Saturday, January 26, 2013
NIQAB OPPRESSES WOMEN: AN IGNORANT ASSUMPTION
So, people assume our Niqab to be oppression. Why? Because it covers our faces and oppression- according to them- is probably restricted to not showing the face and being modest.
For everyone who think the Niqab oppresses us, I'd like to ask you'll a few questions. If you think it's covering the face that make us oppressed, what would you call motorists who wear their helmets?
This motorist has his face covered as well and if covering of the face is considered oppression, would you call him oppressed too?
That's one example. Here's another one:
A surgeon, and as most of you would have noticed, surgeons wear a surgical mask- which isn't much different from the Niqab actually. If a surgeon can perform the most delicate of tasks while wearing the mask, why should a Muslim woman's sight or hearing or even breathing be obstructed with the Niqab? If you say covering the face is oppression, would you call a surgeon with a surgical mask oppressed too?
If an entire nation can go around wearing masks to prevent them from catching viral flus and the like, why can't Muslim women do so to save themselves in a different way? Why?
I know that by now, so many questions may be popping up in some of your minds anyway. Let me answer them as well in advance In Sha Allah. You might argue that:
1) The motorist wears the helmet to protect himself from accidents, injuries, etc
Protection is the reason why motorists wear their helmets, right? Well, it's no different for Niqabis too. While they might wear their helmets to protect them from physical harm, we wear our Niqab to protect ourselves and our bodies. We wear the Niqab because the more you cover, the more protected you are and the more respect you demand for yourself. Our protection is a different kind of protection- not of the body but of our dignity, rights and respect. And this is a far greater and admirable form of protection!
2) They don't wear the helmet or the surgical masks all the time
Well, neither do we wear the Niqab all the time. I know that some people think we cover our faces right throughout the day, but they ought to know that we only wear our Niqab when we go out of our houses or when we're in the presence of strange men. If you take it from a surgeon's point of view, they probably cover their faces with the mask more than I do. Does that mean they're oppressed as well?
3) They wear the helmet and the mask because they have to
So do we! We don't wear the Niqab forcibly- get that clear. We wear the Niqab because we have to and because most importantly- because we want to. Just like the motorists and surgeons are asked to wear the helmet and mask, I believe that Muslim women need to wear it as well. And if we want to wear it, no one can question it.
For all those who live under the cloud of assumption that the Niqab oppresses us, please educate yourself on what oppression really is and think twice before calling a Niqabi oppressed.
Note: I'm in no way comparing the Niqab to the helmet or the surgical mask, but I just took it up as examples. And more often, when we portray things as examples, it tends to make things clearer :)