Women and Community
This Essay is based on the topic Women and Community
Step 1: Read carefully the following essays:
Zine, J. (2008, Spring). Honour and identity: An ethnographic account of Muslim girls in a Canadian Islamic school. Topia, 19, 35–61.
Mcmurray, A. (2008). Hotep and hip-hop: Can black Muslim women be down with hip-hop? Meridians: Feminism, race, transnationalism, 8(1), pp. 74–92.
Both authors draw attention to the double standards within their own Muslim community as a problem for Muslim women living in an environment where Muslims are a minority. Some of their concerns relate to:
Rigid regulation of gender-based structures
Policing of young Muslim women’s bodies.
Control of young women’s mobility
Imposition of a single ideal type to which all young Muslim women are expected to conform
Step 2: Summarize the main arguments of each author. Clearly note down some of their criticism of the double standards for women and men within each community. What reasons do the authors give for these double standards? What are some of their concerns about the effects of these double standards on young Muslim women?
Step 3: Do you agree that young Muslim women in Canada face double standards of the kind noted by these authors? Provide examples. Do you agree or disagree with the authors’ criticism of such controls and limits on young Muslim women? Explain why or why not.
Step 4: At any point in your paper you must refer to at least one incident or event reported in print, visual, or social media from 2015–16. This event should be used to support either the argument of the authors or your own arguments. Be sure to provide full citations.
Objective: Your essay must demonstrate that you have read and clearly understood the arguments of both authors. You may, but are not required to, use any other reading from this course to support your arguments. However no outside reference is permitted except for the news event.
Length: 2,000 words
Requited: Running header or footer on each page with student name, year, and page number
Style: Times New Roman 12 point font, double-spaced:
The paper must have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. You may use the first person, i.e. “I” or “we”
Include a title page.
Provide a complete bibliography
Use in-text citations with page numbers for all references to authors, in addition to direct quotes
Women and Community
Step 2: Summary of Authors’ Main Arguments
1. Zine Jasmine
Jasmin Zine penned an ethnographic study of Muslim girls at a Canadian Islamic school titled Honor and identity: an ethnographic study of Muslim females. This is the first study to examine how Islamic schools help Muslim girls in Canada develop their gender identities and sensibility. Zine's essay examines Muslim girls' religious and gender identities in light of the widespread patriarchal control in Islamic institutions. Aside from that, she also looks into how Canadian schoolchildren deal with Islamophobia as part of their overall socialization process. Even non-Muslims face unpleasant realities, such as gender discrimination and the Muslim women's movement restriction. Everyone's life is affected by these challenges. Islam's schools and social institutions are widely credited with spreading the idea that there should be two sets of rules for various situations. There is growing evidence that Muslim women are discriminated against, and their lives are negatively affected due to this prejudice. Muslim women's self-perceptions have much in common with other Muslim women, even though the two publications come from very different backgrounds.
2. McMurray Anaya
When it comes to Hotep and Hip-hop: Can Black Muslim Women Be Down with Hip-Hop? Anaya McMurray challenges the common belief that Black Muslim women cannot be hip-hop enthusiasts. For example, McMurray cites Erykah Badu's use of music to express her religious and cultural beliefs and her personal experiences as a Muslim hip-hop musician. It is also worth mentioning that Erykah Badu uses music to express herself (Iner & Baghdadi, 2020). Muslim women's thoughts on their identity as Muslim women and society's patriarchal ideas are linked in these two pieces of writing, which demonstrate the importance of a related topic.
I agree with the authors that young Muslim women in Canada face double standards. According to the works of Zine and McMurray on the subject of Muslim women's double standards in Islam, Muslim males may be held to different standards than Muslim women. According to my understanding, Muslim women's persecution is perpetrated both within and outside of Muslim communities. A wide range of misconceptions and prejudices about their way of life result from this. While it is common knowledge that the general population has a wide gender gap, Muslim communities prefer to overlook this issue because of the importance of male supremacy in Islamic culture. According to Zine, society should emphasize delivering high-quality education for youngsters. She claims that Muslim youngsters are taught to conform to gender norms prevalent in patriarchal societies, notably in the East. This is especially relevant to Eastern cultures.
