Monday, December 31, 2007

Happiness for Sale

Mike Ghouse, December 31,2007

A sale transaction requires consideration for exchange of products and services. The consideration in buying happiness is your effort. Happiness is on Sale, it is on sale, because the effort required is minimal against the gain. Though a lopsided transaction, the supply is plentiful and does not take away anything from anyone but enrich every one with a heart felt smile.

Remember the last time you helped someone? You got some one up when he or she fell and you were thanked profusely for that act of kindness, do you recall that joy? You were beaming and your fellow workers and friends wanted to know what it was; you humbly shared the small experience.

Do you recall the twinkle in your eyes and wanted to praise those two that made the national news recently? When a man fell on the tract in New York subway, the other man jumped to save his life risking his own. Then a Bangladeshi student stood up against the bullies who beat up the subway passengers who wished Happy Hanukkah to that bully.

Life becomes meaningful and powerful when you do things for others; it is the anecdote against sorrow that surrounds us from time to time. That is the wisdom in Bahai, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islam, Jain, Jewish, Native religions, Shinto, Sikh, Wicca, Zoroastrian and other faiths – living for the sake of others, a proven formula for happiness.

Way back in 1978, my Peugeot 504 failed me on a Saudi Freeway to Dhahran, I stood there in 116 degrees heat waving at every vehicle that drove on a full throttle going over 140 MPH. I was dying with thirst and blisters were all over my lips and my face, I looked like some one from the western movies. The drivers, who wanted to stop, could not do so within a walking range. After nearly five hours of eternity, a man finally stopped and drove his Toyota truck the full half mile in reverse. His Burqa Clad wife was with him on the passenger’s side and in the back were a couple of goats and sheep. I was imagining sitting with the goats and started feeling faintly, but he pulled his wife closer to him and asked me to hop in that little Toyota. I was too tired to worry where I was going. He gave me the life giving water and drove.

We barely communicated with my minimal Arabic and his English, we went to his home some where in the outer rim of the town of Abqaiq. His family brought in the tea and other refreshments followed by a huge dinner with several of his friends. He had one of his friends haul off my car and was getting it fixed; the fuel injection vehicles don’t work very well in that kind of heat. I had purchased that Car from Nick Gruev, an Albanian American friend out of Houston.

The Sheikh’s friends came were fixing the Hubbly Bubbly (Huqqa) and passing it between their friends, I was dreading to put that thing in my mouth should it come to me, sure enough it did and reluctantly I pretended puffing it. Around 8 PM, his mechanic friend drove up with my car.

As I was ready to leave, I thanked Shaikh Ahmed Al-Sabah profusely and pulled my wallet to pay, he pushed my hand and said “Aqhi, you are my guest and don’t even think of it.” I pleaded, it was the greatest favor a stranger has done to me and I asked, how I can pay.

He looked at me intently and asked, would you promise me something? In gratitude I said yes, but shuddered what now? He took time and looked at me again and said these life changing words to me “Next time, if you see some one needing help, would you stop and help?” I eagerly said Yes, satisfied; he asked again, are you sure? I gave an emphatic yes, to which he said, “Alhamdu Lillah (praise the lord) that is my reward.

I buy happiness at every nook and corner; it is very satisfying to see other people in their full human form when they give their beautiful smile. A genuine smile is the most beautiful thing on the earth, nothing compares to it.

Every day, you have those opportunities. Make an effort in doing things for others and see how easy it is to be happy.

Here are a few thoughts for you to ponder:

Push yourselves to be prejudice free against people from every meeting, incident, TV shows, and work or news items that you come across.
Find excuses to greet other people and wish them well, don’t worry what they think of you, just do it and see the response and counter response.
Work on bringing humility and fight off every thought and action that gives you the idea that your race, faith, nation, culture, language or life style is superior to others.
Commit to yourselves that your words and actions do not flare up conflicts, but mitigate them.
Commit yourselves that you are going to do your share of living for others, for starters one hour a week will enrich you with joy.
It does not take any money; it is your goodwill that brings you the joy. It is yours to keep and is on sale.

Best wishes for 2008



Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of the Foundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism, politics, Islam, Religion and civic issues. He is the founding president of World Muslim Congress with a simple theme: Good for Muslims and good for the world. His comments, news analysis, opinions and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at or (214) 325-1916

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Asean Charter on Islam

Charter on Islam, democracy drafted

After roundtable meetings in Manila, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, efforts to build closer cooperation between and among Muslim leaders and Muslim communities of Asean came full circle.

The Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy [PCID] played host to the First Southeast Asian Forum on Islam and Democracy (SEAFID) held at the Manila Hotel on December 10 to 12, 2007. The delegation of 44 experts and leaders representing various think tanks, universities, religious, and civil society groups came from of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.

The 2007 Manila conference gathered Muslim advocates of democracy, human rights, and peace in what could be the first platform that could represent the multifaceted voices of the Muslims in Southeast Asia—the region that is home to the largest Muslim community in the world with more than 200 million adherents of Islam.

Welcome Banquet

Gracing the forum’s welcome dinner was former President Fidel V. Ramos. In his keynote speech, Ramos congratulated the participants for the regional forum which he felt was a vital step toward addressing concerns on issues such as security, human rights and democracy in the Southeast Asian region. According to Ramos, regional efforts such as SEAFID are necessary to stress the fact that “Southeast Asia is not a hotbed of terrorism nor is the region teetering on the brink of anarchy and sectarian violence as is sometimes suggested.” He adds that political will, democratization, and regional strategies would be the most effective strategies in addressing the problems in the region. Ramos noted that the rich experiences of South East Asian Muslim communities in democracy should be shared with the Islamic world.

Organized by the PCID with support from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Australian Embassy, The Asia Foundation, and the Magbassa Kita Foundation, Inc., the forum is actually the fifth in a series that has been organized for the region, according to the PCID’s lead convenor and chair of the Manila conference, Amina Rasul. “The first roundtable discussion was held in September 2005 in the Philippines, and then subsequently held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Jakarta, Indonesia; and finally in Bangkok, Thailand in September of 2006. We hope this will evolve into an effective forum that contributes to democratization in Muslim coimmunities.”

Regional platform for cooperation

“This is a strong commitment of Southeast Asian Muslims to enhance democracy, pluralism, human rights and justice” says Dr. Syafi’i Anwar from the Jakarta-based International Center for Islam and Pluralism (ICIP). Haji Maarof Bin Haji Salleh from Singapore’s Center for Contemporary Islamic Studies expressed their happiness to participate as it gave them “an opportunity to share success stories of how the minority Muslim community in Singapore has contributed to nation-building in the context of their multiracial and multireligious society.”

According to Dr. Abdul Rahman Bin Awang of the International Islamic University of Malaysia, the forum is “an excellent platform for the Muslims in the region to exchange views and share experiences on Islam and Democracy,” with Dr. Sukree Langputeh of the Thailand Center for Muslim and Democratic Development states that this exchange of experiences and success stories is an important part in spurring the democratization process in each country in Southeast Asia.

Islam, democracy and peace

“Islam is often associated today with terrorism or violence. This is not a true reflection of Islamic values. Muslims, particularly Muslims in Southeast Asia, firmly believe in human rights, tolerance, and equality, as do the majority of Muslims in the world. We want a mechanism by which we can systematically engage and educate the world to the true tenets of the Islamic faith,” said former Senator Santanina Rasul, one of the co-organizers of the event.

In an unprecedented move, after only two days of discussions, the participants approved a draft charter. A work in progress, the draft charter would guide the process of institutionalizing the forum as a platform from which Muslims in the region would promote, among others, peace, tolerance, mutual understanding, economic opportunity, good governance, sustainable development, human security and human rights.

Rasul, praised the efforts of the participants in not allowing their political, historical and social diversities to get in the way of organizing the historic forum. She described the forging of the charter, despite debates and contestations, as proof of the possibility of democracy in Muslim communities.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Enrique Manalo, who delivered the closing speech on December 12, congratulated the group for their landmark act, highlighting the need for interfaith initiatives and strengthening pluralism in the region. Manalo stressed the need for collaboration bridge the gulf of misunderstanding between Muslims and non-Muslims. The Philippines is a leader in UN led global inter­faith dialogues.

American Muslim Identity

The American Muslim Identity
Dr. Souheil Ghannouchi, 12/27/2007
American Muslims: a part of America's pluralism

The United States of America is a pluralistic society par excellence. It is a country that does not have a state religion, and Americans do not constitute one race or one ethnicity.

Immigrants have built the USA. Ever since Europeans began settling in what is now the United States by the 16th century, people from different parts of the world have migrated here. They have come from many different religious, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. Most immigrants came voluntarily; but some were brought by force while others were forced to come.

All groups have faced the challenge of preserving their identity through cultural practices, traditions or religious observances. Although many, initially, elected isolationism to preserve that cultural identity, they were later forced to deal with the challenges of integration into society and developing their new identity. The nature and magnitude of the challenges have been different for the different groups.

The outcome of that process has spanned the whole spectrum, from total isolation to complete assimilation. Often, different segments or members of the same group/community have experienced different transitions through the different sectors of this wide-ranged spectrum. American Muslims are not different. Yet, only two-thirds of this Muslim population is from "immigrant" backgrounds -comprising four different generations of immigrants. The other third are mostly native-born African Americans, Hispanics and converts from other ethnic groups.

Muslims also spread throughout the different levels of this broad spectrum of integration into society. Conversely, the current trend is a rapid increase in the percentage of Muslims who were born and raised in this country. These American-born generations constitute more than two-thirds of those Muslims referred to as "immigrant" community. The vast majority of the remaining third, consciously, intentionally and willfully elect to be Americans by choice, choosing America to be their country. Most of these immigrants have lived in the US for quite long times, and many have already attained citizenship.

The vast majority of American Muslims are predominately moderate in their views and attitudes. Their understanding and practice of Islam does not pose any hindrance to their integration into society. Accordingly, the two elements of their identity are perfectly compatible, so much so that they seamlessly intertwine naturally.
Furthermore, the median income and educational levels of American Muslims are above the average for other Americans. This imbues them with a deep sense of commitment to Society and societal stability.

