n Britain there is an increasing number of Muslims in the community, it is now at a point where the young, British born, Muslims outnumber those who have migrated to the contry. (Anwar, 2008: 133) Yet, Muslims are often identified as being foreign, not truly British. This has a strong impact of British Muslims identity because they are not identified as British by others in the community. This is just an example of the way issues impact British Muslim Identity. Many issues hold sway over how Muslims are viewed in Britain today, they affect the perceived identity of British Muslims. This essay will look at how link between Muslims and terrorism and women being coerced affect British Muslim identity today.
The first issue addressed in this essay is the role of women in Islam. “Muslim women are having to confront not only the sexist assumptions from within their own communities … but also from British society as a whole.” (Butler cit Gilliat-Ray,2010: 215) This statement shows that women are facing sexist assumptions not only within the home but also from British citizens who presume that they are being forced into wearing the veil and following Islamic law because their husbands demand it, when more commonly women are following Islam because they want to. By having this presumption of Muslim women it is impacting on their identity, Britain has assigned Muslim women with the role of the victim, often pitied, this is a negative stereotype which can affect their lives. One of the most controversial issues for Muslim women is their choice to wear the veil. “The Qur’an does not impose any general religious obligation for women’s clothing but gives simple guidelines for social decency.” (Kung, 2007: 622)It is not commanded in the Qur’an...
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...itiated - Continuum
Denny, F. 2006 - An Introduction to Islam - Pearson Prentice Hall
Gilliat-Ray, S. 2010 - Muslims in Britain - Cambridge University Press
Home Office. 2000 - Proscribed Terrorist Organisations - [Internet]. Avalable from: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/301777/ProscribedOrganisationsApril14.pdf [assessed 06/05/14]
Kung, H. 2007 - Islam: Past, Present and Future - Oneworld Publication
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Ahmed, Leila. Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1992.
Women have always been thought of as something that needed to be controlled in Muslim culture. Their bodies are a source of shame that must be covered during prayer and also in the public (Mir-Hosseini 2007: 3). Veiling, done by a hijab or chador, is when women either wear a headscarf to cover themselves or they wear a veil that covers their entire body, excluding her hands and eyes (Mir-Hosseini 2007: 1; Mir-Hosseini 2003: 41; Berger 1998: 93; Smith-Hefner 2007: 390-391; Brenner 1996: 674; El Guindi 1999: 6). Veiling is used as a tool for oppression. By having women veil themselves, it enforces the control by the male run and male dominated society (Mir-Hosseini 2007: 7). Also, the punishment for women appearing without a veil transitioned as the concept of veiling was addressed, transitioning from seventy-four lashes, to being arrested and held between ten days and two months for being “immodest” women and offending public morality, or fined 50,000 to 500,000 rials (Mir-Hosseini 2007: 8). The oppression of veiling is perpetuated through the thought that it is a woman’s religious duty to wear one, condemning foreigners and women in society if they refuse. Although it is a tool for oppression, there was resistance the oppression. In ...
The significance of representing such a history is that it may open William Beckford’s narrative of the Arab Muslim woman to a new analysis and judgment. It may, as well, help in “allowing us to see them [Arab Muslim women] not as "culminations" of a natural truth, but "merely the current episodes in a series of subjugations" (Foucault 1977, 148)” (mohja), and to differentiate between them as represented in Western texts whose feet never touch earth, and the real –flesh and blood–ones whose “feet touch earth in Hamah or Rawalpindi or Rabat.”( MOHJA)
Yahyaoui Krivenko, Ekaterina. Women, Islam And International Law : Within The Context Of The Convention On The Elimination Of All Forms Of Discrimination Against Women. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2009. eBook Academic Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 4 Nov. 2013.
The last decade has brought two blatant changes to American civilizations in particular and Western civilizations in general. The first is a greater concern about Islam and Muslims, and the second is a much highly visibility of Muslims within those civilizations. Numerous people may have imagined that there weren’t many Muslims living in their communities until recently, but now, one can see visibly Muslim persons often in their veils or robes, walking the streets, shopping in the cities, and going to the schools (Saeed, 2007). There is no doubt that the increased visibility of Muslims has been a matter of some interest (allen,2010). The French have banned people wearing markers of Muslim religion, such as the hijab and niqab, in public, and many Americans have protested against mosques and other expressions of the religion. In addition, numerous Westerners have a stereotyped image of Muslim visibility, for instance, assuming that all Muslim females wear the same style and color, of garb (Ameli & Merali, 2004) Many Westerners associate the visibility of Muslims with non-Western and anti-Western culture and beliefs, including the oppression of women, and therefore hold a very negative attitude and view toward it and them (Briggs, Fieschi, & Lownsbrough, 2006).
