Example Of Research Paper On Hijab (Head Scarf) In The Middle East
Type of paper: Research Paper
Topic: Women, Muslim, Islam, Middle East, Religion, Politics, Europe, Public
Islam enjoins women to hide the body, except the face and hands. In different regions, historical and cultural traditions the function of ideological dress - hijab - performs khimar, niqab, the veil and their variations. Hijab is translated from Arabic as "veil" or "curtain." It refers to any women's clothing that meets the requirements of Sharia, and in Western societies - the traditional Islamic headscarf for women. Wearing of hijab by a woman is one of the main provisions of the Islamic statute - Sharia. Some governments encourage and even oblige the women to wear the hijab, some prohibit. Hijab is mandatory in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Yemen. Sudan Criminal Code allows to flog and penalize anyone who "violates public morality or wears indecent clothing", but does not contain a definition of "indecent clothing". In Iran the government has placed the police on every corner, in every street and alley, not sparing money for attempts to adapt women to the ossified standards and practices of regime, making them feel depressed. Despite the fact that women in Iran have always struggled with inhuman laws and cruel treatment, the authorities did not learn from this lesson, and every year the citizens of this country again witness the cruel repressive actions against women. Religious motifs in the policies and practices of the state sometimes have a negative impact on the rights of women and under the guise of religion women and girls are often exposed to violence and oppression.
All women are required to wear the hijab, which is commonly worn by women in Islamic countries as a major feature of sexual segregation. In some countries, such as Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Yemen, the religious police can detain anyone who violates Islamic law. If a woman communicates with a man - not her husband / relative, then it is a sufficient reason to accuse her of prostitution and to arrest. Islamic philosophy suggests a big difference between male and female world, men are the most important and open community, women are also the center of the family but have their parallel and hidden society. A woman must cover the body to avoid being seen by a non-mahram man (husband / relative), and she is not allowed to enter into contact with him. Mahrams are husband, father, sons, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, and foster father. Mahram in the future may also be someone else's child, whom she fed with her milk, so do often aunts with their nephews in order to make them mahrams.
In order to a man, not a husband / relative, not to be seduced by a woman, she according to Sharia, in a public place is obliged to cover all parts of the body, except for the face oval, hands and feet. Some states in the Middle East oblige the women to cover their faces, except the eyes, and left open only the hands. Most women in these countries wear black veils with the niqab. According to historians, the custom of covering the whole body existed in the Arab region before the rise of Islam, and the rules of the dress code, described in the Qur'an were interpreted in accordance with the Arab tribal traditions, where women who have high clan status were obliged to be fully covered. Proper clothing should be thick, opaque, free, and should not emphasize a woman's body shape. Clothes should not be similar to the male or non-Muslim clothing. The strictness of the dress code is different even in different regions of one country. For example, In Jeddah (region of Saudi Arabia), many women walk around with open faces, in Riyadh such women are virtually absent. Some designer stores sell hijab with wider sleeves and a tight fitting cloth. Since 2011, religious police began to require women to cover also the eye, referring to the fact that sometimes they can be too "sexy." The law prohibits changing the color of hijab from black, but in some places it is possible to decorate it with sequins or patterns. According to the designer, jewelry can reflect the taste and personality of women.
Although the hijab in the West is seen as the main symbol of the oppression of women, women campaigning for their rights consider the possibility of the refusal from wearing of the hijab in the last turn. Muslim feminists, on the one hand, have a negative attitude toward Western feminism for its Eurocentric character, and on the other - criticize the way of life in the eastern societies for their patriarchal character, which, in their opinion, is contrary to original spirit of Islam. Muslim feminists believe that in Islam is laid down a large emancipatory potential of women, which, while maintaining their religious identity, allows realizing women's needs.
Journalist Sabriya Jawhar complained that Western readers of Huffington Post and visitors of her blog were too concerned with her veil.
