By Inas Younis, New Age Islam
21 August 2016
Ambiguity is like idolatry to a man. He
worships the precision of science and justice unmitigated by compassion. That
is why he gravitates towards sports. Sports are a placebo for a reality that
does not exist. A reality where the rules are predetermined, objective, and
will not shift according to the emotional needs of another. Sports are the
philosophical metaphor of a world that makes sense. Men play and compete
according to strictly observed and enforced rules. And the women act as
cheerleaders, or sit on the sidelines with restrained piety and admiration. Win
or lose, rest assured that a women is preparing to make you feel like a winner
either by rewarding you with her body, or rewarding you with the notion that
there are higher ideals to be achieved than just winning.
Sadly for men, it is only when the game
comes to an end that the real challenge begins. Where he was once rational, he
is now confused. He can’t think in his own best interests anymore. He can’t
give it his all because he is told that in the real world we must exercise
restraint. The game ends, but the world still has expectations of him that he
cannot fulfill with just brute energy. The object of his desire is no longer a
clear target or goal, but a constantly shifting one. The reality that women’s
bodies are the superglue that keeps his mind from disintegrating into chaos and
society from following suit becomes the only un-confessed and irrational
weakness he does not know how to regulate.
Man begins to realize that he needs, wants
and desires woman, not as an either/or, not as a punctuation mark to the full
sentence of his existence, but as the author of his entire life story. He must
actually move past the calculations of a static reality and learn to
recalibrate according to the fluid world of feminine needs and spiritual
impulses. Woman seems to be the only one who holds the key to this ambiguous
space outside of the playing field.
What he desires of course is not women per
se, but what she represents in terms of his own spiritual possibilities. The
fulfilment of his deepest desires, ideals, virtues and sacrificial urges. He
finds himself obsessing about this higher calling precisely because it is
unattainable except through the mechanism of outward projection. He attempts to
codify the process of securing her affections by bartering, negotiating, and
reducing the process to a contractual agreement which he only knows how to do
in one of two ways.
Either through idealization, as in ‘this is
my wife, my saint, my mother, my sister.’
Or through a process of devaluation, as in
‘this is a whore, a slut, a lost soul in need of protection.’
In doing this, men have managed to
stabilize the currency and women have become conditioned towards dependency by
subverting their need for something more meaningful. But human knowledge is
cumulative and the continual evolution of society eventually led to the
destabilization and fluctuation of the social sexual currency.
When the great recession of the Women’s
liberation movement came along and blew this whole equation right out the
water, a new kind of woman was born. The kind that is too round to fit into any
box. She did not want to be the walking embodiment of ideals that do not exist
outside of the artificially engineered playing fields of men’s psyche. In other
words, she did not want to be a saint or a slut. She rejected these false
alternatives. I want to be meeee she said!
To which man lovingly responded. ‘Tell me
who you are and I will recalibrate accordingly. I am liberal and cool and I
will adjust to your needs, but I need to know who you are, so I can rewrite the
rules of engagement. Nothing can be worse than a game without rules. In fact a
game without rules might force me to employ the only rule I know?—force’, he
But this new female aberration was
impenetrable in more ways than one. She had spent a thousand years being the
anchor upon which society could reliably and predictably lean and so she
decided she needs another thousand years to figure out what ‘being me’ actually
‘I will let you know when I figure it out’
she says, ‘in the meantime kindly get out of my way’.
We, as a society decided that we need a new
vocabulary for this kind of woman, and so we decide to call her B@#*^. We knew
how to deal with the saint, and we knew what to do with a slut, and we always
felt secure with the majority of asexual and desexualized maternal types, but
this new aberration, is confusing the heck out of us.
Fast forward, and here we are today, where
this ancient play is about to be screened on our beach front resorts. In case
you have not heard, France has decided to ban the Burkini. While I think it
would be meaningful to flood French beaches wearing Burkinis. I think,
employing the same logic, we should also flood Saudi streets with licensed
drivers, Capri pants and pony tails.
But Why Bother?
