Hijab for men… are imams paving the road for a He-jab?

Parallel with this is an international situation where many Muslims – rightly or wrongly – feel they are under siege from the west and respond to it, as a form of self-defence, through a re-assertion of supposedly traditional “Islamic values”. In reality, some of these values may not be as traditional as people imagine but they tend to be highly visible, and strict enforcement of male and female hijab is one of them.

In communities that feel themselves under threat, this might be called “solidarity hijab” – the sartorial equivalent of patriotic flag-waving – where anyone who doesn’t conform is regarded as betraying the cause.

A variation on this, and usually more voluntary in nature, is hijab as a way of asserting identity. It can be found in areas where Muslims form a minority, and so the niqab – a highly practical form of dress if you’re caught in a desert sandstorm – turns into a religious/political statement when worn on the streets of Britain. It happens in Muslim countries too, though. Saudi salafis, for example, use “indentity hijab” to distinguish themselves from other Muslims and in countries where political dissent is restricted styles of dress become an important way of expressing opposition to the government.

Despite the invocations of Islamic tradition, all this seems far removed from the original concept of hijab: that Muslims should simply assume a modest appearance. In extreme cases, it also reflects an extraordinarily superficial approach to religion where there’s more concern over a man who is “improperly” dressed than a one who takes bribes at work and beats his wife at home.


Hijab for men | Comment is free | The Guardian.


Really?… well… it’s not what is shown in the pic above (Made by Boushra Al-Muttawakil) but I am sure someone, sometime, thought:

“If we convinced women to get through this freely… why not trying it on men?”

Because control is everything ladies and sirs!

The habit does not make the sport!

Just like a hologram that changes as one ever so slightly turns the angle by which she is looking, I saw a different side of these Saudi Arabian women than the oppressed females who are constantly being portrayed in the media.

These women are incredibly intelligent. While their education might be segregated after a certain age, most of the girls will not only complete high school, but many will go on to partake in the largest scholarship program in the world and study abroad at various universities. One of the most fascinating lunches we had was with a roundtable of women ranging from the first female lawyer to entrepreneurs, and from a filmmaker to a coach. The ladies we met were incredibly inspiring not only because of their intelligence, but also their determination, resourcefulness and resolve.

They recognize that the road to progress is paved with passion as well as patience, and they are relentless in their pursuit to push forward.Courtesy Ruth RileyThe Saudi players’ eagerness to learn more about basketball left a lasting impression on Ruth Riley.Besides the incredible hospitality that was shown to us everywhere we went, there was another common theme at all of our clinics. Regardless of age, we found that all the players were extremely excited to absorb anything we could teach them.

It would be unrealistic for us to have an expectation of a high talent level in a society that does not openly accept — let alone promote — female sports.


Ruth Riley Sees Complex Picture

For Saudi Arabian Women.

  Bilqis-Abdul-Qaadir 1d9afc7bbd4f2163a421230cc2a7975a tumblr_m2kz3pJO0m1r12bm0o1_400BCEH5XBCIAE7w5W hijabshooter AR-705029477Easkey-Surf-hijab-resized  13_13_2_240963910 tumblr_ml8zkirAI31s2ae7yo2_1280 tumblr_m2suihxGTH1qzl2xuo2_500 shutterstock_80002015

The habit does not make the monk, they say. For the good and the bad.

That is… an abaya and a veil won’t make anyone a worst person… nor a better one. 

And same as this… not wearing covers won’t make you free. 

Same as wearing them won’t liberate you. 

Also in Islam, there are people learning that the dress does not make one a monk…

I’m steadfast in my belief that exploring and wandering are the reasons I know I am Muslim. Learning about Buddhism brought me closer to Islam because it taught me what surrendering means, a lesson none of my Islamic studies teachers have been able to teach me even though that’s literally what Islam means. My Islamic studies teachers taught me how to how to obsess about the mundane—about all the things I’m doing incorrectly and therefore my prayers will not be accepted. They taught me guilt. They taught me fear. They taught me that being a good Muslim is difficult. I never quite rejected Islam, I just took a break from going through the motions of prayer out of guilt. I wanted to see if I could be compelled to return to my prayer rug. I did. I returned when I felt like my life was empty without worship. I prayed out of gratitude. I prayed and it gave me solace. Ablution became less about splashing water over various parts of my body and felt more like a daily cleanse. A baptism. I stopped obsessing about the small things and my new mantra was “Al-‘amal bil niyat,” which means actions are dependent on their intentions. My other mantra was “Al deen yusr,” which translates to religion is ease. Exploring and wandering gave me the tools I needed to critically look at the hypocrisy of the ‘ulama’a (Islamic elites/scholars/clerics). I realized that I did not have to practice my religion from the point of view of a largely misogynistic group of people. Two years ago, I denounced most hadith (prophetic traditions and sayings), fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and tafseer (interpretation) because these three things, all of which play a huge part in how Islam is practiced today, are filtered through the perspective of Muslims born into normalized extreme patriarchy.


