I was reading an article that’s been circulating the web recently with the headline “Jordan queen: Muslim women not required to wear veils” and “Queen Rania says Muslim women don’t have to wear veils”. It seems to all stem from an interview she did four days ago with Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper.
At first I thought it was just that journalistic way of catching a reader’s attention with a bold headline. But after reading a few articles, most of which were written by the same unknown source, it appears as if someone may have went out of there way to misquote the Queen.
Here’s the main one:
“Islam neither requires one to be practising, nor to dress in one way or another,” the stylish 36-year-old queen told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera during a visit to Rome.
The quote just didn’t sound right and I was surprised at the extent to which various media outlets carried the same article unchecked. The original interview in full appears in English on the Queen’s website and here is the excerpt where she was asked about the veil and Islam:
Your Majesty, it Italy, in France and in other countries there is a lot of discussion about the veil, here there is a lot of confusionÃ¢?Â¦ a lot of ignorance what does it mean veil, perhaps we do not understand what does it mean or you were not about to explain what does it mean because I think that someone is giving the veil a political symbol, weight and not what is the veilÃ¢?Â¦where do you find the problem of misunderstanding is?
Queen Rania: Unfortunately because Islam is being brought under suspicion over the last few years, people have started to look at the veil as a political issue. What is important, is the veil is a symbol of piety, of modesty, of devotion to God and sometimes a woman wears the veil because that is what is socially acceptable within her surroundings but it should never be viewed as something that can be divisive between communities and certainly sometimes I feel that there is so much judgement levelled at women based on what they are wearing. I always say we shouldnÃ¢??t judge women by what is on their heads but by what is in their heads.
It is very dangerous when we start making assumptions about a person based on outward external faÃƒÂ§ade. When I look at people when I visit the Arab world or abroad I try to pass judgement based on how they think, what they do, what their values are and not what they are wearing. It is very dangerous when you make judgements based on what they are wearing.
Because a lot of the Muslim societies feel marginalized, and feel that they have not been integrated well in some of the European societies and elsewhere and because some of the authorities are looking at Islam with suspicion, unfortunately this issue has become highly politicized so it carries a lot of political symbolism and that is something we have to fight against because it shouldnÃ¢??t. How a woman dresses should not have so much of a political dimension to it.
It is a relationship between a woman and God and I think at the end of the day societies have to accept that in todayÃ¢??s world we will be different, outwardly and inwardly, but the idea is to try to create harmony nonetheless.
But of course we cannot accept coercion in Islam?
Queen Rania: There is no coercion in Islam. In Islam you are not supposed to force somebody to believe. As I said, Islam is all about conviction, it is all about belief and if you force someone to do something if they do not believe in it then that is against the whole essence of what Islam is all about. Islam is very much about intention and that is an essential part of Islam, intentions.
From Dubai’s Zawaya by way of Jordan’s Petra:
A Royal Court official stated that some media outlets have relayed partial quotations of Her Majesty’s statements, which may have resulted in a misinterpretation of her answers. According to the source, such misinterpretations may have also resulted from the fact that Her Majesty’s statements were translated from English into Italian, the language of the publication.
I dont know what exactly she said. But reading news in the media, everyone thinks they are a scholar in Islam, lol. Even normal people on cnn.
As salaam alaikum.
The media drives me crazy!!!
Everything seems spun. I wish that everything could be take at face value.
But HM Queen Rania actually believes that Islam doesn’t require Muslim women to wear a veil. Otherwise, she would have worn a veil herself, isn’t that right?!
I think that the Muslim community should be proud to have such an intelligent, open-minded, moderate Muslim woman. I am not a Muslim myself, but if I were one, I wouldn’t really want to be represented by people like Bin Laden. HM Queen Rania is the best representation I would want to have!
Not necessarily. Not everything a person doesn’t do is something that person believes is not necessary or required. There is no such rule that says that. Not every woman who doesn’t wear the veil thinks it’s not required.
Is it unimaginable to find someone who believes something is necessary but that person can’t muster the strength or the will to do it? How many people struggle with things as simple as bad habits? How many people find themselves torn between their own beliefs and traditions? It’s not as simple as what you’ve described.
We must acknowledge the fact that people live with their own internal struggles and we must respect that fact and it is because of that that we must not level our own judgements about what might be going on in the minds of others.
Our religion [Islam] teaches us that one’s self often pushes them towards doing bad things and that the person has to always fight its negative impulses.
I’m not saying that I know what she truely believes, but I’m saying that you can’t assume that she doesn’t believe the veil is not required simply because she doesn’t wear it.
No person on earth acts against his beliefs. NO ONE!
Some people claim to believe something, but they actually don’t. Those people are hypocrites by definition. So those people you are talking about are hypocrites in my dictionary.
