Stop the Oppression of Women in the Islamic World

ISHR, the International Society for Human Rights, launched a campaign to advocate the rights of Muslim women. “Stop the oppression of women in the Islamic world.” What do you think? Do you interpret this as advancing human rights? Or is it perpetuating prejudice?

Women in burka behind bars in ISHR print advertisement


Credits

The campaign was developed at Grabarz & Partner, Germany, by creative directors Ralf Heuel and Dirk Siebenhaar, copywriter Bent Harmann and art director Julia Ebers, with photographer Veronika Faustmann.

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  • NOUR

    You guys are saying to “stop the oppression in the Islamic world”. What oppression????????????????????????? How are we forced to do stuff I really want to know! We are not oppressed!!!! We are free!!!!

    Muslim women r not opressed ok because I am a Muslim girl and I get to do whatever i want to. I am free and my parents did not force me to wear the hijabb i CHOSE to wear it!!
    Muslim WOMEN ARE FREE!!!!
    I AM A MUSLIM – thank god and I AM FREE!

    I don’t know why everyone thinks that we Muslim women are oppressed. I want to know why you people think that? I just want to make it clear that we are like the rest of u people. We are not forced to do anything. I think everyone should stop listening to what the media says because the media is just trying to ruin our reputation! And no one I mean no one should judge anyone without getting to know the person. Do u know us to say we are oppressed????? Could u please tell me how r we oppressed because 4 a fact I am not oppressed and I am free!!!!!! I am a proud Muslim American.

    • Hira

      Mashallah! I am sooo with u on that one… i am a american muslim too, and a 12 year old at that. So when i wore hijab it was hard at first but now ppl at my school understand y i wear it and do not judge me for my looks anymore :) and i get a ton on respect from girls and boys! I never understood y ppl think we r being forced? just caz u luv ur religion that means ur opressed????? STUPID! i do this because I luvvvvvv Islam! I AM FREE AND PROUD!

  • malak

    i totally agree…100%
    my older sister wears the hijab and she wasnt forced…she did it out of the goodness of her heart.
    unfortunately i dont wear it but is still practice my religion!!

    • gina

      goodness of heart….so to choose to wear the hijab makes your heart good? so you are saying you have an ugly heart?

  • noura

    oh thats good and god bless her for that!
    I am so proud to be a Muslim and to wear the hijaab! We are Beautiful

  • Annaliese

    I just wanted to say, Nour, that I find it a tad bit odd that the words read “Oppression of Women in the ISLAMIC WORLD” and you say that you are a proud muslim American. For your religion, your values, and your freedom I am very thankful… but have you considered that maybe women in other Islamic states do not share in your freedom?
    I do want you to know though, that my view of Islam does not change at all by what I see in the media- I grew up in an Islamic country and am very aware of the kindness, love, and freedom that is available to some sects of your religion. As there is with any other religion, though, there are radicals and that can cause there to be a lack of women’s rights at times. What I’m saying is that I think all women should be able to practice religion at their own will- if they chose to, thank God, but if not that is between them and Allah.

  • Nikola

    Well, of course, Muslim women don’t have to wear hijab if they don’t want to, well at least it should be like that, it is not said in Quran that hijab is a must, no. And Muslim women are everything by opressed if they have husbands who are real muslims, not some sinners. In Islam woman is treated with huge respect and love, not opression, but today world is sick, so anything is possible. Muslim woman are respected and loved and hijab and clothes just make them more beautiful, and western women are mostly perverted and many are even sick today, why would she want to show her body to everybody, it is not interesting and she is considered a whore, it is more beautiful and exotic if she wears “traditional “clothes”. After all we shouldn’t be naked in public like western women and men, we are not animals to be naked, we are humans.

  • NOUR

    well everyone has his or her own opinions but guess wat their wrong!
    i really dont care about wat people think about muslims because i know who we really are
    after 9|11 we got accused 4 bombing the towers when it wasnt even us because a muslim would never do such a thing!
    so as u see everyone is just hating on us
    and ISLAM IS THE BEST RELIGION IN THE WORLD AND WE DONT WORSHIP STATUES AND IMAGES AND ANIMALS WE WORSHIP THE ONE AND ONLY ALLAH!
    AS LONG AS I AM FREE I REALLY DONT CARE ABOUT WAT U PEOPLE HAVE TO SAY!

