Muslim men need to understand that the Quran says they should observe hijab first, not women

For some reason, a lot of men seem to think they can simply force women to observe hijab. Instead, the Quran and Prophet Muhammad are clear: in Islam, us men are not actually allowed to do that at all. The burden of modesty lies with us

.. when addressing hijab, the Quran does not address women first. It addresses men first. That’s not a typo. Islam places the primary responsibility of observing hijab not on women – but on men.

.. People often conflate “hijab” and “headscarf”. Wearing the headscarf is one form of hijab, but men often forget that hijab is much more. And at the genesis of the hijab discussion, the Quran commands men to not stare at women and to not be promiscuous. The Quran 24:31 obliges men to observe modesty: “Say to the believing men that they restrain their eyes and guard their private parts.

.. This verse rebukes forced laws on women that claim “women must cover otherwise men are distracted”. It destroys rape culture because it commands men to reform themselves first and exclusively. It demolishes complaints that what a woman is wearing is “too provocative”, whatever that means, because it flat out forbids men from gawking at women.

.. The Prophet Muhammad’s directives further affirm this view. He admonished men, “Be chaste yourselves, and women will be chaste as well,” again putting the primary burden of hijab on men.

.. We’ve all heard guys say, “I want a chaste wife,” yet themselves they’re anything but. To such men I say: don’t be a hypocrite. The Quran keeps us accountable. Only after the Quran thoroughly commands men to observe hijab by being modest, not staring, and reforming ourselves, does the Quran address women.

.. something strange happens to many men. While wholly missing the primary burden of hijab first placed on them, men suddenly and magically discover the concept of hijab for women.

.. For some reason, men think they can simply force women to observe hijab. Instead, the Quran and Prophet Muhammad are clear: in Islam, no such permission exists for men to force hijab on women.

.. As His Holiness, the Khalifa of Islam Mirza Masroor Ahmad, reminds men who force hijab on women: stop and restrain yourselves instead. In a 2014 sermon he admonished men: “Men should remember that they have not been given powers to police others and they should restrain themselves. It is not for them to cover the heads of women from outside. Men are commanded to restrain their eyes, they should fulfil their own obligations. There is not even any commandment to forcibly cover the heads of Muslim women, let alone non-Muslim women. It is men like these who have hardline ideas…”

Hijab is a critically important Islamic teaching. No one denies this. But it seems to me that too many men forget it applies to us first. Let’s stop obsessing over women, and worry about reforming ourselves first. That apparently novel idea is indeed the true jihad and true meaning of hijab.

How to Roll Back Fanaticism

We’re living in an age of anxiety. The country is being transformed by complex forces like changing demographics and technological disruption. Many people live within a bewildering freedom, without institutions to trust, unattached to compelling religions and sources of meaning, uncertain about their own lives. Anxiety is not so much a fear of a specific thing but a fear of everything, an unnamable dread about the future.

.. Donald Trump is the perfect snake oil salesman for this moment. He lacks inwardness and therefore is terrified by the possibility of anxiety. He has been escaping self-scrutiny his whole life and has become a genius at the self-exculpating rationalization. He took a nation beset by uncertainty and he gave it a series of “explanations” that were simple, crude, affirming and wrong.

.. Trump gave people a quick pass out of anxiety. Everything could be blamed on foreigners, the idiotic elites. The problems are clear, and the answers are easy.

.. The alt-right, which has emerged in support of the Trump administration, is marked by the same conspiratorial epistemology. It provides explanations for complex events that allow its followers to avoid anxiety.

  • .. The world is secretly controlled by the globalists.
  • The Sandy Hook school shooting never happened.
  • There’s a child abuse ring run by Clintonites out of a pizzeria in Northwest D.C.
  • All the ambiguities of life can be explained by pointing to the malevolent webs of secret power

.. If the alt-right thinks the globalists secretly and malevolently control society, the neo-Nazis go back to the original version and believe that a conspiracy of Jewish bankers does. For them, tribalism is not only a way to feel some vestige of pride in their own lonely selves, it’s also an explanatory tool.

.. The world can be a bewildering place, but not if you see it as a righteous war between whites and blacks, between straights and gays. The neo-Nazis are not the first group to discover that war is a force that can give an empty life meaning, even a race war.

.. The age of anxiety inevitably leads to an age of fanaticism, as people seek crude palliatives for the dizziness of freedom.

.. I’m beginning to think the whole depressing spectacle of this moment — the Trump presidency and beyond — is caused by a breakdown of intellectual virtue, a breakdown in America’s ability to face evidence objectively, to pay due respect to reality, to deal with complex and unpleasant truths.

.. In fact, the most powerful answer to fanaticism is modesty. Modesty is an epistemology directly opposed to the conspiracy mongering mind-set.

.. Progress is not made by crushing some swarm of malevolent foes; it’s made by finding balance between competing truths —

  • between freedom and security,
  • ‘diversity and solidarity.

There’s always going to be counter-evidence and mystery.

The Photograph That Captures France’s Debate Over the Burqini

Four police officers fined a woman on a Nice beach for wearing the swimsuit favored by some Muslims.

The images taken Tuesday show four policemen approaching a woman lounging on the shores of the Promenade des Anglais, where the burqini ban has been in place since last week.

.. The ticket, according to Agence France-Presse, said she was not wearing “an outfit respecting good morals and secularism.” The fine for defying the ban is 38 euros. One witness to the incident told AFP some onlookers were applauding the police and shouting “go home” to the woman and her daughter.

 .. “I can tell you that online on Sunday, we received 60 orders—all of them non-Muslim,” Zanetti, who says she usually receives 10 to 12 orders, told AFP Tuesday. She said many of her customers purchase the swimwear for its sun protection.