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August 23rd, 2010
10:34 AM ET

Muslim women who wear the hijab and niqab explain their choice

Photos by CNN's Angie Lovelace, text by Soraya Salam of CNN's In America unit:

When you look at Aliya Naim or Nadia, they don’t want you to see objects of beauty, nor do they want you to see women constrained by societal standards.

Instead, they say, they want to be judged by their intellect and personalities. They say it’s the reason they don’t show too much more.

Both Muslim American women cover themselves from head to toe in adherence to their faith’s promotion of modesty and humility. Like most Muslim women who cover, they do so only in front of men who are not in their immediate family.

Aliya, a 20-year-old student at the University of Georgia, wears the hijab, or headscarf. She also wears clothes that cover everything but her face and hands, attire that is also referred to as hijab.

“You often see in many societies women being objectified because of how they look or being disrespected,” she says. The hijab, she says, helps “force people who may be otherwise unwilling to take the focus off of our physical appearance.”

Nadia (who asked that her last name not be given) similarly covers most of her body and goes a step further by covering her face—excluding her eyes—with a piece of fabric known as the niqab.

The 25-year-old mother of two doesn’t believe it’s a practice that Islam mandates, but that it draws her closer to God.

“When you love someone, you want to be more pleasing to them,” she says. “…You want to do anything you can and constantly talk to them and know more about them, and that’s how I feel also with my creator.”

While the number of Muslim women in America who wear the hijab or niqab has never been recorded, some suggest that there was an increase in Muslim women covering after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as many wished to express their identities in the wake of anti-Muslim sentiment.

After the attacks, says Georgetown University Professor Yvonne Haddad, more Muslim women became spokespeople for their religion.

“The women have sort of become the banner of Islam,” said Haddad, co-author of Muslim Women in America: The Challenge of Islamic Identity Today. “The little scarf is saying, ‘I am Muslim, and I have a presence here.’”
Aliya, whose Muslim parents taught her that covering was part of Islam, began wearing the hijab when she was 12. But she says it was her choice.

She says it protected her from focusing intensely on her weight and appearance, as her friends did. At her small all-girls middle and high schools, her peers didn’t give her much trouble about it.

It was also shortly after the attacks on 9/11 and she, too, felt a need to express her identity and combat Muslim stereotypes.

Nadia, on the other hand, did not cover for most of her life. She said she first started wearing the hijab in college after studying Islam more closely and growing closer to her faith.

She added the niqab to her wardrobe after about a year. She says the decision came after a conversation with other Muslim women who covered.

“When I actually got to know them [the women], I understood that they were intelligent people still and they were still full of life and had their own character,” she said. “It didn’t take away from them. But what it added to them, to me, was this increased love for the creator.”

She says that, contrary to the common misconception of Muslim women being forced to cover, her husband, who’d converted to Islam, had nothing to do with her decision. In fact, it came as a surprise to him, though he supported the move.

Bans and backlash

Last month, France’s lower house of parliament passed a ban on wearing any veils that cover the face, including the niqab and burqa—a similar covering that additionally conceals the eyes with a mesh panel—in public.
A short time later, Syria’s minister of higher education issued a ruling outlawing the niqab in universities across the Muslim-majority country.

There have also been bans on the hijab over the years.

Turkey first banned the headscarf in universities and public buildings in the 1980’s, however the law was not strictly enforced until 1997.

In 2004, France banned religious symbols, including the wearing of the hijab, in public primary and secondary schools.

Although the United States is not expected to follow suit, Nadia feels she has already begun to experience the effects of anti-covering sentiment spreading in her home of Lilburn, Georgia.

She says she has been denied entry into grocery stores and has been verbally harassed by strangers. Once, when she was at a gas station, she says a man a man pulled off of the road, swerved his truck in front of her pump, and took a close-up picture.

She watched him speed back out of the station and saw a large sign on the side of his vehicle advertising a website called trickledownterrorism.com. “I was so disturbed and I cried, and I couldn’t understand it. I just felt like, why would he do this?” Nadia said.

She often encounters people who tell her that her way of dress is something that Americans don’t do, that she should leave her foreign beliefs behind. As an African-American born and raised in the United States, such statements are often difficult to hear.

“I’ve already told someone in a store, ‘I’m from the nation’s capital, lady. I’m sorry to put it that way but please stop telling me we don’t do that here because I’m from here, and I am here. My family’s raised here, I live here...You might not do it here, but I do it here.’”

While Aliya still experiences frequent stares and often feels misunderstood by the general public, she says that wearing the hijab has also brought positive experiences, including opportunities to explain her religion and answer humorous questions.

“I think the one that always makes me laugh is, ‘Do you shower in that?’ And I always say to that, well, do you shower in your clothes? There’s your answer.”

Once, a young boy at a national park approached her and told her that she looked like the character Padme from Star Wars. She still laughs about that one.

Misconceptions

Aliya and Nadia feel that the biggest hardship they face is others’ assumptions about their beliefs.

Both say that the most common misconception about Muslim women is that they are oppressed, and that their religion views them as inferior to men.
For instance, French President Nicolas Sarkozy referred to the burqa as “a sign of subservience… a sign of lowering,” earlier this year.

Nadia disagrees.

“I’ve never seen anybody interview a Muslim woman and ask her if she’s oppressed. Or if she feels oppressed for wearing what she wears, or if she’s oppressed in her home,” said Nadia.

Aliya says that if women are oppressed, it is the fault of people and culture, not Islam.

“There’s a saying by the Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, that women are the equal halves of men. And from what I’ve read and studied about Islam, that’s very much how Islam views women,” she added.

Aliya says that she has never met an American Muslim woman who was forced to wear the hijab or niqab.

“I actually know more people who wear it against their parents’ wishes than unwillingly in compliance with their wishes,” she said.

To be sure, there are countries that require women to cover. Iranian law says women have to wear a hijab in public, while Saudi Arabia requires Muslim women to wear the hijab.

Moving forward

Despite some hurtful experiences in public, Nadia is content with her decision to wear niqab and says she feels a distinct difference in how men respect her now as opposed to her earlier days of low-cut shirts and formfitting pants.

Aliya also feels a joy in wearing the hijab, she says.

“And I think that definitely what’s in the heart is most important,” she said. “And your outward appearance should be a manifestation of that, not something to disguise what you really think or feel or believe.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture & Science • Islam • Journeys • Women

soundoff (1,728 Responses)
  1. Obama's Mama

    If Muslim women try to be modest by covering up head to toe in public, then I suggest that they should avoid going out in public. Instead, they should lock themselves in their homes so they have total modesty in private.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      How oppressive and un-American!

      August 23, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      And you like your wimmin barefoot and pregnant too, right?
      So, if momma and daddy got divorced, would she still be your sister?

      August 23, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  2. kd

    Factchecker – your Corrinthians quote is like the overwhelming majority of verses in the bible that are taken literally today, which is completely out of context for the time in which they were written.

    It was Jewish law that women at the time of Jesus and before had to shave their heads if they were married and wear a wig. Only unmarried females wore their own hair. So if you believe the bible stories, then know that Mary was shaved bald, not flowing with lustrous hair that is so often depicted. At least she was if she was practicing Judaism, as we are told she did.

    The covering is about subjugation, pure and simple.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
    • Bill

      Mary was betrothed, not married.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
    • Oblong

      @Bill

      She was also extremely young, like 9 or thereabouts.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
    • ringo

      Not quite. Women had to cover their hair, but they didn't have to shave it off. On the other hand, a marriage wasn't valid until it was consummated, so if she really was a virgin, she was single.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      Mary got married to Joseph and they had other children after Jesus...

      August 23, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
    • dddd

      kd something in the bible was taken out of context thats happened to the quram millions of times

      August 23, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Subjugation? Actually, the practice predated Islam. And it was out of practicality. Try being out in a sandstorm with your head and face uncovered.
      You choke on the dust and your hair is full of the dust (the main component of the sandstorm that has the consistency of portland cement powder), which mixes with your sweat (it IS 120-130 degrees in the shade, which doesn't exist there) and becomes literally like cement.
      Personal experience from my deployment in the Persian Gulf.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  3. Brianw

    My religion stats that I should dress like a ninja:

    "You should dress like a ninja." (Pastafarians 11:4)

    I do it so people won't judge me by my physical appearance.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
    • FastEddie

      @BrianW

      LOL

      August 23, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
    • Gul

      @Brianw
      You are a disgrace...did you have a disturbed childhood?

      August 23, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
    • James

      I laughed too. Where can I join ?

      August 23, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
    • Benny16

      Peace be upon his noodly appendage.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
    • Lord Giggles

      Ahahahahaha, I want in too! Ninjas are cool

      August 23, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
    • Ryan

      That was funny.
      Gul's comment is in step with most religious peoples- no sense of humor.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
    • carlie

      whatever Ryan. I'm a religious person and I thought it was hilarious!
      Thanks for the levity pastafarian...I also want to join.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      I don't judge people by their attire.
      I DO judge them by the actions and speech.
      And you behave, in my opinion like a beast of burden that Christ rode into town on shortly before he was crucified.
      No, I shouldn't say that, it's insulting to equines.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
    • Sanjay

      Hahahaha best comment I've read all day. When can I join??? I want to dress like a ninja too and I want my girlfriend to dress like catwoman.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
    • andrea

      With millions, if not thousands, of devout worshippers, the Church of the FSM is widely considered a legitimate religion, even by its opponents—mostly fundamentalist Christians, who have accepted that our God has larger balls than theirs.

      August 23, 2010 at 9:48 pm |
    • andrea

      "I am the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Thou shalt have no other monsters before Me. (Afterwards is OK; just use protection.) The only Monster who deserves capitalization is Me! Other monsters are false monsters, undeserving of capitalization."

      Suggestions 1:1

      August 23, 2010 at 9:50 pm |
    • andrea

      Raaaaahhmen.

      August 23, 2010 at 9:52 pm |
    • Kate

      @Brianw

      In your case, I don't think it's gonna help you avoid being judged on your appearance.

      And you misquoted, the Jedi edition of The Book has that passage written as "Like a ninja dress you should hmmmm?"

      Revisionists, gotta love 'em.

      Just sayin'

      August 23, 2010 at 9:53 pm |
    • Brianw

      @Gul

      Yes, I had a very disturbed childhood. My parents attacked me frequently with various martial-arts weapons, and forced me to train in kungfu. I just wanted to be a dancer, but my father didn’t like that.

      @Kate
      You’re referring to the not-quite-as-new testament, which obviously was waaay before the birth of Him.

      August 23, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
    • nina

      funny how you assume they have no sense of humor, a friend mine who wears the niqab has no problem being called ninja (she herself comes up with most of the jokes)
      sorry to those ruin it for those who wanted to use it an insult, it aint new as you can see in the pic

      August 24, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
    • Kate

      @Brianw

      So you're a parmesanite

      August 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  4. Gone into Hiding

    I believe it is more a security issue than a religious issue. Veils are fine – head coverings common the world over, but full cover from head to toe with only the eyes to see? What could be hiding underneath: strap on bombs, ammunition, men seeking to burglerize dressed as women ect. If I worked in a bank, I would not feel comfortable with an unidentifiable human being – man? woman? entering the bank at any time. Too scary. No wonder in those eastern countries, women stay home. Makes sense. Maybe they should here too.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
    • Kate

      @Hiding

      If I worked in a bank I'd be a lot more worried about people wearing baseball caps, going over and writing something on a piece of paper, or being two blonde women ... for some reason those sorts of people are statistically much more likely to be bank robbers 😛

      August 23, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
    • verify

      Kate,

      Why bother with a baseball cap when you can just hop into a full-body disguise?

      August 23, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
    • All the muslim ladies (as song by Beyonce)

      With that logic, fat women could carry bombs in their moo moos.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
    • Kate

      @verify

      Why would a bank robber wear something that will stand out, when a baseball cap is much less likely?

      Bank robbers are still going to go with low key baseball caps and the ubiquitous balaclava as they enter rather than wear a niqab and abaya.