  • NOUR

    AND THE ONLY REason WE COVER UP IS BECAUSE THIER IS MEN OUT THIER WHO ARE SO DISGUSTING TRYING TO RAPE AND KILL SO WHEN WE ARE COVERED UP THAT PROTECTS US FROM ALL THE EVIL OUT THERE!
    THE HIJABB IS 4 OUR OWN GOOD!
    SO IF ANYONE HAS A PROBLEM WITH THE HIJABB SOLVE IT!
    CAUSE THE HIJABB IS BEAUTIFUL!

  • Naren

    Let me ask you a few questions? I am not implying any statements or stance on the issue that you have been discussing. These are merely clarifying questions, to help me to understand.
    Who is the dominant gender within society in your country and or religion?
    Have you ever seen a photograph of a school child in the “West” in a uniform?
    What do you define as freedom?

  • me

    anyone forcing women to wear a burka or anything is totally retarded, but the majority aren’t forced into it, so there little oppression, especially outsite the middle east, and definately no need for a campain.

  • Mistur Dodo

    lol major bummer

  • lol

    women who show there bodies are not whores…it is not fair of you to say that women who wear the hijab are beautiful and women who dont are considered whores i have no argument with the hijab and what it means and why it is worn but differnt things are considered beautiful it ios hypocritical even for you to say that what western women wear is not pretty but what muslim women wear is, i just think it was an unfair comment, but that is just my opinion and i thought you should know that, that particular comment was rude towards Western women.

  • amel

    the question guys is not about hidjab! oppression is real it exists but most of the time it is invisible even to women themselves. one must overcome indoctrination to be able to see. i am not saying that about women of the islamic world but to women alover the world. because women’s oppression is a universal issue. no one can deny this unless she / he is indoctrinated. now of course oppression differs according to the context. and to say that western women are free this is completely wrong because it is only a surface freedom and we (women of the world) still have a long way to walk.
    now of course if we look at Islam at its philosophy theoretically speaking it is perfect. no one can deny this unless she / he cannot make a difference between what is bad and what is good. now the problem is that people (man) in the islamic world are not that perfect muslims and this is reflected through the harsh reality of women there. just take a look at the statistics and u’ll see. unfortunately muslim men are far from following the example of the prophet (peace be upon him) in his behavior with women. religion is perverted by men’s exagerated traditional sense of manliness. and they are consolidating the faulty image about islam. now we must do something not only for women but for islam itself. and to be able to do something we need first to accept the fact and see the oppression with eyes wide open. if any woman feels that she is free, one thing is sure she is not the norm. our grand mothers suffered a lot our mothers too… we inherited the sufferance should we transmit it to our daughters???? are men really happy with our oppression???? we are torn! we need to fix things according to our own religion! reclaiming our rights does not mean in any way that we are transgressing against our own religion.
    so let’s not limit this important issue to the question of the veil or hidjab cause there are many other important things. and hidjab (respectful) clothes are not limited to islam or to women only. traditional schools in england dictate a respectful uniform to its male and female students. the nuns wear the veil the monks! have u ever seen a monk wearing a pant? the jewish women and even men cover their head too. no matter what we wear it is not important. and even if western women feel free to show their body it is their culture and it is well accepted and there is no perversity about it. have u seen women in african tribes? they walk with their breasts naked and it is accepted and not regarded as perversity! the men do not even glance at their breasts!
    so please everybody let’s not reduce women’s oppression to the question of the veil.
    personally i have no problem with what a woman wears as long as it doesn’t turn her into an object. and this is a matter of culture!

  • Salideen Theory

    I think it is funny how westernized people feel that it is ok for them to judge other cultures in comparison to there own but when it is done to them they feel offense.
    when it was said that woman who reveal their bodies look like whores you got offended and spoke out but why don’t you get offended and speak out for these Muslim woman who believe that the garments are an expression of their Faith.
    I am against forcing anyone to wear or do anything (there is no compusion in Islam). Yet I an humbled by the faith of a Muslim in covering. In truth even the men should cover
    in the presence of ALLAH.