I think Queen Rania is a decent woman who is strong to act what she believes. Yes, I am assuming that… But I don’t think its something far from the truth.
I strongly second that…Those are people who are trying to live up to an image they don’t truly have but want to project.
When asked if she ever wore the veil, her reply was no…her opinion is that the veil is a personal choice; hence not a requirement … and I can say that because I personally am having a hard time believing that the veil is required…But what’s making me not completely dismiss it being a requirement is the fact that we have to be veiled to perform our 5 prayers!
This is irrelevant. I wasn’t talking about any claim that the queen has made because as far as her own personal belief with regards to the veil she has made no claims about it, and even had she made one a claim can still be in contradiction with one’s own beliefs.
What you know is that she doesn’t wear the veil. Whether she believes it’s not required or not can only be speculation on your part.
Would you, an observer, think that by not wearing the veil she is demonstrating her lack of belief in that Islam actually requires it, or that she doesn’t really care about abiding by Islam’s every teaching? The answer is only speculative.
What you know is that she doesnÃ¢??t wear the veil. Whether she believes itÃ¢??s not required or not can only be speculation on your part. – BUT she made a statement that its what she believes. So I am not speculating, I am taking her own words on that matter.
Having personal choices doesn’t negate outside requirements. Is your belief in God not your own personal choice? I chose to believe in God while others who were born muslim like me and who were raised in the same environment as I did ended up choosing not to continue believing in the end.
This proves that in the end, believing in God is a personal choice and I say that and agree with it while I still say that believing in God is a requirement in my religion.
Yes she made a statement, and statements can be overloaded with meanings that were not in them.
The hijab (the whole kit and kaboodle, not just a piece of cloth on a lady’s head) is required as the five daily prayers are required or giving charity. However, it *is* a personal choice. To obey Allah or to not obey Him is a choice we are given. I believe it is a man or woman’s personal choice, but I also believe it is a decision they will have to contend with when they’re standing before Him.
PS: Thanks for putting up the entire quote… what was in the papers in English is clearly a very mangled, inaccurate, sensationalist quote. Typical.
You seem to suggest that what is being said is an interpretation that was not intended or meant by the Queen.
So, do you have alternative interpretations for what she said. Another interpretation that is consistent with her behavior and state of being (being a Muslim woman who does not wear a veil).
Regarding her belief about the veil being required or not? No, I have none simply because it would only be speculation on my part about her belief and that [speculating] to me serves no purpose.
It [your speculations] can serve the purpose of demonstrating a point this discussion might have missed… Anyways, I think arguing that HM Queen Rania believes that Veil is mandatory in Islam is self-contradicting, since she doesn’t wear one (given that she believes in Islam herself, otherwise the point does not hold).
It would not be a useful demonstration because it is in the end based only on speculation.
I already explained to you why this is not true.
What you think the queen believes serves no purpose of any benefit, because ultimately it is something that only she and God can be certain of. Even if she said it in the most direct and clear terms, you wouldn’t be able to tell if she was telling the truth. The only thing you can do is cite the fact that she said it, but never claim to be certain that she actually meant it.
Beliefs are between the person and their God, and people do find themselves in situations of conflict all the time and they often end up doing things that they will ultimately regret doing and believe they should not have done.
That is simply the way things are.
Your point has nothing to do with the entry at hand. I am in no place to judge what the Queen actually believes. She made a statement, and the Black-Iris (and you Hamzeh) were willing to argue that she has been “misquoted”. So unless you have good explanations of the nature of this “misquote”, your arguments would be pointless.
I demonstrated based on the Queen’s behavior and state of being that what the quote correspond to her claimed beliefs. Do you have anything to defy that?! It seems not!
Devil’s Mind: calm down please, there’s no need to get excited over this. Clearly from what the first circulating article states and goes as far as to directly quote, and what was actually said in the official transcript of the interview, are contradictory statements that are obvious enough to make it difficult to argue that she was not misquoted.
Secondly, you cannot logically judge a person on their “behavior” especially when you next to nothing about that person. All muslims make conscious choices regarding their religion. The queen has said over and over again in various interviews that she makes the choice, as many many muslims women do, to not wear the hijab. This is the extent of her statements and she is correct in this position.
Hence it would be a fallacy to assume that based on this statement, this choice, that she is therefore by default saying that hijab is not a requirement of Islam. These are two different statements. You are basing this solely on what you believe are her actions, i.e. not wearing the hijab, as indicative of her actual beliefs. If she had worn the hijab and taken it off, or burnt it in public, this would be a different matter and your speculation would be given some credence. But as it stands, she has simply made a choice and no one is in any position to judge her for a matter that is strictly between her and God.
A personal relationship every muslim is entitled to without judgement.
maybe she meant that its not forced, which is not!!!
not against their will
LOL, are you serious? Read what she was quoted as saying and then read the full transcript. Both are written above in the main post. Where the hell did the queen say “Islam neither requires one to be practising, nor to dress in one way or another” in the actual transcript? No where.
