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Why do Some Muslim Women Wear Head Scarves?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 21, 2024
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Muslim women wear head scarves for a variety of reasons, but scriptural teachings, national or local custom, and tradition are three of the most common. Women who choose to cover themselves typically do so as a demonstration of hijab, or “barrier.” Hijab is an Islamic concept that has many interpretations and applications, but where head scarves are concerned it is typically intended to separate women from the eyes of men outside of their immediate family circle. The idea of hijab has its origins in religious scripture, and the coverings can also be a way for women of faith to outwardly identify with their beliefs and align with their Islamic culture. Some Arabic and Middle Eastern countries require women to cover their heads by law, and though this isn’t always the case, women in these countries often feel intense social pressure to cover themselves. Things are often different outside of these zones, but women frequently choose to wear the scarves for reasons of personal or cultural significance.

Religious Teachings

One source of support for Muslim women wearing head scarves comes from the Qur’an, which is the holy book of Islam. The Qur’an commands women to adopt certain measures of modesty and chastity, and it describes how the prophet Mohammed’s wives were always veiled or covered in public. Many scholars and religious experts have interpreted the Qur’an to require women to cover at least their head, but sometimes also their face, hands, and feet, when in the presence of men who are not their husbands or not in their households. Veils and scarves aren’t usually worn at home and not around small children, but are usually required anywhere a women might encounter a man — at school, at the market, or in the office, for instance. Head covering is also traditional during prayer.

Cultural Norms

Head coverings are very common in Islamic countries like Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan. The laws of these countries sometimes actually require women to cover themselves when in public, though this is increasingly a matter of some controversy. Women who live outside of these countries aren’t usually required to wear scarves by any sort of law, but many still choose to as a matter of cultural significance or expectation. This is particularly true of women who live in large Muslim communities where most if not all of the women are covered.

Tradition and Self Expression

Some women choose scarves as a way of personally identifying with their faith and making an outward statement of their beliefs that even strangers can recognize. For these women adopting hijab is less about diverting the eyes of men and more about embracing their Islamic culture. In most Muslim communities outside of the Middle East, scarves are entirely optional. Women choose them for largely personal reasons, reasons that can vary widely.

Different Sorts of Coverings

The simplest Muslim headscarf is one or two pieces of fabric that is loosely draped around the head and shoulders, covering the hair but leaving the face totally visible. This is simply called a “hijab,” or sometimes a khimar if it also covers the shoulders. The chador is more intensive; it is usually a large piece of cloth that covers not only the head and shoulders but also most of the body. Women wear chadors like long veils, often pinning them or tying them at the neck.

The niquab goes a step further, covering everything but the eyes. Total body coverings, usually with a mesh panel to allow vision, are called burquas. Niquabs and burquas are generally very rare outside of heavily Muslim countries, and have actually been banned by some schools and universities in these countries as being too disruptive to studies. Whether or not women can wear even simple headscarves in places like schools has also become a topic of debate in a number of countries and localities in the West.

Common Misconceptions

Some westerners view wearing head scarves as oppressive to women, but this isn’t always the case. In many instances it is simply a traditional part of local dress or a means of self-expression. Further, unless one lives in a restrictive, theocratic country, wearing the scarves is optional. A number of Muslim women also find it saves time to don a scarf rather than to style the hair. They argue that women who spend a lot of time before a mirror each morning are experiencing oppression by fashion dictates.

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Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a BeautyAnswered contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon997749 — On Feb 23, 2017

Seriously, why? Why do you people care? It's got nothing to do with you people. If that's what Muslims do, then what is your problem? Muslim women cover their hair from other people. Maybe they like wearing it. In my opinion, I think headscarves are beautiful and every women I see in a headscarf looks amazing. Some of your comments I've seen are awful, like one, for example. So you're going to visit a mosque and you're going to at least respect their wishes. At least you got to have the opportunity of how the scarf looks and how it feels. It's disgusting how you don't respect other religions. I went to a church with a school and I respected them and I listened to everything they said. I found this an amazing opportunity for myself as I found out about another religion.

By anon992887 — On Oct 08, 2015

I was in the library and a lady with her face covered was inquiring as to the services at the library. The librarian (who I know is deaf) did not, could not comprehend or engage in any dialogue. She depends on her other senses, e.g., her eyes to lip read, etc. Whoever you are, whatever your beliefs are, have the courtesy to communicate face to face and give respect to another human being. If you cannot do that, I cannot give you the respect that I am worthy of. It's nothing to do with religious beliefs and more to do with honest respect.

By anon357718 — On Dec 06, 2013

Okay people, let's be real here. I have read a lot of rude comments. Just stop! please. You don't have to be so racist! I'm sure several of you have your own religion. And you do certain things that other people don't understand. I know that is how it is for my religion. I'm a Mormon. So now that I told you that, are you just going to judge me now? That isn't right.

Just because a Muslim wears a headscarf, it doesn't mean that they are any different than humans like me (and hopefully you). That is their religion and that is how they do it.

Then there is all this talking about how men are evil and some woman got raped four times. Look, there are some evil people out in the world, but that doesn't mean that all men are evil and that Muslim men are evil. It is just hard for some people to see the equality between men and women. According to society, men are stronger than women are, but that isn't always true.

Anyway, please just stop with the rude and racist comments. I and others would really appreciate it.

By anon346578 — On Aug 29, 2013

I am a white woman who is Christian and Canadian. I want to comment on the views of a lot of Muslim men and women who think that white women are just whores. This is highly insulting and not true. There are whores in every country, even in Muslim countries. In fact, Saudi Arabia has a sex slave trade around the world right now as we speak, and works slaves as well. They are extremist Muslims.

I am 100 times stronger than any Muslim man because I had to survive by myself and leave my birth city alone to work and survive. I traveled hundreds of miles and lived in many cities and towns just to survive without any help. You would never see many other men doing this. Many are wimps who rely on family business and friends to help. We have to do it alone.

I am a very modest and confident woman and certainly not someone who would have sex with a a stranger at the drop of a hat. People had better start learning more about our culture instead of making bigoted, sexist comments. There are a lot of men who are accused of rapes all over Europe and Canada, and it's not all white males doing it. The other day four non-white males raped a woman who was minding her own business at a bus stop in my city in Canada, and they were beating her.

By anon346575 — On Aug 29, 2013

I find it highly degrading that they cover their hair. It's not just covering their hair that is degrading -- it is the whole mindset of Islam and that their men think they are superior to them, when women and men are equals. Why do these women wear tight jeans, wear tons of makeup, and low cut tops and then cover their hair? Can someone please explain this? I have seen a lot of rude Muslim women too, around Ottawa, who are racist to beautiful white women.

By anon343217 — On Jul 28, 2013

Hair covering is not compulsive in Islam. Khimar does not specifically mean a veil. It just means a cloth. Therefore, Allah is not short of words and would have said cover your hair and chest with your khimar! Also, the hair can be worn simply not to attract the opposite sex, but who is to say what is attractive? I have seen girls cover all their hair, but wear tons of eye makeup, making them more appealing than a girl showing her hair and wearing no makeup.

Each women knows her own assets in terms of her beauty and she can choose to emphasize on or not. Her intention is important because hijab is not just about your physical attributes, but also how you act and behave.

By anon339049 — On Jun 20, 2013

One of the posters said this after saying that other posters are so ignorant and biased: "My wife does respect her body. Just because she chooses not to show it to people like you doesn't mean she does not respect it. Quite the opposite. She does not feel the need to dress like a whore."

Is he saying that all women who are not dressing like his wife is dressing like a whore? Surely, not all women who don't dress like his wife are wearing skimpy little red dress.

He needs to evaluate his own bias. If she wants to wear the scarf then let her, but that doesn't mean "people [women] like us" are whores.

By anon339046 — On Jun 20, 2013

@anon324652: Hair is just hair. Yes, it is part of a woman's beauty and yes, nobody denies women look more beautiful with hair. Does this mean it needs to be covered or shaved off?

Thinking on that line, means a beautiful woman must cover her whole body, including the face and eyes - or have those features chopped off the body.

Having hair and showing hair is normal in many parts of the world. They are used to it and they don't think much about it. Therefore, I don't think women get raped because they show their hair. Even the few people who have a hair fetish will not dare to rape women in those countries.

Maybe in some cultures hair is seen as arousing, and over there, it must be covered. But being born into my culture, I just couldn't see what justifies it. After all, hair is biologically neutral in sexual functions.

By anon333575 — On May 06, 2013

Several writers have mentioned a passage in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 11:6 NIV) that admonishes women to cover their heads. Most Christian commentaries, however, note that this rule was situation specific to first-century Corinth, since Corinth prostitutes didn't cover their heads. Hence, Paul recommended that women dress modestly, "For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off, but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head." So, if a Christian woman finds herself in a society where not covering her head would brand her as immodest, then she should cover her head. Otherwise, she should dress appropriately.

For example, a Christian woman working in an American or European office would wear business or business casual style clothing that wouldn't distract her co-workers. However, if she was invited to attend a Jewish synagogue or a social occasion where Muslim men were present, out of respect for her hosts, she would put on a head scarf.

By amypollick — On Apr 08, 2013

@anon324652: You know, I've said on here before that if a woman wants to wear a head scarf for any reason, religious or personal, that is her right and she should be able to do so without harassment.

Having said that, the whole "cover one's beauty lest she tempt a man" thing says much more about the man's inability to control his thoughts and desires than it does a woman's beauty. A mentally healthy, mature, adult male should be able to control himself when he sees a woman. Most can. If they can't, then the objects of their lust shouldn't be required to cover up to keep these perverts from gawking. The perverts need to be admitted to a psychiatric facility to get help for why they are unable to control themselves. The problem is with the men, not the women. It's that simple.

I've also said I believe in dressing modestly and appropriately, but that says more about who I am, than what some man might think.

I've seen Indian women in gorgeous saris in Wal-Mart, along with Muslim women wearing scarves and black tunics. It's a matter of personal preference.

Certainly, if I were in a country where most women wore scarves, I would also wear one. Why? Because I am in their country and it is polite and respectful to adhere to the customs of the country one is visiting.

So just a friendly piece of advice: if you're in a country where this is not the custom or culture, keep your opinions to yourself. You might find yourself flattened not merely by the woman herself, but by her boyfriend, who is insulted that you think his girlfriend is a bimbo because she doesn't wear hijab. It's a cultural paradigm and it cuts both ways.

