Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Women in Islam Opressed? Give me a Break!

More of these videos at http://www.challengeyoursoul.com/

video

*In case you are unable to watch this video, please intimate the undersigned....

DJ

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Update:

Because of the lack of a better mean to communicate the content of this video to those who can not see it, and since I was unable to find a ready transcript online, I am attaching a rough transcript which I had to make myself on a hurry, so please excuse the inaccuracies...

Khaled Yasin is an American Convert to Islam, he's based in the UK. He runs the Islamic teaching institute. This speech of his was made after the row in the UK media about allowing Muslim women the right to wear headscarves and loose garments in public.

The point of this speech can be broaden to cover more issues that the subject matter, note my emphasis!

The wearing of the head scarf seems to have become a major aggravation; why should women who wish to wear a veil (or head scarf) have become such a source of aggravation today?... I mean, if a naked woman walked in this room here (meaning wearing a bikini or a G string) she would have the right…let's say three or four of them walked in, we would be astonished but we couldn't say anything because it is accepted by the society to wear G string in public. And there are some beaches in this country and some places in this country where you got some people called them selves naturalists. You know what they are; I don’t have to tell you, they believe that they have to walk around all the time naked. We can't make a judgment call, because according to the legislation, they have the right… in fact, there was a man who was running all across the UK for three month naked. For three month with nothing but a hat and pair of boots on. … can you imagine a man running through a village with only a hat and pair of boots? *joking*…only because he's a naturalist and this is his constitutional right, and for three month nobody could say anything about it. ..Well, I say that in a society that people are allowed to express themselves that way, why should there be a problem about Muslim women choosing the preference to cover their heads, be it in the schools or otherwise, or to cover their bodies with loose garments. Why should it be such an uproar? Why there is a need for the media to assault and say 'Muslims want to take over our society' or 'Muslims want to impose their values upon us' … well I want to remind them that until 15 or 20 years ago, the nuns in the church, the catholic church, they had to wear it (head scarf).. is this right or wrong? ..and just recently, the catholic church has relaxed, the uniform code of the nun now they can show a low cleavage. They can wear a little bit of *shiekh draws a V around his chest to resemble the low cleavage*.. put the cross right there in the middle, they don’t have to wear a head piece anymore, and they can show a little bit of thigh. *joking again* ..well that's their right, we couldn't say anything about that, but when I went to church when I was 17 years old, all the nuns were looking like how the sisters (Muslim women) are dressed today! … so societies change, but why should our values have to change? ..those Muslim ladies who want to wear a head scarf and want to wear a loose clothing they're doing so because God said so, not because their husbands said so, not because they're Arabs or Indonesians or Malaysians or Africans. No, they are doing it because god said so, so if our religion, which is the same religion of Abraham and Moses and Jesus and John the Baptist, we have the same religion, and we are monotheistic people basically. Just like Jews and Christians. Taking our scripture from the same source, and we can see, and the history of our religion shows that women dressed this way consistently, then why it is an aberration because our women want to wear that today. What do they our women to do? Do they want all our women to take off their head scarves and all put on G strings? *Joking again* would that be like 'now you are all the same, oh, now it is OKAY!' …no , we say it is not okay! And we say that we as Muslims have the right to preserve what we see as decent and dignified clothing and appearance. And we think that we are fortifying, we think that we are making a good moral contribution, and we think that we are doing something that will support the morals, the principles and the status of women in this society. We say that's what we think we're doing. And do we have the constitutional right to do what we consider as a moral contribution to the fiber of this society based on our religion? Of course we do! And we don’t have to apologize, and if somebody wants to know. If we are unable to explain, then we do not have to explain. But what we should is: the people of the media or the people of the government who feel they don’t understand what's going on, we should send them to those people who are qualified to expound upon this issue in a dignified, educated way. So that people wouldn't think somehow or another that all these women wearing headscarves got an AK 47 underneath their scarves, or they got a bomb, they are coming inside somewhere with a bomb! *joking* you know, stereotypes. But the issue is, to the Muslim women in particular; you do not have to explain to anybody why you are dressed the way you are dressing, just like when others, who would undress, do not have to explain to anybody why they are undressed….

35 comments:

Wassim said...

Hmm..this is an excellent video and what he's saying is 100% correct. I haven't had an opinion on headscarves till recently but now I firmly believe it is not sexist. Rather the behaviour of some men is in itself sexist and the context of the headscarf is actually beyond and supercedes such debates. Thanks for posting DJ!

abufares said...

Such a promising title for a controversial topic. Alas, Blogspot is totally blocked in Syria now and I can only access it by sneaking around dark proxies.
I couldn\'t see the video. For our sake, why don\'t you write about it and give us a piece of your mind.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Ahlan Wassim, I am glad you were able to see it, and most importantly, I am glad you liked it, you're most welcome….:)

Abu Fares, in all honesty, I was not intending on instigating a controversy, I just felt it is a part of my duty as a Muslim to do something different on Laylat Al Kader, therefore I thought of sharing this video, in the hope it can clear out one or two of the misconception…
I'll try to find the transcript…

Anonymous said...

Hi DubiJazz, and Hi fellow Syrian, and Lila Mobaraka (27 Ramadan).
I know you like what this gentleman is saying and how you feel as a Muslim towards this subject. But, let me give me my opinion of such a video. First, I’m a Muslim, my wife and my daughters wear the Islamic Hijab even I do not wish it for them but I do respect their choices, and will defend anyone choice to exercise his freedom. I live in USA, and here, especially in the south, which it is a conservative society, what the speaker is complaining about does not apply here. Here, the government, school system and ordinance, have not raise these issues. He is mainly speaking about some European Countries who showed openly some rejection to the freedom of wearing what you want, especially when it comes to Muslim conservative dress, and I think this is natural thing since I remember in Syria, one foreigner was killed for only being a foreigner. But, calm and active participation in defending the people who want to dress this way is legit and we all should be for it. They have to participate and work through the system to defend these people, but not sending speeches through video to recruit people in the middle east for this cause. We have to share and respect their societies, their laws and habits to gain respect for our ways and thinking. Ridicule them and their changes in history, and looking back how their nuns used to be is not the heart of the argument. The same could be of our dresses and clothes which a lot of us now wear jeans and they like it and feel comfortable in it, this does not mean we have to go back to Jelbab to be a Muslims.

