It began with an article, which was posted on a closed, invitation-only, group board, on which I am Mod/Admin. The purpose of the board, you ask? Here you go:
“This is a safe space for woman-born women and TG women who have taken female names, and who are a minimum of 18-years-old ONLY. Here we are Goddess-centered or at least believe in Her. We are open to other traditions but place a emphasis… on The Goddess as our group name denotes. If you are truly interested in learning more about why Her powers are increasing, your membership will be considered, with the prerequisite of writing a short explanation about why you wish to join our group. If your attitude is that we hate men, this is not the place for you! We do however, strongly dislike patriarchy. Please understand the difference BEFORE deciding to join us. If your membership is accepted and you begin posting anything which attempts to divide and conquer our membership, you will be deleted immediately without explanation. There is NO “balance” in a world rife with monotheistic male gods. That is the root cause of most evil, violence and unrest. In this group, we operate on a consensus and eco-feminist model.”We discuss ALL THINGS WOMEN… and so, this article was posted for discussion:
Among others’ comments, I posted my own:
“I am “friendly” with a few Muslimahs on another board, where we have some things in common. Some are in the US, some are not. Some “cover” and some do not. The ones who DO cover have spoken to me from their hearts and they do so because they choose to do so, because they believe it pleases (their) God (Allah). You know what? Goddess bless them! But this? THIS?! This is appalling to me. The article speaks of a woman who was covered (as she wished to be/as the law stated she had to be), walking with her husband, who was “molested” (my word, not theirs) by another man who couldn’t keep to himself. This disgusting display of macho caused her husband to be stabbed as he defended her honor. WTF?! And she – and other women – will suffer the consequences of having to wear Niquab even if they don’t want to? That’s… just… not… right. I will have to ask (my friends) their opinions about this.”
Among several later responses was this one, spoken from the heart:
“Don’t EVEN get this DykeAmazon started. I’m seeing more and more wearing the head scarfs and even some wearing veils… there’s nothing I see positive in that religion for women, just another way to hold women and girls down, and for males to enforce their power and superiority through the opiate of religion… NOTHING spiritual about and certainly NOT empowering for women and girls as a whole… sharpening my Labrys as I speak….”
Hold on there (friend). I am all for joining you, wielding a scythe and sickle to protect and rescue any and all women who WISH to be rescued… from anything and anyone who would oppress them… however… I’d like to publish here the input I got from a Muslimah Sister of mine, whom I respect very much. I hope you – and others – will accept this input with an open mind, as she is NOT here to speak for herself. She had a lot to say, and thus, responded to me with three separate messages (copied and pasted below):
From Ana P.:
Hi there Wiccanwoman, the way I understand it is Muslim women are supposed to cover their hair so they will be known as being Muslim and not be molested. There is an Iyat (verse) in the Quran that addresses it. It makes total sense to me. It the same as the orthodox Jews; there’s no mistaking them, right? Everyone knows what a Muslim woman looks like. If she wasn’t covered, she wouldn’t be able to be distinguished from any other woman. A Muslim woman has the appearance similar to that of a catholic nun. No one goes up to her, trying to hit on her, flirt with her or bed her for the night. They pretty much see her and don’t. It’s where the protection comes in.
Regarding the article and the women not being able to makeup their eyes to make them attractive, I understand the reasoning regarding it. I have had the discussion recently with my Muslim mentor regarding the American women that wear the abayah, yet wear provocative, seductive eye makeup. What’s the point of wearing the clothing? They don’t want to appear as a woman and show curves or accentuate the body, yet they seduce with the eyes. There is a contradiction there. It seems to me to be hypocrisy. A lot of those women (I’m more so referring to the ones in burkah in America) looked down on Muslims that aren’t all covered in black as they are, but they are no more righteous than the ones not dressed that way. The way a person dresses does not determine righteousness, just as a man wearing a beard that is Muslim doesn’t. They only fool themselves.
The only thing I can say about Saudi and what’s happening with the women there is that many Arabs have made there own rules. They use man-made books such as the Hadiths and Tafseers etc. to back door the Quran and go back to pre-Islamic times to oppress women. The Arabs think they are “the chosen ones”. They don’t believe in one brotherhood in Islam. Allah in Quran tells us to believe in all the Prophets mentioned in the Quran and not to differentiate between any of them. Yet, the Arabs and many Muslim only speak of the Prophet Muhammad. That should tell everyone something.
It’s only my understanding and belief. I hope it’s helpful.
Take good care of yourself, Wiccanwoman. Good to chat with you.
Oh, I forgot to mention that I don’t know why those in the group are outrage or whatever about what some of the Muslim sisters have said. To each his own. What I like about being in America is that we are all pretty much left alone and allowed to be. We can’t change the world. We can only work on ourselves and try to help those that we are able to. I know to stay away from Saudi unless I go there to perform Hajj or Umrah.
LOL Oh, I’m sorry, Wiccanwoman. One more thing. Life in Egypt, Saudi and places like that are so different than what we know here in America. From what I’ve been hearing is the men in many of those countries are barbaric. It’s not uncommon for a man to walk down the street and grope a woman, molest her or whatever. Yes, there is sexual assaults etc in the United States, but overall, we can safely walk down a street alone and feel safe, unless in a crime infested area.
I then responded to her:
Thank you, Sis. I am going to share your input with the ladies.
But just to make it clear, the Sisters in my Goddess group weren’t outraged AT women who cover… they were outraged at the fact that for the lady in this particular article, it wasn’t good enough, and that MEN were the ones trying to make the “new rules” for her and others to cover even MORE.
Peace, Sister! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours — I hope you are well.
I posted a response to my enthusiastic Goddess Sister who had responded…
“I’m with you on the rescue mission, but I will not believe that ALL women who are not as we are, are downtrodden and oppressed. Just because we drink from our own Well of Freedom does not mean that because they drink from a separate spring, they all are ignorant of “the truth.” As Pagans, we don’t prosletyze, right? All we can do is talk the talk, and then walk the walk.
Ana and I share information with one another about our faiths and lifestyles, and have forged a unique friendship at the border where those faiths and lifestyles meet. We have agreed to disagree – with respect – regarding some issues. Where we embrace? We are women, 100%.
Ana is a US citizen, living in the USA. She is a Muslimah revert (i.e., convert). She has a professional career. She and I began tentative contact, and then became internet pals, because we have some personal “interests” in common. I have held my own against some Muslim males who have posted on her site, and was backed by her as being respectful, informed and educated. The men wound up being reprimanded for their behavior and angry words. (Yes, they had a hissy fit… and no, Ana did not back down.) When I want answers to questions about Islam, I go to Ana. If she can’t supply the answers I seek, she asks her mentor (her “wali” – that is an Arabic word meaning “custodian”, ” protector”, “sponsor”, or authority as denoted by its definition, “crown”). I would respect and protect Ana and her choices with my scythe and sickle just as freely as I would step up to protect YOU and YOURS (not saying you’d NEED my protection, LOL, I’ve seen some of your photos – you GO, girl, and I’d love to meet you someday!).
Namaste, Sister. And Happy Thanksgiving. 😉 ”
And in case I don’t post again before the actual holiday — Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to my readers. May you all have something to be thankful for, now and forevermore. Blessings.