A Muslim woman from British Columbia, Canada made an absurd claim last November (see my first article in this series) that Muslim women are not harassed if they do not wear a hijab in Muslim countries and even more absurd, that some women just choose to wear it.
As to the first part, " that Muslim women are not harassed if they do not wear a hijab in Muslim countries," that is a blatant lie as demonstrated in the almost dozen articles I wrote on Muslim sexual Harassment. The truth is, in all Muslim countries, all women, Muslim or infidel, are sexually harassed whether they wear the hijab or not.
In a moment I will discuss the sexual harassment of women in Libya, but first, let's look at the second part of her argument, "that some women just choose to wear [the hijab]." Well, of course, there will always be morons who do stupid things. I can truthfully make the statement that "some women enjoy sticking nails into their nether regions," but so what? The world is filled with people who are just nuts. If no one is forcing a woman to wear an oppressive tent under the heat of a Middle-Eastern noon-day sun, then something is mentally wrong with her.
There is nothing wrong with wearing a hijab if there is no force involved and there is a good, non-religious reason for wearing it. In Libya, like in most North African countries, the veil was a seldom seen thing decades ago. But as I have said before, Muslim workers returning from working in the Oil Gulf states brought back with them the true repressive version of Islam and are insisting that their women-folk go out cloaked. Today, the majority of women are publicly veiled. However, if allowed to be candid, Libyan women will tell you that they prefer not to wear it (1).
But even though the majority of Libyan women are veiled, they are still subjected to sexual harassment. The following is from a Muslim women's website where we get a Muslim feminist perspective on sexual harassment of women in Libya:
Muslimah Media Watch, 5 Jan 2009, Sexual harassment of Libyan women is holding us back
While it is true that Libyan law sets the foundation for female equality, it was never properly enacted. To say that there have been “decades of gender equality reforms” is a gross exaggeration that implies the government actually tries to do something about the harassment. The government doesn’t ...
[How often are Libyan women verbally abused?] The answer is every time a woman leaves her home. It is constant. ... Libyan verbal harassment is not just rude or annoying, it is sexually explicit, demeaning and potentially scarring. No woman, busty, adolescent, rich, poor, fat, attractive, veiled or ugly, is spared. Libyan men constantly harass women because they can, without facing any consequences.
The situation is so bad that leaving the home can turn into a risky experience.
Women from most, if not all, predominately Muslim countries experience excessive sexual harassment, but in Libya it is out of control. Other than it being creepy and barbaric, it is a testament to a society kept in chains by its own way of thinking.
Of course, it's not just Libyan women who are harassed - it is just as horrible for western women (2). My advice to all infidels: avoid travel to any Muslim country.
BBC News, Libyan women consider the veil
It is a typical day for Najat Tarhouni; she's come back from work and her friend drops by for a chat.
Najat normally wears a veil in public but prefers not to when standing outside her building as she flaunts her thick, long hair.
Najat wore the veil a few years ago because her teenage daughter suddenly decided to cover up. She has since been caught in a moral and religious battle with herself.
There is a general consensus that wearing the headscarf is a religious duty in Islam but there are also other factors dictating whether a Muslim woman covers up.
"My husband is open-minded and we sometimes travel on holiday, so I was thinking the next time we do that, what if I feel like going to a nightclub with him? I can't do that with a veil - I'm seriously thinking of removing it permanently - I feel so restricted with it."
Her friend Afaf wears her veil Tuareg-style, tightly wrapped around the forehead and cascading below the neck as she reflects on a bit of history.
"I think the beginning of the hijab trend which appeared in the 1980s in Libya was mainly due to economic reasons like things becoming more expensive and low state wages."
"Women needed a sizeable budget for their fashion needs, so their solution was to wear the veil and cover up with a simple cloak to escape from the economic strangulation."
That was then, this is now and today Libyan women and girls are covering up for different reasons and in different ways.
Hala, a housewife, says that given the choice she would not cover up at all.
"If you don't wear it here, people look at you as if you're doing something horribly wrong - this is the only way you'll fit in this society - to feel that you belong."
Diplopundit, 19 Mar 2010, Libya: foreign women faces routine sexual harassment
Sexual harassment against foreign women continues to be a serious problem. Foreign women face routine harassment such as cat-calling and groping. Most foreign women are targeted while traveling alone or in pairs.