«Non-Saudis believe that Saudi Arabia should be modernized and enter the XXI century that women should get rid of the veil and hijab, as in the West, to run in short skirts, to rush to clubs, forgetting about their religion and culture. However, most Saudi women themselves want to wear the veil, they refer to Islamic piety and pride for the family traditions and less sexual harassment from the male colleagues. For many women, the dress code is part of the right to modesty that Islam prescribes. Some of the women perceive negatively reform efforts, considering them as anti-Islamic and part of the invasion of the West: "They are afraid of Islam, and we are one of the most God-fearing people». (Faiza Saleh Ambah 2-4)
One of the main arguments of the supporters of restrictions or prohibitions of hijab wearing is that it contributes to the emancipation of women, who are forced to cover their faces. For many people closed face is a symbol of oppression and subordination of Muslim women. The burqa is associated with the Taliban, who usually violate fundamental rights and freedoms of women in Afghanistan that led to the lowest duration of their lives in the region and one of the highest rates of maternal mortality. Coercion of women to cover their faces is unfortunately one of the wide set of gender violations in a variety of religions, societies and traditions around the world. Every State has the duty to eliminate violence and discrimination against women in public and private life, including through the proper application of criminal sanctions.
However, generalizations about the oppression of women are fraught with negative consequences for one of the fundamental principles of gender equality: every person has the right to determine his own destiny and private life, taking personal decisions without interference from the government or other entities. Of course, there are women who are forced to cover their faces or are forced to do so against their will under the pressure of powerful social stereotypes. On the other hand, some European Muslim women openly say that they close the face of their own conscious choice, thus striving to express their faith and to emphasize their identity. It is important to recognize that the wearing of hijab may be a personal choice of women in the same way as other manifestations of personal identity in the form of belief or behavior, formed under the influence of society, family or religion.
The right to personal autonomy, which is the foundation of women's rights, is understood as an element of the right to private life, which is guaranteed by international human rights law. It includes the right of free decision-making based on the values, beliefs, needs of the person and personal circumstances. Implementation of this right assumes freedom from coercion and from unlawful restrictions. Personal autonomy also implies the right to choose for them a way of life which in the society may be considered as blameworthy or harmful.
Turkey, Central Asia, Tunisia and some Middle Eastern countries, although are inhabited mainly by Muslims, but they are against the wearing of hijab in public institutions, schools and universities. With coming to power in 1963 in Syria and Iraq of the Baath Party, which has followed a secular ideology, wearing the hijab also became prohibited. In Tunisia in 1981 was forbidden to wear hijab in public institutions, subsequently in 80s and 90s were introduced other restrictions. The first Muslim country which officially banned women to wear the hijab in 1925 has become Turkey. In Turkey several times attempts were made to lift the ban on wearing the hijab. For the first time in 1984 as part of the policy of "reconciliation with Islam", which was held by the Turkish Prime Minister Turgut Ozal. However, under the pressure of the secular community, he was forced to renew the ban in 1987. In 2008, the Turkish government led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan tried again to lift the ban of the hijab wearing in universities, but the Constitutional Court has left the ban in force. The question of hijab in this country is an indicator of the success of the secular politicians resistance (as well as the military leadership and part of judicial corps), the growing influence of the Islamic factor in the country. Confrontation to the Islamists led to the banning of the hijab in schools and public institutions in a number of non-European countries with a predominantly Muslim population - Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Uzbekistan.
Attempts of dissatisfied Muslims to gain support in the European Court did not lead to positive results for them. In 2004, the Strasbourg Court supported ban on wearing hijab at Turkish universities, considering that it is based on the constitutional principles of secularism and equality. Four years later, the court found that the French law against the hijab does not violate the European Convention on Human Rights, as "the purpose for restriction of the rights of the plaintiffs in the manifestation of their religious convictions was the desire to adhere to the requirements of secularism in public schools." It seems that a further ban on wearing the headscarves in schools of European countries can be triggered by another, more recently, by decision of the European Court ban to place in classes the religious symbolism. European Court of Human Rights is quite liberally interprets the right of the authorities to restrict the wearing of religious clothing in public officials and public institutions. In several cases, the court refused to applicants who tried to challenge the ban on the wearing of turbans and headscarves by students and teachers in schools and universities.
