Mariam Rahmani does not agree with the passage of a 2004 French law that prohibits the ostentatious display of religious beliefs such as the wearing of the Hijab – a head scarf traditionally worn by Muslim women. Rahmani asserted that there are so many things that are wrong with the new law and a few are summarized as follows:
A. Lawmakers did not fully understand the philosophy behind the wearing of the Hijab and thus created a law out of ignorance and fear.
B. The Hijab is not a capitulation to male dominance but a Muslim woman’s desire to be regarded for her personality, mind and abilities rather than her physicality.
C. The new French law does not encourage students to engage in independent thought instead it encourages division and isolation.
Rahmani anticipated potential counterarguments by going into the heart of the issue. According to her banning the Hijab is counter-productive because it does not liberate Muslim women. Instead the law prevents them from being able to maintain their dignity and the ability to demand respect from men.
She strengthens this argument that in the West women are merely sex symbols and scantily dressed women are used to sell products aimed at male consumers. She ended her arguments by pointing out that mainstream societies often reject the customs and beliefs of immigrant societies, alluding to the fact that the said French law is not really against religion but an attack on unfamiliar and mostly non-Western ideas.
II. Women as an Object of Man’s Pleasure
If the women of a particular society will come into agreement that men value their physical attributes more than their abilities then they have the right to act and change this mindset. These women can argue that there are potentially negative consequences when men fail to respect them as their co-equal.
The high crime rate linked to rape, assault, and fathers abandoning their families while failing to provide support for the children are just a few of the examples of what can happen if men are ruled by lust. Yet aside from women taking the initiative to express what they feel and what they believe regarding man’s behavior, the opposite sex must also do their part and do their best to improve and behave like true gentlemen. Men must realize that they can hurt women through their uninhibited desires and by doing so they ultimately hurt themselves because their deeds can create a chain reaction of events that will eventually hurt their mother, sister, wife and daughter.
Rahmani, M. (2005). Wearing a Head Scarf Is My Choice as a Muslim; Please Respect It. In A. Lunsford & J. Ruszkiewicz (Eds.). Everythings An Agrument with Reading. 4th Bedford: St. Martin. 897-899.