Wear a Burqa Day (or not)

At WBD, we believe in the premise of religious understanding – that being the understanding of certain religious dogma. As such, we promote the ideal that people should first learn about the origins and characteristics of religious practices before making a gesture of support or criticism.

A burqa (burka) is the facial covering worn by Muslim women as part of the entire outfit called a hijab. Burqa in Arabic literally means “curtain”, where hijab means “modesty”.

It is also important to understand that dress codes in Islam originate from Quranic verses which constitute Sharia Law. Since Islam is as much a totalitarian form of government as it is a religion, dress codes, especially for women, are less a matter of personal choice and one that is mandated chiefly through custom, as are the consequences for defying them.

In the case of the Burqa, while there is no specific verse in the Quran that requires it [10], customs have emerged from the Mideast, (chiefly because of tribal influence), that has influenced societal based laws (such as the case in Saudi Arabia and other similar countries), and “street” laws in other locations.

To support the ideal of the burqa is to support the following religiously based suppositions:

A) That a woman is worth half of that of a man [1].

B) That a woman is obligated to have sex with her husband any way and at any time of his choosing [2]. Thus, there is no such thing as marital rape.

C) That a lewd woman (improper dress) should be placed under house arrest for the rest of her life [3], and is subject to losing her full inheritance/dowry. [4]

D) Men are in charge of women and have the right to punish them if they act in a way that is unacceptable to her master/husband. It is also incumbent upon women to hide themselves from the attention of other men. [5]

E) Women are chattel of which can be exchanged. [6]

F) Its ok to take for a sex slave a married woman. [7]

G) The ultimate reward is a heaven filled with virgins (virginity is thus a measure of reward and virtue above all others). [8]

 H) Women are more dirty than, well, dirt. [9]

 And through custom:

I) That a woman who allows even a single strand of hair to emerge from under the burqa should be slapped.

J) That a woman who is forcibly raped should be beaten or imprisoned.

K) That the cultural norm for honor killings is appropriate for women who have been raped, had sex out of marriage, or marrying a non-Muslim.

L) That a woman’s entire body is a sexual organ; that she, and not a man, is responsible for a man’s thoughts and acts of perversion.

If you support these pretexts regarding women and the symbolic dogma that accompanies the tribal custom of enforcing the covering of women’s faces with a burqa, than on JULY 18TH, wear a burqa.

If, however, you already wear a burqa, or wish to support a woman’s right to chose whether or not she should have to wear a burqa, than JULY 18th, do NOT wear a burqa.

[1] Quran 2:282 …And call two witness from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not at hand, then a man and two women, of such as ye approve as witnesses, so that if one [woman] erreth the other will reminder her….

[2] Quran 2:223 Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will,

[3] Quran 4:15 As for those of your women who are guilty of lewdness, call to witness four of you against them. And if they testify (to the truth of the allegation) then confine them to the houses until death take them. [Note: custom in many lands also allows for punishments such as beatings, imprisonment, and rape for improper dress].

[4] Quran 4:19  It is not lawful … that ye may take away a part of that which ye have given them, unless they be guilty of flagrant lewdness.

[5] Quran 4:34 Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them.

[6] Quran 4:20 And if ye wish to exchange one wife for another and ye have given unto one of them a sum of money (however great), take nothing from it.

 [7] Quran 4:24 And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.

[8] Quran 4:57 And as for those who believe and do good works, We shall make them enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow – to dwell therein for ever; there for them are pure companions – and We shall make them enter plenteous shade.

[9] Quran 5:6 When ye rise up for prayer, … if ye are unclean, purify yourselves. And if ye are sick or on a journey, or one of you cometh from the closet (toilet), or ye have had contact with women, and ye find not water, then go to clean, high ground and rub your faces and your hands with some of it (dirt).

[10] Quran 24:31 And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment (sexual parts) save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness. (note it never says to cover the face. )

Also Abu Dawud narrated that ‘A’ishah said:
Asma came to see the Messenger of Allah (saws). She was wearing a thin dress; the Prophet (saws) turned away from her and said to her: “O Asma, once a woman reaches the age of puberty no part of her body should be uncovered except her face and hands.”

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