The naked man which he mentioned is really not an example because it is an individual accident should not be counted as a norm, and I hope one day a naked man will roam the Arab country for months and never get killed. The naked beaches is also not a valid point to raise the feeling against the others, which not all countries support but still fall into limited freedom of groups which sometimes allowed depending on the country, state, country and city ordinance. To be transparent and fair, the guy should mention the Muslim society behavior too. Rich Muslim Arabs are rooming the naked beaches. Arab Muslim youths in western countries are no angles, they do the same and worse than the western themselves. He himself might have sinned when he was young and before converted and become a fundamentalist. We should listen to these issues with open minded. The industrial age changed a lot of clothing of the western society. The need for women to be productive in all fields changed the dress code, not in western countries but in all countries around the world. Dresses also can be related to customs and traditions. If you look east to Iran, you will also realize that women who been forced to wear the Hijab are not all of them happy about that. We need to know that our struggle is not the Hijab, it is the freedom of doing what each one of us wants to do, to wear and express himself freely.

On the other hand, there are many Muslim, observing Muslims who do not wear the conservative Muslim dressing and they still a Muslim. Attacking them or not mentioning them is harmful to freedom of speech and freedom of choice which in the end what he is defending and talking about. Such a guy, I do not condone his speech and I do not reject it either. He has some valid points and some invalid points. I think dress has more into it than religion, it is a custom, it related to environment and to work. I would like to see some artist draw me a dress for Muslim women and men in Alaska made of Bear skin and one in Africa where there are no cloth at all, and one for a women scuba diving for research in the coral reef.

I would like to add that the issue of dressing has not resolved in the Muslim countries and the main problem is that he social struggle taking a religious face and the real struggle for freedom of choice is lost.

Abu Kareem said...

Anonymous,

I totally agree with you. Although in principle of what he is saying is correct, how he said it and his examples are not helpful.

I also agree that it is a matter of freedom of choice, that is to wear or NOT to wear. Islam's injuction is only that women should be modest in the way they dress. It also irks how selective some conservative men are when it comes to this issue. How many times have we seen women in baggy cloths and scarves walking side by side with their menfolk dressed like giggolos?

I don't like the idea of women covering their face. They should also be free to do it -if it is their choice- but I think it is dehumanizing. Again, for those men who think women should cover their faces, I would like to see them do the same.

Wassim said...

Abu Kareem,
Excellent point. The fact of the matter is that the behaviour of some men who claim to be Muslim is no better. Technically and if they adhere to their faith they should not be dressed in that manner either. The fact they do not need to cover their hair does not mean there are no dress restrictions on them either. They too should be wearing baggy and non-form revealing clothes. Interesting subject though...

We do have to be careful though, the idea of choice must come after a person is able to make an informed decision in both cases, without biase imposed from an early age either against or for such practices. As the Franciscans once said, "give me your son for the first seven years and you can have him for the rest of his life". Raising someone in the American school in Damascus for example, for the first seven years of their life and then trying to raise them as devout Christians or Muslims will be problematic.

KJ said...

Women are not supposed to cover their faces to begin with in Islamic dress code.

Anyway, as with any religion, rules are one thing and choice is a different matter. Islam showed women and men a dress code and it is our choice to adhere to it or not. When was the last time you saw a male bathing suit that is below the ankles? I haven't seen any - in fact they are getting tighter and you can sometimes see the contours of genitals.

But that is their choice - some people think it is ok and others don't. In the end it is between that person and their God.

The world is shifting mentalities to "more meat is acceptable" but the dress code depends on other factors like culture and country, not only religion.

Anyway, as always I think the best option is the "in between" - not completely naked and not completely ninja.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

@ My fellow anonymous Syrian October 09, 2007 7:12 PM

Thank you very much for the candid comment. I appreciate your lengthy input. In fact, your comment is much more elaborate than my post. I’ve initially fallen short of adding few points that I’ve wanted to make. I’ve spent the time writing the transcript instead… anyway…

To be honest with you, I wish that Mr. Khaled Yasin didn’t make fun of the transition in the nuns’ dressing code. I am sure he didn’t mean to ridicule them; he has this acrimonious sense of humor by nature. But he made a point eventually; that is while other creeds might be liable to change, Islamic code of dress is not liable to change. You said you’d like to see people dressing the way they like, I personally (and this is a personal preference not religious) agree with you. However, we should not on the other hand deny the existence of dressing code. You can’t convince me that wearing a bikini (for instance) is acceptable by Islam. And I don’t believe it is a matter of tradition, it is in principle that both men and women are required to dress decently. But how do you define decent? Well, exposing anything that can arouse sexual desire is indecent. Arousal of sexual desire differs from person to person? Agreed. But you can also outline a general definition; that again, anything that God has endowed women bodies with and is different than those of men, fall within this definition. Example? The bosoms, the bottom, the curves, the smooth skin, the hair…etc….

Now if the industrial revolution has dictated a new requirement for mobility and easiness of movement, it has also made it easier for women to preserve themselves (note for instance that before they were having to ride camels and houses, such a big nuisance, now it is easier with the cars)… and no matter what modernity is trying to impose on us, we should digest it within the context of the principle which I’ve mentioned above; that dressing need to be decent and must prevent arousals of desire. Of course, dressing trends, designs, and fabrics they all change; my grand mother used to wear Mal7afeh (a loose garments like a cloak, wrapped around the body), while my mother wears a long jacket. My sister wears pants and long jacket down to the knees. They have all done that by choice. And they are the best judges of what is decent and what is not, as long as they understand the scripture from the first place.

I am not suggesting that not wearing Hijab is sacrilegious. And as all men are required to do, I am supposed to lower my gaze regardless of the surrounding circumstances. This is my outlook and my concern. I am as a person responsible for my own vision. But it doesn’t help when the prevailing trend of the surrounding is to wear revealing clothes. And let’s be honest, who of us men, whether living in Amsterdam or in Al Qaseem of Saudi Arabis, doesn’t feel infatuated by the look of a pretty women? Whether his eyes has got used to seeing women with skimpy cloths or not? I happen to live in a place where the general accord for dressing of women is very very relaxed. (In fact it is extra relaxed.) and I am at no position now after three years that I feel less enthralled by revealing cloths. It is an instinct that is required to be harnessed. Not suppressed, but harnessed. I think this is what Islam has intended to do from the beginning; to discipline people’s desires and actions. Now you may tell me that an X man may enjoy a self-efficient code of ethics. That’s great, but this cannot be generalized. If the system was dependent upon people’s own ethics and people’s own definition of what is right or what is wrong, we wouldn’t have needed a criminal law. A codified criminal law is not meant to punish, it is meant for prevention basically. Such is the concept behind wearing the Hijab and decent clothing; which is to prevent the worse from happening. Why is it that in the western world, where people should have become accustomed to revealing cloths by now, why is it that there are still high rates of rape? Of course, there are other motives behind such a heinous crime. But arousal of sexual desires is still the main reason behind it.

