Thursday, July 31, 2008

Christian Headcovering Testimony

taken from "I want to be a Shaker please!"
by Kristie
. . . I reflected on my own desires the past couple of years. man, how I wished I could live in a “Christian community”! I guess I thought it could solve all my issues, make life so much easier…then I would dismiss the thought. I also reflected on the many ladies that I have encountered in the online groups that practice modesty or headcovering (or both lol). So many want to move out…away from it all, to purify themselves and their families. I, myself, would love nothing more than to pick up and move out into the country, away from everybody. But what about the “world”? What about modern “churches”? Do we Christians, need to move away? (Now if there are extenuating circumstances where you NEED to move do to safety, drugs, or whatever that’s a little different) Where are the “lights” for those who are lost?

When God moved me to modesty and headcovering, He made it clear (after much searching on my part) that I was to do it where ever I was at. Meaning, that even if I was the ONLY person in my church, I was to continue on in obedience. When we left [----], it was for several reasons (not for me to discuss on here). We did go through a searching time. And God provided almost exactly 1 year after we left there! [----] is a good little church, far from perfect, but a great family. They have accepted me where I am, no matter how funny LOL I may look! I believe that through my obedience, God will speak to people. Not that I am anything special, but I know how much seeing people obey God in whatever He tells them, really influenced me! When we buy our first home, it will be where God calls us, even if its right smack in the middle of the city.

See also Kristie's story: "how I came to be more modest and headcover".

Be encouraged!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Modesty and Meanings

Anyone interested in the whole "fashion "versus" modesty" area of life will appreciate this well written and thoughtful article:

Muslimah Media Watch: Looking at Muslim women in the media and in pop culture: IslamOnline's Modesty Chic

It is a good thing that modest and chaste clothing is "in fashion" - does it mean that because it is fashionable that it is no longer modest? What IS the definition of modest, anyway?

I'm not sure these questions can be answered simply, but those of us who think about things like this, need backup in looking at the issues from a number of different sides. To be able to ground our own thinking, as well as to be able to present to others a little better the "why" and "what" of our behaviors and beliefs.

Head covering, as well as modest body covering, (and all forms of unspoken communication that go on all the time, whether we like it or not), will always be noticed - there's just no getting around it. And since it will be noticed anyway, then it had better not be messy or ugly, because that will detract from the "message" of the unspoken words of how and why we dress the way we do. Consider dressing like "Umar the tent maker's daughter" (or, pick your cultural background's illustration here, such as "wearing your immigrant mother's clothing, including the size"): What message does this send out to the world about what you believe to be the truth? Does what you wear (including what you put on your head) truly reflect your attitude - which we all hold to be more important than what we put on?

What to Wear

"What I wear and how I wear the headcovering", posted by "Country Mom" at blogspot, explains - not the why, but - the "what" of her decision to cover her head as a Christian, in obedience to 1 Corinthians 11. She shows pictures of how she ties up her bandana, as well as photos of friends who also cover. (automatic radio begins playing at this page - the player is posted at the bottom of the page, if you wish to click the stop button).

Also, please check the Christian headcovering blogs (linked in my sidebar at the right) for "Free to Cover" and "Light and Good Order", who often post their own examples of how they choose to cover, using scarves, turbans, snoods and all manner of home-made or -styled coverings. :) Just scroll through their past postings.

Be encouraged!

News from All Over

United Kingdom:

"The hijab goes high-fashion", in the, including internal links to hijabi websites in the UK.

"School and religious symbol cases ", in the, listing various storied about head coverings and other religious symbols and the difficulties with them in public and private schools in the UK.

An editorial comment on religious symbol cases can be found in "Huge case over small item bodes ill for further battles", in the

(Photo taken off of, by blackrainbowmodel - please click this link to see it full sized and read her notes. I saw this in someone's ID photo on blogspot - it definitely catches your attention, eh?)


ISTANBUL, Turkey (CNN) -- Turkey's Constitutional Court has rejected a proposed ban on the country's Islamic-rooted ruling party -- the Justice and Development Party, or AKP -- for alleged anti-secularist activities, the leader of the court said Wednesday.

Secularists were outraged at the AKP's recent attempt to lift bans on headscarves at public universities. The move failed after the Constitutional Court overturned the amendment in June.

Headcoverings were banned in the early 1980s by Turkey's universities because they were seen as political symbols and conflicted with the nation's secular governing system.

The government accuses its critics of using the courts to try to deny the AKP its legitimate victory from last year's elections. AKP says it is promoting democracy and pursuing goals that would bring Turkey into the European Union.


Although it is a predominantly Muslim nation, it has taken the trappings of religion out of public life, in accordance with the policies of Kemal Ataturk, the revered founder of the modern Turkish republic.

AKP is not the first political party that Turkey's courts have tried to close. More than 20 political parties have been banned by Turkey's judicial system in recent decades.


DOHA, Qatar, (The Peninsula), By Raynald Rivera -- Ghutra, the traditional headscarf worn by Qatari and other Arab men, has been nowadays in great demand not only among Qataris but also among residents and tourists.

"Asians and westerners, all from different parts of the world buy the ghutra," said Mohammad, a storekeeper at Souq Waqif.

One of the chief uses of the ghutra is to protect the head from the heat of the sun. "It's summertime, so many people buy it to guard their head from the scorching heat," he added.