  • American Guy

    What makes us, or anyone else think they need to, or are welcome to interfere with what other people do? I happen to know some muslim people who live in Singapore, they are certainly not oppressed or restricted in any way other than by their own choice.
    Just like anyone else in the world, people do and say what they believe to be appropriate and good. Sure, to me it is odd that the people I am friends with in Singapore pray 5 times per day and feel they must respect elders, even if the elder is an ass. But, I am more than quite sure that they find it very strange when I tell my parents or grandparents what I am going to do rather than asking them IF I can do it.
    None of the ladies I know in Singapore wear the scarf unless they go to an event which calls for it, or if they go back to their parents countries for a visit or something.
    There is no emergency in Islamic Countries that calls for us to be heroes to the poor women, they don’t want, or need the help.

  • Amira

    This is not oppression. I wear hijab full time and sometimes the Niqab proudly. I wasn’t force to cover myself up. I choose to and the Qu’ran said so. Just in case a few of you think it never said that *that’s so like a shia or a weak ignorant Muslim to say* I find it oppressing seeing a woman uncovered being wolf whistled by men. Why doesn’t anyone get after Orthodox Jewish women or a nun covering her head? Only Muslim women get slammed for wearing hijab or Niqab? From the last time I checked, Orthodox Jewish women cover her hair like Hijab after she weds. What about a nun? Is it because she’s a Christian? She isn’t worshiping “Satan’s” religion as every ignorant Non-Muslim claims Islam is.

    To American guy, it’s typical for an American not to respect his elders. Even if the mans an ass, just show him respect. Asking permission is for protection. Didn’t you ever ask permission to go somewhere? You let your parents know where you’re at in case something bad happens. Did you ever stop to wonder why?

  • l0v3

    First off, i would like to say that oppression occurs all over the world, not only the ‘Islamic World’ as you call it.
    Second, as ‘American Guy’ said, what makes you or anyone else think they need to or are welcome to interfere with what other people (‘the Islamic World’) do? Thanks for the offer, but we do not need any help.
    I myself am a Muslim and very proud that I follow this beautiful Religion. Although i do not wear a Hijab, a large portion of my family and friends do wear a Hijab. They are all very proud and happy with what they are wearing, and are given much freedom. Not a single one of them has complained to me about wearing it.
    As someone from the Western world, i think it is unfair of you to judge or critisise what we wear. If you spend one day in any Muslim country, you will see that the women are treated with much respect and dignity. We are not forced to wear the Hijab, it is by choice.
    We are given this privilege and are the final decision is ours.
    As for the graphic, i myself am very offended, as you are trying to portray that we are somehow imprisoned. Like Amira has said, why doesn’t anyone get after the other women of other religions who cover their head?
    Both a muslim woman and a Christian woman cover their hair. But for some reason, WE are oppressed and the women of other religions are free. Can someone please explain to me how that makes sense?
    The American media is filling your heads with BS, sorry for my language.
    I agree with Nour 100% as she has said that after 9/11 we have been accused for bombing the towers, when really we were not the ones who commited this crime. Killing, in Islam, as well as many other religions, is a sin. Since we are Islam extremists, as all of you think we are, why would we commit such as sin? Ever since 9/11 Muslims are regarded as terrorists, which is very wrong.
    So in conclusion, the graphic is very offensive, wrong, photographed by an ignorant woman of the Western World who needs to spend time in the Islam World before judging our values and beliefs.
    But hey, what can we do? There will always be ignorant people in this World trying to bad-mouth our beautiful religion.
    I can assure you, no Muslim needs or wants a non-Muslim’s opinion, critisism, or photograph about our religion.
    Thankyou.

  • abdul haqq

    Beautiful is the hijabb its for respectful women and its apart of their belief and it shows modesty.So as muslim we do that which is pleaseing to (Allah)God.So who cares what people think we fear our lord so (Alhamdulliah)All praise be to Allah the creator of the heavens and earth and every in between them.Cause (Allah)God 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 Oft-Forgiving,Most Merciful.We listen and obey.

