Symposium: Hate Behind the Niqab 2

Kasem: It is interesting to note that before the advent of Islam, the women of Arabia enjoyed much freedom and equality.

The late professor Phillip K. Hitti lists at least two women who were the queens of Arabia, before and during the Babylonian period. They were Shamsi and Telkhunu. Besides them, there was also the queen Bilqis of Saba, a city purportedly, in South Arabia.

Those days, and even before the advent of Islam, the common women of Arabia did not wear any veil (hijab) or cover themselves in outer garment (niqab). The veiling of women was strictly restricted to the women of the very top nobility, such as the Royal families and the extraordinarily rich and famous people.

Muhammad’s first wife Khadijah was a business lady, the richest woman of Arabia. There is no evidence to suggest she wore any form of veil during her lifetime. The same is true for Muhammad’s other wives, until Muhammad forced them to be covered in niqab, ostensibly mandated by Allah in a few verses in the Koran.

So why did Muhammad inflict this form of sartorial oppression on Muslim women? To know the reason we need to read the hadiths. The chief cause of veiling of Muhammad’s wives and the Muslim women in general is ingrained in the primitive latrine facilities in the deserts of Arabia.

After the death of Khadijah, Muhammad spent most of the wealth left by Khadijah. He became so poor that he had very little money to support himself. When he migrated to Medina, he and his followers were destitute. Under this dire poverty, Muhammad had to house his wives in places with very primitive or non-existent toilet/sanitary facilities. He had no choice but to ask his wives to go to an open field nearby and answer the call of nature.

In a hadith in Sahih Bukhari (1.4.149) we read that Muhammad permitted his wives to go out in the desert, in a secluded spot under the sky, and hide under trees and shrubs to defecate, though, he restricted them to the night hours only. That is: his wives could go out to relieve themselves only at night, when no one was watching them.

In another hadith of Sahih Bukhari (6.60.203) we read that performing sexual intercourse in the open sky, in the very spot where defecation used to take place was quite common. In other words, these spots in the desert, where there were shrubs and date palm trees, were the places where many people, who had no privacy at their homes, used to relieve themselves, as well as do sexual intercourse. It had been the way of the Arab Bedouins for millennia.

Nevertheless, Umar, the second Caliph of Islam urged Muhammad to change this.

As per the instruction, Muhammad’s wives started to go to an open field only at night to answer the call of nature without any veil or proper attire. Umar used to watch these ladies and was very uncomfortable and distressful to see them answering the call of nature in the open sky without much protection to their privacy. He requested Muhammad to cover his wives with veils whenever they went out to do their business in the open field at night.

At first, Muhammad ignored Umar’s plea. But when Umar kept pestering, Muhammad turned to Allah for His suggestion (since he did not have the pecuniary means to solve this toilet problem). Allah promptly sent down the verse on veil (33:59)

The above context of the veiling and ‘niqabing’ demonstrates that there is no compelling reason to enforce such a despicable, misogynist, barbaric system on Muslim women.

Today, we note, all around the world, that seventh century Bedouin barbaric custom is back in fashion. Not being content with the Muslim women, there is also pressure on the infidel women to cover up, because, as per the Islamic rule, these infidel women who do not wear the Islamic niqab are sluts, whores and ripe for Islamic rape by Islamic men.

According to Islam, Muslims are at perpetual war with the non-Muslims. Wherever, there is even a shred of Islam (even a single Muslim) it is incumbent upon him to enforce Islam in whatever capacity. This means, as per Islamic law (Sharia), infidel women, who do not comply with the Islamic dress codes, are captives of the Muslims living in the infidel territory. In Hedaya, the Hanafi law manual, we find that a Muslim living in an infidel land is allowed to have unlimited sex with the non-Muslim women without having the need to marry them. This should explain why, many Islamic men in the infidel world are caught for raping the ‘slutty’ ‘bitchy’, ‘whores’; of the western countries. They deserve to be purified by Islamic rape, as many such Muslim will say.

The Islamic hatred for western women who do not cover their bodies with Islamic ‘tents’ knows no bound. In 2006, the Mufti of Australia, Sheikh Hilali considered these western women as the ‘cat’s’ meat, that is: these western women deserve to be eaten (sexually) by Muslim men who chance upon them. We might not like what Mufti Hilali said, but he is absolutely correct. Islam allows Muslim men to have forced sex upon non-Muslim women who do not cover their ‘meat’. Here is the proof:

In verse 33:59. Allah says: O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever of Forgiving, Most Merciful.

