POWERFUL ALLAH IS ALWAYS WITH US INSHALLAH, NO MATTER HOW LESS THE STRENGTH IS.

    SO LETS UNITE MUSLIMS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD AND FIGHT FOR IT.
    Assalamalaikum

  15. i love my niqab
    salaam alaikum

    am 21 i reverted to islam, two months after started wearing my veil and still wearing it and i love it for i love allah subhana wa ta ala and if anyone thinks that they will stop me from wearing it better think twice for i will put up a good fight inshallah .
    why is it that a nun can wear her hijab but with us they attack it just shows muslims have to be on they guard at all times and hold on tight to the deen making sure our eeman is strong so no one can try and manipulate us for all the sisters who wear niqab its a beautifulthing you are doing and remember it will be worth it for allah will reward you inshallah.
    and for those sisters who dont hope you will sart wearing it soon inshallah.

    salaam alaikum

  16. Reader Tasha Jackson writes: “as if it the only thing that defines a muslimah”
    Exactly this is how the misogynistic wahhabis, patriarchs and mullahs see women. And since these garments are completely obligatory under the sharia (Saudiarabia, Sudan, Jemen, Iran, Northnigeria, some provinces in Indonesia [like in Aceh], Northmalaysia, Afghanistan, and a growing number of areas like Kashmir, Egypt, Anatolia, Irak, Linanon, etc.), no more proof is needed.

    If you are a real muslimah, then it would be wise to du’a for the oppressed women exactly in the a.m. regions. It’s funny how they speak of “true freedom” while they have it only in the West! They are furious about the “naked” women in the West but do not have the courage to emigrate from the West to paradises like Saudiarabia or Sudan. Why this hypocrisy? Because wahhabis ARE munafiq.

    Why do they have to go to Western countries for a better education and social welfare? Aren;t the islamic countries supposed to be far better than the kafir ones? Why is the analphabetism in islamic countries so high? Because the men oppress their women in the name of the man-made, misogynistic Hadiths, not in the name of the Qur’an!

    Think about that.

  17. Wahhabi lie
    There is not a single word in the whole Quran that orders a muslimah to HIDE her hair, her throat or her face. Therefore these tableclothes are unislamic as completely proven in http://www.submission.org/dress.html. A real muslimah, that understands the meaning of the suras, is for example Benazir Bhutto in http://www.harrywalker.com/photos/Bhutto_Benazir.jpg.
    Hijab, burka, jilbab, niqab are all WAHHABI clothes imposed without mercy wherever there is sharia (and then they speak of “there is no obligation in religion”, a complete lie). Why are they forbiden in Turkish public places? Why were they uncommon in many muslim countries until 1990? Why are they pleasing ONLY wahhabis, qutbists, salafis and Talibanis, all womenhaters? Wahhabism is a violence-loving SECT and,unfortunately, dominating Saudiarabia with billions of petrodollars for dark purposes.
    Some brainwashed people say that the hijab has something to do with religious freedom. Under the sharia this freedom doesn’t exist anymore, but this contradiction is, of course, very well ignored. They always compare the “saleh” muslimah with the young girls in miniskirts. What about the women who dress modestly and expose their dead cells? Are they also whores? You bet. You only have to watch to Amsterdam, Berlin, Sweden, Birmingham, Marseille, Australia, etc. where these poor women suffer constant attacks of the wahhabi wolves. Interestingly, the fanatics always bring examples of young ladies, whereas the hijab is imposed on babies, little girls, young ladies, women and grandmas. How do you explain the sex-appeal of a baby girl if you are not a 100% misogynistic pervert?

    Those who wear a hijab on “free will” should know, that they are playing the game of the wahhabi and their sharia-agenda, who do not believe in free will. Show your hair freely as billions of women showed throughout history. Remember: the most exciting part in the head of a woman are the eyes and the face. If you want to please the radicals, so hide eyes and face, not dead cells.