American Muslims have come a long way in integrating into society. They have developed a genuine and cohesive American Muslim identity as well as an integrative way of life. This process of integration promises to be easier and faster than other minorities. When compared with other minorities, Muslims have intrinsic advantages that can facilitate that process. The nature of Islam as a universal religion coupled with the nature of a pluralistic Society of immigrants guided by a Constitution that guarantees freedom of religion and freedom of expression, make the development of an American Muslim identity easier and faster than for most other minorities.

However, this process of integration might slow-down in the short-term due to Islamophobia and the climate of fear that have prevailed since the 9/11 tragedy, as well as the increased direct entanglement of the U.S. with the Muslim world. Yet, if American Muslims approach this situation wisely, they may well turn it into an opportunity to accelerate their integration. Such integration is crucially important in enabling American Muslims to fulfill their important role as a bridge between the U.S. and the Muslim world.

True Islam Mandates Exemplary Citizenship

Being an American does not indicate anything about one's religion, race, ethnicity, culture, or views. Similarly, being a Muslim does not indicate anything about one's race, ethnicity, culture, nationality or citizenship. Consequently, there is nothing that prevents the blending or fusion of these two components into one cohesive identity.

There is nothing in Islam that prevents a Muslim from being a good and loyal American citizen. Equally, there is nothing in the requirements for American citizenship that interferes with Muslims practices. It does not restrain them from promoting Islam or fulfilling their duty of encouraging that which is good and preventing that which is evil. Hence, the reference to the term Requirements, is not limited to the legal requirements of citizenship, but also, to the characteristics of a good and loyal citizen. Indeed, one neither needs to compromise any religious duties to be a good citizen, nor to breach any legal or civic duties to be a good Muslim. Actually, civic duties and Muslim religious duties blend harmoniously together. Not only does Islam mandate good citizenship, but also exemplary and active citizenship.

Throughout its history, the U.S. has accommodated all kinds of religions, ethnicities, cultures, and races. Islam and Muslims are no exception, especially since the vast majority of American Muslims are born and raised in America. They do not know any other country or culture except that of the USA.

As for the other Muslim immigrants, they have elected to be Americans by choice. They are grateful for the freedom and the greater opportunities they get in this country. All American Muslims have a stake in this country that they have chosen to be theirs, and in which their children and grandchildren will continue to live. Additionally, the religious obligations of practicing Muslims leave them no option but to work for the well-being of their country and to fulfill all their obligations and contracts that they have willfully undertook to honor when they took the Citizenship Oath, obtained Permanent Residency or filled a Visa Application.

Active Citizens

The nature of the American Society and its Constitution facilitate the integration of any group into society, without forcing them to disavow elements of their original identity.

Indeed, in the America that accommodates all races and sectarian or racial religious groups, integration for Muslims should be easier, because they subscribe to and promote a universal religion. Islam is a religion that throughout its history has accommodated all races, cultures, ethnicities, and nationalities.

If it is possible for Japanese, Chinese, Indians, Jews, Africans, Hindus, Sikhs, and Buddhists to develop an American identity, it should be easier for Muslims to do likewise. Actually, this is absolutely possible because American Muslims include all of those ethnicities and more. Simply stated, Muslims do not constitute one race or nationality; and their religion is neither racial nor sectarian. Furthermore, not only is Islam, with its universal values, compatible with all cultures, but also its high moral standards do encourage the process of integration and contribution to society. Indeed, practicing Muslims restrain themselves from potentially harmful acts and behavior that may be legal, socially condoned or even socially acceptable norms (ex drinking). Therefore, Muslims who follow Islam and might not be part of the solution, would surely not be part of a problem.

Just like everybody else, American Muslims can be any kind of citizens. However, practicing Muslims are expected to be, at the minimum, good citizens; and active Muslims are automatically active citizens. Indeed, fulfilling the mission of Islam requires active Muslims to be civically engaged, reaching out to people and maximizing their interaction with them. This will help to accelerate the development of a genuine and cohesive American Muslim identity. Consequently, to be effective in their mission of Dawa and Islah, active Muslims must fully embrace that American Muslim identity. Indeed, The Quran teaches us that Prophets were always sent from amongst their own people, using their familiar language to deliver their message effectively and efficiently.

Overcoming the Challenges of integration

It is important to recognize the main reasons that have delayed or hindered the process of developing an American Muslim identity that would have facilitated integration into society. The major reasons for that lapse are:

1- The "myth of return" which until recently caused the vast majority of immigrant Muslims to think of themselves as "temporary" immigrants that will one day pack and leave; therefore focusing on preserving their identity,

2- The sad reality that many Muslims do not adhere to the Islamic obligation of conveying and preaching Islam (dawa) as well as lack of activism, which necessitates and facilitates integration, the development and adoption of an American Muslim identity,

3- The misconceptions, among some Muslim groups, about the Islamic perspective on the necessity of positive relationship with non-Muslims and the fiqh (understanding) of citizenship,

4- The blatant and rampant injustices in American foreign policy, especially towards Muslim causes, and the American patronage of corrupt and oppressive regimes in the Muslim world,

5- The tragic experience of the African Americans, which has generated a great deal of resentment and lingering bitterness,

6- Most recently, Islamophobia, and the climate of fear that has been fueled by those who have used the tragic events of 9/11 to further their political or career goals.

The myth of return has, for all practical purposes, faded, and the vast majority of Muslims do accept the fact that they are not only here to stay, but are and should be an integral part of Society. Accordingly, MAS is tackling the other obstacles to integration by promoting the proper understanding of Islam, intensifying and diversifying Muslim outreach efforts and civic engagements. We believe that both bigotry and isolation tendencies are natural consequences of ignorance. Hence, it is our firm belief that education facilitates integration.

As for unjust policies, whether domestic or foreign, past or present, our objections to such policies will not prevent us from being proud and loyal citizens of this country. On the contrary, it is the epitome of loyal citizenship to oppose injustices, which is the responsibility of every good citizen and all observant Muslims. It is a virtue that is hailed by both Islam and the heritage of this country as well as protected by the Constitution.

Obviously, there are very many good and positive things in this country that should not be dismissed in resentment to those policies. Certainly, there are no countries in the world, even those with majority Muslim populations, that do not have some bad policies and laws. Ironically, in most Muslim countries, people do not enjoy the freedom of religion and expression, as they do here in the United States. Actually, many countries do not allow teaching or propagating Islamic knowledge, Da'wa, which is normally enjoyed in this country. Paradoxically, such prohibition goes against the very important Islamic standpoint regarding the freedom to practice one's religion.

Most importantly, we have a system in the US where the government is elected and can be petitioned, and that there is a reasonable level of accountability and respect for the will of the people. Therefore, all we need to do is to become involved and engaged, voice our opinions, advocate our positions on issues, and work to promote that which is good and reform or fix that, which is wrong. In doing so, we are encouraged by the compatibility of the Constitution with our Islamic values.
Conversely, if we object to a policy, a law, a social norm, a public official, and/or even an amendment to the Constitution, we need to abide by that as long as it in force, without relinquishing our efforts through civic engagement to change it if necessary. In our civic engagement, we will take principled positions that serve American interests, and express them in a relevant discourse to win over public opinion to those positions. We will join hands with those who share our positions. As for our opponents, on a particular issue, and our detractors, we will engage them civically and settle our differences in the court of public opinion, through the ballot box, and through legislation and litigation in other words, by legal and peaceful means.

Dr. Souheil Ghannouchi has a Ph.D in Chemical Engineering. He is originally from Tunisia and has been living in the United States since the early 1990's. He served as the Imam and President of the Islamic Center of Madison, Wisconsin for several years and currently is the President of the Muslim American Society.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Hope for Pakistan

Hope for Pakistan
Mike Ghouse, December 27, 2007

Much has been written about Benazir Bhutto, her assasination is a severe blow to democracy in Pakistan.

She threatened the extremists, a dare move perhaps calculated to win the support of majority of moderates in Pakistan who want to live a normal life. They got to her before she could get them.
It was the battle of wills. She played the game boldly but undiplomatically. She had every thing to lose, whereas the extremists did not. Life did not mean much to them, it was not a good equation.
Now, is the time and the moral responsibility of the moderate majority to stand up, whether Ms. Bhutto would have made it or not is not the question, but she sacrificed her life to bring democracy back to her people. If they do not, those few extremists will bulldoze them, one leader at a time. Then it would be too late to wish otherwise.
The ‘Bush-man” Musharraf fell prey to the greed of power. His dreams of making Pakistan a moderate democratic republic simply vanished before the hunger for power.
Bhutto’s death gives ample reason to Musharraf to stay put. I will not be surprised to hear “I told you so”, “You did not understand my people” kind of rhetoric and assert “Pakistani people prefer to have the military rule” and “I am the one.” Pakistani people deserve their own government, and they are inherently democratic in their disposition.

At this time, the best course for the United States to take is not to rock the boat. Let the general have some breathing room, and listen to him and to the public without making aggressive self serving suggestions. Any criticism of his government may build public resentment and amounts to meddling in their affairs.

Stability of Pakistan is important to her people and people in the Subcontinent. Let Pakistan recover from this severe blow to their democratic process, and make sure there is a genuine welcome of our help, and offer it unconditionally.

Democracy is not a ‘ready made’ suit to fit in the moment you wear it. It is a process like planting the seeds, watching them germinate, checking for moisture, soil, sun and air, and caring it from bugs, fungal diseases and then protecting it from the birds. Then comes fertilizing, watering, pruning and chasing the birds or the monkeys part, it is a full blown process. You have nourish it and over a period of twenty years, it will be tree enough to serve the purpose for which it was gown; Shade.
One has to start breathing, drinking, sleeping and living democracy to fully realize its values. It took us two centuries to be one of the most mature democracies and we need to give others at least a generation and not order it to happen on our President’s watch.

Fundos (Fundamentalists) are a threat to the peaceful working of their society. They want others to believe and listen to them, without giving the other party the very same right. As citizens of the world, we need to put politics aside and at least try roping them into a dialogue. Looking back, had our administration not emboldened her with the confrontational path, she probably would have trekked the diplomatic path.

