Yesterday I mentioned that the New York Times has over the past week given us a couple of articles–one from Nicholas Kristof--that support the universal sanity of granting women human rights.
And this one, by an absolutely terrific writer,
Her writing is so warmly, intelligently conversational, even funny at times, it feels as if she’s sitting in my living room. And not only does she describe how and why, she tells us what it felt like to walk around in a hijab (protected) and what it feels like now that she no longer does. Here’s the reaction from one Muslim man she interviews:
In 2005, I went to interview Mohammed Mahdi Akef, the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader at the time, in Cairo. I expected to be asked to cover up; whenever I’d interviewed Brotherhood leaders before, I’d been handed a scarf to wear. This time, though I was dressed in a T-shirt and trousers, the aide who ushered me in did not give me a head scarf; I was pleasantly surprised.
I asked Mr. Akef if the Brotherhood, should it ever govern Egypt, would change the Constitution to curb women’s rights — for instance, by making the veil mandatory. He insisted that the Brotherhood believed in pluralism and inclusion. Then the dialogue took a strange turn.
“And as proof,” he said, “you are here interviewing me, and you are naked.”
“I am not naked.”
“Your hair is naked, your arms are naked; according to God’s law, you are naked.”
“The verses in the Quran regarding women’s dress have been interpreted differently,” I said.
“Don’t listen to those who try to say the hijab is not mandatory. There are no different interpretations. There is just one interpretation and, according to that interpretation, you are naked.”
So much for pluralism…
Every bit of it is wonderful. Read it: My Unveiling Ceremony – NYTimes.com.
P.S. And if you want a little outrage after you’ve finished, take a look at the comments the Times linked to the article.
*If you really want to be outraged, click on the link I provided which appears to be the official (male) Muslim proclamation about women’s dress.