Ghutra is a square fabric, folded into a triangle and worn on the head by Qatari men and other Arabs. It is held in place with an agal - a cord made of wool or camel hair. Usually it is either red and white checkered cotton or plain white made of fine cotton. It is a matter of personal taste as to which one a man sports, though the plain white, being a lighter fabric, is more popular during summer.

(story continues at title link above) (photo: Ghutras on display at a store in Souq Waqif. (Raynald Rivera))

Norway ( -- Two sisters who emigrated from northern Iraq to Norway as children and have studied costume and fashion design are launching their own line of head-coverings, geared to Muslim women in Scandinavia.

"We started using the hijab three years ago, and it was very difficult to find any that fit into daily life in a western country," Nafeesah Badrkhan told Oslo newspaper Aften.

She and her sister Susan, both educated in fashion and costume design, started making their own. "We kept getting questions from other girls and women about where we had bought them," Badrkhan added.

The two soon realized there was a market for western-style head coverings, and their entrepreneurial instincts led to creation of an entire hijab collection. They plan to launch an online boutique this fall.

The two sisters have designed their western-oriented "hijab" for outdoor life (note the sun visor on Susan's at left), casual and formal use. (PHOTO: ANNE-STINE JOHNSBRÅTEN) More of this story at the title linked above.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Remembering Head Coverings

Such a sweet little read, remembering the head coverings of our lifetime. Fashions do come and go, but this headcovering mystery remains.

Please read the short essay: "Remembering Head Coverings in my Childhood", by FreeToCover at blogspot.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Footnotes on Veiling

"Hijab Alternative"
by Scarf Ace - struggling with dressing modestly in the West, with examples and pictures
Instead of posting only on my inner faith and purpose struggles with hijab, I'm InshaaAllah going to also post about the joy and difficulty of finding clothes that actually cover while "expressing myself."

"Mahrem - Footnotes on Veiling"
The current art project ‘Mahrem – Footnotes on Veiling’ at Berlin Tanas Gallery explores the concepts such as hidden and revealed, visible and invisible, public and private around the on-going contemporary discussions on the veil, the show tries to unfold several differing viewpoints related to Islamic covering and its public perceptions through the works of ten artists.

"Silence Me!"
very interesting article on The Hijab Debate in My Sweet Surrender...A Muslimah's Day to Day, at blogspot

"Pune bans scarves while driving to check terrorism"
The Times of India
A ban on covering faces by women while driving motorbikes has irked several women's organisations in the city.

Satyapal Singh, who took charge of the City Police Commissioner last week has disapproved women covering their faces while driving.

The contention of Singh is that terrorists can take advantage of the practice to disguise themselves.

Many college girls and office-going women here cover their faces from head to chin to protect themselves from heat and dust while riding bikes.

"Scarf It Up!"
The Times of India
Scarved revamped. The younger generation is taking some new lessons in scarf tying.

The gypsy look is in. Says designer Payal Jain, “There is so much that one can do with scarves. Come autumn, we’ll be seeing women ambling down high streets in scarves. Choose the one which goes with your personality. That’ll also reflect in the kind of person you are.”

Studying Christian Headcovering

I didn't have time to put together a good article to go with the entries I came across the past couple of days, but you might want to check out these articles:

by Kr.An.Ke Mommy of livejournal
includes a link to another study website on the subject of headcovering

"On the Veiling of Virgins"
Fathers of the Church > On the Veiling of Virgins, by Tertullian, in
Text Translated by the Rev. S. Thelwall
Turn we next to the examination of the reasons themselves which lead the apostle to teach that the female ought to be veiled, (to see) whether the self-same (reasons) apply to virgins likewise; so that hence also the community of the name between virgins and not-virgins may be established, while the self-same causes which necessitate the veil are found to exist in each case. [sample of translation from chapter 7]

Although no-one will hold a gun to your head if you refuse the head-covering, one thing is sure to happen: the continued refusal of the veiling will accomplish a few things in your life that you DON'T want to happen, if you are a serious Christian.

Help for Hair Loss - Businesses

Two stories came in today, both about mothers and daughters who have started businesses to provide help and head covering for victims of hair loss due to cancer and other problems. I am so impressed with them - here are the links to the stories, which include more information on the shops and boutiques themselves.

It's survival, then action for Sheila Surber
July 27, 2008 06:00:00 AM
By Donna Vavala
News Herald Writer
Cancer shop
Terry Barner / The News Herald
Breast cancer survivor Sheila Surber shows a camisole at her Panama City store, There's No Place Like Hope Mastectomy & Cancer Care Boutique, worn by woman going through breast cancer treatments.

Shop owner takes cancer patients under her wig
By Kathleen E. Carey
Delco Times
There�s locks to love about Lovely You, a wig boutique which specializes in products for women undergoing chemotherapy. Store owner Debbie Price, left, and her daughter Chelsey Price are dedicated to helping cancer patients restore their self-image.
"There's locks to love about Lovely You, a wig boutique which specializes in products for women undergoing chemotherapy. Store owner Debbie Price, left, and her daughter Chelsey Price are dedicated to helping cancer patients restore their self-image"

Various Recent News and Notes

Dress Somali

I noticed that this blog is sometimes hit by search engines looking for "Somali fashion" or something similar. Coming across this sweet blog entry called "How to dress like a Somali..." by Palmers on Mission, who help immigrants and refugees from difficult places. She posted pictures. :)