To understand the vibrancy of Pakistani populace, one must watch the Pakistan forums and talk shows- such as the much talked about “who wants to be the Prime Minister”. It is weeks of debate, give and take punches, and absorbing and living the values of inclusiveness in that society. The extremists also listen and watch the slow seeping in of democratic norms. It is an anecdote to terrorism.

Steven Bochco’s “LA Law” truly represented American mind, the audience was made to take different sides as the show moved forward and enabled the public to see how to deal with different social and cultural issues of the society. If the American entrepreneurs can fund such shows around the globe where people can think and ponder on both sides of the issue, we can see seeds of democracy germinating on the planet earth.

Pakistan is ripe for democracy; a majority of her people believes in it. We cannot “Bush out terrorism” with bombs, we can certainly erase it through dialogue, education and patience. We need a 20 year plan to change a whole new generation into thinking, believing, seeing, breathing and living democracy in their day to day life. It will take a generation to bring it about a sustainable democracy.

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of the Foundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism, politics, Islam, Religion and civic issues. He is the founding president of World Muslim Congress with a simple theme: Good for Muslims and good for the world. His comments, news analysis, opinions and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at or (214) 325-1916

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Muslim Congress-12/26/07-2

Muslim Congress-12/26/07-2

If you wish to be a member, please send an email to:

opinions are your own,
moderator's comments are appended with each comment.
  1. Aziz - Morality misplaced ::
  2. Ovais Hasan :: Re: Criticism of article on Hijab
  3. Aishah Schwartz : RESPONSE>>>Abuse of Women ::
  4. Shamim Siddiqui :: Re: Criticism of article on Hijab ::
  5. Javed jamil :: Criticism of article on Hijab ::
  6. Zeba Salim :: Criticism of article on Hijab ::

CRITICAL NOTE :: Every Muslim ought to have the knowledge of Islam. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in his last sermon was very clear - for us to follow the book, and he did not assign any one to interpret it for us. Bottom line? On the day of reckoning, individual is responsible for his actions, not his/her teacher, mother, Imam or kids. Finding the truth is one's own responsibility. Zeba has a comment about Dr. Jamil's knowledge, believe me that question goes to me, you and every one.

Personally, I am not a scholar in Islam per se, I do not have a degree in Islam nor have I gone to a seminary. That is the beauty of Islam, you grab the concepts and understand it from an universal point of view and look at the book, some eighteen translations are available for each verse, study them in the light of justice and peace for every human on the earth. God is not exclusively for Muslims, God belongs to all his creation and every one of us is his creation. Mr. Waleed Kavalec of this forum maintains a website that gives 17 translations of Qur'aan verse by verse, go to it has a good search engine as well as the pronunciation alternatives. Insha Allah, we will have one as well at whenever we can afford to.

By the way, I check the emails twice a day and respond. I am a volunteer just like you and kindly don' expect me to post or respond to you instantaneously.

Mike Ghouse

From: Aziz - Morality misplaced

Mr Jamil condescending response to Madame Zeba is not a new trait, women are emotional and can only respond in anger is old chauvinist retake.and can't see the threat posed by Western infidels.May be one day Mr Jamil will wake up in the morning and write a book "evil men" or "the rapist" and actually put the responsibility where it belongs.

Mr Jamil, in his response is trying to remake Sodom and Gomorrah 3,000 years plus history of Good and Evil, while we are still waiting for miracle of a sinless world and a perfect human being. Mr Jamil, xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx his books which contain all the answers to human problems, Mr Jamil talks about what he views as subjective truth as if human suffering is not natural and any human death can be attributed to western culture and decadence within the framework of language "I only attack Westernism that has now assumed global proportions; he likes to throw out the number of Deaths, associating causality to "westernism" neither West or East is an "Ism" but simply a geographical position, such definitions simply meant to perpetuate an ideology based on cultural and religious conflicts, To natural deaths and suicides might not rank high in his value system because normative is not natural and common good is subject to "Westernism" and the universe revolves around the axis of market forces, these market forces are not Babylonian but Westernism the great Satanical force, and natural needs of consumer makes human being evil as the prophets of religion have decreed and the rational conscience of a consumer is also apparently a victim of Market forces and intellect is unnatural while he refuses to recognize supply and demand is natural, when a baby needs milk the milk will appear it is called human ingenuity. His grand design of Moral Code is the Quran and the Islamist or Islamic applied Science.But this is essentially a writers delusions at worst, at best the words Jihad against the infidel has digressed to "westernism"

His rank bad and evil is Hiroshima, and 9/11 would be a comparative misdemeanor. Mr Jamil is part of the problem not the solution, what is natural can not simply resolved by religion, or new revelations, his sliding scale of what is good and evil can be only defined in term of Western "ism", and not Islamism

Mr Jamil, Holds that most freedoms , If tolerated anywhere, would jeopardize the orderliness of the Universe, such aversion to disorder is the real motive of his Faith that lies in unqualified determinism. yet he fails to recognize a free act is an event without cause, an exception to the law of causality. He expects a principle uniformity in natural occurrences and contradicts it by absolute false dichotomy and I quote him "The most dangerous choices that are being given to the people at the behest of the market forces......" He defines choices as something given by outside forces, In essence failure to make rational decision, and rejects rationality and intellect itself as natural cause, he says we are forced to make choices of nakedness, a natural causation, what he should be saying, Clothing like Veil is forced upon us by market forces, and each and every data and premise of argument is similarly questionable, His logic amounts to nothing short of malpractice.

Anti western talking points these are his words check the archives, I think someone asked him what control parameters were used arrive at such data and statical. prevalence in Muslim countries against reported data from the west, now that would be interesting to see Mr Ahmedinijad actually admit there are gays in Iran or Saudis admit there are gays there, I suppose Middle East is not west and being Gay is the fault of West too.

* choice of being naked

*The choice of sex outside marriage.

* the choice of becoming part of commercial sex, either as the seller or purchaser; (promiscuity, promiscuity, homosexuality, etc kill more than 5 million people every year through AIDS)

* the choice of drinking alcohol and smoking (Combined they kill more than 4.8 million);

* the choice of killing oneself; and above all; (Kill more than 2.8 million);

* the choice of killing one's children (abortion). (Kills more than 60 million premature children.);

* the choice of gambling. (It kills more than 2 million)

His Utopian Islamic society is seriously flawed, human beings anywhere in the world have same characteristics as a Christian a Hindu or Muslim his anti west logic amounts to nothing short of malpractice. Mr Jamil as a talented person should spend his time on promoting uniting people East or West than wast time on divisive issue blaming the west or women who don't adorn Hijab as victims of the west is ludicrous and is simply denying culpability, the real victims of human rights are women irrespective if they wear Hijab or not, such arguments that if Hijab was fashion it would be mass production is nothing but a straw men argument by Mr Jamil.

Most men become defensive when it comes to gender violence and simply go into denial mode, How many cases of rape gets reported in Muslim countries in a culture of shame an stigma and 200 lashes, amplified by arguments women who choose not to wear Hijab have a morality issue i.e western women, Any fool can see from the responses to Zeba Salim how much respect these men have for womens old tradition of gang busta is alive and well called male patriarchy., There are prostitutes in Muslim countries wearing Hijab that provide service for the holier than cow men and all kinds of immorality has been going on in Muslim countries for time immemorial, yet it is westernisms fault, It is amazing to see medieval arguments from the land which saw nudity as form of spiritual art sculptured in the temples like India depicting all kinds of nudity as pornography by Mr. Jamil, just another evidence of reverse evolution.

Why is a women who chooses not to wear Hijab lack moral value, not a single logical response,,,,xxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx , just another westernism a commercial utility.

Moderator - i) Dr. Jamil will respond to your comments - ii) Dr. Jamil has never attempted to sell his books, as much as I know, on the reverse, people ask him for his books, hence I have deleted those sentences iii) Agree with you that prostitution and Men's lewd behavior are as old as human existence - it has nothing to do with west or east -it is a human issue iv) Concur with you that humans are driven by temptations that are forbidden and religion indeed is a constant reminder to them to stay out of it, every religion for that matter.


From: Ovais Hasan :: Re: Criticism of article on Hijab

"An evil is an evil whenever and wherever it exists and whoever is involved in it" , I totally agree with Mr. Javed Jamil, we just can't call an Evil a Good way of living because of our environment is indulge in it. The irony is that it has been accepted and is considered a freedom of expression, on the other hand if a man or women try to be modest they are stamped as old fashioned species of the past. LOL


Moderator - your black and white view adds to the diversity of thought.


From: Aishah Schwartz : RESPONSE>>>Abuse of Women

 "...figures suggest that a woman is safer from rape in Saudi Arabia than in South Africa. It is also possible that since the rapes are a rarity in Saudi Arabia, each one gets the headlines..."

RARE? SERIOUSLY? Please, by all means, remember that "news" is highly monitored in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - and just because you can't see it "statistically" doesn't mean it is not happening or that these women are any safer than women living elsewhere. It is extremely rare that any case or form of abuse manages to wriggle its way out of the Kingdom, and I am sure there are plenty of Saudi women journalists who can attest to this; most certainly the abuse is not restricted merely to the unfortunate maids hauled in from overseas to slave for 14-18 hours a day-straight for mere pennies, and who sleep on floors under stairwells at night...I lived there for a year and saw it first-hand...even in a hospital where these poor women worked had to spend from their own pocket to eat food from the that at the end of the day could have served them vs. being thrown out in the trash. My closest friend (while in KSA), also happened to be a gynechologist (the only female in the hospital...tell me she wasn't busy...omg...there were 8 other obgyn's - ALL MEN...go figure...) - and to this day I know it is only by the mercy of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala that she is able to sleep at night for all she has had to see...and treat...abuse of women knows no boundaries...or, sadly, religion...

Moderator - Aishah, you have made a good point indeed. When I was writing the rebuttal to Ayaan Hirsi Ali's "Silence of Moderates" I compiled that statistics from FBI, interpol and other sources. That is the only available quotable statistics on the market, facts certainly vary and we need more information. You are our specialist on Saudi Arabia and hope you can find alternative statistics to set the record right.


From: Shamim Siddiqui :: Re: Criticism of article on Hijab

Mohtram Ghouse Bhai, ASA

Shukrun for this multidimensional discussion, originated by my beloved Br Dr. Jamil, loaded with both relevant and irrelevant comments.

