I hope this thread doesn't turn into another head-covering debate. In Islam, women cover their mainly because of modesty
That's not wholly the reason. Moslems argue that women who are 'imodest' attract certain attention, and thus are responsible if they're raped
Sheik Hilali was the leader of Australia's Moslems
Muslim leader blames women for sex attackshttp://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20646437-601,00.html
Muslim cleric: women incite men's lust with 'satanic dress'http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Muslim-cleric-women-incite-mens-lust-with-satanic-dress/2005/04/23/1114152362381.html
So it's not just for modesty, but 'protection'.
Sydney's Sheik got backing from within Australia.
The Islamic Council of WA's religious adviser, Abdul Jalil Ahmad, says while rape is the man's fault, women should take preventative measures to avoid being targeted.
He says those measures include covering up and being accompanied when outdoors.http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200610/s1777679.htm
Fortunately there was a lonely Islamic voice arguing against this!
Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajjid said...
"Islam closes the door to the criminal who wants to commit this crime. Western studies have shown that most rapists are already criminals who commit their crimes under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and they take advantage of the fact that their victims are walking alone in isolated places or staying in the house alone. These studies also show that what the criminals watch on the media and the semi-naked styles of dress in which women go out also lead to the commission of this reprehensible crime."http://www.irfi.org/articles/articles_351_400/rape_against_muslim_women.htm
also cited athttp://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1125407868541
Thus when this Sheikh in Sydney was calling for women to be kept at home he probably very sincerely thought that this was indeed the best way of protecting them. He's just so out of touch with western values.
No one who knows the religion of Islam would say that it is the religion of equality...‘because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other’ i.e., because men are superior to women and are better than women.http://islamqa.com/en/ref/1105
Further, from the same site
" The Qur’aan states that the testimony of one man is equivalent to the testimony of two women."
"And men are different in intellectual terms, for men are known for their strength of understanding and their memory as compared to women. Women are weaker than men in memory and forget more than men do. This is well known, for most of the reputable scholars in the world are men. There are some women who are more intelligent and have better memories than some men, but this does not cancel out the general rule. Most cases are as we have described above.
With regard to emotions, men speak of them when they get angry or when they are happy, but women are affected by the slightest emotional effects, so their tears flow at the slightest emotional provocation. "
'For her to be absolved from guilt, a raped woman must have shown good conduct'http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/07/11/ncleric11.xml
As to turning this into a debate about head-covering, it will so long as relativists try 'tu quoque' apology for Islam being inherently sexist
Women in Islam are deemed to be biologically inferior
Many woman suffer depression and stress during their period, especially at
the beginning, and their mental and intellectual state is at the lowest
level during menstruation.http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/43028