Discrimination against Women in the Middle East

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Nneka Maceo
Mrs. Petrie
April 10, 2012
Discrimination against women in the Middle East
Discrimination against women, should it be acceptable in today’s world? Discrimination has been going on for centuries especially in foreign countries. In Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, there are plenty forms of discriminations whether it is occupational, gender, racial etc. After September 11th though, discrimination against the Middle East has greatly increased especially in women. In foreign countries men are known to rule which causes neither independence nor freedom for women and they are discriminated through religion, sex, arranged or force marriages and even race. This essay will hopefully persuade others around the world to know that women should not be treated as “second class” citizens and instead be treated equally just like the rest. The word hijab comes from the Arabic word ‘hajaba’, which means to hide or screen from view or to cover. But it is mostly referred to as a woman’s headscarf and sometimes it is used more generally to refer to the practice of wearing modest clothing in relation to religious beliefs. There has been a lot of discrimination on the views of the hijab also known as a head covering. Muslim women have been prohibited from wearing head coverings in a number of ways; they have been harassed, fired from jobs and denied access to public places. Civil rights complaints filed with one Muslim advocacy group rose from 366 in 2000 to 2,467 in 2006, an increase of 674 %. The same group reported that in 2006 there were a 154 cases of discrimination or harassment in which a Muslim woman’s head covering was the main factor that triggered the incident. Studies show that 69% of women who wore the hijab reported to at least one incident of discrimination compared to 29% of women who did not wear the hijab (American Civil Liberties Union 1). There has also been conspiracy in France based on the debate whether or not it was necessary to publicly display religious symbols in schools and other public places. France consists of the strongest community of Jews (five hundred thousand) and Muslims (five million, the majority coming from North Africa), who live their faith in a public, defining themselves in opposition of France view on banning the hijab. Eventually in 2004 the law banning the Islamic headscarf from being worn in the classroom and public was finally passed (Bruckner 61-63). Muslim women should be free to express their religious beliefs, whether they wear they wear the hijab our not they should be free from discrimination and prejudice. Women in the Middle East are not only discriminated through their beliefs and religion, but also through race. Many seem to think that their is only one kind of Muslim, the ones from the Middle East, but they also come from South Asia and parts of Africa, the ones from Africa are known as black or African American Muslims. Which seem to experience most of the discrimination when it comes to race. “To Be Black, Female, and Muslim” introduces a young African American Muslim who shares her stories and views on being discriminated by other non black Muslims. Most African American Muslims worship at mosques in which over 90% of the population is African American. When two groups are equally represented in a mosque, it tends to be a combination of two immigrant group (Arabs and South Asians), but rarely an African American and Immigrant combination. Melanie the young African American Muslim states, “I hate to say this but even though were all Muslim sisters, once we leave out this door and we go into this society, I’m going to be treated differently from you. Not Because ‘Oh, your prettier, or you’re kinder,’ but because I strike them as an African American Person Plain and Simple”. Immigrants live in separate neighborhoods and are less likely to go to African American mosque for Islamic resources. Therefore, compared to...
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