Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Continuing News on Muslim Covering

- More opinion and review on the situation on secular versus religious Turkey that centers around head covering, in : Haaretz.com, the online edition of Haaretz Newspaper in Israel.

- A brief raising of the head covering situation in Germany again, as another state has upheld the ban on the wearing of head scarves by teachers, in : Independent Online. The situation in Europe mostly began with the country of France banning the covering back in 2004, raising much debate and further bans.

- A discussion of the conversions of Latinos and Latinas to Islam, in: The Dallas Morning News, Inc. Includes these statements:
NEW YORK -- When Beatriz Kehdy was growing up in Sao Paulo, Brazil, she felt uncomfortable with the standards of beauty that she says were a part of the culture in which she was raised. An emphasis on external beauty and the body, she says, became increasingly foreign to her own personal values.
Kehdy moved to New York City almost 10 years ago and eventually discovered a sense of place in Islam and in the hijab, or headscarf worn by women in the faith.
"When I wear the hijab, I feel more respected, people talk to me with respect," she said.
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As I study the interests of Muslim Head Coverers, I find that for the most part - from the outside - the wearing of Islamic appearing head covering is taken as a political symbol and not a modest or religious decision, always portrayed as portending an attempted political takeover with view of forcing said coverings on everyone else in the area. But after studying the reasoning behind covering from the point of view of Muslim women that I've found, politics has little to do with it (though I am sure there are those deviations). From what I've read and seen, as in any of the three "Abrahamic" faiths, head covering is a choice - and only in isolated areas are women who do not cover punished with beatings or death. Perhaps women may only do it because everyone else is, or their parents or "clergy" tell them they must, but is this not also the case with many other behaviours, such as dressing modestly, not dating, or going to certain places, etc.?

Covering the head is not a work of salvation, though it seems that many believe that it is because it is so strongly held to by those who see "merit" in it. But it is a sign of faith and humility and obedience toward God, and these attitudes are certainly a part of salvation, aren't they? For without faith, it is impossible to please God.
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