Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Western Europe vs. Religious Freedom

Click to read:

"Commentary: Western Europe vs. Religious Freedom | The National Interest"

 by: Mary Ann Glendon serves as vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Azizah al-Hibri serves as a USCIRF Commissioner.
"If the lamp of liberty is to remain lit, Western Europeans must accept that the age of conformity to an official monoculture—secular or religious—is at an end. In the coming year, their countries should embrace their religiously diverse future and accord religious freedom to all. "
What do you think?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

"FROhio Fashion Week Begins with Workshop"

FROhio Fashion Week Begins with Workshop - Toledo Natural Beauty |

True, this event is over, but the thoughts continue: head coverings can be beautiful and stylish.
 "Naturals in the City of Toledo gathered Monday night at the Mott Branch Library in Toledo, Ohio to learn creative ways to use fabric as decorative and practical head coverings."
Celebrities rockhead wraps

Photo accompanying article by

Megan Yasu Davis, Toledo Natural Beauty Examiner

 "Head Wraps are not just worn by stars or people who want to "connect with African Roots". They can be worn to spice up a great pair of jeans and a tee, with a formal gown or to simply cover a "bad hair day".
You can select any time of fabric like leftover fabric from a sewing project, old t-shirts, part of a skirt, even an old table cloth or scarf. You can layer the fabric for color contrasting or use floral clips, rhinestone pins or barrettes to accent your wrap. Wraps can be worn high up, with some hair exposed in the top or for bangs and you can rock a head wrap that is more turban style and close the the head.
Whatever way you choose to wear head wraps, they are a fashion trend, a statement, and a practical way to decorate and protect your hair during the Winter months!"

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Study on U.S. Muslim Women and the Veil Wins Grawemeyer Religion Award

"Harvard University divinity professor and feminist scholar Dr. Leila Ahmed is the winner of the 2013 Grawemeyer Award in Religion. Her 2011 book, "A Quiet Revolution: The Veil's Resurgence from the Middle East to America" explains why a growing number of Muslim women in the United States are wearing traditional veils and head coverings."

Monday, November 26, 2012

No ban on Uygur dress - China, and other stories
Uygur Muslim women in traditional dress in Kashgar. Photo: AFP

"There is no ban on Uygur dress, police deputy says at congress | South China Morning Post"

Just "discouragement", they say. Interesting how things are looked at in different places around the world,  comparing one government and tradition with another.

But Kurex Kanjir, a Uygur who is also a member of the Xinjiang delegation to the Communist Party's 18th national congress, said there was "absolutely no ban" on Uygurs wearing traditional Islamic dress.
. . .
 "We have never said people cannot wear traditional ethnic dress," Kurex Kanjir said on the sidelines of the congress on Sunday. "But we are now in a civilised society and we hope to use modern culture to guide a somehow backward culture. It is something not to be forced, but something to be achieved through guidance."
The differences in the region have led to physical violence. I always find that result amazing. This is how it is in another part of the world.

CAIRO (Reuters) - EgyptAir is allowing its stewardesses to wear Islamic headscarves if they wish on flights to Arab states and will expand the practice to the rest of the network, an official said on Sunday...
Fox News
LUXOR, Egypt – A teacher in southern Egypt was convicted of child abuse Tuesday and given a six-month suspended sentence, after she cut the hair of two schoolgirls for not wearing the traditional Muslim headscarf.
A girl wearing hijab at a school in the republic of Daghestan.
Last month, several families complained that their daughters, who wear Islamic head scarves, called hijabs, were not allowed to enter secondary schools. The new dress code prohibits the wearing of any religious clothing or clothes with religious symbols.
Times of India
KANPUR: The management of a government-aided Muslim girls inter college here has made it mandatory for girl students to wear headscarf and banned use of mobile phones in the college.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

"Russia Head Scarf Ban"

"Russia Head Scarf Ban: Putin Opposes Headscarves At Russian School"
in, 10/18/2012

In a article reviewing the European trend to ban head coverings of every sort, in every public place, President Bladimir Putin is reported as speaking out against the wearing of headscarves in Russian schools.

"Putin's statement follows a recent incident in Russia's southern region of Stavropol during which a school principal forbade girls from Muslim families from wearing headscarves to class. Their parents protested and the principal said she was threatened.
Asked to comment on the issue, Putin clearly voiced his opposition to headscarves at schools, saying that Russia is a secular state and must create equal conditions for all its citizens.
At the same time, Putin sought to calm passions raised by the dispute, saying that authorities must show a due respect to followers of all religions.
"We have a secular state, and we must proceed from that," Putin said at a meeting with supporters."