      Bank robbing niqabis is a red herring. Move on.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
    • Mario

      @ Kate

      Stop it already with your comments. You are not cute and you are not changing anyone's mind here. Put your cover on, we gave you the law that allows you what your heart desires. I know when your people take over this country in the next 200 years, my great grandchildren won't have a choice as you did. Now all you can go look cute on CNN TV and tell us how joyful you are and how you are so devout because you are covered and you don't need to make any other sacrifice for your fellow man or woman. Especially no sacrifice for the "DIRTY DOGS" as you like to call the rest of us.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • One Whose Name Means Beloved of God

      @Mario

      Why is it that everyone assumes Kate is Muslim? Because she's smart enough to see that the "burka=bank robber" idea is flawed? It is.

      And just to follow your logic to its natural conclusion, are you implying that all the anti-Muslims are stupid? I thought so...

      August 24, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  5. AGeek

    "Instead, they say, they want to be judged by their intellect and personalities. They say it’s the reason they don’t show too much more."

    Fine. Based on your silence on many subjects, including not speaking out against 9/11, I'd say you have the personality of a doormat and the intellectual agility of a small soap dish. Now get off my lawn, damnit.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
    • Gone into Hiding

      LOL

      August 23, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
    • Ricardo

      Very well said! Love it.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
    • mdworker

      hahahahhahahahahahaha!!! well put!!

      August 23, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
    • 10Porkchops

      LOL is true

      August 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
    • Linda K.

      Many of us have spoken out against 9/11. I wrote a book about it. But you're not going to hear about our words or accomplishments if you keep watching Fox News.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
    • Tim

      This comment is straight ignorant. There have been many Imams that have condoned all terrorist actions from Muslims. A small portion of Muslims are extremist. I think it is time to educate yourself about Islam and what it is actually saying. Look at a couple of John Esposito's books about Islam (mainly his book titled "What Everyone Needs To Know About Islam). To think that this country is going back to its old roots of racism, discrimination and hate makes me sick. I can guarantee these two women have more intelligence and far better personality than you. I cannot believe a country "founded" on freedom is becoming so Islamaphobic. Some people say they look like terrorists, but the fact of the matter is that anybody can be a terrorists. Look at the actions of the Oklahoma City Bomber, Columbine, ect these all were terrorists acts but did they look like terrorists? To a lot of your points of views and stereotypes, no they did not look terrorists. So before you go and bring down a group of people you hardly know do some research.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • Carmen

      small soap dish - hahaha!! 🙂

      August 23, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Very nice. So, you have the "I am God" tee shirt and KNOW who said what, who objected to what?
      Very well, since you know so much, who am I? WHY do I stick up for them? What have I been doing for the past 5 years?
      What have I done for the past 27+ years?
      OK, since YOU have the intellect and behavior of a rat terrier, I'll tell you.
      I spent the past 5 years in the Persian Gulf region, several countries, supporting our war effort. I lived off base and interacted with the Arab local populace on a daily basis. YOUR filter is rather a brown, odorous one. Try cleaning your glasses. You might get rid of the smell to actually catch a few roses before the season is over.
      What I did for the past 27 years was to serve in the US Military, something YOU obviously never did, or you'd know how to act and how to be respectful to others.
      So, who am I? I'm a veteran with a chest full of medals, many of which I didn't normally wear, because it didn't make my commander look good wearing less. I'm the guy who buried buddies in Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm the guy who missed first steps, birthdays, anniversaries and more.
      And frankly, people who act like you do make me ashamed to say I'm from the United States of America.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  6. rob

    islam is a vile & disgusting religion.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
    • shootmyownfood

      In my opinion, so is Christianity.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
    • Gul

      @Rob
      Grow up and contribute to the society in a more mature way.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  7. glen

    i think CNN has a think for Islam/muslims....soo many stories that try to bring them into mainstream USA...which is fail.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
    • Gul

      @glen
      Inspite of CNN coming up with all these stories about Islam I still see a widespread ignorance about it. people seem to have preconcieved notions about it and eduacating them about the reality is not wrong at all.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
    • Beth

      Freedom of Religion is fail?!? Understanding your neighbors instead of making snap judgements based on sterotypes is fail?!?

      Sad world you live in my friend. Kate summed it up beautifully. Stop worrying about other people and look to your own house first.

      You folks do realize that terrorists' main function is to incite terror aka fear. When we start setting aside our own US Constitution (Freedom of Religion) out of FEAR, then guess what... the terrorists win. Don't let terror and fear lead us to abandon the principles that make this country great.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
    • VA

      Land of the free, home of the brave! America is a great country, just as long as you look like everyone else, and talk like everyone else.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
    • Doug

      Glen, yes tolerance is not something we need more of here in America. Why don't you go read Fox News if you need someone to support your bias? Just read their post section, and it all becomes quit clear. .

      August 23, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
    • TCC

      You are so right, the last few years it seems that CNN is trying to promote Islam with many stories as a great and good religion. OK, but be fair and also present the good in all other religions not just a one sided view. CNN, how about presenting some of the good the Catholic or other christian religions do around the world? I am not a religious person at all but the unfairness in promoting one religion as you do Islam is not FAIR REPORTING.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
    • Ken in TN

      And CNN choosing to evangelize all of these pro-muslim/pro-islam is any different than their rush to start airing the sob-stories of the plight of illegal aliens?

      August 23, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
    • snha

      CNN is doing 30 days of stories on Islam trying to help those who would like to know more and understand better about Islam during the holy month of Ramadan.

      August 23, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Them? You mean THOSE PEOPLE? They're different! Evil, evil, evil! Smite them, burn them!
      Get your head out of the dark ages and actually follow our own ways. Remember, that silly constitution thing where everyone is equal and allowed their very one religion? Where they can freely express themselves?
      In short, stop acting like the Taliban.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  8. Marilee

    If this their choice, what is the harm.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
    • All the muslim ladies (as song by Beyonce)

      The harm comes when muslim women (like the ones I see everyday in my neighborhood) do not interact with non muslims out and about.

      It is not as if covering your face sends the signal of "Hi, I'm friendly! I am your neighbor! please say hello to me! Befriend me!".

      This garb, a free choice which I support, brings with it social consequences. I actually feel uncomfortable smiling or saying hwello to a woman in aveil for feear I am going to offend her.

      I would invite muslims to ponder this rather than just ponder themselves...Welcome to America...you are free to be who you are....and you are free to be scorned for seperating y0urselves from the rest of us. Don't act surprised, or insulted

      August 23, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
    • Mario

      What is the harm? Isolation? Suspiciousness? Unfriendliness? Isn't is harmful for them to live in such a place filled with "Dirty Dogs" and to see what they see every day? Yet they choose to come here and poison what we have all come to accept. No they won't go to Somalia and help over there and be with like minded people, they will come here and call themselves devout cause they got some sheets wrapped around? Of course it is ok if they wear it...the LAW lets them, but they know completely well what they are REALLY doing. Getting attention...the attention they are so dearly trying to AVERT.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Funny, I've never had that problem.
      Perhaps it's how you address or look at people or something they've heard you've said. OR some could be just shy.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  9. SophieP

    If these women expressed any kind of complaint they'd probably be killed... Under those ciircumstnaces, it is hard to believe or trust anything they say.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  10. keith

    "Muslim women who wear the hijab and niqab explain their choice"

    Yeah, they can either choose to where it, or choose to get stoned to death.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
    • Kate

      @Keith

      Funny, I don't recall there being any stonings in the US penal code.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
    • Gul

      Nobody in my family/friends/relations wears a Niqab and none of them has been stoned. What a silly comment from you

      August 23, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
    • Bill

      @Kate US Penal code is not in play for Muslims. It is Sharia law that binds. That is why Allah does not see anything outside of Islam.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
    • Abudu Mukarram

      Or she could choose to be part of the rapes and domestic abuse that take place every 3 minutes in America. A society created by the ignorance of moral and codes of etiquette set forth by the Creator.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
    • Krista

      I think his point is that in some areas of the world women ARE forced to wear the hijab / niqab and if they do not do so they can be beaten or worse. The fact that this happens certainly enforces in minds of many that this isn't voluntary.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
    • mdworker

      Give it time they are trying to get sharia law here too. When is this country going to wake up!

      August 23, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
    • Mario

      How about you give an answer to Bill's statement? You roam around this forum trying to convince everyone how Sharia and Islam is so nice and gentle to women. The reason you or other muslim here don't get stoned to death or mutilated is because you live in a world that Christians and other forward thinking people have created. And another thing, this whole let me cover myself up and I am a devout muslim...What a joke. I don't eat pork...I am muslim, but I will hate as much as I want.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
    • Kate

      @Krista

      I agree to everything you said. In the rest of the world, it isn't (or rarely) voluntary, and that's where people are coming from.

      But none of them seem to just think of asking a niqabi in the US is she is doing it of her own free will. They just assume, and in doing so assume on the basis that a woman in Islam is weak, submissive, oppressed.

      it says more about their opinion of women than the truth.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
    • FactChecker

      Only 3 Islamic countries out of the 47 force women to wear the hijab. Since the Quran says 'there is no cumpulsion in religion' they are going against Islam by forcing the hijab. If you go to the other Islamic countries you will see women wearing the hijab and not wearing it. In general women choose to wear it. And they are not stoned for not wearing it.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • Kate

      @Mario

      First of all, I don;t recall ever having said I'm a Muslim. Nice assumption – made of fail.

      Secondly, I live in a country that allows people to wear what they want because I'm one of the people who put on a uniform and put my life on the line to ensure that right for anyone who comes here looking for freedom. You haven't actually come up with anything that justifies *you* trying to qualify what *I* put my life on the line to protect.

      You don't seem to understand the dichotmy here. This is the land of freedom and liberty and justice, regardless of *who* made it so. But you want to start putting limits on who, what, how, all on issues that do not affect anything but *your* sensibilities.

      If you let someone's sensibilities strip rights from another American, pretty soon you end up with you on the receiving end of someone else's sensibilities.

      As for Sha'ria, you *do* know that there's already a religious based shadow legal system in the US? Look up Beth Din.

      It's actually a great way of resolving the problem of non-assimilating religious communities and the legal system, even if a little hard to understand sometimes.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • Linda K.

      Women are not stoned for not covering. There is punishment in Saudi Arabia, but there are many things about Saudi Arabia I don't like. Most Muslims live outside of Saudi Arabia and it does not represent us. I have two daughters-in-law, both Muslims. One covers, one doesn't. Each woman has to make that choice.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
    • mohawk067

      Kate

      You lose all credibility with statements like "As for Sha'ria, you *do* know that there's already a religious based shadow legal system in the US? Look up Beth Din" This is not a legitimate legal system if someone breaks the law they have to answer to the US legal system. You spout off about life liberty and the pursuit, but what about my rights to feel safe. I don't give a damn what you say criminals will eventually see that wearing this crap will allow them to get away with stuff, that is why even in France and the rest of the European countries are outlawing them, because they cover the identities of people.

      August 23, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • Muslim Man

      Sharia – Islamic law does not have a penalty for not wearing the scarf. (Quran states very clearly "No compulsion in faith")
      The comments about stoning, there are only two cases when this is allowed as the maximum penalty, adultery (if the person married and there are 2 eye witnesses to the act) and for rape. (There is no penalty for the victim and only the victim can lessen the death penalty on the offender) If you are not Muslim, Sharia does not apply to you.
      We (America) are an intelligent people, why do so many chose some Taliban villager or Alqaida thug as the template for Islamic ideology. These ignorant people have nothing to do with our faith.

      August 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Funny, I saw plenty of women in multiple Persian Gulf nations not wearing hijab or niqab. It was their choice and the choice of their family (family wishes are to be obeyed, male or female. Some honor thy father and mother thing WE seem to have forgotten).
      I have a friend from when I was deployed in the Persian Gulf, he is a Saudi. His wife is Romanian. He left it up to her whether or not to wear an abaya and niqab. She elected to do so, her face open. Zero problems from anyone. My wife didn't wear an abaya or anything on her head while she was visiting there. Again, no problem. She eventually wore an abaya so she could wear less under it in the heat, but nothing on her head. Zero problems, but we DID get a better price in the Souqs.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:11 pm |
    • steve

      @Kate ....I think I love you.

      August 23, 2010 at 11:00 pm |
    • muslim

      where did you got this information from??????
      that is not true at all
      no islamic country do this

      August 27, 2010 at 1:51 am |
  11. Henry

    Is it just me, or is anyone else's first thought, "why the &%^* is she wearing that, isn't she hot?" Maybe it's because I live in Texas, aka hell on earth...

