Freedom, right and wrong, honour and shame are not universal concepts. They mean different things to different people and their bases of reference are not the same across all cultures. Do not fall into the trap of assuming that women who do not drive or women who wear the veil are somehow oppressed and will 'see the light' once they learn more about Western gender equality.
The actual problem at hand, that perhaps someone could shed light on, is this internalised archaic colonial fetishization, that we are shockingly still forced to be a part of in 2016. There is a multitude of Muslim women with a multitude of firm voices ready to share a multitude of opinions because we are not a homogenous group, you are all just speaking too loudly over us to hear any of it.
This may seem like a frivolous debate to have amidst ravaging wars across the globe and unprecedented levels of political uncertainty in Britain and across Europe but lets no longer glaze our words with honey and accept that this policing of Muslim women's attire is symptomatic of an entrenched issue France has with Islam.
At worst, the ban is another example of French institutional Islamophobia. At best, it would seem to be a smokescreen behind which the real reason Corsica is "sitting on a powder-keg" of tensions and violence. And that powder keg would seem to be rather more about Corsican nationalists than Muslims or those of North African origin.
The hijab worn by Muslim women is still regarded by many as a problematic ideological symbol; thereby making many women vulnerable to discrimination, harassment, and violence. Islamophobia that is spreading in some parts of the world should be scrapped because, as a religion, Islam is the same as other dominant religions in the world; namely, one that respects differences. Would it not be boring if everyone was uniform in their beliefs?
It's strange though, that when people were asked about their trust in public figures, they had the common sense not to believe Joey Essex on this issue. And yet most of us probably have about as much knowledge as him on many of the big, complex issues we face. We're all Joey Essex, in a way. But we seem to trust ourselves. Maybe we shouldn't?
The terror attack is a sad way to end this blessed month of Ramadan for the people of Bangladesh. It is a terrible end of so many innocent lives. I feel intensely distressed by these massacres. As an Imam I offer my sincere prayers and condolences for those who have lost their lives in these atrocities. Bangladesh, may God grant you true freedom and shelter from tyranny. May God make you a great nation again.
As a Buddhist, I have spent the last month - to the surprise of many - visiting the morning and evening prayers at my local mosque during this holy month of Ramadan. In brutal contrast, this morning I woke up to the news that my fellow Buddhists in Southeast Asia had just razed a local mosque to the ground.