The issue must be restricted only to one basic point as to whether a sister, while leaving her home should cover her "Zeenah" [decorations] or be remained "exposed" to the vagaries of greedy "penetrating" sights of the opposite sex, leading to all forms of abnoxus things that originate from the state of "uncoveredness"?

Islam permits its women folk to go out formally covering their "Zeenah" except certain exceptions that are a limited few and not to be used it as fashion. "Ghassey Basar" is obligatory for both the genders. For women folk covering of "Zeenah' is an extra ordinary measure provided by Shariah to keep the society purified from all kinds of lust. For a Muslim, it is ordained by Allah and she has to abide by it with no question as the means of her best protection. That is the end of it. But for a "free-lancer" secularist or liberal the world is wide open. However,, Hh/she should not dare to poke his/her nose to disturb the restrictions" that are the intelligent sanctions from Allah and His Shariah for the good of mankind.

The list of ONLY "Reported " rape cases as given by you for a few countries must be sufficient to realize for such brothers and sisters the beauty of Islamic Shariah.

Shamim Siddiqi

Moderator - Shamim Bhai, i) the burden of goodness should not be levied on women alone to wear the Hijab, men should bear equal responsibility. ii) Qur'aan is indeed right about modesty but our interpretations and our language needs updating. iii) Women are fine, they should have the freedom to go about living their day to day life without worrying where these ugly men are lurking and looking at their Zeenah. iv) I would say let the men wear the Hijab for looking at other women without modesty. v) Whose fault was it when Adam ate that wheat/apple? - Adam's or Apple's?

Javed jamil : Criticism of article on Hijab

Dear Mike,


These are some of the reference for the figures I cited about the US.

“One in six American women are victims of sexual assault, and one in 33 men.(

“Fact #1: 17.6 % of women in the United States have survived a completed or attempted rape. Of these, 21.6% were younger than age 12 when they were first raped, and 32.4% were between the ages of 12 and 17. (Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women, Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, November, 2000)(

“According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, there were 102,560 reported rapes or attempted rapes in 1990.[1] The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 130,000 women were victims of rape in 1990.[2] A Harris poll sets the figure at 380,000 rapes or sexual assaults for 1993.[3] According to a study by the National Victims Center, there were 683,000 completed forcible rapes in 1990.[4] The Justice Department says that 8 percent of all American women will be victims of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime.

The radical feminist legal scholar Catharine MacKinnon, however, claims that "by conservative definition [rape] happens to almost half of all women at least once in their lives."[5]……… Koss and her colleagues concluded that 15.4 percent of respondents had been raped, and that 12.1 percent had been victims of attempted rape.[9] Thus, a total of 27.5 percent of the respondents were determined to have been victims of rape or attempted rape because they gave answers that fit Koss's criteria for rape (penetration by penis, finger, or other object under coercive influence such as physical force, alcohol, or threats).”

Moderator - Thanks for the statistics. Indeed, we had a international women's peace conference in Dallas in July this year, I was the registrar of the conference, and during that time, I was looking for stats - most of them are dated 1990. If some one can find latest stats, it would be appreciated. There is a phrase "forced rape" I am wondering what does it mean, is there a consensual rape?

From Zeba Salim

No, Dr. Jamil, you have reduced the debate to a east-west or west-east issue. Your argument that the reson we have high incidents of reported accounts of rape are attribued to the "commercialism of sex" and "laxity of laws. in the west. This can only be changed if we introduced pardah and burqa and eliminate any freedom of choice (see your earlier article), then the problem would be solved since "Islamic countries" reportedly have lower incidents of rape then does the west. Sorry, it's a weak argument; any researcher and scientific institute will tell you otherwise.

The environment within any Islamic countries does not create the means to get justice. If victims do get help, then it as a result of international pressure of which we have seen ample evidence. Rape aside, sexual molestations and violence are abound. I am stunned at the accounts Muslim women give me of the incidence of sexual violence that gets unreported in "Islamic countries" because there is no justice. Is justice trying four witness and proving your innocence? The stigma attached to getting justice also holds people back from reporting rape, sexual molestations etc. We have seen the horrific violations made by the courts in Saudi, even with evidence (a video of the rape), the victim was questioned, and her attorney's license stripped.

A complete laxity in the laws. If you are in this environment, why would anyone woman want to make a report? And let me add, if "rape" is defined as non-consensual sex even within wedlock, we will have as many women report "rape" from spouses in "Islamic countries" as we do in the west.

Moreover, your article also goes on about how women who dress provactively are inviting rape and that encourages the to get raped (which you denied in your previous post). I have shown you plenty of evidence that clothing does not play a part in protecting anyone from getting raped. Plenty of women in this world have been raped and they were fully addressed and not walking in dark alleyways; therefore clothing is not the common factor but a perception of entitlement, disrespect and the need to have power and control. Weak and pathetic men rape, not men who have been "seduced by a provactive woman." If you are trying to justify the reasons why men rape women, and wish to blame them for their actions, keep it at it, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx We have all read that the Qatar victim was blamed for "dressing provactively" but what about Mukthar Mai (sp) in Pakistan or several other prominent rape victims who were brutally tortured? I also gave you the reference for the article in Eygpt, Darfur and Bosnia. You see, xxxxxxxxxx you want to blame the media and subsequently the way women dress for the cause of sexual violence in this world when in fact, women get raped because they are not valued within a society, and there is no justice for them.

As for the defenders of Dr. Jamil's arguments, I am sure Dr. Jamil is knowledgable about matters of medicine and many other things, but in this area is hypothesis, if tested would fail. And for the other readers, I guess you and I watch different channels and programs, as ya'll seem well versed with the amount of nudity on American television.

Moderator - Zeba, you have brought some good points forward - i) it is not the issue of east or west, it is a human (rather inhuman) issue. ii) Dress provocation is addressed above - the provocation is inherent in those ugly men regardless of what the woman wears. iii) comment about the book is removed for the same reason given in Aziz's comments above iv) comments about the blame is removed. vi) Your response about Dr. Jamil's knowledge is not well thought out. I have explained in my general comments at the top.


Muslim Congress - 12/26/07

Muslim Congress - 12/26/07

For connecting articles, please go to the previous postings

Each opinion is a valid statement from the writer and I urge every one to consider their opinion as one of the many towards developing an understanding of the situation. This is one of the finest group of people and no one digs in their heels, every one is, thanks God, is open to sharing and explaining their point of view. My salute to each one of you.

Members share their opinions, opinions are your own. All comments are on the same subject - Hijab.

  1. Marylou Ghyst
  2. Narendra Singh
  3. Nidal
  4. Minhas
  5. BA syed
  6. Javed Jamil
  7. Zeba Salim
  8. Syed Shah Warsi
  9. Samuel Cole - Donning the Hijab
  10. Burqa to No Burqa
  11. Burn the Burqa

A few guidelines. It is traditional to address a woman as Miss. or Mrs indicating her married status, where as no such distinction is made for Men and I would like to go gender-less in our forum. The discussion is issue, it should not make any difference if it is a male or a female advancing the point. A few salutations were addressed as Mrs. where as I knew the person to be a Miss. If you must, please use Ms. It is same as Mr. without identifying one's married status which is not a factor.

To join the discussion group, send an email to:

Mike Ghouse, Moderator

From: Marylou Ghyst
Date: Wed Dec 26, 2007 10:05 am
Subject: Re: MuslimAgenda :: Re: to Zeba's criticism of my article on Hijab

"In South Africa, attempts to rape have been made on every second woman, in the US on every fourth."

Dr. Jamil, would you be kind enough to quote your source of the statistics you mention above. My information from the Women's Shelter that gets their info from the FBI indicates the rate is point 28% ( .28%) which is just slightly higher than 1/4 of 1%. If we consider those cases that go unreported, it is still under 1%. Thank you. Marylou


narendra singh
Date: Wed Dec 26, 2007 8:45 am
Subject: javed-farzana debate

Dear Zeba

Your responses are nothing but unjustified attempts at trying to negate what everybody can see. Dr Javed Jamil is one of the most refreshing thinkers of the present time. He has been challenging the modern economic theory in a manner which is unparalleled. His tyle is both creative and investigative. I had the opportunity to read "The Killer Sex" by Dr Jamil. I gave it to some students in JNU and then to some of my doctor friends. JNU students had a sort of race to read it as soon as possible and there was quite a hetaed debate. And if a work can initiate a big debate, it signals a big success for the author. My doctor friend who is a prolific reader described it as the best book he has read, as it has successfully unveiled the designs of the corportae world to commercialise human susceptibilities. Everybody knows the powerful influnce of the big business but the way Dr Jamil has commented on it is just amazing. His theory of economic fundamentalism is thoroughly fascinating and convincing. You should better study the impact of the current sexual trends in your own way and then decide if they are healthy or unhealthy.

Narendra Singh


From Nidal

Frankly speaking Mr. Jamil; I have lived here for nearly 40 years and I am fascinated as to how much nudity you seem to think there is going on here on a daily basis!! You seem to be frequenting areas or past of the west that I have hardly seen. "

Helllooo! I live in the west too. And you even dont have to live in the west to realize how much nudity there is on daily basis, just watch 5 minutes of American TV ads.



You are right. I have lived in the west for 30 years. and anyone who doesn't think that western women are naked is either islamically not grounded very well or simply walking with their eyes closed. ISLAM defines what is nudity. we do not. do a google search on clothed yet naked. "Sister" Zeba's criticism is simply not valid in the light of quran and sunnat. That is not to say that women who don't wear hijab bother me, because I really could care less. However to say that American women are not naked compared to REAL muslim women (in general) is simply not reality.



This wild fire is spreading in India and through their TV shows in Pakistan as well. The younger generation thinks that to be modern they have to imitate the West. And ths is what they want our folks to imitate like mindless monkeys calling it "Modernism." TV and Internet is having a negative impact on our peoples.

B. A. Syed


From Dr. Javed Jamil

Dear Zeba

I expected a much better response from what you gave. Your response has shown that you are totally overwhelmed by the arguments advanced now and then by the supporters of nudity, prostitution, pornography and abortion, which are nothing but a malicious attempt to silence the opponents. The proponents of legalizing the sex trade have been shouting, “This is the oldest trade”; the proponents of abortion are supporting it in the name of freedom of women and the defenders of free sex try to give hundreds of reasons behind the rape instead of pointing the real ones.