    August 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
  12. kd

    If the women cover themselves to be judged for their intellect and personalities, then the men should cover themselves just as much.

    It's about shame put upon these women by the men in their patriarchal societies.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
    • Pacoatemiami

      If you can't even look at somebody how can you judge them on their personality or intellect? They are isolating themselves from all interaction with non-muslims by dressing that way.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
    • Linda K.

      When I was a young teen, and a complete tomboy, my mom sat me down and showed me how to apply makeup, fix my hair, etc. I asked her why I needed to do this and she said it was what society expected, and what men (boys at that time) expected. I wanted to know why guys couldn't just respect me for my mind. She said that's the way it is. Several years later I discovered Islam and I have found it to be so liberating. Doesn't anyone else see all the things non-Muslim do to beautify themselves as enslavement?

      As for the men, they must cover loosely from the waist to the knees, and preferably from the shoulder to the knees. But let's face it. Men just don't have as much to offer as women do!

      August 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
    • Makeslittlesense 2me

      I agree with that, but would take it further...
      If the outfit is to help present their intellect and personality, yet in the Middle East they are not allowed to speak or publicly disagree with men, then what true purpose does the choice of attire have?
      Any/all religious extremes in this country should be banished from public society. You are an embarrassment to the God you pretend to serve, and you expect to hide under the protection of the US Constitution while you feverishly work to undermine it.

      Just go worship in your own basements and leave us alone.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
    • dddd

      @pacoatemiami- i was born in the US where hijab and go to public school, and where modest clothing and guess whati have a social life and friends. u act like women who where hijab cant survive in the social world, believe me we can we do it everyday

      August 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Funny, in Kuwait and Qatar I saw plenty of Arab women working. Their male counterparts treating them well and with equality.
      I usually see men talking down to women here in the US.
      Come on guys, can you tell me what that girl's eye color was? Didn't think so, I couldn't either...

      August 23, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
    • erika

      I've asked many muslim people why muslim women wear the hijab/niqab, and the most prevalent and basic answer I continue to receive is: "So that women don't get raped." Wow. How disturbing is that...so by that logic, In god's eyes, are all men ("god's greatest creation") dogs? I guess all men are just incapable of restraining themselves. To all men, the female body is a seducing object. All men are driven to rape at the sight of a woman's body/hair. How insulting and awful.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  13. bailoutsos

    Isn't it strange that the men do not have to be covered from head to toe? Their laws must have been written by mortal man.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
    • Kate

      Hijab for men is navel to knee (approximately).

      August 23, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
    • keepithoro

      There are several things that are "sunnah" or examples of the Prophet, peace be upon him, that men are encouraged to do, which include covering the head (kufi, turban etc.), wearing loose, long garments, keeping the pants above the ankles, and growing the beard, to name a few. Do you see many Muslim men in Muslim countries walking around in just shorts with their shirts off? No, you don't.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
    • bailoutsos

      "keepithoro There are several things that are "sunnah" or examples of the Prophet," @@@ So, the dress code seems a little more lax for men than women. Men can expose more flesh. Interesting.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
    • MadisonAvenueMan

      All laws were written by mortal men. Does anyone actually believe the Bible or Quran were written by deities? People, surely deep down you do know that faith is just that – faith. It's not science. You don't know for certain there is a God or Allah or whatever. You have to entertain the notion that maybe, just maybe, there is no supreme being calling the shots. If you don't think about it, then you are just another sheep in the mighty flock being herded by men in black who have one purpose -to make money off you.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
    • Muslim Man

      Hijab for men is loose clothing from the naval to the knee and to not allow our eyes to view women as objects. Women are our equal, while we are built differently women must always be respected. The Hijab is how this is exemplified and how modesty is protected.

      August 23, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Believe it or not, it's a sensible custom from when Arabs rode camels through the desert. Many other occupational based issues cause wearing a thobe to be a problem. Yes, one can raise the thobe bottom up and tie it, but there were other modes of apparel to go with the appropriate job.
      OR, feel free to try mounting a camel or horse wearing a thobe.
      As for covering the hair, ever been in a sand storm? I have many times over in the Persian Gulf, it's NO fun. Figure the temperature is around 120-130 degrees, so you are sweating. MOST of the sand is actually fine dust. Wanna guess that that turns into around the eyes and in the hair? Something with the same consistency as concrete. Literally.
      As our fancy N95 dust masks clogged quickly, I rapidly learned how to wear the scarf (shmagh and had a kufi to keep it on my head, otherwise it migrated all over the place, to eventually blow off). It kept the concrete out of my hair and the dust out of my throat, my sun glasses kept the worst of the dust out of my eyes.
      So, don't knock something until you learn the history behind it and the reasons for it. It became incorporated into the faith, it is what it is, get used to it.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
  14. Her mom

    May the peace of God be with you all ! I am Nadia's mom. What a wonderful blessing! Nadia has always been a free thinker and her conviction to her Lord does not surprise any who truly know her. She loves ALLAH (GOD) with everything she has.
    Our other daughter and myself have not chosen niqab, but our entire family supports her decision.We are happy and proud to be a Muslim family,and very proud of Nadia and her dedication to Islam, with or without niqab. May Allah always give her the strenght to serve him well.

    August 23, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
    • keepithoro

      Ameen sister.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
    • Khadijah

      Salaam dear sister,
      when i see sisters who are so stong in iman, my heart gets full. I have been a muslim for 20 years and finding my way to wearing hijab was a struggle. Sister Nadis's articulate way of expressing her choice made me proud, too.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
    • pink hijab

      Assalam Alaikum, you must feel so proud of your daughter , MashaAllah. May Allah make it always easy on all hijab wearing muslimahs for all the misconceptions we might face often. Ameen.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
    • mdworker

      We are back to we CANNOT identify her. If she wants to wear this, wear it at home! I do not want to wonder if your "wonderful daughter" has a bomb on her!! Take it off, it should be outlawed in this country!!

      August 23, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
    • SB

      The god of Islam has no piece, just Wars!!!

      August 23, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
    • SB

      peace*

      August 23, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
    • Kate

      @mdworker

      Do you look at every Ryder van wondering if there's a bomb in it?

      Do you see a plane coming in to land and wonder if it's going to fly into the terminal?

      Do you x-ray your mail to see if there's a bomb or anthrax in it?

      Do you wonder if the guy next to you in church is suddenly going to be shot?

      Do you look at every college kid and see the Va Tech shooter?

      August 23, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
    • Ken

      Allah this and Allah that...evolve already – your daughter (I assume was born here) went to a public school and knows dang good and well what is acceptable here in the United States. Did you not give her enough attention as a child or does some imaginary figure (Allah) have the much control over your daughter who obviously needs a reality check to delineate the perception between fantasy land and walking into a train station with bomb under her costume?

      August 23, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
    • miasmom

      Asalamu alaikum sister. I wish this people would stopped all this hate against everything that looks different to them. All the actual problems in society these days are based on the lack of respect toward other communities and cultures... Look at the news lately all the controversy is focus on the immigration, the muslim community, where there is more important issues to deal with. If people around the world not just in this country would have a little more faith in God the society will be in a different level this days. Moral values are gone because that fear of God is gone. Your daughter is brave and strong and i wish a lot of us muslim women would have that strenght and that relationship with Allah... For those who said that we lack of self esteem well let me tell you it takes more selfesteem to go out on the streets cover and be accepted for what your inner beauty has to offer than being judge for how much skin are you showing. So my respects to all those sisters that are proud of their faith and chastity and my sincere respect also for those who think that show their boobs and butt is more dignified.

      August 23, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
    • DavidC

      Wa Alaykum Salam & Ramadan Mubarak, Dear Sister. May Allah bless you and your family.

      August 23, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
    • Erin Brown

      God Bless both of you and I admire the courage it took for you both to speak out in this environment. I have often wondered, why do people treat this tradition/choice any different then the people in my town ( upstate NY) mennonite & amish also have clothing and traditions based on their interpretation of the bible. many women are covered head to toe, never cut their hair and wear a head covering. why single out one group? it is about obediance to their beliefs and modesty.

      August 23, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
    • Her Dad

      To Ann Marie....Just a smile for you Ann, becuase you don't know my daughter becuaee if you did, you would know that the last thing that she has is self-hatred. Also, Ann....we did not come here from someplace else....Nadia is a second generation American Muslim.

      August 23, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
    • fairplay

      I am sure this makes it difficult for most Americans to approach and get to know her "personality and intellect" when she is not dressed like the people in this country. Perhaps she is hiding herself from people because she has no confidence. Is she a social person? Probably not. And she should be proud of the physical beauty that God has given her, instead of hiding it. Enjoy life and who you are. Don't hide. God bless.

      August 23, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      As Salaamu Alyaki, it is good to hear someone in these troubling times freely expressing their faith.
      While our faiths are different, we DO speak to the same Creator, the God of Abraham.
      While we consider Jesus our savior, he is a prophet to you and we share one singular message together, "Do to others as you would have done to you."
      I spent nearly 5 years in the Persian Gulf region supporting our war effort the monsters that attacked our nation. I lived off base and interacted daily with the Arab population. I was NEVER wished a Merry Christmas so often at home, nor given so much tolerance with a cultural gaffe. Indeed, the State of Qatar has sponsored Christian churches, to include a Roman Catholic church. So it appears that our Arab friends in the Persian Gulf are substantially more tolerant than WE are.
      Yes, Saudi is a bit different, but so is the Vatican. Kuwait can get a bit strained, but considering their Eastern neighbors, it's understandable.
      I've watched women in the Persian Gulf wear minimal niqab, no niqab, no abaya, fancy abaya, plain abaya and occasionally fully covered (mostly a few of the elderly). But ALL were polite, gracious and extremely helpful when help was needed.
      Perhaps we should take lessons from those who live in the desert.
      Ramadan Kareem!

      August 23, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
    • Kate

      @fairplay

      I think that all depends on how many people actually just go up to her and say "hi" – of course, if they've been reading this comments page, chances are the answer will be "no, already made my mind up".

      Just sayin'

      August 23, 2010 at 8:02 pm |
    • Claudia Hot Springs, AR

      To Her Mom:

      Not all of us are hateful and cruel like some of these posters. I am a Christian that had the great fortune of schooling in North Africa as a child. I love and respect my Islamic brothers and sisters. Some fail to recognize that there is but one God (Allah) and that we are all unified in that belief. Some so called Christians that speak evil of the Islamic faith, forget that God (Allah) made a promise to Ishmael in Genesis 17:20 that He would make of him a great nation. Forgive them as we are not all that way. Ma sa Allah, In sa' Allah. God's will and God Bless You and yours.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:08 pm |
    • Spucky

      Sorry, but try to see it our way. I don't think any reasonable person would deny your right to religious freedom. This country was founded, in part, upon the belief that all should find refuge here who flee religious persecution. However, we must also consider safety, in this day and age, when crazy, violent people who wish to harm innocents, in the name of jihad or some other misguided belief, will seize upon wearing these garments as a means to conceal their identities and intent. Where will it end? This may be farfetched, but stay with me here: What's to stop some extremist group from forming their own religion (for this sole purpose) and then donning garments that conceal their identities and weapons? When they go and blow up / shoot up some government building or a house of worship, how will we be able to tell who did it? We won't, and we won't be able to stop them! Now, take that seemingly farfetched idea and multiply it by the number of groups that would exploit this idea, and you see where the problem lies. Anarchy would result. We love this country and all who live in it. We all want to be safe and not afraid. But, the needs of the many outweigh the few – and safety definitely rules over individual choice. We cannot allow full facial covering – for anyone. If you want to wear the hijab, which does not cover the face, but does cover your head, I presume not many people would have too much of a problem with that. In other words, do what you want, but be reasonable and consider the safety of yourselves AND the other people who make this country great.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
    • Muslim is Satans religion

      Lord is Jesus Christ. Allah is not our God. He is your god that is not exist. Our God is a God of love and beuaty. Your Allah is a god of ugliness and black robes

      August 23, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
    • verify

      Kate,
      I would be hesitant to go up and say "Hi" to someone wearing this outfit. To me it says, "Closed For Business" and "There's nobody home here" and "Stay away from me, you are not worthy of seeing my face."

