E and that Islam merely added religious significance to already existing local practices of the times. Lower class women in small villages often worked in fields, and therefore could not afford to abandon their work to be secluded. Purdah takes on different forms and significance depending on the region, time, socioeconomic status, and local culture.
To veil or not to veil, that is the question. In much of the Muslim world, the issue of whether the veil is required or not required, mandated or recommended, a choice or an injunction, must cover the face or just the hair, is a hotly debated one.
There are huge political dividends to be gained from its manipulation: The veil face-off In Western countries with Muslim minorities, banning the veil has the potential of producing its own political dividends; solidifying in single strokes otherwise flimsy commitments to liberal principles.
Women are, after all, half the population of nearly every place and controlling their garb concomitantly signifies control of the country. Fatwas that liberate women from being responsible for the acts of men are ignored or picked apart. The cleric, whose statement was reported by a newspaper in Morocco, is no marginal figure.
To substantiate his position on veiling, Sheikh Ghamidi cited Palestinian scholar Ibn Qudamah Al Maqdisi who has argued that the fact that women are not required to cover their face and hands when performing Haj means that no such requirements are incumbent upon them.
In the most startling part of his pronouncement, one that rarely gets any attention in the realm of the veiling debate, Sheikh Ghamidi reminded men that the responsibility of lowering their gaze lies with them, and that women must not be blamed for temptation.
For decades now, the Saudi virtue and vice squads have been notorious among visitors to the kingdom for wielding sticks and calling out women for minor acts of supposed immodesty.
In Pakistan, much of the fervour for endorsing, promoting and imposing ever more stringent requirements for veiling is imported from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia itself. Given the automatic religious legitimacy Pakistanis attach to anything Saudi, this latest fatwa may go some distance in emphasising that a requirement of face veiling is more of a political stunt than a spiritual requirement.
It may even be a good thing, for the streets of Pakistan are increasingly filled with women wearing all-encompassing burqas. This garb is assumed by many to be the wardrobe of piety, although its consequence, many would argue, is effectively an erasure of identity.
A fully veiled woman is anonymous and unidentifiable, and in contemporary Pakistan, that can automatically be supposed to equal a pious woman. That anonymity is her contribution towards the duty of ensuring that the men around her are spared the onerous task of exercising their own conscience, using their own will.
To expect them to look away is simply asking too much. It seems wishful to think that a single fatwa would change this status quo.
After all, women have become used to playing defence, and men have become used to blaming them for all transgressions. Long years of cherry-picking ensure that the fatwas that liberate women from being responsible for the acts of men are either ignored or picked apart while those that impose ever more ludicrous and constraining behaviour on them are widely publicised.
This new pronouncement by Sheikh Ghamidi is likely to meet a similar fate, shelved and forgotten for its inability to sate the whims of a self-righteous male majority.
And the Saudis themselves are the first to do this.Narrated Anas ibn Malik: "I know (about) the Hijab (the order of veiling of women) more than anybody else. Ubay ibn Ka'b used to ask me about it. Women of Kashmir, most of whom are not fully veiled, defied the warning, and the attacks were condemned by prominent militant and separatist groups of the region.
Veiling had class as well as gender implications; thus, the ancient Assyrian law required it of upper class women while punishing commoners for it. The strong association of veiling with class rank, as well as an urban/peasant split, .
The veiling became compulsory for the women of Kashmir. The emphasis on the veiling of women showed the assertion of men of the control over their women.
According to them veiling was necessary for women as this would save them from the humiliating treatment by the security forces. To substantiate his position on veiling, Sheikh Ghamidi cited Palestinian scholar Ibn Qudamah Al Maqdisi who has argued that the fact that women are not required to cover their face and hands when.
women of kashmir terrorism of indian army in kashmir. The veiling became compulsory for the women of Kashmir. The emphasis on the veiling of women showed the assertion of men of the control over their women. According to them veiling was necessary for women as this would save them from the humiliating treatment by the security forces.