French pool bars Muslim woman for ‘burquini’ suit

By MARIA DANILOVA, Associated Press Writer Maria Danilova, Associated Press Writer 1 min ago

PARIS – A Muslim woman garbed in a head-to-toe swimsuit — dubbed a “burquini” — may have opened a new chapter in France’s tussle between religious practices and its stern secular code.

Officials insisted Wednesday they banned the woman’s use of the Islam-friendly suit at a local pool because of France’s pool hygiene standards — not out of hostility to overtly Muslim garb.

Under the policy, swimmers are not allowed in pools with baggy clothing, including surfer-style shorts. Only figure-hugging suits are permitted.

Nonetheless the woman, a 35-year-old convert to Islam identified only as Carole, complained of religious discrimination after trying to go swimming in a “burquini,” a full-body swimsuit, in the town of Emerainville, southeast of Paris. Continue reading

Muslim women uncover myths about the hijab

  • Story Highlights
  • The hijab is the head scarf worn by Muslim women
  • Wearing one as a Muslim teenager in the U.S. may offer challenges
  • Some wearers say they get strange looks and sometimes angry remarks
  • But those who voluntarily wear it say it can help them in their faith and teen lif
Rowaida Abdelaziz says wearing the hijab sometimes interferes with usual U.S. teenager activities, but that it's worth it to her faith.

Rowaida Abdelaziz says wearing the hijab sometimes interferes with usual U.S. teenager activities, but that it’s worth it to her faith.

By John Blake
CNN

(CNN) — Rowaida Abdelaziz doesn’t want your pity.

She doesn’t want your frosty public stares; the whispers behind her back; the lament that she’s been degraded by her father.

What the Muslim high school senior wants you to understand is that she doesn’t wear the hijab, the head scarf worn by Muslim women, because she is submissive.

“It represents beauty to me,” says Abdelaziz, the 17-year-old daughter of two Egyptian parents living in Old Bridge, New Jersey.

“My mom says a girl is like a jewel,” Abdelaziz says. “When you have something precious, you usually hide it. You want to make sure you keep it safe until that treasure is ready to be found.”

The nation has heard plenty of debate over racial profiling. But there’s a form of religious profiling that some young Muslim women in America say they endure whenever they voluntarily wear the hijab.

The hijab, also known as the veil, is the headscarf worn by Muslim women around the globe. It’s a simple piece of cloth, but it can place young Muslim women in Western countries in difficult situations.

Some hijab-wearers say that strangers treat them as if they’re terrorists. Others ask them if they’re a nun — or even allergic to the sun. In some cases, their worst critics are not Americans, but fellow Muslim Americans.

The pressure on Muslim teenagers in the U.S. who wear the hijab may be even more acute. Their challenge: How do I fit in when I wear something that makes me stand out?

Randa Abdel-Fattah, who has written two novels about this question, says wearing the hijab can “exhaust” some young Muslim women in the West.

“You can sometimes feel like you’re in a zoo: locked in the cage of other people’s stereotypes, prejudices and judgments, on parade to be analyzed, deconstructed and reconstructed,” says Abdel-Fattah, a Muslim who has Palestinian and Egyptian parents but was born in Australia. Continue reading

Only 367 Muslim Women In France Wear Full Veil – Report

July 29, 2009

Filed at 3:47 p.m. ET – http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/07/29/world/international-uk-france-veil.html?pagewanted=print

PARIS (Reuters) – Only 367 women in France wear Islamic veils that cover their faces and bodies, a newspaper reported on Wednesday, undermining the position of politicians who are pushing for a ban on the garments.

A panel of legislators is studying the issue of whether the number of women wearing such veils is on the rise and why. The panel is expected to say in coming months whether it backs a ban on the veils in public places, as advocated by some politicians.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has stopped short of backing a ban, but has said the veils were “not welcome” in France.

The influential newspaper Le Monde said that in light of the tiny number of women concerned, the idea of a ban should be dropped.

“Do we need to legislate for fewer than 400 people, legislate for an exception? … Given the risks, including the stigmatisation of Islam … the answer is no,” it said in an editorial.

In France, there is near unanimity against veils that hide a woman’s face. These are seen as a violation of women’s rights, often imposed by fundamentalist men.

However, there are strong disagreements about whether it would be wise or helpful to legislate against the garments.

Le Monde said it had seen reports by two separate domestic intelligence agencies that both found only a tiny minority of Muslim women wore such veils. One of the reports gave a figure: 367 women in the whole country.

France has Europe’s biggest Muslim community, estimated at 5 million. Continue reading

“Contemporary Muslim Woman” Series: And off with his head..or should I say her headscarf? The phenomenon of Dehijabization

GOATMILK continues its original and exclusive month long series entitled “The Contemporary Muslim Woman” featuring diverse Muslim women writers from around the world discussing a gamut of topics in their own unique, honest and eclectic voices.

hijab02

And off with his head..or should I say her headscarf?

The phenomenon of Dehijabization

By: Darah Rateb

The headscarf was once viewed as a sign of rebellion. Western women fought for their liberation by removing confining corsets and diminishing the amount of cloth clad to their bodies in public: in short, declaring their sexuality to the masses, and inviting their approval. In clear contradistinction to the excessive glitz women are subjected to by the modern fashion, make-up and nip/tuck industry, the modern Muslim woman concealed her sexuality in public, and allowed it to flourish in private. Now, it seems a new rebellion is taking place.

Continue reading

“Contemporary Muslim Woman” Series: What Goes on Inside the Head that Wears the Crown: Thoughts on Gender, Headscarves, and Self-valuation

GOATMILK continues its original and exclusive month long series entitled “The Contemporary Muslim Woman” featuring diverse Muslim women writers from around the world discussing a gamut of topics in their own unique, honest and eclectic voices.

What Goes on Inside the Head that Wears the Crown: Thoughts on Gender, Headscarves, and Self-valuation

By Rabea Chaudhry, originally for http://www.altmuslimah.com/a/b/a/2956/)

hijab_fetish_by_cainadamsson

Photo by Ulrik Fredrik Thyve: http://thyve.net/

Depending on how you want to calculate it – legally, culturally, or religiously – my husband and I have been married for either two, three, or four years. And, in the time that we’ve spent together, I’ve read every relationship and self-help book that I could get my hands on. If I hear of a book that promises to be a twelve-step guide to unlocking the mysteries of the male mind, chances are that I’m express-ordering it from Amazon as soon as I can get to a computer with an internet connection. Continue reading