Sunday, December 30

Hijab as a Dress Code

Another visit to Egyptiana's blog and another discussion. This time, however, I am not being merely inspired by her latest post.. but I am also conversing with the ideas mentioned in it. First time ever to have something else to say other than agreeing with the brilliant ideas expressed by this dear friend, ever since I started blogging. I felt there was a need for someone to step in and clarify the blurry image that tends to generalize our view of the Other, with capital O. The inspiration came as I read the questions being raised at the end of her post:

لم اذن ندعى ان الحجاب خطأ بشرى فى حق النساء المسلمات؟؟؟انقول المثل على اليهوديةانجرؤ ان نقول المثل على الراهبات المسيحياتلا والله ما يستطيع ان يتدخل اى شخص فى حرية اليهودية او المسيحية... ولكن المسلمة تحتاج الى وصاية... الى من يقول لها افعلى هذا او ذاك... حجابك خطأ ... حجابك جاء من وراء البحر ثقافة بدوية تدعو الى قمع الحريات لا اهوى المهاترات او المناقشات العقيمة فى امور محسومة... وما هذا البوست الا دعوة للتدبر فى الامر... والتفكير فيه بتأنى ما كان الحجاب قيد... ولكن تجميد عقولنا ومحاولة فرض اراء تبدو فى ظاهرها حرة هو القيد العظيم

Why do we claim that hijab is a human fault committed against women? Do we say the same about the Jewish woman? Do we dare say the same about Christian nuns? No. I swear by God that nobody can interfere with the freedom of the Jewish or Christian women. . But the Muslim woman is in need of patronage.. of someone to tell her do this or that.. your hijab is wrong.. your hijab came from overseas.. a beduin culture promoting oppression. I don't like talking nonesense or aimlessly discussing what is well known. This post is only an invitation to reflect on this issue... Hijab is no bondage.. but freezing our minds and trying to force ideas which appear to be free is the great captivity.

At first sight, it may appear that the conclusion being made is about a well-defined group. But as one readers to search for such a definition, things start getting mixed up. The descriptions being stated as examples of what "this group" believes in, reveal that a wide range of people are gathered together in a single basket. Let's review each together:

1- Why do we claim that hijab is a human fault committed against women?

Not all people who believe that hijab is not doing good to women have the same reasons. There is a large range from conservatives to moderates to extremists, each group having their own reasons. Consequently, although they may agree on the disadvantages of hijab, they do not all share the same view about it. Therefore, assuming that they all have the same attitude towards hijab is so unfair.

2- Do we say the same about the Jewish woman? Do we dare say the same about Christian nuns? No. I swear by God that nobody can interfere with the freedom of the Jewish or Christian women.

Mmmmm.. There are those who say the same about Jewish and Christian women. They don't all interefere with their freedom. Some of them dare to do it. Others are not afraid, but don't interefere because they believe it is not the right thing to do.

3- But the Muslim woman is in need of patronage.. of someone to tell her do this or that.. your hijab is wrong.. your hijab came from overseas.. a beduin culture promoting oppression.

Which ones are we talking about here? Do all those who refuse to wear hijab patronize Muslim women or tell them what to do? Do they say that their hijab is wrong? And why would analyzing the origins of hijab be considered as a way of attacking it or those who wear it? Isn't the beduin culture seen to be oppressive, regardless of hijab? Doesn't this same beduin culture tell women who don't wear niqab that their hijab is wrong?

4- I don't like talking nonesense or aimlessly discussing what is already undisputable.

What makes hijab undisputable? It is not one of the five basic pillars of Islam. Islamic scholars are disputing about it all the time. Different cultures have different definitions of it. What makes it undiscussable? And why would discussing it be a sort of nonesense?

5- This post is only an invitation to reflect on this issue... Hijab is no bondage.. but freezing our minds and trying to force ideas which appear to be free is the great captivity.
I totally agree. And that is why I would rather discuss my point in detail, as I feel like I have been put my mistake into the wrong company. I don't wear hijab. I don't believe it will do me good. I have my own reasons to think that it has many disadvantages. Yet, I never forced anyone to take it off, but the opposite always happens with me. And I never told anyone who agrees with it that it is wrong, although the opposite is always said to me. And I certainly would never judge anyone based on whether or not she is wearing hijab.. again in spite of having been always judged as a non-hijabi. I don't support hijab, but I am not against it, either.
Allow me to defend myself. In saying so, and from now on, I am not addressing Egyptiana. I am expressing myself, and giving myself the right to talk on behalf of others who hold my beliefs, and who are usually misunderstood and accused of joining those who are against hijab in general. Egyptiana did a great job with her post, actually. She displayed three pictures of different women who are covering their hair.
1- A Jewish woman praying:
2- Christian nuns praying:

3- A group of Muslim women awaiting prayers:

I so much believe that "a picture is worth a thousand words". Egyptiana's 3 pictures say that women have been covering their hair regardless of their religion, nationality, or race.
But I would like to add some more pictures to her wonderful collection to aid me in explaining my point. I would ask you to please have a look on the following ones.

4- Buddhist women:

5- Hindu women:

6- Sikh women:

7- Jain women:

8- Parsi Zoroastrian women:

So.. What are those pictures trying to tell us? Can you read them? Apparently, women who follow non-Abrahamic religions also cover their heads, as you see. What does this invite us to conclude? I, personally, believe that this dress code is purely traditional, passed down from one generation to the other.. Just like men in the Gulf who cover their heads with aggal.. or other Muslim men who wear turbans, or 3emma, like men of Azhar.. or those who wear chitral, like Afghani men. Can we call this hijab? Can we force men to wear it, knowing that Prophet Muhammed used to cover his head? I don't think so.

Moreover, it is normal to see a male sheikh who doesn't wear a 3emma nowadays.. although this was completely out of question in the past. Does this make the sheikh who doesn't wear the traditional 3emma guilty in any way? Can we judge him to be less moral or less religious than other sheikhs who do wear it? It is a traditional way of dressing, people. All kinds of clothes are passed down through imitation.. That's what we now call "fashion".

Islam, like all other religions, never told people what to wear. It is a matter of what people decide to wear at a certain time. We are only demanded, men and women, to dress modestly while praying.. like all other religions. A man can not pray in his shorts, although there is no clear or direct verse in Quran to prohibit that. But, logically, measuring on other demands in Quran, we can easily reach this rule. It is the same with females.. who were only instructed to wear moderate, conservative clothes, that won't cause "NORMAL men" (and i insist here on NORMAL) to be seduced.. or invite morally corrupt or sick men to abuse them, or harass them sexually. What was said is clear: Cover those parts that are private.. Don't wear sheer fabrics.. Don't wear tight clothes.. And try to keep away from too much accessories.

These are the demands of God. That's how women were asked to dress according to the Quran, which God declared to be complete and whole. He could have easily told women "Cover your hair" or "Cover your breasts" or "Cover your legs".. But He didn't, because He created this world and He knows that people's habits change from time to time, and from place to place. He didn't care to put a piece of cloth on women's heads. He only instructed them on how to protect themselves and how to avoid sinning by means of (intended) seduction. Accordingly, the choice of outfit was totally left to humans. They decide according to their culture, traditions and times what is considered to be appropriate and what is not. How can God order a Muslim woman who lives in equatorial Africa (in Kenya or Congo or Ughanda) to wear hijab or niqab? She will be committing suicide if she did! Besides, with global warming - which we know is a fact - the Earth's temperature is expected to rise.. which will make poor countries, which don't have proper homes, not to mention air-conditions, a living hell. Don't you think God knows about that? How can He then demand women there to wear the thick black niqab of Saudi Arabia? We all know that women are flogged (in one of the hottest countries during summer) if they don't abide by this dress code. What would please God in that? Do you think their rich women, who are married to the princes of oil, would find any difficulty in wearing this outfit? Those who have air conditioned luxury cars, with chauffeurs.. Those who live in villas with central air conditioning.. Those who wear original brands underneath their black abayas! Would they suffer in any way?