1. You seem to be bent on converting the debate into a West versus Muslim one. An evil is an evil whenever and wherever it exists and whoever is involved in it. Even if the whole of Saudi Arabia starts watching pornography, it would not become a virtue. Even if the whole of Pakistan becomes drunkard, this would not make alcohol a drink worthy drink. I always avoid blaming the people for their evils. I do not think people, whether belonging to West or East, are inherently bad. It is the system in force (not the one not in force) that shapes and regulates their tastes and inclinations. My whole approach is to speak not against the people but against the evils, the system that promote them, the forces that control the system and the beneficiaries of the system. People watch pornography because it is being made available to them by those who benefit from supplying it. If it is not available to them, they will simply not watch it. The corporate world and the think-tank of economic fundamentalists have espoused freedom of choice for their own benefits. Otherwise how a civilized society can give dangerous choices to the people?

2. You are right in saying that my book reflects only my opinion. Yes it is, and a new approach and thought does not require references. The book was not to be meant for academic journals but for the people. As far as the data are concerned, I have always given the sources except where it has been inadvertently missed.

3. I have said that nakedness is not the only reason behind rape, not that it is not a reason at all. This can be said only by a person like you who cannot see what is visible to all and makes extraordinary efforts to show what is not easily visible. I reproduce here excerpts from my book, “The Killer Sex” regarding rape:

“The combined effect of the commercialisation of sex, the social culture it spawned and the legal framework that its proponents propelled was an overwhelming increase in all kinds of violence. Rapes, murders, abuses and other forms of domestic violence have reached a level at which a society loses its claim to be civilised. Whenever there is anarchy, it is the weak that suffer most. Obviously women and children are at the receiving end of an overwhelming majority of the cases of violence unleashed by changed perceptions about sex.
Let us first concentrate our attention on rape! The conditions that prevail in a typical Western society, or any society that follows Western legal system or tries to imitate its social norms, are good enough for rapes to abound. The empowerment of women sans security has made them easy targets. They are no longer confined to the safe environs of family for most of the time. They usually get out of out of their houses early in the day and do not come back till the night has settled in. They are normally not accompanied by any that would guard them. Often they are travelling or walking in lonely areas away from the public gaze. They often happen to be in situations and places where their screams for help have little chances to be heard. Their appearance hardly helps them. While several factors contribute to the rise in the incidence of rapes, two are the chief culprits. The first and more important is the laxity of law, in word as well as in practice. The second is provocative images in the media, including soft and hard porn, nude pictures, and highly provocative write-ups. It can be argued that rape is more violence manifested in sex rather than sex manifested in violence. Whichever the case, the truth is that the above two factors remain the ultimate culprits. It may be right that it is the desire to overpower a person rather than have sex is responsible for rapes. But these could never have culminated into sexual assaults, except in a small number of cases, had the atmosphere not been so terrifically charged with sex and the law not been so terribly impotent, as they have become.

There was a time not long ago, hardly a century back, when almost all over the world, harsh penalties awaited not just rapes but all forms of sex outside the accepted boundaries. Law as well as society would hunt the breakers of law. Rape was least acceptable, and would almost always be punished with death. The only escape route for the culprit was the lack of evidence to support rape. But in many cases, sufficient evidence would be gathered to ensure a speedy trial, prompt conviction and swift execution. It was a general feeling in the minds of common men that their slightest misdemeanour could land them in the hands of authorities, and any misguided adventure could lead them to the gallows. This fear would get strengthened whenever there was the news of a convict being stoned to death or beheaded in full public view. Rapes obviously were far and few. In countries where such laws are in practice, even today, rapes are rare. In many Islamic countries, and the countries of the Socialist block, rapes have been rather uncommon compared to West and India. In America, according to the US Department of Justice, a woman is sexually assaulted every second minute. In1996, more than three hundred thousand women became victims of rapes, attempted rapes or sexual assaults. According to National Crime Victimisation Survey, less than one in every three cases of rapes and sexual assaults were reported in 1996. And still more gruesome is the fact that the perpetrators of these crimes often happen to be acquaintances. Better knowledge of the movements of victims, greater availability of time and space to put their sinister plans into practice, intemperance especially in the night hours and lesser fear of being reported may be some of the factors that might be the driving force behind this. Thus, according to the US Department of Justice, more than two third of cases knew their assailant. The survey tells that 28% of victims were raped by husbands or boyfriends, 35% by acquaintances and 5% by other relatives. Obviously more rapes occur in private places. Still the number of cases occurring in public places is about 25%. This demonstrates that rapists have hardly any fear of being stopped or challenged by anybody. They are almost certain that their crime will go either unreported, or at least unpunished. This belief is further strengthened by the fact that about one third of rape cases occurred in daylight. And it is not surprising that about less than a half of the offenders were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Where there is provocation all around, sexuality has become extremely aggressive, and there is hardly anything that prevents a person from satiating his sexual desire in whatever manner he thinks fit, it is not inconceivable that children too become victims of sexual assault. According to Justice Department, in the US, one in two rape victims is under 18, and one in six under 12. This means that more than two third of victims are those that have not attained the official age of adulthood. Cases are often reported in the newspapers where the victims of rape are children less than 6. How rape is demolishing the whole myth of women’s “freedom” and “empowerment” can be gauged from the statistics that look horrible in the very first sight. Every eleventh woman in the US and every fourth in South Africa have been raped, and attempt to rape has been made on every fourth woman in the US and every second in South Africa. Conditions in most of the European countries are no better. Data on United Kingdom tell that one in 4 of women have experienced rape or attempted rape; one in seven has been coerced into sex. The international data confirm that the sexual victimisation has become almost a global phenomenon now. According to Statistics Canada, one in three women has experienced sexual assault. Over 60% of these women have more than one such experience. What is disturbing is that only 6% cases are reported. This demonstrates the lack of confidence in law-enforcing agencies as well as the inability of women to report on account of the fact that a substantial majority of the assailants are their nears and dears.

India is also fast becoming a contender in the race to attain the peak in all sex-related problems. Her glorious family traditions are slowly but steadily being devoured by the monster of commercial sex. It has chosen to adopt the Western style of legal system with the result that all forms of crime abound. The situation on the rape front is hardly encouraging. More than 50,000 rapes are reported every year. The number of unreported cases far exceeds the reported ones. Minor girls and boys are raped with impunity. When a few years back, the country’s Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vapayee spoke in a conference about his intentions to amend the existing law so as to make it possible to punish the rapists with death sentence, I could not believe my ears. But I was sure the country’s Prime Minster did not have the guts or even power to make a law that would rile the big business. I told my friends that soon the global forces of economic fundamentalism would enter the picture from behind the scene, and there was little chance for Vajpayee to proceed with what he felt right in his heart. And within a few days, the government clarified that it did not plan to bring any legislation that would punish the rapist with death sentence. Instead an alternative measure was mooted to help the rape victims. This was aimed at insuring women against rape; if they have their honour insured with Insurance Company, they would have the benefit of securing handsome amounts in case they happen to be raped. So another business is in the making with its tentacles ready to capture as many women as possible. What a travesty of morality! What an empowerment of women! They need not unnecessarily fear about being raped; they could in fact earn fortunes out of it. Insurance Companies would of course earn even when women do not seek compensation. But the more the incidence of rapes rises the more the companies would grow their business. And their growth will reflect itself in the GDP of the country. So the state too need not bother too much about what is happening to its women and children. Their life and honour may be important but not as important as are the “needs” of “development”.

About thirty years back, I remember a writer having remarked that women can be equal to men in all respects except that it is only they who can be raped. The talk of rape of men would seem to be ridiculous to all in those days and to many even now. But this too has become a reality. With homosexuality on the rise as a result of legal or social permissiveness, and promotion by vested interests, it is hardly surprising that men are also being raped. And with the aggressive sexuality of modern women, they too have the right to feel delighted in, and boast of, raping men, either at the gunpoint or by the combined efforts of a group. Why should women lag behind when “equality” to their “feministic” passion remains an agenda that can never be sidetracked, whatever the circumstances, whatever the consequences? So the National Crime Victimisation Survey informs us that while 9 out of 10 victims of rape are women, men and boys are also victimised by this crime.

As has been said above, an overwhelming majority of the cases is not reported. This demonstrates, apart from other compelling reasons, total lack of faith in the minds of the victims in the ability of the system to nab and punish the culprits to their satisfaction. Data have established that not more than 6% of rape cases lead to the conviction. According to Home Office (UK) Study of Rape, over two thirds of cases dropped out during the police investigation. Half of the cases that were “crimed” by police resulted in no further action. According to the same report, in a small minority (12%) of “stranger rape” cases where the suspect was identified, the case was more likely to proceed to court than in those cases where the culprit and suspect were previously acquainted. And if at all a case reported reaches the stage of conviction, what is the punishment for him? Hardly a few years’ imprisonment. Once freed from the prison there are always possibilities that he takes on his victim again, this time with more care so that he does not have to face execution again. Often this means that he has to get rid of his victim so that she does not survive to report. When millions of women are raped every year all over the world and hardly a few thousands are punished, only hundreds severely, the disincentive for a rapist is hardly enough to strangle the incentive he sees in it.