Now having said all that, I am must stress that I am not a perfect person. I can’t even come close to practicing Islam as it should be practiced. I sin. I am not always able to stop my eye from snatching a glimpse at something interesting..:).. but I realize that at the end of the day what I am doing is wrong. I can’t ‘legalize’ what have been stated as wrong. Because that is a bigger sin in its own right.

We shouldn’t acquiesce to western values my friend, whether at home or abroad, we shouldn’t acquiesce….

Again, welcome to my blog and Fiter Mubarak to you and your family....

abufares said...

I wanted to write something as a comment then I found that Abu Kareem wrote exactly, word for word, what I have in mind.
I have no ill feeling toward the Hijab or the naked people, as long as they don\'t promote their dress code as (even slightly) better than the others.
To each his/her own.

abufares said...

You wrote: \"And let’s be honest, who of us men, whether living in Amsterdam or in Al Qaseem of Saudi Arabis, doesn’t feel infatuated by the look of a pretty women?\"

How true and how appropriate. It is not wrong to be infatuated by the look of a pretty woman. I thank God everyday for giving me the gift of appreciating beauty in nature, in music and in people (among other gifts).
إن الله جميل يحب الجمال
And most importantly my dear friend DJ (and you know that you are a very dear friend), even in Islam, differing is a healthy sign. Don\'t forget that decency predates religion, yet it\'s very environmentally dependent.
As such, the site of a fully dressed woman dripping wet on the beach is as out of place as a sinfully naked woman sitting in the courtyard of a church or mosque.
Damn, it turned out that I had plenty to say after all.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Abu Kareem:
After a little research online, I came to a conclusion that face cover is disputable among the scholars and the different Mazaheb. In fact, only the Shafi3is establish the necessity for face cover. Going by the principle:
لِكُلِ ساقطةٍ في الحي لاقِطة...
(sakita here doesn't mean bad woman, it means that anything that falls form the sky will have a recipient)

it seems to me that you guys in the west are getting the brunt of this cultural/religious dilemma, specially with the rise of stereotypes and Islam phobic sentiments.

Thank you for passing by…

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Hala ya KJ, Ninja!? lol!
You are absolutely right; we are driven by our changing mentalities. I just wish that people would stop being judgmental. While I refuse to judge women by the way they dress. I wish that our liberal brothers would stop referring to Hijab as a symbol of backwardness….

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Abu Fares, it's always great to have your input…
I am glad that we both acknowledge that revealing clothes arouse infatuation. And it can be entirely innocent sometimes. As you said, Allah Jameel Yo7ebo Al Jamal. But how do we guarantee that the infatuated person would not pursue this beyond the 'praise be the lord' glance? Human beings are curious and adventurous by nature. It is reported that sexual harassments are on the rise on our Arabic World. How did we come to this? Isn't because people are not restraining themselves? And I mean people from both genders…?
And let's be honest with ourselves and ask, do we intend on adopting a western system of beliefs and social accords? Or do we intend to preserve our own identity?
It is of course up to the individuals to decide the way he/she would like to dress or the way he/she would like to behave. But let's not forget that any 'social contract' is an accumulation of the collective contributions of the individuals. So I don’t see why it is wrong on my part to promote what I see as a better way of dressing, or at least to state why I think it is better.
I respect the sensitivities that come along with the environment or with the locality.. I realize that things in Tartous are different than Aleppo… but I believe that we have much more in common than someone might think, eventually; Aleppo is much closer geographically to Tartous than Athena, Palermo or even Ezmeer, or any other city on the Mediterranean for that matter….;)

Am I making any sense? Or do I sound like a typical chauvinistic Aleppine male?!! (something I am trying my best to avoid by the way)

Anonymous said...

DJ,
First thank you for being honest and open minded, and this is one thing I proud myself, of the Syrians people as I came from most tolerance people in the region.

I’m going to post this question to you.
First scene, a track athlete young lady, wearing her sport code, (this is less than a bikini) is sitting with you on the same table and discussing with you her business and advertising matters. She is very serious and talking firm.
The second scene, a very conservative lady, dressing conservatively, and talking to you about her financial matters, but she is smiling and flirting.
Which one is decent and which one is showing more cleavage.
I think you will agree with me that the conservative lady is showing less cleavage but less decent and the athletic lady is showing more cleavage but more decent. So arousal of desire apply to the conservative dressing in this case not to the naked case. Oh, you reminded me with one boss I worked for, she was a lesbian lady, with all the showing I never got aroused I always hated her because she was an ASS.

So, showing is not the heart of the problem, the attitude is what define decency.

But, most comments (which I should thank all of you because you have added substance to my comment), and your included deviated beyond my intension. What I tried to say is that the speaker in the video is missing the point, him and most religious preachers. The problem is not the allowing the Hijab, the problem which they should defend is the freedom of expression. This is to include freedom of dress and freedom of doing what you want under the law since his speech is directed to western society. Since he lives in the west, he should respect them and respect their choices and ask them to apply their principal of freedom of expression to all people and all religions.

I think you know and I know that the Hijab phenomenon is partially a political statement. I searched through the old photos from Africa and from Asia, and I found that Islamic dress was never a one common dress. And some parts despise the other parts dresses.
It is related to social, local, customs, and economic situation of that particular Islamic society. In one African village which videoed by someone and shown on National Geographic, girls were walking near the Masjed, dressing very light top you can see through. Their breasts were showing and still decent for them and for the locals. In some part of Africa in the last century, poor economic situation showed on women dress with almost showing everything. High in the mountain of Himalayan in India, there is a small Muslim village, their custom goes like this. Each woman marries 5 to six men. The reason they have a lot of men and not many women.

Life has a variety of colors, people, minds, religions and so on, who ever the creator in the minds for each group of people we should celebrate this diversity. This is the most important theme in the new science which starts realizing that all these verities are precious to mother earth.

