London UK, 15th October 2009 – Muslim women from across London will attend a Seminar this Saturday, 17th October, organised by the women of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, to expose the real agenda behind the timely attack of Sheikh Tantawi and Western governments on the niqab or face veil.
Last week, the Egyptian scholar and head of the renowned Islamic University of Al-Azhar hit international headlines when he asked a young school girl in Cairo to remove her niqab and consequently stated that he would seek a ban in all schools affiliated with the university. His remarks have given a “green light” to proposals from countries such as France and Italy to ban the niqab.
Dr. Nazreen Nawaz, Women’s Media Representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain commented, “The niqab is just the latest victim of the continuing story of secular Western governments and politicians in their attempt to drive any visible signs of Islam out of their societies. It is not the niqab that is on trial here but Islam and its position in the West. Attacks on the Muslim woman’s dress are being used as a Trojan horse by which to secularise Muslim women in the West and coerce them away from Islam. Talk of bans reflect desperate governments grasping at straws to quell the rise of Muslims rejecting secular liberalism and adopting Islam as a spiritual, social, and political ideology. Tantawi’s comments have therefore effectively thrown fuel onto this anti-Islamic agenda.”
“Muslim women will stand firm against insults hurled at their Islamic dress by opportunistic politicians hoping to gain political mileage by currying favour amongst the rising sector of right-wing voters within their electorate. We refuse to accept for the Muslim woman’s dress to once again be used to re-enforce age-old accusations regarding Islam’s mistreatment of women. Nor will we allow this issue to become a source of division between Muslims due to differences in Islamic opinions regarding the niqab.”
“With Western states suffering economic chaos, political sleaze, epidemic levels of crime and anti-social behaviour, social and family meltdown, abuse and exploitation of women, rising individualism and materialism, and increasing drug and alcohol abuse amongst their young, it is not the niqab, hijab, or Islam that should be in the dock but capitalist, secular, liberal values. As Muslim women, the gloves are off and we are more than ready to take up this debate.”
This women’s only seminar will take place at 11.30am, on Saturday 17th October 2009, at Toynbee Hall, 28 Commercial Street, London, E1 6LS. (Nearest tube: Algate East)