Non hijabi Muslims...why don't you wear it?

(86 Posts)
WaynettaSlobsLover Sat 05-Jan-13 21:11:26

You may have read my previous thread. I'm interested to hear why you don't wear the headscarf personally, and also what others reactions to you not wearing it have been. Would really appreciate some feedback on this inshallah and to hear your personal opinions and views on it all

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Jan-13 09:42:20

I would think it is because they are moderate Muslims who interpret the Quran according to our day and age rather than fundamentalist Muslims who adhere to the literal reading of the Quran.

WaynettaSlobsLover Sun 06-Jan-13 09:47:55

Cote, have you ever worn it? I was hoping to speak to you actually.

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Jan-13 09:58:10

There aren't enough mullahs in the world to tie me down long enough to wrap my head up in one of those grin so no, I haven't. Which is not surprising, because I am not and have never been religious.

Why would you think all Muslim women would have to wear a headscarf?

Do all Christians "suffer not a witch to live"?

WaynettaSlobsLover Sun 06-Jan-13 10:44:52

Cote, I've taken my headscarf off recently because I don't believe it's neccessary. Have had a lot of crap from people, if you look up my previous threads you can see for yourself. Does anyone in your family wear it? I remember from a thread a while ago that you are Turkish and have a Muslim family

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Jan-13 13:31:07

Nobody in my family wears it. None of my friends do, either, although most are quite religious.

This includes my very devout grandmother who did her prayers 5 times a day until she literally couldn't move.

amirah85 Sun 06-Jan-13 15:24:36

i dont think moderate muslims dont wear it and fondamentalist ones do.i think everyone has his own reasons.not that cote could ever aknowledge that,we are all fondamentalist unless we dress and behave like westerns.

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Jan-13 16:31:06

Do you know what the word "fundamentalist" means, amirah? In a religious context, it refers to people who follow their holy book literally.

If one follows the Quran literally, then yes, Muslim women should wear the hijab because they are told in the Quran to drape their covers over their bosoms. Therefore, fundamentalist Muslims will naturally be wearing headscarves, tightly bound over their bosoms, at the very least.

However, not everyone follows holy books literally. They are usually called moderates but I'm happy to use another word if you think this one is inappropriate. These women think "Well, I don't live in the desert over a thousand years ago, so don't wear that bedsheet referred to in the Quran as "khimar" to start with. Anyway, I can achieve modesty in my own way, I don't need to cover every strand of my hair.

WaynettaSlobsLover Sun 06-Jan-13 16:48:01

Cote are your friends comfortable and happy about not wearing it? I'm getting tired of explaining to people one of the reasons why I don't wear it is exactly what you have stated above in terms of being in the desert all those years back/wearing khimar to ultimately protect skin and hair from dust and sun damage etc.

WaynettaSlobsLover Sun 06-Jan-13 16:51:38

Moderate Muslims are basically referred to in strict communities as 'kufar' at least that's what I have experienced personally. The headscarf is apparently the be all and end all of a Muslim woman's level of faith....never mind if she prays 5 times a day, fasts, gives charity in abundance and is a decent person.

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Jan-13 17:09:29

"are your friends comfortable and happy about not wearing it"

Yes, definitely. Your faith is in your head, not what you put over it. You shouldn't be pressured into doing anything you are not comfortable with.

I'm just now watching an old recording of Nasser (1953) where he says he met the head of Muslim Brotherhood, who told him he needs to pass a law saying women have to wear headscarves outside the home. Audience laughs, Nasser smiles. A man from the audience shouts "Tell him to wear it himself!", everyone laughs.

That was in 1953 sad

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Jan-13 17:10:25

What do your friends say? Are they calling treating you like a 'kafir'?

WaynettaSlobsLover Sun 06-Jan-13 17:21:38

I like the views of hassan el banna's brother Gamal el banna, he is extremely educated and progressive and write a booking the whole hijab thing, still need to get hold of it. So many accredited and brilliant thinkers have been swept aside by the majority of Islamic clerics and branded secular and other insulting things besides. My friends and in laws have taken it very badly cote. I have been told I may have "taken myself out if the fold of islam" hmm

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Jan-13 19:18:38

"brilliant thinkers have been swept aside by the majority of Islamic clerics"

One of the things I like about Islam is that it is very clear that there is no need for clerics. You read the Quran then do what you understand from it, there is no need for an intermediary between the Muslim and Allah. Quran is, after all, "complete, perfect, fully detailed" and all you need for salvation.

re your friends & in-laws - I'm sorry that you are in this situation. It sounds pretty dire. They sound pretty small-minded and I don't know if they will ever understand/accept your decision not to cover your head. I read on another thread that you are a convert. Are you under pressure to prove that you are a good Muslim?

