Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A GIRL I ADMIRE: Shabina Begum

Shabina Begum was a pupil at Denbigh High School, in Luton, Bedfordshire, England, who claimed she had a right to wear a jilbab (a long gown) to school (which she believed was required by her Muslim faith), in contravention of the school uniform policy. The school stated that she was required to attend school dressed in the correct uniform, and Begum refused to attend for three years unless she was allowed to wear the jilbab.

The headmistress and 79% of the pupils at Denbigh High School were [culturally] Muslims. In addition to uniforms incorporating trousers or skirts, female pupils are also offered a uniform based on the Pakistani or Punjabi shalwar kameez with optional khimar. The school uniform was decided upon in consultation with local mosques and parents. Despite this, in the opinion of Begum and her supporters, the particular form of shalwar kameez offered by the school was relatively close-fitting with short sleeves, and was therefore not compliant with the requirements of Islamic dress that appear to be stated in Sharia law. In addition, the jilbab is, in the opinion of Begum and her supporters, a more culturally-neutral form of Islamic attire. Begum was of Bangladeshi descent, where shalwar kameez is the traditional dress.

The school's supporters had claimed that after Begum's parents had died, she had come under the undue influence of her brother Shuweb Rahman, a supporter of the radical Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. They also argued that if Begum was allowed to attend classes wearing jilbab, other pupils would feel under pressure to adopt stricter forms of Islamic dress [total crap in my opinion---what a cop out---just because other students are allowed to wear a plaid mini skirt does Begum feel the need to adopt a stricter type of Western-dress?????!]

Begum, with her brother, issued a claim for judicial review of the school's decision not to allow her to wear the jilbab at school. The claim was made on the grounds that the school had interfered with her right to manifest her religion and her right to education (both rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights). Begum lost the case in the High Court, but later won on appeal to the Court of Appeal. The school appealed against this decision, and the case was heard by the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords. The Department for Education and Skills was allowed to make submissions in the hearing in the House of Lords. The House of Lords ruled in favour of the school. Begum was represented in the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords by Cherie Blair(Booth) QC.

Lord Bingham of Cornhill stressed at the outset of his judgment that "this case concerns a particular pupil and a particular school in a particular place at a particular time. It must be resolved on facts which are now, for purposes of the appeal, agreed. The House is not, and could not be, invited to rule on whether Islamic dress, or any feature of Islamic dress, should or should not be permitted in the schools of this country". The Law Lords took the view that a person's right to hold a particular religious belief was absolute (i.e. could not be interfered with), but that a person's right to manifest a particular religious belief was qualified (i.e. it could be interfered with if there was a justification). 3 of the 5 Law Lords held that Begum's rights had not been interfered with (Lord Bingham, Lord Scott of Foscote and Lord Hoffmann), and 2 held that they had (Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead and Baroness Hale of Richmond). All 5 agreed, however, that in this particular case there were justifiable grounds for interference, one of the grounds being to protect the rights of other female students at the school who would not wish to be pressured into adopting a more extreme form of dress (again, what a load of crap).

***I had to add, first off non-muslims on this thread, you don't have a clue about the requirements of Islamic clothing (I mean, you have studied the dress of the Sahaba, what the Prophet Mohammed sallalahu alahi wa salaam told people to wear, or even what the Qu'ran i.e God commanded Muslim women in the form of clothing?) The Qu'ran does command Muslim women to wear the jilbab. It says "believing women, pull your jilbab over yourself". It is a command from God, part of the religion, and anyone who will not let a woman get a job or go to school because of khimar or jilbab is discriminating against her religion. JILBAB is considered a fard (obligatory) thing for a Muslim woman to wear by ALL FOUR Islamic schools of thought (Maliki, Shaffi, Hanbali, and Hanafi) so regardless of what her Indian/Pakistani/Bangleshi culturally "muslim" school thought, it is under shariah a command that any judicial body in Islam would decide upon. Shalwar kameez has no basis in Islam and is a cultural dress (Shabina herself calls shalwar her own cultural dress as she is bangladeshi) but it IS NOT an islamic dress. Jilbab is. A khimar is allowed at Shabina's old school (alhamdulilah) but asking a Muslim woman who has read the Qu'ran where God commands a woman to wear jilbab to wear a shalwar is the same asking her to wear a plaid mini skirt. It is forcing her to disobey God and forsake her religion. There are alot of cultural or misinformed Muslims that say a headscarf (khimar) is enough but it isn't. Jilbab was commanded BEFORE khimar was in the Qu'ran, when you study it. Please have an Islamic education before you call people names like "idiots" especially a brave girl liek Shabina that stands up to discrimination. I tell a black man that he can't be black and sit on my park bench. There are plenty other park benches where black people are allowed to sit that aren't this one. Think about it. Discrimination is discrimination, and no, a "muslim" headmistress that doesn't know that jilbab is a fard requirement is def. a cultural muslim, rather than an Islamically educated one. Shalwar kameez is also popular on a cultural muslim population that says women shouldn't come to the Masjids. That has nothing to do with Islam the same way shalwar kameez has nothing to do with Islam.

