Skip to comments.Head Scarves Serve to Protect Iraqi Muslim, Christian Women Alike
Posted on 01/04/2005 9:55:53 PM PST by paudio
As the months have passed since the U.S.-led invasion, fewer women in IraqMuslims and Christians alikeare daring to venture out without wearing a traditional Muslim head scarf, according to a recent report by the Washington Post.
"Because of the current situation in the country, lack of security, the occupation and many other things, people started to look for a way to escape the terror," a psychology professor at Baghdad University told the Washington Post. "They want to hide or take shelter to protect themselves. For women, the scarf is the best way to protect them. Women believe the scarf will be the wall to prevent people from looking at them."
Before the war, Iraqi Christian women rarely put on scarves. There was no reason to do so, according to Christian women interviewed recently. Their religion did not dictate it, Muslims and Christians in Iraq got along peacefully and they said they felt no pressure to blend in, the Washington Post reported. Even a few months ago, the sight of a Christian woman without a scarf or a Catholic nun in a habit was not uncommon in neighborhoods where Christians gathered.
Moderate Muslim women, also, used to feel they had a choice whether to wear the scarf, the news agency reported, even as religious oppression under Saddam Hussein grew over the past decade. Now, in many neighborhoods, it is hard to find a woman outdoors without a head scarf.
Many of the women interviewed by the news agency said these days Iraqi society feels like it has lost its social compact, its religious tolerance. Christians feel singled out. Anyone associated with the Americans, any foreign military force or the interim government feels singled out, the news agency went on to report.
Although Iraq is predominantly Muslim, for many decades its capital was a trendy, modern city. In the 1960s, women wore short skirts and blouses with low necklines. But their daughters say they do not have such freedom today. They blame a postwar insurgency bolstered by conservative hard-liners.
According to the beliefs of conservative Muslims, women should cover their heads to hide their beauty and not tempt the men who see them. Such instructions are spelled out in the Koran, the Islamic holy book.
Today, the practice of wearing head scarves varies widely throughout the Islamic world, from more secular countries such as Turkey where many women dress in the Western style, to strict religious societies such as Saudi Arabia where all women cover their heads and most of their faces in public.
And now, for women in Iraq, wearing the scarves is a way to avoid being singled out and followed, or kidnapped, or shot. As stated by the Washington Post, It was more than a matter of blending in. It was a matter of disappearing into the landscape.
Muslim youth to his mother "Mommy, look at that lady over there. I can see her HAIR."
Mother: "Oh my! The hussie. Cover your eyes dear.
"women should cover their heads to hide their beauty"
If only allah hadn't screwed up and cursed women with beauty.
Ban the head scarf. A symbol of opression and rape.
I mean, in a pinch, a white headscarf would make a handy "Surrender Flag". It's like they were invented with the French in mind.
There will be NO problems if everyone including infidels just learns to obey Sharia Law...
Why did Allah make women so beautiful?
So as to offer Mohammed more age appropriate sexual partners than 8 year old girls.
Let's ask one of the Grand Imams his thoughts on this subject . .
Ayatollah Khomeini's Religious Teachings on Marriage, Divorce and Relationships
A woman may legally belong to a man in one of two ways; by continuing marriage or temporary marriage. In the former, the duration of the marriage need not be specified; in the latter, it must be stipulated, for example, that it is for a period of an hour, a day, a month, a year, or more.
A man can marry a girl younger than nine years of age, even if the girl is still a baby being breastfed. A man, however is prohibited from having intercourse with a girl younger than nine, other sexual act such as forplay, rubbing, kissing and sodomy is allowed. A man having intercourse with a girl younger than nine years of age has not comitted a crime, but only an infraction, if the girl is not permanently damaged. If the girl, however, is permanently damaged, the man must provide for her all her life. But this girl will not count as one of the man's four permanent wives. He also is not permitted to marry the girl's sister.
A father or a paternal grandfather has the right to marry off a child who is insane or has not reached puberty by acting as its representative. The child may not annul such a marriage after reaching puberty or regaining his sanity, unless the marriage is to his manifest disadvantage.
Any girl who is of age, that is, capable of understanding what is in her own best interest, if she wishes to get married and is a virgin, must procure the authorization of her father or paternal grandfather. The permission of her mother or brother is not required.
A marriage is annulled if a man finds that his wife is afflicted with one of the seven following disabilities: madness, leprosy, eczema, blindness, paralysis with aftereffects, malformation of the urinary and genital tracts or of the genital-tract and rectum through conjoining thereof, or vaginal malformation making Coitus impossible.
If a wife finds out after marriage that her husband is suffering from mental illness, that he is a castrate, impotent, or has had his testicles excised, she may apply for annulment of her marriage.
If a wife has her marriage annulled because her husband is unable to have sexual relations with her either vaginally or anally, he must pay her as damages one-half of her mehryeh (her price) specified in the marriage contract. If the husband or wife annuls the marriage for any of the above-mentioned reasons, the man owes nothing to the woman if they have had sexual relations together; if they have not, he must pay her the full amount of the dowry.
A Moslem woman may not marry a non-Moslem man; nor may a Moslem man marry a non-Moslem woman in continuing marriage, but he may take a Jewish or Christian woman in temporary marriage.
