Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Letter response: Lifting the Veil

Dear (Ms Reporter)

I have just had a chance to read the Mercury article that you wrote, and am sufficiently surprised to see that the article turned out significantly different from what we discussed. The message of Daughters are Diamonds does not relate to the issue of the veil or its abolishment, neither do I say that the headscarf is irrelevant! In our correspondence, I said to you to please not mix-up the issues and also that in no way suggest that I see the headscarf as a form of oppression. Women do indeed choose to wear the islamic dress-code as a form of identification, modesty and pride! Your choice of reference (not taken from my book), AlibhaiBrown, has a completely different theory which was more clearly defined in the article drafts that you showed to me. It was fine as long as that definition was made. On the other hand, case for Daughters are Diamonds is not one of dress-code but of the use of the Quran as a pure text and in its form as a progressive mode of conduct for people to live a moral life. And it is about removing the cultural expectations and stigmas that affect womens autonomy- the insiduous social control mechanisms that have no place in a progessive religion. Not about the hijab!

This article has done much to defame the message of the book in that it assumes that Alibhai Browns thesis is the same as mine. It most certainly is not. On the one hand you say that I state that the hijab is irrelevant, and then you state that I argue that women wear it with pride. This manipulates the message to suit the message that you wish to convey, and I am left feeling appalled at this standard of journalism.

I await your response eagerly. The gross misrepresentation and defamation that your article has afforded my book needs to be addressed in the best possible way and I sincerely hope that you can achieve this. Please mail me as urgently as possible in the hope that we can sort this out.


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