  18. Tasha Jackson

    Stay Strong
    Salam and JazakAllah Khair,
    I think it’s ironic how they attack the veil as if it the only thing that defines a muslimah. What is not fair is how they don’t make the men shave their beards! (ha ha 🙂 I am not yet affected by this in America, but I too am afraid that before Bush leaves we might have the same bans. I make du’a for those sisters whom have become oppressed by their hijab (those feminists were right after all) that they may one day find the true freedom they had before and that no other countries or ex-colonies follow suit. Allah knows best and makes good out of bad situations. In the meantime, laughter and education are the best medicines. Stay strong my sisters in Islam : )

  19. Salaam,

    May Allah open the hearts of those who take the veiling of women as something trivial, cultural and a practice that is medievil, and may Allah also strengthen the sisters who obey his command with patience as the deen as a whole is now seen as something strange… So give glad tidings to the strangers… Ameen

  20. Salaam,

    May Allah open the hearts of those who take the veiling of women as something trivial, cultural and a practice they regard as medieval, and may Allah strengthen the sisters who obey him in his command with patience as the deen as a whole is seen as something strange… So give glad tidings to the strangers… Ameen

  21. Aeishah Griffiths-Williamson

    Ridiculous!!
    I think it is terrible that countries are banning the hijab especially when these countries originally used to be Muslim countries! These countries are making such a big deal out of nothing! The hijab is obligatory for Muslims and we enjoy wearing it, by banning it these countries are preventing us from practicing our religion and they have the audacity to claim free speech and that it is the same to banning a cross being worn! Why are these countries who want to impose these laws so threatened by a piece of clothing! It’s outrageous!

  22. I m not getting the subject
    TODAYS Niqab and tomorrow Hijab, what does it mean I do hijab that to means to cover ur whole body with lose fitted dreass apart from face and hands. and Niqab alonfg to cover all body face should also be covered, but Niqab is was only for Mother oF Belivers and didnt extent to ummah but we finf some pious ladies do for the sake of Allah’s pleasure. So dont u thing todaus hijab tomorrow Niqab is right subject???

    Might be i missunderstood something, if i so do correct me
    FiamaanAllah

  23. Why are all the signatories male?
    All the signatories are male because they are the leaders/representatives of their respective organisations. They speak for the very many differing sections and sub-sections of British Muslim society, both male and female.

  24. Try to wear hijab and u feel like a Princess
    Salam alaikoum

    Allah´s reward for wearing hijab is big,and u´ll feel like a princess,WALLAH!!! 🙂
    JUST DO IT,wear the hijab as soon as possible.

  25. Where is the Human RIghts and Freedom they talk about
    Bism Allah A-Rahman A-Rahim

    At the end of the day, it is the muslim woman choice if she want to wear Hijab or Even Burqa. Why the panic and the none tolerant approach of the so called the civlized world!!!

  26. Signatures
    All the signatures are male huh? Add mine to it then.

  27. Shahadah-Khadejia

    No female signatories? Is that just coincidence orr??

  28. An educated Sister

    Why Not?
    I remember on registration day at my university in England, a Libyan woman who was also registering asked me, “How are you going to study wearing that” as she motioned to my nikaab. Why not? How would my nikaab prevent knowledge from entering my mind and be a barrier to intelligent discourse. I believe this idea to be a result of the western tradition of equating more clothing with restriction and repression (think corsets and bustles). Also, western media is always keen to show educated women from Muslim countries that are more often than less, uncovered. This gives us the impression that covering=ignorant and uneducated. The fact that I was wearing a nikaab was in direct contradiction in her mind to my studying at university.

  29. A ‘model’ citizen
    I have this to ask the government…
    A woman who works in the public domain – such as a teacher, pays her taxes, contributes some of her earnings to charity, keeps good relations with her neighbours, abides by British law, can she be considered a ‘model citizen’? How about a woman who encompasses all the above and wears a niqaab, now?
    I think I smell a ‘contradiction’ in the air…

  30. Head scarf
    May Allah help all muslims girls arround the world to face with issues regarding the hijab! Amine.

  31. Head scarf
    May Allah guide all girls to wear hijab.

  32. Whether a woman wants to wear the niqab or not is her decision and her’s only….if thsi can be applied to teh hotpants and mid-drif bearing lasses of this urban landscape then i dont see why a woman covering should cause so much of a fiasco…unfortunately the system in which are so deeply immersed in and have our abode does not utilse the siplicities of such logic and practice when trying to handle such ‘differences’ and emerging values in their wholesome ‘britishness’. Rather they thrive in the reductivity and marginility of such..the niqabi, bearded brother, jilbab wearer and so on…like anything new and alien…the unware and ignorant are more then willing to neglect than discover…this will unfortunately be the ever consistent inevitability of our times and as long as we live here we should prepare ourselves with this corruptive and reductive inevitability…however, in this grim post (I apologise for the extremities of pessimism expressed..lol…not intended) there is hope, and this, as expressed above, is that of unity, acceptance and tolerance. Yes our ummah is diverse and complex but all this difference is what enriches it and we should celebrate the many stances people take as opposed to using it to, like ‘them’, be reductive of eachother. I am not a niqab wearer and may not feel it is something i am ready or feel the need to do but for all those sisters out there, it is there choice and who am I to oppose…surely that act in itself is the same as racism, faschism and any negative ‘ism’ that manifests in this society…an opinion should remain within private boundaries unless it will bring harmony and productivity to the larger society as a whole and as long as we as an ummah remember that and prevent ourselves from airing opinions that may breach on the blasphemous or ignorance…we should be able to see through this social chaos of our times.
    peace and love..