      August 23, 2010 at 11:51 pm |
    • peace2all

      @verify & @kate

      How are the both of you...? Hey verify.....you better be careful going toe-to-toe with kate.... she knows her stuff.

      Peace to the both of you as always.....

      August 23, 2010 at 11:55 pm |
    • Kate

      @verify

      That sounds more like the problem is with your assumptions than her dress – you're the one assuming what it means to you. It'd be you who was being exclusionary, because of your preconceptions.

      Just sayin'

      August 24, 2010 at 12:09 am |
    • Ozzy

      @Kate But, that happens once in a blue moon. Radical muslims are blowing up and killing people on a constant and regular basis.

      August 24, 2010 at 12:12 am |
    • noboru mokoto

      I got quite confused with all this... who is the good god and who is the bad???? What about that guy named Jesus?? was he better than Mohamed?? Or Buddha is still the best?
      What about Zeus or Apollus?? and Ganhesh????
      The fact is that when the man in his disgraced history had a need to justify violence and domination or impose a social order invented some religion...
      For instance for Muslim eating pork was forbidden... I bet!! eating a rotting meat in the desert was certainly a great danger of intoxication or death... but today??? with the pork meat controlled and sterilized even at excess??? Same with Christians and fasting or eating lamb at Easter...
      All kind of precepts were made for social order 2/3/1000 years ago and the complete covering in the desert was a real necessity (see the Tuareg today still riding completely covered) .
      But keeping all this in a Western country is just childish and senseless...
      I hate Carl Marx and the communism but when he said that "religions are the opium of the people" he just said the bitter necessary true.
      To be honest, loyal, compassionate and modest, you don't need to adhere to any religion nor to show up in weird clothes: you need just your inner spirituality.
      Most of the truly compassionate men and women in history weren't forcefully religious: actually Muslim,Christians and Jews were the most ferocious bloodthirsty people in the human history.
      Check any History book and you'll see.

      August 24, 2010 at 1:16 am |
    • Eubbie

      The ignorance expressed here is simply shocking. Do you all run and hide at the sight of nuns in full habit?

      There is a dress code for women in this country? I didn't get the memo, email or tweet. That fact that people are demanding that women dress in a more American manner is much more oppressive that women choosing to dress in a way that they feel brings them closer to their faith. What is typical the American dress acceptable for women? Should I dress like a Hooters girl? Brittney Spears? Paris Hilton?

      One of the most beautiful things about this country is the freedom of religion. That very idea brought many of our ancestors to this country. Freedom applies even to those who have a faith different than mine. If these woman don't have the freedom to express their faith, we will all lose the freedom to express our faith or lack of faith. To me, that's a terrible injustice and counter to the values upon which this nation was founded.

      August 24, 2010 at 1:23 am |
    • verify

      Hi peace2all,
      I am doing well, thank you... hope you are too. Good to see you. Yes, Kate is a toughie... correct some of the time and not correct some of the time, but tenacious nonetheless.

      Kate,
      Silly me, my conception should be that this severe, darkly-hooded person, is warm and welcoming and open, then? I am not exclusionary - she is. Well, perhaps if she had an Hawaiian-print hood, or one with a smiley face on there, it might make things a tiny bit different 🙂 You know darn well that they know they intend to stifle interaction.

      August 24, 2010 at 1:24 am |
    • Kate

      @noboru mokoto

      It's the same as the Jewish prohibition (I think) against eating the flesh of cloven hooved critters ... that plus have you seen what pigs will eat? Actually, it might be faster to list what they won't eat.

      Considering the news on the main site about half a billion eggs being recalled, I think it's safe to say that you can't rely on modern farming methods to keep you safe from bugs in the food chain.

      I wonder if the regulators on farms used to work checking Gulf drilling rigs ...

      August 24, 2010 at 1:29 am |
    • Kate

      @verify

      I prefer to think of it as you're sometimes close, but not always right 🙂

      As for the hawaiian print niqab – well, you're close 🙂

      Technically, niqab was supposed to *equalize* communication. That obviously isn't the effect it has in the West, but again, that's not the sole purpose behind it either.

      I'm not saying I don't understand your points – I'm just saying that the solution to misunderstandings requires effort from both sides – and why would a niqabi put the effort into trying to show you that they're sociable if the default reaction to overtures will be ... well, you've read the comments here 🙂

      Just sayin'

      August 24, 2010 at 1:36 am |
    • bookless believer

      "When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion." Richard Dawkins

      August 24, 2010 at 5:30 am |
    • bookless believer

      @noboru mokoto
      thank you at last someone said it. pretty thought provoking.

      August 24, 2010 at 5:33 am |
  15. Reality

    The only solution to the Muslim community's identi-ty and clothing woes is to delete all the offensive passages in the Koran e.g. those passages that call for world and female domination by Muslim males

    August 23, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
    • sYRa

      For your Information Reality, the Holy Quran is the only book in this world today that has not been changed since its ancient text and word from God. The book of GOd is not to be changed according to societal whims, the words in it are written for purpose, you cannot just delete what you want. Try to understand it.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
    • Cadiz

      Ha sYRa, you don't know your Islamic history very well do you? Have you not read how Caliph Abu Bakr had his preferred version of the Koran written down and all others destroyed? Sounds like re-editing to me.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • Ryan

      Syra- how do you know it was written by God? I respect your beliefs, but when you say things like "try to understand it" and you are referring to religion and faith in general, how about if it doesnt make any sense?

      August 23, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
    • Reality

      sYRa,

      Obviously you are suffering from the Three B Syndrome i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in some form of religion. In your case it is Islam. There is an easy cure called the Five Step Program for "Deflawing" Islam. A free copy is attached for your perusal:

      o Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc.

      No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days fasting in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
    • Ron

      Hey Reality, don't knock the burka brother...this is your life as well. Except yours does not have a purpose for society, while hiding behind the internet spewing hateful garbage...just because! You my friend are more rotten than any man-made religion! Atheist all over the world hate you!

      August 23, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
    • Peace-be-upon-you

      The HOLY QURAN is the Word of GOD & it has not been changed ever since it came down to Prophet Muhammad brought by Gabriel. The proof is that every muslim, anywhere in the world, regardless of region, race or language , has the same arabic version word to word as was sent down to the Prophet (peace be upon him). All other scriptures have many versions but Quran has no version. It is the most read & practiced book in the world.

      @ cardiz: Abu Bakr only compiled the quran in the form of book which was previously written on diffent pieces of clothes, papers & dried leaves. there was no editing.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
    • someone

      The Torah has never been changed. It must be copied from an existing scroll word for word, even if the writer knows the entire thing by heart. He must check every letter before writing it in the new scroll. Even though the Jews have been scattered all over the world, when global communication and travel made contact between formerly isolated Jewish communities, there was only one difference found in all the versions of the Torah, and that was in a grammatical pronunciation mark (nekuda) which isn't written in the scroll, but orally transmitted from generation to generation. ONLY ONE!

      August 23, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • Reality

      An update:

      Helping my "burka" brothers to free themselves from 1400 years of Islamic myths is somehow hateful??? Analogous, Five Step Programs for Deflawing Christianity and also Judaism are available and are free.

      Also, the rabbis of the 1.5 million Conservative Jews have rewritten the OT. It is called the New Torah for Modern Minds. In this new Torah, Abraham and Moses are declared to be myths. That sure puts added kibosh on the foundations of Christianity and Islam. Google, Bing or Yahoo this to order your copy of the new Torah.

      August 23, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
    • Ryan

      PEACE BE WITH YOU- THATS NICE THAT ALL THE WORDS AND VERSES ARE THE SAME.....BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW ITS FROM "GOD"? YOU DONT, AND THERE IS NO WAY OF PROVING IT.

      August 23, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
    • John

      @ sRya....hmm again you're mistaken........you say the Quran "hasn't changed" ...Shortly after Mohammed’s death, his verses remained written on stones, bones, leather, and hidden in the memories of his followers. Years passed and most of those, who claimed to remember all of the Qur'an by heart, were killed in battle. Some of the items on which verses were written were damaged or lost.

      Muslims today are committed to the idea that there was one original Qur'an which was compiled without any mistakes, omissions or additions. Yet, Islamic history shows that perhaps four to seven different versions of the Qur'an emerged. One of Mohammed’s successors, Caliph Uthman, was shocked by this fact. He assigned a committee of three people to construct a standardized version of the Qur'an. Then Muslim leaders tried to burn all other versions of the Qur'an (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 6, p. 479

      August 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
    • asfd

      actually uthman did burn but on the basis that it was released in the arabic format of the quraish language, but others were reading it and so some words by people of other nations were of different meaning plus when written and sent to others it might have different spelling and thus a new meaning, thats why he burnt the other copies so that the original form and words were being used.

      August 23, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
    • HerSideNow

      Please....Really??? You actually believe that? False assumptions. Books written by men (the Koran) for men, will always be subject to "editors" preference. It has changed. It will change. It is meant specifically to brainwash ladies such as yourself and leave you to dream (or waste) away in your self-righteous ignorance.

      The hijab and other such garments tell me that these women view themselves as more pious, more chaste, more devoted to their God than I am. It is offensive to me and belittling to them. They wear it simply to draw more attention to themselves, not less. It screams: "I believe I am better than you" because I choose to wear this ridiculous covering. God gave us a beautiful body, uncovered and unashamed. All of us will face him naked anyway, with all of our sins uncovered. Its just that my choice of belief allows for a slightly easier path to grace than Nadia's. I feel sorry for them, plain and simple.

      August 23, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      That is as offensive as ordering editing the Christian bible.
      Indeed, my nuns from Catholic school are rolling in their graves at your suggestion!
      That is as offensive as Constantine editing the bible! Oops, he did...

      August 23, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
    • One World

      Reality, I will help you. I will bring my Quran, you bring your Bible/Torah. It will be a busy night.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
    • Patriotic and Spiritual

      @ HersSideNow

      The most eloquent and intelligent response yet...thank you.

      August 23, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
    • iUnreal

      alot of people are saying how do you know if Quran has not been changed like Bible and Torah, well heres how. Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammad about 1400 years ago in arabic language and it is still in arabic. You will find many contradiction in English translation of Quran because when you translate a language it is not Quran anymore its more of an opinion of words. But you will not find any contradiction in Quran. Now reason I said Bible and Torah have been changed because Bible was in Aramaic and Hebrew languages respectably, today you cannot find those original Books.

      And heres a fact for Non Muslims here, In order to be a Muslim we have to believe in the Original Bible and Original Torah was fron Allah

      August 23, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
    • DUDE

      have you read the bible? there are tons of things in there you would deem offensive and abu bakar did not hange the wording he just did not put it in the order which it was revealed. that version is available for ali kept the order it is called topseer.

      August 24, 2010 at 1:22 am |
    • Deepunderstand

      @reality
      In order to defend or attack a situation one has to look into the REALITY. And reality come from understanding the background and some history of the event. Hijab was not (ordered/recommended) at the time of Islam only, it was reinforced when Islam became more popular like other religions at the time. Hijab became popular when Jews were around. when prostitution, nudity, rape, and sex became common among non-believers, Islam reinforced hijab( although there is no direct word to cover face and total cover-up in Quran) to maintain modesty, social order, and to distinguish virtuous from sluts at that time. REALITY is ALWAYS REALITY. Myself I'm not for Niqab but also to consider ones right is important.

      August 24, 2010 at 1:50 am |
    • Jack Chambers

      @Ryan, we know its from GOD because the Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him was illiterate, how could he come up with all this wisdom if he was never schooled, never knew how to read or right. Yet he was eloquently reciting the most powerful lines of poetry that he was inspired with from God through the arch angel Gabriel.

      The Angel Gabriel visited the Muhammad many times over a period of twenty-three years. Gabriel taught Muhammad the verses and he instructed his scribes to record them. All the revealed verses are compiled in the Qur'an.

      August 25, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
    • thecatisasleep

      @John,
      "Years past"....not the thousands that passed before the Torah and hundred before the Bible was written down.
      Surely the Caliph Uthman, who was one of the closest companions, and the wives of Muhammad who were entrusted to keep the Quran either were themselves among those who had memorized the Quran or able to judge those who had.
      "claimed to have memorized"... implying this is not possible but there are many people now who have memorized the Quran. People used to memorize whole books instead of watching TV.