What does your husband think? As long as he is on your side and is fine with you not wearing the headscarf, you are fine, I would think. This depends on the culture, of course, but in the ones I'm familiar with, the husband is the ultimate authority over wives in such devout/conservative families.

WaynettaSlobsLover Sun 06-Jan-13 19:56:24

It is a pretty dire situation tbh. People who I thought I was close to and could trust have turned on me. Mil is still almost holding me at arms length and I feel awkward as hell every time I go over there with my dc's. I've just had about enough of everyone. It's opened my eyes to the local community in the worst way possible..I'm sure you know what I mean Cote..whatever the imam says goes, sisters and brothers being segregated so ridiculously and desperately, and the full blame of men's 'lusts' being laid down completely on the woman. If I saw this sort of shit and nasty self righteous "those dirty kufar, the west is to blame for everything" attitude, I wouldn't have gone near islam with a barge pole. Except its not islam, it's these people who call themselves Muslims. I wish others agreed with me also that you don't need Islamic clergy to live your life. The mentality here is "if you're not a scholar, put up and shut up". Husband is great thank god. Supportive, educated and kind. Childhood sweetheart lol

CoteDAzur Mon 07-Jan-13 11:39:28

I have to say that it sounds like you are in a more ignorant and fundamentalist society than I ever was. I don't know of anyone who has any grief from their friends & relatives because they don't cover their heads. It is a very personal choice and none of anyone else's business.

Can't your lovely DH talk to his family, saying "This is my wife, and I'm perfectly fine with her not wearing the headscarf. And it is none of your business"?

You can also find some quotes from the Quran that say not to force anyone to anything, everyone's relationship with God is their own, etc.

Frankly, I don't know if anything will change, though. As you said, such communities are incredibly rigid. Your best bet probably is to find some new (moderate) Muslim friends and hope that ILs come around in the long term when they realise that you are still the person you always were.

WaynettaSlobsLover Mon 07-Jan-13 11:44:55

Dh has spoken to his family and let them all know about it and not to judge or treat me differently..but as you said it's a case of just getting on with it because the facts are that they do judge and treat me differently. I appreciate the advice and acknowledgement because its hard as hell to get any kind of words of wisdom from those around me at the moment. Like you said, nobody's business what I do with my life is it. Thanks for the support x

CoteDAzur Mon 07-Jan-13 11:49:33

Good luck with it all. Let me know at some point how it all turns out.

firefly11 Mon 07-Jan-13 14:03:35

I've just only seen this thread. Well Waynetta, if you travel to an East Asian country, where there are a significant number of Muslims - Indonesia, Singapore, for instance - you will see there are many Muslims who don't wear hijab (normally the ones who do are married, middle-aged, etc.). They still consider themselves Muslim, but they don't wear it. They don't go around judging or treating people different if they are Muslim and don't wear it. I don't know why in England there seem to be such extremes - either you are very modern and even more liberated minded than the typical non-hijabi in East Asia, or you are very conservative and interpret the Quran literally. And I don't say this from myself. This is what my East Asian friends who have visited England have told me and what I myself have noticed as well. It is very different. For instance, most of the converts I've met here readily wear the scarf. In East Asia there are many instances of Muslim men marrying non-Muslim girls who choose not to wear the hijab. Nobody gives them hell about it. In East Asia the moderate Muslims are in majority - and none of the extremes - non-Hijabi but also not walking around with half their tits and asses showing - if you know what I mean, lol

(Not that I'm saying that there's anything wrong with a woman who chooses to dress like this. I'd say it's every woman's right to dress the way she wants. But just to give you an idea of how the Muslims in East Asian countries dress )

I hope you get more replies on here from other non Hijabi Muslims than just me and cote though. Surely there'd be more non-Hijabi Muslims around?

firefly11 Mon 07-Jan-13 14:08:15

Should be "liberal minded" than "liberated minded" lol... sorry.

firefly11 Mon 07-Jan-13 14:14:09

Yes and East Asian countries with significant Muslim populations include Malaysia and China. Many Muslims there don't wear hijab either. It's not a thing that gets you discriminated by other Muslims or anything like that. In fact I'd say the opposite is true. If a Muslim lives in a country with a non-Muslim majority, they would probably get discriminated or treated differently because they wear hijab. Unfortunately it's like this everywhere. If you go to a country like in the Middle East where everyone wears hijab, then you would fit in more to wear it.

