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The Rife Team

Seven things that Muslim women are tired of hearing

Copyright: Tuffix

Copyright: Tuffix

Adibah Iqbal remembers being asked some, lets say, interesting questions when she was a Muslim. And however much she tried to keep her patience, after a while she just got worn down. So she created a survey asking Muslim women what are they tired of hearing, and this is their response.

These are things we’ve been told and asked to our faces. Yep, people said these things to our faces, hard to believe, I know.

If there is still some confusion about what it’s like to be a Muslim woman, hopefully this will answer your questions…

1. “How can you be a Muslim and a feminist, that doesn’t make any sense.”

Yes you can be a Muslim and a feminist; it’s not an oxymoron.

Although religion is used to oppress, it can also be a tool to empower. Most of what the Qur’an and Islamic books say contradict how women are treated today. Here are some examples…

  1. “In Islam, the fall of mankind from the Garden of Eden is not blamed on solely Eve, but both Adam and Eve” [Quran 3:195]
  2. “As for those who lead a righteous life, male or female, while believing, they enter Paradise; without the slightest injustice. [Quran 4:124]

2. “You’re oppressed, trust me I know better. Because you see, *we* in the West… whereas you Muslims…”

Come on guys, I really thought we have passed this?

We are rightly angry when we hear about female genital mutilation, but there are no major campaigns to end labiaplasty. We are rightly angry when we hear of a south Asian women being forced to marry, but I do not see the same anger when a middle aged, middle class white man buys himself a Russian or Thai bride. We are rightly angry when we hear of a Muslim woman killing herself from the shame of being raped, but are quick to judge a rape victim if she was flirting with the rapist beforehand. One group is not more oppressed than the other. The feminist movement needs to remember that we are all, in are own ways oppressed by patriarchy.

3. “Are you going to have to have an arranged marriage?”

An arranged marriage and forced marriage is very different. Arranged marriages involve families helping to choose the marriage partner, but neither our forced to get married, they have the freedom to say no. A forced marriage is when they have no choice or feel that they have no choice. Asking someone if they have to have an arranged marriage doesn’t make much sense.

4. “Violence against women is so bad – look at what happens to Muslim women.’

Like it doesn’t happen to non-Muslim women…

Domestic violence affects one in four women. There is one faith, race or culture that faces more domestic violence than the other. This is a stereotype that has been put on Asian culture.

5. “Good morning, we’re here to tell you about Jesus and how you’ll end up in hell if you don’t immediately accept him into your heart because we say so” at my door at 7am on a Sunday.

6. “You can’t be religious, you don’t cover your head.”

Sure, spot on. Just like you can’t be a Christian is you don’t go to Church, or you can’t be awesome as sports if you’re physically disabled, or you can’t be a Feminist if you shave your legs. It’s simples. For some, wearing a Hijab is an important part of their faith, and for others it’s not. Discussions around religion are too often reduced to the physical things we can see – the crucifix, the star of David – the Hijab. Yes, these are important, but the wearing of them are not deal breakers. Let’s not get it twisted people.

7. “Do you shower with that (headscarf/hijab) on?”

I feel like I really shouldn’t have to answer this one, but I will just incase theres still some confusion – No, no you really don’t.

So thats all folks, this is what Muslim women have to deal with all the time, annoying right?

Have I missed anything? Let me know, comment below.