Some teachers in Islamic schools argue that students in these institutions are subjected to an unfair double standard regarding moral conduct. These schools teach Muslim girls to be self-aware of their bodies, whereas Muslim guys are not subjected to the same standards during their education. Zine mentions the concept of izzat, which refers to Muslim women's need to preserve their family's honor when making decisions. Muslim men are not obligated to utter the term because there is no such phrase in Islam (Iner & Baghdadi, 2020). In the long run, the social status of women is negatively impacted since males who misbehave are stigmatized to a lesser degree than women (Zine, 2008). According to McMurray, Muslim men and women in the hip-hop culture face the same double standards. Black Muslim women are commonly misunderstood because of the sharp contrast between the roles they are expected to perform in society and the roles they are aggressively pushed to play in the hip-hop music industry (McMurray, 2008). There has been more success for black Muslim men in music than for their female counterparts, according to McMurray, when carving out essential niches.
In contrast, black Muslim women in the music industry face different challenges than their white counterparts. Islam, hip hop, and the more incredible American culture have clear double standards that allow singers like Africa Bambata, Public Enemy, Brand Nubian, and Rakim to express their religious convictions while performing an often-conflicting position in the music industry. Because the music industry is controlled by American culture, this is conceivable (McMurray, 2008). It is easier for black Muslim men in hip-hop to break into the industry than for other black Muslims since they do not have to worry about being laughed at for their religion.
Men and society have different expectations of how women should behave, and women have their standards. Gender inequality, on the other hand, makes it acceptable for women to have low self-esteem and self-esteem (Iner & Baghdadi, 2020). Another persistent problem stemming from patriarchal practices affects Muslim women and girls. Because of these customs, people are confined to the periphery of society rather than realizing their full potential. A tight dress code and limited interactions with students of different genders are expected of young girls attending Islamic schools in Canada. In the words of Zine, these restrictions are imposed to inhibit the interaction between the sexes that can lead to activities that are judged improper, such as dating and premarital encounters. Muslim girls at these schools are influenced by their uniforms (Zine, p. 45, 2008). Zine's research found that all of the young women she spoke with believed that having a partner or talking to one would harm their reputation. This practice can constrain how women think about and view themselves by suggesting that conversing with people of the opposite sex is illegal.
Due to such exclusion, black Muslim women's faith is nearly never emphasized in the music industry. According to McMurray's essay, a double standard like Zine outlines prevents black Muslim women from connecting with hip-hop's cultural norms and stereotypes. The article published by McMurray does not indicate that Badu is Muslim, even though she frequently refers to Allah in her writing. So, it would appear that there is no relationship between the Islamic faith and black women's hip-hop music or that they can even ignore explicitly Islamic lyrics in these songs (McMurray, p. 83, 2008). Seven different websites McMurray looked at had the word The Lord substituted for Allah on every occasion. Most people would be more accepting of her if she were identified with Christianity rather than Islam. This song's inclusion of allusions to The Lord reduces the likelihood that it is mistakenly taken to be about Allah.
Proof that Muslim women face a double standard of conformity, as though they are supposed to follow religious and social norms blindly. In Islam, as in many other religions, the question of whether or not a person adheres to the teachings of their faith is fundamental. A steady bombardment of travel restrictions is imposed on Muslim girls who are still developing as individuals (Iner & Baghdadi, 2020). In nations like Iran and Saudi Arabia, this is especially true. Zine cites a study in her essay that shows how young women are constantly observed by their families, even if the girls are unaware of this. That is what she claims happens when it comes to managing and disciplining female sexuality through the discourse of the pious Muslim girl, which establishes specific boundaries for culturally acceptable behavior. An example of this process is the pious Muslim girl's speech, which establishes specific bounds for culturally acceptable behavior (Zine, p. 47, 2008). We approach young Muslim women differently than young Muslim men because we believe that young Muslim women are more prone than young Muslim men to engage in inappropriate behavior. This is because they have been brainwashed and even intimidated by their families and schools into subscribing to the fundamentals of patriarchal beliefs.