 Putin said that . . . any departure from secular rules in public life could eventually lead to the infringement on the rights of followers of other religions. "It would be better if all people feel equal," he added.

In an interesting in-website link, the HPost has linked a 19 photo slideshow of Muslim modest fashion from various fashion shows. Fabulous.

"French Far Right Leader Calls for Kippah Ban"

"French Far�Right Leader Calls for Kippah Ban" - in The Jewish Voice
26 September 2012

French politician Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front party, sparked controversy this weekend with a call to ban the traditional Jewish head coverings known as kippah (in Hebrew, or yarmulke in Yiddish).
Le Pen, known for her anti-immigrant and nationalist positions, has long called on banning Islamic head coverings such as the niqab and burka, and has now added kippot to the fray.
“Obviously, if the veil is banned, the kippah [should be] banned in public as well,” the French daily Le Monde quoted Le Pen in an interview published Sept. 21.
French President Francois Hollande denounced Le Pen’s call for a ban on religious head coverings, saying, “Everything that tears people apart ... divides them, is inappropriate.”

For more, click the title linked above.

At least she's consistent to some extent. What's next, then, mandatory unisex haircuts for men and women so that you can't tell them apart in France? What are people thinking?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Keeping Silence, Headcovering, and Catholic Tradition

Should Women Keep Silence in Church?

This article is an attempt to answer the questions raised about the differences of men and women in the service of the assembly of the church, according to scripture.
"In 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, St. Paul seems to suggest that women should be totally silent in church.
Is this true?
If so, how do we square it with the practice of the Church today?"
As the writer admits, the passage is a "difficulty", especially in the culture and society in which most of the English speaking world lives today. And so he examines the scriptural context, other texts within the same letter of the Apostle Paul which address these issues (that is, our head covering scripture in 1 Corinthians 11), as well as other scriptural texts concerning the spiritual equality of women. He reviews the current traditions and scholarly teaching, acknowledging again, that although women do speak and prophesy in assembly, there is one matter where women and most men are to remain silent - in teaching the Word of God publicly.

Although the passage commanding women to be silent in the church seems to be contradictory to the teaching in other places that women and men are equal in spirit, upon further study, there is no contradiction.

The head covering passage is a core idea here: if women were to remain silent ALWAYS, then why did Paul only a few paragraphs earlier instruct them to wear a head covering while they were praying or prophesying? Truly, a woman may pray alone at home, but prophesying is not something done in privacy, but to the benefit of hearers. The command for silence of the women is not a contradiction then, but rather a clarification of who is to be watching over the teaching of the Law of Christ, and who is to be quiet so that everyone in the assembly can hear and understand from the appointed teacher.

What have you studied about this? Do you know of another study on this passage that you would like to link here? Please comment, and let us all keep pressing on.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

"Women embrace ancient traditions of covering"

Women embrace ancient traditions of covering | Picture This | The Seattle Times

A lovely photographic essay sharing the modern ancient tradition of wearing head coverings. Photographers, their subjects, and editors have done fine work sharing and educating. Highly recommended viewing.

In a time when so many things divide Americans, I hope that the photos, captions and video can help increase some cross-cultural understanding. The photos and video span from brides in boutiques to Sikhs in processions. First communions to Sabbath preparations. Somali shopping malls to pastoral homes to Eastside mosques.
The photos and video are not fully representative of all religions and cultures. Instead, this is a collection of some local women's perspectives. 
Posted by Erika Schultz

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Quebec, Canada: Secular, Not Accommodating

"Quebec is committing slow-motion suicide - The Globe and Mail"

The Parti Québécois Leader has proposed law banning the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols, such as turbans, skullcaps or other head coverings, by provincial employees.

And yet, the Quebecois demand accommodation across Canada, even in areas where there are no French speakers. True, their ancestors were here before most other language and culture groups (after Native Americans). But, really. Being here first is not what this anti-multiculturalism is about.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Olympic Sports Headwear

"Sports hijabs help Muslim women to Olympic success"

"New sportswear designed for women who want to cover up, and some important changes to the rules, are inspiring Muslim girls to take up sport – and compete internationally" - The Guardian

Lots of folks weighing in the comments on the article linked above, and in other articles around the internet on this topic. What do you think, yourself? Don't let your media tell you how to think or reason.

And for the snarky remarks I read somewhere about modest head covering girls needing luck to play beach volleyball: I would LOVE to see a modestly dressed team in "burkini" go up against the nearly nudes and WIN one!  :)

In the meantime, are you watching for head-covered athletes in the 2012 London games? Look for:

Wojdan Shaherkani, of Saudi Arabia, 16, in Judo. on August 3.

