By Nada Dosti

The last time I went to visit Skopje I noticed huge changes. At the Karposh square close to the Olimpiade Fountain I saw some semi-naked women hugging their babies and a pregnant women exposing her breast. There was nothing weird about this because I was conscious that I was in the Republic of Macedonia. And I was also conscious there was one part of the coin since in Skopje there are also Albanian with their customs and religion which changes from the Macedonian people.

Days ago a certain individual named Zana said that during a visit in Skopje she thought that she was in Saudi Arabia. I was wondering why she could have that feeling.  I don’t think it was because of the neo-classic architecture style which is visible everywhere. But maybe she had that feeling the poorness of the Albanian neighbors abandoned from the government. None of these actually! It seems that it was the hijab of some Albanian girls and immediately her subconscious has summoned the images created from media of the exotic Arab countries. What a weak way of thinking! Forgetting the fact that Islam was a factor which protected us from the assimilation of the Slavic outrage and oppression.

Weird, because the hijab style used in Macedonia doesn’t have any similarities with the Arabian way of wearing hijab, even though there are exceptions. If we are going to analyze the hijab style common among Albanian Muslim women it contains Bosnian or Turkish traditional elements such as the colorfulness and the turban way of wearing. Indeed the Arabian style is more modest, wide and long.

Zana is being called a politician and a feminist.. Well, seems difficult to be a politician using everything part of the body except the brain. And for being a feminist you should understand women and support her decisions and thoughts.

As elsewhere, even in Albania and Albanian living countries, there are two kind of feminist approaches related to hijab: the first one is a commonplace perspective which suggests that Muslim women are oppressed from men and hijab is a result of this and the second one more sophisticated, which pretends that Islam is a religion of oppression and although Muslim women are free to wear hijab or not she is still oppressed from margins designed before.

Not only do representative of both these two kinds of thoughts not read about the role of Muslim women in history but also they don’t seem to think logically: if the hijab is oppression why aren’t Muslim women oppressed in other sphere of life? Why are Muslim women contributing in different sectors and benefiting their families and their societies and communities such as doctors, teachers, professors, writers, journalists, lawyers, politician, etc. ? According to this the oppression is focused only in one object: hijab!

Indeed the only oppression that is caused to Muslim women came from society and those people who are not open minded enough to accept diversity as a value. For those kind of people freedom is called what they want and not what you choose.

None of those approaches have given importance and supported the voices of the Muslim women which calls for their right to be accepted in society. Feminist movements should support Muslim women in their protests or other campaigns for their right to study and to be normal employees. Those rights are not denied from religion nor from “man’s oppression” but the intolerance of the society to accept them. Instead of supporting protests of some young ladies that escapes form the bored family house and need some fun and exposed.

The fact that people with similar thoughts came from families with Muslim origins fits to the pathetic media for attracting audience to add more drama to the story and also to demolish Islam since lately is becoming a trend.