One last question to you: do you think Muslim do less sins than the westerners, do they show more decency since they are Muslims when they visit Europe for example? Dear friend, we are not alone on this planet, there are other people too and we have to find a formula for living together. With the world is a global village, the only way to place a rule for Hijab to all, is to go back to the stone age and live isolated, and that what we do not wish.

I think the middle east society torn between what they dream of and what they really are. I hope a dose of reality and a wake up from biased propaganda of some religious preachers and from regimes media that we are the best and we are the most decent and the best people brought to earth will do well to us. These ideas have no ground in this current days, or even historically (taking in consideration the amount of time sustained a historical fact). The guy in the video is in a way is serving the wholeness ideas without intension, by talking about trivial things and covering the real issue of freedom of expression. Religions should recognize each other and respect each other, we should celebrate the diversity, and struggle to achieve freedom of expression.

Have a happy Eid.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Dear Anonymous, I am sorry for censoring the part of your comment that refers to that unfortunate incident in the 70s, it is not that I am trying to curtail your freedom of speech la sama7a allah, I just don't want to be in trouble!
I'll respond to your comment soon inshallah….

Abu Kareem said...

OK, enough male pontification on the issue, I think we need some female input on the matter. Where is Golania?

Anonymous, I think you are right on target in what you are saying: "showing is not the heart of the problem, the attitude is what define decency."

Anonymous said...

Dear all,

Thank you for the beautiful discussion. You've already discussed the video extensively and I almost didn't want to comment. But the talk about freedom of expression drew my attention and in fact I disagree to an extent with Anonymous.

Because sometimes "showing IS the heart of the problem", even in western communities. For those of you who live in the States you should know better than anybody else that Americans are sometimes equally as conservative as Syrian people. Although the big picture says that you can dress whatever that you want to, but you must have heard few weeks ago about the lady who was almost prevented from boarding her plane because she was wearing revealing clothes or the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy.

The speaker in the video tried to defend Hijab based on the principles of freedom of expression, he didn't have the right to mock nuns but unfortunately sarcasm is part of the American culture which obviously he couldn't avoid. Just like any motivational speaker who praises his ideas and trashes everything else. Still when you call him a "fundamentalist" you're passing judgment on him, because his speech doesn't have the tone of fundamentalism.

Moreover, dear Anonymous, I will quote you on "individual accident(s) should not be counted as a norm" and I will say that the incident where you talk about the athletic lady and the playful conservative lady is not the norm. A cleavage in the street will turn more heads than a Hijab. (If we are discussing the effect of the way people dress we shouldn't discuss the behavior along with it, because a playful woman can drive you crazy covered or uncovered, no difference.)

A last comment about religion, religion does not come without restrictions on freedom of expression and asking a religious preacher to condole unrestricted freedom is utterly unrealistic not in Islam, Christianity or Judaism. When you listen to Christian preachers you will hear exactly the same notions as in "We are the best", "Everybody else should find the way … our way" "do this and don't do that" and so on.

As long as we're discussing freedom of expression, abu kareen asked for Golania to speak. And I've read quite a bit of her blogs where she calls for the Syrian government to stop the censorship. This, honestly, contradicts with censoring all unwanted comments and not accepting any kind of criticism or anonymous comments. I understand the policies of censoring profanity and foul language in some blogs, but I don't understand the ferocious attacks on other people's opinions and yet asking governments for freedom of speech! And here I must quote one of her blogs titled "Stop Internet Censorship" so that we all can enjoy the freedom of expression.

Thank you all again… I really enjoyed reading this one.
Ali

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Dear Anon:
Thank you for your kind words, we may not agree with each other, but we can still have an open minded discussion…
To answer your question: I guess both ladies will catalyze the releasing of hormones of an average man (dependent upon how attractive they are overall); each for a different reason. Even though the athlete is talking firm and serious, and the subject matter is a professional/business discussion, I can't be sure that I'll be in a 100% state of concentration; this is again dependent upon how attractive she is. (one gets distracted, you know) The Hijabi lady whose attitude is playful, can as well adjust her attitude once she learns that I am a serious person. It takes two to tango, and if there was no reciprocation on my part for her flirting, the scene of indecency won't persist…
Let me please rephrase the question and ask you within the context of this post title:
- Will the Hijabi lady feel oppressed before me that she has to wear Hijab and cover her hair from me because of her religious belief? Will she feel less privileged from her position in a business meeting? Will the Hijab stand between her and achieving whatever she's trying to get done in that meeting?
On the other hand:
- Will the athlete feel more liberated, more outgoing and more confident in that particular meeting just because she has the choice to wear whatever she likes?
As Abu Kareem has suggested, you may need to ask ladies who were in a similar circumstances to get solid answers.
But let me also revisit the discussion with regards to dress code. You'd accept it that in the corporate world, companies are allowed to impose a dressing code upon their employees. I am myself not allowed to wear jeans to work except on Thursday. I know a lot of designer shops where saleswomen are not allowed to wear pants and they have to wear a tight moderate skirt instead (I keep wondering that how are they going to run in case, God forbids, there is a fire in the shop?). Doctors and nurses are required to wear the white robe. A train station clerk is supposed to wear a distinguishable uniform…etc…etc…
Then why is it not okay for God (the creator, from the religious point of view) to ask the same people upon which he had send his messages and prophecies, to abide by a certain dressing code? And why do we understand that as a restriction on our freedom of speech?
Again, I appreciate the time you're putting into writing these comments, it had made my post much more worthy than I'd expected…

Abu Kareem, everyone is welcome to leave a comment… :)

My friend Ali, thank you very much for gracing my humble blog with this visit and for the smart comment, I haven't heard about the lady which was asked to depart a flight, nor about the Super Bowl half time controversies, would you please give me a reference to a news story?
I seem to agree with you on almost everything, is it because that we are friends I am agreeing with you, or I am agreeing with you because we are friends? :)
They have just confirmed that tomorrow (Friday) is the first day of Eid al Fitr in the UAE… Fiter Mubarak everyone!

Paige said...

Mar7aba, y'all!