41 comments:

Megan said...

A Muslim-majority school preventing girls from wearing correct Islamic hijab certainly is interference. I really don't see how a few girls choosing to wear jilbab constitutes pressure on the others.

How is covering our bodies threatening or intimidating to non-Muslims? The problem is with the person who feels threatened by clothing that would have been considered decent a century ago. It really irritates me that Western media continues to think we are forced to wear hijab.

Lisa said...

If this could happen in England, you better believe it could happen in Germany where some seek to avoid building masjids, Italy, or sectarian France. Wow. She is so brave. I think I'm pretty bothered that a Jew could still wear his yarmulke and a Christian her cross most likely at the same school. Love you!

Boxie said...

the blond bugs me. .... What an absolute twit! To so utterly unattached to the conversation and enforcing her own ideals on people is threatening. Gah. She is a total Muncaidh na toine gun eanchainn. (brainless bum-monkey in Scottish Gaelic)

HijabChic said...

As salam alaykum!

Muslim women have to stand up for their rights, just like Shabina did here.
I also admire her for this.

If a muslim woman chooses to wear hijab and to wear it appropriately, how can that be a threat to the society and other women who don't choose to wear one? Ridiculous!

CareMuslimah said...

aww.. I'm so proud. Mashallah!!

Strong iman this sister has!.. mashallah!!

hal786 said...

Assalamualaikum
ooh didnt know this story had reached people in other countries..lol mashallah that other ppl get to know the story too, though it is very old, and mashallah to the sister. (it wasn't my school it happened in, but close to me) i know girls from that school too, and a lot of them ARE muslims..so when this story happened it was major news for a LONG time, jazakallah for putting this up!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that I'm going to be the "troll" again but...
She (they) knew the rules of the school first hand: if she does not agree with them, she leaves it. There is plenty different kinds of schools in Britain. She could have find one more suitable to her opinions.
She and her brother (mostly her brother?) were looking for a fight and for enforcing "their" understanding of dress code.
That (their confrontational stand) is plain wrong.
Emma

Pixie said...

Emma: What if there weren't---like in France or Turkey???? It is a religious right to wear a hijab, a jilbab, and even a niqab under some circumstances, the same wya it is to wear a cross, or jewish cap. No school should be allowed to ban it in favour of any uniform. A uniform has to be adapted to NOT discriminate. This school's uniform DID discriminate. You forcing me to wear a shalwar kameez would be like me forcing a girl who wears school plaid skirts to wear a face veil---to me a shalwar kameez isn't Islamic dress whatsoever so you might as well force me to wear a tank top and mini. To me wear either is disobeying the Qu'ran.

Anonymous said...

I agree with emma. And the girl was and is an idiot plain and simple. The fact that she (in a school with a muslim population of 80%) was the only one who took such issue with a perfectly reasonable and accomodating uniform is an indicator that she is the one with the problem. Not the school or the teachers or the administrators or the uniform policy. She and her equally stupid brother should have found themselves a knew school to attend if they had such a problem with it.

"I think I'm pretty bothered that a Jew could still wear his yarmulke and a Christian her cross most likely at the same school"

Huh?, Did you even read any of the articles on this issue? The uniform included shalwar kameez with optional khimar. Do you not know what a khimar is? You write as if the students were forced to walk around uncovered.

-maria-

Anonymous said...

"to me a shalwar kameez isn't Islamic dress whatsoever so you might as well force me to wear a tank top and mini"

That's your problem, not the schools. If that's the case you should find yourself a knew school to attend as well. The school bent over backwards to accomodate it's muslim majority. They consulted and got approval from the muslim community leaders for crying out loud and your whining about discrimination? Seriously? Get over it.