By anon329112 — On Apr 08, 2013

Romanians are Christians but put a head scarf on to blame Muslims.

By anon324652 — On Mar 11, 2013

I just want to ask those ladies who think it doesn't matter about wearing head scarves or it doesn't really make sense, would you be more beautiful and pretty and count your hair as a part of your beauty?

If yes, then basically cover it because I don't really think you would like to have any stranger take a look if he would like to and give your beauty on a gold plate to anyone.

If not and you think it's normal for every woman and not that pretty, then simply shave it. If I'm saying no, then I don't want to keep something ugly on me any longer.

That is the point of wearing head scarves because hair counts as one of your several beauties.

Let be realistic: women's hair is charming in some ways and the same as her body. so what is the point of covering the body and leaving the hair loose? I mean, it is better than showing the body but it's one beauty that you have covered.

And in my opinion, if she wants to be attractive, and let's say wants to show her features, then I positively think men will undervalue you and would look, look and look until they had enough, took what they wanted and that is it.

I had the chance to ask several males in different religions, countries and societies, Muslim and Christian, and they have all answered similar to what I have said in the beginning. --Abeer (15 years old).

By amypollick — On Nov 29, 2012

@anon306447: I've said here before that I fully support the right of women to wear head scarves and to cover themselves in the way their conscience and/or religion mandates they should.

However, there's something you need to understand. Rape is not about sex. It's about power, control and domination. In essence, your argument perpetuates the idea that rape is somehow the woman's fault. She didn't cover herself and therefore, tempted the man. That may work in some twisted way for young women who are raped, but what about elderly women who have men break into their homes and rape them? It is not about sex. It's never been about sex. It's about domination. It's about the drive the rapist has to be in control.

One reason sexual assault crimes are not as prevalent in many Muslim countries is because rape is punishable by death. Period. Also, there's is no telling how many rapes go unreported in these countries because the woman is also subject to death or imprisonment for getting herself raped, because, obviously, if she hadn't been doing *something* to tempt a man, well, he wouldn't have attacked her, otherwise.

One reason so many sex crimes happen in the U.S. is because it's a country of 300 million people, and there's no possible way to keep an eye on that many people. It's just not possible. Most of the countries in the Middle East have populations of less than a third of America's population.

I'm not saying that dressing so provocatively is a good idea. I don't think it is. But doing what amounts to blaming the victim is not a solution, either.

In any event, women, whatever their religious beliefs, should be able to wear what their beliefs dictate, without fear of reprisal.

By anon306447 — On Nov 29, 2012

From an official US organization: There are an average of 207,754 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the US.

Even in the US Army, where people are closer than family members, there were 19,000 sex assaults in 2010 alone.

Now how do we find solutions to this problems? I am speaking about real solutions, not theoretical ones.

I agree with you that these men are sick, but can we realistically catch them before they attack? Can we realistically lock them up forever?

What the west does and what the Islam does: the Muslim woman sees the men as her other half and brother, so she helps him control his sexual energy by covering herself, which is a sacrifice by the women for the benefit of the nation.

The man, on his side, tries to lower his gaze and fast as much as he can to keep calm.

In the west, they teach the women to have no mercy and torture this man by showing him what makes him more and more filled with sexual energy.

To release this energy, some men have money or good a personality and meet lots of ladies where they can spread sexual disease and have children who grow up alone cost the society both financially and by the violence they grew up with because of their frustration.

And other men who do not have the money or personality to meet girls, will rape a woman to release his sexual energy.

To find a solution, please remember that we do not live in a utopia or perfect world, but in a world full of different mentalities and personalities.

By anon303834 — On Nov 16, 2012

I think wearing these in any form is fine. I am a devout western daughter of God. I don't wear one but in prayer at most times, and I don't judge anyone who does. I have a healthy outlook and love for all.

I do have a question, however. If it is to not bring about attention to oneself, - then why so many vibrant prints? Wouldn't one gain attention even more so in an environment of nearly all not wearing one? Everyone, whether they wanted to or not, simply would see and wonder. It defeats the purpose, surely?

By anon302380 — On Nov 08, 2012

What the heck is the big deal with showing hair? Or an inch or two of bare skin? Seriously?

I read someone mentioning it's impractical for women to dress their hair every morning and easier to just wear a scarf. That's odd because I find it more practical to let my hair be: unstyled and uncovered. Just my hair, period.

Does hair really turn men on that bad? I don't think so? Otherwise, billions of women who don't wear headscarves would have been raped.

And skin? I don't think men would go nuts over a stretch of skin. As long as the women are not going around wearing short skirts that show their undies when they bend over, or tank tops that look more like lingerie.

I think wearing modest clothes makes sense, but the head scarf? No, I don't think so. But I understand that not all women share my view, nor do they share my background.

There are places where women have no choice but to wear headscarves. In such places, women are safer and thus, better off, wearing it.

But there are also places where women have a choice. There, the important matter is how her decision is made, whether by social pressure or by her faith alone. One thing for sure, the women who wear them by choice usually feel safer, and "purer" wearing it in her social circles.

By anon301694 — On Nov 05, 2012

Burkha and hijabs came into practice because of the lustful nature of the founder of the religion and his army. They attacked and killed men and took away women and girls as bounty. Then they raped them and kept them as slaves. To protect themselves against the founder and his army, beautiful women started covering their faces so that they were not visible to those monsters. Likewise, the practice of cutting off the foreskin was due to hygienic reasons. These monsters would be on camels or horses for several days and there was a scarcity of water in the desert. Consequently, they had an STD, which they passed on to the women.

The founder has his skin removed, because it was rotten and could have spread. So every Muslim started cutting of the foreskin. Moreover, it is also a kind of branding, just like we do to cattle to say they are ours. Think about the logical reason and then practice. Don't be a stupid follower.

By anon301687 — On Nov 05, 2012

It's all crap. Many Muslim women in India and Pakistan never wear any head wear. But as soon as they are in the USA or Canada, the clerics in the mosques ask/brainwash them to wear it to show their community numbers. They also ask them to have more children. That's the reason you see many pregnant Muslim women in Canada, in spite of having two three kids and the age difference is sometimes less than a year. Praise Mohammed (PBUH).

By anon283880 — On Aug 07, 2012

@post 123: If you think that beauty should not be hidden by man-made cloth, like the beautiful butterfly etc., why don't you go out naked everywhere? Why hide the beauty? Why dress in a certain way for office, clubs, or religious places? Why then worry about what to wear for a formal party or an informal party? After all, humans are also a beautiful creature of God.

By anon282338 — On Jul 28, 2012

@anon262856, Post 132, Do you pray to Allah showing your hair? What do you think a 'khimar' is? If you were an Arab, you wouldn't start from a grammar book or a dictionary, as that can be misleading.

The Qur'an is specific when it asks a woman to cover her beauty in front of unrelated men. The prophet's wives were given the strictest laws by Allah in terms of covering. They were asked to speak with men from behind curtains, and that's total veiling from unrelated men, and that it's for their own purity. Obviously, covering the hair has a lot to do with modesty.

Covering the hair is even a part of previous scriptures of Allah - the Torah and the Gospel, which is why we see the practice among devout Christians and Jews.

By anon282337 — On Jul 28, 2012

@anon28756 post 3: How is being asked to cover your hair for a school trip to a Masjid (mosque)connected to inferiority to men? Muslim men cover their heads too with prayer caps, turbans or scarves that cover the entire head. Looks like you need to know more about Islam before going ahead with the Masjid visit.

And if you feel that bad about covering your hair at a Masjid, then simply don't visit. You said your grades wouldn't be affected any way so there is certainly no pressure to do something you are so against!

By anon277905 — On Jul 02, 2012

To all those with such bigoted views, may I present one point of view? I am a Muslim, like many who post here, and I have to object to some of the things being said here. Women are allowed to pray in Masjids (Mosques), so whoever said that they aren't needs to check up on their facts. Wearing a hijab isn't demeaning; it tells people that that person is modest and respects not only themselves, but their bodies as well. I myself can attest to this because I wear a scarf. I wouldn't be wearing it if it was demeaning or made me feel inferior.

By anon275934 — On Jun 21, 2012

Religion is a personal choice. You don't need to show that you are holier than others. In western countries where everyone is the same, you don't need to show you are Muslim or Christian.

By anon262856 — On Apr 21, 2012

May I just say, in the Quran, it says to dress modestly. Nowhere in the Quran does it say that women must cover their hair, and I challenge anyone to find the scripture. This is why I do not wear the hijab but instead dress modestly. I feel it has become more of a tradition embedded with the religion which is why a lot of people wrongfully associate it with a "commandment" from the Quran.

By anon250692 — On Feb 27, 2012

Well there are a lot things wrong. This is coming from a Muslim. I'm a Muslim, coming from a Christian family, and being the third Muslim in the family, my family knows Christians and I met them as well, and they look just like me, a Muslim, dress all out in the dress type and head covering. They are beautiful in Hijab, but yet they are Christians not Muslim. One of them told me the story of them getting hit in the back for what, for being a real christian?

I can't help but say but they are better then my Christian family. They know to cover themselves like the Bible says to. For all you Christians, what would Jesus do? Would he dress in a mini skirt and tank top? I do not think so.

Also somewhere in the New Testament, in I Corinthians somewhere, it does state that you are to cover up.

Why don't you all read your Bible? You say the Bible is your favorite book. Then learn it, for God's sake. What lady got hit by her own kind, just for looking like a muslim, but she knows to follow the Bible well, and also the one who hit her in back, he was also a Christian.

You'd better believe she got him back, not by being a Christian and hitting him back, but using the Bible against him. The same for Americans and Christians. What the heck is wrong with you Christians? I wear hijab for many reason, because yes, I'm a Muslim, and for the sake of Allah, and for my husband and family, and also for my safety here in America. I've been through a lot with guys in USA and not for anything would I take off my hijab. It's my protection, and my right to wear the hijab.

By dorrdorng — On Feb 19, 2012

I am neither Muslim, Christian or Hindu. But I do believe that everyone's brought up with their own social values. They are free to do whatever they want - what is right is up to them.

Whatever you do, don't give anyone an explanation, if that is how your heart truly feels (not the society). Having said that, I do not think all male species are perverts. Peace.

By anon243435 — On Jan 27, 2012

This article is so wrong. The person who wrote it does not know what they are talking about. I'm muslim and I don't believe it. Everyone has a different opinion. This was biased.