Having grown up in two places in the world, I have a unique perspective from that of a lot of Americans. In Tripoli, women covered all but one eye. I always sort of wondered how they kept from being run over when they crossed the street. LOL

I am completely and utterly disgusted by the Paris Hiltons and Britney Spears (and Haifa Wehbes) of the world, who wear as little as possible at all times. I believe that it is our duty to dress modestly and that our society would be better for it. However, I believe that hijab and burka are kind of an extreme interpretation of dressing modestly. I'm very Ataturk in that respect! I don't like to let people know what my religion is. It is none of their business. By wearing hijab, you've automatically made an announcement about your belief system. I think it should be up to the individual to decide whether or not they want to wear hijab, but I also do not want to be judged as immoral because I do not.

As for a bikini on the beach, I don't wear one. However, I am certainly not going to wear long sleeves and ankle-length clothing to swim in the ocean. My swimwear is quite modest by today's standards.

I don't like nudity of any sort, male or female. It's just gross to look at. Of course, I'm female, so a naked guy running across England would not interest me sexually. Nudity doesn't provoke any reaction other than disgust for me.

Just so you'll know, I haven't seen any nuns showing cleavage. They still cover their hair here and dress conservatively.

I am quite at home in a Tshirt and jeans(our new international uniform) lol. Yes, you can tell I am female, but nothing is uncovered and I don't wear plunging necklines or overly tight shirts.

Not wearing hijab does not make me less modest, less pious, or less moral. Of course, my brand of Islam is probably not what most of you grew up with, either. That's a whole other post...

Anonymous said...

Paige, you have dropped in at the right time. Thank you for your light spirited feed. Your comment is exactly what I’m trying to utter. Hijab does not make you better person and it is a matter of choice and when it come from anyone except yourself it become obligation. Men should respect that and when they respect that they stop fantasizing outside the social norm.

DJ, I laughed hard when you I was reading your answer to the athlete lady question. And when you flipped to the conservative lady, your attitude changed 180 degrees.
Let me be fair and answer your question. No one feel oppressed when he dresses what he believes in.

I understand that you tried to avoid politicizing the subject and I felt bad when you removed part of my comment. But, then I got to know that you guys in the gulf are under different circumstances from the one like me living the USA and felt bad for that.

Yesterday, I was with someone in the therapist clinic by accident, and there was a book on the shelf related to people with Asperger disorder. One of the hard things to teach kids with this disorder is to make them understand that people have different needs and different way of expressing. I thought of this for while on a national level and I thought that it is all about leering more to reach the level of accepting others way of life.
(Previous note is not meant as offensive remark, jus reflection).

My prospective for life is liberal one and I respect all cultures, traditions, religions and habits, and I believe in letting individual to express themselves, and I believe people can and should have control of their decisions and lives.

Thank you Abu Kareem for your kind words and I hope Paige can look into DJ comments and give us her opinion on his questions.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Dear Anonymous:
Please don’t feel bad about me deleting part of your comment, again, I didn't mean to curtail or limit your freedom of expression, or your choice of supporting your argument. It is just that I don't want to get in trouble!

Ma3zeratan!

BuJ said...

Eid Mubarak!

PS: I totally missed this post! I need to read it ASAP :)

poshlemon said...

This is a very hot and controversial topic. Firstly, I would like to make it clear that I have nothing at all against the idea of the Hijab. I believe that dress code must be a matter of personal choice; thus, I don't mind any sort of dress code, be it nuns, goths, muhajjabat, rockers, lawyers, you name it! Be it whatever reason, it is a personal and individual reason and as long as I feel that this person is not stepping on my foot, I do not have the right to impose or stop that person from wearing what he/she chooses. While I am a great fan of Kemal Ataturk, I think he is a man of extremes. Thus, I think that banning the Hijab requires banning goths from wearing what they wear or a girl wearing a short skirt... also these people are addressing the world about their beliefs. Otherwise, it would be a totally unfair treatment to a group of women who are trying to enjoy and practice a certain belief or conviction they have.

The only thing that I find utterly hard to digest is the Niqab, or the covering of the face, which extends any religious or fashion logic and does not exist in Islamic ideology. It is simply a "bed3a".

However, I am not too sure that the Hijab is finalized in the Quran. As far as I am concerned, the term "Hijab" is mainly mentioned as a "metaphor" (purity of the soul, etc...) and it is only mentioned two or three times in its "physical" connotations in the Quran. There is no clear and identifiable dress code regarding the Hijab in the Quran and it is not a MUST or OBLIGATION; thus, it is not a sin if not met. Therefore, there exist many different scholastic views on this issue. Kindly advise me otherwise.

I would like to add that the nuns of the Catholic Church and Greek Orthodox Church, especially the latter, enjoy a strict dress code. I am not too sure the Vatican would allow nuns to show cleavage or wear anything low cut. I have not seen that anyways.

I would like to add that this religious logic that we use around here may not appeal to a lot of people. Many are atheists or agnostic and thus they do not see much logic in religion. I mean religion is very much a matter of faith because somethings may seem odd or hard to believe or follow. Thus, reasoning with an atheist on the basis that it's okay for God to impose a certain dress code on people is void. You have to reason with some people on their terms and sometimes the compromise must come from your side. Thus, a better way of putting it would be: if it's okay for one's workplace to impose a certain dresscode, or if it's okay for a girl to wear a certain revealing dress, then it's okay for a lady to cover her head!

Regarding the idea of the Hijab, governments, empowerment, patriarchal societes, religion, etc... I think looking into a group of Anthropological works or books would be helpful in understanding it better.

I would like to end with the following. I totally like and agree with what Anonymous said... that anyone dressed in the clothes they choose to be in will never feel oppressed. On the contrary, they will feel confident, happy and in the right place.

Paige said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for your appreciation of my post. :) We are so lucky that we are not restricted in what we blog here in the USA. I sometimes forget that our fellow bloggers do not enjoy the same privelege.

Dearest Dubai Jazz, you've been rather quiet about my post. I hope you're online again soon. I miss you. :(

Eid Mubarak, everyone!

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Dearest Paige,
Thank you very much for commenting, I really appreciate your input on this subject. My silence was simply because I had nothing really to add to what you have perfectly said.
You see, as Abu Kareem puts it, we men were pontificating about the subject until you and Poshlemon have come to the rescue. :)…I miss you too, with the Eid in the meantime, and my preparation to fly on vacation, I am not having the same opportunity to surf the net.

I hope Eid is observed somehow in Oklahoma, I heard in New York the Chrysler building have been lit up for the occasion, have they done something similar in Oklahoma?

Paige said...