-maria-

Pixie said...

First off [Emma, maybe Maria], anyone Christian on this thread, you don't have a clue about the requirements of Islamic clothing (I mean, you have studied the dress of the Sahaba, what the Prophet Mohammed sallalahu alahi wa salaam told people to wear, or even what the Qu'ran i.e God commanded Muslim women in the form of clothing. The Qu'ran does command Muslim women to wear the jilbab. It says "believing women, pull your jilbab over yourself". It is a command from God, part of the religion, and anyone who will not let a woman get a job or go to school because of khimar or jilbab is discriminating against her religion. JILBAB is considered a fard (obligatory) thing for a Muslim woman to wear by ALL FOUR Islamic schools of thought (Maliki, Shaffi, Hanbali, and Hanafi) so regardless of what her Indian/Pakistani/Bangleshi culturally "muslim" school thought, it is under shariah a command. Shalwar kameez has no basis in Islam and is a cultural dress (Shabina herself calls shalwar her own cultural dress) but it IS NOT an islamic dress. Jilbab is.

Maria: Shalwar is not Islamic dress. All ruling judicial bodies on Islamic law (shariah) say jilbab is a religious commandment and the Qu'ran itself commands women to wear jilbab. Thus, being a religious requirement, if one is not allowed to wear it at work or at school and is denied these things on the basis of it, it is religious discrimination. A khimar is allowed (alhamdulilah) but asking a Muslim woman who has read the Qu'ran where God commands a woman to wear jilbab to wear a shalwar is the same asking her to wear a plaid mini skirt. It is forcing her to disobey God and forsake her religion.

There are alot of cultural or misinformed Muslims that say a headscarf (khimar) is enough but it isn't. Jilbab was commanded BEFORE khimar was in the Qu'ran, when you study it. Please have an Islamic education before you call people names like "idiots" especially a brave girl that stands up to discrimination.

I tell a black man that he can't be black and sit on my park bench. There are plenty other park benches where black people are allowed to sit that aren't this one. Think about it. Discrimination is discrimination, and no, a "muslim" headmistress that doesn't know that jilbab is a fard requirement is def. a cultural muslim, rather than an Islamically educated on. Shalwar kameex is also popular on a cultural muslim population that says women shouldn't come to the Masjids. That has nothing to do with islam the same way shalwar kameez has nothing to do with Islam.

Pixie said...

That's your problem, not the schools. If that's the case you should find yourself a knew school to attend as well. The school bent over backwards to accomodate it's muslim majority. They consulted and got approval from the muslim community leaders for crying out loud and your whining about discrimination? Seriously? Get over it.

-maria-

Maria: It didn't bend over backward at all. It let people wear ethnic wear (dupatta on the head, a shalwar kameez [neither are Islamic garments] but it wouldn't let a girl wear something that is commanded clearly in her sacred relgious text????? Yes, asking me to wear a mini skirt is the same as asking me to wear a shalwar kameez, because either or I am still being asked to disobey my Creator and a clear command in my Holy Book, the Qu'ran. May you gain knowledge on the subject of relgious obligations, and of what is written that Muslim women are to wear, before you call names. May Allah subhanhu wa ta'ala guide you.

Amber said...

Alright, well, I was going to wait to comment until I got home so I could watch the video, but I feel the need to be the minority of the Christian readers.

I read this story, and I thought that it was, quite possibly, the dumbest thing I've heard all day. Why, pray tell, should the school have a problem with her fulfilling her religious obligations? We bend over backwards for *every*body else. But this, this is too much? So much stupidity.

As Pixie said, I haven't studied all the Islamic texts, I have, probably, only a vague idea of what is required for hijab, though I do feel that I've learned a lot from this blog. So this is just my opinion.

Umm Ibrahim said...

asalaamu alaikum

just to jump in...probably the reason why the school offered a Shalwar suit as a "islamic" school uniform was because the majority of the Muslim sisters IN that school were of desi descent and many desi Muslims consider the SK to be "their" form of Islamic dress and consider the jilbab or abayah an Arab garment. I knew several Pakistani sisters when I was younger and they would get flak from family and friends if they wore something deemed an "Arab" garment.

I think it is OK and GOOD that the school atleast tried to accomodate the Muslim students of Desi background because it was atleast acknowledging their cultural diversity and cultural needs. If they had, had Arab female students or White or African Muslim students then maybe they would of come across this previously or maybe if they do have Arab female students they never considered wearing a jilbab or an abayah to school.