  • Duran

    Guess what people you have all been stooged there is no such thing as ‘the chosen one’ nor is there any such thing as ‘god’ there has been scintific studies that conclude this

    • PX

      “Science without Religion Is Lame, Religion without Science Is Blind”
      Albert Einstein

      if you love science so much, i think u should give some thought to what one of the greatests scientist of all time has to say :-D

  • DIL

    Well duran, scientists also predicted the world would come to an end in the year 2000. Did that happen?
    Keep believing your fake scientific studies.
    You have no idea how much scientists have predicted and they were wrong.
    No one cares if you believe God exists…
    your sin, not ours :)

  • Kate

    One of the worst social injustices that exist today is that of the oppression of women in Middle Eastern countries. Women are not just forced to wear their hijaabs, or head scarves, and cover up completely from head to foot in public, but they are also being denied their basic rights and are forced to endure horrible torture. Many of these Muslim women are denied the right to a proper education. They are taught to believe that their duty is to marry early and raise their children. Those who are even given any education at all are not given much and must quit because of marriage. Muslim women who are actually given an education normally serve as teachers and are poorly treated and paid. However there are those lucky few who have the opportunity to finish their Master’s degrees. Also, another aspect of the horrible treatment of Muslim women in Islamic countries is honor killing. Even if a woman was raped and it was clearly not her fault she still must be killed to preserve the honor of a family and its name. This cruel practice is normally performed by a family member and is carried out by either stoning or beheading. Perhaps the most horrible practice on women in the Middle East in the eyes of Americans is genital mutilation. This practice is also called female circumsion. This “surgery” is a way of knowing for sure that a girl is a virgin when she is married. If a girl is found not to be a virgin at marriage she will most likely suffer the consequences by becoming a victim of an honor killing. It all depends on your perspective on whether or not you think that there is oppression that is going on in these Islamic nations. Most Muslim women believe that they have chosen to be treated this way or to wear their hijaabs. However, to the American mind there is oppression going on in these countries. Online communities are a great way to become involved in opening the world’s eyes to this atrocity. New websites need to be put up that are dedicated to stopping the oppression of Middle Eastern women on sites such as Facebooks. Also videos need to be made and put up on sites such as YouTube so that the world can see firsthand what is happening to these women, so that it can see their suffering, and so that it will be motivated to act against this horrible social injustice.

  • TheWayOfTheProphet

    Bukhari, volume 1, book 6, number 301 -

    Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:

    Once Allah’s Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o ‘Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).” They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Apostle ?” He replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.” The women asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?” The women replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her religion.”

  • bobalinka

    i feel bad for women in the middle east but i personally would never wear one of those such because it would be a hassle to keep up im not against islam!

  • me

    hi

  • me

    im doin an essay about dis… persuasive writin…debatin on if women in MD(middle east)are oppressed or not. I think they are. btw, i hate dis essay!

  • MIDEAST

    For all you WHITE people who come here and say we’re being oppressed, look at yourselves people!!! Do you know whyyy women change their last names to the last name of their husband? This is because years ago, it was in order to show that the woman belongs to Mr.blahblahblah. In the Islamic relgion however, women keep their last name. BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT THE PROPERTY OF ANY MAN. NOW TALK ABOUT OPPRESSION AMONG WHITE WOMEN. Just because you decide to wear NOTHING and dress like SLUTS, does not mean you do not get oppressed. You are just blinded with your cultural ways and do not realise that you are being oppressed and need 2 fix YOUR own problems instead of taking pictures like this and posting them up, trying to help women who do not WANT orrr NEED your filthy help.

