21 October, 2006

cusp of conflict..

i'm guessing that the uae mainstream media has paid attention to aisha azmi's issues with the anglican school where she is a teaching assistant for minorty children - kids with english as a second language..

for those who havent - the short of it is.. ms azmi was born and raised in the UK.. she attended the school as a child for several years.. she interviewed for the job without head cover and since working has decided to wear a burqa.. its caused some discomfort for others.. and various reasons have been cited ranging from the words not being clear.. the facial expressions being absent.. children struggilng to understand.. embarrassment etc etc.. she was requested to remove the burqa while teaching and refused.. she was then asked to take leave without pay and is now pursuing the matter through the courts..

i believe that the matter is soon to go before a pan european jurisdiction.. keeping in mind that only two years ago that forum ruled that turkey was legally able to legislate against hijabs..

i have just finished posting some fragments about integration of muslims into israeli society and have raised this issue on my other blog.. was keen to hear some opinions from this forum where we enjoy a fantastic mixture of opinions and backgrounds..

shabbat shalom to you all



poo said...

Expect a flame war, thats how people discuss stuff in the Middle East. A prime example of that attitude is this

Veiled Muslimah said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Veiled Muslimah said...

Salaam Alaykum,

To make the situation more clearer, Ms Azmi wore the face-veil, i.e the Niqaab [Which covers the face except the eyes]. Now the Islamic ruling on this is, you can show your face to children, and boys who haven't reached the age of puberty yet. So it was permissible. I don't why she objected to it?

It's understandable if she was asked to take it off permanently, then she's got her right to wear it and refuse taking it off.

But if she was asked to take it off only during class, especially when it's only children who shes teaching language to, then it's a different issue.

However, i'd like to think it was more then that in her situation, we don't know the whole story yet.

Allahu Alim.


Anonymous said...

I believe in the freedom of speech, however I do not understand:

1- What connection does an Israeli have with the UAE community blog?

2- Why Lirun always signs with Tel Aviv?

Personally as a Palestinian and Muslim I find this a bit offensive. However, I haven't seen anything other than moderate views from Lirun, and that is always a good thing.

poo said...

Anonymous @ 20:04

You people seem to be extremely sensitive and take offence from every thing and everyone.

Bite me


Lirun said...

hey anono..

i partake in the blog because i am fascinated by the views eminating from the uae.. and it provides an excellent channel and lithmus test for ideas i have when i post on my other blog www.emspeace.blogspot.com..

so what happened was once i posted a question and had a flurry of intriguing answers and then was invited to join.. i was honoured to do so..

i find the breadth and depth of discussions very informative and so i remain in tune with the site..

in relation to my signature including tel-aviv.. i do so in order for you judge me.. so that you know where i am from upfront and if you have a bias feel welcome to incorporate it so that your response is as honest as it can be..

everynow and then an eye brow is raised about my presence on this blog but mostly people have been very welcoming and i have made a few valuable connections..

thank you for inquiring..


in relation to the comments - to the best of my knowledge msd azmi was requested to remove the face covering in front of the children and she declined.. the surveys and interviews appearing on bbc and sky dont seem to be very sympathetic..

Keefieboy said...

@Lirun: your presence here is a breath of fresh air. Welcome!

@Veiled Muslimah - from what I have read the veil is ABSOLUTELY NOT required in Islam.

However, i'd like to think it was more then that in her situation


@anon: Glad you appreciate Lirun's moderate viewpoint. I think it's wonderful that he comments here - if we can get past the bombast of assorted governments and discover real people on either side then that can only be a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Lirun, it's been a while since I've been over at your place. Well, you know duty calls.

I hope to drop by one of these days.

Enjoy the waves, don't catch cold and be cool.

samuraisam said...

anonymous @ 21 October, 2006 20:04:

"I find this a bit offensive."

I've never met you before (I think), but from that statement you come across as an immature moron. Grow up.

This is the internet. It enables communication with people all over the world; I suggest if you want to pretend certain nationalities of people don't exist because they 'offend' you, you find a new hobby.

To me it sounds as if you're going out of your way and looking for something to be offended about.

Anonymous said...

Hi all.. this is anon 20.04 again..
hmm seems all's good except with Sam who's always ready to pounce :)

Anyway Lirun, sorry if I appeared rude but I just had to ask.. and I did not want to appear unwelcoming at all. You're very welcome, and I would open my house for you and insist you have a coffee with me if you were here :)

I just had these questions and wanted to air my views and I appreciate your honest response as always :)

As for the "offensive" bit.. well maybe i should explain a bit more.. my family had to leave Jaffa in 1948 and I have not been able to visit the lands of my grandfathers as a result of the founding of the State of Israel and the general uselessness of the Arabs.