I hate to break it to you revolutionary
types, but this is not about women. Nothing of this kind ever really is. What
the french authorities are doing is merely challenging other authorities.
This latest stunt of banning the Burkini,
is nothing more than an attempt to question the hypocrisy of Muslims who wish
to employ authoritarian measures to enforce social and/or religious values,
while simultaneously rebelling against that same methodology when other nations
attempt to do it. It’s an abstract point but a point worth noting.
We too, say the French, wish to employ the
same strategy to enforce our values and to hell with Women’s rights (they are
disposable and recyclable).
The French logic is that the exploitation
of state power to enforce social values has proven to be effective for Muslims,
as evidenced by the fact that even on French beaches women elect to dress
according to the dictates of their repressive regimes. Never mind our private
motivations. Never mind that each woman can actually dress any way she wants
until she figures out what fits her most comfortably. Women are and have always
been understood and processed as a collective, and not as individuals, which is
why they are always the first to become objectified in any ideological debate.
But if we women can step outside of this
playground fight, we the women might realize that we are being drafted, without
our consent, into a battle of wits between two ego maniacally motivated
patriarchal systems. We (the women) must not allow ourselves to be reduced to
this kind of obscene debate. Our bodies are not
a public commodity to be
enshrined with some kind of collective social value.
Social norms are supposed to evolve
organically in every society based on community standards and not to be
enforced by state entities. Community standards cannot exist unless a community
allows women to actually function in positions of leadership and as fully
engaged citizens of the state. No official entities should regulate the natural
progression of women’s rights. The operative word here is natural. Social
engineering is a male construct. Women evolve organically, men socially
engineer. Men enforce rationality upon the world and decide how to structure
societies because they are in a rush to secure some kind of tangible outcome
which inevitability leads to social regulations imposed exclusively on women.
This is a childish measure on France’s part
since its obvious, especially to them, that you cannot preserve something by
destroying the principle that makes it possible. But they are prepared to
sacrifice so much in principle because the experiment is only affecting the
women they pretend to respect. They have reduced this into a battle over
women’s bodies, when it’s really a battle over men’s power to reinstate a
double standard, while simultaneously using women as the vehicle to showcase
the superiority of their societal norms.
Women need to hit the pause button and
disengage from this debate. We need to reflect more deeply to ensure that how
we dress and how we live our lives is governed and inspired by our own inner
leanings and deepest impulses, not as a reaction or act of rebellion to
political trends that have nothing to do with God or our own personally held
values. Left to our own devices we naturally gravitate towards a merciful and pluralistic
set of social norms and it is man’s constant interventions that led to the kind
of exaggerated manifestations of strikingly contrasting dress codes.
We must NOT allow our bodies to become the
front lines for experimental ideological debates on how social norms and
cultures are preserved or evolve. We will not secure our freedom by employing
aggressive male tactics of protest and counter protest, either by wearing a
Burqa or running around topless. We do
not have to justify our complicated existence or our diversity of thought and
self expression. We dress differently because we are different. We are not a
singular entity. We are individuals. By offering up countless explanations for
why we do or do not cover we are recognizing the authority of those who have no
legitimate authority in our lives.
We Should Dress According To The
Dictates Of Our Soul.
Can we do that? Or is it now impossible
given the heavily loaded social implications being hoisted upon us like one
leash around our collective neck.
The only thing we need to resist is the
wielding of state power to enforce a social norm. I am allowed to hate the
bikini, and you are allowed to hate the burkini, but no one is allowed to wield
the legalized use of force to enforce their arbitrary subjective perceptions of
abstract principles regarding modesty.
Having said that, I believe France is
taking a step back from its enlightened position of being a free society in its
attempt to legislate a standard. Saudia Arabia never took any real meaningful
steps forward so it can’t very well be accused of becoming what it already is.