She did not say what she was quoted as saying. You know that, but your point is that she actually believes in what she was quoted as saying, and I simply pointed out that this point of yours is based only on speculation, not any fact that can be substanciated. And no, not doing something doesn’t always mean the person believes it is not a requirement.
I don’t think it can be made any clearer than this.
Thanks for posting this. I suspected as much when I read the so-called quote in the article.
Interesting, I posted something on this. But the image she puts out, I dont think is a good. Take a look at the picture I have on my web site of her. It is one thing not to wear hijab.
I know many women who do not wear hijab, yet are MORE modest than some women who do. However, when you see the way the Queen dresses abroad, it is not even close to modest.
The picture on my website, she has her entire arms showing in a tight dress. One can be modest without hijab. In her case she neither has hijab nor modesty.
In this situation, you dont need her words, he actions speak louder than her words.
Here are some links that so what I am talking about. She tries to play modest with some groups of peoplem, with others she plays typical tight clothes westerner. I hate people who change their message, or their looks, to fit the people around them. It shows they really have no real belief of their own. They are mercenary.
Here in the West she is something of a sex symbol. Notice some of the links I give are to a men’s site. Her dress style here in the West has given her some men who admire her.
Abu Sinan: first of all brother it is wrong for you to judge how religious or how “muslim” a fellow muslim is, especially based on looks. you’ve judged her religion, her character and her “devoutness”, all of which you are in no position to do based on no more than a series of photographs.
secondly with regards to your post, it seems you took the bait of the misquote and decided to run with it despite the fact that she never said any of that nor did she issue any fatwas. i wonder if this is because you simply don’t like her and thus would rather stick with the misquote out of spite.
both things which are also considered bad traits in the Muslim character by the way.
Excllent post, Nas!
I find it more than a little amusing that not once in your tirade did Abu Sinan mention the prurpose of this Italian interview. After all, why appear in the Italian press at all?
I guess Rania’s excellent work in the area of child healthcare is irrelevant because heaven forbid, sometimes she wears sleevelss tops!
WHO ARE MUSLIMAH WITH HER HEART HAVE TO WEAR HIJAB………….TO BE THE MOST BEAUTYFUL
Queen Rania always inspires me! She is so classy and dignified. I’m always amazed that showing arms is considered by some to be immodest! It’s an ARM! Not cleavage!! And I agree, the focus should be on the excellent work this woman does to promote the well-being of others, particularly women and children.
I wasnt really sure where to put this…anyway
Thanks to the writers on this website, i was losing faith in jordanians as a people, but these descussions prove we may just have a future =D
Well, to my mind, if Queen Rania had read the Holy Koran correctly, she wouldn’t have told that way. I love her due to her big efforts in getting involved in charity projects and she tries to show positive image of islam but i can’t accept when she said veil wasn’t required for moslem women….bcoz she was againts what Allah command to all moslem women. Hijab is undeniably obligation and it is really stated in the Koran.isn’t that enough? i think she is too much liberal that’s why she carelessly talked bout hijab to media. Sometimes, i wonder why she told so ? she never reads the Koran? iam sure she knows The Koran better than me coz she is arab n she definitely knows arabic better than me.
However, I still respect her as a queen.May Allah protect her always.
I have already presented the Christian view when this subject came up before, but perhaps I can add a word. I spoke of the distress of Iranian Christians who felt forced to go against the Bible’s words in wearing the chador because we are taught that the love of God is reflected in our faces. Abraham, for example, feared for Sarah’s beauty but we are told in the scriptures that her beauty came from the reflection of the glory of God within. Prophets and angels sometimes came in disguise but were detected by their faces. Now for a new thought from the gospels. We read, “By their fruits you shall know them”, and I taught students of various persuasions long enough to see this. Good character and faithfulness in Christianity or Islam could not be judged by their outward dress or looks. The same was true of men. I might add that Jesus charged some men with wearing fancy robes and headresses for hypocritical reasons, to impress the public. The answer is to choose modest clothes for your culture.
Queen Rania is a disgarceful leader upon the Muslim community. Allah is All – Knowingt (Not practising her religion, some of it) she is a bad influence and will she ever regret it when the day of judgement dawns. Not a good Muslim, in my opinion. Yh you say wearing a hijab is not needed but wait till the day of judgement approaches, you’ll be punished for it and the way she dresses when ‘going out’. What did Allah t’alla say about that. All Muslim Women should step out of the house in a well mannered way. You choose to ignore, and Allah is All – Knowing. She’s totaly goin against God with that opinion of hers, does she even read the Qu’ran.
However i admire her for the fact that she does charitable work, but do not admire her the way she practices her religion!