But what about poor women? What about those who can't afford any of those luxuries? Aren't they suffering? What about the old Egyptian women we see waiting for a long time under the hot sun in summer to ride a public bus, or any other means of public transportation? Have you ever seen their red sweaty faces? Have you ever felt how hard it is for them to deal with poverty as well as the summer heat while wearing the veil? What about those wearing niqab? Do you think God is a classist? He should be if He demands something that doesn't require any effort from rich people, while it would make the poor really suffer. Do you think God is a racist? Well, He should be if He truly would punish women in Congo for not wearing the hijab/niqab, and reward women in Russia for covering their hair (which they all do automatically in winter).
Now, we come to the most important question of all. Do you think God is a sexist? If you truly believe that God will never approve of His female worshipers unless they wear hijab/niqab, then that's what you are saying. Because in this way it would be impossible for them to have equal opportunities in life.
First, what is the original definition of hijab?.. Hijab is only mentioned once in Quran, while refering to male visitors who entered Prophet Muhammed's home and wished to talk to his wives. In this case, God instructed that there should be a hijab between them, meaning something that would block their vision, a curtain, so that they won't be able to see the Prophet's wives, who are described by God as being like no other women.
Does this mean that nobody saw either of the Prophet's wives? Of course, not. We know from many history books that those women interacted very normally with their community. The most powerful of them, Aisha, was known to be an excellent scholar, and who told many of the stories about Prophet Muhammed after his death. She even raised an army against Ali ibn Abi Taleb and directed it herself while riding on a camel's back.. Hence, the battle took the name of "Mawqe3at el Jamal" or Battle of the Camel. And there was a huge uproar against her in Basra (where the battle took place) for not respecting God's orders to the Prophet's wives; for she has left her home, and she has overthrown the rule of hijab! Notice that we are talking about Aisha, mother of the faithful.
Now, let's move on to the present time. Can anyone give me one definition of hijab that all Muslims would agree on? I dare anybody to do so.
Each Islamic culture has come up with its own version of hijab and claimed it to be the best of all.
There is the Wahhabi hijab of Saudi Arabia (niqab):

There is the Isdal/Chador of Iran:

There is the Talibani Burqa of Afghanistan:

There is the Khimar:
There is the Egyptian head scarf which covers/uncovers the neck:

Each woman of those thinks she is wearing the right hijab. Each woman of those thinks her hijab is better than the rest. Each woman of those believes that her dress is religious. None of them is right, and none of them is wrong. Nobody can objectively tell who is better than who. Nobody can prove any claim of superiority of one of those styles.

It is enough to show your face down a Saudi street to receive lashes on your back. So, do you think they believe that women who cover their hair and show their faces will enter heaven? Can an Egyptian girl who is convinced with her hijab wear it there? Can she convince them that she is not upsetting God? Can she get the women there to believe that she may be rewarded as well as them in afterlife?

In short.. There is no such thing as Islamic hijab.. There is only traditional/cultural hijab.. The hijab approved by the community where a female lives.. Just like any other set of traditions that she must follow in order to win the respect of her community. In some African tribes, it is normal for women to walk topless in public, while it is shameful to reveal their legs. We may find it strange, we may disapprove of it, but we should respect their culture.. because that is what they believe to be right, and thus is of high value to them.

Many people are surprised that I am not against hijab although I don't believe that it is a must, or that God would put it into consideration while judging my soul. The reason is that I respect the beliefs of others so much.. as long as that's what they are truly convinced with. Moderate secular thinkers are not extremists.. And that is what I meant to say through this discussion of my personal opinion of hijab as a dress code. Moderate secularists agree that a woman is free to wear hijab when it becomes her choice. They respect others' beliefs, even if they disagree with them. They don't pass judgements or condemn others. They don't seek to force women to take their hijab/niqab off their heads/faces.. but they wish them to take it off their minds. Talking about the origins of hijab, or how it found its way back to Egypt, is not an attempt to shake the belief of others. WE DON'T DO THAT. We are the ones being accused all the time of having weak faith. We are the ones who are insulted for questioning human explanations of religion. We are the ones being attacked because we don't wear hijab. Thus, our aim is to let others see things from our side, in the hope that they would be more understanding and tolerant.. not to tell them "you are wrong". The person who aims to force others to adopt his/her ideas is not a secularist. All we want is coexistence. We don't want to be accused of athiesm or lack of ethics. We don't want female secularists to be disrespected or considered to be women of easy virtue. Don't you think it is fair enough?

I said it many times, and I will say it again. Variety is the law of life. Difference will always exist. We have to accept one another without trying to wipe away differences. God could have easily created us all the same. Thus, our ability to tolerate difference is a virtue, and will be rewarded by God. Moderates, whether agreeing or disagreeing with hijab, should always have a quite dialogue based on logic. Disagreement is not equivalent to hostility. We shouldn't be putting any person who disagrees with us in the place of our enemy. We would be losing many good friends if we do so, as well as creating false stereotypes. When we seek to compare views, we should make a balanced comparison. We shouldn't show all those who differ with us as the opposite extreme.