A woman who has contracted a continuing marriage does not have the right to go out of the house without her husband's permission; she must remain at his disposal for the fulfillment of any one of his desires, and may not refuse herself to him except for a religiously valid reason. If she is totally submissive to him, the husband must provide her with her food, clothing, and lodging, whether or not he has the means to do so.
A woman who refuses herself to her husband is guilty, and may not demand from him food, clothing, lodging, or any later sexual relations; however, she retains the right to be paid damages if she is repudiated.
If a man who has married a girl who has not reached puberty possesses her sexually before her ninth birthday, inflicting traumatisms upon her, he has no right to repeat such an act with her.
A man who has contracted a continuing marriage may not leave his wife for so long a time as to allow her to question the validity of the marriage; however, he is not obligated to spend one night out of every four with her.
A husband must have sexual relations with his wife at least once in every four months.
A woman who has been temporarily married in exchange for a previously established dowry has no right to demand that her daily expenses be paid by her husband, even when she becomes pregnant.
A temporary marriage, even though only one of convenience, is nevertheless legal.
A man must not abstain from having sexual relations with his temporary wife for more than four months.
If a father (or paternal grandfather) marries off his daughter (or granddaughter) in her absence without knowing for a certainty that she is alive, the marriage becomes null and void as soon as it is established that she was dead at the time of the marriage.
To look upon the face and hair of a girl who has not reached puberty, if it is done without intention of enjoyment thereof, and if one is not afraid of succumbing to temptation, may be tolerated. It is however recommended that one not look upon her belly or thighs, which must remain covered.
To look upon the faces and hands of Jewish or Christian women, if this is not done with intention of enjoyment thereof, and if one does not fear temptation, is tolerated.
A woman must hide her body and her hair from the eyes of men. It is highly recommended that she also hide them from those of prepubic boys, if she suspects that they may look upon her with lust.
If a man is called upon, for medical reasons, to look upon a woman other than his wife and to touch her body, he is permitted to do so,but if he can give such care by only looking at the body he must not touch it, and if he can give it by only touching, he must not look at it.
A woman who becomes pregnant as a result of adultery must not have an abortion.
If a man commits adultery with an unmarried woman, and subsequently marries her, the child born of that marriage will be a bastard unless the parents can be sure it was conceived after they were married.
A child born of an adulterous father is legitimate.
The best person to breast-feed a newborn baby it its own mother. It is preferable that she not ask to be paid for such service, but that her husband pay her for it of his own free will. If the sum the mother asks for is greater than that charged by a wet nurse, the husband is free to take the child from its mother and turn it over to the wet nurse.
A man who repudiates his wife must be of sound mind and past the age of puberty. He must do so of his own free will and without any constraint; therefore, if the formula for divorce is spoken in jest the marriage is not annulled.
A woman temporarily married, say, for a month or a year, has her marriage automatically annulled at the end of that time, or at any other time when the husband releases her from the balance of her engagement. It is not necessary for this that there be any witnesses, or that the woman have had her period.
A woman who has not yet reached the age of nine or a menopausal woman may remarry immediately after divorce, without waiting the hundred days that are otherwise required.
A woman who has had her ninth birthday, or who has not yet entered menopause, must wait for three menstrual periods after her divorce before being allowed to remarry. If a woman who has not reached her ninth birthday or who has not entered menopause gets temporarily married, she must, at the end of the contract or when the husband has released her from part of it, wait two menstrual periods or forty-five days before marrying again.
If the father or paternal grandfather of a boy has him marry a woman for a temporary marriage, he may prematurely cancel it in the boy's interest, even if the marriage was contracted before the boy reached the age of puberty. If, for example, a fourteen-year-old boy has been married off to a woman for a period of two years, they may return her freedom to the woman before this time has run its course; but a continuing marriage cannot be broken in this way.
If a man repudiates his wife without informing her of it, and continues to meet her expenses for a period of, say, a year, and at the end of that time informs her that he got a divorce a year earlier and shows her proof of it, he may require that she return to him anything he has bought or given her during that time, provided that she has not used it up or consumed it, in which case he cannot demand its return.
If a child dies within the mother's womb and it is a danger to her life to leave it there, it must be extracted in the easiest way possible; it can. if need be, cut into pieces; this should be done by the woman's husband or a midwife.
A woman who wishes to pursue her studies toward the end of being able to earn her living through respectable work, and who has a male teacher, may do so if she keeps her face covered and has no contact with men; but if-that is inevitable, and religious and moral tenets are thus undermined, she must give up her studies. Girls and boys who attend coeducational classes in grammar schools, high schools, universities, or other teaching establishments, and who, in order to legalize such a situation, wish to contract a temporary marriage may do so without the permission of their fathers. The same applies if the boy and girl are in love but hesitate to ask for such permission.
If a man is called upon, for medical reasons, to look upon a woman other than his wife and to touch her body, he is permitted to do so, but ...if he can give it by only touching, he must not look at it."
Hmmm. Wouldn't not being able to see what you're doing make medical care rather difficult?
I realize the answer will probably be different for different countries, but who delivers babies in Muslim societies--are there male ob/gyns? Or is it pretty much female doulas/family members? What if there are complications?