My perspective is this...they should of been a bit more understanding and tried to talk to someone about Islamic dress and not just cultural, i.e. Desi dress and made a 3rd uniform choice which would be culturally neutral for Muslim girls...A plain navy long gown. Or a long jumper worn over a blouse like the Uniform many HS girls in Middle Eastern countries wear.

Anyway, what ever happened w/ this sister?

Anonymous said...

I thought the Muslim readers here might like to know that there is a Christian reader who agrees with you and thinks it is admirable that Shabina fought for her beliefs. While I am certainly as not well-versed in understanding as a muslimah, I have done research on hijab and I have read parts of the Qu’ran (and have since started reading the Qu’ran from the beginning since I was losing the context of everything….I have no intention of converting, but I do believe in gaining knowledge and understanding – it’s really the only way to obtain peace, no?) and I have my own religious obligations regarding clothing that, were I in her position, would lead me to the same course of action.

Personally, I would have transferred to a different school while doing so in order to continue my education as it has been with the most minimal interruption, but that’s just me. I’m sure she had no idea that it would take as long as it did anyway. As for the school’s initial attempts, at least they did *something*. They did at least try, even if it wasn’t correct. Certainly they should have come up with a compromise of some sort when the jilbab issue was initially brought up….school colors, logo, etc. Hopefully people will learn from it now.

Now, on a happier note…

Pixie: I’ve actually been reading your posts since you wrote on Beautiful Muslimah. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed visiting your site (I check every day ^.^ ) and I have learned a lot from you, so thank you. I suppose it’s kinda weird that I never said anything until now…maybe I’m like a ninja and didn’t even know it!? LOL jk :P

-Ducky

Anonymous said...

Amber: I quite agree with you :)

-Ducky

Anonymous said...

Salaam Alaikum,

I believe the four schools of thought do not necessarily mandate "jilbab" but rather loose, non-transparent, doesn't show shape, not too glitzy, only hands and face exposed clothing that doesn't resemble mens clothing. I do believe as long it meets the requirements (which apparently their shalwers didn't), it doesn't have to be someones national dress (like an abaya or a jilbab). There are many Indian, Malaysian, African, Bosnia and more sisters who dress according to standard Sharia but do not wear jilbab. If you have specifics from the four Madhabs texts that mandate a jilbab, if you could post them that would be great because I have only come across what I have mentioned. Now some strains within groups may mandate jilbab but they are a minority to the majority and I wouldn't want to call our properly covered sisters out because a minority believes only a specific overgarment is "proper" hijab.

Almallena said...

Asalaam walikum

Heres a good essay about the word "Jilbab" and its point of views of what is considered Jilbab. http://www.muhajabah.com/jilbab.htm#sharia. Please do not post my comment for I believe that Im in error about the correct jilbab now. May Allah forgive me.

Pixie said...

Anonymous: I usually don't post anonymous comments without a fake tag name at the bottom but I wanted to say I wrote a post to answer to your
http://ilovehishmatheblog.blogspot.com/

I am talking about Islamic jilbab that encompasses those qualities you named but that is an overgarment (which the earliest of the scholars all agreed upon and is obvious in the hadith which describe the clothing of the early Sahaba) . I am not talking about a cultural jilbab (ie an abaya---though that is the form of jilbab Ms. Behum chose to wear).

Candice said...

I support her in what she did, fighting for her right to wear what she believes is the correct Islamic wear.

I wouldn't go as far as to say that the school was discriminating on the same level as someone who doesn't allow blacks on a bench, nor would I say that it would be the same level of disobedience of God's commandment to wear a miniskirt and tanktop instead of a shalwar kameez with khimar. I don't think that modesty is a black and white thing and I think God appreciates what people are able to do.

So overall, the school might not have let her wear her jilbab, but at least they tried to accomodate the Muslim population. They just didn't have the understanding.

Anonymous said...

Pixie: My point was NOT on what she wanted to wear to obey her God.