The most eminent tafsir (exegesis) writer, bin Kathir comments on this verse:

Here Allah tells His Messenger to command the believing women -- especially his wives and daughters, because of their position of honour -- to draw their Jibes over their bodies, so that they will be distinct in their appearance from the women of the Jahiliyyah and from slave women. The Jilbab is a Rida', worn over the Khimar. This was the view of Ibn Mas'ud, 'Ubaydah, Qatadah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Sa'id bin Jubayr, Ibrahim An-Nakha'i, 'Ata' Al-Khurasani and others. It is like the Izar used today. Al-Jawhari said: "The Jilbab is the outer wrapper. 'Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn 'Abbas said that Allah commanded the believing women, when they went out of their houses for some need, to cover their faces from above their heads with the Jilbab, leaving only one eye showing. Muhammad bin Sirin said, "I asked 'Ubaydah As-Salmani about the Ayah: (to draw their Jalabib over their bodies.) He covered his face and head, with just his left eye showing.'' (That will be better that they should be known so as not to be annoyed. ) means, if they do that, it will be known that they are free, and that they are not servants or whores.

Please read the last sentence once again. It reads:

[If they do that, it will be known that they are free, and that they are not servants or whores—ibn Kathir]

The above explanation of ibn Kathir mean:

Muslim women must always keep their 'meat' covered whenever they venture out.

Infidel women who do not hide their 'meat' inside Jilbab and Hijab are either maidservants or whores.

The white Australian women who do not dress Islamically are maidservants or whores.

In Islam, Muslim men are allowed to have unlimited sexual intercourse with maidservants and/or sexual slaves. A Muslim man commits rape if and only if he has sex with a Muslim woman out of wedlock. Having forced sex with an infidel, uncovered woman does not at all constitute rape, Islamically speaking.

The natural conclusion is that Muslim men are completely free to Islamically rape these infidel women, if these whores fall in Muslim men's hands.

I quoted from the Koran and the tafsir of ibn Kathir to dispel any doubt that the non-Muslims might have about the unremitting hatred Islam has for infidel women, who do not comply with the Islamic specifications of women’s dress code.

Brigitte Gabriel has provided a good reason why many Muslim women are under pressure by the jihadist women to cover up. Many Muslim men prefer to marry religiously inclined Muslim women, and covering up is the surest way to prove a woman’s Muslimness. Therefore, we may safely conclude that many Muslim women reluctantly wear the uncomfortable, ugly, fearful, and potentially dangerous Islamic garb just to catch a good husband. For a number of Muslim women, wearing hijab and niqab are the safest method to hunt ‘good’ Muslim husbands.

Nonie Darwish is correct in saying that Islam considers a woman a shameful object. Her entire body, from head to tow is a shame, pudenda, which need to be covered whenever she ventures out. This extreme hatred for women is entrenched in many verses of the Koran and many sahih (authentic) ahadith which consider women as animals, devils, sinful, lascivious, and stupid. During his last hajj, Muhammad gave a final sermon on women. He said:

“Now then, O people, you have a right over your wives and they have a right over you. You have [the right] that they should not cause anyone of whom you dislike to tread your beds, and that they should not commit any open indecency (fahishah). If they do, then God permits you to shut them in separate rooms and to beat them, but not severely. If they abstain from [evil], they have the right to their food and clothing in accordance with custom (bi’l-maruf). Treat women well, for they are [like] domestic animals (‘awan) with you and do not possess anything for themselves. You have taken them only as a trust from God, and you have made the enjoyment of their persons lawful by the word of God, so understand and listen to my words, O people. I have conveyed the Message, and have left you with something which, if you hold fast to it, you will never go astray; that is, the Book of God and the sunnah of His Prophet. Listen to my words, O people, for I have conveyed the message and understand [it]. Know for certain that every Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, and that all Muslims are brethren. It is not lawful for a person [to take] from his brother except that which he has given him willingly, so do not wrong yourselves. O God, have I not conveyed the message?” It was reported [to me] that the people said, “O God, yes.” And the Messenger of God said, “O God, bear witness.” (Tabari, vol.9, pp.112-114).

Chesler: I certainly agree with Kobrin's view that a shame and honor society mandates that women be indoctrinated into feeling ashamed of their essential selves and that they must shroud themselves in order that men be helped to avoid temptation.

However, may I suggest that this tendency also exists among Jews, mainly among extremist, (non-modern) Orthodox Jews. Their mini-version of the shrouded woman is that non-modern Orthodox women are expected to be invisible in the synagogue, hidden behind a mehitza (barrier, screen, fence); to play no role--or a silent role in religious services; and to dress very modestly, plainly so as not to tempt men. But an Islamification seems to be taking place in certain quarters in Jewish Jerusalem. Recently, some women were beaten because they refused to sit separately and at the back of the bus; some already modestly-dressed women were harassed because their dress was not deemed modest enough; Jewish women are still not allowed to pray with a Torah in a group, quietly, but out loud at the Western Wall; and in one instance, a male-dominated religious cult demanded that Jewish women shroud themselves in burqas, and allow the male religious leaders to institute child abuse as a form of child rearing.

Kobrin is right to understand that Muslim women are terrified about being honor murdered and thus embrace a self-hating dress code zealously.

