Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Disturbing Propaganda in our Schools

Recently, I walked into Lulu Hypermarket in Dhofar only to see this huge banner hanging between the two escalators. It goes something along the lines of:

 "A Muslim woman's dress is not something to fool around with. It is not something for designers to play with. It is religion and it is identity. It is a woman's way to God. As the Prophet's (PBUH) said, the scantily dressed do not go to heaven and won't come anywhere near it".  How can we lose heaven over a piece of clothing?".

There were other posters as well. As a Muslim woman who covers from head to toe and whose abaya is baggy enough for an army, I found the posters extremely offensive. In fact, referring to these posters as 'Islamist propaganda' isn't far fetched. I refer here to 'Islamism', not 'Islam'. Islamism has several definitions but it can be defined as a set of ideologies holding that "Islam should guide social and political as well as personal life". 

I had intended to blog about this earlier but decided against it. However, yesterday I was speaking to a concerned teacher at a local high school who claims this 'Covering-up-is-the-only-way-to-God' campaign (officially called "Be a Queen" campaign) has reached her school. The infiltration of the school system by these people (whoever they are - Salalah Men's Sports Club is one of the sponsors) telling young girls that following a certain dress code is the only way to God is DISTURBING. Surely parents/families are responsible for their own child's religious education and spiritual upbringing. The campaign has been endorsed by the Ministry of Education since it's being publicly discussed on their forum.

Their intentions are probably very good and they think they're paving their own way to heaven by promoting their campaign. However, instead of telling young girls to live in fear of hell and punishment and telling them they're 'wanted' by all men therefore they must cover up, and telling them dressing in BLACK (which is in NO WAY Islamic and only appeared in Dhofar in the 70s from the Iranian revolution and influence from Saudi Wahhabism)... instead of telling our girls to hide, be demure and not interact with the other half of humanity, what happened to raising strong girls who KNOW what's right? Girls who believe in being a good person? Girls who aren't shy to be out in society doing good? Girls who are proud of their religion and identity? Proactive girls? Why must it always be a fear factor?
This form of control, brainwash, and this focus on shallow shallow shallow aspect of one's personal life in the name of religion has NO PLACE in my Islam. (By shallow I refer to all the petty discussions of whether dying one's hair is haram, and whether wearing colours are acceptable, and whether it's against God to pluck one's eyebrows or wear heels or go shopping for heaven's sake. In fact, I was told by a male cousin that I should cover my face when going to the mosque because someone 'saw me' getting out of my car and walking into the grand mosque in broad daylight and that as a Muslim woman I should be humble and demure!!!!!!!!). Why the obsession with women?

GRRRRR.

14 comments:

  1. I don't have a problem with modesty campaigns unless they are wrong. Saying hijab is the only way to heaven is wrong. Flat out.

    Hijab isn't even a pillar in Islam. Sure, it contributes to belief in Allah, and proper hijab is a must for prayer, but toher than that... it isn't the most important thing for Muslim women to be concerned about. More concerning is the appalling Arabic reading levels and low Qu'ran content in schools. That's more conerning to me, that less Muslim girls are knowing their religion or able to study it do to conditions in the school. But I guess a bunch of scary posters sponsoered by men are an easier focus right?

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  2. They need to make signs then wrning men about how their tight pants will lead them to hell. Women should be told about the strength of the women of the sahaba, and aspire to be as productive.

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  3. The word 'Hair' isn't even mentioned in the Quran. Hijab is not a pillar of Islam. I choose to wear it, but it's my CHOICE.

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  4. Good for you Nadia. It's not easy to speak up against these things that society protects so fiercely.

    D.

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  5. Questions questions questions:
    I'm wondering why anyone would think GOD would want to hide what he's created. As if HE has made a mistake by creating women. But HE doesn't make mistakes.

    Why would GOD only want to target women and not men. Why should only women dress modestly?

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  6. Hijab is a choice and this campaign is organized by people who want to raise extremists. They're feeding ignorance and close-mindedness!!!

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  7. Well, I didn´t know that in Oman happened this situation. It was a surprise to see such a banner in a hypermarket.
    Hijab is a choice as the people said above. And I agree with you when you say that Islamism is different from Islam.
    Does this situation happen in whole Oman?

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  8. Small mindedness,narrow,shallow bigots.

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  9. Short thobed men with long scraggy beards can answer for this. sorry im blunt i know but wallah i got sick of the constant 'haram haram ayyb aybb' comments that were continually thrown at me for wearing glasses in salalah.
    now to see this is just really upsetting. A woman is not defined by her dress or her baggy abaya but first by her hearts purity and strength of her character. there are women who wear full black head to toe and yet their character is evil and heart is only bothered with dunya and back stabbing. id much prefer a daughter who is without hijab and good manners than a duaghter who is rude, back stabbing others and has no morals. a cloth on you body doesnt define who goes to heaven or hell.

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  10. first of all what you said is wright... nothing wrong in it at all. but i got some points in here.
    first... do you really think they would just such campaigns out of nowhere? like they had nothing else to do so they decided to raise a campaign against women?
    of course not!! from what they saw as i can call "corruption" in the dress of our city girls/women. back in the 90's women had no such problems as you abaya is not right or wt so ever, it was decent, had colors,the size was alright. but now days...only words to describe it is sad. all tight to the body almost as if they are not wearing any thing at all. and pardon me to say all u have to do is draw sm lines and you got your self the full girl/women figure.
    second of all yes hijab is not a pillar in Islam but... imagine how would it be without it? its already a chaos with it... let alone with out.
    i agree we men also need the same!! as sm one said in the comments "our tight jeans" we the most need to hear some heavy words to ring our heads back to reality.
    last but not least... just because some old folk who have a position made a mistake.. doesn't mean the whole opposite sex is wrong too or means to over throw your hijab or sm thing.
    thank you

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  11. I lol'ed when i saw those posters. Such a waste of money.

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  12. "I should cover my face when going to the mosque because someone 'saw me' getting out of my car and walking into the grand mosque in broad daylight and that as a Muslim woman I should be humble and demure!!!!!!!!)."
    Oh! The shame of being "seen" going to the mosque of all places! How will you ever live down this shameful act. A muslim woman being shameless enough to allow herself being seen heading to prayer. LOL

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  13. Off topic I know but how is the lady who wrote 'Sleepless in Salalah'? I miss her blog entries.

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