      August 27, 2010 at 9:04 am |
  16. sealchan

    I think that although I like the idea that people should wear what they want, covering the face does cross some important lines that should be seriously considered.

    1. Inability to identify the individual
    2. Inability to express emotion through facial expression
    3. In certain contexts such as stores which suffer a high rate of shoplifting it is a security concern

    Some may choose but I suspect thousands are forced and they are as much a symbol of a mysogynistic culture as they may be a symbol of a woman's effort at rising beyond stereotypical attitudes. Covering the face as much as "do recognize me as an individual" as it does say "look at the content of my character and not my appearance". If men in Islam also covered themselves then that would go a long way toward making this sort of attire not seem mysogynistic.

    I assume that under the niqab there is no makeup? Could not the practice of not wearing makeup also count as a spiritual devotion in the same context?

    August 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
    • sealchan

      Sorry my one sentence should read "Covering the face says "do not recognize me as an individual" as much as it says "look at the content of my character and not my appearance"

      August 23, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
      • fsg

        regardless of the intent of what you expect people to read, it is interpreted very differently.
        it tends to be read as: rude or devious.
        covering your face in the western world has for years meant that you are hiding something.
        if you wear sunglasses when talking to someone or cover your mouth, it is also rude.

        August 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
        • Maria C

          @fsg

          I hear the sound of a nail being hit on the head. Excellent points.

          August 23, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
      • db

        Isn't it more like "Look at ME, I'm an odd ball and I love being watched!"

        August 23, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
        • lenny

          exactly

          August 23, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
      • C

        Yes! There have been times when my looks have been given more attention than ME while I have interacted with men I would have rather not interacted with. I assume that one of the purposes of hijab for the modern Muslim woman is to protect her from that and show herself as she is inside. It shouldn't be necessary, but it's a scary world and I understand the desire for that protection.

        August 23, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
    • sealchan

      The point has been made that men do have there own "coverings" but is it understood that if men could cover their face that would be a sign of deeper devotion to God?

      August 23, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
      • paul

        Actually, men covering their face is a sign that someone is about to be robbed.

        August 23, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
        • Patti

          paul, that us the funniest comment on CNN I have ever read!

          August 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
      • Robert

        AWESOME POINT!!!!!! so true!

        August 23, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  17. JohnQuest

    I am a non believer and I think it is silly but she they do have the right to wear whatever they want, it their face and it is not a crime. I do not recall reading this in the Quran, if someone does please point out, where in the Quran does it state that females should cover the faces for show reverence to their creator?

    August 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
    • FactChecker

      The Quran does not specifically state to cover the face; most Muslims do believe that the following verses refers to wearing the viel and dressing modestly:

      “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.” (Quran 33:59)

      “And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear therof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms.........(Quran 24:31).

      Interestingly enough the Bibile does specifcially state that women should cover their head:
      "For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered." (Corinthians 11:6)

      August 23, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      FactChecker, thanks I agree, I think that is where it came from but the it was taken out of context I think.
      (Quran 33:59) I read this as distinguishing themselves from Slaves and to prevent harassment, not an issue in the 21st century.

      " Those who harass believing men and believing women unjustifiably shall bear the guilt of slander and a grievous sin. O Prophet! Enjoin your wives, your daughters, and the wives of true believers to draw their cloaks over them [when they go out]. That is more proper, so that they may be distinguished [from slave women] and not be harassed. God is ever forgiving and merciful. If the hypocrites and those who have the ailment [of jealousy] in their hearts and the scandal mongers of Madinah do not desist, We will rouse you against them, and their days in that city will be numbered. Cursed be they; wherever found, they would be seized and put to death."

      (Quran 24:31) This only mentions a females Bosom and "not display their beauty" could mean anything, from smiling to wearing makeup, gold or whatever.

      " And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye believers! Turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss."

      August 23, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • kiakitty

      Interestingly enough the Bibile does specifcially state that women should cover their head:
      "For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered." (Corinthians 11:6)

      The covering this passage is refering to is a woman's hair, not a headscarf or burka. Make the men wear the same oppressive covering. France got it right for a change.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
    • AGA

      A common misconception about hijab is that it is mandated only for women. Hijab is actually mandated for both men and women. The difference lies in how they are required to implement it. The Glorious Qur’an says:

      “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands..."
      [Al-Qur'an 24:30-31]

      August 23, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
    • sYRa

      I am also a muslim woman, and I know that it is not required in Islam to cover the face, it is however required you cover your hair and dress modestly, as to not show off your figure. I think society should grasp this idea because there is no limit to what women are wearing these days, and it always gets them in trouble. There is no good that comes out of outrageous and scanitly clad clothing except for sins and negative attention, disrespect to yourself and other woman, as they are only viewed as objects to look at. How come these days magazines all over are trying to run campaigns for the over-weight woman not to be discriminiated against or the overly skinny to not starve themselves thin, there is no limit to societies expectations of outwardly appearance, and too many people dwell on it and ruin their self-esteem over it, they waste their time on it when they could be doing more important things. Men choose to judge woman by how "hot" they are and marry them for their looks, and years down the line when the looks fade so do the marriages becasue they are based on lies, and that contributes to why our divorce rates are getting so high. Just think about it logically, and don't lie and say this is not the case, if woman were more modest, confident, and chaste today there would be a lot less problems between couples, and this is the natural truth.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
    • Cadiz

      Hey Factchecker, is that before or after the chapter about the 'Distribution of the Spoils of War' in the Koran of the 'religion of Peace'?

      August 23, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
    • Jason

      I'm still trying to understand why in 2010 people really on ancient documents to determine their behavior in modern society – not to mention their relationship with God or whatever force you do or do not believe in – when those documents have been the source of war and political turmoil since their inception.

      I am Jewish and understand the need for community, but I reject the Bible as some sort of divine creation. I am what everyone calls a cultural Jew. I've studied the Bible and lived in Israel and been to Jordan and studied Arabic and read the Quaran and a little of the New testament, the Epic of Gilgamesh and some Sufi texts. Beautiful literature. Some lessons to learn.

      But to sacrifice equality and all the wonderful gifts that generations have fought to achieve throughout history.. well I'll just never understand how someone's personal spiritual relationship has anything to do with anyone else. In Judaism, men must wear a yarmulke to be reminded that God is above them, but women do not as they are considered more divine. This is not Hasidic, but honestly the Hasids refer to 18th century Poland and personally i do not see how any of that is relevant easier. To them, I'm not a Jew. Which is just stupid. Who cares and who the hell is anyone else to judge.

      Bottom line: Religion, Clothing, Modesty, Society... if you make a decision to abide by ancient mores in modern society, then expect SOME people to disagree with you.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
    • Ilaria

      I'm sorry, but I smell an awful lot of BS.
      While I agree that you have the choice to wear what you want, here are some points to ponder:
      1. One of the women in the story claims that the modesty shown by wearing these garments saves them from the objectification that other women face, by definition, being presented as objects. You too, by wearing hijab/niqab/burqa are being presented as objects, only in a different way. Objects of religion, no? So perhaps the term you might want to go with is sexualization.
      2. The argument that most Muslim women aren't being forced to wear them against their will. Well, I don't know about it being against their will, but if you look around, many young Muslim women are standing up in their own ways. I go to the mall, I see a number of Muslim women wearing the hijab, but their clothes are tight enough to reveal panty lines, and their faces are literally caked with makeup. How is that any more modest than a woman in a business skirt and heels, hair visible?
      Also, I find the argument in itself cleverly deceptive. If all I ever knew was that oatmeal was bad and chocolate good, wouldn't it stand to reason that I would willingly choose chocolate over oatmeal in my adult life? If growing up, Muslim women are made to believe that wearing the hijab/niqab/burqa is better than not, obviously they would believe it the best choice in their adult ife, regardless.
      Finally, peer pressure plays a huge role. For example, my friend's family is moderate...no headcoverings. People in their community have told them they were basically no good because of this, and that they need to find their way back to proper Islam, or be judged. In school, all of the headress-wearing Muslim girls ganged up on my friend's baby sister until one day she came home from school wearing the hijab...then these girls turned into friends. I remember moderates going to university, only to be pressured at prayer times by peers to wear hijab, to be a 'good Muslim".
      So, to say it is something that is 100% an act of free will I do not believe.

      I'm not saying Muslims shouldn't, but they should only if they really and truly want to, not because someone tells them they have to. While I'm not Muslim, I'd sometimes think it might be easier to wear a headress rather than spend time and money cutting and styling my 'do on a daily basis. But I will continue to do my hair, everyday, as it is part of my body and 100% my will...and that is all that matters.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
    • mohawk067

      FactChecker

      You still didn't answer the question it doesn't say to cover your face, quit trying to defend. Also someone said the Supreme Court said that Americans did not have to carry ID, do somemore research you don't have to carry but if you are asked to produce it you are otherwise you can be arrested.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
    • FactChecker

      Mohawk – I am not defending, I was just replying to JohnQuest because he asked for the passages. Also I never said that the Quran said you have to cover your face. It does not say that and I don't believe that women should cover thier face, but if they want to then that's their right. I was just pointing out the verses in the Qurna that refer to wearing the viel (the head covering – not the face covering).

      Relax

      August 23, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
    • John

      @ sYRa...you say "it's ALWAYS get them in trouble? Well...my sister is 59 years old now...she's never in 59 years "got in trouble" for dressing in a typical western way.....i think you might wanna take back this extremist view.

      August 23, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
    • Kate

      @Mohawk

      Not quite. Hiibel vs Arizona was the case, and the Justices ruled that if stopped under reasonable suspicion or probable cause by officers, you are required to give them your name. But they can't just stop you and ask you for it – and the ruling said you give them your name *not* show them ID. Verifying ident|ty is then their responsibility.

      They were very specific to not give a ruling that would lead to mandatory ID cards. That's not to say that if you're stopped under reasonable suspicion and don't have some form of ID on you, you won't be waiting for a while as they check, but it still remains that you only need ID cards to carry out actions to which the state has interest in licensing and controlling, such as driving or trade.

      August 23, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
    • Mesa Mick

      This primitive cultural garb warn as an "expression of one's religion" in the public arena is simply an excuse by "devout Muslims" to rub one's so called "piety" in another's face. It screams "I'm more religious than you" and for that reason alone the wearer whould be singled out for ridicule, not admired for feigning a pubic display of "faith". Am I reading someone elses intent? Yes I am but if it's not obvious to you that is what is at the heart of the "cover-up" than you too must be a sucker for the "religious thought control" of others as well....

      August 23, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
    • vet2010

      If you hear the video clearly she states that the Quran does not require the face covering and she does it on her own. The quran only requires women to keep modest in their clothing the same goes for men. Tanzil.info for more info

      August 23, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
    • almujahida

      The Noble Qur'an – Al-Ahzab 33:59

      O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils)* all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

      *the arabic word here is Jalabeeb (plural of Jalbaab), which is the loose outer garment that covers all a woman's body. It says here to use the Jalabeeb to cover all, and scholars say this means to use it to cover her head (agree upon by all scholars) and her face (agreed by many scholars, not all) and one or both eyes, in order for it to be known that she is a free woman and so not to be exposed to any harm.

      August 23, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      The custom actually PREDATES Islam. Women covered their face and hair largely to keep the dust and sand out of it, as anyone who has been deployed there can attest to. They also did so to not have darker skin, as is common in many cultures where darker skin is common. Indeed even today there is a large market in their pharmacies and hypermarkets to have skin lightening cream in quantity.
      It's also part and parcel of the Arab culture on other aspects too. Stare at an Arab's wife and be prepared for the few harsh words you'll get there at initiation of conversation. In short, they're very polite normally, but stare at the woman and you'll see QUICK reaction guarding their wife or daughter. I've not had that problem, but I've witnessed it a few times.
      On any occasion I WAS looking, I promptly said "Masallah, you have a beautiful family. You've been blessed." To which I've been thanked for the complement. (Mashallah is an easy concept to consider if you've been around Italian Americans when they are praising a beautiful baby and they say "God Bless him/her" for much the same reason, prevention of the evil eye.)