I agree with Gabriel (whom I have previously quoted on this very point in The Death of Feminism), namely, that Arab Muslim women are quite literally "covering their shame." They themselves are made ashamed of their female bodies, genitalia, essence. However, women also go further. Like men, women not only internalize this shame, they then inflict it upon other women, police other women into conformity and subservience. Or gossip against them and slander them so that men are forced to kill the female target for the sake of "honor."

I agree with Darwish that veiled women are being punished for male lust and that such women, like battered women, believe that obedience to a dress code is what will gain them respect.

Of course, this is a false sense of power and control. I share Darwish's view that niqab is a "form of jihad." I despair that Westerners, including liberals, leftists, and feminists, absolutely refuse to understand this and instead view veiling (headscarf, niqab) as a private, religious choice that the West must tolerate if it is to be true to its own principles.

I agree with Gutmann that veiled, shrouded, burqa'ed women are like "movable prisons" and that submitting to this dress code only gives women an illusion of control.

However, I must point out that unveiled, unburqa'ed women are sexually harassed on the street, arrested in Iran and Afghanistan, beaten, possibly killed. This happens all over Europe, and in American and Australia too. (Girls and women are threatened, beaten, and honor-killed for refusing to wear niqab or headscarf).

Recently, in Cairo, a year or two ago, after Ramadan, a group of about 1,000 men conducted a "sexual wilding" and undressed and tried to rape unveiled women or partially veiled women. However, in their lynch-mob mentality, they also aggressed against fully veiled women.

Thus, wearing niqab does not guarantee safety from male rioters and predators.

I found Kasem's information about the relationship between primitive latrine facilities in Muhammed's time and life and his consequent issuing of an order for his wives to veil--very interesting. I wonder whether this is well known or controversial.

He is totally correct about the sexual license that Muslim men are given towards unveiled women. Paradoxically, a "free" woman is one who submits to Islam and niqab. Any other kind of woman is a "servant" or a "whore" and may be raped at will.

Again, I despair about Westerners really understanding this. Of course, not all Muslims rape infidels or fly planes into the World Trade Center but most Muslims, beginning with Muslim leaders, do not condemn such acts, nor do they openly resist such acts either. A handful do.

Kobrin: I want to pick up on the important parallel to OCD and anorexia, which you have drawn, Jamie. You are absolutely correct. The niqab has illusory pluses and concrete minuses – the women construct compensatory meaning from a garment about which they have no choice. They make the most out of it but it comes at a huge psychological price – submission and being kept dissociated. The psychological function of the niqab facilitates the constant process of brainwashing. Yes women can hide behind it and feel empowered by it as David Gutmann points out – but it’s an illusion of power because in a society where one lives under a death threat, you need to be in denial to a degree in order to just go about your daily life.

However, as a woman feels stronger, little by little she attempts to master the accumulative effects of chronic traumata and moves to throw off the shackles of the niqab, even to go behind a wheel and drive in Saudi Arabia . When you have experienced so much trauma, you have to go through layers of it in order to finally give up the unhealthy bond to the object of the persecutory oppressor to which and to whom you have become addicted -- be it OCD, anorexia or a niqab. Everything in its own time but it takes a lot of time; there is no quick fix.

Terror is very poorly understood. I agree wholeheartedly with Phyllis Chesler that we see this aggressiveness against women spreading even into Israeli Jewish society. This is because Islamic jihadi violence also influences other cultures because it has gone global and its aggression breeds aggression. It must be nipped in the bud. This is why too, limits constantly have to be set. Niqabing is bullying behavior. It cannot be tolerated, even in Saudi Arabia .

Brigitte Gabriel underscores the concrete problematic nature of such dressing, literally covering that which is designated as the locus of shame. Terrorism is concrete and literal behavior. It is also always involves projection. The men tell us through this very revealing nonverbal behavior of the niqab that they are terrified of the female and they feel themselves to be wholly inadequate and emasculated – therefore the Muslim man has to rape infidel women and their own. Pathetically they know of no other way to relate to a woman.

Abdul Kasem offers an extremely important historical journey through the Quran and Ahadith concerning how niqabing came into being. That it is tied to latrines does not surprise the psychoanalyst in me because it returns us to the anal sadomasochism of terrorism and the perverse preoccupation with the body. This is terrorism’s unspoken pornography. The men are very confused about their sexual identity. They don’t know how to healthily bond to the other – it’s a hook up culture albeit it violent.

I went to the local Target store the other day here in St. Paul and lo and behold a Somali woman working very hard in the store was wearing a niqab. Believe me this is not their custom but for a series of reasons she adopted it signaling nonverbally her personal jihad as Nonie Darwish has put it. But just like the taxicab alcohol and the flying imams fiascos here in the Twin Cities, from what I have been told it is was jihadi inspired by Arabs and the Muslim Brotherhood who bully and cow those who feel themselves to be inferior in Islam’s hierarchy and who desperately want to be accepted. The Arabs stir up the pot. It will take a long time to promote change but it is not impossible though we must set firm limits and boundaries against such aggression and violence and not buy into the bullying behavior.


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