French Government Officially Banned The Wearing of Full Face Veil

PARIS — Many scholars of Islam will tell you that nothing in the Koran requires a Muslim woman to cover her face — that its rules for proper Islamic dress are ambiguous and limited. “Say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty,” it says. It adds, “They should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their ornaments.”

Claude Paris/Associated Press
Street Clash In France, the eyes are supposedto meet, to exchange a greeting.
Even Khadija, the first wife of the prophet Muhammad and a successful businesswoman, who surely guarded her modesty, is believed to have bared her face in public. Historically, in the Middle East, it was often tribal Bedouin women who covered their faces, sometimes with decorative masklike veils dripping with coins that announced the value of their bank accounts.
Westerners became sensitive to the image of faceless Muslim women largely through the use of the burqa by the Taliban to oppress women in Afghanistan. That garment functions like a body tent, with an eye screen to allow some vision. Years before it became an issue in the United States, French feminists fulminated against the burqa, and later against other radical interpretations of Islam in Afghanistan, including public stoning for adultery, the demolition of Buddhist shrines and the banning of music. And now, the French government has officially banned the wearing of full-face veils.
But the face-covering veils in France are different. Even though many here mistakenly call it a burqa, the garment worn by women here is a niqab, an improvised cover in black with no religious or traditional significance beyond what a wearer or observer gives it. Some of these women may be rebels, demanding control over their bodies and recognition within a Western culture whose social values they reject. Some may have been forced into covering their faces by domineering men; others may believe they are better Muslims because they hide their faces in public. Some are French converts from Christianity.
France’s ideal of a secularized republic theoretically leaves it blind to color, ethnicity and religion, and makes everyone equal under the law; there is no census or reliable poll data on why these women veil, or even how many do. (The government’s best estimate is 2,000 at most.)
So why all the fuss, on both sides of this question, about a tiny minority of women who wear odd-looking dress in a country that is the world’s creative headquarters for odd-looking fashion? One explanation is cultural. In French culture, the eyes are supposed to meet in public, to invite a conversation or just to exchange a visual greeting with a stranger. Among Muslims, the eyes of men and women are not supposed to meet, even by chance, and especially not in public or between strangers.
“Le regard” — the look exchanged by two people — is a classic component of French literature, developed centuries ago in the love poetry of the troubadours. Especially in Paris, a stare in public is not usually taken as a sign of rudeness, and can be accepted as a warm compliment. You never walk alone here, it seems. “The visual marketplace of seduction” is how Pascal Bruckner and Alain Finkielkraut define public space in their 1977 book, “The New Love Disorder.”
In another book, “Galanterie Fran├žaise,” Claude Habib, a specialist in 18th-century literature, argues that the centuries-old French tradition of gallantry “presupposes a visibility of the feminine” and “a joy of being visible — the very one that certain young Muslim girls cannot or do not want to show.”
French tradition has also long encouraged mixing of the sexes in social situations. “The veil,” Ms. Habib continues, “interrupts the circulation of coquetry and of paying homage, in declaring that there is another possible way for the sexes to coexist: strict separation.”
A more familiar explanation for French antagonism to the facial veil is historical and political: the deep-rooted French fear, resentment and rejection of the “other” — the immigrant, the invader, the potential terrorist or abuser of human rights who eats, drinks, prays and dresses differently, and refuses to assimilate in the French way. Some of the French, particularly on the far right, still believe that France’s colonial “civilizing mission” was a noble one, and that the people of former colonies, including the Arabs of North Africa, have clung to backward ways that they are now exporting to France. “The veil’s presence reminds French people daily that that mission failed,” said Rebecca Ruquist, an American scholar of race and religion in modern France. “It has been seen as a sartorial rejection of the values of the French republic.”

Source : The New York Times

KL International Hijab Fair 2014 is on its Last Day....Wrap up Day!!!!!

The first event that remarkably marked Malaysia as the host and the largest Islamic Fashion Trade Fair in the region, with more than 200 booths to visit, its an event that shouldn't be missed for all the Hijabistas.

Over 3 days, KLIHF2014 brings together the Islamic fashion key industry players such as industry professionals, manufacturers, wholesalers, importers, exporters and retailers of yarns, fabrics and textiles, machineries, accessories, jewellery, design studios and houses from different countries. It is a meeting place of department store buyers and purchasing offices to discover more than 100 designers of Islamic fashion in Kuala Lumpur. Here, new and upcoming trends are revealed, meetings are held and deals are closed. 

From 13 Jun 2014 (Fri) - 15 Jun 2014 (Sun)

Catch the 1st KL International Hijab Fair 2014 at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Tun Razak Hall 3. 

Visit their website for more details.
KL International Hijab Fair 2014

Or visit their FB :

Philippines Actress, Queenie Padilla quits showbiz, Embraced Islam.

“When I was in showbiz, I was very unhappy. I was lost and I always felt I never belong[ed].

