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11 October 2011

For Women, Slavery in Islam Begins with Dress

By Diana Hsieh

The Rise of Islam in Russia means that women are not safe unless covered from head to foot. Here's a tidbit:

[Some] women feel pressure to adopt Islamic dress code from within their own families. On a recent afternoon, two women fully veiled in black--"Aisha," 22, and her sister-in-law, "Fatima," 24--sat on the worn carpet in the corner of their poor house in the Derbent region. The girls, former students from Moscow and Volgograd universities, preferred to keep their real Russian names anonymous. A few years ago, the two girls fell in love with Salafi Muslim men on the Internet and moved to Dagestan to start families with their religious husbands. "My husband wanted me to cover myself," says Aisha. Only her eyes can be seen above her black veil. "I try not to walk outside any more. People point at me, call me a terrorist." Fatima and Aisha have little choice but to obey their husbands. They know too well that men have full public approval to decide appropriate behavior for their wives.

Two years ago, Moscow human rights groups tried, and failed, to get an official explanation for the deaths of seven women shot on a road in Chechnya. Kadyrov said the women had displayed "loose behavior" and speculated they were perhaps victims of "honor killings" by their own families. "We see a tendency for women to be forced into a humiliating social role in the North Caucases," says Tatyana Lokshina, a researcher with Human Rights Watch in Moscow. She said that courts traditionally have turned a blind eye to domestic violence in the region.
Go read the whole thing.

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