The Null Device

The Prophet's Vandyke

Times columnist Amir Taheri claims that much of contemporary "Islamic" attire is a symbol of militant extremism, or "adverts for al-Qaeda" as he puts it:
Muslim women should cast aside the so-called hijab, which has nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with tribal wear on the Arabian peninsula. The hijab was reinvented in the 1970s as a symbol of militancy, and is now a visual prop of terrorism. If some women have been hoodwinked into believing that they cannot be Muslims without covering their hair, they could at least use headgears other than black (the colour of al-Qaeda) or white (the colour of the Taleban). Green headgear would be less offensive, if only because green is the colour of the House of Hashem, the family of the Prophet.
Muslim men should consider doing away with Taleban and al-Qaeda-style beards. Growing a beard has nothing to do with Islam; the Prophet himself never sported anything more than a vandyke. The bushy beards you see on Oxford Street are symbols of the Salafi ideology that has produced al-Qaeda and the Taleban.
Some Muslims also use al-Qaeda and Taleban-style clothing to advertise their Salafi sentiments. For men this consists of a long shirt and baggy trousers, known as the khaksari (down-to-earth) style and first popularised by Abu Ala al-Maudoodi, the ideological godfather of Islamist terrorism. Muslims who wear such clothes in the belief that it shows their piety, in most cases, are unwittingly giving succour to a brand of Islamist extremism.

There are 2 comments on "The Prophet's Vandyke":

Posted by: datakid http:// Thu Jul 28 21:52:14 2005

from stupidity right through the spectrum to idiocy, this from the abc (aust):

US Muslim scholars issue fatwa against terror

The leading United States council of Muslim scholars has issued a fatwa against terrorism, in the latest bid to distance the American Islamic community from extremism following the London attacks.

"All acts of terrorism targeting civilians are 'haram' (forbidden) in Islam," said the fatwa edict made by the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), a group of scholars which interprets Islamic law.

The order was endorsed by major US Muslim groups.

"It is haram for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence," it said.

"It is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians."

Their move follows signs of frustrations from US Muslim leaders that repeated condemnations of terrorism i

Posted by: gjw Thu Jul 28 23:06:25 2005

I was under the impression that the hijab was an invention of the late 19th century, during British colonialism in the region - an effort to establish some cultural identity. Before that it was, as you say, tribal, but women adopted it as some form of cultural solidarity.