Moderate people, should compare their views to those of other moderate people. You wouldn't like others to say that all those who wear hijab are terrorists, would you? You wouldn't like them to say that those who agree with hijab want to force everybody else to wear it. So, it won't be fair when you use the same way of thinking with others. Always look for similarities instead of difference. What unites us as humans is much much more than any differences between us.

Daughter of Sheikh Hassan Al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, unveiled and wearing make-up

Thursday, December 27

A Woman to Remember

The former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated today. Bhutto, who was the leader of the main opposition party, died after bursts of gunfire followed by a suicide bombing. It was carried out minutes after she delivered a speech at an election rally in Rawalpindi, near the capital, Islamabad.

A brave woman in her life and death. A woman who looked death in the face.. She is a bold soldier who died fighting for the freedom of her country. Banazir Bhutto scared cowardly men, although they have all the power and authority in their hands.

Another light is out.. Another candle in the wind.. Another flame gone out.. Another voice silenced forever.

Seems that evil is winning nowadays. My tears shall never dry out, my courageous lady. You are one of a kind. You showed the whole what women are made of. It's time for you to rest in peace. And it's time for us to carry the torch. Shame on her who doesn't learn your lesson.

Friday, December 14

Egyptian Mozzah

The word "mozzah" in the Egyptian slang dialect stands for "sexy chick" or "diva". And when used as an adjective - as in "that girl is mozzah"- it basically means, "she's hot". But the word "mozzah", whether used as a noun or an adjective, is not really a good word in Arabic. Actually, it is a very clear example of how our modern language itself reflects how the Egyptian society views females nowadays. This word is a live expression of all the negative feelings and disrespect that men have in the back of their minds while dealing with women.. even those they find to be attractive or stunning.

Mozzah was initially used by men of lower classes and those who work in manual labor. This particular social group, as you would expect, had a very narrow prespective.. and its view of women was totally physical. Therefore, when a mechanic used to tell his fiancée that she was a mozzah, all he meant was to praise her beauty and her feminine appeal. It didn't sound inappropriate or vulgar at the time. And girls who were considered "mozaz" (plural) usually had lots of confidence, knowing that they are desired by men. That was due to 2 reasons: 1) Those girls mainly belonged to the same social class. 2) The word itself did not use to have the strikingly negative associations it expresses nowadays. Thus, the word existed peacefully in the vocabulary of this group, and was merely considered a bit crude by those who happen to hear it from outside it.
When combined with the possessive pronoun "my", mozzah becomes "mozzeti", which meant my sweetheart (the old term for girlfriend). Men used to tell their male friends in the neighborhood about their emotional commitments, so that none of those friends would have a crush on their sweethearts. The girl labelled as someone's mozzah was in fact protected by this declaration, and automatically conceived of as this person's future wife. Other men usually kept their limits and would never ever attempt to court such a girl or annoy her. By no means could a man dare do that, except if he was an enemy of that girl's boyfriend. By flattering with someone's mozzah, a man was sending a message of open hatred, and his clear aim was inviting her boyfriend to fight. Having said that, I should add that a mistress was never described as mozzah, or given the title of being somebody's mozzah. Men of those classes were very serious about differntiating between girls for fun (easy girls that were notorious for their multiple relationships) and those they truly loved and wished to marry.

That was just a brief "historical" background. Of course I'm kidding.. It wasn't that long ago anyway. What I meant to say is: that was a thing of the past.
Due to the political and economic factors which were altering very rapidly during the previous decades, many social changes took place.. The most observable of which was what happened to the Egyptian social pyramid, causing it to turn up-side-down. This had its huge impact on all the facets of Egyptian life.. And I would have loved to go through them all, except that there is no room for that here. What concerns us, though, is the disappearance of the Egyptian middle class, which used to hold the whole social structure together.. as well as bearing the responsibility of directing the whole society. The middle class - with its well-defined value system, cultural interests, political involvement, and high awareness - is an indespensible component in maintaining balance and deciding the general social frame of any country. Thus, the collapse of the middle class in Egypt led to massive chaos in the social scene.
Hearing the language spoken in the Egyptian street nowadays, one will notice that it is a hybrid mixture of different classes, different cultures, different backgrounds, different languages, that have absolutely nothing in common; neither between one another, nor between them and their original sources. At the heart of this linguistic mess comes the word "mozzah" to summarize the modern social scene with its explicit definition of the current relationship between genders. It sums up how today's patriarchal society thinks about females, and manifests how words receive different meanings according to the prevailing culture/mentality.