My point was on the fact that she KNEW the rules of her school before hand that she was going to break them by imposing her new dress code (she was not wearing jilbab before).
And then she could cry that she was mistreated.
That is hypocrisy, pure and simple.
Like if I go to my work not wearing my uniform and THEN protest that I was mistreated. Well, sorry but I agreed to work for them and I knew about the uniform so I'm the one to go and leave if I do not agree anymore about it. Not the other way around.
(It is actualy my situation right now.)
Plus they say there are school allowing jilbab where she could have gone. But I suspect her goal (or her brother's goal) was to start a movement in the school and to show how Muslims are mistreated in Europe... (I checked the movement he is part of by the way, interesting to say the least).

Those people are the one who give bad name to ALL believers.

Emma

Pixie said...

Emma: when she started going to the shcool she didn't beloeve jilbab was fard but through reading she learned that it was. If it is a religious obligation you should be able to go to ANY school withit. Unless for reason of health and safety, and wlaking from class to class is not a reason of health and safety. When I started my job I did not wear my abaya. When Is started to, it would have been religious discrimination for them to fire me. And I agree with the aim of her brother's organization though I am not politically affiliated. They aren't terrorists and don't give anyone a bad name at all, though I have only skimmed, and not read on them extensively. It was religious discrimination, and yes, it IS the same as telling blacks you can't sit on the same park benches. As a girl who saw the evils of apartheid in S.A any discrimination should be fought. I would totally fight for you not to have to hide your faith in an Islamic country sister of the book. Don't go so lightly on something that is very serrious.

Amber said...

Emma,

I really think the point is that the school *is* infringing on her rights to practice her religion. Her wearing jilbab harms no one. She could still wear the school uniform. Under the jilbab (in abaya form or whatever). Which, by the way, is totally something I would have done, because I am that kind of obnoxious.

I look at it this way: I decide to send my kid to a private school, and they have a dress code/ uniform. Say, knee length skirts, short sleeved tops, in school colors. Somewhere along the way, I come to the realization that my faith demands more modest clothing than this - skirts ankle length, full sleeves, scarf covering her hair. You can bet your sweet bippy that asap, my daughter would be going to school in school colors, wearing clothes that met those requirements. I'd talk to the school, but I honestly would expect them to respect my right to practise my religion. And if they didn't? I'd raise a stink.

Anonymous said...

Pixie: I have zero problem with the fact she changed her mind about what she had to wear to please her God. This is her right.
I have a problem with her willing to change rules because of HER change of mind.
You never change the rules after you started to play. You quite the game altogether.
Emma

Pixie said...

Emma: The thing is with legal rights. Since it a part of the religion no school is allowed (In Britain or Canada or USA---France doesn't count) to disallow a student to practice their religion. Miss Begum's school did.

hal786 said...

Assalamualaikum...
ok this is from someone who actually knows the area etc..that this happened in..

1stly-
ducky: aww thank u so much thats so cool a christian also agrees with this!!I have Christian mates also and we're all fine with what each of us wear!

about the shalwar kameez issue:
i used to wear shalwar kameez before deciding to wear jilbab (i still wear shalwar kameez but UNDER my jilbab, cuz shalwar kameez isnt appropriate i think)
yes in luton a LOT of the ppl, like in my school they are mostly desi (mostly paki/kashmiri some bengali's etc) and the families go by culture, not religion.
even me before i didnt get why people wore jilbab, i though it was arab not islam lol...and when i started wearing it my relatives were like its not ur culture etc. but now they're ok with it and a lot of other cousins etc have started wearing jilbab too mashallah! thats wht us desis are kinda taught that shalwar kameez is ok and its not fard for jilbab. so that probably why in that school, the other girls didnt ask for jilbab too.

what some girls around here do is they wear jilbab normally but cuza the school rules, wear skirt and long shirt intead at school.

as for why she didnt go to another school:

in luton, there is an all girls school and an all boys. denbigh is mixed. theres also islamic schools.
maybe the all girls school isnt close to the girl. and as for the islamic ones they arent very good from what i've heard from people that have been there.

mashallah its great that its islamic, but there's a lotta problems-e.g. they're expensive, you have to pay a lot eaachh year, the education isnt great, someone said something about not getting good references from them to go college and uni and not many gcse's available!
so other schools isnt really an easy option.

Anonymous said...

Pixie: No. She violated the rules of the school that she agreed earlier. She changed her mind. She leaves. When you do have an agreement with somebody (or an institution) you do not break the contract after signing it. This is moraly dishonest.
At your job, you did not have a uniform to wear. To fire you would have been discriminatory.
Emma

Pixie said...