Maziah Mahusin, of Brunei Darussalem, 19, in Women's 400m - Round 1, on August 3.

In Women's 100m preliminaries, August 3:
Tahmina Kohistani, of Afghanistan, 23.
Noor Hussain Al-Malki, of Qatar, 17.
Shinoona Salah Al-Habsi, of Oman, 19.
Fatima Sulaiman Dahman, of Yemen, 19.

Soulmaz Abbaslazad, of Islamic Republic of Iran, 28, in Women's Single Sculls Finals, August 4.

On August 4, Women's 50m Rifle Qualifications:
Bahya Mansour Al Hamad, of Qatar, 20.
Elaheh Ahmadi, of Islamic Republic of Iran, 30.
Azza Alqasmi, of Bahrain, 27.
Maryam Arzouqi, of Kuwait, 29.
Mahlagha Jambozorg, of Islamic Republic of Iran, 20.

This is by no means a complete listing of all Olympians who cover, but just a short listing that I put together of athletes who are scheduled for the next couple of days. Please click the links to the athlete's names and you will be on the official London 2012 web pages, where you can research more athletes and sports that may have a representative of the head covering community participating.

Not to leave out any of our men who cover, I did notice a few Sikh gentlemen listed from India, who I believe will be allowed to participate in sports with their head coverings as well.

If you know of or find more, feel free to send a link here. I will allow links to post automatically for the next couple of days. Hopefully we won't get spammed or flamed during this time! Please only use the comments to respectfully comment on the games and the athletes who cover their heads while playing!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Islamic Scholar: Headscarves Not Required

Islamic University Scholar Finds Headscarves Not Required

reported in

In a landmark doctoral dissertation, Sheikh Mustafa Mohammad Raashed says his studies found that Islam never required women to wear a headscarf, Al-Nahar reports. Egypt’s Al-Azhar University endorsed his conclusions, including that a lack of "analytical capabilities due to psychological problems" led to wrong interpretations.

"According to observers, Al-Azhar asserted its position on the discussion, and put an end to the ongoing debate over whether wearing the hijab is a tradition or a religious obligation. The university unequivocally declared that Islam does not impose the hijab as an obligation. "

See also:


It will be interesting to see if this affects government institutions in and out of Egypt, as if it truly is a "ruling" on Islamic law.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Request for Headcovering Patterns

I keep noticing on my information feed that my pages entitled "free head scarf pattern" and "how to make a head covering" get a lot of hits.  I imagine that many people are looking for head scarf and head covering patterns, so they can make their own. 

 Please, if you have a pattern, send a link to me here.  Please, if you have a site where you sell your own pattern or head coverings, send a link here as well.  I intend to post another article soon with a similar title so that those looking for free or even to-buy patterns for head coverings and head scarves can find a whole variety of patterns to choose from.

Please, Readers, help a head cover-er - who may cover for whatever reason - out, and post us a link to a free headcovering pattern!  Thanks!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

"M.T.A. Agrees That Workers May Wear Religious Headgear"

"M.T.A. Agrees That Workers May Wear Religious Headgear -"

It's been since 2004, but this case has finally been settled. Employees will be allowed to wear their head coverings - turbans or hijab - in public with New York City's transit. As long as it's blue - the colour of their uniforms - so that passengers can figure out that they are employees.

Apparently there was some discussion as to whether employees were told not to wear their head coverings in public after the 9/11 events, and people of head covering persuasion were quickly singled out as potential enemies, possibly due to the fact that Taliban affiliates, who claimed responsibility for the attacks, also wear head coverings of some kind.

Not sure if the monetary compensation is warranted: "In a statement, the Justice Department said the authority would pay a total of $184,500 to eight current or former employees who had been “denied religious accommodations” under the old policy." But it sure does reflect the fact that they're all-American! (sorry - the irony struck me funny.)

On a more serious note, the importance of the individual wearing the head covering::
For Kevin Harrington, a Sikh employee of the authority, the settlement was little solace. In 2004, he recalled, his superiors said that riders might not recognize him, in his turban, as an authority employee in the event of an emergency. Mr. Harrington, now 61, was told he would be moved to a job in a storage yard if he refused to take off his turban or, later, if he refused to affix an authority logo to it.
On a fateful Tuesday less than three years before that, Mr. Harrington drove his train backward to keep passengers away from ground zero, an act that earned him an award from the authority. “Nobody saw anything,” he said, “other than that I was a train operator.”  [emphsis mine - LM]

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Head Covering Requirements - the Flip Side

"Christian Jordanian woman sues her Muslim employer | CTV News"

Is headcovering required for Christians today? Some Christians say yes, some say no, some say sometimes.  Is head covering required for Muslims today? Some Muslims say completely, some say no, some say fashionably or partially.

