Friday, May 10, 2013

"Orthodox Christian Women Vs. Muslim Women"

russian orthodox christian women
photo from comment
photo from the article linked below
Read the article:
Orthodox Christian Women Vs. Muslim Women | People - Opposing Views
by Allison Troy, Demand Media

A new friend and I were talking yesterday while watching our children playing and exercising in their Aikido class, and she remarked how pretty one of the young girl's scarf was (a made for girls hijabi style with lace trim), and I agreed, adding that I really like the way that head scarves can be made for exercise and movement so that they stay in place. I shared with her about the problem of trying to keep a head scarf in place while trying to worship with a small child in your lap, and she laughed with me. We were having one of those, "You too?!" moments that sometimes occurs between new friends, however to some people it may have seemed odd to see the two of us huddled in conversation, me in my jeans and modest read and white printed top, with ponytail, and she in her Palestinian patterned abaya-dress, with pink head covering. The more we talked, the more we touched on "issues of commonality", such as head covering, modesty, distinction between males and females, and having people say hurtful things to you because they just don't get it. We also discussed a few general differences between the "big three" faiths, including the fact that Jewish women can appear to be uncovered because there is that allowance for wigs as a hair covering.
photo from Life in the Married Lane blog (check it out for more on Jewish head covering!)

I found this article when I came home, and of course, thought "what a coincidence". The author points out just a few general similarities between the Muslima and the typical Orthodox Christian woman, including the origins of our modest dress and head coverings, and women in the public sphere. She writes:
Protocol for clothing, particularly in Islam, has become a symbol for what many outside these traditions see as a repression of women’s rights. At the same time, many women in both Islam and Orthodox Christianity would claim that the hijab (for Muslims) and the veil (for Orthodox women) are, in fact, representative of their spiritual freedom.
Isn't that what we headcovering women have been saying? That for us all, it is a spiritual freedom, and an individual choice.

It is a short article, and one worth considering by those who don't have a nice friend to sit with and talk about religious traditions while our children are learning a kind of Eastern martial art. The author, or at least this publication, "Opposing Views" seems to have other similar short articles to explain things that outsiders only guess at (and many times, guess at wrongly).

I believe that it is good to understand, or at least to try to, because I know that I want to be understood. As my friend and I also discussed, one of the things that we have in common is that many of our own friends and acquaintances are not even knowledgeable about their own faith, let alone that of others. It is good to understand what you are doing; and sometimes, understanding why others do what they do helps you to clarify your own position for yourself.
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