New Age Islam Staff Writer
Interpretations of Veil in The Islamic World Have Put Muslim Women in A
1. Iran's Mahsa Amini was killed by
Morality Police for improperly covering her head.
2. Taliban have made full covering veil
mandatory for all women.
3. France has banned Abaya in schools.
4. Egypt has banned niqab in schools
and public places.
Egypt and France took a similar decision on veil of women. While France, a
non-Muslim majority country imposed a ban on abaya, an Islamic dress for women,
Egypt, an Islamic country also imposed a ban on niqab, a face covering dress of
women. In Afghanistan, women have been ordered to wear full covering niqab in
public. They have been barred from going to schools and colleges on the ground
that it will facilitate the mixing of genders in society. In Iran, women have
been protesting against the laws mandating wearing of head covering veil.
across the globe have been grappling with the governments of the East and West
as they have their own views and approach to the Islamic dress. While the
Islamic countries are divided on the justification of veil or niqab, the
western countries like France see the abaya, an Islamic dress as a threat to
secularism. While announcing the ban on abaya, the Education Minister of
France, Gabriel Attal said that abaya made students look different and
identifiable and goes against the principles of secularism. In 2004, the
government had banned the wearing of ostensibly religious symbols in schools.
This included the Islamic headscarf, Jewish Kippas, Sikh turbans and Christian
cross. Now the French government has included abaya in the list of banned
from what the government spokesperson, Olivier Veran said, it becomes evident
that the French government has other reasons to ban Abaya. He said that abaya
was obviously a religious garment and a political attack, a political sign of
proselytising or an act of trying to convert to Islam.
statement betrays the fear that abaya may cause conversion to Islam and that a
woman wearing an abaya was unknowingly committing an act of proselytization. It
may seem ridiculous but this is how a government spokesperson of France sees
abaya. If this is really so then a Muslim man with a beard and skull cap may be
considered committing an act of proselytising or trying to convert Christians
opposition parties do not support this view of the government. The opposition
party Le France Insoumise calls this government "clothes police". Its
leader Clementine Autain said that this law was characteristic if obsessional
rejection of Muslims. Muslims
not a face covering dress. It is a loose dress covering the full body while the
face is uncovered. However, it is an Arab dress and popular among Arab
immigrants in France and speaks of the influence of the Arab culture in France.
same time, the Education Ministry of Egypt banned full covering niqab in
schools and public places. It also made head scarf optional, depending on the
wish of the pupil without pressure from guardians or hardline Islamic
organisations that promote niqab.
women generally wear headscarf and a minority of women belonging to
ultraconservative society wear niqab. The government order has been greeted by
many as the government has given women a choice over veils. They may wear hijab
or go without it. The government won’t interfere with their choice of veil. The
government has also made it clear that it would not decide as to what extent
the women cover their hair.
be recalled that last year, a Kurd woman of Iran, Mahsa Amini, 22, was killed
by the Morality Police for inappropriately wearing the hijab. She had not fully
covered her hair while she was with her brother in a park in Tehran.
had sparked a wave of protests across Iran and women had defied the veil. They
had burned their headscarves. The protests still continue. Now, celebrities
like actors, doctors, businessmen activists have joined the movement.
senior actress of Iran, Afsana Bayegan repeatedly posted photos of her unveiled
her on Instagram.
the government also does not show signs of giving in and has been contemplating
different ways to supress the movement.
government has started to declare these women as suffering from psychiatric
disorders and sending them to psychological centres for psychotherapy apart
from sending them to jail.
Bayegan, 61, has been given two-year suspended prison sentence and has been
ordered by the court to visit the psychological centre once a week. Ridiculously,
the judge has diagnosed her with a disease called "anti-family personality
woman named Azadeh Samadi has been diagnosed by the judges with
"anti-social personality disorder". A Tehran court diagnosed another
woman who had not worn a veil with "contagious psychological
disorder" that leads to sexual promiscuity and has sentenced her to two
months in imprisonment and six months of psychological treatment.
government has not been able to supress the movement of the women and
therefore, plans to bring a stricter law to punish protesting women. The law
may be passed in two months. Under this law, the protesters and violators of
the Hijab Law may be sentenced to 5 to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of
8,508 dollars. The government will use artificial intelligence to identify
protesting women. Cameras will be installed in public places to identify women
of Iranian women for freedom of dress did not start last year. It had started
soon after Khamenei became the spiritual head of the country after the 1979 revolution.
Soon after assuming power, he had mandated hijab in public places. The women
had protested this decree. The Article 368 of Iran's Constitution is known as
hijab law. This law has become a symbol of oppression of women. Sarah
Baoobandi, a Marie Curie Fellow at German Institute for Global and Area Studies
in Hamburg writes:
the world, the hijab is a personal choice made by women. In Iran, however, it
was transformed into a symbol of oppression and marginalisation. The current
rejection of hijab by Iranian protesters, therefore, does not necessarily equal
a rejection of Islam or Islamic values. Rather it represents the anger and
frustration of the people ---namely women who have been deprived of their basic
freedom of choice for decades. "
It can be
concluded, therefore, that the West sees the veil or abaya as a threat to
secularism and the Islamic world sees the uncovered face and hair of women as a
threat to Islam. The Muslim women face a difficult phase and have a long battle
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