Welovecouscous Mon 07-Jan-13 14:18:17

Non Muslim myself but if you read Reading Lolita in Tehran, the author says most Iranian women were not covering themselves in the 70s. I'm sure many considered themselves devout Muslims.

LoopsInHoops Mon 07-Jan-13 14:20:30

Very few Muslim women here in KL go out without their headscarves in my experience firefly. I spoke to a colleague about it recently, who said she would be heavily criticised by her family and neighbours were she to stop wearing it.

firefly11 Mon 07-Jan-13 14:21:24

Just read the beginning of the thread. Yeah I've seen on some Muslim forums online where people were referring to non Hijabi Muslims as "kafir". It is so not right. And this is where Muslims around the world start to fall out with each other. Are they going to consider a large chunk of the non-Hijabi Muslim population in East Asia as "kafir" then? Similarly it would engender negativity in the minds of moderate Muslims in East Asia about the Muslims on the other side of the globe. I've seen this for myself. Not good.

firefly11 Mon 07-Jan-13 14:24:44

Loops, there may be more Hijabis in Malaysia but when I go there (I have family there - my mum's side) I don't see that many Hijabis at all. Just speaking from my pov that's all. You mean all those non-Hijabis I saw were getting criticised at home actually? How harsh is the criticism? Is it just like I was criticised by my mum's Catholic relatives in Malaysia for wearing miniskirts when I was 14? It is not the same thing as being shunned by family and friends and called "kafir" though, is it?

firawla Mon 07-Jan-13 16:40:19

I do wear hijab but thought I would reply anyway. think i have seen ur previous thread a while back too

People refering to non-hijab wearing muslims as kuffaar is out of order!!! that's not islamically justified either, they could tell you its sin but it doesn't take someone outside of islam so i do not know where people can get the cheek to say such things

I wear hijab myself but I have 'downgraded' a lot, I used to wear full niqaab but i took that off a few years back now, then I was still in abayah and hijab, and i've taken the abayah off now about 6 months ago. I do know that it's better to wear it but my reasons were that i started to feel fake, as though its a statement that im really religious but i know i have a lot of short comings in the religion so i just no longer felt comfy wearing it. which i think people would probably advise "dont listen to that, those thoughts are from the shaytan" but i just felt i want to take it off - so i did. although i dont see myself taking off the hijab fully, but i wouldnt judge someone who does.

there are quite a few of my friends who i havet seen since i stopped wearing the abayah and i dont know what their reaction would be (but i can guess it would be bad), others have just not said anything to me about it although i know they must have been wondering! but maybe felt its best not to comment. i know a lot of ppl do consider even this, not wearing abayah - as haraam.

you need to make your own decisions if u wear it just cos of what will people say, inlaws or whoever else, then its not sincere. the door is always open for u to go back to wearing in future if you wanted to (you & me both) but if this is what you are feeling at the moment then its up to you, we answer to allah for our own actions so ultimately it does not concern anyone else!!

WaynettaSlobsLover Mon 07-Jan-13 16:45:33

Thanks all for your perspectives, really interesting isn't it all? Yes you can be considered kafir if you don't wear hijab and when you become muslim (like I did) you put it on because everyone you know, the sheikhs, the imam at the masjid and all your friends say you have to, and what with reading the books on women's dress in the majority of bookshops and studying from a literal point of view, you do think its mandatory on you. It's only when you step back, study the actual Arabic, compare many tafsirs in English and see what other Muslim scholars have to say (historically and contextually) that you realise the issue is 1- a real non issue, I.e headscarf is not even one of the five pillars of islam, Mohammed (saw) if you study Hadith didn't give huge sermons on it like today's clerics, and 2- you get to make up your own mind in a nutshell.