By anon242599 — On Jan 24, 2012

Comment number 104: Do some research. The quran wasn't written by men. Muslims believe that the quran is the word of God, and I understand that the bible comes in an old testament and new, but islam teaches us that the quran is still in its original form and it hasn't been altered by men.

There's a lot of proof in inyambaan -- a place in mozambique. There is a quran in one of the mosques that is from about the 18th century. So as far as the quran being changed I don't agree with your statement at all.

By anon240649 — On Jan 15, 2012

Doesn't anyone realize that the hijab looks hideous? But I suppose you have to look ugly for god, funny that as he made some beautiful creations like butterflies, flowers and birds that don't have to cover with a piece of man made acrylic fabric. Use your eyes for goodness' sake and call the fashion police for this ghastly headwear. Yuck.

By anon229304 — On Nov 13, 2011

Wearing a scarf, full hijaab, jilbaab -- it's Allah's command to believing muslim women and as a muslim young lady, I am so proud to wear it. I am honored -- beholden, really -- to implement this religious requirement, although I live in the west and people give me strange looks.

I am just happy to be this lucky with my scarf. My Islam praise is all due to Allah.

By anon227176 — On Nov 03, 2011

@posters # 5, 88, 107 and 114: The fact that you advocate the black and white view that either you are covered by wearing a scarf or you are half-naked is judgmental.

You don't seem to understand that:

a) Islam does not outline modest clothing because there are so many ways to go about it.

b) The world is not divided into scarf wearing women and half-naked ones.

I live in a western society and am quite fed up with this constant bigoted view that westerners are equal to naked people. Being naked is not even allowed.

People need to brush up on what Islam says and learn about tolerance, considering you are asking others to be tolerant.

By anon226795 — On Nov 02, 2011

It was informative but too damn long.

By anon221829 — On Oct 13, 2011

I am a Muslim from Maldives. I don't believe wearing head scarf is a must according to islamic religion. It's a style. People from maldives are doing it for a fashion.

By ladyone — On Oct 03, 2011

@anon213376: #1 Muslim women are allowed to pray at Masjids (mosques). #2 Muslim men do cover their heads in many countries. It's part of their culture and they do it more often than the women do. In fact, there are plenty of bedouin tribes where then men cover their faces while the women don't even cover their hair!

Women are told by Allah to cover their bodies in order to keep a man "in whose heart is a disease" from molesting and harassing her. It does not mean that all men are perverts. It's for protection and identification as a muslim.

Women are different from men biologically so the clothing rules are different for men and women, and that's just the way it is. Women are prettier than guys, they attract physical attention faster, and hijab is to keep them respected for their minds instead of their bodies. I see nothing sexist about this. I find it rather feminist.

The Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) said: “Do not prevent the female servants of Allah from (praying in) the Mosques of Allah.” [Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 0886]

By anon214615 — On Sep 15, 2011

My biggest issue with the practice has to do with how it is handled in the schools. According to this article, the practice is optional under the tenets of the faith, and in some cases, it is merely a convenience to women who don't want to style their hair. So why is it permitted in the same schools where, for instance, I wouldn't be allowed to wear a scarf over my head on a bad hair day?

By anon213376 — On Sep 10, 2011

Why should there be different rules for men and women? I would approve of wearing head scarves if Muslim men had to cover their heads too. Muslim women do not even get to pray in mosques, while men can. I cannot imagine how any woman living in a free society can willingly subject herself to these discriminating rules?

For the record, though it not really relevant, I am a guy and I have nothing against Islam or people who practice it. I just find this practice logically inconsistent with my concepts of freedom.

By amypollick — On Aug 24, 2011

I stand by what I said in an earlier post that I fully support and defend anyone's decision to wear whatever head covering is consistent with their beliefs and/or culture. I feel they should be able to do this without enduring any sort of persecution or discrimination based on their decision.

What bothers me is the extremely subtle superiority that sometimes stands behind this decision. Many women and men seem to imply that, if a woman does not choose to cover her head, or wear long skirts or sleeves, etc., that she is somehow exposing herself in a vulgar fashion to the world.

I am not Muslim, and I do not wear a head covering. I don't do the long skirts, etc. However, I do not dress immodestly. I wear decent clothes that do not expose an inordinate amount of skin. They are not skin-tight, either.

I also think some people assume that all Westerners (particularly Americans) automatically approve of girls wearing the short shorts and barely there tank tops. We most emphatically don't. I can't remember the number of times I've seen a girl wearing hardly anything and thought (or said), "Why in the world did her mother allow her out of the house dressed like that?" It all comes down to parents exercising their authority and refusing to allow their daughters to look like they've "gone into business," to coin a phrase.

Now I'm sure some teen will rail and say dressing a certain way is her right and privilege and it is, certainly. However, no matter how unfair it may be, people tend to judge others on their clothing choices --particularly when they look like they're advertising. I find it every bit as offensive to see a young man strolling around Target with his baggy shorts hanging down around his backside. Like President Obama, I am not one bit interested in seeing his underwear. I am frequently tempted to go up behind such a young man, grasp the waist of his shorts, give him a giant wedgie and say, "Pull your britches up, young man!"

It all comes down to how much "home training" parents give their children.

But please, do not lump all Western women into the "half-naked" category if we choose not to wear head coverings, etc. There is more than one way to dress with modesty and dignity. I respect your way of doing it. Please respect mine.

By anon208722 — On Aug 24, 2011

I believe that each Muslim girl or woman should be given her period of freedom and be allowed to decide the length of that period. But after that, she should start wearing a hijab. My parents did the same with me. After reaching puberty, my mom told me that I was a bit too young to start wearing one. My parents told me that I should be fully convinced about the hijab in order to start wearing one. So I gave myself a decent period of time until I went to my parents and told them that I wanted to become a muhajabah. And I was fully convinced.

There are a lot of girls who were forced to wear a hijab at a young age but when they grew up, they claim that they never experienced freedom and they take it off. Trust me, it's not that bad. There are so many different hijab styles and colors that you could choose from and you can even create your own style. And whoever stares and acts confused is just an idiot whose living under a rock.

Especially in countries like America, people should be able to practice their religions and traditions freely. And to all those muhajabas out there, know that what you're doing is only for Allah, not caring about other people's opinions. Also when you wear a hijab, it's not a sign of inferiority; it's the complete opposite of that. It's a sign of bravery, strength, patience and grace. It's definitely better than being half naked.

By anon203885 — On Aug 07, 2011

when a hindu woman's husband dies, the woman has to cut her hair, so that no man will like her, so, instead of cutting her hair she can wear a scarf, then i'm sure that she will look decent.

it doesn't matter that the other people will not like her beauty, but she will be filled with the most inner beauty.

By anon173989 — On May 09, 2011

Headscarves are very hot, and when made of synthetic fiber are worse, if worn constantly, but are very useful for physical work or carrying weights. If not properly covered, carrying capacity is reduced and it is a health risk.

Straw hats, however, also protect against strong sunlight in the eyes, but have other disadvantages, but why do Muslim women undress in front of male doctors, when there is a risk of sexual interest and this can involve their private parts?

By anon172756 — On May 04, 2011

In the United States, women who wear Muslim style scarves draw attention to themselves. Everyone turns and looks at them and then, because that seems rude, turns and looks the other way. It's pretty crazy.

I've seen lots of college students wear Muslim style scarves and then shorts or skintight pants. Then people *really* turn and stare at them. It's more craziness.

The other crazy thing is that I've seen so many wear scarves and then almost nothing on their feet! And it's been raining hard!

I daresay, people are going to wise up to all this craziness pretty soon. My prediction: dressing in this manner without regard to the weather will get old.

By anon170503 — On Apr 26, 2011

What I find so "unbelievable" is the fact that people have more of a problem with a lady (Muslim or otherwise) who decides to cover for reasons of modesty than with a women who decides to walk down the street half-naked, displaying her 'goods' for all to see. Please explain!

If any women decides to cover any or all parts of her body for reasons of modesty or religion then that is her right to do so. Why all the fuss from these do-gooders who think that they know what's best for women?

Does showing your flesh/curves = modern, westernised, liberated women whereas dressing modestly = old-fashioned, oppressed, uneducated women? I think not!

If women decide to show off their bodies then that is their concern. Let them be male-commodities and 'play-things' (albeit aware or not). After all, we live in a 'free' society.

I only wish that people would stop slagging off muslim women for choosing to wear their hijab when it doesn't really concern any other apart from the intelligent muslim (muslim women)who has decided to do it through fear of Allah.

By amypollick — On Mar 20, 2011

@anon161641: I am not going to get into an argument with you about Christianity, its validity, or lack thereof. I would just like to correct some of your misconceptions on the origin and current status of the Bible.

The Bible was actually written down, according to competent scholars, between 900 B.C. and 90 A.D. There are papyrii from the Qumran Caves supporting these dates.

Since the Bible was written in Greek and Hebrew, with a smattering of Aramaic here and there, naturally, people wanted to translate it into their native languages so they too, could read it.

The Bible has never been re-written, only translated, and the King James Version is merely one of these translations. It, in fact, was not even the first English translation. There were four major translations in existence when it was published. The Pilgrims used the Geneva Bible. Certainly, some translations are more accurate than others, but that's true of anything that has been translated from its original language. Incidentally, copies of the Bible are available everywhere in Hebrew and Greek, and those who can read these languages can read the Bible in its original languages.

The Old Testament is in every complete edition of the Bible. It comprises the Hebrew scriptures. Obviously, people can purchase New Testaments only, but any Christian will tell you immediately that the Old Testament is still in constant use in Christian churches all over the world.

As for Muslim women (or anyone else) wearing head scarves, it doesn't offend me. It's part of their culture and religion. No skin off my nose, whatsoever. I've got better things to do with my time than to worry about whether a woman is wearing a scarf or not.

By anon161641 — On Mar 20, 2011

The hijab, just like Islam, is meant to control. And men who wrote the Quran were insecure and didn't wanted (still want) to keep women in subordinate positions. This is the same as those same insecure men who wrote the Bible.

And for those who say "You don't know what you're talking about, the Bible was written by God and is the word of God," them why was the Bible rewritten? Why are we no longer using the Old Testament and now using the King James version? How dare they change the word of God?! It was perfect before right? Beating women, all the other fire and brimstone and not accepting of anyone who was different. Islam will follow the same path and will see their reformation sooner or later. Assuming mankind doesn't kill itself off by that point.