Emma: no, every country with a constitution that says the right to religious freedom without discrimination means that every workplace or public space, if they DO have a uniform, but provide one that suits that religion's obligations (except for matters of saftey----the same way a fire department shouldn't hire a woman to rescue people who can't rescue people ya know?). Jilbab is an Islamic requirement. A uniform that IS jilbab needs to be come up with by the school or workplace, period. My workplace has a uniform dearie, it is a very strict dress code and those that do not meet it have to wear a corporately provided uniform that doesn't work for a Muslim. My workplace had to change that uniform to encompass my religion becaus ehtey had never considered my religious requirements. Alhamdulilah they didn't make up some lame excuse such as safety (I mean, I sit in a chair and walk back and forth from a fax machine) as an excuse the way Shabina's school did. What are you wanting us to live in Ms. Emma, lol, Nazi Germany? You can follow your religion so long as it fits in with the uniform?

Black people go sit on black people benches, cuz you know, its the rule?

Discrimination is discrimination. Hey, I understand for safety and security reasons---I WILL quit my job at the bank to wear niqab. It is inevitable. I wear proper khimar and abayas at my job and I am pretty sure I am the only sister who does in the whole country on the job that I do that does, but me wearing niqab to work in the morning is a security hazzard since a robber might recognize my morning pattern and pretend to be me every day and rob the bank. A short robber:D They did think they could find me a job even if I did but since they are soooooo good I won't let them make up a job that the company doesn't need just so that I can wear it. I will find a job where I can wear (in public too girls---make dua for me) that isn't about security. Jilbab isn't a security hazzard for a school and since it is a religious requirement a uniform is required to be made for those adherring to the religion. Sisters who attend the non-muslim univeristy in my city where niqab and jilbab and no one says they are safety hazzard or they are pressuring the other students to "adopt a more extreme dress code". That is discrimination and BOGUS. That is why I cry foul. Discrimination that is old school is still discrimination and needs to be changed.

Pixie said...

Should I go to a different restaurant with my husband because there is a rule (and we know of it) just because they say they don't serve darker skinned people?

Bogus.

My bestfriend from before Islam is Jewish. Her Grandmother refused to leave a hotel that refused to rent a room to someone who was of Jewish descent. She camped days in that hotel, coming back every day, even thoug every day they told her they didn't have rooms, even though they did. Was what she did to change things "hypocrisy, pure and simple"? I think not. It is heroic.

Amber said...

Emma,

So, should women be allowed to vote? Work? I mean, the rules were in place, we weren't allowed to do those things.

We changed the rules. But, apparently, we shouldn't have.

Anonymous said...

Pixie: don't be upset, please. :-)
You're mixing two different things: As far as know you don't choose the color of your skin but you chose your clothes, that is a huge difference. Emma

Pixie said...

Emma: my religion is like my skin. You kill me if you take it off. I can't choose anything but the truth, and that is more internal than pigmentation. I can't just cut it out of me without a forced lobotomy.

So the Jewish woman who wasn't allowed to attend that hotel because of her religious beliefs should have just let it go right on discriminating on the grounds of religion? Give me a break. Shabina Begum is doing the same thing Rosa Parks and my friend's Jewish grandmother did. I do get mad, because all it takes for this world to go wrong, is for a good person to do nothing. I felt this way before Islam too. I fought the hijab ban in France even though I wasn't Muslim. Right is always right. Wrong is always wrong. Discrimination should always be fought, no matter if it is accepted by the majority or not. Any other line of thinking is kinda neo-nazi to me in its extreme, or supportive of bigotry and prejudice in its most mild degree.

Anonymous said...

Pixie and Amber: Lol! We will never agree! Just for the sake of the discussion though: Do you think that if this young lady had adopted mini-skirt she should have been allowed to go to this school anyway? (I don't).
Ok, let say you invite me, girls, to a church, a mosques or a party, whatever. You ask me to wear a certain type of dress and to cover my head. I knowingly and willingly AGREE with your demand. Then I come not wearing this kind of dress and bare headed. Will you let me in AND change the rules?
Second example: I'm the owner of a hotel where the regulations PLAINLY state that no alcoholic beverages or smoking are allowed. I clearly state that to the customers BEFORE they book. They AGREE on those regulations. Then a customer starts to smoke and bring alcohol in the hotel. Should I shut up AND then drop my regulations in MY hotel?
Rosa Park NEVER gave her agreement on the situation. The Jews NEVER gave their agreement and as far as I know nobody asked the women if they agreed or not either.... THAT was indeed discrimination.
Emma

Pixie said...