The modern use of the word mozzah has absolutely nothing to do with social class. Moreover, it is commonly used by young Egyptian men while talking about females in general.. in a way where the word "female" became actually replaced by the word "mozzah". It is not categorized as an offensive word, in spite of the fact that it is considered as a kind of verbal harassment when it takes the form of a loud remark from a male stranger. Being called "mozzah" while walking down the street is enough to make any girl turn red and run away. The word now has a straight sexual meaning, and it is used for indecent flirting, or at least with a clear aim of embarrassing girls who are chosen to be victims of those loud flirtatous advancements. When used for this purpose, a guy usually follows it by a sound of a kiss, or a wink, or any similar gesture that would stress its sexual connotation and cause the biggest possible amount of embarrassment to his victim.

In casual male conversation, however, "mozzah" can be used to refer to any girl, or to describe a physically attactive babe, or as an indirect way of describing certain seductive features of the female body. The word is seldom used in its possessive form.. and in this case it may refer to the guy's own girlfriend! Yes, you read it correctly.. but it is a way of expressing that the relationship is pure dating.. nothing serious involved. Thus, in fact, it gives the total opposite message that was intended by the original "mozzeti". This time the person speaking is declaring that he does not really care about his mozzah (his girlfriend) . It is anindirect invitation to his friends to consider dating that girl after he gets bored with her, and a green light for those friends if they wish to tell jokes about that girl or exchange any negative remarks about her with her boyfriend!
So, as you have seen, our patriarchal culture has borrowed a word from the low-class dictionary, changed its usage, colored it with various negative paints, made it entirely sexual, and turned it into a weapon against females. Yet, it is not a hidden weapon that circles among men during their private chats.. nor is it condemned by society for its negative implications.. nor is it rejected by the media or movie makers. On the contrary.. It is welcomed into our daily lives and is openly exchanged between people everywhere.. It is now a most used word in Egyptian vocabulary.. and has become closely related to the Egyptian dialect! Now what does that tell you?
The word's influence didn't stop here, though. For as long as the usual scenario goes, whatever is imposed by the patriarchal society is automatically accepted by the vulnerable followers. It becomes a matter of fact. That's exactly what happened with Egyptian females who readily digusted the word as part of their cultural environment. Yes, "mozzah" is undeniably an anti-female word, aiming mainly to humiliate women and destroy their self-esteem. Its purpose is to objectify women and turn them into the purely physical/sexual dolls. They are plainly conceived of as only bodies, made up of flesh that is both desired and despised. A girl gets trapped inside this narrow tunnel.. She has to be mozzah in order to be appealing to men, and at the same time she is humiliated for being one. She has to be objectified twice: as a sexual body, and as an object of verbal abuse.. a source of shame.. a passive recpient of patriarchal violence and hostility.

In spite of all that, Egyptian girls do use the word mozzah in their speech, just like parrots. However, they prefer to live in denial.. and they use it to praise the beauty of each other, or to refer to THEMSELVES when talking about looking exceptionally stunning. For example, a girl might tell her friend that she was a mozzah (looking really good) the previous night, when she was dressed up for a party.. Or she might seek to compliment her friend by telling her that she is a mozzah, instead of saying "you look great". In doing so, girls are responding to the social stress and the constant demand that they should be physically attractive. They know that society wants them to be sexually appealing. And instinctly, those girls need to feel accepted, desired and loved. To achieve that, they are forced to follow the criteria defined by their society. Before anything else, a girl has to be a mozzah. Yet, likewise, Egyptian girls are aware of the lusty, indecent, abusive, degrading, and hostile nature of the word.. That's why in their current vulnerable position, they had to come up with this tactic of self-deceit which enables them to accept the concept of mozzah, while escaping it as a verbal phenomenon. They have reflected their own desperate need for admiration, along with their inability to face the powerful tools which patriarchy uses against them, on the word itself. Just as girls are torn between those two pressures, they split "mozzah" in half. But how far will this self-deceit actually lead them?