I did not mean to deliberately offend anyone with this post. I just want you to consider what I've said and question. If you decide I am right then I have opened your eyes. If you decide that I am wrong then at least your faith is that much stronger and your convictions steadfast and true. And if I am wrong, I believe a just God will forgive me for wanting the bloodshed in the name of religion to stop. If not, he is no just God at all.

By anon159547 — On Mar 12, 2011

Wear the jihaab if you wish but if you don`t want to dear islamic women you should not have to fear being beaten or rejected by the men in your life. That is not God`s wish.

By anon159180 — On Mar 10, 2011

would like to thank comment 78 because it actually made a lot of sense to me

By anon155580 — On Feb 23, 2011

If you think muslim women are oppressed, i think models and tv stars and just your average western women are more oppressed. they're always stressed to look beautiful, and show their body off in exchange for money.

By anon155119 — On Feb 22, 2011

the Qur’an states that women should cover their heads and chests so not to show their "ornaments" to men, other than their fathers or husbands. it sounds to me as if it was written this way because the men of those times would not be able to stop themselves from becoming sexually excited and unable to control themselves. i think it's a completely antiquated dress code and implies men are obsessed sexual deviants.

By anon153877 — On Feb 18, 2011

as a muslim woman who wears hijab and jilbab, I have to say it's totally liberating not to dress up in the latest fashion for men. And yes, i mean men. Although some women would say no we do it for ourselves, it's complete rubbish.

I used to say that all the time but the truth is if women didn't want to impress men then they would happily walk around in pyjamas and no make-up like we all do at home! Anyway I'm no longer a slave to society and fashion and men in general. Men don't go out of their way to look good so much that they have to paint their faces every day like us women. I am finally free from that rubbish. Thank you islam.

By anon152541 — On Feb 14, 2011

Ladies, God made you an individual with your own personal talents! If he wanted you to cover up then he would made us all look the same. Free yourselves ladies! Go and live you life to the full. Feel the sun on your skin.

If the purpose of covering up is to make everyone equal, then men, you best get covered! If God is good, then the last thing he is going to worry about is whether you showed a bit of skin.

God would want you to experience everything beautiful in life like swimming in the sea. Don't let your clothing restrict you. Of course men added the sexist parts to the Quran as they did in the Bible. If God is good he will not sweat the small stuff.

By anon148628 — On Feb 02, 2011

Any woman should save her attractions for her husband, not letting anyone see her body including her hair.

Also in Christianity there is a provision that prevents consideration of women by men in sexual desire.

In the end, Islam directs people to do good and prevent them to going in roads that lead to evil or bad.

I'm so proud because I'm muslim, and i hope all the people in the world know the reality about islam as it is without distortion or being misled. Thanks.

By anon144760 — On Jan 20, 2011

@89: Muslims do judge others when they walk around half naked. There are numerous edicts expressing this and part of the reason that Islamic countries find America so degenerate.

Both sides judge because they are coming from different places: muslims from a modesty standpoint, and westerners from an individuality one. I doubt headscarves would be such a problem if many people stopped taking them as symbols for something worse, like the oppression of women, which is not what they represent.

By anon143556 — On Jan 16, 2011

@ #29 Asking a Muslim woman to take off her headscarf is disrespectful because to anyone else that's like saying, "to come in here you have to take off your underwear." Believe me, it's that personal.

As for asking a visitor to the mosque to cover up, my opinion depends on whether there's separate rooms for the men and women at the mosque. If they're separate then I say you shouldn't have to wear it. If they're together, then I say wear it because that's courtesy so that the men can keep their modest gaze within the mosque as well. They're not used to seeing hair in the mosque. Respecting others' religion is important and if you don't like it, then don't learn first hand or advise others not to.

Grow up. And by the way, a head dress is not disrespectful in a church. In fact, many Christian are required to wear something on their heads in Church but many refuse and ignore that.

I've seen quite a few people going into churches with headscarves on. You want to know why? They're the ones actually observing what they're commanded. Get a clue before you open your mouth.

By anon140852 — On Jan 08, 2011

To the person who said we don't find happiness by others saying we are pretty, gorgeous and sexy but happiness is when they said she is really smart, she can do this and that she is a successful woman.

I am Christian and for me happiness is not found by any of the above. It is found by being a child of God. It cannot be earned by any action I do. It is received freely from God. I do not have to earn anyone's approval or acceptance.

God loves me no matter what I do. On the flip side, because God loves me, I want to do good.

By anon140240 — On Jan 06, 2011

Muslims don't judge people who walk around half naked so, why should others judge them for dressing properly. It takes a huge amount of courage to wear the hijab knowing people will judge you for believing in your faith. There is more to wearing it than it seems. I wish people could just open their eyes.

By anon139885 — On Jan 06, 2011

In response to the class trip, by stating that you are above the customs of the house your visiting, you are being rude and disrespecting yourself. If your neighbor asked you to remove your shoes before entering their home, would you act as if they offended you for wanting to keep their home clean?

By sultanwasif — On Dec 27, 2010

@sister: That's not the matter whether girl wants it or not, but shariath says to wear hijab.

Allah knows better than you about the future, so allah has keen observations about every gender.

first of all i will tell you that you are living in a modern culture like us. there is openness and some what nudity can be seen. Some don't want to live in a proper muslim culture and you are not aware of it, so what don't you like? You are saying it's not good we have to keep it. it's according to our likes and dislikes. But we can't do that. We can't change or not agree with the shariyat.

shariyat is made and is justified by allah and it will remain the same up to qayamat. I hope you understand and take the right path which shariat teaches.

If not, then some more like you come and say if we like we can have sex before marriage because we like it.

so shariat is not based on likes and dislike. It's based on humanity.

By anon137125 — On Dec 26, 2010

Head Scarves? A Muslim is a believer in or follower of Islam. The word Muslim means one who submits and implies complete submission to the will of God (Allah).

All right, what about Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus? I've always found that she is usually portrayed as wearing a head scarf.

So does anyone know why or when Christian and Jewish women have ceased wearing head scarves? Now do you know the only people who still emulate Mary, that we know are Muslim women.

Islam is the best for peace according to the men. Wearing white khamis that means for peace loving people.

By anon136524 — On Dec 22, 2010

@ anon136208: What you talk about I have never ever experienced in my life or seen any Muslims that this happened to them! I don't know how many Muslims you've met who have that the burning process by their husband. But I am Muslim and I have lived in many countries and have many muslim friends from all over the world.

And if you've read some of the posts by the readers on this website, you'll see that muslim women do not cover up because their husband doesn't trust them. it's because they have self respect and value their beauty as a precious thing to just show it to the most and well deserved person in their lives.

And if they are covering up, they are actually doing it for the benefit of the society and the their family values and peace.

Also if you look closely into Quran, it talks more about peace and mercy to people than killing and and punishing. Every time it says something about killing people, it says Allah will be pleased with you if you forgive them and treat them nicely.

By anon136208 — On Dec 21, 2010

Today, I saw a Muslim couple eating at Cafe Istanbul. The woman was wearing the usual Muslim apparel. Everything covered except for her eyes and hands showing. And then her husband was wearing jeans and a blue t-shirt on.

A question that I have is why isn't the man covering up? I mean, the only reason why I think that a woman covers up is because the man doesn't trust her because he thinks that his wife will "dump" him and go get with another guy.

Personally, I think that the women shouldn't trust the guys because they still have those sexual urges. Also, I hear that Muslim women are always in "cooking accidents" and they are burned to death. Fact: No they aren't. Their husbands burn them because the women refuse to obey the Quran, etc. That's funny! As I recall, in the Quran, it said that women should be treated like queens. Is it just me or does burning sound like one of the worst ways to die? Do not tell me that this hasn't ever happened before.

I personally am a Christian, and do not believe in Islamic ways, therefore I believe that Jesus Christ was absolutely not a prophet of the one, true God. He is my Savior and He died on the cross for all people. Whether they murdered 1,000,000,000,000 people, raped someone, or even something 100 times more gruesome. He loves you. He created the world and died for the world.

He is more than willing to give you a second, third, forth, thousandth, millionth chance. Read his word, the Bible.

By anon135701 — On Dec 20, 2010

I don't know why people are so annoyed by the fact that they have to cover so that men are not attracted to them just because they can't control their actions.

I am German and I was raised in Canada. I'm also a Muslim. I have been wearing the headscarf since I was nine, because that is when a Muslim woman is obligated to follow the rules of the religion. And I am 22 right now.

I never had a problem in elementary school with wearing the hijab in the middle of grade three, despite the fact that people asked me many times about the reason why I was wearing it.

The hardest time for me was in high school when I needed to fit in, and fitting in meant to dress like everyone else and to act like everyone else. That was when I started hating the headscarf and tried to get rid of it, but I had to face my parents for this. that is when I started searching about the reasons why people should wear the hijab (head scarf and long loose clothing). To be honest, what I read didn't really make sense and the more I read the more I was annoyed.

But after high school I realized that I was much stronger than many of those students who graduated from high school because I had the ability to understand that people could be as ugly as they could get and could wear as different from the society as they could but when I had to work with them in university that had to be put aside. And I was very successful.

People did all they could and still do all they can to fit in or be accepted by today's society and their friends, but I think people should love you for what you are and not what you look like.

Those who don't accept this are then denying reality because that is one of the reasons why we have so many make over shows like the swans and many other shows that women have to go through make over just to be accepted or take more serious by others.

If all those misleading facts were covered up to to reduce distraction then I guess the show business and the fashion word would go out of business and no one would try to condition or rotten our thoughts and brains with stupid facts that wastes most of our time to make up look idea in appearance and leave no time for us to focus on our inner beings.

and as for those who claim that Hijab is a bad thing, and men should control themselves. We know that the nature of a man is to get turned on when he sees your bottom and your boobs and to destroy this nature you are disgracing the humanity.

If you are married, then you should thank those women who wear the hijab for not being another one of those women who aroused your husband at work or school.

If you are not married and have a boyfriend, you should be sad that your boyfriend has not married you yet because he is looking for someone even more attractive than you in personality and physical wise. And you should thank those women who do wear it because they are again not making your boyfriend's eyes wonder on them.

And if every woman wore a head scarf the problem of many of us women not being able to get married would be less of a problem nowadays because if a man has not seen how women look then he wouldn't have in his mind a picture of an ideal wife. And if he doesn't know what a woman's body should look like, he wouldn't mind if you're butt was a bit big or not.

