There are numerous accounts of women who travel from Western countries to these Muslim lands and are so enamoured with the architect, the opportunities (for ex-pats) and the hospitality of the people.

Some of these journeys are made to visit family and friends, others is migration, for some its business or perhaps pleasure.

As a woman in these Muslim countries, such as Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to name a few, there seems to be a problem with the native men folk.

Incidencies of being sexually harrassed by men – whereby they consider themselves to be Majnun’s or Ranjha and leechingly hand out their mobile phone numbers to women passers by. Not to mention groping too.

Sometimes even being groped in the market place is something thats not un-known. To bump into someone unaware is quite differrent to knowingly being groped, sometimes by boys as young as 12 and by men as old as your grandfather.

The retort for this is blame put on the women. “They weren’t dressed properly, they were immodest or were attracting attention”

Some even present the following verse in addition to their response when asked why men harrass women

Surah Al-Ahzab

59. O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e.screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allâh is Ever Oft­Forgiving, Most Merciful.

However, I don’t find that to answer my question. Do these men who supply the above verse mean to imply that women who do not cover are deserving to be harrassed? That it permits men to harrass those who they deem to be insufficiently covered? It has a waft of the opinion made by the Australian Imam who referred to uncovered women as like slabs/pieces of meat, but this phenemona of blame on women isn’t restricted to Muslims but seems to be a thought shared by men regardless of background or religious faith

Adorning hijaab not only because it is a command from Allah (swt) for the believing women, but because we attribute it to have some kind of protective quality seems to rock that argument when faced with harrassment in all shapes and forms by men.

The hijaab in itself should not solely be seen as a shield against this kind of attention, and so when in such a predicament one opts to seclude and isolate themselves for fear of being molested.

The men should be educated in the basic Islamic principles of how to behave and of the collective notion of brotherhood and sisterhood. But who’s going to bother with that, when its just easier blaming the women?

Why is self-restraint amongst men of Muslim countries problematic?

Advertisements