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Islam, Women and Feminism (21 Aug 2016 NewAgeIslam.Com)

The Social Sexual Global Currency Crisis and the Banning of the Burkini

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 threatens.

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 meant.

‘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 choices. 

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.

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/inas-younis,-new-age-islam/the-social-sexual-global-currency-crisis-and-the-banning-of-the-burkini/d/108321

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  • RoyalJ 
    you clearly did not read the article:/. 

    By Inasy - 9/10/2016 7:55:16 AM

  • what is it that drives these muslimahs from the holy dar-ul-islam to the shameless dar-ul-harb?

    there is nothing more satisfying to these muslimahs than a little healthy slut-shaming of these be-ghairaat, uncovered western meat.

    By hats off! - 9/4/2016 5:47:17 AM

  • 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 clothes.

    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 13:1).


    “We can’t claim to love Allah, while we hate His creatures and abuse them”

    By Royalj - 9/4/2016 3:16:19 AM

  • We digress. The overall point is a simple one. You can believe anything you want. You can interpret scriptures any way you want. You are allowed to be and do and anything you want. No sense in arguing your textual interpretations. Its is of no consequence to me or any woman for that matter. It only becomes consequential when you feel that you have a right to wield government authority to enforce your point of view. Whether that point of you is right or wrong or grounded in reality or fantasy does not change this unyielding and universal principle that France has so unceremoniously violated. We are stuck on the idea of separation of church and state, forgetting that its equally important to enforce the separation of government from all our private choices until and unless we violate the individual rights of another. NO one has the individual right to socially engineer a public space to fit their subjective aesthetic tastes.  Which means that only private property can be used to enforce the flavor of the month.  This is a political issue,  and like all political issues the first causality in the hierarchy of rights has always been women rights.  When they start to erode the trajectory is set and its only a matter of time before all enlightenment principles will soon follow.  
    By Inas - 8/24/2016 6:33:12 PM

  • Dear Naseer Ahmed sb,
    I fully believe in the verse 4:34, which gives an edge to the man over his wife, if he maintains his wife out of his means. This stands to common sense and conforms to the sense of justice. But I doubt if non-Islamic thought will find comfort with the idea, in their exaggerated notion of woman’s rights. For me however their view-point is not important. 
    I guess, the ladies here are referring to something else in this debate. I would like to await their response.  What they are probably talking of, is the status of women as a class distinct from men; and the power that men as a whole wield (which includes over women, their bodies, their wombs and their public conduct and dress-pattern).
    By Manzurul Haque - 8/24/2016 1:41:36 PM

  • 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?

    Qur’anic Wisdom: Marriage and Treatment of Women

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/24/2016 7:20:44 AM

  • Haque Sb,

     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.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/24/2016 4:44:58 AM

  • 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!  

    Inas 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.

    By Manzurul Haque - 8/23/2016 2:40:13 PM

  • Let me speak about the women in my life. My mother who is in her 80s now, studied upto the sixth or seventh until her father was alive and was made to leave school after she was orphaned. She discarded the burqa in the 1950's at a time when this was unthinkable and opposed by the society. My father was supportive and the rest of the society did not matter. She is known to be both fearless and bold and at ease dealing with people. She would look absolutely odd wearing hijab.

    My sister attended a co-ed school with me but  prefers to wear a hijab although not forced by anyone.

    My wife has traveled with me all over the place but of late she prefers to wear the hijab although the same is to my disliking. She interacts with a lot of people, is good at deal making and business, very knowledgeable, worldly wise and an excellent negotiator and counselor.  The hijab I guess gives her the freedom to deal with people on a person to person basis as against a male vs female basis. It both protects and empowers her.

    My daughter who has also studied in a co-ed school and holds a responsible job, also prefers to wear the hijab although not forced by anyone.

    Modesty, I guess, comes naturally to most people and immodesty and exposure is learned behaviour.

    A woman in a burkini makes the bikini clad woman aware of her nakedness which is why such women are hated and not tolerated.

    There is no emancipation or liberation in exposure. It starts with the show business and seeing that men are attracted by such exposure and glamour, the rest of the women follow in the footsteps of the glamorous queens to attract men. Exposure is a sign of slavery and not liberation.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/23/2016 5:01:29 AM

  • “So you have to take a grey-line approach and discern the meaningful aspects.”

    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 religions.

    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?

    By Rashid Samnakay - 8/23/2016 1:44:22 AM

  • Women's own ambivalence regarding autonomy makes this struggle even more intriguing.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/21/2016 4:06:07 PM

  • Deepa Ji,

     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:




    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:


    By Manzurul Haque - 8/21/2016 3:07:41 PM

  • Good and engaging article though a bit difficult to grasp in the opening parts. Incidentally I have posted my opinion on this same subject in reply to the concerns of Ms. Deepa Natrajan, whose concerns are directly opposite to those of the author in terms of the objectives. I shall be shifting those comments under this thread, which seems more appropriate. Inas Younis is remarkably bold in her assertions and makes a pulp of my intertwined theory but unfortunately offers none to handle my own misery as a man. Am I not deserving of a kind attention in this vast universe? Is man God ?
    By Manzurul Haque - 8/21/2016 2:59:51 PM

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