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Thursday, February 23, 2012

[Islam] "What if my daughter is afraid of her?"

Assalamualeikum wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatuhu and hey, dear readers!
A sister* posted this very powerful and inspiring article on a forum today, and I just HAD to share it with all of you. Have any of you ever experienced a confusion about muslim women wearing the face-veil (niqaab)? Ever thought that those women who covered their faces where uneducated, oppressed, and has no rights?
That's what this Canadian non-religious feminist woman thought so, until she sent her 10-month-old daughter to what seemed to be the perfect daycare, but where the carer just happened to be a Muslim, who covered her face in public. Was this a good or bad thing?

If you've got time, please do read this article/story by following the link, or by reading it below with an open mind and heart!

Read the article/story here:
http://www.montrealgazette.com/What+daughter+afraid/6187246/story.html#ixzz1nDySgbde 




‘What if my daughter is afraid of her?’

I used to glare at niqab-wearing women on the street, but then I opened my heart and mind – to a wonderful daycare provider



Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/What+daughter+afraid/6187246/story.html#ixzz1nEyEcgyJ




Not too long ago, if I saw a woman walking down the street with her face covered by a niqab, I would feel it was my duty to glare. As a non-religious feminist, I had decided that a woman who covers her face is oppressed – that she is uneducated, and that her husband is making her cover up because he’s crazy and/or jealous.
OK, I’m exaggerating a little, but you get the point.
And yet until two months ago, I didn’t even really know a single Muslim. I went to high school in an Ottawa suburb, where I was baptized a Catholic so that I could qualify for schooling in the Catholic school system, which was considered better than the more open public system.
We had one year of religious education that gave us a glimpse of world religions. But I’m pretty sure my education about Islam came mainly from CNN, or Fox. I went to university in a small town in Ontario. I didn’t meet any Muslims there, either.
My real education about Islam came very recently, courtesy of a Montreal daycare.
Last December, I was seeking daycare for my daughter. At only 10 months old, she was still very dependent on her parents, and we wanted to find a place that would nurture her – rock her to sleep if need be, warm up my expressed breast milk and even be open to using our cloth diapers.
I punched our address into the magarderie.ca database, and the first one that came up was a 30-second walk from where we would be moving in a matter of weeks. The daycare provider, Sophie, had outlined her views on discipline, praise, healthy foods and the child-centred approach of Montessori. She was someone I felt I could get along with.
I phoned her and we talked for an hour, laughing and chatting and eventually deciding on a time to meet. She shared a great many of the values that my partner and I do. She was also highly educated, trained as a civil engineer.
Before we said goodbye, she added, “Oh, just so you know, I’m Muslim.”
I said I didn’t care, because I didn’t.
She assured me that her daycare didn’t teach religion. Cool.
But then she told me that when she’s in public, she covers her face.
She said the last time she didn’t warn a family over the phone that she wears the niqab, they walked into the meeting and then walked straight out.
I said I didn’t care, but when we got off the phone, I realized I did care. The first thing I thought was, “What if my daughter is afraid of her?”
My family drove over to meet Sophie, her husband and son.
She came to the door, dressed in black from head to toe.
It was the first time I had been in the same room as a woman wearing the niqab.
I felt nervous.
But my daughter didn’t flinch.
The daycare was cozy; most of the toys were made of natural materials. There were lots of books, a reading corner and a birdwatching area. Books on Montessori activities lined the shelves. Nothing was battery-operated; there was no television.
It was perfect.
We spoke for a bit, all together in the room before Sophie’s husband put a hand on my fiancé’s back and they went downstairs to see the other half of the daycare. Once the guys left, Sophie took off the niqab.
I could feel my heart and my mind open at that very moment.
My daughter has been going to this daycare for more than two months now, and we are very happy with the care she is given.
When they are inside with the children, the daycare providers (the majority of whom are Muslim) are mostly dressed in plain clothes – jeans and a sweater, long hair pulled back in a loose ponytail. These women do not cover their faces in the presence of children, women or close family.
My daughter isn’t afraid of any of the women who take care of her, whether they have their faces covered or not. On the contrary, she reaches out to them for a hug every morning. To my daughter, the women who work at the daycare are simply the women who hold her when she’s sad, wipe blueberries off her face, clean her snotty nose and change her cloth diapers.
My daughter isn’t growing up with the same ideas about Muslim women that I did.
I’m glad she’s learning something in daycare.
So am I.


Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/What+daughter+afraid/6187246/story.html#ixzz1nEy8m69X



I hope you enjoyed reading the article/story of this truthful woman, and that you've possibly gotten a new perspective on things. :)


Yours sincerely,
The Creative Muslimah







*For those of you who don't know, muslims call other muslims for their brothers and sisters, because we treat each other as a family, as we believe we are one nation. So we are brothers and sisters in faith. As for non-muslims, we see them as our brothers  and sisters in humanity! :)

12 comments:

  1. assalaamu alaikum,
    masha'allah what a lovely article.. it just goes to show how different things can be without predjudice. Jazakallahu khairaan for sharing..;

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    Replies
    1. walaikumassalam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuhu dear sis! It really touched my heart when I read this article! It shows how muslims and non-muslims actually CAN live peacefully. :) Wa iyakki!

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  2. Salam Alaikum,
    It's really nice to see the Canadian media mentioning a woman niqab in a positive light for once. Thanks for posting this, it's very refreshing.

    http://exploringlearningenhancing.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. walaikumassalam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuhu!!
      I know, right?? Alhamdulillah for that, it's nice to have some change once in a while, especially for non-muslims, who might be getting used to hearing negative things about women wearing niqaab.

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  3. Replies
    1. assalamualeikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuhu dear sista! me too! :) thanks for popping by!

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  4. I loved this article! Soothes the mind and heart. Hopefully it will encourage others to lift the veils from their hearts.

    JizakAllah for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Assalamualeikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuhu dearest sister! wa iyakki! I absolutely agree, it really does make you feel happy and calm inside, knowing that there ARE good people out there; there's still kheir in our ummah :)

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  5. Masha Allah That is a wonderful article!! Even though I don't wear niqab, I try to be the loving Muslim childcare provider parents can depend on and expect quality care for their children. It is a wonderful feeling being able to put a parent at ease especially when they see the hijab and abaya :) Thank you for sharing this article!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Assalamualeikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuhu dear sister ! May Allah subhanahu wa Ta'ala bless you and protect you and all the children whom you take care of! What a beautiful job you're doing, mashaAllah, a great way of gaining Sawaab e Jariyyah (the reward which a person gets even after they've passed away, when the ones left behind follow the good islamic advice of the deceased one). !

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  6. Subhanallah! It brings tears to my eyes reading this. Thank you for sharing this.

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  7. JazakAllah for this great read. Very inspiring too. Will be forwarding it to all I know.
    P.S. JazakAllah for the email link as well :)

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