A Glimpse into Lebanon
July 20, 2012 by: Evasierna Nightwish
I would like to express my thanks to my Lebanese friend, a feminist, who keeps me up-to-date with everything related to human rights in middle east and Arabic countries.
The article below is written by Fatima Abdallah, a Lebanese Muslimah (Muslim woman) who refuses Hijab. The article was submitted to “Al Nahar” Newspaper – which is owned by Lebanese Christians. (The former editor and publisher of this Newspaper Gebran Ghassan-Tueni was assassinated by Muslim terrorists on 12 December 2005.) Fatima chose this paper because no newspaper owned by Muslims would (ever) publish her article.
She has placed herself in a great deal of danger and has faced criticism and Islamic “shaming” for publishing such an article.
For non-Muslim Lebanese, oppressed Muslimahs and the very few open-minded Muslim men she is a heroine.
Lebanese Christians have had a great influence on Lebanese Muslims. Lebanon was a majority Christian state (the Christians were not of Arab descent either) which respected women and gave them freedoms that a Muslimah can only dream of. By comparing their life-style to the life-style of Christian women, Lebanese Muslim women started to demand such freedoms and even gain some of them. Today in Lebanon Christians are slightly outnumbered by Muslims and Muslim numbers are growing faster due to their large families. (This should be a wakeup call to all western countries.) By outnumbering Christians, Muslims are slowly gaining control over Lebanon and a normative law protecting women against domestic violence (proposed by Christians) can’t be passed simply because the Muslims demand – by force – that the law stops at the doorstep of a Muslim’s house.
These children are Muslims carrying real guns in Tripoli (North Lebanon), walking the streets, fighting alongside adult Muslims and Islamist snipers against the Lebanese Police/military who had arrested a Mussalman linked to a terrorist organisation. The night before this fight, Muslims appeared on TV assuring everyone that they are civilized and that they’ll peacefully protest to demand the release of the man who was arrested by the government.
The next day they “peacefully” demanded his release with guns, snipers and by waging a war against the government to force the release of the terrorist Shadi al-Mawlawi. Eventually, the terrorist was released in order to stop the bloodshed and not because he was innocent, thus the government caved in to Muslim violence and thus the Muslims proved (again) that violence gets them what they demand. (This, too, should be a wakeup call to all western countries.) Some related news can be found here.
(Don’t be fooled by the mock-uniforms, these girls are in a nightclub.)
for this. (Shiaa Muslims):
and this (Sunni Muslims)
After giving this brief summary about the situation in Lebanon, here is Fatima’s article. It can be found here.
حجابي لا يقنعني
عذراً من العلماء الأفاضل، فالمرأة ليست عورة. أرفض بصفتي امرأة وسمي بهذه الدونية، وإن كان الدين هو من أتى بهذا المصطلح. تخطيت الخامسة والعشرين من العمر ولم أزل غير مقتنعة بالحجاب. بالنسبة إليّ لا يعدو كونه “خرقة” تجعلني مرتبة ثانية بين النساء. تقيدني. تشوّهني. تبتزني. ترميني وسط دوّامة من المشاعر، سوداء كالوحل.
مقياس الأخلاق ليس ارتداء الحجاب أو السفور، وإذا كان عند البعض كذلك، فتباً لهم وللأخلاق التي ينشدون.
في مجمع المكبوتين يصبح الحجاب كغشاء البكارة، شرف الأب والأخ والزوج والمجتمع، فيُطلب رأس الفتاة إذا رفضته، أو إذا لبسته يوماً على مضض وقررت في لحظة تعقّل خلعه. أين الاعتبار للأخ الذي يظن ان اخته هي أشرف نساء الكون؟ أين الاعتبار للأب الذي يفضل الموت على ان يرى الناس شعر ابنته بعد سنوات من زجّه تحت “الخرقة” من دون هواء وشمس وحرية ؟ أما الفتاة (وأتكلم عن نفسي هنا، بلسان كثيرات يضعن الحجاب كمن يضع السلاسل الصدئة حول رقبته)، فتتضرع الى الله (الذي برأيها ليس ظالماً ليفرض عليها ما لا يفرضه على الرجل) ليضع على طريقها رجلاً يؤمن بالحرية والمساواة، فيكون لها مفتاح التحرر من هذا القيد الذي يجرجر خيباتها الى الأبد.