The loss to progress is now being shouldered by France and not the already
repressive Saudi establishment. That is a burden that France must now bear. In
their paranoia they pulled a kind of Brexit and exposed their subconscious
motivations. It is a step back to a stonier age every time we legislate private
The protection of individual rights and
private property is an enlightenment principle, when violated, becomes more detrimental
to the overall progress of humanity than when an already dictatorial regime
acts with impunity against the individual rights of its citizens. You cannot
violate a principle that has not been constitutionally memorialized. And
individual rights never existed in authoritarian places like Saudia.
So this approach on the part of France is
pathetic and ineffective and very Trumpian and trite. But also more
philosophically dangerous and corrupt than the unambiguous oppression of women
in other parts of the world. It’s a confession that the law is no longer a
benchmark of an unyielding principle of objectivity in government matters. In
other words, it’s a confession of defeat to the very societies they wish to
defeat. Rather than stand on the objectivity of rational principles, they
decided to play the game of cultural relativism that the slave states of the
world have been playing for decades. And they have decided to do it in the only
way that all such games are played, by putting women squarely and maliciously,
back in their place.
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You are a wonderful muslimah! I appreciate your statement
“We should dress according to the dictates of our soul” There is no iota
of supremacism or intolerance. I think many Muslims are already following your
footsteps. I give below some of the statements heard from other Muslims.
Hell with the proverb “When you are in Rome live like
Romans” I will do according to the dictates of my soul.
Hell with secularism, democracy, uniform code of conduct,
Mashallah!, we are not kafirs, we are special people of Allah, we will do according to the dictates
of our souls.
Hell with India, I will support Pakistan, though every
Mullah propagate different things, as it is a Muslim nation, whether in the
case of Kashmir or cricket matches.
Hell with the world opinion, I will beat my wife
according to the dictates of Allah. Koran 4:34
Hell with the Ulema, I am Caliph Abu bucker al Baghdadi,
I did Ph.D. In Islamic theology, I will behead Kafirs in red jump suit
according to the dictates of my soul.
Hell with international communities, my father Hafez
Assad killed 20,000 Syrians and held on to power, I will kill 400,000 Syrians
according to the dictates of my soul.
Hell with BBC, CNN, Aljazeera, bundling up women from
head to toe in black cloth is according to Allah’s aesthetic tastes, it is no
consequence to me whether their skin get sunlight or they daily take Vitamin D,
or they are unable to show their beautiful smile, lipstick, jewelleries, and
Hell with the fact, France accepted five million Muslims
and 80% of them living in monthly unemployment allowances exceeding Euro 2000
(=150,000 Indian rupees) It is no consequence to me; I will do according to the
dictates of my soul.
It is really sickening when Muslims escaped drowning in the
Mediterranean Sea and reached the West, they start complaining “we want
separate prayer room, we want separate swimming pool, and crying
‘discrimination’ in jobs with madrasa certificate in hand and with no communication
skills in the competitive West.
Inas, you have every right to tell your grievances, but have
you ever considered about your counterparts, Hindu, Buddhists, and Christian
women immigrants? Have they ever cried like you in any part of the world?
What happened to your Islamic tolerance and patience as
your prophet shown to you? Please be thankful to Allah, that your husband
cannot marry four wives in the West. There is no name calling in your nuclear
family. You have no negativity.
I beg you on my knees, next time please write an article
how a burka-clad woman cannot have an outgoing concern for others, and how she
is detrimental in building an inclusive society. Thanks.
Please remember Heaven is governed by love. You cannot
tell Allah in heaven,“I hate Shias, Ahmedias, Sufis etc.,” All are beautiful
children of Allah just as you are a beautiful child.
To be frank I am against secularism, against banning
Burkini; whatever it is I will always obey the law of the land. French
government, unlike ISIS, is a constituted authority. Scripture says “Let every
soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except
from Allah, and the authorities that exist are appointed by Allah” (Romans
“We can’t claim to love Allah, while we hate His
creatures and abuse them”
The following are three articles on the subject of women:
Are The Ahadith More Than Just Unreliable Hearsay?
Is A Woman’s Testimony Worth Half That of A Man?