  • beatrix

    However muslims say that woman is not forced to wear the hijab, in some countries they are.
    There are a lot of women who have sex before marriage even in Saudi Arabia, and before marriage they go to Europe, Poland for example, to have surgery to be a virgin again.
    Because you wear a hijab that doesn’t mean you can’t get raped. There are many sick man wondering what’s hiding under that cover…
    I think who doesn’t understand Islam is the MAN not the woman. The man takes out the Quran what is good for him and controling the woman, without to care that the woman has rights too. After the Quran the man suppose to cover themselves too, they don’t, but they ask their woman to cover. Some old men do in the villages.
    The women are not strong enogh to fight back that’s why islamic men don’t like christian woman. I put my man to respect me if not he would kiss the ground. And let’s not talk about other muslim countries like Pakistan where they are torturing and killing the woman. Don’t say no!!! I traveled all the world exept Saudi Arabia!!!
    And what is so sad that there are a lot of illiterate people, and so sad that most of them woman.
    ADVISE TO A MUSLIM WOMAN: Get a christian man, you are allowed to ask him where he is going and what he is doing, he won’t give you the answer “I am man and I know what I am doing”. He will take you out to romantic places. He will allow you to socialize, to be open minded, to feel important etc.
    Because he is a man doesn’t give him the right for anything (just work and bring the money home) you are a women, and for crying out loud step up for yourselves.

  • Maria

    The truth is that in every religion there is oppression. Through out time women have been repressed because a man has deciphered their religious text to fit their wants and needs. Christians, Hebrews, and Muslims alike have all been subjugated to some man is power trying to put the “blame” on anyone other than themselves. True some women in the Middle east have the choice of wearing a hijabb, they have the choice to wear it or be killed or raped or stoned. Sure they have their choice. The most absurd thing I read was that it protects you from evil… isn’t it more true that it protects men from perpetrating evil on you. I mean if men are so much stronger and purer than women why is it that they are unable to keep their libido in check? Showing your skin is not a sin against God, Allah, or Yahweh because technically we are all naked before the eyes of our lord.(Yes we all worship the same God, we just call God by different names) In short freedom is a persons ability to determine if they want to show some skin or not. Oppression is when you choose and you are punished for it. Not everyone believes the same way or prays the same way and I think God likes it that way or God would not have made it so. If you want to be second to your male counter part or have to live like you are a piece of property then that is your choice but that choice should be yours and no one else’s.

  • Canadian

    There is a principal called “self policing” where an oppressed group internalizes oppression as part of their identity and thus changing the oppression threatens the identity of the oppressed individual. That is what happens with a Hijab. The idea that a woman needs to disguise her body so that she doesn’t entice a man with her dangerous sexuality is misogynistic. Also, I encourage all Muslim women who “choose” to where a Hijab to ask themselves, “What will your families think if you took it off?” I highly doubt that they would be fine with it and I really highly doubt that they see it as “your personal choice”.

    Also, stop turning this into a race issue. Islam is like Christianity it is evangelistic, haveing a religion means having faith religion is a choice.

    There’s lots of white muslims in Eastern Europe and Russia, they’ve been there for centuries. It’s not about white vs others.

  • Egyptian

    Muslim, Christian, Jewish..whatever you consider yourself, we are all one. We are all created equally, we all have our own beliefs, our own values, our culture will always be with us. There is no need to insult a religion. No one is better or higher than the other, what you chose to do remains between you and the higher power you believe in. Always remember everyone is created the same and everyone will end up at the same place.

  • Nora & Mel

    From a born and bred Australian-Muslim- Egyptian perspective AND a born and bred Australian-wog (Italian), we both believe that the burka is a right of choice for many women, but sadly for others not so.

  • Charlotte Thomson

    WTF??

  • Azul

    If muslim women are free to wear hijab or burkas, why a lot of activists iranian women are killed when they rebel to wear it?

    So I dont really think they are free. In fact, Muslim Women are make to believe they are free, but to cover their bodies in such an unreasonable way, that means that they are just under man submission.

    What about the girls who are mistreated by their relatives just because they escaped from house because they didn´t want to wear hijab?

    I don´t call that freedom.

    Moreover, in Middle Eastern countries weather is hot.

    Is not a punishment to cover all in black the body even face under such a hot weather? Then why black? If it is an option to wear it, why always black? They seem they are going to a funeral. Furthermore, always that I see a picture of a women that only shows her eyes, they convey a profound depression.

  • Faz

    Because there are different rules in different countries… Some places are more stricter than others… Its the exact same with Chrsitains abroad in different countries.. They are killed by their own family because of shame of doing something wrong. Its the same in every religion. Hijab doesnt oppress anyone, most people WANT to wear for THEMSELVES. So why does everyone make a big deal about it?
    People in Britain complain about the fact why women cover themselves, as they feel uncomfortable around them. But the thing is, the women who wear hijabs dont complain when women are walking around in a bikini are they? So if they dont bother, why should anyone else care?

