www.alasr.info Don‟t let your era pass you by! Love and Compassion The Miracle of Hijab The Formula of Hijab “Say to the believing men that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts; that is purer for them; surely Allah is Aware of what they do. And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to…”…The Holy Qur‟an 24:30-31 This is the formula of Hijab, and the most noticeable aspect of it is its reciprocal nature. It gives responsibilities firstly to men and then to women. The System of Hijab • Even though the formula of Hijab deals with how men and women interact outside marriage, its effect is not limited to that. • Its first effect is that men and women know what limits to set when dealing with one another in general society, but its second, and perhaps greater effect is that it creates a dignified and respectful environment which means that men and women have a more positive image of one another, resulting ultimately in marriages that work better. The System of Tranquillity “And of His signs is that He created for you partners from among yourselves so that you may find tranquillity in them, and He put between you love and compassion; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.”…The Holy Qur‟an 30:21 So the ultimate effect of the system of Hijab is that relationships between men and women will be formed on the basis of marriage, and that this marriage will be characterised by: • Tranquillity • Love • Compassion So what happens when Hijab goes missing? „Mall Culture‟- The Objectification of Women "When one person objectifies another, it is difficult, perhaps even impossible, to treat that person with empathy...If girls and women are seen exclusively as sexual beings rather than as complicated people with interests, talents, and identities, boys and men may have difficulty relating to them on any level other than the sexual”... The Sexualisation Of Girls, American Psychological Association report released in February 2007. „Mall Culture‟- The Objectification of Women “The APA suggests sexualisation of girls may contribute to a societal tolerance of sexual violence and an acceptance of the belief that women invite rape by engaging in „certain behaviours‟. In the toxic environment we have created for our children, the APA highlights music videos full of sexual imagery and lyrics of popular songs that refer to women in „highly degrading ways‟.” Devine, SMH, Feb 07 „A Woman‟s Value Should not be Measured by the Pound‟ The Pornification of Society The attitude described above has led to two major problems: 1) The 'Pornification' of Society: • A recent study showed that 1 in 3 Australian internet users view explicit websites, this is a record number and it seems only to be rising. • “Australian psychologists and relationship counsellors say internet pornography is a new and growing cause of relationship strife and breakdown as increasing numbers of men become compulsive users... The Pornification of Society • ”An investigation by the Herald has uncovered the destructive impact obsessive pornography use can have on couple's sex lives, women's self-esteem, and sense of trust.” SMH, Adele Horin, May 2007 • Towards the end of May 2007, there was a lively debate about the effect of pornography on society in the media, and it was frightening how many voices spoke up in defence of this vile practice. Refer to articles in SMH in 22-29May 07) The Pornification of Society 2) Increase in assault: • This second effect, in the opinion of many, results from the first Cheetham Feb 05, SMH • The Rape Crisis Centre receives two or three reports each week of group assaults against women. They report that: “most of the gang rapes that women talk to us about are at parties or other environments where they know the perpetrators. The perpetrators might be friends, work colleagues or part of their social group. About 70 per cent of perpetrators in gang rapes are well-known to the women, and gang rapes by strangers are uncommon.” Kennedy, SMH, Aug 06) The Pornification of Society And the recent trend is not only to commit the act, but to record it and brag about it: “Confirming a trend was the news yesterday that police have evidence of a third sexual assault in which images of a woman's ordeal have been taken and then traded between acquaintances.” Deborah Cameron, SMH, April 07 The Pornification of Society • Why? “Why make a video? Why has it now happened in three sexual attacks? How did we get to this new threshold in humiliation?” • The Answer: „The seeds of that answer might lie in television…Videoing and then broadcasting a sexual assault is a step, though not a very big one, from the…scenes on Big Brother or "turkey slapping“…For example, in Big Brother, in internet porn and in Funniest Home Videos. In all of these there is humiliation. And there are no boundaries.‟ Lorraine Corne, Clinical Psychologist. Anorexia • This is the 3rd most common disease in Australian girls under the age of 18. • The average age of anorexia is decreasing, it went down from 16 to 13 in the past five years. • Since 2001 there has been a 20 per cent rise in the number of children being admitted to hospitals with anorexia • Hospitals are now treating children aged between 7-11. Marcus, SMH, Dec 06 “…teenage depression has doubled in the past decade, eating disorders affect one girl in eight, self-harm, binge drinking and unhappy sexual experiences stalk even the average teenage girl.” Biddulph, June 2nd 07, SMH Who‟s making the Models? Who‟s making the models? As always, there are people who gain wealth and power by pressuring people into certain ways of behaviour: “Yet here is one of the curiosities of our age: the thinner the models get, the fatter the rest of us become. Obesity and anorexia are, of course, two sides of the one