WaynettaSlobsLover Mon 07-Jan-13 16:53:37

Fiirawla thanks for that insight about abaya. I used to wear it too and got told it was absolutely mandatory. It was only until I studied Quran and listened to the tafsir of surah al Azhab by numerous other scholars that it was explained how in the time of the prophet, his wives used to go to relieve themselves at night, but unfortunately would be harassed by men who assumed that because their bodies weren't appropriately covered, that they were equal to slave women and could thus be treated as such. This was the bad attitude back then but alhamdulilah the whole lowering the gaze and guarding modesty came in from islam so automatically people started to dress modestly and conduct themselves with dignity. Anyway I'm sure you already know all this, I'm just saying, when Quran is interpreted literally without any regard for historical or moral context, that's when the debates start. Sorry for the longggg posts

firefly11 Mon 07-Jan-13 19:31:01

I don't know if you've read this [[http://www.wikiislam.net/wiki/Revelation_of_the_Hijab#Umar_bin_Al-Khattab.27s_involvement Wikiislam's entry on the hijab]. Granted Wikiislam is a site that is not exactly pro or against Islam. I stumbled upon it as I was reading up about the hijab.

firefly11 Mon 07-Jan-13 19:31:48
JellyBellies Tue 08-Jan-13 06:55:19

Hi. I wore the hijab for 10 years from the time u was 18 till I was 28. I took it off last year.

It was for a combination of reasons and I did go back and forth for a while. My family don't know yet... Eek!

My mum doesn't wear it anyway but my mil does.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 07:28:40

Salaam jelly bellies, nice to hear from you :D can I possibly ask for what reasons did you take it off? And how did everyone react?

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 07:30:11

Let me change that to...how do you think everyone will react?! I took mine off and felt like the whole world was looking at me, which of course they weren't.

Hanikam Tue 08-Jan-13 12:13:27

Woah, another hijab thread!
I wore hijab for 10years or so and decided against it about a year back. I've been flamed on Twitter for this by people who don't even know me, on the net or RL! I just felt I was wearing it for the wrong reasons, I.e. to please my husband. He prefers me to wear it, but admits he is old fashioned and respects my decision to uncover my hair. I do wear it when visiting in-laws, or the Mosque, and when praying of course.

Most of my in-laws also start wearing a burqa by the time they reach their mid-thirties, and I've had more than a few snide comments about this. Thank God they don't know I go around bare headed at home!

I've just posted on another thread about this issue, and what a cultural hangover it really is. If you want to wear, that's fine. Same goes for niqaab, jilbaab, or whatever you choose. If you don't want to wear it, that should be fine too. It's freedom of choice. In Leila Ahmed's book Women, Gender and Islam she looks at the history of hijab, dating back well before Islam when women wore it to show their high status in society. Slaves were forbidden to wear it. Today, it's treated as a fundamental precept of Islam, which clearly it is not.

The reaction I've had to removing it varies. At the most extreme I've been called kuffar, and warned that I'm facing certain hellfire ( the hijab might make you hot, but jahanaam is hotter!). Right, so I'm doomed now. As if a scrap of fabric could guarantee access to paradise!

Hanikam Tue 08-Jan-13 12:18:14

JellyBellies salaam! What were your reasons for deciding against it?
I've found that LESS people look at me ( here in rural Suffolk) and one of the reasons for removing it was that I was attracting attention to myself which is precisely the opposite of what it's alleged purpose is!

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 12:21:19

Oh yes that old chestnut about headscarf guaranteeing Jannah lol. I also found it drew attention to me, particularly as a white girl. I will be checking out leila Ahmeds book inshallah.

Hanikam Tue 08-Jan-13 13:58:44

waynettaslobslover it's hard to "win" as a white girl. Don't quite fit with the in-laws, or your own family.
When I wore hijab, everyone assumed I was foreign, even the doctor's receptionist asked me if I needed a translator. In my naievety, I asked why, doesn't the doctor speak English? Forgot it was me who was seen as hijabi therefore other.
With my in-laws Bengalism comes before everything else. My mil remarked to my DH well, at least she's fair cos neighbour's son married a Jamaican convert shock shock and their kids will be so dark no-one will marry them!

Oh yes, dear MNers racism is strong in Asian communities too!

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 14:14:30

"Most of my in-laws also start wearing a burqa by the time they reach their mid-thirties"

Is that because they get fat after a few babies?

