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Iftikhar: Read what happens to burqa clad women in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia

Reader comment on item: Niqabs and Burqas - The Veiled Threat Continues
in response to reader comment: Burqa or Bikini

Submitted by Plato (India), Sep 3, 2009 at 04:09

Iftikhar, you write,

>>I have seen western educated Muslim women are in Burqa while their mothers never even covered their heads in Pakistan. I do not know whether it is due to western education or because they find themselves victim of racism.<<

The Western educated Muslim women do not find themselves victims of racism but rather of sexism of Muslims men. An educated self-confident woman is always a threat to men steeped in medieval madrassa education. Hence the almost forcible imposition of the burqa on their womenfolk under threat of violence. The simple fact is that madrassa educated Muslim men are afraid of western educated Muslim women because they know they will be losers when competing with them.

>>According to Lord Burtend Russell, western education makes a man stupid and selfish.<<

And what has madrass education accomplished for the Muslim world apart from poverty, terrorism and apartheid laws applied against women?

>>The credit crunch in the world is due to the policies of blue eyed western educated elites.<<

The Muslim world has been living off the largesse of the blue eyed Westerners in the form of their technology, oil money and charity.

>>British schooling is also in a mess because of such western educated elites.<<

Why do Muslims then fight for places in British Universities and schools? Name a few achievements of the madrass-educated Muslim elites of the world.

>>Burqa is not locking women, it is a buffer line between protecting chasity and exposing.<<

You protect the chastity of your women on the streets but expose and subject them to sexual and other forms of violence behind locked doors. Of course by Allah's commands what happens to women in the privacy of their homes is of nobody's concern. Verse 4:34 authorises men to thrash their wives and they do with abandon in countries like Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.

Iftikhar let have a close look at the great things that Islam, madrassa education and the burqa and niqab do for Muslim women in two great Islamic nations:


"Women in Pakistan live in a world structured around strict religious, family and

tribal customs that essentially force them to live in submission and overall fear. In a

nation where Islamic law dictates traditional family values and is enmeshed in the legal

system, Pakistan's government, law and society discriminate against women and condone

gender-based violence……

Pakistan's interpretation of Islam views women as needing protection, which essentially results in their suppression physically, mentally and emotionally

Strict family, tribal and traditional Pakistani Islamic values dictate that women are

considered property of male family members. Pakistani society essentially views a

woman as being owned by her father or brothers before marriage, and her husband after

marriage. This commodification of women is one of the main factors contributing to

violence against women. If men believe that women are mere property, men are more

inclined to feel that they may do as they please to women. Women are viewed as chattel.


Male dominance and commodification subjects women to violence on a daily

basis in Pakistan. Approximately seventy-percent to ninety-percent of Pakistani women

are subjected to domestic violence.4 Typical violent acts include, but are not limited to,

murder in the name of "honor," rape, spousal abuse including marital rape, acid attacks,

and being burned by family members (often labeled an accident by family members). A

rape occurs in Pakistan every two hours with one in every 12,500 women being victims

of rape.

1 United Nations' Women's Indicators and Statistics, 1994, Pakistan Gender Indic ators - projections for 1995

2 Human Rights Commission of Pakistan's 1999 Report, www.hrcp.cjb.net.

3 "Pakistan: Violence Against Women in the Name of Honor," Amnesty International, September 1999, p. 41.

4 "Crime or Custom? Violence Against Women in Pakistan," Human Rights Watch 1999, p. 1.


In 1979, under the rule of General Zia-ul-Haq, Pakistan enacted the Hudood



Under Article 17 of the Qanun-e-Shahadat Order of 1984,

Pakistan's law of evidence, a woman's testimony is not weighed equally to that of a

man.13 Under the Hudood Ordinance, in order for a rapist to receive "hadd," the

maximum punishment provided for under the Quran, four adult Muslim men must

witness the "act of penetration" itself and testify against the perpetrator.14 Thus, if a

woman does not have male witnesses but does have female witnesses, their testimony

would not satisfy the evidentiary requirement and the perpetrator may be acquitted.

Furthermore, if a woman does not have physical signs of rape or of a struggle such as

bruises and scratches, she is often seen as having not resisted. The judicial system

oftentimes views the woman not as a victim but instead an "immoral" woman. These

biases are a direct violation of the Constitution's guarantee of equality before the law.

As discussed previously, if a woman accuses a man of rape and the man is

acquitted, the rape victim could be found guilty of violating zina. By reporting the rape, a

woman has essentially "admitted" to either extra-marital or non-marital intercourse…..

13 Qanun-e-Shahadat Order of 1984 (Law of Evidence), Article 17, located at


14 The Offence of Zina Ordinance, 1979, Section 8, located at www.equalitynow.org/beijing_plus5_toc_eng.html)



1. Violence in the family

40. The extent of domestic violence in Saudi Arabia is difficult to assess because of

constraints on reporting and the lack of data. From 2004 to 2006, the National Society for

Human Rights (NSHR) received 713 cases of family violence and 600 pertaining to personalaffairs.29 A counselling centre in one of the major Saudi cities receives on average50 complaints of domestic violence and child abuse per month, and could take more, had they the human resources to do so. The Jeddah committee for social protection reported receiving over 250 family violence cases from January to May 2008.30

41. Many of my interlocutors believe that the actual number of victims of domestic violence is higher than the fragmentary figures reported. …

27 See, for example: Human Rights Watch, "Perpetual minors", op. cit., p. 39.

28 A TV presenter, who was beaten by her husband in 2004, helped demystify the taboo around domestic violence by going public.

