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Imperialist Roots of the Abolition of Hijab

"From Woman's Lap Man Ascends to the Skies". (Imam Khomeini [RA])

The Islamic Revolution of Iran, before being a political revolution for getting hold of the power, or an economic revolution dealing with the economic and class relationships, is a cultural revolution possessing a moral and spiritual value in the depth of the being of the individual and society as well as the heroes of the Muslim community of Iran. It is a gift of Allah's angels to the people which has been showered through the Imam of the Community from the hidden divine treasures to the land of the oppressed, and clean-washed the souls addicted to the hunger for power and position, the greed for amassing wealth, adoration for beauty, Occidentosis and Orientosis. In relation to the woman too, like its relationships and connections with so many other sections of the society, it brought into vogue some new values, values which have their roots ingrained in the nature of all human beings which had since been buried, in our land during the 2500 years of despotic rule, under the dust of the tyrannical breeding, etiquettes, affronts at the hands of autocracy, and which have languished in a distorted form among all the other Muslim people too throughout the period of Imperialist domination.

Under this shower of divine benediction and in such favourable background, the Muslim woman discovered the mysteries of her being and came to realize that her existence was not confined to her body and sex, but was primarily a divine and celestial substance which was to be exalted and elevated in order that it may be salvaged and may achieve communion with its sublime, divine origin, (as promised by Allah)

"Indeed he attains deliverance who purifies his soul". (Surah al-Shams: 91:9)

Even the men of our society came to understand that woman is not a mere "beautiful and sexual thing", but is, in fact, a divine substance about which Imam Khomeini (RA) has very aptly said:

"From women's lap man ascends to the skies".

The person whom the Western Imperialism had convinced and said: "You are the sole source of pleasure! You are the ladder for the achievement of political power by the (Super) powers, kings, cartels, trusts and multinational companies"

The person who, through centuries and ages, had been a manifestation of intellectual deficiency, foolishness, intrigues and temptation;

And on whose bosom would descend abjectness and disgrace of mankind and human values;

All of a sudden became the pinnacle of human glory, the ladder that leads man to the acme of dignity. The woman, however, has attained this value and honourable position after undergoing lot of hardships. It is because, at the summit of the Islamic revolution, this gift of Allah's angels has been bestowed upon the women who have qualified themselves for it after the sacrifice of their own dear ones, their children and husbands, in the way of defending Is1am, women who carried in their bosoms their dear ones wallowing in blood after they had been martyred at the torture centres of CIA and MOSSAD executioners and dismembered after they had been killed by the firing squads of the pro-American Shah; women who had valiantly fought in the battlefield of life against the Satanic regime which was responsible for engendering the unbalanced mental, psychological and educational traits hitherto ingrained in her being. In this battle of internal and external forces they had come out with flying colours, pure and clean, with their laps being the perching places of the sublime values.

Alas! When you look back into the distant past the disgraceful life of the woman, and find the first steps dragging her into the quagmire of dishonour, on the way to the erosion of the values of her Godly essence and the noble origin of her being in order to establish and bring into prominence her physical and sexual values, and go through the history of' the woman in the decadent societies particularly in the contemporary Imperialist systems; you will come across a history full of sexual display. It will not be astonishing when, in its wake, we find intellectual slavery, because Western Imperialism with its bestial, profit-oriented and power-seeking motives used the abolition of hejab as the most powerful weapon for degrading and dishonouring woman, because Imperialism fully realized that one of the mechanisms for the decadence, downfall or elevation of a people lies hidden in the person of woman. It was the first step towards enervating or distorting the potentialities and faculties of woman a leap more forward than taken by all the other despots and power-seekers of history, so that by the display of her physical features and replacing the Islamic breeding and behaviour by the Western habits and character, Western Imperialism may drag the Muslim people to gradual annihilation and ultimately lead the Muslim men and women to cultural, followed by, political and economic subjugation.

Now, let us study the inauspicious course of the abolition of hejab in the Muslim countries, particularly in Iran, and see how the enemy started h is evil designs.