Seriously, I can't imagine a reason why there would be an age to start wearing a burqa.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 14:20:38

Hanikum. Oh yes don't worry I'm very very familiar with the racism in some Asian families. Weird though....they are desperate for the white skinned, soft haired and green/blue eyes grandchildren, but have a fit if their son or daughter marries a Caucasian!!! It's amusing to say the least. I agree, I've never fitted in as a white Muslim, and part of the reason why I donned headscarf was to fit in more. I look Turkish so I've been told many times so it wasn't hard, but it started to pee me off how people would openly slag the English off in front of me but somehow me being Muslim, hijabi and married to a non English guy it made it ok!!

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 14:45:25

What do you mean by "I look Turkish"? I'm curious because we don't even recognise each other abroad.

I hope that this incredibly strict group of people you live among are not Turkish.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 18:01:38

Lol Cote no they are not Turkish. Actually the turks I know are pretty relaxed and very friendly, without the extreme attitudes. Well I've been told by a lot of Muslims and my mums Turkish friend that I look Turkish. I'm as baffled as you to be honest because as a result of being mixed with a few nationalities (though predominantly European) I can pass for a number of things. It's just something I've had said to me a lot and when waiting in a chemist last year a lady started speaking to me in Turkish. When she saw I was like confused she asked me if I was and obviously I said no lol. I've got slightly olive skin, green eyes and very dark curly ish hair. This all happened when I wore headscarf though so even stranger.

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 18:46:25

OK it's true that olive skin, green eyes and dark hair are quite common in Turkey. Still, I have to say that I can't think of a Turkish "type", especially for women. Men sometimes do look Turkish, but many Italians and almost all Greeks look the same, too. I think it is a Mediterranean look more than anything. Turks have come from Central Asia and we don't look anything like the flat & square faced Kazakhs with little slanted eyes, for example, so I'm sure there has been a lot of racial mixing in Ottoman times.

GetorfsaMotherfuckingMorrisMan Tue 08-Jan-13 18:55:20

What an interesting thread, for some daft reason I was thinking of this earlier and wondered why some muslim women wore hijab and some didn't.

I live in a city with a significant muslim population, and in the last few years have noticed a marked increase in the women who niqab (when I first moved here most women i saw wore hijab only).

It's interesting to read all the responses.

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 19:16:34

GetOrf - It's not just your city. It is a general increase in fundamentalism and extremist ideology everywhere in the world.

Even here in the South of France. When I arrived over 10 years ago, you would go months without seeing even a headscarf and that would inevitably turn out to be a Saudi tourist. These days, there are several mums in both DCs' schools all covered up and wearing rain coats in blistering summer heat.

GetorfsaMotherfuckingMorrisMan Tue 08-Jan-13 19:21:25

It's bloody striking. I have only lived here 3 years, it has changed remarkably then.

It must be very difficult for women to remove it when they face pressure from their family (as said on this thread) as well as the general increase in fundamentalism.

I like what Nasser said in 1953.

GetorfsaMotherfuckingMorrisMan Tue 08-Jan-13 19:22:55

That said, I do find islam very interesting. I am a complete ignoramus about it, however from what little I do know, and from muslim people I know, there are a lot of admirable aspects of the faith.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 19:27:11

I didn't actually know Turks originated from Central Asia, glad I know now, and I find for some reason that Turkish Cypriots seem to have a darker colouring than others. I agree there doesn't seem to be a specific 'look'', it's def more a Mediterranean thing. I'm pretty sure we are mixed with some sort of distant Mongolian blood like the Kazakhs, due to my paternal side possibly having originated from Russia, as a few relatives including myself and my father have a slightly oriental look. I love geneology lol. Are you Mediterranean looking Cote, or are you one of the light haired/eyed minority?

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 19:30:17

Hi GetOrf smile. Nice to have another joining the thread. May have opened your eyes a bit to some things, I'm glad there has been an abundance of information and differing opinions rather than a long heated and pointless debate about hijab. What did Nasser sat in 1953 can I ask? Really need a bit of educating smile

GetorfsaMotherfuckingMorrisMan Tue 08-Jan-13 19:32:36

Sorry - I refer to what Cote said about Nasser upthread.

When I was thinking about the subject earlier I thought I would ask on MN, but then thought the thread would go down a sorry road so decided not to. So am glad this thread appeared conveniently!

saadia Tue 08-Jan-13 19:39:03

In answer to your question OP I am Muslim and do not wear the hijab probably because in my family, growing up, nobody wore it in this country. My mother' s and grandmother' s generation did wear the veil but I think that was mainly for cultural reasons in India.

