The Other Blair Criticizes Hijab and Niqab

October 31, 2007 § 10 Comments

Former British PM’s wife urges to challenge religion saying,

“I think however, that if you get to the stage where a woman is not able to express her personality because we cannot see her face, then we do have to ask whether this is something that is actually acknowledging the woman’s right to be a person.” (R. Gledhill, The Times Online)

What is interesting to note is the assumption of these positions which have been highlighted in the British media for the past 2 years. That assumption being that all Muslim women are either forced to cover; pressured to cover or too backward to know whats good for them.

Perhaps if more Muslim men start looking like Muslim men and carry the sunnat of the Holy Prophet (alayhi as-salatu wa salam), Muslim women would no longer be a target for these politically driven media exploits. What would happen if Muslim men carried the Prophets sunnat? Walking the streets of London and New York City in the hundreds wearing turban and jubba instead of tight slacks, stiff collared shirts, French cuffs and ties. I wonder would Mrs. Blair’s comments make the headlines at that time?


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§ 10 Responses to The Other Blair Criticizes Hijab and Niqab

  • Umm Layth says:

    I wonder the same. At the same time I feel that women need to understand the reasons why they veil themselves better so that they can have an even more powerful voice.

    What is unfortunate about these attackers is that they don’t see the mess they live in. They have destroyed the foundation of their societies by exploiting women, pulling them from their homes and making them feel they need to be out of the home, and what not. Now, they just want to destroy us because that is all they know.

  • Aaminah says:

    Asalaamu alaikum.

    Agree 100% – brothers should practice the sunnah as well and it would provide solidarity with us sisters to boot. As long as brothers do it with the intention of following the sunnah, inshaAllah, and not just to be provocative. I mean, they need to recognize the reasons they do it, and not just do it when it suits them, or thinking they are “protecting” us women by doing it and then leaving off when they think the controversy has passed. The Sunnah is for all time.

    Also, I find Mrs. Blair’s comments horribly condescending. Not only for what you already mention, but the other assumptions in her statements. Who says that I am devoid of personality because you cannot see my face? I express it other ways, when and how I see fit. But because of niqaab I am free to CHOOSE when and how and how much. As a person with rights, isn’t it my right to choose to cover? Isn’t it my right to hide what I choose to hide and display only what I wish to display? She is, obviously and understandably, viewing this from her own cultural norms and simply doesn’t know what she is talking about. Which proves what I say all the time: Muslim women need to be heard. No one else needs to be speaking for us, on our behalf, as if we cannot speak (or as you say, are too ignorant to know what is right for us) – let us speak for ourselves because no one else knows what we think or feel.

  • […] 1st, 2007 by Saifuddin This blog post was originally a comment on The Other Blair Criticizes Hijab and Niqab, but I decided to make it blog post because it hit on some very real and very serious topics that […]

  • Umm Zaid says:

    Salaam ‘Alaikum

    I think that “I just want to get to know you” thing is a fakey fake way of making like they really *want* see us as individuals, but, unfortunately, munaqabat are so stubborn that they can’t see that. It casts the munaqabah as unreasonable, insular, anti-social, and so on. The truth is that many will not care about knowing us as individuals until we are on their millah.

  • Saifuddin says:


    as-salaamu ‘alaikum Umm Zaid, thanks for stopping by. I like your comment especially when you wrote,

    “The truth is that many will not care about knowing us as individuals until we are on their millah.”

    Ultimately, it boils down to people making demands for others to follow their social and cultural habits. Personally, I am rejecting this entirely. There is no more compromise for me in this area. I’m a Muslim, I should look like a Muslim; I should act like a Muslim; I should talk like a Muslim. Which means I should look, act and talk like the Holy Prophet Sayyidina Maulana Muhammad (alayhi salatu wa salam), his Companions and his inheritors, the awliyaAllah/saints.

  • Umm Layth says:

    wa ‘alaykum as salam

    I agree that no matter how sucky sucky we become they just don’t care. It’s the same people who call us oppressed that don’t want to hear us. But I think it would make it easier on women if men displayed their Islam more and didn’t bend in the direction that THEY want all Muslims to bend in. If we stayed stronger, stuck to our principles, I feel we wouldn’t feel this disunity, this weakness of iman in showing our deen, as much.

  • Aaminah says:

    Asalaamu alaikum.

    “Ultimately, it boils down to people making demands for others to follow their social and cultural habits. Personally, I am rejecting this entirely.”

    AlhamdulAllah, so do I. It does not matter to me what “They” think of me or what they expect of me. I care only for Allah’s expectation of me. It is not my place in this dunya nor my desire to bend to whatever the current winds may be. The Sunnah of the Prophet salalahi alahi wa salaam is for all time and when I accepted Islam as my deen, I accepted that as part of it.

    There is an ayat in the Qur’an, though I don’t have the source handy and am running out of the office in five minutes… something to the effect that “they will never be pleased with you unless you reject…”. Allah told us that long ago that others would never be pleased with us, they will always seek to drag us down or try to get us to conform to them. This is not what we need to lower ourselves to doing, but sadly many do. And even then, “They” do not really respect and like so-called secular Muslims either. We will never win their approval no matter what we do, and we should not yearn for it anyway.

  • […] Saifuddin comments on Mrs. Blair’s opinions on British Muslim women wearing the face veil. I happen to think Saifuddin was/is spot on and […]

  • Abdur Rahman says:

    Salaams Sidi Saifuddin,

    Some interesting thoughts. Perceptive as ever. Ma sha Allah. Also, I like the new feel of your blog. Very nice. Ma sha Allah.

    Just one question: has the Carnival of Islam in the West sailed into the sunset for the last time?

    Salaams to you and your whole family

    Abdur Rahman

  • Saifuddin says:


    as-salaamu ‘alaikum ‘Abdur Rahman!

    “Just one question: has the Carnival of Islam in the West sailed into the sunset for the last time?”

    Good question. I noticed that there was a declining rate of participants in the Carnival, not sure why, but I have been contemplating a way to either renew interest or recapture old interests in the Carnival. If you have some suggestions, I am open to discuss them.


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