It was a double silence for Egyptian-American Mona Eltahawy, who was silenced by a Pakistani journal that ran white space instead of her column on sexual self-determination in 2016. She was silenced by a Pakistani publisher in 2016. Eltahawy's inability to comply with the Pakistani patriarchal society's rules of behavior for women ultimately suppressed her voice. It will be much easier to establish a standard of ordinary obedience within and outside the religious community if her opinion is not sought on such an important topic. For McMurray, there is evidence to suggest that the young Muslim men and boys active in the hip-hop music industry care little about their public image. The public behavior expected of black women practicing Islam and black males practicing Islam differs, if at all. When McMurray looked into this, he did so in-depth.
Strictly speaking, Muslim men are now allowed to have premarital sex, smoke cigarettes, drink, and use filthy language, all of which have previously been forbidden in Islamic society, Zine argues. In Islam, premarital sex is illegal for Muslim women. Even though the activities are deemed to be in direct contrast with Islamic precepts, there is no unfavorable view about black men who practice Islam (Iner & Baghdadi, 2020). As a direct result of this, Muslims now have more opportunities to express their commitment to Islam and are commended for doing so. Ali Asadullah's essay on the rapper Mos Def is used by McMurray to show how much of the praise he receives is questionable. Since Mos Def's lyrics glorify violence and sensuality, Asadullah's claim that he is the best public representation of what it means to be an Orthodox Muslim is incorrect, according to McMurray.
According to McMurray, Mos Def has a history of exalting these subjects in his music. Muslim women with African heritage, in particular, cannot correctly acquire a sense of who they are and the value they place on them when their mobility is constrained. There will always be a struggle for Muslim girls and women to protect the uniqueness of their identities and sensitivities. Whether in the setting of their schools or the general public (Iner & Baghdadi, 2020). As long as Islam exists, this problem will persist. Now that I am a non-Muslim, I can see how the gap between the two groups of practicing Muslim women has distorted my perception of Islam. Zine and McMurray provided Muslim girls with a beginning point and an ongoing point of view, respectively, in my opinion. The mainstream culture expects adolescent Muslim girls and black Muslim women to behave patriarchally, marginalizing both groups. Because young Muslim females are expected to behave patriarchally, they are marginalized. Individually, they both tend to apply different standards to others, yet this is something they have in common. Both of them possess this quality. Some double standards mentioned in the two articles read for this research included gender discrimination, conformity, and immobility.
Due to gender imbalance, women who attend Islamic institutions have lower self-esteem and accept their disadvantages as usual, according to the two writings I read. For black Muslim women in hip-hop to be heard in a way that is not sexualized, they must work twice as hard and conceal more of their faith. Women and girls may embrace an identity that has been fashioned for them by their families and the westernized societal norms they are exposed to as a result of the double standard of conformity. Young girls' behavior being monitored and the lack of representation of black Muslim women in hip-hop are both signs that cultures are unjust and discriminatory further. Putting Muslim women and girls in a disadvantageous position in society and comparison to men has numerous harmful consequences, as Zine and McMurray demonstrate in their works. They have a point, in my opinion.
Islamophobes singled out Muslim woman's dress as a target since it made her identifiable as a Muslim woman very quickly. Not many other people dress as we do aside from nuns who are easily identifiable as Christian and thus safe. Muslim women traditionally don the headscarf as a sign of resistance and independence. Islamophobia and white feminism were employed by my parents that day to deprive me of the agency. According to white feminism, the headscarf keeps Muslim women from participating fully in society, which is why we need the freedom of Muslim women. We are stripped of our ability to live our lives in a way that is self-determinative as a result of this narrative's social dynamics and policies. While Western feminism purports to advocate for and enhance women's status, it tries to make their life more difficult. This is somewhat hilarious.
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