Practicing Islam in Short Shorts.



This catholic learnt long ago that the outside does never make the believer… because we don’t believe outside.

We believe within.

Humans, I mean, not only Catholics…

God can’t be exclusive ruler of a single exclusive club. I also learnt that. Long ago.  

So don’t be fast to judge people’s relation with God, because you can only access to the outside, and there is not where we and God meet, hence… as far as you won’t get access to men’s spirits, the power to condemn or save human souls will NEVER be in your hands.


EPPUR SI MUOVE: Even in 2014, someone must tell Wahabbis a thing or two about Primary School Astronomics

He then attempted to support his argument by quoting some clerics and selected religious statements. But his most controversial method to debunk the rotation theory was a “logical” deduction in which he used a visual.

“First of all, where are we now? we go to Sharjah airport to travel to China by plane, clear?! focus with me, this is Earth;” he said, holding a sealed water cup.

He argued that if a plane stops still in air “China would be coming towards it” in case the Earth rotates on one direction. It the Earth rotates on opposite direction, the plane would never reach China, because “China is also rotating.”

The Video triggered a wave of controversial remarks on social media, especially on Twitter, where a special hashtag is being widely circulated. The hashtag translates as: “#cleric_rejects_rotation_of_Earth

In an interesting remark, one user tweeted: “What a coincidence that this would occur on Galileo’s birthday!”


Saudi cleric rejects that Earth revolves around the Sun

– Al Arabiya News.


I could not imagine that Arabs, who are so proud of their ancient knowledge in Astronomy would say such a thing as this, but… he is Arab, and he said it!

Every time I hear about IS and Islamism radicals and all that crap being a western creation, I can’t help to consider that even if it is true, all they did was to use a weakness among Muslims. That weakness is this religious school able to make young intelligent people, there and also here, become intellectual retards.

Once you make someone agree to renounce using the brains that God gave him, it will be easy as cake to model him as Play Doh.

This is where the weakness starts, not in any dark office in Washington, Tel Aviv or the Moon… 

Our world needs more Al-Ghamdis and Almaeenas… and not only in the Muslim side.

These extremists have given themselves the right to attack anyone who disagrees with their views.

They have forgotten the Qura’nic verse: “There is no compulsion in religion…to you, your religion and to me mine.”

And while this verse is supposed to address other believers, yet we ourselves do not abide by it in our own society.


Well done Sheikh Ahmad Al-Ghamdi!

Saudi Gazette.


21st Century Islamic (?) Inculture.

The cultural devastation of Mecca has radically transformed the city. Unlike Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, Mecca was never a great intellectual and cultural center of Islam. But it was always a pluralistic city where debate among different Muslim sects and schools of thought was not unusual. Now it has been reduced to a monolithic religious entity where only one, ahistoric, literal interpretation of Islam is permitted, and where all other sects, outside of the Salafist brand of Saudi Islam, are regarded as false. Indeed, zealots frequently threaten pilgrims of different sects. Last year, a group of Shiite pilgrims from Michigan were attacked with knives by extremists, and in August, a coalition of American Muslim groups wrote to the State Department asking for protection during this year’s hajj.The erasure of Meccan history has had a tremendous impact on the hajj itself. The word “hajj” means effort. It is through the effort of traveling to Mecca, walking from one ritual site to another, finding and engaging with people from different cultures and sects, and soaking in the history of Islam that the pilgrims acquired knowledge as well as spiritual fulfillment. Today, hajj is a packaged tour, where you move, tied to your group, from hotel to hotel, and seldom encounter people of different cultures and ethnicities. Drained of history and religious and cultural plurality, hajj is no longer a transforming, once-in-a-lifetime spiritual experience. It has been reduced to a mundane exercise in rituals and shopping.Mecca is a microcosm of the Muslim world. What happens to and in the city has a profound effect on Muslims everywhere. The spiritual heart of Islam is an ultramodern, monolithic enclave, where difference is not tolerated, history has no meaning, and consumerism is paramount. It is hardly surprising then that literalism, and the murderous interpretations of Islam associated with it, have become so dominant in Muslim lands.


