BBC Video: Dr. Myriam François on Hijab and European Courts


Myriam Francois-Cerrah: Watch the video in Twitter by clicking on the picture

“In white secular Europe, neutrality reflects the norms of white secular people.” Myriam Francois-Cerrah


The Muslim Times has the best collection of articles and videos about modest dressing and Hijab.

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7 replies

  1. Burqa is not locking women, it is a buffer line between protecting chastity and exposing. Being naked and drunk is acceptable but being covered and modest is inhuman.

    Surely nobody should be telling women what they can and can’t wear. Face covering? Would that extend to my precious Ray Bans? Why not… apparently face-recognition cameras don’t work when confronted by the simple sun glasses. And what about bushy beards and moustaches? And what next… hoods, floppy wide-brimmed hats, anti-pollution masks, scarves? Where does this silliness end? Just for peoples information when security’s a concern the women can remove the veil and the few I’ve spoken to do.. On the grand scale of things how much of an issue is this really? Don’t be distracted. Around 0.1% of the UK’s Muslim population were a veil.

    Many have observed that today, modern Britain is responsible for objectifying women as sexual objects. The nations favourite newspaper still offers a daily dose of page 3 and it has been estimated that 13% of all internet searches have erotic content[2]. Indeed when Google releases the top 10 search strings of the year they have to discount all of the ones relating to porn otherwise all 10 would be un-publishable. Most of these sites have of course been developed by western companies seeking profits. You would have thought the Tory party would have plenty to keep themselves busy with as regards the furthering the plight of women. At least they would do if they all weren’t so busy watching it. A freedom of information request from the Huffington Post[3] revealed that the House of Commons authorities acknowledged that users of the Parliamentary Network servers, including both MPs and their staff, have repeatedly attempted to access websites classed on Parliament’s network as pornographic between May 2012 and July 2013. The number of attempts to access pornographic websites via the Parliamentary network peaked for 2012 at 114,844 last November and at 55,552 in April for 2013. Perhaps someone should send them some Niqab so they can cover their faces in shame.

    We live in an overly vain culture that is having a detrimental effect upon the mental health of young women. We live in an overly promiscuous society in which abortion rates keep going up along with sexually transmitted diseases. It is a reality that some women may choose to opt out completely of this culture because they find it burdensome and exhausting on the spirit. Modern society is failing women and this has social consequences, no wonder the majority of people turning to Islam in the West are women, and no wonder that many of the women who wear the Niqab are British born converts.

    The right to wear a Niqab is in-keeping with people’s freedom of expression which supposedly a modern day Britain seeks to preserve. The right to wear a Niqab is preserved under religious freedoms which supposedly a modern state should seek to uphold if it wants to remain in keeping with the UN charter. If a women believes it to be fore mostly an act of submission and dedication to their God, then I see no argument for a modern Britain to interfere. The niqab does not conflict with principles of feminism if it is a woman’s chosen form of dress. A significant aspect of feminism is giving a women the right to choose what she wishes to do with her own body. Many women who wear the niqab regard it as empowering, claiming that those they encounter, give greater value to their speech over their cosmetic appearance. That may seem strange to some people, but is it stranger than nudist beaches, pole dancing clubs or barely clad ladies staggering home in stilettoes after a night out on the tiles? Cultural conditioning and social constructions alone seem an unfair method of determining that which is ‘normal’.

    French president wants Muslim women to be topless like his wife who posed topless in fashion shows. He has no right to ban the burqa because it is undemocratic and an unqualified attack on individual freedom. Burqa is not just a piece of cloth but a lot of ideological and cultural connotation to it. Women are just being exploited in the name of rights. Burqa protects women’s rights and treat each women like a princess. No one has the right to ban the freedom of choice in a secular and democratic country. The right to choice is a basic fundamental right the person should have.

    One Muslim woman, Caroline Chaiima, writing in, said she wore a veil: “Let those most closely concerned speak. I am a French woman born in France, with French parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and I am a Muslim. I wear the full veil and I feel like saying: So what? I am happy behind the veil, I protect myself from depraved stares. Neither my father, nor my brother, nor my husband forced the full veil upon me; it’s a personal choice.”

    This is Britain. We are to a large extent ‘free’ people. Therefore they should be allowed to wear what they want. I am sick of government intervention in ever aspect of everyone’s lives! So we make the rules to promote so-called Freedom of Right and then when we come up against an issue we don’t know what to do. Typical Britain, where we do not seem to think about many things before we act in the first place. This is just the beginning. As they say when you go to Rome do what the Romans do! But we are not and will never be the Romans either.