coin. They are the product of an obsession with food. By setting an unattainable model of beauty, all women are encouraged to feel inadequate. The sense of self is sent out of whack, leading to a dance of reward and denial that can last a lifetime. Who‟s making the models? Which brings us back to capitalism. Why does the fashion industry spend so much time making ordinary people feel so bad about themselves?... Maybe the fashion floggers are smarter than we think. In the absence of some serious self-loathing, why would anyone spend that sort of money on clothes?” Richard Glover, The Sydney Morning Herald, Dec. 2006 Always Remember that its Reciprocal “But there is no point in simply demanding that men change their attitudes. It is no coincidence that the rise in misogyny seems to coincide with some women's rejection of any self-respect or modesty. Underwear- eschewing paparazzi favourites such as Hilton, Spears and Lohan have become role models for young girls all over the world...Why would a man respect a woman who doesn't respect herself, when most of society's traditional protections for women have been torn down, often by women themselves, in the name of freedom?” Miranda Devine, SMH, 3rd Dec 06 The results of this are even more disturbing. I love you…but… • Men and women will always have the desire to form relationships with one another. However, in a society with the problems discussed above, men no longer value women enough to make a commitment to them, and women no longer trust men enough or have the confidence to make the sacrifices and commitments needed for marriage. • So the relationships of today are illegitimate, and a society based on such relationships can only be heading towards destruction. I love you…but… • In 2001, the number of marriages was 11000 less than it was in 1981, a 10% decrease. • There is also a trend of increasing divorces. In 2001,there were 55,300 divorces granted in Australia in 2001, the highest number granted in the last 20 years. This has only decreased slightly in the last two years. • The median age of marriage for men rose from 28 to 31, and for women it rose from 26 to 29 between 1993 and 2003. I love you…but… • Marriage data for 2003 confirms the thirty year trend for more Australian couples to cohabit prior to entering a registered marriage. In 1975, only 16% of couples cohabited prior to marriage, increasing to 27% in 1983, while 75% of couples cohabited prior to marriage in 2003. (Australian Bureau of Statistics: http://www.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/7F31BF47DCE50135CA256FCE000007E6?Open) • In the USA, the illegitimacy rate has increased 66% since 1980 and is still growing. (Larry L. Bumpass, "What's Happening to the Family: Interaction Between Demographic and Institutional Change," Demography 27 (1990): 483-498) Corporate Paedophilia • The sexualisation and pornification of society is not only destroying adult relationships and adolescent maturity, but is now hurting children as young as six. • Recently, Emma Rush, a member of the Australian Institute of Research, published a discussion paper titled 'Corporate Paedophilia' in which she pointed out that children were being targeted in a sexual way by advertisers and that this was extremely dangerous to the well-being of any child. „Sad Beyond Belief‟ • Sexual themes were found in one-third of teen-rated video games in one study cited by the APA. Even Disney characters such as the Little Mermaid and Pochahontas "have more cleavage, fewer clothes, and are depicted as 'sexier' than those of yesteryear". • “75 % of the content of 'Barbie' magazine, aimed at 5- 12 year olds, is sexualising material, as is 50% of 'Total Girls (8-11 yr olds) and 50% of 'Disney Girl' (6-13 yr olds)” The Australian Institute of research „Sad Beyond Belief‟ • ”The production of "hot" clothing in children's sizes is a new phenomenon, with G-strings, padded bras and sexy lingerie marketed to girls seven to 13. The effect on children of all this premature sex saturation is long-lasting psychological harm, says the APA - resulting in depression, low self-esteem and eating disorders in children as young as six. It's sad beyond belief.” Miranda Devine, 15 April 07, SMH Where will this take us? • With so many frightening problems in our society, one hardly dares think where all this is taking us? • Rather than compassion and mercy, relationships today are based on physical benefit, domination and vulgar lust. Men are becoming more violent and imposing, and women are becoming less chaste and more open to abuse. • In this post-feminist era, women have not been liberated nor have they found equality and status, rather they are still oppressed, but this time they are active participants in their own oppression. The Miracle of Hijab • We can clearly see that, in fact, it is not covering the body, but showing it to strangers that leads to a woman losing her freedom and becoming oppressed. The system of Hijab, if applied correctly and islamically rather than culturally, is the most perfect way of giving a woman her rightful place in society without forcing her to compromise he dignity and chastity. • It is also very important to remember that Islam places obligations on men also, and so Hijab must be seen as a whole system, and if that system was applied, many of the problems, as we saw, would be solved before they started. The Miracle of Hijab It is truly a miracle, that by following the simple formula of Hijab outlined in the Qur'an, the disasters society faces today would be cut off at their roots, and the slide down the slippery slope of sexual perversion would be firmly checked, and the relationship between man and woman would again find its balance in mutual respect a tranquil marriage. www.alasr.info Don‟t let your era pass you by!