Eid observed in Oklahoma? Well, let's see. Mohammed gave me a free Pepsi at the gas station. LOL There was a special about the Mosque and interfaith efforts here in Oklahoma. The Imam was talking about how we all need to just get along. Our Imam is Palestinian, but like many of you, my friends, he understands Halloween and Dr. Pepper. Ya Abu Fares, I am still looking forward to Iftar with Dr. Pepper and candy corn. :)

Lujayn said...

I seem to have missed a lot on DJ's blog lately (but it was definitely a pleasure meeting up with you!)

I don’t think we should chalk up Khalid Yasin’s comments to a sarcastic trait. Sarcasm doesn’t give someone license to pass off derogatory and judgmental remarks about others and then claim a holier than thou attitude. The man doesn’t miss a chance to put down non-veiled women, be it nuns or women in g-strings or whatever. It seems in his world, if you’re not veiled, you must be running around in a g-string or you’re a nun flaunting cleavage (and strategically placed crucifixes) and thighs. I don’t know where this man is lurking, but I haven’t seen many women walking around the streets in g-strings and as for nuns in revealing clothing, the sheikh must have been watching some weird porn.

I resent the fact that the burden of keeping men’s thoughts pure falls on the woman. I am not responsible for your pure or impure thoughts. I am responsible for my pure or impure thoughts. I am not your mommy. I am not going to shelter you from taking responsibility for your actions and thoughts. And even if that were the case, societies like Saudi Arabia and Iran, where women are veiled from head to toe, prove that it’s a pipe dream. Men in those countries want to have sex as much as their counterparts in the West, if not more. Men in those countries do have sex, whether in illicit relationships with “veiled” women, with prostitutes, by force (rape abounds, and no, it’s not a western import), and any which way they can get it (including with other men). Funny that they would have such a lousy record when it comes to purity of thoughts, given that their women are almost totally covered, and not running around in revealing g-strings. The problem lies not in women’s revealing clothing, but in the sense of personal responsibility that is totally lacking among this male species.

Now if a woman wanted to wear the veil as a fulfillment of her religious beliefs, well, good for her. Its her choice. And if she didn’t want to wear it, well then good for her too. That’s also her choice. It’s a choice the woman makes about her body, not a choice made for her by males unable to control their desires. I obviously feel very strongly about this issue, and I may be a bit harsh, but I can recount tens of stories of friends of mine or acquaintances, who wore the veil out of fear or just to be able to study, or go out, or work, or get society off their back or even just to date. This is hypocrisy and both sides know it, yet it continues to happen. People like Yasin should really defend Muslim women’s rights to self-expression, rather than their right to self-expression only when it comes to the veil; their decision to take on the veil after that wouldn’t be as controversial (and not just to the west, but within our own societies) as it would stem from a true freedom of choice.

However, when it comes to Western calls for freedom of expression, I totally agree that this doesn’t extend to veiled Muslim women. There is a double standard that applies in this case, directed at the most visible of Muslim symbols – the veil. But that’s a whole different story (and we could blog about it for years).

Pardon the long rant and salam!

Syria = Tolerance said...

thank you Lujayn for writing "I resent the fact that the burden of keeping men’s thoughts pure falls on the woman. I am not responsible for your pure or impure thoughts. I am responsible for my pure or impure thoughts."
i don't see many women runing around in a G string neather... in fact i didn't see ANY! even that i'm living in france, ooohhh "the immoral west" according to the sheikh!
had anough of men's narrow minded. hijab dosen't make the women a saint. and NOT wearing a hijab dosen't make the women a b..
SYRIA, i feel sorry for you. there was a time when religious and cultural diversity were respected on your land. and there was a time when syrians believed in TOLERANCE.

Dubai Jazz said...

Lujayn,
You are always welcome to comment…
The mockery of the shiekh aside, I think he made couple of good points.
- Monotheistic religions share the same moral grounds on the dress code for women.
- Muslim women should adhere to the dress code because God said so, not because Muslim men want them to.

A lot of Saudis fornicate when they go outside of Saudi Arabia, that\'s because they don’t have the means to do that inside Saudi. Let\'s remember that there 20 million Saudi, a lot of them are spoiled kid raised by nannies. And eventually, who said that adhering to religious precept can make people immaculate?

As for men doing men in Saudi Arabia, well… I have been there for a year in the past and the only people I heard about doing this are Filipinos… again it is a rumor, but it is widely accepted…

Women are not responsible for the purity of men; they are responsible for the purity of their own.

I agree with you that many girls wear Hijab to pacify the social ambience, but why you wouldn\'t look at it this way: that there are those whose fear of deviating from the script, make them wear the Hijab…and you would also agree with me, that there are a lot of women who have grown up for liberal families but when they\'ve decided to wear the hijab they got harrased by their own liberal families! And those are a growing portion by the way…

Again, I sincerely appreciate your points, and whole heartedly think that you are entitled to your opinion…(although you\'ve fallen to the trap of ridiculing the shiekh! which was funny though!)

It is very hard to post comments from my end…but I will try to keep in touch anyway

Salam!


Syria = Tolerance
in all honesty: what are you whining about? Where was it implied in my post that Syria is now less tolerant than it ever used to be?

You see, the mere fact that me and Lujayn are able to exchange thoughts freely, should make you less worried about tolerance in Syria …

Lujayn said...

DJ, the sheikh could have made his points without the cheap shots. His points would have had a far better reception. Appearing intolerant and ignorant doesn’t help his case when he’s demanding equal rights and treatment for his community. Besides, I’m a sarcastic person and I’m entitled to ridicule him to make my point, no? :))

But sheikh aside, if you go back to what I said, I don’t say that all women take on the veil out of fear, pressure, etc. I say many women do it out of fear, pressure, etc. But many women decide to become veiled out of conviction and of their own free choice and I say good for them! But that’s the key – free choice. Even if fear of God was the driver, women should have that choice to disobey and face their own consequences. It is not up to a man to act as a judge on behalf of God. It is an act between these women and their God. However, in societies like Iran and Saudi Arabia, women don’t have that choice. Their true convictions come out when they travel abroad and you’re living in Dubai – you know what happens and what they wear. Obviously they don’t really want to wear the veil. If you force them to by laws and edicts, its hypocrisy in my eyes when they do wear it and it is definitely not an act of faith. What is it about freedom of choice that scares people? If I was so convinced that something I’m doing is right, then why do I fear that by giving people a choice to make their own decisions, people wouldn’t make that choice themselves? After all, the girls from liberal families are making those choices, aren’t they?

