Tag Archives: Muslim females

British Female Muslim Blasts Archbishop Of Canterbury

The recent statements by the Archbishop of Canterbury urging Great Britain to allow use of sharia law has aroused a fury of anger among many British Muslims. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, writing in the Independent, told him in clear terms why his proposal was an attack not merely on women, but on society. “What Rowan Williams wishes upon us is an abomination and I write here as a modern Muslim woman. He lectures the nation on the benefits of sharia law–made by bearded men for men– and wants the alternative legal system to be accomodated within our democracy in the spirit of inclusion and cohesion. Pray tell me sir, how do separate and impenetrablel courts and schools and extreme female segregation promote commonalities and deep bonds between citizens of these small isles?”

She criticizes Williams for telling the nation that Muslims want exceptionalism rather than equality and asks a simple question– would the Archbishop wish his daughters to be governed by such laws? Ms. Brown points out that throughout the world where sharia rules such as in Saudi Arabia women are second-class citizens. She recalls a Saudi female friend whose husband divorced her, and kept the children. Ten years ago, few Muslim women in Europe wore the headscarf, but now it is common. “Many women, gay men, and dissidents,” notes Ms. Brown, “come to Britain to escape Islamic tyrants and their laws.”

One can only wonder exactly which benefits did the Archbishop of Canterbury believe would ensue to Muslim women if a group of elderly bearded Muslim men decided divorce cases? Ms. Brown quotes a colleague, Taj Hargey, an historian and Islamic theologian: “Sharia is nothing but a human concoction of medieval religious opinion, largely archaic and outmoded and irrelevant to life today. Most sharia contradicts the letter and spirit of the Koran and distorts the transcendentl text.”

Length Of Canadian Muslim Woman Skirt Issue On Job

A Canadian woman of the Muslim faith was working at Pearson International Airport when confronted with an issue regarding the length of her skirt. Her position required wearing a uniform whose skirt reached to about her knees, but the woman refused to wear this garment on grounds it violated her Muslim dress code. She proceeded to wear a skirt that was in accordance with Muslim religious practice and was fired. A Canadian court ruled she should be reinstated and placed in an administrative position until authorities can clarify the nature of dress codes for personnel at Canadian airports.

At first glance, this case is of relative minor importance, but it does raises questions regarding the extent to which religious belief can impact the manner in which one conducts a job. I was teaching at an urban college which had many Muslim students. Some of the females(about 40%) covered their faces which made it difficult to ascertain comprehension when either I or another student was talking. I also placed these women in groups containing males which undoubtedly for them raised questions. Ironically, the Orthodox Jewish females in my class also had concerns analogous to the Muslim females. I must confess feeling awkward and uncertain at times when meeting with females in my office since I did not wish to make them feel uncomfortable being in a room with a male. These are interesting new issues for many aspects of modern society.