Personally, I believe that wearing a head covering is a choice, and as such, no one can insist that I don't need to wear one, or even more so that I am not allowed to wear one. I choose to wear a head covering to pray, to teach the Scriptures, to worship in public and sometimes in private, even by my own choice as a reminder throughout the day as I work or relax. As a rational human being I believe that I have the choice to wear a head covering or not, to obey my conscience or not, to follow what I understand the Scriptures to teach, or not.  And I believe that others have the right to make that choice as well. If I force someone to wear a headcovering because I believe it's a requirement, but they disagree - if they wear it anyway, are they truly obeying? or just complying in rebellion? Likewise, if I believe that I should dress modestly, and that covering my hair is modest, humble, less distracting; I cannot make someone understand that belief, but I can only instruct and dress as an example. I can be sad that someone else doesn't agree with me, because in the case of modesty we affect not only our own lives but the lives and minds of others as well - but I cannot change their mind for them.

On another hand altogether, I would have no problem complying with a company policy that required a hat, scarf, or other covering as a uniform policy.  These policies have existed for years and in all sectors of society. Was the woman in Jordan required by God to wear a covering? She didn't think so. But God does ask us to live in the world even when we are not a part of it. To love others as we love ourselves. What would have been the sin or crime in donning the uniform when another company (or country) takes over your own? No one asked her to give up her faith. If she felt that they were, then that should be the reason for a suit, but not a simple uniform policy. Example: Is every woman who works as a hostess for Emirites Air a good solid Muslim? Most of us would guess not; but the women all wear those lovely hat/scarf ensembles to work at the airline. And another example, if Hillary Clinton can don a head covering to visit a mosque or the Pope out of respect for others and we all still know that she does not represent either religion AND that she's a strong powerful woman, then is there really a problem?

In another look at this story, and one of the first that I thought of (as a head covering Christian woman), is the sad fact that this woman who refuses to wear a head covering on religious grounds is a member of the church of Christ which follows the teachings of the Bible, wherein is found a good solid teaching that women are to wear a head covering. People outside the church who are aware of this fact will see Christians in general as those who don't even obey their own Scriptures. As I alluded to earlier, Christ also taught his disciples by example and word that it is more than okay to spend time with those who may be considered "sinners" - even when someone more pious-feeling than you may accuse you of being one of them. His disciple, Paul, wrote that he would "become all things to all men, so that I might win some". We are not to condemn; that is not our place or our ability. We can use our eyes to discern (to "judge" in an old fashioned kind of translation), but not our place to stand before a crowd as the Christ of God did when he condemned those of his generation for being hypocrites. This defiant, rebellious, suit-seeking behaviour is counter-Christ behaviour, and the world will see it as such, and continue to judge (or discern, see) Christians in general as self-seeking, rebellious, or even "holier than thou". The opposite of humble, which was Christ. And because head covering in the Muslim faith is a part of feminine modesty, she will be perceived by others as immodest, thus putting all Christians in general into that same category.

As I mentioned, and I may be in error in my understanding of this issue, I don't believe that anyone should change their religious beliefs because an authority tells them to. Unless they have been truly converted. I did not read that this bank was asking her to change her religious beliefs. She understood the long modest skirt and complied, but somehow that piece of cloth on her head meant that she was being asked to "go against" her religious beliefs - which apparently unknown to her, is actually a part of her religious beliefs.

It is a sad situation. A frustrating thing to fully comprehend and try to explain why it might be seen as sad. I am sad that the media had to be involved, because of the misunderstandings that will abound. I am sad that Christians and therefore Christ will be misrepresented yet again. I am sad that these head coverings cause so much division when they are such a lovely symbol of faith and modesty. Head coverings are not (and should not be) worn just because of some ignorant male-dominated mandate. They have such a higher meaning than that.

Wearing a head covering is (and should be) a
made by women all over the world,
throughout the ages.

Stop making it into some kind of evil thing to be fought about.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Head Coverings and Soccer - Again

Montreal Sikh teen told he can't play soccer while wearing turban

Yes, again, but this time, it's men's head coverings.  Still, local coaches and referees can't make a decision without consulting the books, and the books apparently still read: "no head coverings" for soccer players on the field.  No matter that the big guys at FIFA have pretty much agreed that, as long as they are not a safety hazard, women may wear head coverings to play. I think if a Sikh man can wear his turban in the line of duty as a cop or a soldier, he can certainly play soccer with a turban.

Not a whole lot of philosophy in this entry. Just a heads up.