We had Iranian friends who told us that their aged mother wore hijab when the Shah was in power but when it was banned by him she never left the house again.

My ds was told at school by a Muslim friend of his that I was not Muslim because I do not wear the hijab.

I do not really have a strong view but in my heart of hearts I do not think that my faith can be defined by it and part of me finds it ridiculous that men spend so much time telling women what to wear. I just feel that faith is more than this and encompasses how we live and how we treat others.

I also feel that Islam is big enough to accommodate different views and demonstrations of faith.

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 19:42:08

I'm lily-white with light green eyes. Nobody can guess where I'm from and are generally shocked and incredulous when I tell them, as if they have met any other Turks hmm

Turkish language is still spoken in Central Asia (notably in Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan) and is grammatically closer to Japanese than any European language.

Cengiz ("Genghis"), Cagatay ("Chaghatai" - Ghengis Khan's son), Timocin ("Temujin" - GK's given name), Batuhan ("Batu Khan" - GK's grandson), Atilla, Altay ("Altai" - mountains in Central Asia where Turkic tribes lived 1000s of years ago) are still given names in Turkey.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 19:50:58

I get the annoyance with people being incredulous about where I'm from too, they just expect all English to have blonde/brown hair and blue eyes it seems. My poor mixed up kids will have even a worse time than I do..

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 19:52:53

I found the video of Nasser's speech on YouTube]. Please take two minutes to watch it. I am shock that Egyptians in 1950s were so much more liberal than they are now sad

He is talking about a conversation with the leader of Muslim Brotherhood that took place in 1953, so this speech must be from a few years later. Sorry, I misunderstood that bit when I was watching it on French TV.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 19:52:56

I'm [jealous] of your 'light' green eyes. Mine are the colour of out of date olives.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 19:53:30

That should read envy lol

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 19:55:36

A few poems are known to have been written about them in my youth smile

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 19:56:18

No more, though. If it's any consolation, the face around them hasn't been the same since I hit 40. Ah well smile

GetOrf Tue 08-Jan-13 19:56:46

I have just come back from Egypt and I didn't see an Egyptian woman in my time there who was uncovered (visited rural areas which are possibly conservative). A colleague who has been going ti Cairo for years says that its used to be far more common for women to be uncovered.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 19:57:23

It's interesting to note the differences between the founder of the Muslim brotherhood hassan el banna and his brother, the liberal thinker Gamal el banna. I've been reading a lot about him as he wrote a book about the veil. In Egypt people range widely from very religious to just muslim by name and then of course the Copts and Jews. I have extended family who live there and know from family living here that to not wear headscarf is seen as a bad thing by them in particular.

GetOrf Tue 08-Jan-13 19:59:45

Thanks for that link cote.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 20:00:28

GetOrf yes it's rare in areas such as Aswan in particular for women to be uncovered, but in Cairo and Luxor there is varying types of dress..most interestingly the combination of tight clothes and hijab. You see a lot of black and to be honest because of the poor diet out there and huge rates of diabetes, it's easier for women to wear much looser clothes than neccessary. In visiting dhs family in may...and am crapping myself already...

GetOrf Tue 08-Jan-13 20:37:12

I did see a striking looking girl in Qena with fitted jeans and a top and a brightly coloured hijab.

QueenofPlaids Tue 08-Jan-13 22:09:27

GetOrf Whilst the plural of anecdote is not data, I visited Egypt in the late 90s and there were very few covered women, mostly elderly but it has changed more recently. I would say be reticent about visiting now, but that's a whole different topic!

Back to the OP - I'm not a Muslim, rather an Atheist lapsed Catholic, so I suspect this is much easier for me (though I did get some shit) That said:

Can your husband helpl? It may not be his preference but because he's said he's okay with your decision (albeit not delighted) he should support you eith his family, because tbh that's what being okay really means. Can you enlist his help?