The Destruction of Mecca


Paris Hilton Store vs. Opens In Mecca Mall In Saudi Arabia vs. Insult 5

I would love to have a chance to say this is not representative of Islam, or that there is a majority of muslims that don’t follow these ways, or some other views of facts but…

How to change my header while those Angry Salafi/Wahabbi/Hanabillahi Beards, wearing their short thobes keep cheering up the destruction of every single piece of heritage that gives information about the origins of Islamic culture, neglecting centuries of history, and so many possibilities of increasing the world’s knowledge about their country and the origins of the religion they say to promote…

Israelis wouldn’t have done better if they had attempted to erase every single proof of the origins of Islam, and of course they wouldn’t have done it better to discredit Saudis, and Arabs, by extension, due to their absolute lack of interest in culture and knowledge.

There are many authors that coincide in stating that every cultural advance (except maybe algebra) that Arabic civilization gave to the world, was nothing else than an extension of what they learnt and took from what was left of Rome and Greece during their expansion… and behaviors like these just confirm those opinions.

Seeing how they treated what was left of the beginning of their history (they had already deleted everything from previous periods, as Polytheism, Judaism and Christianity were not welcome anymore in Saudia) makes me feel pain and shame.

Not, of course, from a religious point of view!.

To be honest, I can respect other people’s beliefs, as far as they don’t attack other’s… but the whole Holy Sites of Islam just awake my interest in terms of their artistic, historical and humanist value, and there is nothing beyond that, for me. No offense, please.

My opinions are about art, history, culture and all those things that apparently matter little to nothing to nowadays Bedouins… and it’s shameful that they won’t give a camel’s fart about it.

But that’s the same respect they deserve from me. And from their future generations, asking why were they deprived from ethnic roots and culture, while everyone in the world has them.

Tell them then about record-high hotels and sky-scrappers, about luxury cars and Paris Hilton exclusive handbags, tell them about how life was fun and shiny as in an Islamic Disneyland, while people kept peeing and defecating over what was left of Khadija’s house. 

Who can be then surprised that we get more angry than muslim arabs, about how are things for the non-muslims/non-arabs around there?

Saudi Arabia has not even reached its centenary, with the year 2014 representing its 84th National Day. While many try to argue we have come a long way in a short amount of time, all it takes is a simple hop across the border into the neighboring countries of Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, or Kuwait to get some perspective on just “how far we’ve come.”All of these nations are younger than Saudi Arabia. All of them generate significantly less in oil revenues than the Kingdom. All of them have substantially less tourism thanks alone to Mecca and Medina. Yet all of them have out-performed Saudi Arabia. Though none of these nations is perfect, their citizens enjoy comparatively less corruption, better infrastructure, more social benefits, and greater freedoms than Saudi nationals do, and they have achieved all these things with much less than we have.But, Saudi Arabia has also managed to outperform many other nations in several different arenas. It has topped the charts as the world’s most obese country, most repressive society, most unjust country for women, and least welcoming state for  foreigners.As people wave their flags on this National Day, I cannot help but think of the Saudis of whom I am incredibly proud. Many of the people I believe have the potential to move this nation forward are sitting in prison cells as criminals, for advocating on behalf of freedom and human rights for their fellow countrymen. Others have been intimidated into silence by the state, placed under house arrest, currently live in exile, have been stripped of their nationality, or killed.

via Why I Refuse to Celebrate Saudi National Day



If they assume as normal the way the Sauds reached power, celebrating it (even when all those outside the royal family have different feelings kept intimately), how can we keep any hope for them to feel affected by what happens to those they see as “the others” in their cultural portion of the globe?… e.g.: Arab Shiites, Arab Christians, Arab Yazidis, Arab Alawis, Kurds, Turkmens, and then… other Gulfians… and Arabs of the Levant, Syrians, Lebanese, Palestinians… and then Egyptians… Berbers and other Maghreb Arabs… Sahrawis… Sudanese… Somalis… and then a legion of workers from India, Pakistan, Philippines … 

If they celebrate the example given by King Abdulaziz, according to the way he behave with his own folks… how can we be surprised by how Saudis really see all those who are not Saudis? The worst part is that they set an example to be followed by too many.