In France, the law prohibits civil servants, including teachers, openly wear religious symbols and students in public schools - demonstrate their religious affiliation. The latter applies in particular to the Muslim headscarves, Sikh turbans and Jewish cap-bales. In September 2010, the French Parliament banned the appearance in public places of completely covered faces. Directly aimed against the burqa, in October, this law was approved by the Constitutional Council. Now forcing a woman to wear this kind of cover is punishable by a year in prison and a fine of 30 thousand Euros. After its entry into force in its entirety in the spring of 2011 the women will be exposed to a fine of up to 150 Euros. Moreover, they can be forced to be sent to the courses of civic consciousness. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that the hijab is a means of humiliation and a new form of enslavement of women. "Burqa is not welcomed in France. We can not accept the presence of women hidden in burqas prison, deprived of their pride and their personality "- said the president.
Previously, Jean-Francois Cope, the leader of the center-right Union for a Popular Movement, which has an absolute majority in the French parliament, demanded a ban on hijab in all public places, including streets. However, a parliamentary commission has decided not to resort to such stringent measures, as a total ban on the hijab, in its opinion, can come into conflict with the laws of the human rights of the European Union. In addition, the report recommends that all government agencies should refuse to serve women in traditional Muslim dress. This applies to services in French consulates around the world, on the border checkpoints, as well as in hospitals. Thus, the bearers of the hijab actually are being forced either permanently to pay fines, or to leave the country. French President Nicolas Sarkozy in April ordered the government to develop as soon as possible and in May submit to the parliament a bill banning the wearing of the burqa and the niqab in public places. In France lives Europe's largest Muslim community and Muslims protest against such government measures. Until now, the fight took place in a civilized manner. Until pledged by extremists the bloody riots, terrorist attacks and violent demonstrations have not occurred.
Studies show that the introduction in a number of countries of ban on the wearing of the headscarf for teachers forced a part of the devout Muslim women to abandon their chosen profession, which has a negative impact on their independence, social status and financial well-being. For those who are forced by families to cover their heads, blocking of access to certain professions will not be protection against oppression. Moreover, such a regulation from the government can give rise to discrimination of women in the private sector who wear the hijab. The result is likely to be deterioration of social position of women.
The arguments for the emancipation of women are not convincing, even in cases when it comes to clothes completely covering the face. For women who are forced to wear it, a ban on the appearance as such in public places may result in a change of "ambulatory prison" on high security prison, which could become her house, if the relatives had forbidden her to go out with an open face. In this sense, the emancipation of women would not have contributed more prohibitions and penalties, but the spread within Muslim communities of resistant failure to practice closing the face and even forcing women to comply with stringent regulations in clothes. Government coercion and sanctions against the victims themselves do not help eradicate oppression. Explanatory work, access to social support and economic opportunities, as well as the availability of effective legal remedies against the oppressors are necessary. For those who cover the head or cover face of their own accord any ban will inevitably make to choose between full participation in society and confessing of their religion.
Muslim countries accepted the news in different ways, although, it was in the past when Arab nationalists and Baathists tore off the veil and niqabs at the streets. In some Muslim countries wearing of such headscarves, not even covering the face is banned in public places. In Syria, the ban has only recently been confirmed. In the Muslim world are seething popular protests against their own government. Women wearing the hijab and niqab often act as instigators of demonstrations in Iran, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Palestine, and do not look enslaved at least on television. And women-demonstrators can not apply the same iron fist, as demonstrations against the men to no more heat up the atmosphere. Still, between men and women in Muslim countries is a clear line, which is better not to cross, so as not to cause more problems.
Faiza Saleh Ambah. Saudi Women Rise in Defense of the Veil. 2006. Print.
Mouna Naïm. Why Was I Born a Girl? 2003. Print.
Nesrine Malik. I was forced to wear the veil and I wish no other woman had to suffer it. 2013. Print.
Jonathan Head. Quiet end to Turkey's college headscarf ban. 2010. Print.
Elaine Ganley. Veil Ban In France: Parliament Lays Groundwork, Sarkozy Wants Full Ban. 2010. Print.