Dress Muslim Male

OK, I admit it. I'm tired of hearing the tired old complaint that says that women have to dress modestly and men don't. Usually said about those very conservative Muslim women and men. Well, men DO have to dress modestly too. And they do. A recent article in Business, called "Tailors see brisk sale of custom-made kanduras," illustrates this. The caption for the photo above reads: Demand for the traditional Arab male dress, kanduras, have remained high in the UAE. (AFP)


Wear a Hat
Intelligent, beautiful women all wear hats
Janel Messenger of "Pearls" at blogspot tried having a "Hat Fair", in which women who love hats are to post about it and link to her blog. One cute response was: "Sensibility Hat Fair, by "the Primrose Way". One thing she wrote: "Yes indeedy, those wonderful accessories that have been in decline since the beehive hairdo buzzed by. It's a shame that after centuries of never being seen out of doors without a chapeau, that they disappeared so quickly." I also found an interesting blog because of this too - "Jill's World of Research, Reaction, and Millenary," a blogger who really likes her hats. I found a quote on the page, with the photo above: "Intelligent, beautiful women all wear hats - It's a known fact!"


Book Review: "Light through the veil"

From The Telegraph of Calcutta, India:

"40 days and 1001 nights: One woman’s dance through life in the Islamic world (Jaico, Rs 295) by Tamalyn Dallal talks about a journey that may have been inspired by an Arabic proverb. “To understand a people”, the saying goes, “you must live among them for 40 days.” The author, enthused with this bit of ancient wisdom, travels across five points in the Islamic world — Indonesia, Egypt, Zanzibar, Jordan and Xinjiang, a Mulsim-dominated, autonomous region in China. Dallal is no tourist, though: she embarks on the trip to learn the truth about Islamic culture, and ends up making many other wonderful discoveries. In Banda Aceh, Indonesia, she stumbles on to one of the last surviving matriarchal cultures, while in Jordan, she delves into a traditional world, carefully hidden under a plush, modern exterior. Crucially, the journey also helps Dallal shed her apprehension about the Islamic world being intrinsically violent and intolerant. Dallal uses a lucid prose, free of the burden of politics or ideology which makes her work enjoyable. The dull images accompanying the text could have been improved upon."


Removing the Veil

An interview article with two women from Sweden who took the veil, and years later made the choice to quit wearing the veil. Trying to present some more of the various points of view on the headcoverings of the world. In this case, the wearing of the scarf seems to have been more political, or even rebellious, than modest. "They Removed the Veil", in A secular European publication.
It started as an act of radicalism. Anne Sofie Roald and Pernilla Ouis adopted the headscarf back in the 1980s at the same time as political Islam began to grow. Now they are part of a global trend towards secularisation in which more and more women are shedding their headscarves and veils.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Christian Headcovering Online Journal

For those of you who are looking for Christian bloggers who wear a headcovering and blog about it - please note that one of my favorite bloggers has started a new blog at wordpress, called "Light and Good Order: A Headcovering Journal". Her first two entries there are full of good links and example. When you get there, please also scroll down to view the resources that she's linked for us.

... encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
~ I Thessalonians 5:11

political head coverings

site discovered in: "Tap the Jewish vote with Obama, McCain kippahs"
John Cook's Venture Blog,


"There has never been a better time to sport a political statement on your head."



" is the brainchild of an adult named Shmuly Tennenhaus. Much like the belt, watch and handbag, VK (shorthand for aims to position the Kippah/Yarmulke/Skullcap as a must have fashion accessory. Stay tuned for the Bluetooth Kippah and the the ringtone Yarmulke."


hmmm And yet another reason why a woman wearing a head covering for modesty or spiritually outside of worship time will probably be accused of only trying to promote her beliefs on you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Studying Christian Headcovering

"Headcovering: My Story"
March 9, 2008 by FollowingTheAncientPaths at wordpress blogs

This personal testimony by a headcovering Christian gives reasons and reactions to a decision to start wearing a headcovering, when many around do not feel the same convictions. She included a few links at the end of this entry as well. Interesting comments were also received by her readers. Recommended reading.


* Christian * Wife * Mother * at blogger has been posting several posts of copied discussions and studies on headcovering for Christian women.

"Myths About the Headcovering", By Myron Horst, of Biblical Research Reports

"Should it cover the face and hair?", by Myron Horst, of Biblical Research Reports

'COMMAND OR CUSTOM? An Exposition Of I Corinthians 11:1-16", by Hiram O. Hutto, found on the La Vista church of Christ website.

"When does the head covering apply?" Q & A, from

(You can find these and many more study websites at the resource list I put together for
Those Headcoverings/ Christian link webpage. Photo of lace veil above taken from


"Women Prayed and Prophesied in 1 Cor 11:5"
July 22, 2008 by tc robinson, at

A short comparative analysis of three "takes" (discussing "Complementarian" and "Egalitarian" explanations, if big words are your thing) on the passage: "But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved." (1 Cor 11:5, TNIV) Some discussion follows.


"Early Christian Face Veiling"

by Bryce Haymond, posted on July 22, 2008, at, of LDS (Mormon)

A little mentioned or studied part of covering the head includes that of face covering, or veiling. The article doesn't mention any scripture, so the comments in the discussion that follows refer to the only New Testament scripture dealing with covering - that of women covering their heads, in 1 Corinthians 11.


And if you're getting in too deep, take a breather with a more light-hearted approach to this subject, and a few others, in "Byzantine, Texas: The Onion Dome - On babushkas and yayas".

Hair Loss and Scarf Style

"Women with hair loss learn about scarf style"
July 22, 2008, by Morgan Jarema, in The Grand Rapids Press
When men go bald, they can simply don a hat -- or not -- and nobody asks questions.