    Yes obviously SOME people are oppressed, but those cases are rare, and its a shame that the media concentrates so much on the rare cases, instead of pointing out the goodness of religions. I feel for women who are oppressed, but you know, thats simply life for you. Many people get killed, innocent or gulity, they do. Its just a way of life.

    There are reasons for wearing black. Its just that cover is so plain, and it wont attract any men to look at them. When we wear bright pink, people look. When someone is covered in black, they dont stand out as much.

    If you dont call it freedom, but what is classfied as freedom at the end of the day? No-one has ever had “freedom” in their lives, because every single one of us live by rules, because thats life. Whether its the rules of the government, household or work place, we still do not have freedom to do what ever we like.

    I dont wear the hijab, but hopefully some day, when im ready, i will, and i will WANT to when i do. That doesnt mean im going to be oppressed.

    Live your own life at the end of the day. Like someone said before, we’re all going to the same place anyway whatever religion we are.

    Its just such a shame that people concentrate about Muslim women being oppressed and makes Islam to be such a negative religion. But the funny thing is, Islam is the 2nd fastest growing religion in the world. So before anyone contradicts a religion without knowing it… DONT! Because obviously people are attracted to Islam, as it gives answers, and makes sense for the things we believe in.

  • sofia

    hi all,

    first, i have been to afghanistan, pakistan and dubai. I can tell you that women in afganistan wear the hijab because of safety reason. US is not the only country the taliban has terrorized because afghanistan has been terrorized by the taliban for more then a decade now. Before the taliban people talk about freedom and happiness and family now they have been terrorized and brainwashed by the taliban who are not real muslims, yes they do follow islam but they follow a made up version of islam called WAHHIBI. Both MEN and WOMEN are afraid to go back there old ways because they are afraid that the taliban might show up again.

    in pakistan women choose to wear the hijab, they are not forced to do anything they are very free, they go out with college guy and girl friends go to dinner or moive have parties, its not much different there then here excepts its a little more conservative, in fact they walk around with pant shirt dresses with sleeves. almost 80 % of women there choose to wear what they want and custom made cloths is very popular.

    in dubai wearing a burka is FASHION. they love it. the arab women have made the burka into a fashion statement. they are very expensive and extremely beautiful with nice embroideries. they enjoy wearing it and showing off the cloths fanciness.

    the western women have to understand and accept the life style of women in the middle east because they are comfortable

    and the women in the middle east have to accpet and understand the western women as they are also comfortable with there life style.

  • Sarah

    yeah you’ll just have to put it down to westerners being ignorant about other cultures

  • Lilya

    If any of you (muslim women) will stand out and wear normal clothes, participate in olympics, beauty shows, be talented singer on tv, or put your photo in the internet – you will get a lot of hate and abuse from other muslims. I got it not from media, I red comments in other muslim websites posted by muslims. Many of you get killed by male family member or other people for choosing to live your life the way you want. I know not everywhere is the same story, but it does happens. Why you say there is no oppression of women in islamic world? Why you get offended by people who don’t agree with all that killing of women?

  • Annie

    salam… i jus wana say dat i dun consider a hijab a symbol of oppression..but if u luk at the muslims countries lyk pakistan as i belong 2 pak… girls over dere r really oppressd its not coz of islam its coz of dere wrong interpretion..dey think its porhibited in islam dat woman work outside home or do job…even in rural areas ppl dun let dere gals 2 gain education..and i hve seen many gals when dey go 4 college or uni dey wear hijab when dey reach at college or uni dey remove it n when dey go back 2 dere homes dey wear it…hijab is not a symbol of opression unless it is forced…i want 2 share a beautiful statement of an iraqi woman
    Mariam, the traumatized biologist, says that after being attacked by extremists, she has become disillusioned with religion.

    “When I was young, I always wanted to wear a headscarf… and it was my choice.