How is it to resist while living the hell of Raqqa.

From the very start of the popular uprising in Syria, Assad and his regime described the unarmed protesters as “terrorists.” In order to ensure that reality fell in line with its propaganda, the regime began arresting tens of thousands of activists calling for democracy and who resisted sectarianism. At the same time, it released from prison Jihadists, who in turn began establishing armed groups that adhered to Salafi and Jihadist ideologies, which eventually became IS.The rise of radical groups in Syria benefited the regime not only by making its propaganda a self-fulfilling prophecy, but also by increasing support for it among religious minorities, the bourgeois and liberals. It should be no surprise, therefore, that the Assad regime consistently refrained from directly fighting IS. The jihadist organization, for its part, preferred to focus on the establishment of an Islamic state and fighting against more moderate rebels and enforcing Sharia on the population under its rule.“From the time when IS took full control over Raqqa in March [2014], there was only one aerial bombing – 40 days after they arrived,” Akram recalls. “Then there was complete calm.”In June 2014, with the help of local Sunni tribes and organizations related to the Iraqi Ba’ath party, IS forces took control of large parts of Iraq, including the Sunni cities of Mosul and Tikrit. The IS advance has since been halted as a result of a counter attacks by Shi’ite militias, the Kurdish Peshmerga, the Iraqi Army and the American Air Force.“Everything changed dramatically [in Raqqa] after IS’s huge advances in Iraq and its capture of Mosul,” Akram explains. “Since then we have witnessed at least 10 air raids a week.”


Trapped between Assad and ‘IS’: Inside the capital of the ‘Islamic State’

 +972 Magazine.


As some guy stated out there commenting this link on Facebook: 

Over the past few decades, Saudi Arabia has founded and funded Wahhabi mosques in many cities in many, if not most, countries. Those Wahhabi mosques preach division and discord between Muslims, and condemn all other interpretations and traditions of Islam as heretical, often even calling for non-Wahhabi Muslims, as well as non-Muslims, to be killed.

Those Wahhabi mosques and preachers are the sources of many, if not most, of the foreign fighters who’ve joined ISIS, and their same sources of funding are behind ISIS, itself.

Authentic Islamic sources and teachings make it clear that Wahhabi/takfiri/khawarij doctrine is not only un-Islamic, but anti-Islam.

The only reason it has been able to flourish is because the British helped the Wahhabi-backed Al-Saud family seize Arabia after WW1, as a way of controlling the oil that was found there, and the Americans compounded that error in the post-WW2 era, in the name of “stability”.

As well as acting against ISIS, the Saudis’ global network of Wahhabi mosques and preachers should be either dismantled, or subjected to rigorous scrutiny and controls, to end their incitement against both non-Wahhabi Muslims and non-Muslims”

And I agree… if we want to stop Muslim extremism (and not only IS, but all kinds) we have to stop those who teach it and recover the memory of people like Ibn Rushd, Rumi, Ibn Arabi and other wise men from the Sufi tradition that represented the splendor of Islam, and erase the heritage of Ibn Wahab, who represents its shameful moral decline.

IS origins: When you see your neighbour’s beard being shaved… better start getting yours ready.

Abd al-Wahhab demanded conformity — a conformity that was to be demonstrated in physical and tangible ways. He argued that all Muslims must individually pledge their allegiance to a single Muslim leader a Caliph, if there were one. Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. The list of apostates meriting death included the Shiite, Sufis and other Muslim denominations, whom Abd al-Wahhab did not consider to be Muslim at all. There is nothing here that separates Wahhabism from ISIS. The rift would emerge only later: from the subsequent institutionalization of Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab’s doctrine of “One Ruler, One Authority, One Mosque” — these three pillars being taken respectively to refer to the Saudi king, the absolute authority of official Wahhabism, and its control of “the word” i.e. the mosque. It is this rift — the ISIS denial of these three pillars on which the whole of Sunni authority presently rests — makes ISIS, which in all other respects conforms to Wahhabism, a deep threat to Saudi Arabia.


You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia

Alastair Crooke.


(Cartoon: Bertram, Joep. http://www.cagle.com/2014/06/mind-of-his-own/)