Muslim Women : the Veil

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS………………………………………………………2 •OBJECTIVES…………………………………………………………………….4 •RESEARCH METHODOLOGY…………………………………………………5 •INTRODUCTION………………………………………………………………..6 •THE VEIL AND FEMINISTS APPROACHES…………………………………7 •METHODOLOGICAL STUDY………………………………………………….7 •VEIL AND THE WEST………………………………………………………....11 •MUSLIMS IN THE WEST………………………………………………………12 •MUSLIM WOMEN IN FRANCE………………………………………………..13 •MUSLIM WOMEN IN INDIA…………………………………………………...13 •THE VEIL…………………………………………………………………………14 •CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………………14  

OBJECTIVE

To study the conditions of Muslim women in various regions and to draw the conclusions related to the topic.

INTRODUCTION
The veil should be considered as an oppression/suppression or it should be left upon the women to decide? Certainly, religious sentiments should never be undermined because in some or the other way it leads to humiliation which further provokes uncertainty among different groups of people. However, being a non-Muslim, it is somewhere inculcated in my mind that this practice is a landmark of patriarchal society or suppression of women, but through my research, I realized that it is not about my views but it is about those Muslim women and their opinion regarding this practice. A Muslim woman wears hijab (veil for the simple reason that God has commanded it in the Quran and Sunna. There are two verses which deal with the question of women’s dress. They are: Surah an-Nur verse 31 and Surah al- Ahzab verse 59

Mainly, many non-Muslims and few Muslims also, fail to examine and analyse this issue and openly condemn this practice. Modernization has lessened the gap between men and women but it fails to understand that though ‘Men and women are equal but not identical’. Many feminists’ approaches have been taken against the suppression of Muslim women. They argue that Islam like any patriarchal religion, subordinates women. They are committed to women’s rights and believe that Islam doesn’t allow women liberation. If we look at the scenario from broader view, we will find that there is a wide gap between anthropological perspective and the modern perspective. Quran is the command of God and must be followed in all times. In many countries, face covering is abandoned, such as France and in other countries; it is left upon Muslim women to decide about it such as India, U.S. It has been abolished in many countries due to the rise of Terrorism which has become the global issue today and also due to many feminists’ movements.  

THE VEIL AND FEMINIST APPROACHES
A perception that the veil is a symbol of oppression of women has different adherents who embody different assumptions ad different levels of sophistication. Many westerners and non- Muslims think that Muslim women are completely and utterly subjugated by men, and the veil is the symbol of that. They are underpinned by an unconscious adherence to liberalism and modernization theory. A more sophisticated view is that of one school of feminists, they argue that Islam, like any other patriarchal religion, subordinates women . They keep every sort of knowledge about the religion and believe that it undermines the women liberation and their rights. Some of them do not listen to the covered women. There is another school of feminists that listens to the voices of covered women but reaches to different conclusions about covering from those of the liberal feminists. Often anthropologists and historians, this group of feminists has been concerned to understand meaning of a social practice from the inside. Thus, this group follows a ‘contextual approach’ in understanding the grievances of Muslim women. Many feminists have trouble knowing how to deal with the veil, Islam, and the women who embrace it. Some feminists who in differing ways aim to build on, extrapolate from, or sometimes negate, classical Islamic law, and reinterpret it for modern times. There are also feminists whose benchmark is liberal...
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