    “But today, for being forced to it, it has lost any religious meaning and I put it to survive rather than follow a religious teaching.”

    u ppl r living in west and think dat muslim woman lyf is not oppressed but reallity is opposite 2 it..as i belong 2 muslim family and muslim country i face lots of opression in my daily lyf unlyk my brothers who r free 2 do lots of things dey want

  • Lilya

    The picture we see in the comment before this one (by Annie) is very sad and very wrong!!!!

  • NB

    you people are sick! muslim women in hijaab is the most beautiful thing..we choose to be in hijaab to protect ourselves from people like you!

  • Jill

    I am open to any and all religions but I think maybe some of you (muslim women) may be free because you live in America where it is everyones right to practice what they choose.America is not perfect but I am thankful I live in a place where I have a choice.In other countries you are bound by religious law and while you all say you do not have to where the hijab, I doubt seriously that you would chose not to wear it in your country.I get that it is out of respect for God, I am just saying that I am not so sure that it is a choice to wear it.It is expected.I also beleive that America should keep our noses out of their business unless we are asked to step in. Then again, who would ask? This is difficult. I wish the entire world would get to a point where we all had freedom to practice or not practice what we choose. I wish we could get to a point where we embraced our differences and learned from one another. I am taking a religion course in college right now and it has been incredible. I embrace certain parts of each religion. I don’t think that any one of us can say with absolute certainty that one relgion is the right way and all others are wrong. The funny thing is at the root of all of them, is love. Love one another, be kind, be generous, help those with less than what you have…and yet we are so stuck on ripping one another apart. I know it is a bit cliche to say I hope for World Peace and i think we can get there if we all just take a step back and realize we are all human, we all make mistakes and we all bleed red. War is not the answer, name calling is not the answer, opression is not the answer. Love is the answer, openness to other views is the answer, caring about our fellow man is the answer. Peace everyone!

  • callodus

    People, I see a woman who is being taken as a sex-symbol who is practically used by hundreds of men who is ‘valueless’ more opressed and molested than a woman who covers herself from other men to be chatse

  • lilya

    Those of you who say you have freedom and choice to do what you want, you probably don’t live in muslim country, so please look further that your nose!!! Even women who is not muslim have to cover if they go to visit middle east, why is that so? Why muslim women can wear their traditional clothes in all countries, but other women can’t wear jeans and t-shirt and have their hair and face open if they go to cities in middle east? Because there is oppression, and there is danger if women don’t do what is expected from them. Americans in non muslim country don’t kill women who wear their hijabs, but muslim people in muslim country don’t allow any other clothes? What’s up with that?
    So, even if tourists have to cover up, what can we say about those women who live there? They definitely don’t have any choice!

    I don’t know if those women ask for help or not, but the situation is very unfair.

    And my personal opinion: there is nothing beautiful in black piece of cloth with 2 eye looking trough a hole :(
    maybe it’s modesty or protection, but it’s not beautiful.

  • stotty

    I really have to agree with that last comment by Lilya there is nothing beautiful about the hijab, it’s a simply way for muslim men to keep you covered up. Beauty comes from the inside and the outside you clothing only covers that up. It does’nt take covering up your body to prevent men taking advantage or harming you, that is somthing all women must learn to deal with. Other countries NOT the west accept multiply wives for men that is exploitation women in the west are truely free and you sad you don;’t see that.

  • Liam

    Hey ppl. Here is a doco on the muslim oppresion of women in the east, decide for yourself, it is very graphic and its rated more than R.

    http://www.terrorismawareness.org/videos/108/the-violent-oppression-of-women-in-islam/

    good debate,

    regards liam.

  • clueless

    Salaam. I’m a non muslim living in an Islamic country. Easy for you girls to say that you choose to wear hijab in Europe or the US. But I am FORCED to wear it and if I don’t, the ‘ethical police’ will detain me. The question isn’t whether hijab is beautiful or not. I think many muslim women who wear hijab in my country, apply such an outrageous amount of makeup underneath, that they either look like clowns or prostitutes compared to a makeupless european woman in T-shirt and jeans. I think european countries have a right to ban hijab in their own soil, just as we are banned from our own dress code and have to wear hijab while living in Islamic states.

