Haifaa Mansor is on Reddit (IAmA)

by Aizan Fahri

Spotted this on Reddit, and in a jiffy my body was introduced with adrenaline, and it was coursing rapidly through my arteries and veins. Fingers, thrust!

Haifaa Mansor is Saudi’s first female filmmaker, of the film WADJDA. Wanna watch the trailer? Sure.

One thing that caught my eyes here was the question about scarf. This question (at least to me) is imperative in present muslim society, by looking upon the aspect of following our Lord’s decree loyally and faithfully, and urban stylishness of wearing one.

Haifaa’s stand on scarf as follows:

Well I don’t wear one personally. But I respect people who do. I have a problem with niqab, where you cover the face, because I think that the Face is a woman’s face and identity and dignity, and it should not be covered, women should be proud of who they are. Also, in Islam there are a lot of schools that do not require it. It is only very strict interpretations that require women to do that. But I hope women in my country know that.

.. which is, quite, sadly she’s not wearing it. Then I got my hands ready to spark a discussion, with this argument:

I’m not here to diss. I’m a Muslim from Malaysia, and I pay significant level of importance on the subject of headscarves, mainly because it is the fiat of our Lord, which was declared by our prophet Muhammad.

The question of niqab (a veil that covers the whole face, leaving blinking eyes only), personally I think that one refers to the geological factor of desert (to protect women from sandy air), and the state of sexual inclination of men (mostly they were sexually abusive at that time).

My stand on our present time, I don’t think a veil should be worn as an integral part of a woman, and I do think it is suffice as long as the head (hair) is covered.

Your argument here is woman’s face is the identity, which is true. If there’s a wedding and the woman is wearing headscarf covering the whole face, and if the woman is under my authority, I will ask her to uncover the face but not the hair.

Maybe you could enlighten me more with your arguments, but I’m standing still that headscarf is compulsory (to cover the hair, yes).

There’s some info you need to know about Haifaa. For a start, she is a graduate in filming from Sydney. That explains her stand on scarf (I think). Second, she said she’s ready to face the backlashes from Saudis, suggesting that she’s trailblazing the industry of filmmaking in Saudi (I mean the first female filmmaker), and with the fact that people won’t (really) recognize her achievement.

A little bit more about Saudi. There’s no cinema in Egypt, and her film can only be watched via DVD. Second, Saudi is propagating slowly to give women more opportunity, as in year 2014 women in Saudi are permitted to vote in the election.

p/s: Long time no write. I’ve been busy reading Reddits and playing DotA 2. Add me on Steam: NecroMyst.