By ladyone — On Dec 03, 2010

@anon122630 I agree, what most people think about hijab/muslims/islam is untrue. But just to tell you, hijab is obligatory (99 percent of Islamic scholars agree) and disobeying Allah in anything is a major sin. But, hey, it's your choice. No one can be forced into religion. Also, talking to or being alone with unrelated men without a specific reason is also haraam (also 99 percent of scholars). Salaam.

By anon131616 — On Dec 03, 2010

First of all, Allah ordered Muslim women to wear hijab to protect them from harassment. The pagan ladies and slave women (usually from conquered rival polytheistic tribes) used to walk around outside in their most beautiful, attractive clothing, with much jewelry on.

Allah and his Prophet told the believing women to cover themselves in order to walk without being sexually harassed, so they would be recognized as religious, chaste women and left alone.

The Qur'an specifically states both men and women should lower their gazes; and ladies should cover their chests/necklines (jayab) with their headscarves (khimaar), and pull loose cloaks (jalabaya) around their bodies.

By anon131615 — On Dec 03, 2010

why do girls who wear hijabs wear tight and revealing clothing? isn't the hijab worn for modesty? well then where is the modesty in flirting with every single man encountered? I know a few arab hijabi girls like this and it always makes me wonder.

By anon131220 — On Dec 01, 2010

There is no such law in sharia. women don't get killed for that.

By anon129931 — On Nov 26, 2010

Muslim women wear head scarves because they are pressured by their family members to do so. If they do not, they are killed according to the Sharia law.

By anon129385 — On Nov 23, 2010

All I have to say in the matter is if it makes the person wearing it happy than it's a good thing. But if they feel forced or pressured to do so then it's not a good thing.

This could be applied to a number of other things as well. Such as what shoes to wear, how tight you like your clothing, how much skin you show etc.

Anyone who follows a religion should be allowed to practice whatever they want so long as they are doing it of their own free will and brings them inner peace and contentment.

By anon122630 — On Oct 28, 2010

i was born in america and I'm a muslim. OK it's really simple for all you people out there: women wear hijab because god didn't want them to be judged by their bodies and boobs. he wanted them to wear it so they could be judged by their personality and heart. And no, muslim women are not beaten or enslaved by husbands. In our holy book it says that woman should be treated like queens and any man who is really bad or beats his wife will face big consequences!

And no, not every woman wears a hijab. i don't wear one, my sis doesn't, my 40 year old mom doesn't, my Arabic friends don't. Literally no one i know does, except like one mom. and muslim men are not terrorists who hate america. My dad is a heart doctor who helps make pacemakers and such. They don't destroy. and the muslim religion is made for peace!

for all you people out there who said islam means surrender or destroy or whatever, you're wrong. the root word for islam is slam or salem which means peace. look it up! salam is how we greet each other, too.

i don't want to be mean but it's really annoying how, when people hear islam they automatically think something untrue. and i have guy friends and some people say that arabs can't have that.

By anon120081 — On Oct 20, 2010

I'm a white woman, and I personally think that headscarves are so beautiful. I have known many Muslim women who cover and they are happy with their choice too.

In fact, one of my friends, her mother didn't want her to cover because she was afraid her daughter would be subjected to teasing, but my friend still decided to wear a headscarf. I admire Muslim women who wear the scarf because in today's society, they have to be very brave to do so.

Also, Muslim men cover their hair too, with the skull cap called the Kufi. It may not be as covering as a Hijab, but they still practice modest dress codes nonetheless.

In another religion, Sikhism, both men and women cover their hair. In fact, the men are more covered with turbans, while the women wear a silk veil that just rests on top of their head and children wear little bandanas.

I think we should be respectful of all religions and be more tolerant of one another. I accept everyone for who they are and all I ask is that they do the same in return. It's better to live a life of peaceful understanding then of hate and ignorance.

By anon118295 — On Oct 13, 2010

@anon64841 Islam does not mean "peace", but rather "submission" or "surrender" and here's my proof:

According to a website that is about myths and truths about Islam, one of the things it says is that the root word for Islam is "a-film" which means "submission" or "surrender" in arabic, opposed to what lessor educated muslims sometimes claimed that the root word for Islam is "al-salaam" which means "peace" in arabic.

To make this post not completely irreverent to this subject is I have no problem with woman wearing head coverings because they have the right just like me to wear what they want and I am actually happy to see people wear a head covering because I know they're doing it because they are doing it out of faith of their religion whatever it might be. And if I were invited to visit a mosque I would wear a a head covering just out of respect for their religion and the people who were there.

By anon113681 — On Sep 25, 2010

Basically, god has given me nice hair and i respect his wishes by wearing a head scarf. Why is everyone over-complicating it? It's a choice i made for myself.

By anon113107 — On Sep 23, 2010

Who invented clothing? Why wear scarves originally worn? When the Qur'an was written did people already wear scarfs due to nature, sand, wind?

What matters is your soul -- your insides, not your appearance.

To say you want to cover yourself in itself is judgmental. Do you see yourself as better looking then others? Way back when people wore hats, scarves etc because you couldn't take a bath all the time. Simple

By anon111840 — On Sep 18, 2010

I have heard many people say things like you will distract men less or get better attention from them. This is ridiculous.

My point in life is not to worry about how much attention I draw from a man. Wearing my 'glory' out for everyone to see makes me feel confident and beautiful. It has nothing to do with how men look at me; it has to do with how I feel about myself when I see my curly golden locks trailing behind me.

It reminds me that I am woman, it reminds me that I have power, it reminds me that no man, god, nor country will force me to cover what is mine. Additionally, it is not my fault if a man cannot control himself. That is something he needs to work on from the inside and it doesn't matter if I cover from head to toe or go out naked. His responsibility is to keep his actions appropriate.

I should not have to be ashamed of my beauty and keep it hidden for man's sake. They need to take internal control of their own thoughts and actions and stop blaming women for their wrong deeds.

By anon111756 — On Sep 17, 2010

@anon23837: l solemnly agree 100 percent.

By anon111659 — On Sep 17, 2010

To be required to alter oneself so as not to distract the male gender is not a legitimate reason as men can and will control themselves if the onus is on them. However, if one truly believes the requirement is for religious reasons and is all right with it, then I see no reason for females to make their choice.

However, there is outside pressure to adhere to these rules, as is seen in many countries. Comparing garb to nuns and priests is not appropriate as the general public involved in religion do not dress that way.

In reading all the inputs with respect to scarves, etc., it does sound like there is not respect for others who dress in a more western fashion. Adult rape is for power, not sex, so clothing is irrelevant.

By anon108442 — On Sep 02, 2010

@ -anon42239: First off why are you comparing wearing a cross to wearing a scarf? Even though they are both tied to religion, the two are completely different.

Crosses aren't worn for modesty or to cover up their sexuality, and wearing crosses is not forced on Catholics as a written rule of god/allah. End of story.

Second, it is completely ironic that you would even mention Marilyn Monroe to prove your point about scarf wearing. She was one of the most overtly sexual stars of her time, and even appeared nude in the very first issue of playboy.

Apart from that, it is completely irrelevant because she wasn't wearing a scarf for modesty or religion -- she was quoted saying that she wore it along with dark sunglasses to go unrecognized by the public. Wearing a head scarf for style/fashion rather than to obey the written rule of allah are two entirely difference things.

@ everyone else: I think people tend to forget or write-off the fact that before religion ever came into play, we were all walking around naked as nature had originally intended it. If everyone in the world became a nun or priest our species would not survive and what would be the point of that? priority number one in nature is procreation and survival of our species, impure thoughts and sexual urges will not be quelled with modest attire unless we physically remove the testosterone from a man's body.

Sometimes all it takes to turn on a man is a confident woman's intelligent mind.

With that said, just because you don't wear a scarf does not mean you're a whore. I make the choice to wear whatever I want. I dress fashionably chic, never showing too much but also not going to extremes and dressing too modestly.

I don't need a religion to tell me that I shouldn't be dressed like a whore. I am perfectly capable of making up my own mind about that.

By anon102233 — On Aug 06, 2010

I think the bottom line in all of these threads is that, 1) we all basically believe in the same ultimate God. 2) How we choose to practice our faith and express our faith can be subjective to that particular faith. 3) All factions of religious belief follow their own dogmas of that belief and unfortunately believe that their religious practices are the only way to find ultimate connection with the Divine being (God, Allah, Mohamed) 4) Asian religions have multiple Gods. 5) A religious practice should promote peace and tolerance to others. 6) Any religion should teach tolerance - especially in this "global world" we live in. We have nowhere to go but to self destruct as a human race.

I'm not aware of any other inhabitable planet that we can, by a miracle jet to when things get to heavy on earth.

6) Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Hindus all cover their heads in various ways for various reasons and for various secular reasons - especially at worship depending on their teachings. 7) To have no spiritual connection to anything is an empty heart (Atheists and Wiccans you are connected to something, you have beliefs as well - so you are also included - so you can't opt out, you believe in something).

We have choices to make - we can fight one another for eons and perpetuate history like the Romans and the Hebrews did, splinter off like the Christians and the Muslims did or be in a different (yet same world) as the Hindi and Buddhists. At the end of the day, it won't matter -- you will still be looking at your neighbor square in the face and looking at a human being.

I am a human being, there are people I like for certain reasons and there are people I just don't like for other reasons. I have friends of all races and religions. It's not for me to question why someone believes what they do, thinks what they do, but I will by virtue of me being human gravitate toward people whom I find similar in what I like - that's the nature of being human.

If anyone has taken the time to read Maslow's hierarchy of needs, the last and very last step is "self actualization." Below the highest level there are other levels which deal with wants and needs. It's a very interesting theory in psychology. I interact in my life and I also sit as an observer in the world life and in other areas. It is not mine to tell others how to live their lives as those do not know my life.

I respect others for their differences of opinions, but have to revert back to my own spiritual resolve, that I will never wish or pray for harm to others and to work daily to make myself a better person. It is not my job to push my beliefs on others nor to shun persons who don't believe as I do. I do, however, take issue with persons who have ill will and intend to do ill will as a result of their beliefs against other human beings - either verbally or physically.

No matter what religion you subscribe to, violence against a human life is evil, as evil as you can get.

I share that wish with everyone on this blog: breathe, think it through. Your path to glory may not be your neighbors path, but if you look and take more interest in one another we all can find a common ground and pieces of our various religions that we share enough to be tolerant.