When women go bald, Judy Joppie says, "People automatically think cancer, even if it's not."

Joppie, 53, of Grattan Township, lost her hair last year during what is considered successful surgery and treatment for lung cancer.

While she kept an upbeat attitude about having the disease, she did not want to be the center of attention when she went out. So she used her flair for accessorizing to put a fashionable spin on scarf-wearing.

"Even through chemo, it was important to me to not look sick," Joppie said. "It's no fun losing your hair, and it's really hard on your self-esteem."

Joppie spent an hour Monday at Gilda's Club in Northwest Grand Rapids teaching women to "just have fun" with scarves.

After religious reasons, head covering for health reasons and for hair loss make a lot of sense to folks. It's something that in our modern Western world we have "forgotten" how to do: how to tie a scarf or turban, to make it practical and nice looking. I have the feeling that many of the cancer support groups for women organize sessions like this, and for those who don't, it might be a good thing to consider. The resources are out there. (If you're interested in more resources online, please check my Those Headcoverings web pages links for Cancer head coverings - and please let me know of any resources that I have not listed.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Snoods, Turbans, Scarves Recommendations

"Offbeat Modest Dress" has posted sources for "snoodish turbans" at her blog - Hedeyah: Another Source for Turbans. Click her blog name to see her recommendations. Also, check out these sources mentioned: (berry turban photo, right) (red turban photo, right)
Hedeyah (tan turban photo, right)

"Free To Cover" has also posted a great source for scarves at her blog - Anokhi Scarf. She had mentioned she ordered from them earlier, and is now giving praise and recommendation to, who provide for sale beautiful hand block printed scarves. (photo of "twilight" scarf from Anokhi, left)

Please also check out her pretty home made version, which she called the "Snookerchief"!

EDIT 10/06/08 - Free To Cover has posted "How to Wear a Snood" now, as well. Enjoy!


For more on the fashion of combining scarves and pretty modest outfits, check out this website:

Taqwa Iman, Inc. is a clothing company that is dedicating to offering modest clothing options to women of all ages. Taqwa Iman offers long skirts, conservative tops, beautiful scarves, shoes, sunglasses, jewelry, and tote bags. All of the products are very affordable. Its modest clothes at modest prices. The website is


Need help in tying those scarves? Check the "Headcoverings Illustrated" list, to find several websites that offer tips and ideas!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Headcovering Music Video

Veiled Glory has posted a new video - a music video for the song "God is with Us". The photos are all of women worshiping with their heads covered, many are nuns in Orthodox churches. The music is choral and a capella.

Hijab - Always in the News

"Yusuf Islam Wins Damages Over Muslim Sexist Claims" 2008
From the article:
Yusuf Islam, the musician formerly known as Cat Stevens, has won money for his charity after being awarded damages over articles that he had a sexist attitude to treating women due to his Muslim faith.


"Muslim wearing veil refused on bus in Leeds UK"
Saturday, 19 July 2008
From the article:
A bus company has apologised after a Muslim family of nine was stopped from boarding a bus to Leeds. ... The Alhajeri family were refused entry onto the Transdev Harrogate and District No 36 bus from Harewood to Leeds on Monday evening, because the mother and eldest daughters were wearing burkhas.

This particular story is about face covering - not head covering alone. My personal opinions on face covering are not nearly as "openminded" as my opinions on headcoverings.


"From a manifesto to authorship: the story of pro-freedom activists
Book and author review in
From the book:
"We set off with a manifesto advocating full freedom, not just for ourselves but for all people. Indeed, at first we were not so assertive, but encouraged by the snowballing support of freedom proponents behind us, we decided to go ahead with our struggle and compiled our story into a book."

Photo here from the linked article above. From the article:
The book, of the same name as the women's original manifesto, was penned by Yılmaz and two of her friends and fellow activists, Hilal Kaplan and Neslihan Akbulut. The 160-page book primarily covers the struggle of headscarf-wearing Turkish women on university campuses, but touches upon problems encountered by minority groups in the country as well.


"In Sarajevo, Head Scarves Uncover Generation Gap"
07/20/08, By Ann Tornkvist, WeNews (
From the article:
In Sarajevo many young women are choosing to wear the headscarves that their mothers spurned. It's a provocative decision in the moderate Muslim country, where one young visiting Muslim says she feels more accepted back home in Des Moines, Iowa.

. . .

There may be fewer headscarves in Sarajevo than in the immigrant neighborhoods of London or Berlin, but many young women walk through the tiny capital city of Bosnia-Herzegovina wearing the headscarf most of their mothers spurned at their age.

They contribute to the harmonious diversity of the street scene here, where different expressions of Islam mingle with men in shorts and women in short skirts in this country of 4 million. Muslims, 40 percent of the population, live alongside Serbian Orthodox and Croat Catholic citizens.

photo of Jasenka Muminovic-Kuric, subject of the article, taken from the article itself. Please click to read the entire personal story.


"Women in Islam"

For more information about Muslim women, links and news articles and other information all in one place. From "Islam For Today" (

Christian Women and Head Coverings

The Bible Thumper's Soapbox: Women and Head Coverings

This is a personal blog, going line by line through the writings of Paul the apostle in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. This is not a complicated reading, and recommended here.


Here are a couple of Catholic testimonies, which both mention in their blogs the homily presented by Father Robert Fromageot, at Stony Creek Digest, called "Veiling the Sacred."