Wisdom: Marriage and Treatment of Women
What can be said with
confidence, is that men and women complement each other and are incomplete
without the other. The fact that our
Prophet was an employee of Hazrat Khadija, a business woman, establishes by
example, that in Islam there is no inherent superiority based on sex.
The verse 4:34 gives an edge to the man over his wife only
if he maintains his wife out of his means. The verse is inapplicable if the
woman is economically independent or the man is dependent on his wife.
Let us look at the successful women. For example, Indira
Gandhi the only man in her cabinet or Margaret Thatcher the Iron Lady. It would
appear that women who display manly qualities are more successful. It is
understood that they would have the feminine qualities as well. What about men?
Are men who combine in them the feminine qualities of empathy more successful? There
is a whole lot of literature on how EQ (which females have in ample measure) is
more important than IQ (what males have). EQ is being appreciated only where it
is absent in male dominated environments where presumably IQ predominates. Not
that IQ is really less important. This further goes to prove that neither the alpha
male or the ultra-feminine woman make for good leaders but men and women who
combine empathy and kindness with logic, justice, firmness and courage.
Janab Sultan Shahin sb has pre-emptively revealed my cards,
by unearthing from my old postings the following relevant remarks of mine which
touch upon woman’s emancipation/gender justice/gender equality/patriarchy etc (and
Islamic misogyny for good measure).
“This statement is generic and not specific. It contains a
principle which can be interpreted comprehensively to give shape to a society
as a whole. This is the correct sociological statement of Islam. Islam
does give primacy to men to run the affairs of the society. Let me speak a
rustic tongue. It is either man or woman (the position of eminence). Why not
man? Why should I give the reins to a woman, even if she is my mother? I will
bow to her feet out of respect and love, but why should I jeopardize the whole
family including her, by giving her the reins. -- Manzoorul Haque,
NewAgeIslam.com - See more at: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-ideology/the-morality-or-the-immorality-of-the-institution-of-slavery-and-the-quranic-permission-that-allowed-sex-with-female-slaves/d/108233#sthash.CB3XENJ5.dpuf”
I am not going to change my stand however, because I am not
batting merely as a Muslim, but also as a man –thus shouldering double responsibility. Indeed, in the poem that I have posted below, I have
given sufficient hint of my proclivity on the subject. Inas Younis is clearly a
modern woman who is fighting her own battle and is unlikely to accept any help
from the likes of us, who want to fight on her behalf in the belief that this
is a common humanitarian project. She would neither accept liberal nor
conservative men on her behalf, because either way she thinks she will lose. Even
love, affection and sacrifice of men would appear to her to be stratagem of blackmail.
All I know is, she is not the only one of her type. I find many such modern women.
For this reason I had predicted that the debate would be messy. I don’t think
woman will be able to fight with man and she will eventually lose the battle
in physical terms, but in the end man will suffer more! Man stands to lose either way, hurrah!
Younis with a happy disposition has thrown down the gauntlet and run
away, my wife has comfortably gone to sleep, and I am wrestling with my fears
and planning my counterattack if needed. Oh hell, this is a phantom created by the
woman whose fury knows no bounds, once not allowed to wear what she wants to! I
am also going to sleep. Tomorrow I will rather choose to fight/plead with the Frenchmen
to allow my woman to the beach in Burkini to save me from this ruckus.
“So you have to take a grey-line approach and discern the
Although I have passed my ‘use by date’ to take part in this
debate, I would however make the comment that the female is not the ‘weaker sex’
but is equal in humanity (3-195 etc for followers of Quran); though she is in animal
terms physically weaker. The biological disadvantages of her and the physical strength
advantage of his have been used to gain the upper hand over her – for the exercise
of Power which is a natural animal instinct.
That, in addition to two other factors, a) the natural sexual
attraction for each other, which the female to her peril deliberately uses to “find
her place” under the cover called Bikini and b) the economic advantage as the ‘bread
winner’ or the one ‘who brings home the Bacon’, the male uses to keep her
dependent on him. It has added to the situation humanity in ALL societies have
created for themselves.
