(Wall Street Journal: Southeast Asia)
|photo from the article, and Associated Press|
MANILA — The Philippines’ Department of Education clarified Wednesday that it is not banning its Muslim teachers from wearing head coverings.
Last week, the department unveiled a new order requesting that Muslim teachers remove their niqab, or face-covering veils, when they teach. In the July 16 order, the department asked Muslim teachers teaching Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education classes to remove any face-covering veils in the classroom. The order sparked concern that the department was ignoring the teachers’ religious rights.
Muslims’ right to cover their faces has been a controversial issue in some countries. France, which banned the public use of full-face veils in 2011, has been struggling with riots in the last week over the enforcement of the law.I personally wish this were not at the level of misunderstanding that it is. Head covering is mandated in the Quran; face covering is not. "There is no clear-cut authentic hadith to the effect of making the face veil obligatory."
To ask a woman to remove her face covering does not infringe on her right to cover her head modestly. It is a matter of safety, of communication, of personality, even of individual worth. In short, I personally do not consider face covering to fall under the same category as head covering.
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