Blog Archives

Hijab is Not About Oppression or Seduction, It’s About Trust

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

Living Islam vs. Using Islam Against Others

Living Islam means living, modeling, guiding, teaching, and counseling with loving care and concern. It is a life of trust, struggle, and noble effort. Using Islam often takes the form of holier-than-thou judgmentalism that is used to oppress and keep others in line. It often shows its ugly side through allegations that others are not “Islamic” or “obedient” enough. In actuality, the obedience that is demanded is not obedience as a result of taqwa, that is obedience to Allah, but rather obedience to the tyrant and his own fear-based self. When Islam becomes objectified in such a manner, the state of inner unity (that leads to outer unity, i.e. peace and where ‘it’, i.e. Islam, is ‘used’ to achieve an objective other than its divinely inherent goal of bringing peace and goodness to people’s lives.”

–Steven Krauss

Hijab, which in its essence means “to conceal,” is usually associated with Muslim women. Although other faith traditions promote modest dress, and Muslim men are also asked to dress modestly, most of the noise around this world is directed at Muslim women.

There are two unhealthy views around women wearing hijab. First, that a woman who wears hijab is always oppressed. Second, that women must wear hijab because they are necessarily seductresses, and men cannot follow their own consciences unless women are covered.

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My Flag Flies Above

By Amanda Gormley

The first time I prayed the Islamic prayer, or Salat, I stood in my living room in the silvery morning just moments before dawn. I was self-conscious and unsure of what to do. I had prepared flash cards to help me through the complicated process of standing, sitting and bowing while reciting verses in Arabic. I stood facing Mecca and folded my right hand across my chest. My left hand clutched a flash card that read: Read the rest of this entry

Islamic Awareness Week: Creating Da’wah

By Lolla Mohammed Nur, Engage Minnesota

n511868635_450695_4233.jpgThere is little doubt that many Minnesotans misunderstand Islam and the Muslim community. Misconceptions of Islam, however, did not arise out of empty air; the actions of a radical few have led people to see Islam as a barbaric religion. Although the frustration of “radicals” may be understood, there certainly are more peaceful ways of expressing one’s Islamic beliefs to the non-Muslim community, namely through spreading knowledge (da’wah).

Islamic Awareness Week is an example of such peaceful expression. The week includes a range of activities, from a simulation of “flying while Muslim” to a lecture on “Science in Islam.” The 2008 event is set to take place March 31 through April 4, and is sponsored by the University of Minnesota’s Muslim Student Association and Al-Madinah Cultural Center. Read the rest of this entry

Hijab and the city

By Corey Habbas

“Look at any advertisement. Is a woman being used to sell the product? How old is she? How attractive is she? What is she wearing? More often than not, that woman will be…taller, slimmer and more attractive than average, dressed in skimpy clothing. Why do we allow ourselves to be manipulated like this?” So asks a Muslim teen, Sultana Yusufali, in an article she wrote for Toronto Star Young People’s Press.

Her indignation is not unlike that which Muslims living here in the Twin Cities and elsewhere feel when they see women treated like commodities.
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