"The Rosemary Tree" writes:
One hears frequently that one is a reprobate female for wearing a veil in Church. Some veiled ladies visiting modernist churches have overheard a whisper that a "Muslim" was visiting (this when covered Melkite-style - I've been Christian all my life); others question the veiled woman's self-esteem, feminist credentials or orientation to the men in her life. I have, as recently as today, been refused, in a Novus Ordo Mass, the Sign of Peace, refused eye contact and refused conversation, I guess because the head covering makes people uncomortable.

For myself, I was told by Traditionalist friends that it was a good Catholic sacred tradition which had been tossed out, like baby with the bathwater, after Vatican II. I have gradually tried it out of respect for the Melkite and Latin parishes where I frequently visit, and now maintain the custom even when I visit modern (Novus Ordo) churches. ...

"Tea at Trianon" writes:
... It is a practice deeply rooted in Scripture and Tradition. Many people seem to have some scruple about veiling themselves when the other women in the church are bare-headed. To me, it is important to follow one's conscience, not what the people around one are doing or not doing. I do not judge the women who choose to go bare-headed and I hope they are not judging me, but if they are, that is their affair. As for imitating those around me, if I did that, I would not be living a Catholic life.

Ladies often say to me: "I wish I were brave enough to wear a mantilla." Dear Ladies, it requires courage to face death and to shed one's blood for the Gospel. It does not require courage to wear a piece of lace or a beret on one's head. For some, it may be a matter of overcoming human respect. If you are drawn to head coverings, then WEAR one and do not worry about what other people think.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Smile of the Day

The real reason for headscarfs
Saturday, July 19. 2008
Some women with muslim faith wear a headscarf. As Germany is a very secular society(okay, besides some regions in Bavaria and seemingly near the town Vechta in Lower Saxony) it´s relatively seldom. I thought in the past, that this is an public expression of a cultural and religious identity. I was totally wrong about that, as I saw the real reason for the headscarf today in a train: It´s simply a hands-free mounting for the mobile ;-) A woman in the row in front of me put her mobile between her face and the scarf. Travel really broadens the mind.

Headcoverings for Health

We've discussed in this blog before, and you know it yourselves: in the winter for the cold, and in the summer for the sun, headcovering is advised by doctors for protection against the elements. I regularly see articles advertising a biking or hiking club where part of your kit includes/requires some sort of headcovering. Another reason for wearing headcoverings has been brought to my attention: mosquitoes and West Nile virus. It's probably "not cool" and a lot of people won't do it, just like they go bare headed in the sun or days below zero. I think it's time people got over themselves and their desire to show off their locks. But here you go:

According to Dr. Lee, “Residents should avoid outdoor activities, if possible, at dawn and dusk. Simple measures like long pants, long-sleeved shirts, head coverings and socks will minimize exposure to mosquitoes, which may carry the virus. The use of insect repellant is also helpful. In addition, we urge people to seek out and empty standing water in and around their homes.” [emphasis mine - LM]

Open Minded About Muslim Headcovering

"Muslim women in hijab come to the fore"

News & VIEWS,, By H. Omer
First part of the article follows. Please read the entire article at the title linked above.

My eyes popped upon seeing the photos of the winners of the 1st and 2nd places for Oralists at the Jessup International Law Moot Competition for 2008. They were women, they were Muslim and they were in hijab. The ‘Jessup’ is the Olympics for law students and winning the prize for Oralist is like winning the 100 metres. Muslim women are now coming to the fore and doing it all in hijab. (photo here from the UCL Laws: News page)

Reflecting on this, one does wonder whether to say that the Islamic attire of hijab is backward or oppressive is one big, fat, pseudo-intellectual lie. If not, how does one explain the hijab clad Shaheed Fatima, the Human Rights Barrister, with a BCL from Oxford and a Kennedy Scholar to Harvard and the winner of the ‘Professions Woman of the Future Award’ at the prestigious Women of the Future Awards in 2007?

The hijab is a head covering worn by a Muslim woman, done as a requirement of her religion. No other female attire has been subject to so much scrutiny and of course criticism. To the critics the hijab is a symbol of patriarchy and oppression. A seeming critic, M.A. Nuhman in an article titled “Ethnic consciousness, Fundamentalism and Muslim Women” identifies the Purdah or the hijab as “a manifestation of the ideology of female segregation and subordination”. Given that the Muslim girl in hijab is now a common sight in schools and shopping malls, it is useful to examine the validity of these criticisms.

There is very little evidence that the hijab has stifled or restrained a Muslim woman from pursuing her goals and aspirations, as a person and as a woman. Well it has restricted her choice of wardrobe but what else has the hijab stopped? The interesting point is that hijab is worn by a Muslim woman when she goes out of her home, not when she’s stuck at home. Thus the hijab is a symbol of emancipation in itself.

Side note by me: if you've seen some of the previous posts here or blogs and websites elsewhere that show the incredible variety of modest, Muslim approved fashion out there, including the variety of headscarves and styles, I'm not sure it's fair to say the her wardrobe is "restricted" either.


"I cover my head, not my brain, says Turkish first lady"

Hayrünnisa Gül, the wife of Turkish President Abdullah Gül, underlined in an interview with an English newspaper that it is her head she covers with the Islamic headscarf -- not her brain.

The first lady, who was interviewed by Janice Turner of UK daily The Times, said she did not believe headscarves should be forced on women. “To me, women should not be forced to wear headscarves. It would be hard to find anyone in İstanbul who would disagree with me, at least in public,” Mrs. Gül was quoted as saying.