To every Egyptian Mozzah reading this: Burying your head in the sand will only make you weaker, more disrespected, more vulnerable, and more shameful. You are not a body, girl. You are not a piece of dilicious meat, or a sexy doll! As long as you don't believe that.. as long as you don't realize that you deserve a better treatment.. as long as you surrender to such assaults and degradation.. as long as you are not ready to stand up for yourself and defend your dignity.. as long as you don't value your mind and soul.. as long as you are following your oppressors.. as long as you don't have the courage to say NO.. as long as you accept being a mozzah.. YOU WILL NEVER BE A HUMAN BEING!

Friday, December 7

Niqab or Bikini?

I'd like to salute Miss Egyptiana for her recent post which inspired me a lot, especially that it came after I've written about Sabaya café. In her post, Egyptiana poses many questions while attempting to find a suitable comment on a picture featuring 2 girls on the beach, one of them in bikini while the other is veiled.

Actually, it was my intention to write about the issue of stereotyping women in our society, and how this usually takes the shape of a shallow binary opposition. This basically means that women are seen as either black or white, nothing else. If a woman is not what society defines as "white" then she must be "black". The exsitence of other possibilities or mere "grey" is unthought of. A woman is either a saint or a whore.. You are either a wife or a woman looking for a husband.. You are either shy or barefaced (beg7ah).. You are either an angel or a devil.. and on goes the list of opposites.

The most common example of this female binary stereotype, which seems to be so popular nowadays, is the one which assumes that if girls are not veiled, then the only alternative would be for them to wear bikinis!.. Yes.. Don't be surprised when hear this kind of twisted and deformed "logic". In fact, nobody seems to feel ashamed when they proudly present those opposites as the only available choices for female outfits.. It's either the veil or the bikini. So if you happen to discuss a woman's choice in wearing the veil or hijab, you will most probably find someone who instantly asks with much confidence, "Then what do you want? Do you want women to wear bikinis?"
For some of you this might sound like a funny thing.. a kind of silly joke. Or you might think that the person saying this isn't really serious.. But can you imagine that many people believe this to be a serious argument! Not only so.. this kind of belief has shaped the general view of women in Egypt. In fact, the reason behind the rapid increase of veiled women in Egypt, unlike what most people think, has more to do with having a social nature than being driven by a religious conviction. Many (and I am saying many) of the young girls who wear hijab do not actually abide by Muslim daily prayers (which is the second basic requirement in Islam, while hijab is only mentioned in one weak hadith). Muslim women pray at home.. You can rarely find one of them who prays at the mosque. Thus, while prayers are a matter of a private relation between a girl and her creator.. practiced out of people's sight.. hijab is a public statement, announcing to society that the girl who wears it belongs to the "white" category.

Belonging to the "whites" has its many advantages. Needless to say, the best of which is moving away from the other side of the binary opposition system. By declaring yourself a saint, you are protecting your public image.. sending a clear message that you are not the opposite.. That's to say.. You are not the bikini whore. That in itself is a huge benefit. Other minor advantages would include: social acceptance and respect, winning the admiration of men, having a better chance in the marriage market, gaining the trust of the family, relatively having more freedom, fitting into the general female community... etc.
When females responded in such a way to pressures from our patriarchal society which seeks to impose a certain moral system.. one that depends on binary oppositions.. They actually gave this bizaar system a huge credibility.. or I'd rather say, they were the ones who established this system and turned it into a matter of fact. Then more and more females were lured in.. and more were forced to abide by this new social visa. Until we woke up one day to find, for the first time in our history, little girls wearing hijab!
Why does a child have to be veiled? Why is this greeted and welcomed by many people as something positive? Isn't this a vicious murder of innocence? Isn't this a kind of assumption that even a child can be seductive? Why do these people then become so surprised that children (of both sexes) are being sexually molested? It is their own doing.. They have included children into this whole adults' system. Weren't they so pissed off when the ministry of education tried to issue a law preventing primary schoolgirls from wearing the veil at school! Do these adults suppose themselves the only sick people around?.. Of course, not.. There are other kinds of sickness that were being fed by this twisted pratice. Pedophyles loved this kind of declaration.. and it gave them a good excuse for their sickness. Here are some parents who acknowledge that their little girls are sexy! Why then don't they consider pedophyles to be victims who were not able to resist the seductive appeal of those children? Why don't they consider this as an excuse for them, just as they tend to find a justification for men who rape women?!!