      August 23, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
    • lovecats101

      It's not required in the Quran. People confuse culture and old traditions with religion.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
    • lovecats101

      It's not required in the Quran. I know many religious Muslims who don't wear the hijab. At least half of Egyptian women don't wear it.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
    • Kam

      The Bible is referring to an actual head covering NOT hair. I know some pastors are preaching that it refers to the hair but this is wrong. In that region, during that time women covered their heads. Orthodox Jewish women do the same thing. Nuns used to do the same thing, and in some churches a woman needs something covering her head to go to church. Yes the Bible mandates Christian women to cover their head and not with hair. That is such a weak argument I don't know how any one can believe it.

      August 24, 2010 at 12:35 am |
    • James E. Staley

      With all the problems the United States has had with the people of the Middle east and the Muslim religion, I think if they want to cover themself at home that is up to them, but out in public, NO every one needs to see them just in case there is another terrorist attack. Some men might try to cover themself and hide in the Muslim woman clothing and the United States needs to be ready for future terrorist attacks.

      August 24, 2010 at 2:34 am |
    • No-sense makes nonsense

      Absolute nonsense. we are born into this world equal and naked. Covering yourself from head to foot, including your face makes you a non-entity. I'm an older woman who worked for years in Muslim countries where women are not seen publicly nor do they converse or engage with one another when out in public 'protected' by their male relatives. Any woman in a modern developed free democracy (for all of its problems) that covers herself continues to support the long history of submission and degradation of the human right to being a person experienced by millions of Muslim women worldwide.

      August 24, 2010 at 4:55 am |
    • zalia

      “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands..."
      [Al-Qur'an 24:30-31]

      August 25, 2010 at 1:13 am |
    • Muslimah n one god

      @lovecats101 ... You just made a statement that is far from the truth. I live in Egypt been here for 5 years and travel to other parts of it.... All of the women cover except a handful of them. That is not true half the women in Egypt? wow do you even live here. Plz state only facts and stop deceiving people.... God told us to cover our bodies and those who wish to obey him does so you will find in ALL MUSLIM countries Majority of the women all cover but a handful may not that is not HALF.

      August 25, 2010 at 5:24 am |
    • Monty

      I think that they should have the right to wear whatever they want to wear. There isn't any rule against how little clothing somebody can wear as long as they cover their specific areas. There shouldn't be any law against covering up to much. I can see about the face though incase they steal something how is somebody going to be able to say that it was them. It would be the perfect descise for somebody that isn't muslim walk into some store grab something off the shelf and stick it under that clothing and then go to the bathroom or whatever and take off the vail or whatever and nobody will ever be able to tell.

      September 1, 2010 at 2:12 am |
    • Gia Daniel, RN

      To answer your question, in the verses of the Qur'aan where the decree states that the wives of the Prophet, his daughters, and the Believing women are to let down their head coverings to further cover their bosoms and all areas of beauty. That would be Surah al-Ahzab, by the way.
      When the verses were revealed, the next time that all of the women came out of their homes for prayer, they had fashioned face coverings for themselves, using lower garments, using aprons, and they covered themselves with sheets of cloth that they held in such a way that only enough of their faces were exposed so that they could see their paths.
      When Muslims read the Qur'aan, we also read the examples of the people who were there at that time, to see what they did, what was approved tacitly or verbally, or what was disapproved.
      There is a clip circulating on YouTube, that is part of a sermon in English. The speaker states, 'don't ask Barbara Walters or CNN why Muslim women do what they do. Ask the Muslim women themselves.'
      Try it. I wear niqaab, I wear hijaab, I wear abayah ... and I am a registered nurse, trying to help people out of my faith, not to earn a quick dollar, but rather to save lives, which is the same as saving the world, which is also in the Qur'aan. Don't assume things about us, try giving us the same courtesy that you want for yourselves. You would be surprised at what you may learn.

      September 8, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  18. verify

    They can wear Holly Hobbie dresses and combat boots for all I care, but they must be identifiable in public. Halloween/Carnival disguises give Law Enforcement extra grief, I'm sure (but those are infrequent events).

    They can simply wear their names printed across the forehead of the cover or something like that if they refuse to show their identifiable features.

    August 23, 2010 at 11:53 am |
    • Kate

      And what, pray tell, is your interest in identifying strange women on the street? You just like ogling women's faces, or is it for future reference ...

      If you're talking about those who have a *legitimate* interest in verifying someone's identity, like law enforcement, then you'll be glad to know the "rules" not only permit but specifically state that people can lift their niqab to prove identity, I'm reliably informed.

      August 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
    • MadisonAvenueMan

      You can't really be serious. But it does raise an interesting issue – how do we know these are not wanted felons walking around? I for one do not trust anyone that hides their face behind a veil. To me it simply means you have something to hide. I am a dyed in the wool liberal left of center democrat who firmly believes in human rights but when I see these people on the street or in the subway, my hear rate goes up and my radar on full alert. My wife and I both feel very uncomfortable when we are around such people. They are hiding – never mind what they say about pleasing their God – that's just crazy talking.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
    • someone

      Elizabeth Smart was wearing what essentially amounts to a hijab when someone recognized her and reported to local authorities where she was.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
    • LAURA J

      Our open society is based on people being open about who they are – it was illegal to go on public roads with a mask for many years (may still be – have to check). This demand of a free society trumps any personal practices (which are not demanded of Islam, but are cultural – and not ours)

      August 23, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
    • WhatIsBeliefe

      In Islam the woman is allowed to show her face to a professional whether it is a doctor or a policeman. If a cop came up to a woman and wanted to see her face to make sure she is not criminal the woman has to oblige.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
    • Westerner

      They have the right to wear whatever they want .... where they come from.
      I have to show my ID numerous time a day (transportation, bank, public building, work etc...) . Why would they have the right to hide their face. This is simply not what our society is about. Do not come over here if you cannot accept that. Otherwise believe in Allah or Donald Duck, I could not care less.

      August 23, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Want Jews to wear a Star of David too?
      First, LEARN a little about hijab. There are a number of interpretations. Unless you think that the police need to see hair and neck, many wear it with their face in the open. Turkey and Iran BOTH have that custom. I've saw it through the Persian Gulf as well, as an individual preference.
      And as good citizens, I'm sure most won't have a problem showing their face upon request during an ID check by police, when they have probable cause to request it.
      Since covering the face isn't a thing that can hid a weapon, there isn't a safety issue.
      And frankly, with nearly 5 years in the Persian Gulf, living off post with the local populace, I NEVER had a fear of a woman in hijab, even when she wore an abaya. Of the women driving in Kuwait and Qatar, yes. They're almost as bad as the men.

      August 23, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
    • tinabeana

      I work at a gas station, so after reading the article and some of the comments, I thought about how I would react if a customer came in with a Hijab on. I can't think of a time this has happened. I came to the conclusion that if you are hip enough to know a few things about your religion, than you can sympathize with a person who has the potential of being robbed and the courtesy to show your good face/faith in this situation.
      This reminds me of Halloween and how we post a sign remind customers to remove their masks before entering the store. It also reminds me of two banks that were recently robbed by a woman dressed in a clown suit.
      I think the religious discussion is a whatever, of course she has the right to express herself and faith in our country, but I do think there are a few instances when it's just not cool to wear a Hajib.
      Lastly, when one of my kids was six, he yelled out OMG! Mom/Dad NINJAS, Look at the NINJAS. Yes, it was a group of Muslim women in full gear. I don't think they heard him, and I did tell them that they were Muslims and dressed like that as part of their religion, but I do have to admit the thought of a group of female Ninjas standing on a sidewalk in Philly was very entertaining.

      August 24, 2010 at 12:36 am |
    • tinabeana

      I work at a gas station, so after reading the article and some of the comments, I thought about how I would react if a customer came in with a Hijab on. I can't think of a time this has happened. I came to the conclusion that if you are hip enough to know a few things about your religion, than you can sympathize with a person who has the potential of being robbed and the courtesy to show your good face/faith in this situation.
      This reminds me of Halloween and how we usually post a sign to remind customers to remove their masks before entering the store. It also reminds me of two banks that were recently robbed by a woman dressed in a clown suit.
      I think the religious discussion is a whatever, of course she has the right to express herself and faith in our country, but I do think there are a few instances when it's just not cool to wear a Hajib.
      Lastly, when one of my kids was six, he yelled out OMG! Mom/Dad NINJAS, Look at the NINJAS. Yes, it was a group of Muslim women in full gear. I don't think they heard him, and I did tell them that they were Muslims and dressed like that as part of their religion, but I do have to admit the thought of a group of female Ninjas standing on a sidewalk in Philly was very entertaining.

      August 24, 2010 at 12:38 am |
    • tinabeana

      wow double post, magic.

      August 24, 2010 at 12:40 am |
    • sghitman

      Wow! I can't believe the things that are being written in this blog. It is apparent that we as an american society lack knowledge and understanding about different cultures. Let me remind you that America was founded by immigrants that migrated from different parts of the world. I believe that if they are born in America they have the right to practice their religions whether it is Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, etc... The constitution of the United States says that we have the freedom of Religion just like these white supremacist have the right to practice what they believe.

      August 24, 2010 at 12:53 am |
    • Random

      Beautiful .... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejPZdadYab4&feature=player_embedded

      August 24, 2010 at 1:24 am |
    • Andrew in NYC

      To all those who are against this expression of religion, would you say the same things about Hassidic Jews? Or how about the Amish? If you're going to criticize this group of people for their peaceful expression of religion (and I can already hear fingers typing some inane response about 'muslins done attacked us'), do not do it on a superficial basis. Plenty of religions within the United States require head coverings. Just ask anyone who's ever worn a kippah or a bonnet.

      August 24, 2010 at 1:27 am |
    • ZURBA

      IF these women know that they are warshiping Mohamman who was a pedefile ( he is the one had wifes 9 years old when
      he was 50 and Islam is the one that it sys its Ok.) Wonder when her doughter turns 9 if she will marry her to 50 year old man. OR belive in a stupid and backword religon who think a woman is worth half as a man and belive in a stupid religon who says the blood of " KOFAR" who is anyone other than muslim is just. These STUPID muslim are trying impose Islam on the world and then the true Islam will show their face acording to Koran. see the Taliban doind to weman in Afganestan if you dont belive me. Hear it from a former Muslim. Take your fucking religon and leave my country USA/ IRAN and go live someplace like Somalia or soudi arabia.

      August 24, 2010 at 1:43 am |
    • Guest

      Sisters wearing the Hijab/Niqab/Yellow taxi; as long as it's their choice they have a right to decide their fashion sense. Personally, all I can say is: Sisters! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!...

      August 24, 2010 at 2:23 am |
    • abqTim

      @tinabeana
      "Lastly, when one of my kids was six, he yelled out OMG! Mom/Dad NINJAS, Look at the NINJAS"

      That is funny tinabeana, but it's also intresting how your kid chose to compare their dress with that of ancient Japenese assassins!! Yep, assassins are modest too!!

      August 24, 2010 at 2:42 am |
  19. GSA

    Kate, that was the best comment hands-down that has ever been written on a CCN comment section. It's nice to know that decent, level-headed people still exist today, thank you, after reading all the hate usually written here your post made me smile and started off my day perfectly.

    August 23, 2010 at 11:46 am |
    • Doctor

      I agree with GSA. Kate , your like your logic. In this day and age, every woman can be as naked as possible and Noone tells her that you cannot do that. HOWEVER if somewone wants to cover herslef up.. it is so much condemned...Why..??

      August 23, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
    • Johnny medina

      Kate's message was great, yes. But in the real world of day to day living, people who are covered from head to toe could be dangerous, during Halloween most stores will not allow you entrance if you are wearing a mask, and don't even try to get in a bank. If woman what to wear what they feel is a reflection of their faith, more power to them, but the rest of us need to feel safe also. I would not feel safe around people who are covered in that way... A man can use that disguise to commit a crime or even worse, wear a bomb belt. Sad, yes I know but it's true.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
    • GoKate

      Ditto GSA and Doctor. Very well put, Kate.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
    • Derp

      Communist Cartoon Network?

