The Muslim Student Association will host “Beyond the Veil: The Modern Age and Muslim Women,” a lecture and Q & A session with DeVry University professor Suzy Ismail. The event starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday in Memorial Hall.
The lecture will give students an inside look at the perceptions the media and society have about Muslim women, and whether or not these things are true or untrue.
Shumyla Azeem, a development and diplomacy graduate student, said many people do not understand Islam, and this lack of understanding leads to false presumptions.
“Everyone thinks that women are oppressed. That we don’t have a voice, and that our faith treats women poorly,” Azeem said. “Some people are ignorant to this religion and hear superficial facts and go on that.”
The wearing of a headscarf, or hijab, is one of the traditions that Azeem thinks some people fail to understand.
“The fact of wearing a headscarf is seen as a symbol of oppression, but it’s actually supposed to remove the value of physical beauty and exhibits modesty,” Azeem said. “It’s the idea of being respected for things besides beauty.”
Some, like Azeem, worry that misconceptions of traditions and beliefs like the wearing of headscarves lead to the thought that women have fewer rights than men.
“A big misconception is that women are less than men, and that’s not true,” Azeem said. “Women are allowed to work and are free to make decisions for themselves.”
Azeem encourages people to educate themselves about Islam before drawing conclusions about the people who practice it.
“People need to go and learn about the faith without any prejudgements and take information as it comes rather than immediately passing judgment to gain a better understanding of it,” she said.
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