Hey, that's not all.. Let me share another tragedy with you. A few days ago, I was shocked to see some of the girls who participated in the Special Olympics this year being veiled!! Of course I was so irritated.. Couldn't believe my eyes.. And all I thought of was "WTF?".. Those are girls who God Himself execluded from all forms of religious obligations. They could not decide anything for themselves, and hence could never have chosen to wear the veil. This is a clear violation of human rights! How could anyone see such a thing without being extremely troubled? What's this for God's sake? Should girls born with down syndrome be held accountable for not covering their hair? Are they supposed to be a source of seduction? Would they also be considered responsible if they were victims of sexual harassment? And would this veil protect them from someone who doesn't show any mercy for their condition? Someone answer me before I go mad! What's going on?.. Why have our people's minds become so fuc**d up?!

It is evident that the idea of binary opposition has become a general rule while dealing with females.. It is taken for granted by the majority of people. For instance, I am no longer able to shop for clothes in Egypt during the summer season.. You know why? Because all the women outfits out there are either designed for veiled women or for their stereotypical opposites.. Yeah, you bet.. they're basically for women walking down the streets in their bikinis! Seems like fashion designers have also adopted this kind of conviction while manufacturing clothes for their female customers. Here's what happened when I went summer shopping for 3 consecutive years.. The first year, 3/4 of the outfits on display were long-sleeved and heel-lengthed. The second year, around 90% of the outfits were designed for veiled women. The third year, I was not able to find a single formal outfit in short sleeves!!

Shop assistant: Any service, Ms.?
Me: Yeah.. Please, can you help me find something with short sleeves?
S.A.:Short sleeves?.. I'm afraid this season all the outfit are long-sleeved.
Me: Oh, yes.. I can see that. The fabrics also are all so thick and heavy.. Are we living in Moscow or something? Am I the only one who feels that summer in Cairo is as hot as hell?!
S.A.: Well.. It's because most of our customers are veiled.. But you can cut the sleeves if you want.
Me: Oh, yeah.. Coz I ain't one of your customers. And what about the fabric? Or wait.. I can make a guess.. You will tell me to buy my own fabric and have it tailored.
S.A.: I'm sorry, Ms. That's all what we have here for now. But there is a shop, not far from here, where you can find what you are looking for.
Me: I know it's not your fault.. I just hope you tell the shop management that they lost one of their "customers" today.

And off I went to the shop she told me about. The window display looked so weird.. But, hey.. I got nothing to loose.

Me: Good evening.. I was hoping to find a short-sleeved outfit.. be it with a skirt or pants.
S.A.: Sure.. Please have a look on this collection and choose whatever you like.
(After turning one hanger after the other in dispair)
Me: Ehhmm.. Excuse me.. I am not looking for beachwear. I'm looking for an outfit to wear at work.. Besides, I don't think any of those would fit a mature woman.. Those are barely for teenagers.
S.A.: Oh, how untrue.. Ms., I want to tell you that we have got veiled customers who buy these clothes.
Me: Veiled customers?!.. Are they done with all the other shops in the city? And how on earth do they wear this stuff? Do they wear it at home?
S.A.: No. They wear it to work, college.. everywhere.. Let me explain.
(She picked a hanger which had a tank top with spagetti straps and a way-above-the-knee skirt.)
See? A veiled girl would wear this with a long-sleeved body and straight pants underneath.
Me: #%*@*?!!!! But why go through all of this trouble while they have got all shops selling clothes that are made specially for them?
S.A.: Some of those young girls want to define their figure, you know. The thick wide outfits don't give them that.
Me: Oh I see.. So they want to cover their hair and define their figure at the same time.. How nice!.. OK, what about those who wish to dress moderately? Where should they go?
S.A.: Why don't you try [the shop I've just been to]?
Me: Actually one of their shop assistants led me here. All the outfits they have are the exact opposite of what you sell here.
S.A.: I'm afraid that what you're looking for is very hard to find.
Me: I already know that!!!!! Ughhhhhhh.. I've been searching for a whole week so far.
S.A.: Hey.. You can ask a tailor to do whatever you want.
Me: Thank you. I really should have done that from the start. Seems that my species have already been extinct, that they don't sell ready-made clothes for us anymore.

I believe the next extremist step would push women further apart in opposite directions.. If this happens, I won't be surprized if comparisons became even sharper. Probably the future binary opposition would suppose that women have only 2 choices.. Either niqab or one-piece bikini!.. No wonder the dilemma that is yet to face our females will be: "To wear or not to wear.. That's the question."
"When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid" - Audre Lorde