    When I were a lad I went to Spain. Most of the nuns wore full face veils and they were HUGELY respected for their religious vows. Fast forward to 21st century Britain and we’re terrified of Muslim women in veils! Guess what? The media is constantly scaring us against them. Anti Muslim Britain or what? Who’s orchestrating it? who keeps wanting to bomb Muslim countries? You know who! Don’t hate. How is a women under a sheet a threat?

    The government must’ve gotten it’s people paranoid with its propaganda against Islam. I am more scared of my own government and policing in this country then al-Qaeda. al-Qaeda aren’t got time for my a…

    The UK’s National Secular Society came out against a burka ban, saying “the NSS opposes any attempt to legally ban the burka or Niqab. We do so on two grounds of principle: a woman’s right to choose what she wears, i.e. her right to free expression; and her right to religious freedom.”

    Secularism is about respecting the right of people to follow any religion equally (or none), and of keeping religion out of politics and politics out of religion. Secularism is a check and balance against fundamentalist excess. Sensible people of faith are, or ought to be, secularists – unless they follow a brand of religion that wants to control everybody.

    The question is not about to veil or not to veil but for every woman to have the right to choose. This is question of basic human right including the right to freedom of religion and expression. French administrators have played into people’s fears and intolerance without adequately answering what great threat was posed by girls going to school in a headscarves? I do not believe in taking the rights of other people, and doing so shows the weakness of French democracy.

  2. When a woman is told that it is a religious obligation to wear a hijab, a head covering or burka, a face covering, then the issue of freedom of choice is overruled. Myriam does not get this.
    The Quran does not state anywhere to cover the head or face but calls for modest dress where the woman can be judged by her character and not her vital statistics. It says that the best dress is righteousness so any covering can be ‘provocative’ if the woman does not act decently. It also says that the supporters of the Messenger will be known by the signs of their faces so any woman covering her face for a false sense of religious ‘purdah’ is going against the Quran.
    I am sorry to say that men are the guilty party in all of this. They cannot be trusted with women, They do not lower their gaze and act modestly towards women, they do not treat women in the same way they treat their mothers, sisters or daughters. So it is men that need to be educated about how to treat women and if this fails it is men that need to be put in blinkers to control them, the same blinkers they put on donkeys!
    Finally, the Quran calls for balance in all aspects of our lives and to say that the alternative to full body, head to toe covering, is nudity is ridiculous.

  3. All religions are codes. They developed to bring order to newly forming societies – the first law. Confucius did it without claiming it came from a god.

    Islam claims to be a higher religion than Christianity. There you have a problem straight away. Just the first in a series of excuses used to dominate all others and within themselves these religions have their own political power struggles. Catholic and Protestant, Shia and Shi’ite.

    Religious purists of the smite the other cheek kind will never prevail because the ones at the other end of the spectrum, ie Taliban, Isis, etc will always use and abuse them ( suicide bombings).

    Let’s all explore mindfulness, let’s teach it at school. Let’s stop being sentimental and work towards one language and one code. Let’s consider how we are going to live together when earths popualation doubles and resources become even more scarce. I am not very confident that man will peacefully resolve all that because of his base needs of food water and shelter being compromised.

    Women on page 3. Have they no choice? Look back in history from early man. Why did we have the division of labour. Yes, pure nature. The stronger hunted whilst the female built the nest – true synergy. But without children they also hunted with men.

    As we evolved these lines have blurred and have actually reached a fantastic balance in a very short period of time. They were interrupted by the industrial revolution but are back on track now. Of course not everyone is moving at the same pace. Do not forget that we send rockets to the moon whilst tribes kill each other in Papua New Guinea.

    Very importantly, please be very mindful of two things 1) men are mostly brought up by women – they have the earliest influence on their boy child and 2) Most men of power consult their wife/partner on decisions.

    Biology should also not be ignored. We all know that chemicals destabilise women’s bodies on a cyclical basis but we give no credence to the biology of men and their drive to procreate. Studies have shown women mid-cycle wear less clothes to subconsciously attract a mate and have you ever heard of spring and the young man’s sap rising. I have noted how women mock men for their ‘weaknesss’. Just as we have spectrums of colour so do we have spectrums of attitude and behaviour on both sides. Technology is rapidly demoting physical strength as an attribute for male dominance – it is purely an evolutionary fact.

    I think there is a lot of dishonesty here, much not said but known to be true that a woman has her power and many will use it to manipulate. We read so much about how advanced girls are over boys in the early years – does that suddenly disappear?

    Arguments about clothes are fatuous but whilst societies in the Middle East wish to impose their will on the rest of the world, do not be surprised if there is a backlash.

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