Tuesday, June 19, 2007
On Veiling and Unveiling
Embraced by the calmness that emanates from every corner of the Mother City, I can write to say that much of the elegance of the Mountains Beauty transcends in the warmth within the hearts of Cape Towns residents. These few days have been ingratiatingly pleasant. The Cape Town Book Fair has turned out to be an incredible experience and epitomises the celebration of the written word, enticing booklovers of all ages and fancies to its ceremonies. But with writing comes this deepset responsibility, one that has just come to my attention in more stark reference than ever before. In engaging with members of the press and other media, one takes for granted that there must exist a form of writers ethic to convey in truth and good will, the message of the writer of a book in as exact form as possible by the reviewer or reporter. I found that such was not the case in a recent article by a newbie journalist of the Mercury who has grossly misrepresented the message that is "Daughters are Diamonds" for what could be seen as her own ends to perpetuate her rather limited rhetoric, misunderstanding in its entirety the concept of hijab. Ms Naidoo quotes me as having said that hijab is irrelevant in current society. Of course that does not make sense! Especially when she then goes on to say that Hassim argues that Muslim women in South Africa wear the hijab with pride and an awareness of their identity as Muslim. Her choice of title (Lifting the Veil) is the first point of focus for the intention to defame, as "Daughters are Diamonds" is not an issue of purdah and the veil, but an observation on the insiduous forms of social control, stigma and cultural expectations that limit womens autonomy, which is seen as religious obligation. Islam as a religion, is progressive and encouraging of men and women as spiritual beings to 'enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil' in living a moral life in keeping with the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). I am especially appalled at the idea by the Lifestyle reporter goes on to quote her own references in the form of Alibhai-Brown whose views are both contrary and far-removed from the scope of "Daughters are Diamonds" message. This defamatory article is hardly a conscientious effort at sound journalism and leaves me wondering about the thirst for scandal that half-wit journalists need to rely on in order to make themselves heard.