It was not surprising the silence of many supporters of the abolition of women's humanity, by making her an embodiment of sin, through daily violations in the name of religion, traditions, and privacy. 

They are silent about killing nearly 200 women a year under the pretext of honor and with the support of the Syrian law, and many of the clergy! They are silent about many new Syrian companies  (including all  "Islamic banks", which refuse to hire any woman who is not "committed" to wear the hijab!)! And silent about a black Talabani project which almost kills Syria under the pretext of "a personal status law"! and of course, silent about the abuses taking place against women within their organizations themselves!

But the surprise is that one of these organizations woke up now to stand against the exclusion of extremism from our schools, claiming that this is a "violation of human rights". The spokesperson of Syrian Committee for Human Rights regretted the position of some organizations which claim to defend women as vicious and crafty position. And even said: This shows the shallowness of the cultural and civilization, humanity,  intolerance and eradication of people of other opinion".

It is clear that this "declaration" means "Syrian Women Observatory", the only actor that expressed  publicly its support for this decision. It's useless to respond to a such words used. It really expresses the essence of the organization's thinking that is based originally on these descriptions (vicious, crafty ..) This Committee and others have proven that their relationship with human rights is limited only by the fact that these rights are taken as a logo in order to fight the Syrian regime. This "war" does not concern us because our obligations are clear and explicit within limits of our work, and declared since the launch of the observatory. But using the notion of "human rights", to give a blind eye towards the violence and persecution on Syrian women by the laws, society, and many Muslim and Christians clerics, and then suddenly say that asking the symbols of Wahhabi fundamentalist to be out of Syrian schools is "a violation for Human Right. This is enough.

In fact, this organization, and others, are fully guilty as this proves that it sells itself to the devil as long as their own interests are protected, and these interest are exactly the continuation of authoritarian patriarchal mentality. This organization, like others, democracy and freedom of opinion and human rights mean nothing except an open way toward the "power", a way includes only males brave tribe.

These organizations don't see themselves concerned with the fact that Syrian women are crushed by a patriarchal culture which also adopted by some of these organizations in Syria. It is not a secret to anyone acquainted with that this culture is practiced widely within the organizations themselves. They want freedom and democracy, but not for women.

Women in their culture are only slaves for the purposes of these organizations and the dominant male culture. This is evident by the high number of statements issued to support women who have been detained for reasons relation to their opinions or for political position, and even they turned those women into "symbols for all women" while they were not arrested for things related to them being women. Thus looking at women by this way is an explicit discrimination against them as if it is strange and unacceptable to detain women as men! While they are dumbly silent on the daily kill in the name of honor, and the theft of inheritance, salary, and arbitrary divorce, and the unconditional polygamy, and on the right of Syrian women to grant their nationality to their children, and other kinds suffering.

We have already said: the niqab is not part of the religion at all, and only when clerics declare that every male have the right to buy whatever he wants of women as a slaves and mades, and each woman works with a man must lactate him even in the presence of tens in hall, then their falsification becomes acceptable that the niqab, the fundamentalist Wahhabi form of the veil, is part if the Islam.

The committee knows as every man and woman  in Syria knows that the road is a one-way :Every woman can wear hijab and niqab, but woe and destruction is awaiting any woman wearing a veil or a niqab and thinks of taking it off. The reaction starts from being imprisoned at home, beat, humiliated and deprived of education and work, and can be up to the murder!

But this surly is not a violation of human rights from the perspective of this organization, This does not serve them twice anyway: once in their exploitation of human rights for political argument, and second because it threatens male power itself. This confirms, and it is well-known by all "activists" in "human rights" field, that there is no personal freedom in wearing the niqab. It is odd enough that such organization hop to talk about personal freedom to wear the niqab in the workplace, and its members have been trained and learned by European experts, and knows very well that no woman works in any place in Europe can go to work dressing what she wants to wear!

Claming that the resolution did not mention those who wear "revealing cloths" in Syrian schools is totally unfounded. Syrian schools do have in theirs staff such women. But those use such descriptions for every woman that does not wear the hijab, or wear "short sleeves" in the summer, or skirt (even if wearing the hijab)! We, however, have already said clearly that the women with niqab and those naked are the both sides of the same coin, and clearly it needs no intelligence to recognize that we are against both situations in the work.