By anon102206 — On Aug 06, 2010

The only reason people are bothering muslims is because 9/11 happened. A lot of religions wear different costumes or attire (eg. Priests, nuns, Jews, etc). Why is isn't anybody harassing them? People give it up and mind your business.

By anon101411 — On Aug 03, 2010

I'm fine with the Muslim women wearing headscarves. I have a lot of Muslim friends in school. I'm the only one who doesn't follow religion, yet my family and I believe in Jesus and God. The thing is they always explain "rules" for me to follow when around them like not to stare at them and such.

When I don't look at them when talking, they get pissed off. They even said I can't go to their houses because I have a sense of style (I wear short capris just an inch above the knee and long T-shirts); that is rude to her family. In summer when I call them, they say "bring pants and a sweater if you're coming".

Even worse, my neighbors are Muslim. They threaten us by saying we must move out because we are from Spain and are of Hispanic race. Also, they say we don't respect their religion when, in fact, they tell us to wear head scarves and proper clothing when we are going to a soccer/basketball/tennis game in 100 degrees F.

My sister is more developed, and our uniforms show her curves. They say she's disgusting and being bad because she hangs out with boys since no one in school is nice to her (they force her to wear/follow their religion and use her to get boyfriends).

It's fine they follow religion and stuff, I don't mind. But they tell my Christian-Catholic family (uncles, cousins, aunts etc.) and my parents and twin sister we must follow their religion.

By anon99266 — On Jul 25, 2010

I'm a Muslim woman who covers. I don't cover for anyone except Allah. He ordered believing women to dress and act modestly. I only care what Allah thinks of me.

I don't really care if Muslim men get angry at me for covering or uncovering, and I certainly don't care what you Islam-haters or uber-femininsts think.


By anon97963 — On Jul 21, 2010

This is a great explanation. I, like many, was confused about why some muslim women wear the hijab, but it seems like a sign of beauty and dignity more than anything. I have a few muslim women friends who don't wear the hijab, but dress decently (jeans, long shirts, long skirts) and don't flaunt their "assets". I appreciate women like this. it's rare to come across them in the Western world.

By anon96981 — On Jul 17, 2010

oh my, why can't all you people just live good, kind, free lives. Either believe in God or don't. What good has any "organized religion" brought? Each of us knows in our hearts what's right and wrong. Do you really think it's OK to beat anyone? It's a sin no matter what religion you believe in.

Do you really think God wants women to wrap themselves up? We were made and born with hair and a body - show it. All the "man written word" from the prophets regarding God is exactly that, man written. Do you not think that "man" may have altered the scriptures to control people?

Just believe in God and treat each other with respect. Everyone is equal. It's so wrong to think the man is superior. Maybe in physical strength yes but women's bodies are the ones that create life, so stop your medieval thinking and ways of living!

By anon91288 — On Jun 21, 2010

if you wear a short dress or long dress, shorts or trousers, get tattoo or have piercings, it's called choice, which is what Great Britain fought for in war.

The right to practice any religion, speak freely and to generally get on with life is a right that every person in the world has a right to, but the British actually fought for.

My grandfather fought for this freedom so that i could wear what i want and practice any faith i wanted to. I just feel it's a backward step allowing racist extremists to dictate what people should do and wear.

I have chosen to follow islam and my family actually respect and support me, (but my family are the best). I may have changed the way and dress but I'm still me. Respect -- that's all anybody asks for.

By anon90634 — On Jun 17, 2010

These women are not allowed to think nor act for themselves.

They exist only to serve men and be imprisoned by hijabs. They are treated like cattle by their insecure, ignorant masters. It disgusts me to see an imprisoned woman in the USA walking behind her jailer, her physically insecure husband.

By anon90073 — On Jun 14, 2010

I am a muslim woman who covers her hair and now wishes she doesn't. I never realized the level of ignorance and stupidity of the british people. How can it be that a simple veil can determine how people treat you, how a simple veil can mean you're a terrorist and subsequently validate discrimination on quite a serious level? How i hate the world and its ignorant and selfish subjects.

By anon89794 — On Jun 12, 2010

I am a muslim woman, and some of the comments that are made in society about the way muslim women dress are false. People assume that we are oppressed and forced to wear a headscarf by parents, partners, etc. It is not true! We wear what we wear for God.

It is OK for a nun to cover herself with a veil, but if a muslim woman does it, it is apparently wrong? I can also see why people think we are oppressed, because even I know of examples where this is true. I also don't agree when a woman is forced to wear a headscarf. I feel that the saying 'muslim women dress like letter boxes' is rude and offensive. It might be taken as a joke to some people, but frankly at the end of the day, you're making fun of someone's identity and faith. I find this more oppressing than someone forcing a muslim woman to wear a headscarf.

Just remember: muslim women are just like every other woman out there, and feel hurt at the rumours spread about them. People *stop* wearing headscarf because they feel ashamed to go out in public and are embarrassed about the religion they belong to.

Why would you want to hurt someone who hasn't done anything wrong to you like that? thank you for reading this post, and I hope you take this into consideration.

By amypollick — On May 26, 2010

@Anon86703:Let me begin by saying I support a Muslim woman's right to wear a head scarf in accordance with her religious beliefs, anywhere, at any time. It's certainly not harming me. I support any person's right to practice their religion without hindrance.

But let me set out some statistics for you: Only 10 percent of all child sexual abuse cases are by a stranger. 30 to 40 percent of all child sexual abuse cases are by a family member. Some 50 percent of cases are by someone outside the family, but who the child knows and trusts.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, females have been most often victimized sexually by someone they knew, but most cases are not reported to the police.

The sad truth is, a veil is no protection from a violent family member.

As a Christian, I'd like to believe that no Christian man would ever abuse his wife, but that just isn't so. It's completely against every precept in Christian scriptures, against God's commands, but it still happens.

Sadly, I am equally sure there are Muslim men who appear to be faithful, devoted Muslim husbands who beat the crap out of their wives, and attempt to justify it through the use of the Qu'ran, just as some Christian men attempt to use the Bible to justify their actions.

Let's not kid ourselves: wearing a head scarf and being in a man's company does not guarantee a woman's safety, especially when her abuser lives in the same house. It is extremely sad, whenever or however it occurs.

Nevertheless, a Muslim woman should certainly be able to wear a head scarf whenever she deems it appropriate, without fear of reprisal from individuals or government.

By anon86703 — On May 26, 2010

There is an increase in rape, sexual abuse of women and children, sexual harassment, pedophile activity, etc. I wonder why? People do not protect themselves or their children from such crimes.

In islam a women cannot be alone with a man. There has to be a third party. Women should not be walking alone in the streets and women who have daughters should not leave them alone with men besides their fathers and grandfathers. These rules are there to protect us from people who commit these awful crimes and women wear a veil to protect themselves (and obey Allah) from these crimes. Allah has given mankind the quran to guide us to protect us because he knows best.

It is like a manual of how to live. If we do not follow the way Allah instructs us (the all knowing) we will be harmed. If you want protection you must obey Allah's commands and if you don't follow his commands you will suffer the consequences.

By anon86273 — On May 24, 2010

Well for those who have it confused, do not get offended what my sisters are trying to explain. this is what we believe. A wise man once said whatever you need to know is in a book and in two books it says that a woman's hair is her glory, and to cover it for it is sacred.

my sisters who argue with this, we are not telling you to cover your head. you argue with this because that is all you know. put your pride aside and walk ten miles in some one else's shoes. i grew up a christian, as one of the sisters said. At first i did not understand, but i asked a question and i will say just as she told me, do not take things for face value (what someone said). Research and read. You will find the answer.

One more thing: to cover is to stop distraction. Think when you are out with your guy friend, how when you are talking then he rubs your arm, leg, and then he forgot what you were saying. It is a distraction. A man is too busy looking at your body and not your mind. America makes everything all right to do. Follow your heart. Peace and love.

By anon81537 — On May 02, 2010

But god or allah or whatever there all not real and the sooner religions are out of the equation, the better the world will be.

By dianatlove — On Apr 29, 2010

I respect and I think most types of religions lead to God, and let me tell you God means power! Now, Religion has and it will be interpreted in different ways! The sad side of this is how some people can use religion to manipulate, control and overpower others for their own benefit!

As result our women, our men, our children, our earth, our cities, or at least most of them, are not progressing or evolving the way they should! Their qualities of life are not getting any better. The world is not able to see or accept the beauty of certain religions, or the positive messages some religions have to offer because they’re so extremely obsessed with such beliefs that don’t make any sense and can promote negative feelings, and actions such as sexism.

Inequality for both genders can stop us from evolving and living a better quality of life. Let’s not be so extreme!

A word of advice: Knowledge through education is the key to success!

By karicay — On Apr 20, 2010

why do people judge the muslims for covering? it's our right and business, and what makes me upset about it is that people don't respect it, they just want to past judgment on us for covering our hair, our skin our body, but at least we teach our children to show respect for themselves.

Ask yourself this: it OK to have your children walk out and see men or women come out in public and show there rear ends hanging out from their dress, and skirt, breasts hanging out and showing, and men showing their chests and grab themselves in public. is this OK for your children to see? i don't want my children to see this or think this OK because it is not.

i teach them that it's OK to wear the shorts down to the knees and wear the t-shirts covering the shoulder, to dress with respect. I teach them about the islamic religion, and about what means to cover and things like this.

When we cover it for the name of Allah (God) it is simple and i teach them that when you go in the mosque that females must cover their hair, and even during the time reading the holy quran, and when we are having special holidays, but i let them decide if they want to wear it all the time, but only during praying, reading the holy quran, visiting the mosque that is important to be covered. It is a choice. Life is a choice and about decision and tell someone that they need to learn about more about their religion is not your place. that is shame on you for that.

How about educating yourself about the islamic religion, instead of passing judement on islamic religion? We believe jesus is a prophet of Allah (God) inshallah Allah will guide us to the right path, and give us the strength that we need to face this, and to give us courage.

By anon78904 — On Apr 20, 2010

ana 23837- a reply back to you.

i only read a few comments that were at the top, and i was horrified by what you say.

everyone has a different faith and belief and you have no right to judge that. we wear a scarf in the mosque to show respect to our god.

In future do not say anything about islam because no one says anything about any other religion. Women should be able to dress how they want, and if women want to follow the teaching of the god and his prophet then you have no right to stop them.

so please next time keep the nasty comments to yourself, because they are not appreciated, definitely not by me.

