Friday, August 1, 2008

Modesty? Submission? Fashion? or Identity? - YES!

Yikes, yikes, yikes. For once and for all time, please, secular world, get this: a woman wearing a headcovering can do so to be modest AND still be in style AND to recognize that she is different from men AND EVEN show her personal identity. All at the same time!

How can a trendy clothing store for young people refuse to hire a young woman because she wears a head scarf? It's trendy, already! Don't they read?

How can a news reporter (or editorial commenter) write that it's a double standard for a young woman who wants to cover her hair and dress modestly to also want to be able to fit in with her society? Isn't that what everybody is clamoring for - assimilation? OK, so let them cover their hair, their heads and their bosoms and legs in the summer time and be modestly dressed with a fashionable flair (with fashions being sold, I might add, by mainly secularly oriented fashion designers). They've "assimilated" AND kept their sense of spirituality and cultural identity. How does that hurt anyone? It's as if someone just doesn't think that it could be possible that everyone in the world just can't think, and dress, just like them. Where do these ideas come from?

Secular people praise those who come to these liberated Western secular countries and throw off their "old religion" or "modify their religion" so that their religion fits in with their new home. While I certainly love the idea that old traditions and requirements of culture which are harmful might be "thrown off", I don't understand the need for supposing that all of the religious requirements are temporary cultural items that can be added or discarded at the whim of men and women so that they can "fit in". Sometimes a solid faith or belief in values (such as modesty, respect for one's elders, a strong work ethic, organization, family values) is a good thing - even for those who don't believe in the spiritual roots of the understandings. Why would we want to take those things away from people? Is a woman wearing a headcovering to worship, or to live worshipfully, really so much of a threatening thing? If you really believe it is unncessary, then just "smile and wave" - either she'll lose her faith in spiritual things and come to think of the human body and the here and now as the greatest things, or she'll keep believing that there is really something more, and behaving as she always has. Or maybe she'll say she believes, but still be influenced enough by the world to try to have it both ways. People are people, after all. Every individual one of them.

Today's rant inspired by incoming news and notes (see below), and a low tolerance level for things not going the way I think they should this afternoon. By the way, a couple of these have some good photos, esp. the step by step how to tie LJ's (not religious) head scarf - the last entry in the list.

"Scarf resulted in hiring refusal, Muslim teen says"
By BILL SHERMAN, World Religion Writer, 8/1/2008,

Muslim Hijab and workplace "discrimination" (Part II)
Aug 01, 2008, by Tod Robberson, Opinion Blog,

"Wrapped up in style - `Muslimahs' are more adventurous than ever with their hijabs"
Aug 01, 2008, by Diana Zlomislic, Living Reporter,

"Abaya - allowing women comfort without compromising freedom"
From Habib Shaikh (Jeddah Letter),, 1 August 2008

"Head Scarfs… hit or a miss??"
by loraheartsfashion at

Ask Us Anything: LJ's Headscarf Tying Technique
by blog

Oh, yes. And this:

"Turkey Ends Attempt to Lift Islamic Head Scarf Ban in Universities"
July 31, 2008, Associated Press
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