We say once again that the niqab is an abolition of human personality and does not count at all as personal freedom upon wearing it at the work place, regardless of the kind of work. Work is by all means a kind of communication with others, and no communication among people without a face. Wearing the niqab at home, or in the street, is their own business, whether she was forced to do that (directly or indirectly) or not. But to enter any workplace with a niqab, this is not her right, because it is my right to see the face of the person I deal with regardless of his/her own convictions.

Ignoring the fact that the niqab is an explicit violence against women, and a fundamentalist extremism, is part of the thoughts and perceptions associated with it, is an approach like the ostrich's. The woman who wears niqab acts in accordance with a specific system that considers her as "Awra" and that any communication with the others could be a sin. Most of women who wear niqab in Syria refuse to even talk with any "male"!  Does this need more explanation to the human rights claimers, who move from a session to a conference and workshop to another?

Simply, such claims are no longer accepted concerning the defense by the organization of the Human Rights about extremism and fundamentalism in the names of these rights. Human rights don't include any call for violence or discrimination and the niqab is a clear, explicit and blatant discrimination that considers women as "awra" and must be hidden from people's eyes!

Consequently, these organizations themselves are, in the same way, breaching the human rights. Those who are working in human rights field must put these rights in the forefront, and don't exploit them politically by accepting some rights and refusing others.

The same thing applies to organizations that say they are working in the field of "women's rights " in Syria. None of them has issued one statement or written an article explaining their view about  this topic! They seems to be embarrassed to speak frankly because this decision was taken by government. Or perhaps they are also "afraid" of the anger of radical fundamentalists  and prefer silence, as it did in previous occasions.

These shameful approaches by human rights organizations in these things became exposed and public as the sectarian and silly reactions said behind the scenes in response to our public opinion. These organizations have proven over the years that they see only "power struggle". And proved that there is nothing in their criterion for human rights called Syrian women rights. It is useful in this context to assert that "sectarianism" is the most fertile land of violence and discrimination against women and this is crystal clear in our own communities.

Syrian Women Observatory reiterate and assure that it is defending every thought, perception and behavior that helps to end violence and discrimination, regardless of its source. If it is issued by the government, we will support it as we were against the government in many of the actions and decisions that violate the right of Syrian women. Our only criterion is clear and explicit which is to work for a society free from violence and discrimination, and not to exploit this work in order to serve other aims, as some people do.

Yes, we are frankly and clarity against the niqab. It is a blatant discrimination against women, even if some women stepped out to defend it. It is violence and extremism directed first and foremost against  the woman who wears it, and second against the community. We support the decision taken by the Ministry of Education and to disseminate this resolution to all workplaces, and we are with strict decisions to be taken against the teaching staff in higher education that promote violence, discrimination and sectarianism among the students, forcing students to search for specific topics and ignoring other issues that don't fit their perceptions of obscurantism. While those students who fail to abide by these unwritten laws could risk being failed in the course for many years.

Syrian woman doesn't need such silly gossip that exploit her issue for other purposes. She is in a dire need for those who stop supporting for the "religious/sheikhness violence", and fatwas against women, which become a real illness that threatens everything in this country.

We are not concerned that the work of these organizations is limited to specific feilds. But we suggest they should change their name from human rights to the field they work in, because human rights include all rights and not only the rights of detainees. When these organizations want to keep silence about all the violations against Syrian women, not only by the Syrian government, but also by the clergy and society, laws and political parties (Loyal to the government or those considered opposition), activists, and human rights organizations themselves, it would be better to keep silence about every thing that belong to this subject, and stop defending violence against Syrian women in the name of religion.

Bassam AlKAdi, supervisor of SWO, 2/7/2010, (Once again about the "Niqab": Defenders of human rights wake up!)

Translate By: Roudaina Nassif
scrupulousness: Basel Jbaily

source in Arabic..

Syrian Women Observatory