Norway: Hijab as a solution to rape

Update below.

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Tone became a Muslim and enjoys the hijab. She advises Norwegian women to convert.

Tone Kristin Kara Ali (42) spoke last Saturday at a seminar about Islam at the Hotel Opera in Oslo. She is a Norwegian women, works as a teacher and lives as a Shia Muslim. Eight years ago she met a Shia Muslim Lebanese. Tone was Christian then, and said that was the way she will stay.

"I said clearly that I have my faith and that it didn't agree with his faith. Then I began to read a lot about it," she says.

Time passed and the woman from østfold, who had been very active in the Christian community, began to be seriously enthusiastic about Islam. She felt Islam was 'more logical' than Christianity.

Three years ago she got herself a hijab and covered most of her head.

Q: How was it to suddenly cover yourself as a Norwegian woman?

A: I didn't look forward to it. It is certainly not so easy in the beginning, but it says in the Koran that I should do it. I must take the consequences of my faith. I felt still that I lost my personality in the beginning, and that I became very anonymous. But some as a convert I got compliments from the other Muslim women. A Muslim should besides never look for compliments.

Tone stresses that her husband hadn't forced her at all to be Muslims and put on a hijab, but says that he had taught her a lot about this religion. Together they have a daughter of 16 months, but Tone has a daughter who's 18 who isn't a Muslim.

Q: What does your daughter think of you being a Muslim?

A: It's not so easy for her, she answers shortly.

Q: What do you think of Norwegian women after you became a Muslim?

A: It's not so that I look down upon Norwegian women now. I don't want to change them. But I want to change society.

Q: What is wrong with society?

A: things don't play a role any longer. Take for example this with clothing. A 16 year old girl who dresses like she's older, goes to a disco and doesn't have full control over the possible consequences. For example rape. Could it have been avoided if people had covered themselves? I believe that the number of rapes could have been halved then. What is most important? To demand the right to dress as one wants, or is it most important to protect oneself against a dangerous situation?

But she makes it clear that she doesn't want to say that "all man are dangerous".

After she became Muslim she encountered some obstacles in Norwegian society. Among other things, in connection to the mass media and advertising.

"People shouldn't expose themselves, show themselves naked. There are large parts of the body that shouldn't be seen. A moral dilemma for me is then to watch TV. I'm provoked when I turn on the TV and look at what's broadcast, especially on TV3. I must switch a lot."

Tone thinks that women should cover their hair and chin. She herself can show her hands and feet. But she can't touch another men, so she can't shake hands. A a man can't shake hands with a woman either.


Q: If you could change three things in society, what would they be?

A: I will forbid showing nakedness and sexualisation, prohibit sex as a means in the public space (ads, film, TV etc). I will offer stronger and better education about each other across majorities and minorities. I will set up places where women can be without having men there, such as swimming pools etc.

Tone gladly lets herself be photographed, but for her it's strongly forbidden to show pictures from when she lived as a Christian without a scarf.

Q: Are you happier now?

A: Yes, I am. I am much more secure.

Q: Are you oppressed?

A: Definitely not.

Q: Do you recommend that women submit to Islam?

A: Yes, I recommend that. Many will maybe then say, 'yes, this is right,'

Kari Vogt, associate professor of religious history at the University in Oslo says that are about 1,000 Norwegians who have converted to Islam, but says that the data is uncertain since the last study was done in the 1990s. There were about 500 converts in 1995. But she says that we know that both Sweden and Denmark have more than Norway.

She says it's also certain that there's no reduction in the number of Norwegians who turn to Islam.

Ashad Jamil, spokesperson for the Islamic Cultural Centre in Oslo confirms that several Norwegians had converted in their mosque. "Yes, there's a conversion every once in a while. In the past there were more men then women."

He's glad to see Norwegian convert.

"All are welcome. The mosque is open for everybody. I am certainly a little curious as to what triggered the process. Their reasons vary a lot."

Kari Vogt thinks many of the women marry with Muslim men and get inspiration from there. She point out also that many of these female converts like the fast, clear framework that Islam represents.

"They live in a sprawling world without standards. And then they find this," she says and adds, "It's not common to be very conservative, but some are."

Source: Nettavisen (Norwegian)


Update:

After iOslo.no published the story of the Norwegian Muslim Tone Kristin Kara Ali Saturday the responses came in thick and fast. One of those shocked was Jøran Kallmyr (Frp), Oslo's council for welfare and social services.

Kallmyr thinks Tone's interview was far from decent reading. "The day we must tell Norwegian girls taht they must dress not to be raped, then we have lost the most important thing ni our society: freedom," he says to iOslo.no.

Kallmyr points out that 2 out of every 3 rapists in Oslo are of 'non-Western' background. "This shows that it can be something with the attitude towards women. Many of them have a poor attitude towards women and perhaps don't respect Norwegian girls much - because they don't cover themselves," he says.

Tone Kristin wishes to moderate her comments somewhat: "There is no relation between being a Muslim and avoiding rape. A woman, regardless of how little she's dressed, should have full respect. There isn't a case with rape where I think that it's the woman's fault. It's always the attacker's fault," she says and adds: "My point was personal. Do I wish to secure myself or do I wish to support freedom to dress myself sensually? Everybody should think about that."

Q: Should Muslims be allowed to dictate how people should dress in order to avoid rape?

A: A Muslim should not be allowed to dictate it. I am for every freedom. I wish to convey that it isn't necessary to wear a scarf. I am not speaking of Muslim clothing.