The first religion and its views on women that will be discussed in this essay is Islam. Islam is a religions founded in Saudi Arabia almost two thousand years ago, by the prophet Muhammad. In fact, Muhammad dedicated much attention towards women in the Koran, the holy book of Islam. However, even though much was dedicated to women in the Koran, it was not dedicated to them in the sense of equality. Women in Islamic culture were apparently much lower on the totem pole than men, "The men are made responsible for the women, since God endowed them with certain qualities, and made them the bread earners...If you experience opposition from the women, you shall first talk to them, then [you may use such negative incentives as] deserting them in bed, then you may beat them (129)." Excerpt...
The region of the Middle East and its inhabitants have always been a wonder to the Europeans, dating back to the years before the advent of Islam and the years following the Arab conquest. Today, the Islamic world spreads from the corners of the Philippines to the far edges of Spain and Central Africa. Various cultures have adopted the Islamic faith, and this blending of many different cultures has strengthened the universal Islamic culture. The religion of Islam has provided a new meaning to the lives of many people around the world. In the Islamic world, the religion defines and enriches culture and as a result the culture gives meaning to the individual. Islam is not only a religion, it is in its own way a culture. It may be this very fact that the Europeans have not yet understood, as to how religion plays a significant role in the life of a Muslim. One of the more commonly misunderstood aspects of the Shariah is the role of the family, in particular the role of the women in the family and in the society in which she lives in. The actual role of a woman in a particular Muslim community may vary according to the part of the world she lives in, nonetheless all Muslim women abide by the same fundamental rules and regulations which the religion clearly defines. Both the Quran and the Hadith are detailed sources that describe the role of women in Islamic History. The rights and responsibilities of a woman are equal to those of a man, although are not identical with them.
The readings of this past week discussed women’s piety and roles as defined by Islam and the Quran. The writings of Barbara Stowasser discussed Hadith and Quranic histories which featured exemplary Muslim women. These scriptures are significant because the Quran and its histories are used to extrapolate laws and codes of conduct for men and women alike. The role of Eve in the Garden of Eden as revealed in revelation by Mohammed differs slightly from the Christian narrative of the same story. This seems to be a small change with much larger implications. The role of Mary in the Quran is interesting as her story is suggested as something for Muslim women to aspire to but at the same time Mary’s example is considered beyond human and divinely perfect. Lastly, the interactions between Mohammed and his wives, in Hadith and in scripture, play a pivotal role in judging what is acceptable and proper in the domestic sphere. These three examples influence women’s roles both positively and negatively depending on how well they mesh with modern sensibilities. One persons piety is another person...
Peek, L. (2005). Becoming muslim: the development of a religious identity. Sociology of religion, 215-242.
Women who have the misfortune of living in predominately Muslim societies often are confronted with adversities concerning their rights in marriage, divorce, education, and seclusion. Consequently, many Westerners seeing a lack of equality towards women in these societies consider it as a confirmation of their own misconceptions about Islam itself. Islam is often rejected as being an intolerant and violent religion that discriminates against and subjugates women, treating them as second-class citizens. From a Muslim’s perspective, Islam’s stance on women can be approached by two opposing views. Scholars amongst the Muslim apologists have claimed, “The verses in the Qur’an represented Muhammad's intention to improve a debased condition of women that prevailed during the Jahiliya, the time of ignorance before Islam came into being.” (Doumato, 177) If inequalities still exist between men and women, they cannot be attributed to Islam, but are a result of the misinterpretation of Islam’s true meaning. Others have entirely denied the notion of inequality between men and women in Islam, claiming that the alleged inequalities “are merely perceived as such by foreign observers who confuse seclusion and sex difference with inequality.” (Ibid.) Many Muslim apologists defend the Koran as noble for the very fact that it raises women to an equal status of men despite their inferiority.
The role and place of Women in Islam has changed drastically, in a positive way, over the past millennium: the changes can be greatly attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, and the Qur’an. To understand the changes in women’s rights and freedoms, one must understand their role and place before Islam was created, which happened in the Arabia Peninsula, now Saudi Arabia (Angha). Before Islam was formed women lacked many of the basic human rights, and they were treated as more of a burden in their culture then someone who should be respected, but that is not the case today. Though women in Islam have gained many rights, there is still some controversy over whether or not women are still being oppressed and treated like second class citizens compared