"Whatever happened to freedom of religion"

In "mommuck, quamish, and such" at blogspot, the author reflects on the recent move in France to deny a Muslim woman citizenship on the basis of her wearing of the extreme modest clothing of her particular culture. Again, I paste here only a portion of the comments made; please read the entire article, which includes more information on the wearing of Muslim head covering and modest clothing, at the linked title here.

I myself find the burqa to be, in many cases, a symbol of the oppression of Muslim women. For many of them, especially women in Iran, the burqa (or chador, for that matter) has been forced on them by fundamentalist regimes. They have no choice but to wear the burqa, regardless of their personal religious views.


For many other women, especially the more conservative Muslim women, the burqa is a symbol of their modesty and chastity. It is their way of being obedient to what they perceive to be God's law. Whether of not I agree with their point of view is irrelevant; I believe that we should respect their right to practice their religion as they see fit.

So when I read that a woman in France was being denied citizenship for her religious practices, I couldn't help but be outraged. Yes, I know, it's France (maybe they never had freedom of religion). But still! This was done with complete and utter disrespect for a long-valued tradition based on a deeply rooted fear of Islam and anything associated fundamentalism. And it makes me very angry.
(photo also copied from this blog article)

Also, read a follow-up article on the woman who was considered "too Muslim" for France.


More education on this topic is coming to the UK, and apparently the most necessary topic concerning Muslims is their headcovering. Notice the titles and first sentences by each of these correspondents in their articles covering this move:

Muslim panel to advise on rights and wrongs of veil, by David Barrett and Joe Churcher, of the
"The wearing of the Islamic veil will be one of the issues examined by a panel of Islamic experts that is being set up by the Government."

Imams to counter 'mistaken' Muslim beliefs, by Richard Ford, Home Correspondent to the
"A board of Islamic experts is to be set up with funds from the Government to offer advice to Muslims on issues such wearing a veil and the role of women in public life."
Read the above articles and judge for yourselves what this might mean.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ah, Those Headcoverings

". . . let’s hear it for the veil/bonnet/headscarf. A symbol of old fashioned values, one’s cultural heritage, and a way to live green."

"Sunbonnets, Headscarves and Hijabs: The latest Green Trend?"
Posted on July 16th, 2008, by Nancy Reyes in (check out the labels this article falls under in the BloggerNewsNetwork:) All News, Archeology & Antiquities News, Breaking News, Environmental News, Humor, Religious News, Society and Culture. Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

In the above article, the author mentions "coffee Catholic," who posted this similarly veined article: "Headscarves... an interesting adventure!" Here, read from a Christian perspective how interesting the variety of headcoverings are, and how sometimes they are linked to a certain belief or culture, but inevitably, practical as well as lovely and important. Also check this article for photos and links to sites that sell various head coverings.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Christian worship

Though written from a Catholic perspective, I believe there are thoughts here for all Christians (and others). Please read: "Present your bodies as holy temples", by "Hearts at Home" on wordpress. This photo is the one used at the blog.

Beautiful Head Scarves

EDIT - I've noticed many hits to this article while looking for illustrations of head scarves, places to buy head scarves and how to tie head scarves. Please, check my Those Headcoverings Illustrated web page, to find web sites with illustrations of various styles, patterns and how-to tie a head scarf.


An evocative image of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto on Friday won the ‘Photograph of The Year’ award and is on display at the National Theatre on the banks of River Thames.

"Are there really many women out there today – and young women in particular – likely to step out with their heads covered in this way, other than for religious reasons, of course? Well, perhaps. The look may be unashamedly nostalgic, but if it was good enough for a doe-eyed Audrey Hepburn in Charade or, even more famously, Grace Kelly in High Society, who are we to argue?"
~ quote from style review in the Susannah Frankel: Ready To Wear

EDIT: Another review of head scarves' rise in fashion, using this same photo and others, can be found in the UK's Telegraph: "Scarves are making headlines once again". Also check this site for two photo series: "How to tie a headscarf" and "Head of the headscarves" (a pictorial guide to some scarves on the market).


Check this out: Two of the "7 Things Every Woman Is Grateful For", from "Catwalk Fashion":

Sun Hats

This is something that one can wear not only in the summer but in the winter too for great face protection. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes that there is a sun hat to go with every dress ever invented. Wear them to the beach, a bull fight, to the derby, or even a really long flight!

Head Scarves

Bad hair day? Poof! Hidden in an instant with a head scarf! It is better than even hats because you will not have to take it off while indoors. It is great for leaving home in a rush or when you simply do not want to do your hair. No one will even notice that you walked out of the house without brushing your hair when they can’t see it


And finally, personal notes from a travelogue blog from Egypt, "Lee of Arabia" writes:
Seeing so many women in veils, from just the head scarf to burqas with eye slits to fully-covering burqas with no openings for eyes at all, was intriguing, thought-provoking, assumption-challenging. The few conversations we had with women and some of the reading we have done on this topic has made me realize the incredible complexity of this issue. Is a veiled woman "repressed?" Not always, I think. Just like there are many women in this country who would never dream of wearing a spaghetti-strap, midriff-bearing top and low-cut jeans that highlight their muffin tops, and whom we would never characterize as "repressed," in these places there are women who prefer the more conservative looks the veils provide. I'm sure some have not made a conscious choice to cover, but others have. I was struck by how much more I noticed their faces when their faces were all I could see of them (no hair, no neck), and by the beauty I saw in only their eyes. Betsy and I were also very aware of the quality, the elegance, of some robes and head scarves--the colors and fabric--and it made me realize that just as many women there take great pride in their garb as here. I was surprised to find myself realizing how the mystery of what lay behind their covering made them attractive in a way I never thought about before.