  • Fatima

    Let’s be careful when claiming to be the voice of every Muslim woman just because you happen to be a free Muslim woman. Many are not by any means free and are oppressed and abused. I believe that those of us non-oppressed Muslim women, such as myself, have the responsibility to defend those who are much less fortunate. Muslims constitute 1.6 billion of the world’s population and are as diverse as the planet itself, denying it is not the solution.
    As for the headscarf, there are many reasons a woman chooses to wear it, if in fact they have the luxury of choice. No one has any right to judge anyone else, you don’t understand unless you are in there shoes. For those who are forced to wear it, or forced to take it off, that is very disheartening to me. I am a Muslim who doesn’t wear a headscarf, and personally, I admire those women who have the courage to put it on and brave this cruel world. Freedom is seen in many different ways and oppression comes in many different forms. Why do we feel so threatened by forms of expression that are different from our own? Live and let live, or if you truly feel an injustice is happening, forget your cultural biases and speak in their favor, not against them. We need to help one another, not bash each other.

  • Steadyfriend

    Despite whats in the Quran, oppression of women arises from the fact that they enjoy fewer rights than muslim men. Six of these come to mind straightaway:
    1) Using the ‘triple’ talaq facility, a muslim man can divorce his spouse anytime, without assigning any reason, while a muslim woman cannot do so. The only option available to a woman is the long winded ‘khula’ divorce procedure for which she has to apply in a Sharia court, wherein even if she wins, she loses both custody of the children and her right to the ‘mehr’ amount.
    2) A muslim husband can beat his wife on mere “suspicion of rebellious behaviour”, while a muslim wife cannot do so, no matter how lecherous, unfair or cruel her husband is.
    3) A muslim man can have upto 4 spouses simultaneously, while a muslim woman cannot.
    4) A muslim moman’s witness is worth only half that of a man in a Sharia court.
    5) A muslim man can have a Christian/Jewish spouse, a muslim woman cannot.
    6) From deceased parents’ estate a muslim woman inherits half of what her male siblings do.

    Remember, the above inequalities come from the Quran or the Sharia. And yes, many, many muslim women dislike the hijab yet are forced to wear it.

    • Will

      This is nothing worse than what pops in old testament, the prophet himself was very respectful of women, and his wife an older women ran most of his business for him and was regarded as an equal. it was really only the corruption put forth by the umyadads (i apologize for this attrocious spelling). While there is serious oppression within the Islamic world, but no worse than rural America.

  • Anne

    UNBELIEVABLE! there are countries where women are punished when it is violated (where man is free), is forced to marry the man who chooses his family, are not single mothers, forced to cover her up and down because if they can not be punished. .. Countries where men are superior to women. Yeah, and we know all these countries are not the West, but Muslims.
    In the West we have total freedom to do whatever we want, study what they want, dress as we want to therefore we are not whores, it seems a very sexist comment, but it is not surprising as well soys by your culture.
    I doubt that some of the girls who speak here tengais clear what it means freedom …
    Anyway, I’m not saying that all Arab countries are so freely there are wonderful, just saying that unfortunately today this macho culture still exists in some Muslim countries.

  • shamhana

    What we discuss here is “Stop the oppression of women in the Islamic world.” If you don’t feel that you was forced to wear hijab and cover your face, that’s good and congratulation. You are free women. But please also make sure that all those in hijab and cover their face muslim ladies are all feel as free as you.

  • mary

    there is a great advertisement fo hijab in the middle east and it is a picture of two lollipops alongside eachother, one covered and the other one has its wrapper removed, and flies are all stuck to it and flying around it, whilst there are no flies around the lolipop that has its wrapper on.there is the answer,pictures sometimes speak louder than words. !

    as for the above picture,this clearly is nothing more than an incitement to hatred against muslims.its all part of the well oiled propaganda machine we see in full force in the media every day.

    • http://www.theinspirationroom.com Duncan

      The lollipop ad came out in 2008, though I don’t know if it was actually placed in traditional media. Text translated from Arabic to English reads, “You can’t stop them. But you can protect yourself. Your creator has your best interest at heart.”

      Hijab Lollipops print advertisement