I am a Muslim woman. I wear the niqaab (face veil).
I’m one of those to whom the new law in France would apply. I’m
one of the ones being discussed by politicians, human rights groups
and the media.
I’m one of those whom many feel the need to liberate.
I’m one of those you may think is oppressed.
I’m one of those many of you detest the sight of...
I’m one of those whom you may believe is uneducated; one of the ones
you may think has no voice.
But I do. So let me speak.
I am not Arab, Asian or even African. I am Australian. No, not
‘first generation’, ‘second generation’, or an immigrant. On
my mother’s side, I’m of French-Canadian descent, and on my
father’s side; British. I grew up as a Christian and attended
church occasionally. I was in the school swim team and the district
netball team. I holidayed with my family in the summer on the Gold
Coast, and I’m educated. I have a university degree.
When I was 18 years of age I was introduced to Islam. I studied it
and accepted it a year and a half later. By the time I reached 20, I
was wearing the headscarf, and after I married I donned the niqaab.
Because of my husband? No.
My husband did not want me to wear it, although his mother and sister
do, and out of respect for his wishes, I didn’t do so for two years.
But I wanted to, and eventually did, and knowing it to be in line with
our religion, my husband knew he had no authority to prevent me, and
he now greatly admires my strength.
Then, I wore it because of my father? No. He’s a catholic.
Because of my brother? Nope, haven’t got one.
My uncle? He’s an atheist.
Then because of my son? My eldest is only 8 years old. Then why??
Because I want to, that’s why.
And seeing as though my niqaab does not hurt anyone, that should be
sufficient reason for all of you liberals of a liberal society; I
should be able to finish my discussion right here. But although it may
be so for any other style of dress, it isn’t enough when it comes to
niqaab for some reason. You want more. So I will continue.
What makes me want to then? Two things: Faith and experience.
Faith? Yeah, faith. Faith in my Creator, faith in His decisions,
faith in Islam. A deep faith. Many wonders at the faith of Muslims, at
their conviction and their commitment. It’s a faith, that if you are
not Muslim, is hard to explain or describe. The scripture of Islam,
the Qur’an has scientific miracles in it, such that have captivated
scientists globally, leading many to accept Islam. Moreover, the
Qur’an has not been changed in over a thousand years, since it was
revealed; not one letter moved from its place. I dare say there
isn’t a religious scripture like it, and this lends a clue as to the
root of such faith.
In the Qur’an, Allah Ta'ala tells us to cover ourselves, ‘so as to
be known, but not molested’. So our covering is protection; a
Protection? you ask. Liberation? From what?
This is where I move on to my second reason for veiling. Like I said,
I grew up in Western secular society, in true Western secular style.
I dressed secular, lived secular, and enjoyed all the ‘liberties’
of such a society. Did I feel liberated, free? Suffice to say, we were
taught we were, so I never thought to think otherwise. It wasn’t
until I became Muslim, and started covering, that I really felt
liberated, and realised, before that, I wasn’t.
Yet, time and time again we hear it said that we Muslim women are
forced to veil, are oppressed; treated by our menfolk as nothing more
than ‘objects.’ And that niqaab, burqa, hijab; whatever term you
use, is a form of ‘imprisonment’.
But what about the imprisonment of anxiety and depression?
What about the imprisonment of anorexia and bulimia?
What about the imprisonment of frequent rigorous exercise routines?
What about the imprisonment of always feeling the need to look like
the super-model on the cover of Cosmo, or the pop-singer in the music
What about slavery to fashion?
What about the entrapment of jealousy??
How many women waste their hard-earned money, destroy their physical
and mental health, expose their bodies to vulnerability, abuse and
extortion in order to...... in order to what??
In order to gain approval and praise. Who’s approval and praise?
And yes, it seems even other women too. So it seems non-Muslim women
are not only slaves to men but slaves to society as a whole.
Before you scream your disagreement, which many of you may do as a
knee-jerk reaction to being told you’re also oppressed, stop and
think. Look around you, contemplate society today, and its values, its
aspirations, its goals, its direction, its past-times, its hobbies...
What good has it done for women to doff more and more clothing?
What good has it done for images of uncovered made-up women to be
plastered on every billboard and magazine, on the TV, in the movies,
and on the net?
Has it really brought any good for women?
The women in the images may aptly feel good about themselves for a
while, but what does it mean for every other woman?
Women who look upon these images usually become anxious, jealous,
unsure and critical of themselves, or all of these things. Many men
who view them will become aroused, or even unhappy, less satisfied
with the partners they already have. What can, and does this lead to?
Cheating, dumping, chastisement, and even harassment of other women,
and even children by, men who cannot find a legitimate outlet for
their constant arousal. And yes, I can hear some of you; ‘then the
men must control themselves!’ Frankly speaking, that argument is well
spent, not to mention futile, as most men are, inherently, only able
to react to that, the same way a hungry lion would react if thrown a
juicy piece of steak, and told not to eat it...
Do the uncovered women captured in these images and industries, or
parading around, realise or even care how many young girls are
starving, purging and stressing themselves trying to mirror their
It seems they even take perverse pleasure in it. One barely-dressed
the singer even boldly and crudely sang recently, ‘Don’t you wish your
girlfriend was hot like me?’
What are these women and her like saying??
What are they implying??
What are they doing to their sisters in humanity??!
So many poor girls, eroding themselves physically and mentally as they
watch with jealousy and anxiety their partner's ogle singers like this.
Have the same thing occur to these women, these ‘idols’; have
their partners swoon over another similarly attired, and witness their
reaction! And when their daughters are molested by men they
themselves, or women like them, have aroused, will they reflect?
Will they act?
Will society act?
Yeah, we see it reacting: ban the burqa!
It just amazes me how many women especially, despise my choice of
dress. Yet, would they rather their husband’s secretary to be
dressed like me or otherwise?
Would they rather the waitress serving the table at their anniversary
dinner, be dressed like me or otherwise?
Is it me and my sisters who are turning their husband’s head, or
attracting their boyfriends??
Is it me and my sisters who have led their daughters to anorexia, or
their sons to pornography?
Is it me and my sisters whose bodies and faces solicit their
husband’s/boyfriend’s attention on every corner? Is it me and my
sisters who have aroused that man to rape or harass their sisters?
Whose mode of ‘dress’ is truly oppressive and harmful to women??
So now I’ve spoken, and although I am one, I speak on behalf of
hundreds. I’ve explained to you that the majority of us have chosen
this mode of dress, especially in the West. I have told you that we
love it, we want it, and I’ve exemplified for you the inherent good
in it. I’ve discussed here the issue of niqaab based on the
suggestion that it is oppressive, or harmful to society, as this is
the main reason stated by the French for the ban. When it comes to
other issues of security and communication, then please see
for an excellent refutation of these arguments.
So to those of you who really are so concerned about ‘liberating’
me, then you will listen to what I have said, and let me and my