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 22:14:44

Hi Queen, thankfully dh is wonderful, supportive and very protective of me in terms of his his family. He is slowly getting used to me not wearing the scarf and so are the in laws I think. It's helped enormously talking to Muslims and non Muslims on here because I've been able to get a lot if support and advice :D

crescentmoon Wed 09-Jan-13 07:30:23

i think waynetta and cote will enjoy reading this about another man who shares Turkish ancestry, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/whodoyouthinkyouare/new-stories/boris-johnson/how-we-did-it_1.shtml

his grandfather was born Osman Winfred Kemal but his mother anglicised it to Winfred Johnson and from there the surname carried on lol!

crescentmoon Wed 09-Jan-13 07:30:38
crescentmoon Wed 09-Jan-13 07:32:50

wiLfred sorry, not wiNfred HA..

WaynettaSlobsLover Wed 09-Jan-13 07:49:20

Lmao!!! Had no idea! Thanks for that crescent ;)

CoteDAzur Wed 09-Jan-13 08:19:38

That is fascinating! Thank you crescent.

I can't watch the videos, unfortunately, probably because I'm not in the UK.

Some of the writing doesn't make sense, though. Like, there is no such name as "Celma" in Turkish and the author doesn't seem to know that the letter c is always pronounced j in Turkish.

And this part:

"After the Turkish nationalists were defeated in the First World War... Ali ordered everyone to ignore the extremely popular nationalist Mustafa Kemal, in effect publicly denouncing the man who would later become Turkey's reforming hero, Ataturk"

Ottoman army was defeated in WWI - soldiers of the Padishah. Not many of them were actually Turkish or even Muslim. (Google "Janissary" if you want to why)

Turkish nationalists headed by Ataturk then won the "War of Independence" against invading Allied Nations. That would be why he was 'extremely popular'.

I read a bit about Boris' grandfather here and have to say that the BBC is being very kind to him. After Ottoman Empire lost WWI and was being carved up by Allies, he argued against the resistance (headed by M K Ataturk), set up an Anglophile community and campaigned for an English protectorate status. So basically, a treasonous worm who wanted everyone to put their tails between their hind legs and lick the hand of the enemy so they would be left alive as a British colony but of course not free. (Sorry Boris smile) All this while most of his countrymen are fighting and dying on multiple battlefields. Is anyone surprised that he was lynched?

crescentmoon Wed 09-Jan-13 11:20:31

"So basically, a treasonous worm who wanted everyone to put their tails between their hind legs and lick the hand of the enemy so they would be left alive as a British colony but of course not free."

lol - ha i didnt know you had that kind of fire in you cote. yes we know what British protectorate status did for Palestine. i must admit iv never liked Ataturk - for obvious reasons wink. and so when i read the BBC page about Ali Kemal that he had opposed him i was like 'ahh here is a real man!' until i read that wiki page. its interesting what gets omitted isnt it?how would the history of the region have changed if that had happened i wonder?

iv always found the history of the Janissaries interesting - are you implying that they lost on purpose in WW1?

Jefferson Wed 09-Jan-13 11:37:21

Hi
I have gone back and forth with hijab over the years. I do actually feel it is right to wear hijab (not abaya or the veil) as a woman should cover her hair. I take this from the Quran, Hadith, Scholars etc.

why don't I wear it anymore? A lack of strength on my part I guess. I actually feel very guilty for not wearing. I know I should. I hope one day I have the strength to do so again. I felt uncomfortable and unattractive. I won't ever judge anyone for not wearing or even wearing hijab though.

I don't understand why women who wear hijab are seen as fundamentalist. They feel they are doing what is right. And you can wear Hijab and be liberated, of course you can. When I wore hijab I wore western clothes. Most women (esp younger women) in London who wear hijab wear it with jeans and a top. They seem happy.

I wish women were not judged so harshly for wearing hijab by non-hijabis or non-Muslims.

CoteDAzur Wed 09-Jan-13 12:49:30

crescent - I initially wrote "treasonous no-spine worm" but deleted the middle bit as thought it was a bit harsh grin

It's indeed very interesting how stories change according to who tells them.

"how would the history of the region have changed if that had happened i wonder?"

If colonies elsewhere are any indication, I think it's safe to say that arbitrary borders would be drawn with imaginary nationalities would be bestowed on populations kept ignorant and submissive with brutal puppet dictators in place while natural resources were plundered. Then it would all go pear-shaped with ethnical tensions and ignorant populations would choose religious nuts in democratic elections.

Oh wait...

CoteDAzur Wed 09-Jan-13 13:04:05

"iv always found the history of the Janissaries interesting - are you implying that they lost on purpose in WW1?"