Follow up: just found a CAIR-CAN press release which states that the ban on the Montreal young men who want to wear a turban is "a violation of Canada’s various human rights codes."

The release goes on to report: "With the abundant availability of new religious headgear which can satisfy both religious and any perceived safety requirements it is clear that the ruling is discriminatory, effectively suggesting that players ‘check their religion at the door’,” said CAIR-CAN Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.

“Whether intentional or not, this ban sends the clear message to young people that what matters is not your skills on the pitch but whether or not you fit a predetermined ‘look’. In view of the recent decision (set to be ratified in July) by soccer's governing world body, FIFA, to rescind its ban on the hijab - the Muslim religious headscarf, we call on the Lac St. Louis Regional Soccer Association to allow the wearing of religious dress that does not present a health and safety hazard and to send an unambiguous message that the rulings of the Lac St. Louis Regional Soccer Association cannot supersede Canadian human rights laws. Every young person in Canada should have the right to play.”

Had to include that quote, esp. the line about sending a message to young people that what matters really is that you fit a certain 'look', and not how you play the game. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Liturgical Time Veil Shop Offers a Treat and More

"Liturgical Time Veil Shop: Headcovering Ladies, We Have a Treat for You"

Sweet and fun! Look at this "Christian Headcovering Mug," from the Veil Shop on Etsy:

Also, check through all the pages at Liturgical Time's Etsy shop and website, for lovely headcoverings.  From their page: "We provide handmade chapel veils, mantillas, and headcoverings for our patrons to wear in church, at prayer, or in everyday life. We are able to take special orders, and to provide some customization, so don't hesitate to make special requests. Special sales, promotions, and giveaways are posted on our blog:".  The author and creator, Michelle, writes about home keeping and traditional church topics in her home blog.

Liturgical Time Veil shop has its own blog called "Liturgical Time Veil Shop", with articles and other information specifically written toward veiling and head covering. Find Michelle's own personal reasoning in this article: "Why I Wear Catholic Chapel Veil".

Many blessings to you, Michelle, as you and your family serve others and the LORD.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

In Pictures: Hijab for Soccer/Football Players

In this photo essay, "Elham Seyed Javad shows how to wear her design for a sports hijab in Montreal, May 1, 2012. Her design is in competition to become the headscarf chosen by FIFA, which is lifting its ban on the head coverings in soccer."  See: 

A new hijab for soccer is born - The Globe and Mail

For more information and a short video of women in action wearing hijab, check out this link, about Iran's footballer ladies:  "Iran’s female footballers in action after head scarf ban lifted". - in

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wearing Headcoverings and Fear of Islam

Amnesty: Europe Must Fight Anti-Muslim Prejudice - ABC News: By ANGELA CHARLTON Associated Press
PARIS April 24, 2012 (AP)

In this article, the author explores the European actions of nations and locations which seek to ban head covering and face covering, which seem rather a response to fear of Muslim activities than a protection of women's equality, as reported by Amnesty International.  The report is titled "Choice and Prejudice," and "pays special attention to national laws or local rules against wearing headscarves or face-covering Islamic veils." Noted in the end of the article is the notorious example of the Norwegian mass-murder by a man who feared a Muslim takeover of Europe. Also noted in the article, to remind all of us who haven't the personal experience or memory, that Muslims have been a part of the fabric of Europe for generations, and there is no "telling them to go home." So head coverings are now to many in Europe, simply a rebellious religious statement, and as such bring fear to the uneducated and emotional and sometimes physical harm to those who wear them.  The opening line begins with this phrase: "European laws on what girls and women wear on their heads. . . "

"Muslim headscarf meets fashion" magazine

The linked short article hear triumphs the Ala Magazine in Turkey, which proclaims that "Veiled Is Beautiful" in its photos and advertisements geared toward women who choose full modest dress, including head coverings, long skirts and sleeves.  Glamour for modesty seems a contradiction, since the very definitions clash. But it may do something for the education of those who believe that to dress in a non-flesh revealing way must mean the same thing as dressing in a sack.

A short quote from the article:

photo from the article in iafrica
The fashion world now sees a growing demand from conservative Turkish women who are keen to assert themselves.
"There are now much prettier things than before," said Merve Buyuk, a 22-year-old trainee at Ala. "Designers have now understood that we exist. They've started making clothes that are not necessarily black or brown. ... I'm pretty happy with this change."
Ala is hoping to influence conservative women's fashion and cash in on it with advertising revenue.
"With this magazine, we are changing trends. We say that women in headscarves can follow trends. There are more and more products on the market they can access," Aslan said.
More at the link: | lifestyle | fashion | international fashion | Muslim headscarf meets fashion