Hence (and I say this very carefully) I find it annoying to say the least that someone who's father, grandfather, and great grandfather were born in Palestine does not have the right to even visit his land. Yet, as a Jew, one can automatically become an Israeli citizen even if s/he has no recent links with the holy land.

This does not mean that I do not believe Jews have a right to live in Palestine/Israel. However, I do not think that any religion should have the right to control any other religion. I'll be very happy praying at Al Aqsa in Jerusalem with two Jews praying beside me if we all do it peacefully :)

Lirun, don't forget the coffee.. you're very welcome. Salam/Shalom/Peace to all!

Slagothor said...

Somebody needs to put together a website showing the difference between a burqa, an abaya, a niqab, a hijab, a chador, a shayla, etc.

What's the Arabic name for the full-face veil (that covers even the eyes) that some of the locals wear?

Veiled Muslimah said...

keefieboy: The veil defenitely has a part in Islam. And by the Veil i mean the Niqaab [As it's being discussed here]. However there is a difference of opinion among the Ulema [Islamic Scholars] if it's considered wajib, fardh or Sunnah.


Keefieboy said...

@veiled muslimah: I just looked up wajid, fardh and Sunnah but it's late at night and I couldn't really get a grip on what it said. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow but I suspect that this is one of those situations where the Q'uran says nothing about it but various interpretations of hadiths do. In which case, count me out. When a religion has four (frequently conflicting) schools of thought, Mr Westerner simply cannot decide what to believe. Is a problem.

But in Googling those terms I came across this: Also, if one eats or drinks using the left hand, this is a minor sin
Do you not have left-handed people in Islam? How much minor sin adds up to major sin? Does Islam not admit left-handers? Do we sinistras have to suffer even more persecution? (I am left-handed and I've always wanted to know what the deal is).

Veiled Muslimah said...

keefie boy: Sorry, i should've explained the terms. Sunnah is not considered compulsary, but an act done by the Prophet Muhammad sallahy alayhi wassalam that if followed is better. Fardh and Wajib go along the lines of being compulsary.

Now the issue of the Niqaab is that, there is are numerous hadith that prove that the Niqaab used to be worn during the time of the Prophet [P.B.U.H] but there are hadith too that show us that at times, the women chose not to wear it.

So basially if you wear it you'll get rewarded for it and it's better for you but there is no sin if you don't [according to what a lot of Islamic Scholars say].

For a lot of Women it involves going towards the next step and increasing their inner spirituality. It's also not easy at times, given the current day and age, so it's like a struggle. Once you put it on, it's hard to take it off as it becomes like second skin.

I defenitely have a lot of respect for Niqaabis. :thumbup:

The issue with the left hand is that, The left hand is usually used by a person to clean up filth, wash themselves after going to the bathroom, and other similar activities. The right hand is used for clean practices like eating and shaking hands, so it's a matter of hygiene and cleanliness as hygiene and cleanliness are a part of Islam. This was also a command of the Prophet [P.B.U.H].

Hope that helps,

Allah s.w.t knows best.


blogrosh said...

"The issue with the left hand is that"

You've got to be kidding me?

Lirun -like your posts and yes, you are (another) breath of fresh air in this diverse community blog.

Lirun said...

wow.. thanks for the support guys and thank you for the fertile discussion..

anono.. mate.. would love to have a coffee with you..


Keefieboy said...

The left hand is usually used by a person to clean up filth, wash themselves after going to the bathroom,
Hmmm. I had heard that. However I am left-handed and I wipe my *** with my right hand! Apparently around 10% of the world's population is left-handed, and you can't force them to become right-handed. I cannot eat with my write hand, nor can I write.

It used to be common practice in the UK until about 50 years ago to try to force left handers to use their right hand, but all you got was a bunch of clumsy, resentful and confused teenagers.

marwan said...

The left hand is usually used by a person to clean up filth, wash themselves after going to the bathroom, and other similar activities."

Says who? I tend to use my left hand for just about everything.

"The right hand is used for clean practices like eating and shaking hands..."

Great, if you're fucking right handed. Reaching for the plate with my left is pretty much instinctive, even if I have to bear the withering looks of some intemperate morons.

HL&H said...

Marwan, why get all upset about the teaching of our religion, nobody is imposing it on you. This is simply how we do things and for reasons we find logical, its called hygiene.
Now you can reach for the plate with your left hand, write in your left hand, but eating specially if you are using your hands is done with the right hand.
Just like we get used to using our right hand to shake hands, I don't see why is this stressing you out.

Keefieboy said...

On being left-handed

Seabee said...

Lirun, to clear a point of misunderstanding; Aisha Azmi has stated that she did not wear the veil when teaching, she wore it only when she was in the company of adult male colleagues. No-one has disputed this.

marwan said...

Hygiene, my ass.

Being obsessive-compulsive means that I'm fanatically clean about *either* hand, so it shouldn't matter which one I use for any darn thing.

The religion considers me a "kafir" if I do what comes naturally to me, so yes, it is slightly irksome.

secretdubai said...

In the time of the prophet/early Islam, there was an obvious reason why the right hand and left hand were used for different things. There was limited water, lavatory arrangements were quite different, and so on.

Mohammed was an intelligent, sensible man. Had a left-handed person explained that it was impossible for him to write with his right hand, or a one-armed man tried to shake with his left, he would surely have been accommodating.

As I understand it, Islam is supposed to be adaptable to changing times. Credit cards - computers - cars - none of these existed in Mohammed's time, but the way they should properly be used can still be interpreted.

Likewise we now know that forcing left-handed children to write with their right hands can lead to speech and motor problems. No wise, loving, godly person would want that. So there are always exceptions. Just like in Ramadan, all muslims should fast. Except the young, the weak, the sick, the nursing and pregnant, if it could harm them.

Lirun said...

this has been very informative thank you.. ill link it to my post on my blog

cheers guys and gals

HL&H said...

Marwan...you obviously have issues, no one will call you Kafir if you used your left hand buddy, don't exasurate.

And SD, if you read my post, using your right hand is mandatory for eating for the reasons I explained.
Shaking hand is a custom most people do with their right hand too, in Islam it is because it is supposed to be your clean hand regradless, I never heared anybody complain about it until now because ithas just become a known custom (in most cultures).
Nobody said anything abour writing, no fatwa against being left handed.

I guess Marwan you should go and read refresh your knowledge about Islam if you are muslim, if you arn't and want to talk about it and put big words like "kafir" I would suggest you do it to.
And by the way, its not up to any human being to label anybody as Kafir, on Allah can do that.

marwan said...

Sorry, no taker for a refresher course here. But thank you so much for the gentle light of illumination, HL&H! In future I'll tell my left hand to be less naughty and the right side of my brain to be less dominant!

"Marwan...you obviously have issues, no one will call you Kafir if you used your left hand buddy, don't exasurate."
I'll take a condescending tone from someone who can spell, thanks.

HL&H said...

"HL&H! In future I'll tell my left hand to be less naughty and the right side of my brain to be less dominant!" since you are not muslim anymore, don't bother with all that, keefie asked, he was answered, you didn't like the answer, nobody is imposing that on to you, or anybody else as a matter of fact, yet you were quick to you profanity in response to our explanation.
And you are such a sad case that you held my spelling erros against me.

by the way nobody offered you any classes, it was a suggestion when I assumed from your "concern" that you were muslim.

Anyways stop wasting our time and go figure out how you are going to run your company next year during Ramadan, because nothing will change in that respect.

marwan said...

"Our"? Why, it appears UAE Community has united (like Voltron!) behind HL&H!

I stated my opinion. Finito. Comprende?

Nobody offered me any classes?
"I guess Marwan you should go and read refresh your knowledge about Islam if you are muslim,"
I guess I'll have to pay for them myself.

You want to talk about my company or the effect Ramadan has on it, you take it to my blog, because it has zero, zip, nada, ziltch, nothing to do with this post.

i, Bobo said...

Sorry I'm late to the party, but about 10 posts up, I read this gem:

"hmm seems all's good except with Sam who's always ready to pounce :)"

Ah, excuse me? I'd be ready to pounce as well. The idea that you would attempt to alienate someone soley on the basis of nationality and religion is as repugnant as the idea of someone who would discriminate against you because you are "a Palestinian and Muslim."

Lirun's attempts at cross-cultural communication seems to be a genuine call for understanding -- can you say the same? Because to the outside world it seems as if there is an unreasonable, self-righteous, and downright racist attitude that permeates throughout this society when it comes to Israeli/Palestinian issues.

1948 was fifty-eight years ago and the Palestinian people got sold down the river -- and not just by the Western powers, but by the Arab nations as well. You want progress? Start moving toward reconciliation. Start moving toward a realistic and peaceful solution to the problem.

Otherwise, you're just another poser in a black keffiyah.

HL&H said...

"You want to talk about my company or the effect Ramadan has on it, you take it to my blog, because it has zero, zip, nada, ziltch, nothing to do with this post."
It does because of your "concerns" that you were called "kafir" due to your hand confusion.
And I did post you a couple of comments on your blog Marwan.

"I guess I'll have to pay for them myself." no body is going to offer you anything, if you want to talk about Islamic issues, you should educate your self before saying foolish things, so I don't care how you do it (I don't care if you would), but there are books, Islamic centers and alot of other resources that fit your stubborn intellectual capability. Pick and choose.

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