Q: Ok. Do you think that Norwegians must cover themselves in order to avoid being raped?

A: No, I don't think that. But in practice I think that people reduce the possibility if the skirt gets to the knees, and not right under one's behind. People don't need to use a hijab for that. I don't think that people should be Muslim in order to avoid being raped.

She points out that there are "many Muslim women in Muslim countries who are raped".

Jøran Kallmyr is not more impressed. "When we take in people from countries where the rule is that a rape must be witnessed by five or six witnesses, then we understand that it can be problematic."

He drives the point that sensual clothing are never the problem. "The reason is always that somebody doesn't respect the other person. It's an evil act," he says.

"The highly dangerous thing in Norwegian society is the combination of men with little respect for women, combined with a punishment system that doesn't put people in their place and gives on average a little over two years for rape."

Source: Nettavisen (Norwegian)

See also: Norway: Teenage converts

11 comments:

Big Shaker said...

This article disgusts and angers me so much I hardly know where to begin. First of all, as we have known for many decades, rape is a violent act of the assertion of power, not of excessive horniness. That's why women of all ages and types and dress get raped, not just hot chicks in miniskirts. Second, in the West we know that the way a woman dresses is not license to rape her - but it's different for Muslim immigrant men who have contempt for infidel women and Western ways, and who feel they have a right to gangrape infidel women in European cities.

As for this nonsense that Muslim women should not look for compliments, and they should hide themselves head to toe, it's exactly that - nonsense. And their repeated denial that it has nothing to do with being repressed is nonsense too. Of course, Muslims don't talk about the rape and sexual harassment that are endemic in Muslim countries.

Muslim women can wear what they want - that's part of the freedom of the West. But it really angers me that they suggest Western women are all sexually promiscuous with no self-respect, and that Muslim men give the highest respect to women. And the fact that European cities have degenerated into hunting grounds for roving packs of rapists angers me even more.

nunya said...

Rape is not about sex, it's about a vicious and brutal show of power. Rapists have weak minds, like all bullies.

Esther said...

Hi big shaker,

Many very Western Europeans blame women for their own rape.

Zeynab said...

Salam and Ramazan mobarak!
I was pretty shocked to read Tone's comments, as well, and don't feel that she elucidated her points enough. I get the sense that she still feels it's clothing that prevents rape; it's not whether your skirt is under your bum or under your ankles: rape is about power, not sexuality. Covering oneself does not prevent rape.

FreeSpeech said...

He drives the point that sensual clothing are never the problem. "The reason is always that somebody doesn't respect the other person. It's an evil act," he says.

Full stop.

markymark said...

If muslims were not so radical about their religion than I don't think I would have a problem with them. I don't have any problem with hindus, budists nor maoists etc because they seem to live in peace and keep their faith personal. But Islam is different, it radiats as a cult, a dark phenomena, stuck in the past or 1000 years behind. Not compatable with modern society nor the 21st century. Islam is its own enemy, but yet likes to portray itself as a victim. Sorry, but I see nothing good in this religion.

Rape can be hidden, and even ignored by the teachings within a holy book, 5 witnesses before it is deemed rape! Sorry, but we europeans are more civilized than this, and most of us are agnostic!

Muslim countries are also unreciprocal, they pretend to allow churches and christians rights, but really they are silently murdered and wiped-out under a shroud of control by their governments who do not allow journalists to report these things nor christians any say or rights. It's a disgrace to allow a religion like this spread throughout europe and bite the hand that feeds it.

Kumar said...

People like Tone are mentally weak or sick. If Islam is more logical, then she should read more about Afghanistan, Pakistan and the mad Arabs of the Middle East. Suppression of women's rights according to the Islamic fundamentalists is sanctioned by their religion. Women are treated like chattel. They can merrily marry any number of times by pronouncing the stupid word "talaq". There are honor killings and in cases of rape, 2 male witnesees are necessary to prove the crime. Else, the woman may be stoned to death for committing adultery. Tone can afford to talk nonsense sitting in Norway. Islam in the Islamic world is just rubbish.

pingolill said...

Hijab is not part of religion! It is suppression of women. In modern, democratic, secular countries where religion is a matter between the individual and God, women and men are equal. We can be friends. Everybody will be there some day, but it takes too long. In the meantime women and girls are victims. I feel sorry for the boys growing up with mothers like Tone. Mothers who don't teach them to respect themselves and others. How can you raise boys who have to rape if they see a girl's hair or skin? That is so sick. And it is a problem that men who have grown up with such views don't understand that in Western countries girls feel free to wear shorts on warm summer days! Don't ruin our freedom! Don't you try! And Tone is a loser. Definitely. I feel sorry for her daughter.

mded said...

nuns also doesn't get rape..
she is correct..

alshabbah1985 said...

Nuns got raped in India. It is not about showing ones body. It is the evil in the eyes of men who care little or not at all about women. Men is Islamic world are beast who will not leave a chance.

Oluffa said...

Doesn't this one say it all:

Q: How was it to suddenly cover yourself as a Norwegian woman?

A: I didn't look forward to it. It is certainly not so easy in the beginning, [...]. I felt still that I lost my personality in the beginning, and that I became very anonymous.


She descibes how she lost her identity... and calls it freedom. Stupidity is on the rise.

I feel sorry for Tone's daughters, especially the little one, who's gonna protect her? No matter how she's dressed, she lives in a state of "rape of the mind" every day, as long as her mother praises stupidity as the highest moral and ethic. I do hope her neighbours repport her to the community and the daughter is removed from the home - save her, somebody...