I wouldn't think so. For soldiers, losing a battle usually means death, especially in those days when there was no such thing as Geneva Conventions on treatment of POWs.

My point was that Ottoman Army was comprised mostly of boys taken from conquered lands and assimilated into the Ottoman fold. Even though Janissaries were abolished by the time WWI started (fascinating story, if you are interested), the army was very non-Turkish, especially in the higher echelons. I sort of remember that Germans were called in to modernise & direct the army as well. I was pointing out all this to show that BBC's "Turkish nationalists were defeated in WWI" is a very strange statement to make. The nationalists pulled together an army after WWI was lost, and then they were not defeated as I'm sure British history books would agree.

CoteDAzur Wed 09-Jan-13 13:07:18

"I don't understand why women who wear hijab are seen as fundamentalist."

Because "fundamentalist" means "someone upholding a literal understanding of her holy book" and that is what you are doing when you say "Quran says I should wear headscarf so I wear headscarf".

Fundamentalist doesn't mean "bad person" or whatever you think it means. Just someone who takes it all literally.

Jefferson Wed 09-Jan-13 13:19:58

That may be what 'fundamentalist' literally means CoteDAzur but we all know that when people use the word fundamentalist these days they are saying it in a negative way. The word just conjures up negative associations because its usually used in conjunction with the word terrorist. I don't think the majority of people are using it in the literal sense. It's just a derogatory term.

CoteDAzur Wed 09-Jan-13 13:32:53

No, it's not "just a derogatory term" hmm It is a word, with a meaning, and this is it.

That is what the word actually means. If some people don't know what "fundamentalist" means, than it is their problem that they are all offended when they see it applied to them.

"usually used in conjunction with the word terrorist"

Not really. I see it used for governments who do indeed want to impose a literal understanding of the Quran.

There are also fundamentalist Christians who actually believe the world was created in 6 days and that homosexuals should be killed, but they are far fewer in number than the Muslim fundamentalists.

So no, you are wrong. Fundamentalist doesn't mean terrorist and you are very unreasonable if you think I was calling anyone a terrorist. I said some are fundamentalist because they take the Quran very literally, and they are. That is what the word means.

crescentmoon Wed 09-Jan-13 13:46:33

the liberal muslim believes very little of the Quran applies to daily life, the extremist muslim believes 6th century Arabia should be brought to life, and all the rest of us are in between these two. but i think, iv never heard, any muslim say that the Quran is an approximation of what people thought they understood about God at the time. show proof of that and 90% of Muslims would probably stop practising including myself probably! what we debate with each other is about context not content.

CoteDAzur Wed 09-Jan-13 13:52:27

"any muslim say that the Quran is an approximation of what people thought they understood about God at the time"

I agree. None would say this.

However, many do say "Quran was sent to desert tribes 1400 years ago, so I can use my head and decide which parts are not relevant to me as I live in my urban city in the year 2013".

Jefferson Wed 09-Jan-13 14:06:09

Apologies Cote. I most certainly did not try to suggest you were calling anyone a terrorist. Im not sure why you thought i was. I was talking generally about the way some people use the word fundamentalist. I understand what the word means

Anyway I agree with crescent moon that most of us are in between the two extremes of believing everything and nothing applies from the Quran

Jefferson Wed 09-Jan-13 14:06:32

Everything or nothing

Mrsaurtherpendragon Sat 19-Jan-13 21:02:20

I wore it when I was 16, stopped at 18 it was something my father said- god doesn't judge you on your appearance, it's what is in your heart that counts. These words have stuck with me ever since! X

WaynettaSlobsLover Sat 19-Jan-13 21:07:58

It's true to an extent, although dressing modestly is still a mandatory obligation in islam. I think people focus so much on what one looks like than what one actually does! I know I pray and practise islam more than people in my extended group of family and friends..but because they cover their hair, apparently this makes them better than me confused

beeny Sat 19-Jan-13 21:19:58

Cote my sis is a professor of Islamic law in a scottish uni and has views like yours.

WaynettaSlobsLover Sat 19-Jan-13 22:20:13

Beeny is your sis Muslim? What does she think about hijab?

beeny Sun 20-Jan-13 07:37:05

My sis doesnt wear a hijab and doesn't think its mandatory

CoteDAzur Tue 05-Feb-13 16:16:16

beeny - It would be interesting to have your sister on these threads.

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