Emma: none of those things you listed as rules were part of a religion or a race. NO Shabina did not say okay to the rules before she attended. She didn't start school with a religious requirement for hijab. As soon as she did (and jilbab IS a religious requirement) then they discriminated against her. She never agreed to go to a school where they wouldn't let her practice her religion. All public spaces have to allow religious clothing except for, for health and safety reasons. Rosa Parks was discriminated against. So was my friends Jewish Grandmother. She knew their were other hotels she could go to. Rosa knew there were other seats. Shabina knew there were other schools. ANY discrimination needs to be fought. I don't care if you want to come to my mosque in a mini skirt you totally can since the women's side is a musalla (especially if that is part of your religion's holy book but I don't think it it is---that'd be about personal freedom rather than religious compulsion) same with drinking alcohol or smoking (though I wouldn't let you do those at the Mosque cause my relgion forbids them and personal freedom is totally fine by me so long as it doesn't infringe upon the rights of others---which is why I say health and safety can overcome religious requirements sometimes in a case by case basis. Anyways, you support places discriminating and not allowing one to practice their religion. You say it is about the choice, but it is in reality, about doing what is right wherever a wrong takes place.

Anonymous said...

Let's drop the matter, OK? You absolutely want to mix real discriminations (the Blacks and the Jews) and a "person vs institution problem". Society needs trust and trust is based upon agreements. If people can break agreements anyway anytime then trust cannot exist. If our dealings are based on an agreement that you or me can break unilateraly anytime (because "I changed my mind") then there is no trust possible.
If a woman get married believing that fidelity is part of the marriage and then "change her mind" then, whatever she would say, she would be cheating on her husband. They had an agreement, she violated it, she cheats.
Shabina had a moral agreement with her school that she was going to wear a certain kind of dress at this school, it was not forced upon her when she started to go this school, she broke it, she cheats.
With your answers, I would be very weary to trust you because I would feel that anyway, anytime you could "change your mind" and break the agreement we had together.
You give your word and you keep it or leave the game all together.
Emma

Pixie said...

Emma: I won't drop it. Discrimination is wrong whether you agree to be discriminated against or you fight against it. What do you not GET? Jilbab is a religuious requirement. Anywhere it is not allowed it is religious discrimination. Whether a place decides to make a rule against it or not. It IS like making a rule against a race or a religion. That is WHAT it is EXACTLY.

Pixie said...

And it is REAL discrimination to me. If I can't go to school or get a job because of my religion that hella is REAL discrimnation. I won't agree to it, and I'm glad Shabina didn't and fought it so that others could have the right, even though she lost, it brought attention to the issue.

Anonymous said...

So no rules nowhere, eh? And no agreements (or contracts).
Because anyway, anytime, somebody will change his or her mind?
So what exactly is the point for this school to have a uniform, then? what if she choose to come in miniskirt then?
Emma

Pixie said...

Emma: it is not about rules and agreements it is about religious obligation. She didn't sign a contract to the school but the school is ruled by government which says freedom of religon, yes? Well if it part of her religion she must be allowed to practice it excepting health and safety.

Pixie said...

Emma: k, two last questions

A.) If a country has a law that says all persons must be allowed to practice their religions if but for public safety should not all schools and work places be made to provide a dresscode that will not discriminate against a religious person?

B.) Since jilbab is a religious requirement does it not fall under freedom to practice one's religion?

Leigh B. said...

Asalamu alaykum!

This post is really old, but I just read it and I thought I'd weigh in!

Okay, to be short and sweet: what rules should one honor more, a commandment from God or a school rule? It seems pretty obvious to me, and probably anyone with any amount of religion, that commandments from God are the first rules that anyone should look at, and should they conflict with an institution's rules, the institution is either an oppressor or should change policy to comply with religious freedom. Brava to Shabina!

Pixie: I read your blog all of the time and I just love it :) ! (Although I just discovered, a little late :/) Thank you for your always insightful and clever posts, I enjoy reading them! As a newly converted Muslimah living in the U.S., it is comforting to have some Islamic support, even via web, since the community here is rather small and my chances for Muslim interaction are limited.

Anyway, hamdillah for this blog and I hope you and your family are doing well

<3, Jetta Leigh