      August 23, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
    • Like Leader, Like Follower

      Islam's founder married someone 25 year older than him and also someone who was barelt 8 year old....or 40 years younger to him....obvioulsy the founder's thinking found its way into religious book of Islam and that's why women are asked to cover from head to toe so as not to insigate 'baser' human instincts...For your knowledge, most civilized men are not perverts...It is degrading to hide ones identity, period. Would this lady also put burqa infront of God too? There have been many incidents in Pakistan where burqa clad terrorists blew up things as they could easily pass unrecognized...people could be stealing too with the same grab...so it is also incompatible with present day cilivilization.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
    • Robert

      Women who wear head coverings are not dangerous. I guess the 200+ years we have of religious tolerance in this country has taught us nothing – we can only speculate what would happen if this garb were allowed?

      That's laughable! The garb is allowed today – and people wear it today – and it isn't used to rob banks. Even ski-masks are not illegal. And yes, they are used to rob banks. But its as if, you can't think straight.

      It's illegal to wear a ski mask to rob a bank, but the bank robber doesn't care. He puts the ski mask on, goes into the bank, robs it – every part about it was illegal.

      Making a religious dress illegal has no impact on the safety of banks – it has nothing to do with it. Sit down, draw a map, think about it as long as you need to.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
    • Paul

      It's funny how so many people on here want to defend this practice like they are so well versed in Muslim culture. If a woman wants to dress modestly by wearing this head covering then more power to her. But why don't we talk about the ideology that's promoting this behavior. Muhammad the Prophet was a warlord that beheaded or ordered the beheading of over 500 people, he had sex with a nine year old girl (Aisha) and authorized Muslim men to do the same (Muslims are allowed to even consumate before the girl reaches puberty). Muhammad had a female tribal leader ripped apart by horses because "a female leader of a nation will surely fall" and even slept with his son, Ali's wife while he was away at war, and when Ali objected Muhammad stated that since he was sent by Allah he could do whatever he wanted. When some men killed an innocent Jewish elder in a nearby town and presented Muhammad with the head, he did not reprimand them, but instead blessed them. This is the man that all Muslims should strive to be; the murderer, pedophile, and subjugator of women and non-muslims. Please stop talking about how peaceful Islam is until you ACTUALLY pick up a Quran and read it yourself. Then try to compare Muhammad life and the life of Jesus Christ. There is no comparison. This religion was created to by a man that treated women as property and ordered Muslim men (read the Quran) to kill the Christian and Jews "strike them at the neck". Just cause your Muslim neighbor doesn't come at you with a gun doesn't mean the religion is peaceful. Just like there are "Christians" that do not go to church, there are Muslims that aren't practicing jihad.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
    • Fern

      Funny... If that is the reason why women get all covered, they should request that men get covered too so they can be judged by their intellect and personalities as well. It is not fair. They have been severely brainwashed but it is their problem not mine 😦

      August 23, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
    • TREX

      It seems that this covering is not much different than the garb of the Catholic Nun

      August 23, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
    • Kate

      @GSA

      It seems the moderators came through and deleted the entire thread. Nothing about approving the posts already in the queue, but at least they deleted the thread with intelligent conversation in it.

      August 23, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
    • amaathya

      Nadiya is wearing a niqab so that people judge her for what she is and not how she looks. But people judge her for what she is wearing, so obviously the Niqab is not working in the spiritual sense. Moreover it promotes the thought that women who dont wear a niqab are not decent..which btw is the islamic school of thought. Then there is segregation , when women need to have separate swmming pools, cannot roam around in public without the company of a male in the family and a chain of other male dominated society rules. Which if, Nadiya wants she will follow and force on her children. pretty soon her daughter will be encouraged at home to wear the niqab and social aggregation will force her to hang around only her "kind" , if we want a harmonous society ..this is leading it to the opposite side.
      – think about it

      August 23, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
    • Yenta

      Great piece. Personally I don't know why anyone would object to the hijab. It is certainly more appropriate than the clothing on the half dressed teenage girls that I frequently see

      The full face covering, while it may be a personal choice, does draw a lot of attention. We have had terrorist sattacks from people of Islamic origin. That means there are fears about just who is under that garment. It is hard to have a real interaction with someone when you cannot see her face. Also, if the person wants a drivers' license or other personal document of identity, she should be forced to remove the full face coverning. I don't find that the hijab inhibits conversation at all or that the woman should be forced to remove it for identity photos.

      Ultra orthodox Jewish women also wear distinctive clothing and head coverings or wigs to hide their hair entirely.

      This is America. People have freedom of religion and freedom to dress as they choose. Of course, wearing a full facial veil is going to be off putting if you go for a job. Women choosing that garment have to deal with that. I do not believe that the hijab should prevent anyone from being hired in the same way (putting aside places where people are required to dress a certain way to get a job–such as Disney). In fact, the hijab is a sign that the woman is going to behave in the office appropriately in stead of women who wear inappropriate clothing to work to incide attention.

      By the way–and for the record–I am a secular person of Jewish origin.

      Again, very nice piece.

      August 23, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
    • Nacho1

      When in Rome....do as the Romans do........if not.......go back where you belong...............

      August 23, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Nacho, she IS where she came from. Don't like it? Get out of MY country and go back where YOU are from.
      And before you claim birthright, I'll throw in Sons of the American Revolution.
      Or better yet, my 27+ years of military service, my 5 years deployed in the Persian Gulf and the sacrifices and losses of all of those years to protect our constitution and her absolute, inviolable right to where what she damned well pleases ESPECIALLY since it is part of her religion.

      August 23, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
    • d9

      Un-real... You have got to be kidding me... CNN turned this into a badge of honor?

      There is another cooler full of the kool-aid on the way...

      What good fortune for those in power that people do not think.
      -Adolf Hitler

      August 23, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
    • aasma

      in reguards to ferns comment,from an irish american muslem....the men do have a dress code as the womans modesty and virtue is requred of both sexes,womans is more strick,because it reconises men as the weaker sex,woman dont think about sex every five minutes like men do,it respects the sexes the same were they are the same and different were they are different,christ even says to look upon a woman with lust in your heart is to commit adultry in the heart,this is to keep away from both parties or to excite one to lust,why do fathers want there daughters to cover up when they go out because they know how men think,it wasnt long ago when jews and christians covered or went to church covered on there head there heads even if it was a lace veil as modesty and repect to god,what is the reason nuns were habits or is modesty demanded on nuns only,the quaean says who denies the finley apparrel sent by god for his creation but the apparrel of self restraint is bedt if ye but know,not oppresion but repect for one another.

      August 23, 2010 at 9:05 pm |
    • funyy

      hey Fern, you got brainwashed by women's right. what is it there to see in men's body. there body is beautiful and attractive, thats way the cover, just ask the commercial director they put a buatiful women next a car or beer or smile on tooth past. etc.. men cant see it without especial permission (ring), i prefer a women to cover instead of her showing her body to every bust###

      August 23, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
    • chase

      Question: If she is trying to be so modest, why does she have a child with no husband while she is in college?? Very holy...

      August 23, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
    • chase

      And by the way, I don't think God created your face having in mind that you should be ashamed to show it in public. He didn't make it for someone to be embarassed about

      August 23, 2010 at 11:51 pm |
    • islam is misogyny

      these women are brainwashed plain and simple.

      this is misogyny and oppression plain and simple.

      ban the burka!

      August 24, 2010 at 12:07 am |
    • mukminun abdallah

      It is amazing to see the comments throughout 23 Aug 2010 – a very long list. Obviously when people can say anything and remain anonymous or fictitious in name, they can express via their 'you-know-what'. Just think of what happened when God created Adam. How Iblis (the head of all satans) objected and became a rejectionist (kafir) and an unbeliever. Just think that God still gave him a reprieve when he asked God, after he was cast off by God to be destined in Hell forever. He asked to be allowed to deviate Mankind from the Path of God. God allowed him. But God gave Mankind the Guidance via the Prophets and Messengers and the Books (like the Taurah/Torah, Injil/Bible and Qur'an/Koran). Whoever follows the Guidance will not go astray and will receive salvation. God gave Man the free will to choose between right and wrong. Man who reject the Truth and Guidance are kafir. So, the battle on the worldly stage is set: the struggle against the kafir of Satan, the kafir of Man and the kafir of oneself (due to our freedom to choose). Choose then the Right Guidance, the Furqan, Peace and Submission to the Will of God and be rightly guided. Be among the smaller percentage of Mankind who will be destined for Paradise and avoid being drag among the greater percentage of Mankind who will be destined for Hell. May those who believe in expressing via their 'you-know-what', believing they should have absolute expression of freedom, so to say, receive the Guidance of God – though Guidance of God is not for all, incidentally. He, whom God guides has none to lead him astray; he whom God leads astray has no guide.

      August 24, 2010 at 5:47 am |
  20. MG67

    Many people love disguises. Bad self-esteem? Need to hide your bruises or cold sores? Need to rob a bank? Use a disguise.

    But its a form of hiding, of withdrawal, of not being confident in other people or your expectations of them.

    August 23, 2010 at 11:05 am |
    • Kate

      The indignation over niqab really boils down to a handful of issues.

      It really annoys everyone else because then they can't indulge in their favorite pastime – placing themselves in their own minds based on their judgement of the appearance of others. A heinous crime indeed!

      People today are far too interested in what everyone else is up to – just look at how popular the gossip sections of CNN are, or entire magazines or TV shows dedicated to it.

      The other side people object to is it really makes them feel smaller about their own devotion to their own faith. Some soccer-mom who only goes to church on SUndays and doesn't think about God at all the rest of the time isn't really going to feel too impressed faced with someone who (literally) wears their devotion throughout the day.

      I'm figuring everyone's going to try and pounce on the niqab wearer in this segment, but just for one minute think about this: It's her decision, it's her display of her faith, it's really got bugger all to do with you, me, or anyone else – even her husband. It's purely between her and God.

      Judging someone's expression of their faith is one minefield people might want to be careful about entering, because it's all too easy to turn around and be judged yourselves for how *you* express *yours*.

      We don't turn around and mandate how people worship as long as it doesn't harm anyone else. I don't see anyone telling nuns they can't wear their habits, or Jews can't wear yarmulke's in public. We have the freedom to wear what we want to – Telling someone you can't wear specific clothing is just as restrictive and controlling as telling someone they must wear specific clothing.

      Isn't that, after all, one of the things people object to about KSA or the Taliban? Saying "You may not wear niqab, you may not wear hijab, you may not wear yarmulke" is no different than saying "You will wear niqab, you will wear burqa" – you're deciding for them, without giving them a choice in the matter.

      People who spend so much time judging their neighbour's behaviours rarely look into their own first.

      August 23, 2010 at 11:25 am |
      • Great Thinker

        Tell ya what Kate – should you get mugged or worse, sometime by a totally masked criminal I hope you will come back on this forum and tell us all again what a swell idea it is to have people walking around with their faces (and sometimes eyes) covered. When you can do that, you little missy will know whereof you speak. Right now you are a little cheerleader for an innane and indefensible cause. BTW, if there were a god (which of course there isn't ) would that god really concern itself with this kind of petty ,,, um,,, stuff? I think not. Let's not support the ideas aimed at the ignorant and gullible.

        August 23, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
        • Kate

          @Great Thinker

          Ummm, I'm at just as much risk of being mugged by a masked attacker whether niqab is socially acceptable or not. Criminals tend not to bother with social niceties any more than they bother with the law.

          And it's a lot easier for them to buy a balaclava at Wal-Mart, too.

          Just sayin'

          August 23, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
      • God is Dead

        As the father of two young girls, my first thought as I pass a woman wearing hijab is what are they thinking about my daughters in their shorts and tanktops. The second thought is what are my daughters learning from seeing young girls their own age wearing hijab.

        If a woman wears hijab she has come to the conclusion that anyone else who does not wear hijab is not equal to her and is outside the will of Allah. I think that is a situation that at best leads to discrimination and at worst violence.

        We are a secular society, keep your religious convictions to yourself or you will be challenged by those who do not share your faith and those who do not claim faith.

        August 23, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
        • Kate

          @God is Dead

          That's one remarkable bit of mind reading you pulled off there. I assume of course you have evidence to support how wearing hijab is a sign of feeling smugly superior to those who don't wear it.

          Third point of my 11:25 post?

          Just sayin'

          August 23, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
      • timur lang

        Hey, Kate, Wasn't Mary wearing a veil? Why are nuns having 'that' kind of dress? Stop the hypocrisy, ignorance and bigotry. Oh for the ignoramuses, what was the dressing of Jesus? Now, you tell who are the actual followers of Jesus. I am sure not those who parade their bodies to nakedness.