Effacement of the Self

The roots of the effacement of Muslims' self go back to the past, a distant past, to the Crusades, when the West during the Crusades learnt a large number of sciences and arts from Muslims, and within a very short span of time, with the help of these sciences and arts, the Western people succeeded in developing their own techniques and equipments, but, instead of being grateful to us, most shamefully and ungratefully they used the same weapons against us which they had borrowed from us. Travelling around the world, which took place very sparsely, became very frequent. The world travellers or tourists of yore turned into greedy traders whose voracious appetite for ownership could not be satiated by any amount of wealth.

Travelling from one place to another brings maturity in man's outlook. He can see every image, as far as he can, in the mirror of original moulds. The travellers of yesterday, who had turned into avaricious traders through penetrating eyes and long experience, entered the depths of the earth beneath its heavy surface and, in the heart of the warm and ancient lands of the Orient, they discovered untouched pearls, springs of oil and mines of gold, silver and copper. With what sort of eyes and with what type of equipments did they do it? With the eyes of greed and the equipments of covetousness and the insatiable desire for more and more. Henceforth they were not content with dealing in spices or cloth alone or stealing away (the gold and diamonds from) the tombs of the saints or rings and seals (of kings and princes). They had now turned all their attention to unearthing the hidden treasures of these lands. But it required the riches of Croesus to buy the contents of these underground treasures. Thus, it has been through robbery and intrusion that these traders succeeded in their filthy designs. It was here that they had to face an unexpectedly tough resistance from the Eastern people.

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They thought and thought, how to get over this obstacle and reach their cherished goal. At last they were supported by their instinctive intelligence and specialized skill of a robber, intruder and plunderer. They came to realize that the Eastern people are endowed with a very precious object more precious than all the riches the West wanted to steal, an object which, unlike the mines, was not created by Nature and was not the product of the geological survey, an object which could not be seen by the visual eye and which could not be touched by the feeling hand.

It is the precious gem produced by the teeming millions through many a millenium with their beliefs, with their sorrows and joys, with their culture and religion, with their ancient history. This precious, exquisite and inaccessible gem is the "Self". Man can work wonders through science and technology. He can break atom. He can melt steel. He can reach the depth of the oceans. He can discover the stars and planets and can even land himself there. He can make cloth, chocolates and candies with petroleum. But he cannot have access to this "Self" through science and technology. The West knew well that unless it succeeds in getting hold of this "Self" and annihilate it, it cannot reach the depth of the warm lands of the Orient and their hidden treasures.

How could the West break this "Self" and exterminate it. Its people pondered and pondered, and chalked out plans. At first they specified their general target that they must extirpate this "Self" which was the secret behind the force and resistance of the East or must bring about the "Effacement of the Self" of the East, and breathe into its body their own soul or the soul they so much wanted to see in its body.

Now, in order to achieve this object, they used the following two methods:

1. Debasement of "the Oriental Self"

The first method is the one adopted by all the despots and dictators of history. The holy Qur'an refers to the story of Pharoah in (almost) the following words:

"The Pharoah assembled the people of his land and said to them:

'O People, behold what gardens full of fruits I have! What cool and roaring rivers are under my control! How precious bracelets and earrings I have! (Now decide) whether I am better or this Moses who is penniless and is in tatters, and does not even know how to talk," (Derived though not literally from Surah al-Zukhruf: 43: 51-52)

The Qur'an concludes the story thus:

"Then Pharoah debased his people, and they obeyed him." (Surah al-Zukhruf: 43:54)

So the West adopted, the method of humbling "the Oriental Self" and showing itself as great, important, powerful and wealthy.

2. Obliteration of the Manifestation

The second method adopted by the West was the obliteration of the manifestation of this "Self", or, in other words, destruction of whatever is the outward exponent or external display of this "Self" or its nature, or according to the famous saying, destroying the form in the hope of putting an end to the content, or ruining the exterior for destroying the interior. Of course, later the West adopted some more subtle ways.

Progressive and Reactionary

Initially the West exploited a psychological peculiarity of human being which has also been emphasized by the holy Qur'an, where it says:

"But man wishes to explode his advance (ment)." (Surah al-Qiyamah: 57:51)

What is meant by man's advancement. The Qur'an emphasizes the aversion to love for what is old and advocates the love for whatever is new and novel, the desire to eat fresh fruits and the desire to experience newer and newer phenomena not experienced before. Now, the West came to the East and told its people. "Whatever you have is old, and belongs to the past, to the bygones. It is the product of lack of civilization. Whatever we have is new, fresh and modern. If you have culture, customs, laws, dress, architecture, art, literature, language or whatever else, let you know that it is all out of date. In our stock lies a lot of fresh and modern commodity. Come and take away this commodity," At first the West did all this through its traders, and then it also used force and at last it fulfilled its designs through the Westernised intellectuals and thinkers.

