The Meaning of Man

A few weeks ago, my dear friend Hashi sent out a link to an episode of TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin. This episode’s discussion was focused on “the Meaning of Man” (YouTube video after the break). The blurb on TVO’s website read, “From head of the household to the butt of jokes, men have gone from the top of the world to underachieving drop outs. Is it finally time to feel sorry for the man?” As usual, with the short mailing list of close friends that he sent it to, we didn’t take Hashi’s request for thoughts and discussion seriously and poked fun at various things mentioned during the program. But for whatever reason, I remembered this video this morning and thought I’d post it up to my blog. Now, my intent is not to start some pity party for men, but with gender roles changing somewhat–or at least getting blurred–in Western society (in some Eastern societies the traditional roles as we know it are completely reversed), I thought this discussion would be good to post, as there were some points mentioned in the discussion that I found pretty interesting.

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Dr. Marranci: Burqu’ing freedom: the danger of ‘moral civilizing’

It’s been a while since I posted any articles from Dr. Marranci (in part because, like mine, his blog’s been a bit in active due to him being busy with various other things). He’s recently put up a nice article regarding the recent global trend seen with “democratic” places banning the face veil. It’s a great read for anyone interested. Here’s a bit from the beginning of the article:

The year 2010 appears to be marked by the ‘war on burqas’ (the Switzerland minarets being an exception). While Belgium has formally moved to ban niqabs and burqas, Italy used regional laws to fine Muslim women using niqabs, and Quebec has imposed a ban for anyone wearing one to enter government places, including hospital and casualty departments (see this article for more information). The majority of European nations, such as France, are still debating the matter. Both politicians and experts recognize that the number of people who wear a face veil (click here to avoid any confusion about them as often happens) on European streets are very few, and in Belgium they are even less than fifty. It would not be so unimaginable to suggest–even starting from my own observations–that today in the west there are more Muslim women wearing miniskirts than face veils.Many have been the opinions over whether the niqab or burqa are an Islamic requirement, innovation, or just one of numerous other styles of veiling. Al-Qaradawi has suggested that niqab is neither a requirement nor an innovation. In other words,it is a style within the tradition of Muslim dress. In another post I have discussed how increasingly, Muslim women, both by non-Muslims as well as Muslims, have been reduced to the ‘material culture’ of their dress styles. In this case, I wish to observe another aspect of the ‘war on burqa’.

The reasons provided for the direct or indirect ban of the face veil are of two orders: the first, quite hypocritical, suggests that the ban is imposed because of security legislation, often ‘rediscovered’ after decades, which forbids citizens to cover their faces in public. An example of this legalistic approach is Italy, which has rediscovered fascist left-overs that impose fines and prison time for those who disguise their face in public. The second is more honest and direct. Like the case of France, the ban is justified in terms of the traditions and morals of a country. In essence, the first case is nothing other than a camouflage of the latter. I think that it is reasonable to suggest that the attempt to ban face veils should be read within the discourse of ‘values’ and ‘morals’ rather than ‘security’ and ‘legal tradition’. In other words, we are entering the realm of ‘civilizational discourse’ and ‘ideology’.

Read on … Burqu’ing freedom: the danger of ‘moral civilizing’.

Family Law with Khalid al-Anbari (Updated)

QSS Canada has just announced an upcoming series of lectures to be given by Shaikh Khalid al-‘Anbari. The shaikh will be visiting the first weekend of May and from what I’ve heard will be staying here about a week or so. More details to follow after the break.

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Study: Men Objectify Scantily Clad Women

Memory tests performed on the men showed that most of them best remembered photographs of headless women in bikinis despite viewing each image for only a fraction of a second.

Author: Amel S. Abdullah

Anecdotally, Muslim women often speak of feeling “protected,” “safe,” and “respected” when they wear the hijab (religiously mandated modest dress that covers the shape of the body and includes the headscarf or veil). Now there may also be evidence to show that their feelings are rooted in scientific fact.

When psychologist Susan Fiske and a team of researchers at Princeton University performed MRI brain scans on heterosexual men who viewed a series of images showing both scantily clad and fully clothed men and women, they found that the men had an unmistakable response to women wearing less clothing.

The less they wore, the more likely it was for the premotor cortex and the posterior middle temporal gyrus to light up. These are the areas of the brain associated with tool use, hand manipulation, and the urge to take action. (Cikara, Dell’Amore)

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The Stolen Kiss & the Stir It Caused

Last week, while browsing one of the forums I visit from time to time, I came across a link to the Alternative Entertainment blog, run by a brother in the UK by the nickname of Abu Eesa. He recently wrote a post titled She Was Asleep. I Kissed Her. She Awoke in which he presented a poem written by an Iraqi imam and judge from the early generations of Islam named ‘Abdul-Wahhâb bin ‘Alî al-Mâlikî (d. 422H). The poem’s caused quite a stir and has drawn various reactions from many on several forums (his own blog’s comment section included).

I thought I’d share it with those of you who visit my blog, albeit retranslated—no offense to the brother, but I felt his translation was a bit embellished (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). Being that I haven’t posted anything in a while, I thought this might be good to share with everyone.

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Update from the Land of Tea & Crumpets

I thought I’d post an update since my blog’s been pretty dead since we left Toronto nearly a month ago. For those who care and are wondering …

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How I Be, For Those Wondering

For those of you wondering how I be …

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