Monday, July 14, 2008

French Denied Veil

"Too Muslim To Be French?"
Saturday, Jul. 12, 2008, By Bruce Crumley, in

The news is that France has denied a woman citizenship - married to a Frenchman and living in France with very good French language skills - on the basis of her "extreme" Muslim faith. The article points out that the first thing the official reported when she reapplied was that she showed up heavily veiled, with a face covering too. One wonders if they would have reacted the same way if she'd been wearing just a head covering and not a face covering. Where do they draw the line between secular assimilation and freedom of religion? Read the full article at the linked title above.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Why Apostolic Women Wear Veils

Why Apostolic Women Wear Veils, Part 1, on the Apostolic Friends Forum

This part focuses more on the authority "issue", and uses lots of original Greek. I think this may be from another source, but it is hard to tell. Doing a Googlesearch through their forum led me to 9 other threads in this forum (including part 2, I think) discussing the woman's veil.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hair and Head Covering

At "Shebrew Magazine - Modern Jewish Girls on Life and Self", read: "The Beauty of the Princess is Within Her", by Elana Premack Sandler. Please read her of her "interesting predicament" beginning with a trip to Israel at the link; here is her introduction:
My husband and I visited Israel for our honeymoon a year-and-a-half ago. It was January,and therefore the middle of winter, so I brought hats, thinking two things: it may be cold, and I may want to cover my hair.

The connection between hats as a head-covering and hats as a hair-covering is not a strictly Jewish tradition. Covering the head in religious or holy spaces spans many religions. In Judaism, men are traditionally required to cover their heads. Women, in more Orthodox sectors also have a custom to cover their heads, but the custom relates more to covering the hair rather than the head. I know, a seemingly small distinction, but an extremely powerful one. Both are related to modesty in the presence of G-d, but men’s modesty and women’s modesty have distinctly different dimensions in Jewish life. Men are honoring G-d through wearing a kippa. Women, covering their hair and bodies, are honoring G-d.
(continued at link)

photo here of a headcovering market stall from the wikipedia article on Meah Shearim, the ultra-orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem the author mentions visiting.

If you're interested, please don't forget to click to to learn more about tying scarves in one of a variety beautiful typically Jewish styles. I personally think these styles are lovely, and have used a couple my Christian self. I copied and pasted the two photos of women in headscarves from this site - full credit for these photos and styles goes to

Or maybe you'd like to make your own "snood" (or "caul") - which is like a headcovering with a pocket in the back to put your hair in, and is also often worn by Orthodox women (and old fashioned ladies) of various backgrounds. Check out "A TikkunKnitter’s Miscellany": "Continuing Cover: if I could snood".

Friday, July 11, 2008

Headscarf Photo of the Day

Found online and saved a while ago, from I don't remember where. If you know the source for this photo, please write and let me know.

Photo of a unity rally in a European country, for Muslims, if you can make out some of the writing on the sign in the background. In the foreground, the woman's headcovering is a Christian Dior scarf.

This just made me smile - nicely, of course. No mean-ness intended.

The following link is to E! Online, so for those of you who don't appreciate partial nudity, and are not all that impressed with celebrities, or cheeky commentary about celebrities, don't even bother clicking. Otherwise, here is the link to E! Online's "Celebrities in Hats - Photo Gallery", only if you're interested.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Christian Prayer Veils

“Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.” This is one of those verses people often say has changed because of the cultural issues of the day - ”Women no longer wear head coverings in church so maybe this verse doesn’t apply either.” . . .

Are you willing to obey God even if you don’t like what he says? How do we change some verses to mean what we want them to? Why do some women resist obeying this verse?

- from "Let a woman learn in silence", by The Stick

"Paul and Corinthian Women's Head Coverings", by Nancy A. Carter, attempts to do just what the previously quoted article asks, it seems, in this article, heavy with photos of Greek and Roman statuary. Read this article carefully.

Here are some links to studies on headcoverings for Christian women, recently appearing, with a short quote from each:

"The Head Covering", by Pot and Torch Apologetics, 1 Corinthians 10:31
"The head covering is the woman’s hair" says one person. "No, it was a cultural thing just for the people of that day" says another. People all know that something is being said in 1 Corinthians 11. Some type of teaching which is to affect men and woman, but few take the actual time to carefully exegete the passage.

"Headcoverings etc. yet again...", by Ave Maria Gratia Plena...

Whenever I've gotten into an argument about Christian customs like modest dress and head coverings I'm always told, "That was the custom back in the time of Saint Paul. Since then things have changed and these things are no longer a part of our culture."

Ok, that makes sense if you are not Christian... cultures and customs change and no one can deny that fact. But for a Christian this statement begs the question, "Why have we Christians allowed ourselves to change with the Worldly customs around us?"

"Pulpiteer's Bible Study on the Head Covering", in The Fighting Fundamental Forums
If it is a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. The Greek word for covered is: "katakalupto {kat-ak-al-oop'-to} 1) to cover up 2) to veil or cover one's self." In our culture, in our society, it IS a shame for a woman to be shaven, thus nullifying the culture argument.

