Recently, I read the following on someone’s Facebook page: “One man asked another, who was Muslim, why their women covered themselves up. The man smiled and got two sweets. He unwrapped the first sweet and kept the other wrapped, before throwing them both on the floor. He then asked the first man, ‘If I asked you to take one of the sweets, which one will you choose? The man replied that he’d prefer the covered one. The Muslim man said, ‘That’s how we see and treat our women’.” I’m a Muslim and I love my religion, but I didn’t understand what was so charming about this story. Essentially, the person whose page I had read this on was saying that there are two types of women. Those who cover up and those who don’t. Those who do are desirable and those that don’t are dirty and like unwanted trash. If one goes by this logic, it would be fair to assume that non-Muslim women, since they do not cover themselves up, are dirty and undesirable. However, this will also include those women who are Muslim but who don’t cover their hair — and I fall into this category. Why don’t people who circulate such stories realise that Islam calls for men to respect all women? Our so-called religious scholars may put clothes and appearances above all else, but our religion clearly gave more importance to one’s deeds. This anecdote does not. Furthermore, why does this man feel the need to even label any woman as trash? Who is he, or anyone else, to sit in on judgement and decide who is moral and immoral? Unfortunately, we have this increasing tendency to twist religion and faith for our own purposes and in this women, more often than not, tend to be on the receiving end. And one cannot miss the irony given that in the early days of Islam, Muslim women were warriors, businesswomen, scribes and debaters. Centuries upon centuries have passed by and now, the situation is that many of them cannot even leave their homes for work, lest their character is questioned. Our religion freed us, but our culture conspires to take this freedom away from us. And it’s not only the poor and illiterate women who are fighting a patriarchal society with a sharply misogynistic bent. Even men with education and exposure believe that it is their moral and religious duty to serve as part of the ghairat brigade. Patriarchal societies exist all over the world, but I can’t help but notice that although misogyny is universal we seem to have more than our fair share. A recent example of this is the public spat between the MQM and the PML-N, who attacked each other verbally, and the main tool for this was each other’s wives and daughters. Published in The Express Tribune, January 2nd, 2011.
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Unwanted trash?

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02.05.2024
Recently, I read the following on someone’s Facebook page: “One man asked another, who was Muslim, why their women covered themselves up. The man smiled and got two sweets. He unwrapped the first sweet and kept the other wrapped, before throwing them both on the floor. He then asked the first man, ‘If I asked you to take one of the sweets, which one will you choose? The man replied that he’d prefer the covered one. The Muslim man said, ‘That’s how we see and treat our women’.” I’m a Muslim and I love my religion, but I didn’t understand what was so charming about this story. Essentially, the person whose page I had read this on was saying that there........

© The Express Tribune Blog


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