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Jakarta Post

The hijab: To wear or not to wear?

  • Jasna Samic

    The Jakarta Post

Sarajevo   /   Fri, March 4, 2016   /  09:41 am

Recently, a ban was proposed on the wearing of all religious signs in the Bosnian courts. I cannot believe to what extent totalitarianism has started governing in Bosnia (especially Sarajevo) and to what degree woman'€™s hair is seen as an enemy of freedom and democracy.

For days, '€œdemocrats'€ have called me a '€œfashion fascist from the West'€, because I am against the hijab that is '€œevery Muslim'€™s duty'€.

That is why I would like to point out and strongly underline that the hijab does not have any connection with a headscarf, especially the way it is wrapped around the head these days.

The expression hijab in the Koran means '€œthe veil hiding God'€. In other words one can never see and get to know God, because our intellect is too weak for it.

This is a well-known fact to all teachers who work in religious schools in Bosnia, so why they do not say it openly so? Is it convenient for them that a female person stays as an inferior human being to them?

When I was studying Sufism, I myself respected that rule when going to the tekke of Sinan Agha of Sarajevo.

After all, one sincere and poetic explanation for hiding women'€™s hair was given to me by the rare Muslim democrat and authority, the former sheikh at Sinan'€™s tekke, Fejzulah Hadzibajric: '€œWhen angels came down from the sky they got lost in women'€™s hair, that'€™s why it has to be hidden.'€

But what are angels, or where are they? Most probably they too have been exiled from today'€™s '€œneophyte society'€ for giving a space to evil.

Public wearing of headscarf, especially niqab (black Saudi Muslim gowns that cover completely woman'€™s body and face), is the first sign of not obeying God but of female obedience to males.

This is a clear sign or warning of a reinstitution of slavery, especially for women who were oppressed by men from the beginning of monotheistic religions.

Wearing a headscarf and hiding woman'€™s hair is not only an Islamic obligation. Is it necessary to emphasize that Islam is the youngest monotheistic religion? It is a well-known fact that women hide their hair and face with a veil in Catholicism, or shave their heads and wear wigs in Judaism.

Those habits are transferred from the Orient to the Balkans and may stem from the Hadiths (Prophet Muhammad'€™s traditions and behavior), which are quite often apocryphal.

Even if something is written in the Koran (which it isn'€™t) about hiding women'€™s hair, do not forget that Islam is expects from all believers, including women, ultimate humbleness and contrition, to be delicate, not to show off.

In other words, according to Islam, a person who does not go to the mosque is no less Muslim than one who does, not to mention a woman who does not wear the headscarf.

Is there a chance nowadays that Bosnian women are reverting to the darkness of the Middle Ages by willingly becoming slaves of totalitarian males? I'€™m afraid it is possible.

It is a well-known fact that today'€™s Islam is imported directly from Saudi Arabia and that Wahabbi and Salafis have more and more success in the whole world in general, including in Bosnia.

Sarajevo is looking today less like a democratic European secular city, and more look like a Bedouin village in the middle of a dessert, where a woman is a priori excluded from society and whose primary role is to give birth to males.

First Karadzic and Milosevic opened the door to this foreign Islam in Bosnia by ethnic cleansing (during the war 1992-1995) and after them Izetbegovic with his ambivalent relationship with the state and his weakness toward extreme Islam and foreign currency.

Further, it is well known that the first sign of extreme Islam is the headscarf, wrongly called hijab. After that the other symbols come easy such as niqab, then short beards and short trousers on men.

Next to be expected is excision or clitorydectomia in women, suppression of music and paintings, closure of public schools, burning books and accepting completely the macabre ideology of Islamic State (IS) group.

Although there are many reasons for which West could be criticized and regardless how much it is responsibility of '€œpresent state of Islam'€, it can be concluded that more rights exist in the West than in other countries.

Why it is not possible to say anything against radical Islam? Why do these foreigners from Saudi Arabia have such power in the Balkans?

What is typical for Western countries is hypocrisy in connection with those questions. In Bosnia, this hypocrisy is caused by fear.

It is symptomatic that many Bosnian women who do not agree with wearing the headscarf, even less so with this religious exhibitionism in public places (schools, courts etc.), do not have the courage to express their opinion publicly.

We have already seen this before, during the aggression in Bosnia in the 1990s, when it was not possible to say anything against extreme Serbs, because you would be labeled as an enemy of the Serbs.

The situation is very similar, except that now we have more and more extreme Muslims.

Christians are scared of being called '€œIslamophobic'€ and they are silent.

Therefore the slavery to a primitive male, mafia boss or corrupt leader is being spread in Bosnia.

Is it necessary to quote the famous writer who said that the tolerance of non-tolerance was a crime?

Bosnian society should decide against the existence of sharia (in which case almost all politicians should lose both arms), or of a real secular country where religion is separated from the state and consequently all religious signs are removed from public places.

The writer is a specialist in Oriental languages and civilizations and has authored books in Bosnian and French.

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