As the rising incidence of rapes has direct relation to the growth of commercialisation of sex, obviously huge efforts would be made at the behest of vested interests to play down the problem. Every possible trick would be employed. As is the case with the criminals in general who have much wider support to protect themselves than their hapless victims do, rapists too have plenty of backing. There are many that venture to disregard rape as something serious, and twist their arguments to pinpoint the blame on victims rather than culprits. They have quite a few arsenals of reason in their armoury to advance their frontline. They often go to the extent of alleging a tacit approval by the victim claiming that if women really want to, they can always say no. They forget that a woman would rarely want sex without any benefit to her: she should either have an emotional satisfaction or, as in the case of prostitutes, a monetary benefit. Their cronies in the media, particularly Internet, have been lately busy in glorifying rapes; women are being made to believe that even rapes are pleasurable activities, the delight of which is no less than any other form of sex. But so far it is extremely unimaginable that women would enjoy it and would not resist it with their hearts and minds. In reality, they cry, scream, try to escape and often wrestle to the best of their ability. Sometimes they try to reason out, even plead. But the rapist would not listen. Why should he when he has an opportunity to discharge fluids of his desires without fearing any serious damage to his life? Rapists are also said to be psychologically deranged, perverts or mentally ill. If they are mentally ill, their place is in a psychiatric asylum; they cannot be let free to play with the lives and honour of others. The truth is that, in overwhelming majority of the cases, they are neither mentally ill nor psychiatrically deranged. They rape because they want pleasure; and if pleasure cannot be had with the consent of a woman, it is not an unattractive idea to ignore her consent altogether. They want to dominate, and if they feel the desire to lay specific women, they have nothing to stop them from fulfilling it. This must not surprise anybody that recent studies among the US students indicate that many of students would want to rape provided their safe escape was guaranteed. It is only the fear of the law or that of God that can prevent people from committing aggression on others, and if both are non-existent, the probability of their succumbing to their temptations will certainly enhance. Youngsters do tend to pursue adventurist desires and there cannot be a more exciting adventure than raping an unwilling but young, smart and attractive girl. The suggestion that the looks of a woman and the way she presents herself play some part is plausible. But the fact also remains that all types of women are raped; sometimes even pious women who present themselves in the most decent way possible are subjected to rape.

While rape cannot be condoned whatever the circumstances and however strong the temptation, some feminists have not been helping the cause by trying to defend women who wear provocative dresses. It will be interesting to quote here from a paper appearing on Net under the title “Information on…Rape ad Sexual Assault”. In an otherwise well-documented and well-presented paper, under the subtitle, “Common misunderstandings about Rape and Sexual Assault”, the author remarks:
“The argument suggests that women are responsible for sexually arousing men through their dress or ‘flirting’. Some people believe that if women invite men in after a date or allow him to pay for dinner this means they are also agreeing to have sex. In some societies, even being alone or going out for the evening with a man can be regarded as tacit permission. But we all have the right to choose when and with whom we have sex, and no-one has the right to presume this - consent means free agreement, an agreement that is explicitly made between two people where there is no threat or coercion. Implicit within this view is the idea that men cannot control their sexual desires and women should know this and adapt their behaviour accordingly. Why do so many men feel comfortable with this view of themselves? It is insulting and demeaning to men who do not think that their penises operate independently of their brains.”

Of course, there is nothing wrong in expecting all men to always behave in an exemplary manner and let their penises not operate independently of their brains. But it is naive to suggest that women must test their patience and control by doing things that may be, or may look, provocative to them. If you have to save your wealth, you also have to take sufficient measures to safeguard it from being robbed; public display of wealth is sure to invite robbers. Women are usually in attractive clothes that project rather than suppress their anatomy. The make-up, styles and perfumes further add the fuel to the fire. Women often advance the argument that it is their right to look charming and, if sleeveless arms or naked legs inflame the passions of a male, it is his bloody duty to tighten the noose on his basal instincts. They want to look inviting to all, and yet expect a chosen few to approach them. Nobody tells them that those who have no control over their baser instincts know or understand hardly any argument that would sober their actions. Their development has taken place in an environment that loathes ethics. Since childhood they have been growing on images that transforms them into lusty animals. And when there is no law strong enough to rein them in, they let loose their instincts. Like a bull that runs after everything red, these herds of beastly humans run after everything round or deep.

Yet, this should not be a ground for the culprits to justify their action. A robbery remains a robbery; a robbery from a jeweller’s shop cannot go unpunished on the plea that the robber had been tempted by the display of precious items. The jeweller can be well advised to adopt security measures but the robber cannot be set free on the plea that he was offered an opportunity by the jeweller himself.

The role of the media cannot be ignored in the creation of rapists. It can be argued that rapists are people with utter disregard for morality and ethics. They flaunt social norms for their own satisfaction. They have an evil mental make-up that instigates them to commit the crime. But it is naïve to assume that bad are bad, and good are good, in all conditions. This is not, unfortunately though, the truth. Circumstances and atmosphere tend to play a leading role in influencing people’s imaginations and actions. When there is provocation, even good tend to be bad; when there is no provocation, even bad tend to be good. And in the modern world, the media generates the biggest influence on human imaginations and actions. Like almost every other thing, media too is in the hands of the big business. It has nothing to do with morality preached by the “moral police” comprising religiously inclined and other humanists. And who says media suffers from the pellagra of morals? It has plenty of them. But what distinguishes its morals from what the “moral policemen” tend to preach is that its morality gives individuals a choice to choose whatever suits them; the decision is theirs. It provides them the variety, as it does not want to judge for others what is good or bad. However it has the right to judge that people want variety that must therefore be supplied, as quickly as possible, and in as much quantity as feasible. People must be given the choice and media does not compel them to watch what the “moralists” resent. The old-fashioned “morals” must be frozen to death and mummified so that future generations can wonder at their nonsense. The global media of today have two interests: direct and indirect. Their direct interest is to increase their own business, and their indirect aim is to collaborate and co-operate with other growing businesses. Sex helps both. People want to see sex, and as much variety as possible. Media therefore provides all. Go to a magazine shop and nude pictures and pornographic literature immediately arrest your attention. You scan through the television and images are there to capture your imagination. You browse through Internet and all kinds of sexually sensitive material are waiting to captivate your senses. There are websites that are exclusively aimed at glorifying rape; these claim to possess thousands of pictures and movies depicting cruellest form of rapes. Such is the cumulative impact of the media that all adult men and women have to remain in a sexually highly charged state of mind. With this state of mind, not all can be expected to keep their frenzied passions under check. Some people would find unconventional and violent ways to get rid of their frenzy. Their penises would operate without the involvement of their brains or conscience. With other factors hardly of any assistance, rapes are bound to increase in number, and in cruelty. Obviously, relatives would be easily accessible targets. When incest is shown as a delightful form of sex, it is not unexpected to see even daughters and sons being raped by fathers.”

This piece will also be a part of the ongoing series of my theory of economics, which will also include data related to rape.

I don’t know what makes you disregard the fact that the developments are usually propelled by the dominating forces and the forces that dominate most in today’s world are the ones belonging to the corporate world. Instead of giving the outdated arguments, I hope you would try to find ways to eradicate evils from the world.

Javed Jamil

From Zeba Salim

Dear Dr. Jamil,

Nowhere did I write if I agree or disagreewith the corporate world wheter they should or should not waste their time reaping benefits on anything. Instead I pointed out that the corporate actually DOES reap benefits from those who want to wear hijaab by manufacturing goods for people who want to wear it. Hermes and Burberry are designer lines - along with Coach and Channel - these companies make a fortune selling their scarves to Muslim women. So this argument you have that corporations and commercialization are the reason women don't wear clothes or even advocate women wearing hijaab has nothing to do it with it. Here are two links for you. - Here is an extract "A 2004 Hermes ad featured two women with the dark hair, dark eyes, and olive skin of many Middle Easterners and wearing the company's iconic scarves wrapped around their heads in the Muslim style of hijab." For your information, Hermes is one the TOP fashion companies in the world. One of their scraves costs nearly $300! If everyone woman wore hijaab think of the financial revenues for these companies!!

By the way, companies sell clothes, all kinds of clothes. Designers make a fortune on anything they want. So to assume that they are against anything is ridiculous. They manufacture the west and people throughout world want their clothes. Even if women don't show in front of other men, they will other females. Have you ever gone to a party in Saudi Arabia? A woman's only party? Apparently there is so much cleavage it will astound you.

And while sex might be used to sell specific products such as beer and alcohol, I can't image how you plan ot explain how you think its being used to sell vacuum cleaners, hoovers, household products, all kinds of clothing, comestics, shoes etc. Consequently your assumption that it the "biggest trade" has no basis. And even if sex does sell a product, that doesn't mean we to implement measures such as purdah or burkahs or hijaabs to prevent it's sale. People have enough intelligence to figure what has been sold to them. If you can't or don't know, then that is your problem. There are ample artitcles in the west as to how advertisers get you to buy a product and believe it or not, it's NOT sex that sells it. And frankly speaking none of your articles provide statistics on any company that you claim uses sex and the profits they have made! So again, this is ALL a mute point.

"I have never said that skimpy clothe or nakedness are the only reasons behind rape."

(Aghast), You just said it here in your response #3!. Skimpy clothe or nakedness is not the reason or any part of the reason why people are raped. Men get raped too by the way, is it because they are wearing skimpy clothing? Millions of people who have been raped in this world are fully clad. People were being raped in this world for centuries and for you to think it just started happening because of the way people dress in the 20th century is ridiculous.

Let me explain again, the figures are high not because of the incidence but because of the definition of rape, the justice, the fact you are not blamed because you happened to be naked or wearing skimpy clothes. Women were raped in wars, in battles, in homes for centuries and they were never able to get justice because there was nothing available for them so why would they report it? And what means were available to even track the statistics?

Rape happens in Islamic countires and I bet my bottom dollar to the same if not greater level as the west; however, there is no means to get similar statistics because there is no adequate reporting procedure. Let's pick Pakistan, do you think any woman in her right mind is going to go to police statiion and a report a rape? If she does, she will most likely find herself raped there. And if she does manage to get a trial, she has to find four witnesses to prove her innocence (the same happened for Nazanin Fatehi in Iran who defended herself from getting raped a second time and she wore hijaab!). And if she cannot prove her innocence, then she is charged with adultery. Now, that is unfathomable!

How about Dafur - one of the prime examples genocide towards Muslim women, did hijaab or dress make any difference when it came to preventing rape. Are you suggesting then that the men happened to have had access to a Victoria Secret's underwear catalogue and that is the reason WHY these women are getting raped? So, if we shut down the Victoria's Secret's catalogues, the rapes in Darfur will end? (I am trying to hold back my shock at the illogical nature your arguments). In Bosnia, thousands of Muslim women were raped; it did NOT matter how they were dressed when the descion was made to rape them. And again, the fact that some women might have danced in a club in the US, did not have any bearing on the decision these army rapists had when they raped these women.