By anon78289 — On Apr 18, 2010

I can understand why Muslim women feel the need to dress modestly as expressed in the Qur'an. Fundamentalist Christians share the similar concept of modesty (loose fitting clothing, no make-up, no jewelry, no exposed shoulders, and skirt must not come above the knees).

I personally don't agree with this, because I would be at much disadvantage not only when it comes to playing sports or not overheating in the summer time, but i refuse to be seen merely as an object of lust that must cover herself as to not put lustful/sinful thoughts in men's heads. That's something they can or should learn to control in themselves.

I respect those who feel the need to be as modest as possible, but i think its rather unfair and partial that Muslim men (or Christian fundamentalists) shouldn't have to go to the extent that the women do in their modesty. Attractive men -- men's bodies certainly have potential to take my mind elsewhere and think impure thoughts. So whats the difference? Plus, dressing modestly doesn't impede you from actually acting on sexual desires.

You don't have to see someone's body or hair to be sexually attracted to them. The mind is very powerful! What do you all think? opinions?

By anon78198 — On Apr 17, 2010

A sister has just put down a comment on how the mature woman should wear a scarf to reduce attraction to her personal parts and so that men are not attracted, e.g. breasts or bottom. As for the other sister asking about young 7 year olds or under puberty, that is OK for in the houses of your family or maybe school, however she should cover her head at least when she goes out.

This gives the child the sense that she must soon wear a hijab and head cover in the future when she is mature and it inshallah becomes a habit.

By anon78088 — On Apr 16, 2010

So, if the wearing of scarfs and covering of the bodies it's to keep men from bad thoughts etc., why are there so many Muslim women claiming that they have been raped? Some men are perverts and nothing is going to stop them --even covering yourself.

Also, there is only God, Jesus Christ our lord and saviour. Wake up people. Don't be blinded by the quran. The Bible is a free book to read. You don't have to wash your face five times or wash your hands five times and pray on a carpet.

It's free to read anytime you want.

By karicay — On Apr 15, 2010

I am a muslim woman and i am proud, and i don't see what is the problem or that it is anyone's business about us covering our hair or our skin.

Why don't you ask us why we cover our skin and our hair, instead of passing judgment on us?

If you choose to visit the mosque then, out of respect you should cover your hair and skin.

They cover for the name of allah (god) and they show respect then they go into the church, they cover their hair and skin.

This goes back in time where our prophet jesus and mother mary. As she covered her hair and skin for the name of allah(god).

it's all about educating yourself, and asking questions and reading etc. That's what i did.

I was raised as christian but it never made sense to me, then i start to educate myself about islamic religion, and asking questions and reading and reading the holy quran. It was simple. Just ask questions.

We don't hate you for what you believe in. We respect everyone's religion. We as muslim people, are just here to be educated, teach each other, and try to answer your questions to the best way we know how.

By anon77653 — On Apr 15, 2010

Those of you Muslim women who don't understand why your seven year old should wear hijab to mosque need to brush up on your faith a bit.

When listening to a recitation of the Quran or reading it, you should cover yourself. What do you expect is going to happen in a mosque?

Think about it-- if it was just about modesty, then why don't the adult women whip it off once inside considering it's segregated? or what about when you're at home and about to pray?

Hijab is such a simple yet misunderstood topic, and I don't get why non-muslims or even muslims go mad over it.

By anon76960 — On Apr 12, 2010

I am Muslim and I would be mad if the Mosque or anyone made my seven year old daughter cover her hair. Those who choose to wear hijab do not do so until they reach puberty. Seven is not puberty. None of the girls (Muslim or not) under puberty cover their hair when visiting my mosque.

However, all women, Muslim or non-Muslim, should cover their hair when visiting the Mosque out of respect for the mosque and the people praying.

By deadmeat — On Apr 07, 2010

If women from these religions are to cover their hair and chests, as it states in their religious books (by the Koran) why cover the face? is it not so that their husbands don't sin with lustful intent. torah. qu ran koran. bible. cover the head and dress modestly.

By anon75087 — On Apr 05, 2010

At the end of the day we were all born a muslim until we choose to follow it or not.

in the koran it says we should cover our heads.

anyone who doesn't agree should argue about it to other people because they didn't make the rule, Allah did. it should be respected.

By anon74212 — On Mar 31, 2010

My daughter is also visiting a mosque and i have been told she is to wear a headscarf. Now those of you who say it's to stop the men ogling the women, tell me what the excuse is for a child having to wear one!

She is seven years old so i hardly think your argument or excuse is valid. Neither will i allow her to be forced to wear one either! I asked the head of school, who spoke to me like i was racist, ignorant and stupid, if the muslim children would be removing them to visit our church, and got the response "they do not have to remove their headscarf."

So you tell me why my daughter has to put one on then. I was then told if i don't like it i can remove my daughter from the school! So much for religion being a free choice. And this from a church of england school! Shameful!

By anon73678 — On Mar 28, 2010

it's strange because they wear head scarves but their pants are so tight you can see the shape of the genitalia. It seems weird to me anyway.

By anon72803 — On Mar 24, 2010

It's not an individual's choice to don a veil, but it's an obligation the same as it is to pray. However it's an individual's choice to choose his/her religion and to be in Islam means to follow it's rules to cover the face and body for a woman. If anyone objects they are free to adopt any religion other than Islam as they like and be like them. There is no compulsion in religion.

By anon72475 — On Mar 23, 2010

to the girl who was going on a field trip to a mosque, i am with you there. i would not put on a hijab because i view that as oppressive to my right to dress freely. i don't care who you are or what your purpose, you do not tell me what to wear.

i am a relatively modest young woman; i don't dress like a hooker, but i consider it perfectly fine to wear shorts and a tank top when weather permits. and i don't care if men are thinking lecherous thoughts about me, that's their freedom. i am by no means flattered by these thoughts, but men are going to have those thoughts no matter how much clothing you wear (because then they just think about undressing you).

if you choose to cover your body, fine, that's completely up to you and i have no problem with it.

what i do have a problem with is how one-sided things are. you ask us to cover our hair to enter a mosque, and most of us would, but if we ask you to take off your hijab when you enter a church (because a headdress is considered disrespectful), well i don't think we'd get many takers. i have no problem entering your establishments and hearing your history, but don't encroach on my personal freedoms while i do that. don't make me wear one, and i won't make you take yours off.

By anon71482 — On Mar 18, 2010

about the class trip (you have to realize that it would get many replies):

Realize that it's not just covering for your own sake. In the Quran, men who believe in their Lord are told to "lower their gaze," as in not stare at a women other than their wife. (This is among other commandments given to men and not just women)

Thus, if you don't care to cover yourself so that someone doesn't judge you by your beauty before acknowledging you (among other reasons), then do it for the sake of the men who happen to be at the mosque and want to focus on their prayers rather than on a group of women.

Whether anyone would like to admit it or not, yes, a sudden group of women would be distracting- it's human nature.

I just don't get why you would find this offensive. If your friend comes from a more religious family and invites you over, would you refuse to not wear shorts even though her father is around and he isn't used to women not covering below the knees? It's just a sign of respect; not a commandment to convert.

By anon68707 — On Mar 03, 2010

Everyone should be free to follow whatever religion they choose. How is some woman wearing a scarf around her head affecting anyone else? It's not.

If she wants to dress modestly then fine. What is the big deal? I don't get it. It seems that almost every major religion calls for women covering up their hair and their body, yet somehow it's only the Muslims who are labeled as "oppressed."

Do they have to be walking around in a tank top and mini skirt in order to prove that they're not oppressed? And really, who's oppressed? The woman who dresses slutty because society approves and encourages that in woman, or the one who covers herself in front of others and only unveils her beauty to her husband? Those women are oppressed by society and completely unaware of it.

By anon68548 — On Mar 03, 2010

It's the individual's choice to cover their hair, and no one else's. Everyone should have the freedom to choose what they wear.

By anon67723 — On Feb 26, 2010

I think people who are not believers of Islam should do a little research on the matter. Wearing a scarf isn't some form of torture in Islam. It's meant to keep women modest- to protect them from the eyes of men who, you know, think immoral thoughts.

It really perplexes and annoys me when people are ignorant enough to say that "all books of religion are written by egotistical men who want to control others." Honestly, I'm all for different opinions- but stupidity? Not so much.

I can't explain the power of the hijab. That's just it- it doesn't bring women down. It empowers them, it gives them a sense of their Muslim identity.

As for the girl enquiring about her class trip? You need to tuck your pride away. There's no reason for you to be offended. It's expected of everyone, is it not? So why should you take offense? That's a little daft. It's part of the religion and you are visiting a religious place. I say, wear the scarf. It's not going to harm you in any way. You need to look at it from a different perspective.

Islam, people need to realize, is not a torturous religion that encourages violence and discord. You need to get your information in check. Islam is a most beautiful religion and teaches the purest morals and values. People need to start realizing it.

By anon64841 — On Feb 09, 2010

What I'd like to say is when you think that men abuse women in the name of religion, then i would have to call that ignorant. The men that abuse women aren't men and even if they claim the abuse is for religious purposes, then they were misled by wrong leaders who taught them such ways.

Because everybody has to understand something: Islam means peace. And if people would do their own research about this religion and not be spoon fed by the media then they would realize that as well.

Being a muslim cannot be forced upon anybody, in fact it has to come from within. You have to want it and believe in the faith.

And for the scarf part, well, that as well as everything else has to be understood and wanted by the person wearing it. otherwise you're only doing yourself half good. What you wear is supposed to bring out the good in you, for you to feel proud, clean, pure, respectful (for yourself and others), and to get closer to your Allah.

You want to avoid all the negative attention in order for you to be a good person. And when you portray yourself in wrong clothing and a wrong lifestyle then youll most likely be on the path of wrong. Frankly this should all make sense to everybody. What you get is what you give! May Allah be with you all.

By anon62445 — On Jan 26, 2010

I feel that it is an abuse of power of one human being over another. Follow whatever religion you want, don't force your religion on other people, and for the love of God, stop the abuse of women in the name of "religion'!

Some men (not all) use their religion as an excuse to force the women in their lives to what they want. No one asks the woman what she wants. Hiding a women behind anything is ridiculous, we all know what women look like. What are men responsible for? Not their own sexuality, that's for sure.

