Robots do not need to wear clothes, they do not feel attraction, they neither live in a community nor do they reproduce and therefore they do not need to follow a dress code such as Hijab. Jonathan Swan, a US journalist. A country that is among the top fifteen countries with the highest rates of the Rape epidemic in the World (WorldPopulationReview, 2021), questioned The Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan about his comments towrds the Rape epidemic. Khan said,
“If a woman is wearing very few clothes, it will have an impact on men unless they are robots”. “I mean it is common sense.”
This brings us to the question, is Jonathan a robot, or does he lack basic common sense? I would like to assume it is the latter.
Joan’s argument seemed to be coming from a Culturally Imperialistic mindset. Such a mindset clouds one’s ability to be open-minded about the values of other cultures and people. A supremacist mindset is wired only to dictate and not to listen to a response such as “Absolutely Not”… but then there is always a first time. We saw the shock of that “first time” on Jonathan’s face where he says “Seriously” sounding more like “What the Hell?”. Times are changing, not everything can be enforced or bought. Pakistan is a Sovereign State, a Nuclear Power, and a Proud Nation. The US should try to accept the new Pakistani reality.
Then came the discussion on Pardah or Hijab, which is a subject that is guaranteed to stir up the hornet’s nest. The Non-Muslim West, with a billion-dollar fashion industry (Mag, 2020) disagrees with the Islamic rulings on Hijab. The catastrophes in Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, and Afghanistan together failed to move the Western governments, instead, a piece of cloth covering a woman’s head threatened them so much that the World powers had to actively ban and legislate against it. We see a case of Islamophobia here coupled with the interests of the fashion industry. Therefore, it was not a surprise when Imran Khan’s comments from a previous interview about Hijab were brought up and questioned.
For decades, the fashion industry has invested in campaigns that objectify women. We see brands promoting products to achieve whiter skin, beauty benchmarks that are synonymous with a woman’s worth, the way her body should look, and how she must worry about the image she upholds in front of the World. Contrary to this, Islam teaches a woman to break these chains and free herself from the worry of what men or society thinks about her; Islam teaches her how a shorter dress gives her nothing compared to the peace she achieves by submitting her free will in front of Allah (Mogahed, 2015). Of course, the West does not approve of this.
The last part of the interview was about the concept of victim shaming. There is a popular belief that promiscuous dressing is not an invitation to rape, and this is often taken synonymously as victim shaming. In my view, promiscuous dressing may or may not be an invitation to rape, but it is definitely a trigger and rapists do not come with labels on them, so you never know. This victim-shaming belief excludes the fact that we are all living in a society and not as disconnected individuals. If one person triggers another or worse broadcasts it publicly into society then the rapist will target someone he can overpower. This can be a man, woman, child, or animal; it can be anyone. Therefore, it is unrealistic to understand the cause of rape in a one-to-one person scenario and a bigger picture should be considered. As Imran Khan said, “If you raise temptation in the society to the point and all these young guys have nowhere to go, it has consequences in the society,”.
Rape is a sickness of the mind and therefore it is common sense that the solution would be to reduce the causes and focus on healing. Exposing a sick person to even more vulgarity and temptation cannot heal him; it will increase the problem. Islam offers a complete system of life including the discipline of living in a society. The West has failed to cure the rape epidemic therefore an unobjective judgment against the Islamic ruling is Islamophobic and unacceptable. For open mind’s sake, if the West still chooses to criticize the Islamic ruling, then they have to provide a concise and objective alternative to resolve the rape epidemic.