In our country Mirza Malcolm Khan [1] was the pioneer of this movement, until we had Taqizadeh [2] who would proclaim: "Let us be Westernized from the head to the toe!"

They were followed by their successors who are still there, and whatever troubles we have experienced in the post-Revolution period had been at the hands of these very persons.

At last one day the Eastern people came to hate themselves. The West had so much propagated that "the Oriental Self" is rotten and out-of-date. Consequently, the Eastern people felt an aversion to their "Self". They felt ashamed to think of their "Self". This was the best ground for the growth of Occidentosis. This was the beginning of the cultural Imperialism of the West, which later led to the tragic plunder of the Eastern mines and other resources. Now that the Eastern people had obliterated their "Self", they would easily fall prey to the insinuation of adopting what was superior from the West, the occidentosis, to give up their aversion to and estrangement from the West (and bring it to their own land, and hand over their own control and domination in its hands. It was all accepted very easily and with pleasure. This process was accomplished rapidly with the help of the 'Westernised intellectuals and indigenous rulers of the land.

The Self of the Muslim East is "the Islamic Self"

Let us mention here that in every corner of the world this "Self" has its own type. It is in one form in the Far East and in another in the Middle East. The Muslim East for the last one thousand and four hundred years has experienced all its sorrows, joys, heroes, history, art, literature, marriage ceremonies, mournings, births and deaths under the shade of Islam. Therefore the Self of this part of the East is an "Islamic Self". In the Lexicon of the plunderer West, the "Effacement of the Self" of this part of the East is an exact synonym for "Obliteration of Islam". In other words, the "Self" which the West has been keenly busy destroying in this part of the world is the Islamic character of these people.

The West has an extreme aversion to this "Islamic Self". It is for the following reasons.

1. The Islamic Self is a source of unity and force for a great part of the people of the world who are by themselves a "Superpower", and if this unity persists, it would lead to rapid annihilation of the Western [3] powers.

2. The Islamic Self means a Self demanding justice, opposed to the amassed force and wealth and against atheism and infidelity.

3. The Islamic Self is basically one seeking God and demanding justice and stands to assemble the whole world around this centre.

4. The Islamic Self, in view of its relationship and common affinity with human nature and being, has its roots in the depth of human psychology, and therefore it possesses a strong power of resistance to the blows of its opponents. We have observed how in spite of all the hostile machinations (by the West) from the Safavid period, particularly during the last half century, aimed at the effacement of our dear people, with the success of our Islamic Revolution under the able leadership of Imam Khomeini, the power of resistance of this "Islamic Self" has been fully realized by all the enemies and how the latter were thrown into the abyss of defeat and despair.

Muslim Woman is the most Living Manifestation of Islamic Self

As already mentioned, the second method adopted by the West for Effacement of the Islamic Self has been the obliteration of the manifestation (of this Self). In their view whatever is a manifestation, sign, expression or product of this "Self' must be obliterated. So the Algerian language must be changed from Arabic to French, the Indian language from Urdu to Hindi [4] and local dialects to English. The Turkish script must be replaced by Latin, our architecture must be replaced by Western architecture, our art by Nihilism and our local dress by Western dress.

The most important of all these, and the most living manifestation (of this Self) is woman, the Muslim woman. If they succeed in changing this manifestation of our Self, this Lap bringing up our Self, if this can be changed, the enemies would succeed in striking the biggest blow on "the Islamic Self."

Of course, the Eastern woman has an external self and an internal self. She has an intellect and a soul and a peculiar feminine character. The Muslim woman occupies the most distinct place among the Eastern women. Her pecularities are greater and her relationship with the identity and Self of her people is deeper and she has stronger roots than the rest of the Eastern women. Now, what should the West do to change her? What should be the plan of the West, and which of her weak points should be exploited? Is Muslims' bias [5] in encountering women a weak point? If it is so, how is it to be tackled?

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