29 NSHR, Achievements Report 2004/05/06, 2006: 99-103.

30 Arab News, 28 May 2008.

A/HRC/11/6/Add.3 page 13 recommended immediate action by the Government. A study31 conducted in 2003-04 showed that 52.6 per cent of men interviewed abused their wife for "misconduct"; an act that 52.7 per cent of the male respondents accept as "the appropriate way to deal with women's misconduct". [Iftikhar, ask yourself how come 52.6 percent of women living at home misbehave? What kind of Muslims are these women? No wonder Allah says most of the people of hell are women]

42. Husbands or ex-husbands, followed by close relatives (predominantly fathers and brothers), are the most common perpetrators of violence against women within the family. The NSHR received complaints concerning physical and psychological violence, sexual harassment, defamation and insults. Data from the National Programme for Family Safety shows that physical violence is the most common form of violence reported, which in 60 per cent of cases is caused by husbands, followed by brothers and fathers.


44. There is also anecdotal evidence of neglect, abuse and violence against girls by family members. In 2006, there were around 1,300 girls in institutions for juveniles, many of whom are said to be there because they ran away from domestic abuse. Although the extent of such abuse cannot be determined due to the lack of data, Ayda's story is illustrative:

My father is a retired military man and an alcoholic. He abused me since I was little. My

mother died at the hospital because of beatings and burns. When my siblings and I accused our father of her death, he forced us to change our testimony. He hit me with chains and swords and raped me. I ran away from the house and lived on the street, where the hay'at found me and brought me to a shelter. But my father complained to the police I had run away and I spent one week in prison. My complaint about rape was rejected as the case focused on my running away…..

2. Violence in the public sphere

45. Cases of rapes are not discussed openly and women and girls fear they will be judged by society should they report rape. Only rarely are rape cases brought to public and Government attention. …..

31 See Nora Almosaed, "Violence against women: a cross-cultural perspective", Journal of Muslim Affairs, 2004, vol. 24, No. 1.

32 Cases submitted by the Department of Complaints, Human Rights Commission, in

August 2008; see NSHR, Achievements Report 2004/05/06.


page 14


47. Saudi legislation does not specifically criminalize rape and no punishments for rape or other types of sexual violence are specifically defined, although judges could apparently issue a judgement based on the crime of "vice and corruption" as defined by Islamic law. Victims fear being judged and charged by society and the judiciary for having committed adultery should they complain about rape….


Have you now been enlightened how enlightened Islamic societies treat your sisters in Islam? I suggest you read the whole report and get over your Islamic superciliousness.

Rape is not a criminal offence in Islam unless you can find four male witnesses who saw the actual penetration. Ugh. Which rapist commits his crime in a shopping mall?

>>Being naked and drunk is acceptabl but being covered and modest is inhuman.<<

A woman being beaten, raped and burned is acceptable in Islam so long as it is done indoors. Nothing inhuman about this in Islam.

>> ….. Burqa protects women's rights and treat each women like a princess.<<

The Burqa hides from public view what happens to the princess in her castle!

>> No one has the right to ban the freedom of choice in a secular and democratic country. The right to choice is a basic fundamental right the person should have.<<

By saying "in a secular and democratic country" are you implying that it is okay to do so in a non-secular countries? Does this right to choice extend to women in Muslim countries?

>>French president's interpretation of burqa as a symbol of subservience is false. It is a usual habit of western ideologists to twist history and distort the facts inorder to project their culture as superior one. The president should be criminally tried for spreading such falsehood.<<

Why don't you give your readers an example of the superiority of Islamic culture. Does this superiority consist of only the burqa and niqab or is there something else we have not heard of?

>>To veil or not to veil should be an individual choice. Dress codes are for children, not for adults.<<

So all the women in Saudi Arabia, Iran and wherever they enforce the burqa should be considered children.

>> Government legislated dress codes for the Taliban religious policy not western democracies.<<

Muslim theocracies are free to legislate dress codes but the democracies should not. Is that the sharia point of law?

>>Women should be free to wear burqas. If women can get away with wearing cropped shirts and pants that show their panties, they should be able to waer burqas too.<<

I totally agree with you, except when wearing the burqa and niqab become a security hazard for society and a health hazard for the wearer.

>>One Muslim woman, Caroline Chaiima, writing in Lepoint.fr, said she wore a veil: "Let those most closely concerned speak. I am a French woman born in France, with French parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and I am a Muslim. I wear the full veil and I feel like saying: So what? I am happy behind the veil, I protect myself from depraved stares. Neither my father, nor my brother, nor my husband forced the full veil upon me; it's a personal choice."<<

Nice story. Now visit the links I have given to the reports on Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and read some stories of women there.




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