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The Niqab Ban Furore, Miley Cyrus and the Silence of Feminism Featured

“One of the major arguments being lobbed around this week as to why Muslim women shouldn’t be wearing veils in public is because they are a symbol of male dominance in society. As if knicker skimming dresses aren’t? ... On the streets of our cities every night of the year there are girls in outfits created purely for the pleasure of men.” - Alison Phillips, Journalist

A woman’s right to choose is at the heart of feminism; also endorsed by the liberal ideology of ‘freedom’. So, they argue that Hijab or the Niqab should not be enforced in society, and it should be left to the prerogative of the individuals. But surely, the notion of choice also implies that women should not be forced to remove it either. Accordingly, I was expecting to hear feminist voices coming to the defence of the right to wear the Niqab, along with the bare-breasted women from ‘Femen’ running through the streets of London, waving their fists, demanding the same. A disclaimer, I used the term bare-breasted as an adjective, and this should not be taken as my personal desire to see these semi-nude women behaving like cavewomen; it’s not dignified for any woman or man to behave in this way, in my book.

Would the feminist and the liberal camp have remained silent, if the situation was reverse, say a group of women in Iran or Saudi wanted to parade in their miniskirts or bikinis? I know it’s not as raunchy as Miley Cyrus, nevertheless, raunchy enough for a conservative Muslim society. You can bet on them coming out of their holes, waging a campaign to ‘save’ the Muslim women again, and the current fad of Zionist inspired Islamophobia would guarantee favourable and ample media coverage.

Clearly, they are very selective when it comes to saving women. Moreover, the feminist stance, expressed explicitly or implicitly through their silence, seems to encourage women who want to shed their clothes, parade themselves as sexual objects, and exploit their bodies for fame and financial gain. Note, not a word of criticism was aired over the Miley Cyrus incident or similar ones in the past. Encouraging women to bear all, serves the very group that are seen as adversaries to the feminist movement, the predatory male.

Forget the feminists, forget the male orientated porn industry and the sexually related crimes it inspires, forget the teenage pregnancy, forget the domestic violence, and forget the flourishing flesh trade, when it comes to ‘saving’ Muslim women from their ‘oppressive’ clothes, even the sexually predatory male in the West leaps into action. We know exactly how and why. So they scorn the Muslim women’s modest dress as unfashionable, a bin-liner or a tent. Just change the Niqab for the miniskirts, liberation is achieved! It is laughable that even The Sun newspaper ran a campaign against the Niqab; obviously what they advocate is on page 3!

A tiny minority of Muslim women who wear the Niqab has caught the attention of the media with politicians calling for enforcing a ban. How has the Niqab manage to surpass all the more serious problems in society? Is it politicians sensing the current mood of Islamophobia and seizing the opportunity to make political points? It’s not British says one politician, yet we are supposed to be living in Multicultural Britain that tolerates and promotes diversity. In reality, all these cultures are there to conform to the mother culture. And all this talk of integration is a fig leaf for forced assimilation of Muslims. You can’t blame them for thinking this in the current climate of rampant Islamophobia. I believe after the Niqab, the battle would be moved to the Hijab, at some point in the future.

Who are these women in Niqab? You may contest their identity for covering their faces, and whoever they are, one thing is clear, they are not the loud party revellers seen in the weekends, roaming the streets and clubs, semi-nude; some wake up in their own vomit and some join the statistic of single mothers. I can’t help and think - they are the disciples of Miley Cyrus and her ilk.

Recently, Miley caused ripples in the tabloid section of the media, for her sexually explicit acts on stage, adding to the catalogue of lewd videos and raunchy images, following in the footsteps of Madonna, Lady Gaga, Rhianna and others. She was watched and followed by millions of school girls as the innocent Hannah Montana. How will the children interpret her actions now? As a parent, I would be far more concerned about the impact of these stars promoting sexual promiscuity, rather than a humble group of Muslim women standing quietly in the corner in Niqab, minding their own business, their image shows one of sexual restraint and control, I cannot see what danger they would pose to society and to my children.

If anyone should be censored, it’s these women who are promoting the idea that you can sell your body for fame and fortune, which is encouraging a form of prostitution and creating a mindset that the female body should be exploited and devoured. Their behaviour is projected as an example for others to follow; and unfortunately this authority is conferred by the adulation given by the masses; popular TV shows like the X-Factor reinforce this.

It is not just about the right of individual, what about the impact on the society? Should that not be factored in some way? Should the virile young men seeing the lewd images of female pop stars or worse the images conveyed through readily available internet porn, somehow suspend their natural biological drive, and behave more like fundamentalist Muslim men, and lower their gaze, and show respect? Of course, nobody says one always causes the other like the laws of physics, but one cannot deny there is some correlation between these images and shaping the mindset and behaviour of these men. Indeed, it’s about time that society should state how the virile young men are supposed to interpret these images and examples set by these so-called female pop stars, given that biology or the nature of men is that they are easily excited.

Yamin Zakaria (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., #yaminzakaria)
Published on 19/09/2013
London, UK

Last modified on Friday, 30 January 2015 21:41

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