People didn't think Muslim women were abused in their homes 20 years ago. Then, in the 1980s Shareef Al-Khateeb did a major research project and found that Muslim homes had a greater incidence of abuse then the average US home. Second, when Apna Ghar started their shelters in the US, the percentage of abused Muslim women who were seeking help was far greater than any ethnic group. Go to the Middle East or any Muslim country, do these same women have the services available for them to seek help or even admit they have a problem? These women would never have come forward in the past. Therefore, to conclude that Muslim women were never abused by these statistics is ridiculous. IF you change the situation in the Middle East you will be stunned what you will find in terms of abuse towards women when it comes to domestic violence or rape. I don't blame religion for these problems, I blame ignorance and denial that problem exists. And most of all I blame people who pretend that it is caused by ridiculous things such as they way women and dress and bahave and this theory of the "commercialization of sex."

By the way, my cousin who just moved to Canada from India was working in the rape capital of India. You know what she said to me on the phone one hour ago? How much better it was in Canada in terms of safety for her. She didn't change her dress code, the same supposed "commercialized sex" still existed in the world, but she felt safer! So what makes the difference then?

Actually, I have looked at your book "The Killer Sex." If I attempted to write something that said the complete opposite of what you wrote, I would never get published because there are no footnotes, no references and not decent arguments. It's all opinion, I would never get it published in the US. In fact, I would it thrown back at me by any scientific institute and journal because it is soley based on a BIG HYPOTHESIS - your opinon and lacks any decent explanation of the statisitcs. And because a handful of American women who importance.

As for the world's problems, they are not based on corporate America adverstising sex. If anyone in a coroproation used a child for any sexual puproses they would not be standing today. Moreover, there are many reasons why have child prostitution and abortions today and it's not because of the sexual revolution. Children are sold into prostitution because they have no rights, there is not no-one speaking up for them, there is no-one protecting them. Abortions happen today because people don't have adequate measures to birth control; they happen because people don't want a child even within wedlock because they don't have the financial means. People have them because they don't want a particular child of a particular gender. Abortions also happen because it's safer and it''s legal. They also happen because women are getting raped and instead of having the child or killing themselves, they can have another option. Women had abortions for years prior to the "sexual revolution" and they died from it. And again, when something is legal, you are able to track the number of abortions that can take place; if it illegal as it was for centuries in the west, you didn't have any numbers to present.

Frankly speak Dr. Jamil, I feel you really need to work with women who have been victims of abuse and rape before make such claims in your articles. I would encourage you to talk to the people who ran Muslim shelters and rape crisis centers here in the US - it has nothing to do with how women are dressed or this commercialism of sex. Therefore your claim that pardah is the solution to the world's ailments is baseless. Now that's not to say we should stop anyone woman who wants to cover herself (there is NOTHING stopping anyone). The reason we have the problems in the world, is a lack of justice, poverty and of course, disregard and disrespect to women.


From: Syed Shah MA Warsi


Since these e-mails come to me on a regular basis, I would like to put my 2 cents here.

I am responding to the response of Zeba Saleem, just to bring up the connotations that is there in her angry response, which is mostly the same as we have been seeing forwarded by all those in the West and in the East also who want to promote a certain ideology that wants to break people loose from the obedience of his Creator.

Let me go point by point:

"The corporate world is not a fool Mr. Jamil; if people want hijaab's.................."

'If people want Hijab', is it meant to say here that people (women) don't want to have Hijab ? This is not true there are women who want to wear Hijab, some even in the face to disapproval by their husbands and fathers. This is a known fact, if you are not aware of it you are ignoring a good section of women who have lived and are still living here in America for most of their adult lives.

Problem of corporate is not how much is covered or how much is exposed. Their problem is what Hijab symbolizes, it symbolizes piety and piety is a concept which has inherent connotation of curbing the desires. Now, whole corporate business is built upon stimulating and promoting desires and creating a need, yes creating a need; a need that does not exist. If piety prevails and becomes a house hold word, their business suffers. In case of Hijab this is coupled with Islam bashing. Why a nun is revered in the West and why always it is Muslim woman's Hijab that is in the line of fire. Think over it.

In the second paragraph you write:

".......What about men, they don't wear hijaab? Should they also wear hijaab.............."

Here there is another flaw of concepts. This is the same line of argument that I have been hearing since I was in grade school. The whole emphasis in this kind of argument is to create a confusion about the definition of nudity or the limitation of exposure. This confusion is created in an attempt to bring a secular style of thinking and then define nudity in secular terms and thus sway peoples mind away from religious thinking and thus moving them away from the concept of piety.

Another confusion is created here by bracketing all the religions in one group when these arguments are forwarded by West and promoted so called Muslim (by birth) thinkers.

Islam is a religion that provides all round guidance which is non-existent in any other religion. The other religions do not have an elaborate and practicable definition of nudity. Where as in Islam there is a clear definition of nudity based on the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It is defined as exposure of anything more than face and hand for women or anything between belly button and below the knees, for men. In the areas defined to be covered, hiding body curves are also required. Yes there is a difference between men and women. The difference and similarities between men and women though connected to the discussion of Hijab and nudity but still is a complete different issue and needs a full separate discussion.

Thus, I as a muslim will not succumb to the arguments of West where they define the issue in their own terms and then discuss it in their own terminology. I have my own definition and I want that to be presented to the West to examine and see which is a better option for the society at large, Muslim or non-Muslim.

"..............Fixated on how women do or don't dress is a social cause that some men want to make for themselves simply because they have a problem with controlling women....................................."

By this argument, that you regurgitate; west wants to connect Hijab to being oppressed. Which is again not correct. It reminds me of an occasion when I was flying on a domestic flight and the woman next to me obviously recognized me as a Muslim and the discussion turned to condition of women and thus them being oppressed in Muslim world by the fact that they wear Hijab or are covered.

My response was, both my wife and daughter use Hijab, they are both US Citizens and are brought up in the so called enlightened society and know how to contact authorities if oppressed. Why do they choose to wear that "garment of oppression ?" So this is not a conspiracy by Muslim men to keep them oppressed. It is the protection that Allah has provided for them and they surely feel and are more safe in using it. 70% of the reverts in US are women, invariably they think highly about Hijab and over 90% do practice it. I will attach a small article at the end so that you can read it yourself.

Let's go to the last protion of your writing:

" you DRESS in the west is a matter of personal choice.............."

There is a hue and cry in the Western society about perosnal choice. Any issue that needs to be trivilised is a made a personal choice, however West is not consistent in it. You yorself write and I quote,

"...........their are laws against public indecency. If you are dressed inappropriately to work, church or elsewhere you called into an office and warned......................"

Where did this personal choice go here ???
Why are they called in the office and warned ???
Does someones' work performance changes by dressing in bikini in an office or a Church ???

The issue is if how someone's dress affects others, and affects the society at large, then it has to be legsilated and that is why there are laws in US against indecency since it affects others. Islam gave laws in the similar fashion long before these laws and their long term effects would have been thought out in the West.

"........There male and female (eg Curves and Women's Fitness) only gyms for people who uncomfortable about showing themselves.................................."

This itself indicates that it is but natural, however corporate decided to go aganinst nature to further its interests. They do have these gender specific places but running it is obviously costlier than the mixed ones, since chances filling it to the capacity will be limited and a the usage of the equipments is not optimised to maximise the revenue. Thus you don't see them that frequently available.

May Allah show us the right path as the right path and help us follow that and show us the wrong path as the wrong path and help us avoid that. Aameen.

Here, I will attach the article about Hijab that I promised earlier. It is not written by any Muslim religious leader, not even by a Muslim. You can view this article on the web at,


Samuel Cole - Donning the Hijab

(how not to be a sex object)
by Samuel Cole

Smetime in 1987 my sister, an ardent feminist with a degree in civil engineering, converted to Islam. She now lives in Lahore, Pakistan where she is a full-time Muslim wife and mother of five—soon to be six. As is required by her adopted Qur'an, she stops all activities to pray five times each day; and when she goes out in public she covers herself from head to toe in the hijab.

The term "hijab" comes from the Arabic word "hijaba," which means to hide from view. It is the long dress and veil worn by many Muslim women with the function of distinguishing them from non-Muslims, reminding them of their Islamic faith, and concealing them from the public view of males. In many of the more traditional Muslim societies women tend to remain outside the public sphere of men, devoting themselves to child rearing and taking care of the home. In part because of this apparent restriction from the public realm, many Americans see the Muslim hijab as a symbol of female oppression.

Despite this perception, Islam is growing rapidly in America—and female converts outnumber males four to one. Indeed, according to my sister the hijab is not a symbol of oppression, but is instead a symbol of liberation. Naheed Mustafe, a Canadian woman who converted to Islam, writes that "young Muslim women are reclaiming the hijab. . . to give back to women the ultimate control over their bodies." Yet to most Americans this is a strange assertion. How can a law that restricts a woman's dress be liberating?

To Muslims the answer is easy. The Islamic tradition of hijab frees women from being perceived primarily as sexual objects. "[Non-Muslim] women are taught from early childhood that their worth is proportional to their attractiveness," writes Mustafe. It's not hard to understand this: leafing through the ads of any woman's magazine, even a male reader can sense the incredible pressure on women to conform to some ever-changing and abstract image of female beauty. Is it any wonder that American women spend billions of dollars on hair and beauty products; or that they subject themselves to plastic surgery, drugs, and diets; or that in despair they fall into neurotic cycles of anorexia and bulimia? It is the pursuit of a mirage—one that degrades and sickens the pursuers.

The hijab liberates a Muslim woman from this insidious oppression. She need not concern herself with her hair or makeup before she goes out. Underneath her hijab she can remain if she so wishes, simply herself: unshaved, unpainted, unplucked, or even a little overweight. All this without having to worry about what others think of her. The tradition of hijab, writes Mustafe, is "simply a woman's assertion that judgment of her physical person is to play no role whatsoever in social interaction." Since a Muslim woman is invisible behind her veil, she can be appreciated only for her intellectual qualities. Thus the importance of her physical appearance becomes subordinate to her intelligence and personality.