Ruth said...

Wow.
Let's take breath.


I have been thinking about this post all week, but the more time I took to think, the more comments rolled in and I got a little overwhelmed. I will try to say a little of what I think and see how that goes.
I want to talk about the hijab in two capacities: theoretical and practical. Below are two passages (I am so very sorry they are translated) that contain from which we may be able to gain insight into the purpose of the hijab.

O Prophet! Tell Thy wives and daughters, and the believing women,
that they should cast their [jilbab] over their persons, that will be
better for them as they will be recognized and not molested (al-
Ahzab: 59)

Say to the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their private
parts. There is for them goodness in this. God is aware of what they
do. Say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and
guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and
ornaments except what (must ordinary) appear thereof; that they
should draw their [khumur] over their bosoms [juyub] and not display
their beauty except to their husbands or their fathers or fathers-in-
law, their sons or step-sons, brothers, or their brothers’ and
sisters’ sons, or their women attendants or captives, or male
attendants who do not have need (for women), or boys noy yet aware
of sex. They should not walk with stamping their feet lest they make
known what they hide of their ornaments. O believers, turn to God,
everyone of you, so that you may be successful. al-Nur: 30-31)

Obviously these two passages offer very different reasons for women's modesty. We could discuss their various implications for days. I don't want to cop out, but I do want to move on.

The hijab as I have seen it used by my Jordanian and Syrian mothers, sisters, cousins and friends (yes, I have four muhajibaat mothers in these countries-it's a long story) has not been a form of oppression. It is, as many of you have suggested, an expression of modesty and piety. I've seen a daughter who chose not to follow in her mother's veiled example and another who is willing to give up her dream career because dressing modestly is not compatible with the required uniform and the hijab is more important to her.
People spend their lives arguing about environmental indoctrination and free will and all that. But I won't. I simply say that the hijab is not a limitation on women unless it is grossly abused. Of course, I acknowledge that it can be and sometimes is misused.
On a personal note, I have been swimming in a full track suit and I found it extremely impractical for my swimming purposes. Nonetheless, I understand why another woman would opt of cover up. And I respect that completely.

SevenSummits said...

Wow, guys???! Excellent discussion and trust me that I will suffer a few Westerners through all your posts :- )

Everything about culture, political statement, oppression, hypocrisy has already been said. Anon – I so agree with you – thanks for those valuable points and Lujayn - top score – absolutely great!

Here is my German input:

First of all the ongoing German and European controversy about a general headscarf ban, clearly comprises a violation of a women’s constitutional rights and causes coercion in matters of religious freedom. Those explicitly anti-Muslim politics could deepen the sense of alienation and marginalization of our countries Muslim minorities. How absurd is the idea that approximately 1m² of cloth can really be abused as the battleground for legal, political and cultural conflicts?
What is never mentioned is how many individuals, organizations, etc. are fighting for better inter-religious relations. If anyone is interested in the general situation of those now around 4 Mio Muslims in Germany, please send me an email under sevensummitsuae@yahoo.com and I will send you a paper.
For those that might have a deeper interest in this topic from a legal point of view, here for instance a paper by Robert A. Kahn (Brooklyn Law School) entitled:
The Headscarf as Threat: A Comparison of German and American Legal Discourses

On the little video:
Ouch – I just dislike any type of hate propaganda and this is unfortunately exactly what he is doing. There is absolutely no need for this type of negative publicity and yeah … I really started to appreciate Baba Ali’s approach! I would rate him as a “radical ideologists” (just to put it mildly!)
Take the running man for instance – just to show how you can manipulate a story:
Stephen Gough (56) was trekking (not running) 1400 km to draw attention to the human rights abuses in the world – this is why he did it only wearing a hat, socks, his trekking shoes and a backpack. He did this at a freezing temperature of 5°C and you know what guys, I believe that God would have blessed him for trying to contribute to such a good cause. Of course this is illegal in Europe as well and he was imprisoned several times along the way! That was the idea – to get more attention for HR.
Ah BTW: No women in G-Strings in Germany either, must have been in Utopia or his fantasy!

Men have not evolved?
Guys, are you trying to tell me that in 1400 years the “male” species has not evolved one little bit? I feel that is almost insulting! OK, fine some bearded cave dude might still get sexually aroused by just seeing a female, but please??? Do you guys really believe that let us say Brazilian men still get sexual impulses when they are strolling along Ipanema beach? Beyond puberty - No!! Women are not just objects and especially not “sexual objects” – there is a little more I hope!
Of course the unknown will be exiting and I suppose if you position a farmer from Iran on that same beach, he might have certain fantasies, but I hate to break it to you guys the same applies to the average Western male when he sees women in Abayas and Sheilas.

Iran and Saudi
Very true what was said about Iranian women. I actually interacted with Iranian ladies (in Iran!!! not in the West) and many of them told me how much they hate to wear the hijab. This was contrary to the opinion of some Emirati women, but than they didn’t really play an active role in the working environment. So maybe it really depends on the situation that these women are in. Those Iranian ladies were hard working in a competitive environment and their outfits were considered a hindrance to their ability to move. Yeah, just imagine for instance a construction worker, a carpenter or a pilot in an abaya??? On the other hand nobody can tell me that a female in an army uniform is a turn on? Several Western colleagues have tried this outfit and they all agreed that it was only practical while strolling in a shopping mall and ah!! that they got a lot more attention from the guys. Besides the fact that they all really liked it and found it very beautiful, they also concluded that it would be dangerous to drive in it (not enough visual space) or use certain machinery! Guys why don’t you try to wear it and see if it is practical or not (hidden of course) – isn’t it really only a female decision?


Decency
Lujayn already put it in excellent words. I was recently at a conference in Kuwait and here the following scenario. At this conference were only two female Western scientists and several Kuwaiti ladies. The two Western ladies were wearing the normal dark business suits, absolutely no make up, no jewelry – they came as professionals.
The Kuwaiti ladies came in two classes “Hijabees” and “seriously Westernized” – the Westernized types were wearing quite revealing outfits (beautiful actually), make up, jewelry, but came across at least as professionals. The Hijabees received an instant codeword from us “Christmas Trees” (sorry, it was just that bad!) Tons of make up (terrible!), tons of jewelry and everything was glittering and normally you would simply describe them as “tarts” – there was absolutely nothing Islamic about these women and the only reason they were hanging around was to try to get the attention of some members of the Al-Sabah family. (whose women were not covered, but really impressive!) So obviously it is not a question of Hijab or not, more of the personality.