But now that Allah is in my life, Alhamdullilah, La illa illalah, I am so happy and content in my life,” Padilla said.
Queenie recently went to Makkah in Saudi Arabia to perform her religious duty called Hajj.She added that she found “inner peace” and “direction” by going back to Islam where she also found her happiness.& She said she has become a totally different person because of Islam. “Islam is a way of life. When you start to become a Muslim, you know what your life purpose really is.

I am such a sinful person, but Allah invited me to his house. I am so close to him,” she said. Padilla thanked her father, action star Robin Padilla, who introduced her to Islam.“I just want to thank my father for giving me the opportunity to perform Hajj. And I love him so much because without my father, I might not have been a Muslim,” she said.

Ejay Falcon and Queenie Padilla

Even Padilla’s relatives and friends in Saudi Arabia were inspired by her new image. As she returns to the country, Padilla said she will carry with her the experiences she had while doing Hajj, adding that she will share these to her fellow Filipinos.

Islam is about real Love, not just Lust, says Converted former Party Girl

Before Islam: This picture of Heather was taken earlier this year on the party island of Ibiza.
Just three months ago, Heather Matthews, a 27-year-old teacher from Preston in England, was partying in Ibiza whilst parading around in clothing that revealed most of her body. Since then her life has undergone a total transformation, and is now a proud Muslim who wears the Islamic hijab.It has now been four weeks since her conversion to Islam, a decision which left some of her friends shocked, and provoked a cautious reaction from her family. She openly admits that her friends might consider the move as being ‘one of her fads’, but the decision to accept Islam came just two months after her return from partying in Ibiza, and looking at the photographs of the ‘old her’ confirm to Heather what was wrong with her old lifestyle, and what is right about the religion of Islam. While her friends have struggled to get past societies portrayal of Islam as being oppressive towards Islam, Heather acknowledges that it is the life she is leaving behind that is far more oppressive, and that Islam is the complete opposite of what the media proposes.

She was caught up in trying to adhere to the Western image of beauty, where people need to dress and act in a certain way to feel good about themselves. It is an ideal that requires them to dress in lesser amounts of clothing, show their private body parts to the public, and coat themselves with makeup to beautify their outer appearance, all of which is generally done to please men.

Heather with her daughters, Halle and Ellah

Heather’s experiences have led her to realize that the Western culture is a shallow lifestyle, where people seek instant gratification to fill their lives with. People are constantly searching for more pleasure because these small gratifications are not fulfilling. Islam has instead given her a ‘love and happiness’ that she could never find in her old lifestyle. She has learned about real love, not false passion and lust, and can even now see the logic behind arranged marriages.

A part of her realization was that women are treated based on how they are dressed. It is a society where if a girl is dressed a certain way, regardless of her intentions, she will be on the receiving end of unwanted treatment. Women who have no self-respect often face the consequences of their decisions in an unfair way, and Heather has surprisingly found wearing the hijab to be the complete opposite experience.

Instead of men lusting after her when she is scantily dressed, she finds that the men no longer try to chat her up or harass her in the streets. Heather now refers to the hijab as an ‘idiot repellant’, and enjoys being able to walk down the street and smile at people without them thinking its a sexual advance. This lust is what leads to relationships in the west, and she acknowledges the benefits of a relationship first based on friendship instead, and then developing into love.

‘People think I must be oppressed but I’m a strong, confident and free woman,’
she said. ‘I know I’m one of the most unlikely people to revert to Islam.

This premise is something that in hindsight she wishes she had applied in her previous life, but it is a life that has led her to the success in Islam, which has been a number of years in development. Her ex-husband Jerrome was a Muslim convert himself, and Heather had such a firm belief that the religion was wrong, that she used to study it to support her arguments. Even though they separated last year, she found herself continuing to learn about Islam, and identifying with it more in the process.

Heather finally accepted Islam after learning the truth about the religion, and said her Shahadah four weeks ago in front of the Imam at her local multi-faith centre. She said it was a wonderful experience, and she had several other Muslim sisters there with her, who gav her gifts including a hijab and Islamic books. Heather has now given up alcohol, eats halal food, and plans to fast in the next Ramadan. She is still learning the prayers in Arabic, and is reading an English translation of the Quran every day.

Her conversion to Islam has astounded her, as Heather considered herself one of the most unlikely people to ever become a Muslim. According to a study by multi-faith group Faith Matters, Heather is actually a likely candidate. She is now one of over 100,000 converts to Islam in Britain, which is a figure that has doubled in the past 10 years. Her age of 27 is the exact average age of converts, and about two-thirds of those converts are women.

Becoming a Muslim was entirely her own decision, and it is a religion that she wont be forcing up her two daughters from her previous marriage to Jerrome. Five-year-old Ellah and two-year-old Halle will be left to make their own choice about Islam according to their free will. Onlookers in the street may feel she is being oppressed and wearing hijab against her will, but Heather says she is instead a ‘strong, confident and free woman’ and that she made the choice ‘for love and happiness and it has completely changed my life’.