The male dominated society so far has also used the “knowledge
card” close to its heart in order to strengthen his hold on power. The most
effective being the Religion and its operational knowledge!
The male dominated religions of ALL hues have not helped
ease the situation, on the contrary have added hugely to the plight of the
female. Just one example is the misleading translation among Muslims is the
command for male to act as “protectors” of the female 4-34 but propagated falsely
as Islamic ordinance for keeping her subordinate by keeping house bound, as
sexual object and for procreation.
The strange thing in all this is the fact that the female
also plays her part willingly. For example, finding her comfort zone in Burqa/Neqaab
as display of piety on one hand and playing beach volleyball in semi- nudity as
a display of body-beautiful. Compare this with the outfit of male players
It is both for male and female to come to terms with
strength and weakness and seek the intellectual opportunity for equality that both
are capable of achieving; as it is being shown on daily basis now in many
fields of human endeavors. But the first step is to “exterminate” the powerful professional
Who will and how to bell the cats or who will take the compassionate
grey-line approach and discern the meaningful aspects, for All see their advantages in it?
I understand your concern; and this is a subject very close to my heart too. But I have not written much on this, because it can lead to very messy debate, especially with the West having stolen a monopoly over the subject-matter, and in effect having deprived lesser mortals like us to even touch the subject; of course in a manner I would like to touch. If I sing their tune, I would be heralded as an Indian Hero.
You see, the West is furious at women turning dressed up on the public beaches. Can there be a more ridiculous obstinacy than this? But the Western song will be sung by all the lesser mortals, who would presume that there is merit in the public openness of woman’s skin.
I may not be able to convince you (though I have reason to believe that you are not fully satisfied with the West’s arguments on the subject), but you may have the opportunity to come out of your bafflement when you realize that the existence of Islam is not fully irrelevant and meaningless and a rounding off of Islamic argument is possible.
I don’t speak to you from a theocratic Muslim viewpoint- which is monopolized by the traditional Muslim theocrats, not necessarily representing the spirit of Islam.
I am an observer of the existing social situation (the Muslim Muashra) which has obtained its shape from the long standing practice of Islam by the Muslims. Not everything that they do is in sound shape. But not everything that they do is redundant and valueless. So you have to take a grey-line approach and discern the meaningful aspects. Would you like to engage on the subject along with some of your emancipated lady-friends? I would like to request Mr. Naseer Ahmad sb, Mr.Muhammad Yunus sb, and Mr. Sultan Shahin sb and of course anyone into serious thinking, to discuss the subject matter under this thread or some independent thread. We should be able to present a concerted and balanced view in the interest of woman and man as dignified partners-in-life. I do hope it will not ruffle the feathers of bulk of Muslims, if decency of discussion is maintained.
I would humbly request the hecklers to keep away till the discussion is closed.
I open the discussion with a poem below and would seek your feedback:
WOMAN -THOU ART NOT FRAIL
You call yourself weaker sex,
We prefer fair, or may be fairer, as your prefix.
What powers create this conflict in mind,
When God has made us so intertwined?
Perhaps in times of violence you suffer more,
But the record of men killing men will ever score.
You losses reflect not your side of the balance sheet,
Rather man’s failure to offer you a befitting retreat.
Danger comes to you not from man’s strength,
But from his weakness, as they say.
Beware woman, especially the truly independent one,
Who alone has the power to sway.
Your place lies in siding with man,
In his struggle to wage war against the evil.
There is no battle of sexes,
But a façade created by the devil,
Pumping testosterone into your veins,
To seek uniformity, in the name of equality.
Little common sense unveils the veil on your nudity,
Which is on public sale, Can’t you just see?
We are not unaware of your need,
Than they are of their greed.
Your fragility keeps us going till,
Things are put in place and the devil is driven to hell.
Meanwhile don’t feed their greed, if you can,
This is one message for you, if you listen, madam.
By Manzurul Haque - 8/21/2016 8:36:57 AM - See more at: