Women with no veils have no accounted testimonies
In a headline that bothered women, human rights defenders and others, a wave of disturbance continued to blow in the empty space of air. It sounded too much to hear probably; a court in Jordan decides not take the testimony of women if she was not wearing a veil. Or a veiled woman.
I have to say I didn’t feel much.
I have been taking this course on Sharia law in what was a serious attempt from my side to sit for an exam that allows me to practice in sharia courts. I did really believe that something may come out of it, and I can contribute to some justice for women who went through similar experiences like mine. I believed I became strong enough, knowledgeable enough to stand in such a court.
Week after week for the last five months, I only came to a non-reverses conviction that nothing can be done. Each time I go to that course I feel that I totally dis-belong. It is everything that stands against what I believe in in a package of a law affiliated to God, when God has seriously nothing to do with it. And God forbids I say a word.
Of course I said some words. But at the end I am an atheist like person who has fallen in the misery of disbelief and I can easily be excommunicated on the basis of my looks to stat with. My thoughts can take me to the closest stoning hole.
I actually feel that the only missing action in theses sent of jurisdictions is stoning.
So when I read a headline that says women won’t be allowed to give testimonies if they were not wearing a veil, I really don’t feel anything.
I would even argue with this more. I am sure women will defend this ruling.
Among the funny situations I encountered in my course was a certain article that allows a man to write one marriage contract for three women. Meaning one contract for three women.
The women in the group were looking at me waiting for my comment, when I remained quiet saying; well I assume it is environment friendly.
I have gained of course the reputation of being a feminist throughout the course, something I really don’t like to be described with. Not that I am against feminism. But I am not. Well. I know I can fit more into a womanist perspective. But yet, I am also not into putting myself into a framework of how I should be called being a woman.
Anyway, my fellow women didn’t like that one man contracting three women in one piece of paper. One of hem was denouncing the act saying this was an act that only stresses on women inferiority. Another one said this was degrading. At some point I felt a revolution could take place among the raging women who denounce the article.
I looked at the teacher and I asked him something that felt impolite. You know in Islam, we see men giving advices about all women issues starting from her menstruation and ending in sexual positions that are advised to determine the fetus’s sex. And they can speak about it with no shame or embarrassment. There is no embarrassment in science or religion. But if a woman asks a question she could be a whore. So I asked a question that really bothered me some years ago when I saw it on a TV show in Ramadan. A man was calling a mufti asking him if he can sleep with his three wives at the same time.
So I asked the teacher, who is a judge as well: the fact that a man can marry three in one contract, is the reason why that man whom I thought was totally ignorant asked that question. Of course the teacher answered with a no. And he continued to tell how good and great Islam was.
This thing about Islam when preached always takes me to that time when I was in the first or second grade at school. People never grow out that moment of preaching or receiving Islam in this place.
My point was as simple as it still remains …
There is a whole system of degrading women. The sharia law as applied under the name of God, and as a student of law and Islamic philosophy with modest knowledge on Islamic jurisdictions n accordance with Qur’an and pioneer jurists has nothing to do with this applied law of sharia.
It is a collection of laws that are a mixture of Turkish, Arabic, and Israeli man enforced law for political gains in overpowering who ever or whatever, and the women seem to be the easiest scapegoats.
In a patriarchal structure as such, it is no wonder that the laws are all designed to maintain men power over women, and make sure that a man is always given the just treatment he is entitled to have due his supremacy. After all he is the family “god”.
There is something in the system that we women allowed. Whether voluntarily or by force I really don’t know. Changing it is not by condemning an act or two or some. It is by changing it all from the core. And this change can only happen if women are sitting on the same table with men defining and articulating that law.
Objecting to a woman’s testimony with a veil or not is not a surprise.
Veil is becoming a code dress to societies in the Middle East. A woman can be prostitute and still wearing a veil. Veil is actually becoming a veil to women’s restricted movement.
A veiled woman has more access to freedom than that who is not.
The controversy and the paradox in describing or comparing veiled with unveiled is also an extreme one. There is no middle way in the comparison. Wearing a veil makes a woman part of the social wanted structure. Not wearing it makes her an infidel. Or as close to one.
This should take me to different level of the story …
But I will leave it here for now …
To be continued.