  33. Miss
    Allaah is The Just, The Kind, Th All Powerful, He is full of Mercy and the religion He gave is for the nercy of mankind.

  34. Hypocrisy of course
    Isn’t there a rather obvious angle to see this from?

    It is surely more often than not the case that a woman wearing a niqab et al in Britain is a British woman, living in Britain, exercising her right to practice the British right of freedom of religion, within which she is exercising her right to the British right of freedom of expression, all the while accepting the condition of the ‘Harm Principle (which states you may carry through these rights as long as your actions do not bring harm to others), a British principle pronounced by the British philosopher J. S. Mill and which underpins the very foundations of liberalism the world over.

    What a model British citizen I would say, and Allah is the only One to guide and protect and it is to Him alone we turn. The mark of separation, the symbol of oppression is standing against this citizens right to practice and express herself in this way. I would say that such a stance is ‘unBritish’, perhaps even traitorous, being as it is, in contravention of the ‘Harm Principle.’ The condemnations and pronouncements as have been made by Blair, Jowell, Woolas and David Davis amongst others, are widely reported and give a kind of approval to the view that Muslims in general are ‘Other’, that is, not of us, different, dangerous, to be shunned… to be eradicated, if not by complete assimilated absorption then by…?

    When people say that the way Muslims are now being treated is nothing like the way Jews were treated in Germany, they display their ignorance of historical fact. How exactly did it all start? It wasn’t overnight, but in a creeping, twisting manner, coiling around the public consciousness, imbibed through mass media outlets and in the speeches of public figures. To take from Goebbels in Hitler’s Mein Kampf,

    ‘… a carefully built up erection of statements which whether true or false can be made to undermine quite rigidly held ideas and to construct new ones in their place. It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words and words can be moulded until they clothe ideas in disguise.’

    Mein Kampf was published in 1925. The systematic butchering of the Jews did not start the next day; it began in 1941. Given such filthy material cannot be legally and freely distributed in such an explicit way now, we might suggest that today’s more sophisticated audience will take a little longer to win round. First steps have been taken, there is something similar in the attack on Muslims as happened to the European Jew; it must be stopped, stopped now!

  35. This is insane. This world has gone insane.
    I just think it’s so bizarre how some places are BANNING A HEADSCARF! Are these people so arrogant? Have they nothing better to do?

    If a woman doesn’t want to be seen AT ALL, weather Muslim or not, she shouldn’t have to be seen AT ALL! If she wants the full face covering, she should have that right! What are we coming to in this world? And end, that’s what. This is absolutely insane and inhumane.

    This is just another disgusting ploy to satisfy men’s desires to see women’s hair, and judge them by their appearances. They don’t want to be starved out of lusting after beautiful women. They must feel it’s their right as a man to objectify and stare at beautiful women. In all of this, they are completely ignoring the woman’s right. This is oppression at it’s best.

  36. Nice to see Muslim unity in practise!

  37. Assalam alaikum wa Rahmatullah
    This is a wonderful example of Muslim leaders and representatives coming together for defending the Muslim women’s rights to do what they believe pleases Allah. It is well balanced and well written. May Allah reward the signatories for this.

  38. Khadija Pollak

    I find it most remarkable that ALL the signataries of the above article seem to be male –

  39. the niqaab is definately modest and i love it with a passion
    greetings, i do not wear the niqaab nor hijab but i admire the muslim sisters who wears it, they r definately pleasing god by covering what is holy and sacred, on the other hand the non-muslim women displeases god by exposing their bodies, with adsolutely no shame. which is moral? the ones who cover what is private and sacred? or the ones with their bodies expose for all to see, laugh and cry shame on these women? sistes keep on pleasing god and not those who love the wrong and evil in life.

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