لست متطرفة، بل متألمة. لست ضد الدين بل ضد ممارساته الخاطئة على الأرض. لن يقنعني أحد بأن الحجاب يستر عورتي (يا لها من كلمة سوقية). لست في حاجة اليه لأفرض احترامي على الجميع، وربما به أتزلّف بما لا يشبهني كي لا يحجمني الآخر ويقول عني “متحجّبة”! سأقولها بصراحة، حجابي هو عورتي. هو غلطة عمري التي ارتكبتها رغماً عني في صغري. حجابي هو يأسي لولا طموحي وعشقي للحياة. سأنزعه يوماً ما، ولو كان اليوم الأخير من عمري. سأنزعه علني أشعر بالمساواة. بالمساواة لا بالتفوق أبداً.
My veil does not convince me
Excuse me distinguished scholars, but a woman is not just “nakedness” [ed. “nakedness” is the translation of “awra”, that highly loaded Arabic word which extends its meaning beyond that of the genitals or something shameful that must be covered to include the body as a whole]. As a woman, I refuse to be marked with such inferiority, even though [my] religion is what came up with this term. I’m over twenty five years old and I’m still not convinced of the Hijab. To me, it is no more than a “rag” which makes me a second class woman among women. It restricts me. It disfigures me. It blackmails me. It throws me in the middle of a vortex of emotions as black as sludge.
The standard of morality is not wearing the Hijab [versus] unveiling, and if some people think that it is then scr*w them and their ‘ethics’.
In the oppressed community the veil becomes like the hymen; the honour of the father, the brother, the husband and the society, so it’ll be asking for the head of the girl if she refuses to wear it or if she reluctantly wears it one day and then – in a moment of sanity – decides to take it off. Where is the consideration of the brother who thinks his sister is the most honourable woman in the universe? Where is the consideration of the father who prefers death over letting people tsee his daughter’s hair after years of sticking it under the “rag” without air and sun and freedom? And the girl (and I speak for myself here, and on behalf of many women who wear the veil feeling as if [we are] placing rusted chains around [our] necks) pleads to Allah (who – in her opinion – is not [so] unjust [as] to impose on women what he doesn’t impose on men) to put in her path a man who believes in freedom and equality, so he can be to her key to freedom from this constraint that drags her down into sadness forever.
I am not an extremist, [I am] just in pain. I am not against religion but against incorrectly practising it on earth. No one will convince me that Hijab will cover my “nakedness” (what a vulgar word [ed. Arwa = genitals]). I don’t need Hijab to get everyone’s respect, maybe with it [on] I impersonate someone that I am not so that others don’t belittle me and say about me “unveiled!” I’ll say it straight, my veil is my nakedness. It is the biggest mistake in my life, a mistake that I was forced to make in my childhood. My veil would make me despair if it wasn’t for my ambition and passion for life. I’ll take it off one day, even if it’ll be the last day of my life. I’ll take it off and perhaps I’d feel equality. Equality but never superiority.
Written by: Fatima Abdallah
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I’d like to add a comment on Fatima’s article:
It’s a shame that a Muslim woman has to build her hopes on finding a man who may or may not be open minded enough to give her freedom. But I cannot criticize Muslim women or their ways to gain freedom for I was born free and in a society where men respect women and consider them as equals. The only thing I can do is post the article here hoping that Lebanese and Arab Muslims will stumble upon this website and hopefully get enlightened. That would be a start in giving Muslim women their freedom.
I read few comments on websites and facebook groups where Fatima’s article was reposted and it bothered me how much many Muslim men and women verbally attacked her. If some of them could have done so, they would have killed her out of hand.
I’ll end this article by a reply that came from a Muslin girl living in Europe:
“Why can’t we criticize religion? I live in Europe and Muslims are constantly demanding respect for their opinions and I agree so why don’t they do the same and let others have their opinions??? We are becoming such hypocrites as Arabs first and as Muslims second we demand what we won’t give back.”
Short URL: http://www.archive2012.faithfreedom.org/?p=38525