I believe all books of religion are written by egotistical men who want to control others. Maybe I'm becoming atheist? What will my Italian parents think? :-)

By anon60690 — On Jan 15, 2010

Of course they want to wear them if they are made to believe they'd be whores if they didn't. The muslims want sharia law enforced in the UK. That would mean every single woman, muslim or not would be forced to wear one. How unfair-that's not respecting our beliefs so how can they say we don't theirs.

And all of the muslim commenters seem to think that because i don't wear one then i must be a tart! Does that make the men tarts? I dress modestly but wearing a sack over my head --especially when men don't have to-- is so impractical. And everyone has legs and arms. How do they swim, cycle, do gymnastics, get by on a hot day? And why do i see muslim men in jeans and t shirts if they do too?

Sorry but i don't agree.

By anon59206 — On Jan 06, 2010

Hopefully this barbaric sexist misogynist practice will be ended one day.

By anon58837 — On Jan 04, 2010

I am muslim and I feel strange when I see muslim women do not cover their hair. i want to say that covering hair is not optional. Also when she shows her hair, she could show her legs arms, etc., so step by step she can lose her respect and that's the reason why we should cover our hair because we don't find the happiness when others say you are pretty, gorgeous and sexy.

The happiness is when they said she is really smart, she can do this and that she is a successful woman.

some people think that muslim women are covering all the time and they don't have any knowledge about fashion and styles and that's 100 percent wrong.

By anon58805 — On Jan 04, 2010

I'm Jewish, and I can tell you that I have never ever heard of anyone in my family (we are a large family) shaving their hair and wearing a wig when they get married, and even my mum thought it was strange (that people still do this) when I told her.

By anon57802 — On Dec 27, 2009

I don't see why anyone should get told by a book what they can and cannot wear. if a muslim wants to refuse to wear a head scarf, it should be acceptable, if she wants to then fine.

I don't see why a book controls people's lives and restricts them from doing what they want. I don't have a problem with religion but I think it's all right until it hits the point of someone being so absorbed in their own thing they don't stop to respect other people and try to force them into being like them. :( x

By anon55512 — On Dec 08, 2009

Honestly, i don't see why everyone is crying about this. how hard is it to understand that it's part of the modesty of their religion! it has nothing to do with women be inferior to men or men being sexist! some just are more strict than other and cover completely. period the end.

By anon55109 — On Dec 04, 2009

Men should just simply stop trying to control and manipulate women in any way. All men who do this will go to hell regardless of what God you worship.

By anon54477 — On Nov 30, 2009

Some jewish women shave their heads? what for, may i ask? whay does it matter if a nun wears a scarf or a muslim wears a hijaab? get over it and mind your own business!

By anon53529 — On Nov 22, 2009

Muslims have to wear it when they go outside to shop or something,but not at home sometimes they don't need to. So they don't have to wear them at home but they do need to wear them outside.

By anon44880 — On Sep 11, 2009

Everyone is saying the bible says a women is to cover her hair. I think everyone should go back and read it again. What the bible says is a man is not to cover his head when going to worship, but a woman's hair is given her as a covering. If you must know why is it that women have more hair than men especially in most cases, their hair usually grows faster as well. If a women wishes to cover her head with what ever, so what? But don't quote the bible and be wrong at the same time. Remember a man is not to cover his at head during worship yet they do, and a woman's hair is given as a covering for her head.

By anon42239 — On Aug 20, 2009

I just have to say that for people who speak(actually type) so eloquently, some of you are extremely ignorant. You say you're not biased, yet you speak without knowledge. You say you're not sexist, yet obviously you either think women don't have a mind of their own, or they are to weak to use it. It's pathetic really.

I said that to say this: I happen to be a Muslim man and furthermore I am the husband of a beautiful Muslim women. We are both white Americans, but because we believe in modesty as opposed to skin tight pants that say "juicy" or "apple bottom" or any number of oh so clever catch phrases on the bottom, we are the wrong ones? And as for oppression or thuggishness from me towards my wife, you're out of your mind! My wife chooses to wear what she does.

At the end of this ignorance in quotations below I will speak my last piece and be done with it. But before I do I would like to say this: In a small number of third world countries Muslim women are forced into their garb and lifestyle, but in those countries children die of starvation and malaria and dehydration, and some are forced either to work in sweat shops or as prostitutes- (as early as 7 years old) and you might look around and see little 10-11 year old boys with AK47's. And though my heart goes out to them -- all of them -- this is not that. I for one live in Michigan. The women that you see walking around like that are just following the rules of our religion. Do you scoff or get on the internet (because cowards never speak their minds to your face) or roll your eyes or fill with hatred when you see a catholic women wearing a cross? Or clothing that isn't sexually suggestive? Or when you see any number of these Ashton Kutcher wannabes with trucker caps on? Hell, you must not like priests either, for they wear muslim clothing, just slightly modified. And by modified I mean they wear what I do just with a white collar around their neck Like a shackle. Oh yeah, if I am not mistaken (and trust me i'm not), Marilyn Monroe wore a scarf almost anytime she went into public, as do many of the female celebrities. Get the point?

You are not heroes trying to cry out for oppressed women.

"it actually makes me feel sick when i see Muslim women walking around like letterboxes.

in my opinion, it's ridiculous and demeaning and i think if they really want to worship god, they should get some respect for the bodies he gave them.- anon29580"

O.K. So let me get this right--(it might take some time, because you know us muslims-the only thing we know apparently is how to beat, oppress and rape women) you feel sick when you see muslim women walking around? So is it safe to assume that nuns also turn your stomach? No? That's because it has nothing to do with what they are wearing, it has to do with who they are. And I guess I will close with this: My wife does respect her body. Just because she chooses not to show it to people like you doesn't mean she does not respect it. Quite the opposite. She does not feel the need to dress like a whore. All praise be to Allah.

By anon41259 — On Aug 13, 2009

The Bible warns women to cover their hair "because of the angels" who are said to have impregnated women. (I guess angels are supposed to be so stupid that they can't tell a woman if her hair is covered.)

By anon39462 — On Aug 02, 2009

In Judaism the scarf is called a Tikhel or a Mitpakhat while the wig is called a Sheitel.

By anon39461 — On Aug 02, 2009

In the Jewish faith especially in the Hassidic world in Israel most woman cover their hair with a scarf but many also cover with a wig or a huge hat, as long as the whole hair is covered it is what matters. Only the husband can see his wife's hair. As long as the real hair is covered and not shown it is what matters. Mostly because of modesty and because in Kabbalah and the Talmud it claims that the woman's hair is sacred and has power. So to respect G-d they cover their hair. Judaism was actually the first religion out of the three others to follow this law(Mitzvah).

By anon34419 — On Jun 22, 2009

'As history conclusively states, in ancient times women were considered chattel, and still are to this day in many lands'

I find this interesting, not because I disagree, but because this also happens in Western society in the giving and acceptance of engagement rings, which are a form of trade, also treating a woman as a possession. The ring is simply a form of down-payment and proof that a woman can be 'kept' in a suitable fashion. Every culture has a way to keep women down, I'm afraid.

By anon33245 — On Jun 03, 2009

If you're Christian, Jewish or Hindu, very little issue can be taken with the head covering or modest dress. All of the Old Testament and New Testament women are portrayed as covering themselves. It's actually disrespectful to think that Mary or Ruth did *not* cover their hair. And Hindu Goddesses are always portrayed as fully covered or modestly dressed. There's no sudden appearance of pious bikini-clad women.

If feminists take exception to women covering their hair, they should know that a feminist who covers her hair is no less a feminist than one who does not. It's not a matter of subjugation of the sexes and a certain amount of decorum between sexes is a necessary part of everyone's life. I will not shake a woman's hand if she does not extend her hand and will always be more polite in the company of women. Sexist? hardly!

By anon31249 — On May 02, 2009

What is wrong if women cover themselves? Isn't it better than being naked?

By anon29580 — On Apr 04, 2009

*definitely oppose*

it actually makes me feel sick when i see Muslim women walking around like letterboxes.

in my opinion, it's ridiculous and demeaning and i think if they really want to worship god, they should get some respect for the bodies he gave them.

By anon28756 — On Mar 21, 2009

I'm visiting a mosque temple soon, on a school trip. All girls school. So to enter said mosque every single one of us must bring a head scarf to wear upon entering.

I am....offended, that I should have to do this.

I understand that to them, it is a sign of respect for their religion, but to me, it seems like a sign of my inferiority to men.

In a life/death situation I would of course suck it up and just wear the head scarf, but as this is a simple class trip, I am caught between giving in and 'respecting' their religion or I can refuse to wear it, hence refuse to enter.

I really won't hurt my grades to not enter, though it would be causing a kerfuffle.

Would it be stupid to refuse?

By anon23837 — On Jan 03, 2009

As history conclusively states, in ancient times women were considered chattel, and still are to this day in many lands, Covering themselves was thought to discourage unwanted male attention. It has never done so. Women of all faiths have been regarded as objects for abuse and treated violently by violent people of ALL creeds. They have been made to believe they are "less than." That is a particular nasty component in the human psyche. Cut off your hair. Cover your head. Bind your breasts. Sheath your entire body. Exist only as a moving sheet. This has not kept them safe. It does not make them more cherished or protected by family, friends, man or God. The West is equally culpable. How short ago was it was when any woman who was raped, no matter her attire, background or demeanor, was thought to have "been asking for it." This despicable "rationale" has been used over and over world wide to leave a shattered person no safety, honor, or justice. All over the world women run for their lives. In the Arab world, a woman covered from head to toe can be beaten, mutilated and raped based on an accidental breeze exposing an ankle. A man may receive the same treatment based on a lie made by "friends." In Africa, the simple act of going for much needed water can get you slaughtered. In Utah, let no pubescent girl dare to outrun a forced marriage. Surprise! Bad people everywhere WILL do bad things. People of conscience MUST step forward, whatever a harassed person's gender, faith, race or dress, to protect that individual's right to be unharmed. A person's physical or mental gifts were never meant to be hidden or devalued. Beauty, brilliance, humor, kindness, innocence are meant to be protected and yes, celebrated. One may wear whatever head covering they choose. They should not however be coerced to hide, de-gender or disappear by jealous, insecure thugs. Until this fact is enforced by INTERNATIONAL law, the thugs will always win.

By rjohnson — On Feb 05, 2008

It's not just Islam that says women should cover their hair for reasons of modesty. Orthodox Judaism also requires married women to cover their hair. Usually this accomplished with hats or wigs.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a BeautyAnswered contributor, Tricia...
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