Monday, May 24, 2004

Hijab Not Islamic says Amir Taheri

Readers may know that the Wraith is very anti-hijab. I have long considered the hijab (the hair-covering fabric worn by some so-called devout Muslim women) an offensive politcal symbol. A recent article about the hijab controversy in France mentioned that the French refer to the hijab as "the flag on the head." This article from scholar and biographer Amir Taheri says that the hijab was invented in the 1970s for political reasons. Here are some quotes:

"Muslim women, like women in all societies, had covered their head with a variety of gears over the centuries. These had such names as lachak, chador, rusari, rubandeh, chaqchur, maqne'a, and picheh among others.

All had tribal, ethnic and generally folkloric origins and were never associated with religion. (In Senegal, Muslim women wear a colourful headgear against the sun, while working in the fields, but go topless.)

Muslim women could easily check the fraudulent nature of the neo-Islamist hijab by leafing through their family albums. They will not find the picture of a single female ancestor of theirs who wore the cursed headgear now marketed as an absolute "must" of Islam.

This fake Islamic hijab is nothing but a political prop, a weapon of visual terrorism. It is the symbol of a totalitarian ideology inspired more by Nazism and Communism than by Islam. It is as symbolic of Islam as the Mao uniform was of Chinese civilisation. It is used as a means of exerting pressure on Muslim women who do not wear it because they do not share the sick ideology behind it. It is a sign of support for extremists who wish to impose their creed, first on Muslims, and then on the entire world through psychological pressure, violence, terror, and, ultimately, war. The tragedy is that many of those who wear it are not aware of its implications."

Think about this the next time you see the hijab (and if you look for it you'll see one soon enough).

The whole article is here.
Amir Taheri: Islamic headgear is not essential


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