But the sacrifice of health (and self esteem) in a futile pursuit of physical attractiveness is not the worst effect of sexual objectification. Societies that view women as sexual objects have a horrendous rate of violence toward women. In the United States, one out of every four women will be sexually assaulted at some time in her life. And even in relatively non-violent Canada, one woman is assaulted every six minutes.Women in our society live with the awareness that they must always be cautious of dark alleys and fearful of strangers. This is true oppression, a type that stems directly from the perception of women as sexual objects.

In the few societies that closely adhere to the Qur'an—and many repressive Islamic regimes do not—this sort of violence toward women is quite low. In 1990 the number of reported rapes in Egypt, a relatively westernized Islamic society with a secular government, was only 17 (Israel reported 369 rapes that same year). And my sister has told me that as a Muslim woman, she feels a respect and security on the streets of Pakistan that she had never felt in 30 years of living in America. It does seem hard to ignore the fact that many Islamic women enjoy a level of protection and respect that is unheard of in the West. In some countries this is no doubt in part the result of Islamic law that imposes draconian punishment on offenders. But extreme enforcement of religious law is not practiced in moderate Islamic countries such as Egypt or Pakistan; and there it seems Muslim tradition alone protects the dignity of women.

Nevertheless, Islam and its tradition of hijab can seem an extreme solution to the sexual objectification of women. Can't society simply be changed through more education? Or perhaps through encouraging men to practice some self-restraint? In fact this has been a goal of the women's movement for years. But although there has been some success at increasing career and educational opportunities for women, the oppression of women continues unabated. One only needs to peruse the horror section of the local video store to see that the most common victims of violence portrayed in popular films are women. And not surprisingly statistics in the United States point to more violence directed at women, not less.

The problem in western society, as some Muslim writers see it, is that predominately Judeo-Christian cultures have no convention of equality between men and women. Instead, these traditions hold Eve to be ultimately responsible for original sin and the downfall of man. The story in Genesis is a cornerstone in the foundation of our culture. As such, it has institutionalized an essentially inferior status for women. This is not so in the tradition of Islam: Eve is not blamed for tempting Adam. Together they sinned, together they are guilty, and together they both begged for (and received) forgiveness from God. It is true that Islam holds women and men to be different in the most integral qualities. But unlike Judeo-Christian doctrine, the Qu'ran puts women and men on equal footing before God and thus as equally, and innately, valuable to society.

Unfortunately, many of us see Islam as a religion of suicidal bombers or of bearded zealots intent on returning us all to a cultural stone-age. But this image is perhaps unfair. All religions have their own fair proportion of crazies. Islam, however, is the largest and fastest growing of the world's monotheistic religions, and has (quite properly) more than most. Still, the Muslims have something to offer for women. Pierre Craibites (an American judge) writes: "Muhammad, 1300 years ago, assured to the mothers, wives and daughters of Islam a rank and dignity [still] not generally assured to women by the laws of the West."

The conversion of my sister to Islam was a shock and then a mystery to me for many years. It did not seem possible for an intelligent feminist woman to, without coercion, suddenly chuck her ideals and embrace the religion of the misogynist Ayatollahs. Within my family the subject is beyond the bounds of rational discussion, and it is only from my sister's very recent letters that I may have finally acquired an understanding of her unique brand of feminism: You see, in adopting Islam she has rejected a culture that assigns value to a person based on a masculine ideal of success. In exchange she has adopted a culture where she is valued as an equal. . . for no other reason than that she is a woman.

Samuel Cole is a freelance writer living in Carrboro.


Burqa to no Burqa
Mike Ghouse, July 4, 2007
Updates added on July 7, appended at the bottom
When the President of the United States abuses the authority given to him and violates the constitution and trust of the people (low approval ratings), when the Pope abuses his authority and utters words that create gratuitous chaos, when the Mufti of Saudi Arabia abuses his authority in pre-empting God’s authority and issues a fatwa declaring another Muslim as a non-Muslim, and when people in power abuse their authority; the people in power over their family also abuse the imposition of Burqa as an instrument of control. However, not all the Presidents, not all the Pope’s, not all the Clerics and not all the people abuse the privileges, some do and I estimate that to be no more than 1/10th of 1% when it comes to the general public.

A majority of Muslim women wear the Burqa out of their own volition, however there are a few men out there who compel them to wear, and it is certainly an oppressive situation. When you take a principled stand, women are indeed oppressed by all societies, The insecure men; whether it is a Bubba, Mullah or a Prince, be it in China, United States, India, Brazil or Saudi Arabia, they all behave the same, take it out on their women. Idiots do not have the guts to fight some one equally strong or independent; but they always prey on the weak or the dependent. They are the one’s that need education and not the Burqa elimination. Once we learn about the essence of Burqa, we may find oursleves to become pro-choicers, i.e., respecting the right of choice of the woman and not dictate what she does and does not wear, just as we are divided on Roe V. Wade.

Burqa is used from the Shuttle-Cock format in Afghanistan to the Hijab format (a bare scarf in the United States, Canada, India, Turkey, Bangladesh, Pakistan and some other nations. The Original Islamic idea was for a woman to be modest in public places, hold on from jumping to conclusions, it is not only women, it is men as well. Men in most Muslim societies do not wear shorts, they wear full length pants, they do not go bare chested even in their homes. That is range of modesty in practice. For an average American to understand this concept of modesty, all they have to do is compare the society of a higher threshold where, some families walk around the house with barely any clothes on, but most American families have modesty, what they wear in front of their children, especially of the opposite gender, when their sister, daughters or cousins are around is not the same.

If some woman wants to drop the Hijab, she can, but she has to feel comfortable with it. It would be hypocritical of us to impose our values onto others, let alone our own relatives.
We have an obligation to maintain a balance in the society and it is our duty to keep law and order and faithfully guard the safety of every citizen. If we can learn to accept and respect the God given uniqueness of each individual, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.
Prejudice against any one is one of the many sources of disrupting the peace in a society and it is our duty to track down the source of such hate and work on mitigating it. if we let hate mongers, hate sermons and hate lectures creep in our societies, we lose that desired balance in the society.

First, we have to believe that the societal balance begins with each one of us; we see goodness around if we upload good values in ourselves. It is in our interest to treat the world as one nation under God, one family and one people with liberty and justice for all. We are on the bus.
Another column on the topic in Feb:

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of the Foundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio, discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He founded the World Muslim Congress with a simple theme: "good for Muslims and good for the world." His personal Website is and his articles can be found on the Websites mentioned above and in his Blogs: and . He can be reached at . Mike lives in Carrollton with his family and has been a Dallasite since 1980

Two articles to refer to following the update on July 7th

July 7th update:
Dear Ahmed, Allyternity, Bharat Born, Sabiha and Mariam,

All your comments and questioned can be contained in the following paragraph;

I have always wondered about the "own volition" part of the wearing of the veil. Do women really do it on their own or are they conditioned to ?" Do majority Muslim women wear the "burqa" (or some modification). Is this really true? And what is the basis for your statement that majority women who wear the burqa do so because they want to?

We have to take a principle stand on the subject and test it out.

The various formats as the pictures have suggested are determined by culture and within each culture there is diversity. In any given Muslim community, you may find the whole range of practices with varying ratios.

The Saree; Are the women in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka or the diaspora forced to wear the Saree or conditioned to wear? Can we get a traditional woman to wear a skirt instead of the Saree? Would most of them jump at the opportunity?

Are Men at work forced to wear pants and shirt or conditioned to wear. Is police forced to wear the uniform or conditioned to wear? Is the clergy forced to wear the head gear or conditioned? Are we conditioned to eat medium rare steak or well done? Are we forced to eat the meals we grow up with any opportunity we get or we conditioned to?

A traditional American woman would be reluctant to wear a bikini in presence of her sons and brothers, and a conservative American father would not run around the house bare naked, where as a Norwegian or dutch would be comfortable with that... nothing is wrong or right about it, it is the level of comfort one develops or conditioned to. We can even label it conservative or liberal, but one has to be comfortable to be in either classification.

As with all habits, including the habit forming taught by Stephen Covey, it takes effort and conditioning at the beginning, but later on it becomes a practice, it become part of your daily living and personal or family culture.

The form of Burqa may have similar beginnings as Covey's habits and Muslim women are used to it now. The Shuttle Cock Burqa (Leftmost picture) is mainly used in Afghanistan and NW frontier of Pakistan, however you still see it co-exists in different communities here and there, I have seen that in India also. The dominant one is with an openable flap on the face in most conservative places. The very rural and very urban women across the world except in Saudi Arabia and Iran wear just the Hijab, a small piece of cloth covering their hair, it is simply a scarf. America and Canada is developing it's own fashionable clothing. Mother Mary wore full clothing with fully covered hair, it is a symbol of purity, the practice has continued in Islam.

Do most Muslim women wear Hijab in one form or the other? Yes, they do and do it out of their own volition with a few exceptions (please refer to the original article appended below) It is a symbol of modesty and they are comfortable with it. Even though I may not see the need for it, but as a pluralist and as person who believes in democracy and rights of individuals, I would not force any woman to wear or not wear, let it be her choice.

The fallacious assumption that she would drop it instantly if she had a choice, falls flatly on its face. Let's go back to our principle stand, and ask the same question to the liberals and moderates.

Men: Would you cut your hair short or long if you do the opposite? Would you change because some one tells you to, or would you retain what you have because you are conditioned to?

Women: Would you drop the Saree if some one tells that it is primitive and wear revealing clothes that shows you are on par with the society? Can a Hollywood girl tell you to drop the traditions and wear like them as they do on Oscar night?

Except a few, most working Muslim women have adopted to the environment, I honor them and also honor the right of those who want to wear what is good for them. You can wear a Saree, Burqa or a Skirt, that is entirely your choice.

Personally, I would like to see all Men and Women wear clothing that are modest, which would facilitate the person to focus on other's thoughts, talks, emotions and ideas rather than the appearance.

Mike Ghouse

Hi Mike,

Thanks for sharing your interesting. I'd like your feedback on the following question: Your article seems to imply that majority Muslim women wear the "burqa" (or some modification). Is this really true?

And what is the basis for your statement that majority women who wear the burqa do so because they want to?

Dear Allyternity,

I have always wondered about the "own volition" part of the wearing of the veil. Do women really do it on their own or are they conditioned to ?"


Burn the Burqa -


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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.