Saudis are no different from Syrians, Germans, US citizens or anyone else. Some are womanizing, some are gay, some are super conservative and some are normal. Why do Arabs really like to point a finger at other Arabs – “salaam, please”

A common misconception:
DJ, in regards to your comment on the issue of rape in the Western world, I would like to add that you should please consider that rape has absolutely nothing to do with sexual desires or promiscuity. You can find a summary of all those myth in respect to rape on the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) website and I hope that will make some of those assumptions dissappear

There are connections between a high rate of rape, the glorification of violence, the objectification of women, the encouragement of tough and aggressive behavior in men and especially the prevalence of war! Please consider that for example over 70% of the women in Liberia were raped, due you believe that these were promiscuous? Research shows that in general, societies that regarded the roles of women and men as equal in status, even though different, were societies with little or no rape.
There rape in the Arab world as well as in Africa, just because people get away with it, there are no statistics and women are so intimidated that they will not talk about those incidents does not make it a “Western thing”. No need to mention, the frequent rapes of housemaids in the GCC – it is a terrible problem.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Seven Sumit,
Man do you ever go to work? :) now that I am on vacation and got plenty of free time, I think I can keep up with you a little bit!..
Not that I am trying to defend the Shiekh, but I don’t understand where it was insinuated in his speech that he disliked the naked running man? He must have expressed his astonishment at the odd scene of a naked man running through a village. He didn’t call for the man to be murdered or reprimanded, in fact, he stated clearly that nobody could say anything to the man, and he ultimately brought the example of this man to ask for an equal treatment for Muslim women who wishes to wear the Hijab… he might have an acrimonious style of humor, or indeed mockery, but no hatred as I see it.
Regarding your points about sexual arousal, I first of all hope that your reference to the unkempt bearded cave men wasn’t implying Prophet Mohamed and his companions by any mean, because then I would label your own speech as insulting and insinuating of hatred to all Muslims, but let me now just assume that this was not what you meant (Islam asks of Muslims to give everybody the benefit of the doubt), I would like to break it to you that fornications, revealing women, booze and red nights were quite prevalent before and during the time of the Prophet Mohamed, in other words, the definition of decent dress code (read Ruth’s comment) wasn’t a tailor-made prophecy to certain people. And if we believe as Muslim that this was Mohamed’s own view on the matter, then we’d not take it as precept, but we know that whatever was mentioned in the Qura’n and Hadith was revealed to him through the archangel Gabriel, hence the abidance. I am only saying this to explain to you why we still give value and significance to what was said 1400 years ago.
We can go for ages debating what are the circumscriptions for sexual arousal, and whether a certain woman’s outfit have contributed to the fact that somebody have tried to rape her or not, but since the matter is quite subjective and circumstantial as you have suggested, let me just go to the bottom line and say that Muslim women were asked to dress decently in order to harness infatuations. If a woman wishes to differ, then fine, it is her own business. Nobody should coerce her to wear or do otherwise. But at the same time, you shouldn’t label Islam as sexist because it says that not wearing the headscarf and dressing decently is less Islamic, or that it leads to less adherence to Islam.
I would like to remind you that rape was also epidemic in former Yugoslavia during the civil war, a place where western ethics were the predominant ones. This my dear has nothing to do with our point of discussion, lack of security and law enforcement will always show the ugly side of the people (and this applies to the incident in New York as well).
The tall, then, young and lovely chick of Ipanema beach, that goes around throwing smiles left and right, may not stir up the natural urges of a Brazilian guy. Who’s quite habitual to seeing such things, but it is an absolute must for him to see these latent (or exposed?) talent if he ever wishes to hit on one of those girls, isn’t that the core point really?
What you said about western guys wondering what could be under the Abaiah or the Sheilah is nothing but curiosity and some sort of fantasy. People will still have fantasies no matter what you do, because it is a natural instinct (basic instinct).
As for your reference to mistreatment of domestic workers in the Gulf, I agree, but this subject has an entirely different context and thus should be discussed separately.

SevenSummits said...

Jazz,
wow, thanks for the lenghty response.

I do not have a clue how you managed to see my “symbolic bearded cave male”, that was only meant to be representative for someone from a very underdeveloped country without any exposure to even coming close to insulting Prophet Mohammad [PUBH] ????? OK, beyond my comprehension and somehow very, very sad.

I tried to demonstrate an impartial Western view and also tried to exhibit that some of us in Europe really care for everyone to practice their religion freely, without any restrictions whatsoever. The fact that we have 44 (those official with the government / operating in German and Arabic) mosques in Hamburg should further reveal that you are being influenced by a lot of negative propaganda.

My work requires me to work closely with several professors of Shariah Law and I certainly am aware of basically everything that is related to Islam in meticulous detail. That includes the Prophets endeavor to protect women and give them a better position in society. Somehow that does raise the legitimate question of what happened in the meantime – please don’t tell me that women get the respect they deserve? Personally, I also feel that Islam is extremely flexible (more than other religions) and can easily adopt to modern times – of course, my vision is influenced by those that let us say follow a “moderate” school of Islamic thought. (so they will oppose to “niqab” and that constitutes the majority of Muslims on this earth)

On our German “Dialogue with the Islamic World” website you can find a lot of interesting facts to the headscarf debate. However, first it will require that not everything we say or do will be misinterpreted into something negative.

In regard to the question “do I ever work” – well yes – I have dedicated my life to my work! However, I am currently only working part time, because I am suffering from PTSD - let us say “collateral damage” of the job. Yet, I am on my way to recovery and trust me experiencing torture will only make me work harder for those that are being oppressed. Though, “trekking naked” would have been the more comfortable option :-) to fight for Human Rights.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Hey Seven Summit, I am sorry to hear about your past experience. May I suggest one thing: if it doesn’t go against your recovery, why don’t you blog about it? I know how hard it is to cope with PTSD, I have a friend who had suffered from it and I kind of know how it feels.
I apologize if I was a bit offensive or something, the subject matter is a bit sensitive. Makes everybody extra cautious about the possible implications of each word :)
Your comments are always welcome….

P.S.: check your inbox, I’ve sent you an email…