And some bloggers posting about chapel veils with pictures and links(!):

"Because of the Angels", by tigerish waters
For your general interest, here are some headcoverings from diverse Christian communities. We seem to have forgotten just how natural it is for women to cover up. It has only taken a generation or two, for this to happen.

"Poker Chips or Fish and Chips?," by trying to focus
I guess you might be wondering why in the world I would want a chapel veil! I have been drawn to the chapel veil for a while now. When I read the reasoning in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition in favor for women veiling themselves in the presence of God - it just made sense. Read a little for yourself. [links follow this paragraph in the blog - LisaM]

"Traditional Catholic Online Stores", by Salve Regina

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Miscellaneous Fashion and Headcoverings

"The best thing since…" from The Hijab Blog at Wordpress, has found it - the perfect device for organizing and taking care of multiple headscarves. Hers is from IKEA, but I'm thinking there must be similar items out there. Click this link to see the item. The photo here is also from the blog. And scroll through the blog if you have time to check out the pretty outfits she's put together. Nicely illustrated hijab blog.

"No matter the season, wrap yourself in color, fun", from the - purely concerning fashion - showcases (in words, no photos, unfortunately) the versatility of the head scarf in your wardrobe, referencing some names in the fashion design world who use head wraps in their outfits (such as Diane von Furstenberg), as well as names of some celebrities who wear scarves. Photo of ribbon headband here from, referenced in the article.

"Silk Head Wraps", from the Skin Beautiful Blog at Wordpress, explains the benefits of wearing a silk head scarf at night. Did you ever have someone ask: "Do you wear that thing to bed?" I laughed out loud when I read this, thinking of that question, because now you can answer "yes!" - if you want to. Photo here taken off the blog. Read the full article, which includes this:
Some of the benefits of a silk wrap for hair at night are:

* prevents dryness which reduces breakage
* silk allows air flow to keep from sweating in hair
* keeping hair in place so reducing the use of heat styling in the morning
* helps to keep your hairstyle longer

Silk head wraps are beautiful and beneficial when caring for your hair. Whenever you need to keep your hair in it’s place, grab a silk head wrap. I use mine simply to keep my hair from getting into my face at night without using a harmful rubber band.

Enforced Veilings, and Not Enforced

Two reports came in this week that the Mohmand tribal region of Pakistan has just begun enforcing the wearing of a veil in public for women. The punishment for not veiling will be visited on the male relatives. Just so you know.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Taliban have warned women in the restive northwestern Mohman Agency not to step out of their homes without a veil or else their male relatives will be penalised.

Tehrik-e-Taliban spokesman Asad told reporters by phone from an undisclosed location that orders had been issued by the group's local commander Omar Khalid to punish men related to women who do not observe purdah.

GHALANAI: Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Mohmand Agency chapter on Thursday ordered women in the agency to observe purdah (veil) and announced a penalty for the male relatives of women in breach of the order.

TTP spokesman Dr Asad told reporters by telephone from an undisclosed location that the orders had been issued by TTP Mohmand Agency commander Omar Khalid.

For more information on the Mohmand Agency in Pakistan, click here to link to the Wikipedia article. Also read the entire articles listed above for more on these militant groups' recent actions.

Of note also to historians concerning Muslim headcovering: this clip I copied and pasted from someone's blog who had copied it from his sister's blog...
" We should pause to consider the question of the hijab, and the Muslim institution of the veil. It is often seen in the West as a symbol of male oppression, but in the Qur'an it was simply a piece of protocol that applied only to the Prophet's wives. Muslim women are required, like men, to dress modestly, but women were not told to veil themselves from view, nor to seclude themselves from men in a separate part of the house. These were later developments and did not become widespread in the Islamic empire until three or four generations after the death of Muhammad. It appears that the custom of veiling and secluding women came into the Muslim world from Persia and Byzantium, where women had long been treated in this way.In fact the veil or curtain was not designed to degrade Muhammad's wives but was a symbol of their superior status. After Muhammad's death, his wives became very powerful people: they were respected authorities on religious matters and were frequently consulted about Muhammad's practice (sunnah) or opinions. Aisha became extremely political and in 656 led a revolution against Ali, the Fourth Caliph. It seems that later other women became jealous of the status of Muhammad's wifes and demanded that they should be allowed to wear the veil too. Islamic culture was strongly egalitarian and it seemed incongruous that the Prophet's wives should be distinguished and honoured in this way. Thus many of the Muslim women who first took the veil saw it as a symbol of power and influence, not as a badge of male oppression. Certainly when the wives of the crusaders saw the respect in which Muslim women were held, they took to wearing the veil in hope of teaching their own menfolk to treat them better."
~ Karen Armstrong: "Muhammad: A biography of the Prophet"

Watch these locations for "wardrobe malfunctions" (headscarves) of various sorts:

Turkey, Istanbul:
A graduation ceremony and ‘awkward attire’ (
Missing: only aspiring female Afghan to run in Beijing Games (
Turkey, government:
Turkey's AKP Party Defends Itself In Court (
The Dangers Of Wearing A Headscarf (
Canada: Study suggests "turban effect" as a source of Islamophobia (

For side interest, also see a review and commentary in by Fahad Faruqui, on an art exhibit in England: "The Lure of the East: Through the Orientalist Lens", running from June 4 to August 31, 2008.

The exhibit is at
Tate Britain: "British Orientalist Painting".

Photo here, of: "Hhareem Life, Constantinople" (1857) by John Frederick Lewis, is on display in the exhibition.