What about the niqab? (If you see a Muslim who wears that, don’t say I didn’t warn you!), and you’ll have your answer. The Quran itself says this about it: (16:33) “Do not make the mark of a beast or of any seal which you see on your body, or (make) any mark upon your face, because you have been commanded not to make such a mark. And indeed, Allah has made the mark of an apostle for a period of seven years.”
The Muslim community in Australia also faces challenges within the Muslim community and in the broader society. I feel it’s incumbent upon me to provide both a platform and support for these conversations because I believe that this is such an integral part of building a more just, compassionate and just society.
I’m aware some commentators have read about the “purity” of non-Islamic women. Others have criticised me because of the article itself – some even accusing me of being soft on Islamophobia and of being a hypocrite. But I stand by the text of the article and I stand by my message, which is that there are many aspects of religion which promote violence and bigotry, and that Muslims can have a positive and constructive dialogue around these issues.
So if you don’t feel you can attend this talk, can I ask you to stop by next week and see if I can persuade you to come and give a talk on these same topics that I am writing?
In any event I hope that by the discussion I encourage you to get engaged with this issue and become active members of the Muslim community. It’s the only way any of us are going to be able to really change the way we view these issues – and, more importantly, how the community works together towards equality and peace.
Thank you and see you again.
For more on Australia’s Muslim community click here
Topics: community-and-society, muslim-communities
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