Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Today there was an interesting Oprah show about women in Egypt, Ukraine, and India. I wish the Oprah website still had the entire transcript of the show, however, there were just bits of it as of now. So I'll have to recall my thoughts which is NOT going to be easy here!

The Egyptian women were discussing the use of wearing a scarf, one not wearing it and one wearing it. It was one of those times when I was fascinated and listening to every word, but now as time has passed I feel like it was not that new or special. Okay, maybe a little special. I did enjoy how Oprah asked about the scarf and really attempted to learn about it. The main thing I took away from the show is that people sure like to pick each other apart. The non-hijabi implied that the hijabi was narrow-minded and the hijabi implied that the non-hijabi was not truly religious enough. Each side defended itself pretty well.
It's really difficult to attempt to illustrate what life is like for someone by generalizing it to an entire country or religion. If you watch the 'After the Show' clips, you'll see that the Ukrainian women in the audience did not agree on the presentation's accuracy, that some of the Muslims disagreed wholeheartedly on the method of Muslim divorce, and there was a lot of self-riteousness floating around.

BUT STILL, I like shows like this. They can slowly chip away at ignorance, prejudice, and condemnation of others, however cliched that may be.

There was one part in which the hijabi explained that although she does not mind if a man finds her attractive, she does not go out of her way to create lust or sexual desire from men in following Islam. Then Oprah said that most of the women in America try to create that lust and desire from the moment they wake till they go to sleep. I think, in essense, that's a clear description of the secular vs. religious difference right there. Refreshing point.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there.
I'm a muslim women living in South Africa and I wear a scarf daily because it is the way a muslim women must dress,There is no culture to it,it's a religious instruction that all women should be covered from head to toe when in public and in the company of non-muslims!! or has my Arab sisters forgotten that? The styling,color and shape of the scarf is cultural!but all muslim women have to wear it!no two way about it.If you don't wear it you will be questioned on judgement day!!you can't change the rules of Islam to suit yourself,No my husband did not force me to wear it, it's a a common practice especially in Cape Town and I feel proud to wear it.Here in Cape Town ,we wear a scarf fashionably,it has to match the colour of your outfit!No were are not oppressed here,we are free,we can do what we want to,We can work where ever we want,drive,play sport,etc!!and our kids go to normal schools followed by madressa in the afternoon, And surprising we get respect from the our non muslims friends!!
I want you to see how the muslims in Cape Town live,we are not rich but we have not forgetten how Islam should be practised,dispite our ex-Apartheid regime,they even allowed us to practice Islam that included building of mosques and allowing us to go for Ghajj!!