        August 24, 2010 at 5:13 am |
      • One Whose Name Means Beloved of God

        Thank you for being a voice of sanity!

        August 24, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
        • One Whose Name Means Beloved of God

          @ Kate that is. Stupid thing didn't put it where I wanted it... grr...

          August 24, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
    • bailoutsos

      Isn't it strange that the men do not have to be covered from head to toe? Their laws must have been written by men.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
    • rowan

      i dont feel that for me to be taken seriously i must cover my face. to me it seems that women who wear these things are absolving men of behaving as human and not animals. id like to think that men are capable of more restraint than the islamic faith seems to give them. as long as women wear things like this i feel it not only hurts the women but it also lowers men. as in all things in this country, its a choice. but do not call me an infedel if i choose not to wear such as this. to me its a mark of shame not for the women, but for the men who seem to need this.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
      • spacebunny

        All I can say is 'ugh.' I was married to a Syrian for 5 years. I was 21 and he was 30. It wasn't much of a surprise that he was very domineering and usually got his way most of the time. I wore hijab for a month and I just couldn't stand it. Eventually he relented from forcing me to wear it but the truth is, in this country, it's Muslim women who subject themselves to wearing layers of clothing even when it's 90 degrees outside. In Muslim countries girls are pressured by their families to wear this stuff because they'll be harassed by men who never learned to control themselves. Muslim women are even nuttier than their men.

        August 23, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
    • NEHicks

      to Kate, Nadia and Aliya: I don't understand your explanations of why your wear what you do. For Aliya, you say that you want to force people to take their eyes and minds off your physical appearance, yet, in this society, by wearing what you do, you are just calling more attention to yourself. One trait of humans that has evolved and been incorporated into societies is the need to 'see' someone's face. If a human can't see a face, they react as if you are an enemy. Societies need to be able to identify those who belong to their 'tribe' in order to protect the tribe from enemies.
      To Nadia – how can you be pleasing to your God by covering the beauty that your God created in you? If He/She wanted you to cover what was created, I would think that the God would not have bothered to create beauty. It makes the creation a waste of time. The idea of covering the beauty that God has created is a man-made requirement – not written by God but by men.
      To Kate – you can wear sack cloth and ashes for all I care, it will not make me think about 'your devotion to your faith'. I am concerned on a 'human' level in that I want to be able to identify a person in order to recognize an enemy if confronted. Hence, my objection to anything that covers up a face.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
    • shahrum

      if Nadia wears a neqab for religious purposes only, and has nothing to hide,why doesn't she reveals her last name ? she says that she started to cover her face a year and a half ago. i think this indicates past issues.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
    • Krista

      I can understand where you're coming from Kate, but the issue for me is the double standard. I cannot / do not support any religion or culture that objectifies women. Some might claim that covering them up is an attempt to stop objectification but it's exactly the opposite. They, like some other religions (christianity among them) have blamed the physical attractiveness of women for the evils of men and society. I think it's absolutely ridiculous to think that a man should have the right to blame a woman for his own inability to control himself.

      Just like people who blame a woman for 'dressing sexy' when she's raped, Islam and many other religions have basically put the responsibility of on the victim, requiring them to cover up in order to gain respect. "Men treat me better/differently/with more respect" (when they wear the hijab) is something I hear frequently. So, rather than change the attitudes of the men and raising them to respect women no matter what they wear, the women are forced to "protect" themselves from the abuses they're supposedly causing just by being themselves or what God / Allah has made them.

      I believe Islam calls for modesty for both genders. The hijab, at least anything more than the headscarf, to me represents not modesty, but shame.

      Does this mean that we should legislate against wearing it? Only in cases where it can cause a risk to society (entering federal buildings, getting license pictures taken etc.). Should we discourage it as a society and look towards the root causes of why women feel they have to go to such extremes of modesty when men are not held to the same standard? I think so.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
    • Joe

      I agree its men who wrote the laws. They don't want their women to show their faces (who they believe they own), for fear they may lose their women to someone else. Why don't the men have to wear the same garb to feel closer to God?? Because they know it's not comfortable and they believe they are God like. They believe they own their women! There women must submit to them and do what they are told.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
    • XWngLady

      To Kate: While I understand your sentiment, It has been my experience as someone who was married to a Muslim and lived in a predominently Muslim country that many Muslims are the ones that are being judgemental in the sense that they use "covering" with hijab/naqib as an 'idol' to elevate themselves above others as if to say, "I am more pious and godly than other women because I'm 'covered'".... One can be modest without covering one's head or arms, and at the same time one can be covered from head to toe and NOT be modest in the least, except for the outward facade. God examines the hearts of women, first and foremost. He celebrates the beauty of women, and not just married women. He created us in his own image and didn't cover our faces when he made us, or even after we sinned. Covering was used to guard against the elements in the desert lands, and then later intituted by males in order to differentiate the Jewish women from other women. While I don't doubt that many Muslim women believe that they are drawing near to their creator according to their own religious beliefs, I believe that there is a fine line between being really devout in your faith and falling into 'idolatry' by focusing more on the 'covering' than on God, and by thinking that you or your female family members are more pious than others because they do cover.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
    • cjp

      I agree with Kate. I don't know a lot about the mormon religion, but at some point they are all required to wear some kind of garment under their clothing. I say live and let live. Expression of your faith in God comes in many forms. Their wearing of nijabs, etc. does not harm anyone. Some of us need a little more understanding.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
    • rod

      Why are people so damn closed minded and ignorant? Since the are some islamic terrorists, does that mean that all muslims are? So I guess catholic prople are pedophiles because some priests are? lol.......do some research before you judge people morons!!!!

      August 23, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
    • Andy Zilenski

      Its cool with me if they covered its better then being in short dresses i am 22 and i do check out girls booties everywhere i go so do all my friends... it is a male thing we love to see you shake that bootey walking down the street... these females cover that... cool with me however sad not to see their nice booteys

      August 23, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
    • Anna

      I agree with Rowan. Why can't the men be taught to behave themselves and not look if muslim women are so frightened of having someone see their face. And what's with this nonsense of stoning the woman but never the man?.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
    • danbeaches

      What about clowns?

      August 23, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
    • Abuasiya

      For the person making fun of those who cover, was there a more righteous woman than the Mother of Jesus. Period. Also is there any more righteous christian woman than those who are Nuns. Period. Dont make fun of those who choose Piety ov er lewdness.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
    • Linda Flier

      Religion is strange inso many ways. Why do people chose to follow such silliness? I'm sure God doesn't give a darn about showing your hair or face! If he didn't want women to sho their faces, then why did he make us beautiful, give us a smile and hair to care for. It's like Jews not eating pork or keeping their diary products away from meats. Then you have the Mormons who follow a man that was a con artist and a pedophile! There's just no explaining it. People can be such suckers all in the name of faith. I'm a believer in God, but not in the sense that I think He's going to solve every problem I ever have or that he cares about my hairdo or whether or not I dress with an extra robe over my clothes. Mohammed was a freaking recluse and hermit. He must have been smoking some weird stuff to come up with those beliefs! Jihad, my ass. Get real.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
    • MadisonAvenueMan

      How can these women say they are not oppressed? Some of them say it is not a requirement and others say that it is. they don't seem to know for sure. The problem today is you've got every major religion on the planet working hard to politicize their faith – the Christians are trying to take over the U.S. government, Hamas is trying to leverage themselves in the Middle East, etc. etc. It's all nonsense. Ladies, you wear this gear even in unbearably hot weather, because you need to hide from the rest of civilization, or you are afraid someone might find you attractive (phobia), or you might upset your God by allowing another human being to look in your direction. These women are mentally ill – maybe you can find something in the DSM to articulate it – I find the whole thing exhausting. Grow up. And tell your men to get over it. You need to be liberated.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
      • Muslimah n one god

        You just answered you own question.. Its just like Christians who know they are suppose to cover but do not choose to do so. Muslim women majority of us choose to cover but there are some who wish not to and do so for the sake of their husbands or family, in Islam that is wrong if a women chooses to disobey her lord like majority of the Christian women do then she is allowed to do that and will be punished for it. But she is not to be forced to do so.... God put us on earth to choose to do what is right and to leave off what is wrong, so if you choose to obey him then you will do as he commands and if you choose to disobey then you do as you plz and know that there is a consequence for both actions just like anything else in the world.

        I think it shocks you people that there are actually people (reminding you of what you are suppose to be doing and you all can not handle that so you wanna make it hard on us) I say this because I find it very funny how you all are so concerned about what we all (Muslims ) do and some of these women like Alia and Nadia think due to that that they owe you and explanation, But they are wrong in Islam the only voice we need is Gods and his Messengers voices.

        August 25, 2010 at 6:00 am |
        • Reality

          Considering that many women, perhaps as many as 5,000 a year, are killed at least partly for refusing to wear veils opponents consider it a sign of oppression. Many Islamic scholars insist the Koran does not require women to cover their faces so only their husbands may see them.

          The veil is much more of an issue in Europe, but women fully clothing their bodies, including their faces, is being seen more frequently in North America and elsewhere.

          Canadian researcher Aruna Papp says there have been at least 12 honor killings in Canada since 2002.
          Some critics also insist it is a security issue. Burqa-wearers have been involved in crimes, including terrorism.

          Culture is also an issue with some Europeans saying immigrants and their children need to conform with local traditions.
          It has long been known that victims of spousal abuse, even rape, will not report assaults because of fear that they will be further harmed. There simply is no practical way for society to know whether an individual woman is truly wearing a veil by choice.

          Last month, Syria ordered teachers to stop wearing veils because it is a secular, not a sectarian country.

          And then there is this:

          In an outrageous attack by Taliban terrorists dressed in burqas attacked an Afghan peace conference. There was a three day peace jirgah going on when the Taliban launched this deadly attack. It was only moments Mr Karzai had spoken about the need to resume peace for the development of Afghanistan.

          The Militants were armed with rocket launchers and their intended target was of course the dignitaries attending the three day peace conference. None of the dignitaries and officials present at the conference was hurt by this brazen attempt. The terrorist were killed in the ensuing gun battle with the security forces. Two of the three terrorists were killed by the security forces while one blew himself up by accident. Sixteen hundred leaders representing different ethnic and cultural sects in Afghanistan had gathered on the outskirts of the capital city Kabul. Prominent leaders, elders, representatives of tribes had come together in this conference to find ways of ending the war and strife in Afghanistan. On a light note Mr Karzai tried to calm the crowd down by saying that we have heard all this before and should not be scared as people inside the building heard explosions from outside.

          August 25, 2010 at 8:58 am |
    • Rob

      I personally find it difficult to judge you by your intellect when it's 100 degrees outside at a summer resort, everyone's in the lake swimming, and your cooking for your husband dressed head to toe in black. THAT is the reason I see you as women constrained by societal standards, because you ARE. You will be looked down upon by many of your own peers with shame if you choose not to follow those standards. I hold the highest honor for the women who are a part of these groups and choose to defy this age old, man controlled custom. You truly are today's heroes for womens rights.

      August 23, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
    • atheist

      this 'lifestyle' appeals to BDSM-type submissive women who enjoy being dominated and wearing the yoke. it's simply a religious impulse or tradition that pushes them towards conservative islam

      August 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
      • Bekah

        Wait...wearing head coverings appeals to BDSM subs? Really? Considering the amount of clothing I've seen on most women in the fetish scene, it's obvious you haven't spent much time there...

        August 23, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
    • VT

      That is just odd...not in a good way either.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
    • aroth

      @bailoutsos – All religions are written by men. It's nothing new.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
    • Joel

      Well I agree with France. When in Rome..... If I am living in your country I will respect your laws. If you are in my country and require a service that needs to have your face exposed (drivers license for example), then so be it. No cooperation, no license.
      As in school when attendance is being taken; or just simply walking down the street not knowing what to expect.

      I live in Canada and I am tired of REASONABLE ACCOMODATION. It has been abused. We have been over-accomodating. Enough is enough.

      Thank you.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
      • pockets

        Whether or not people like to admit it or even think about it, our countries are slowly being taken over by immigrants. Immigrants are welcome and most of us came from 'somewhere else" anyway, However, to attempt to change the culture of the country you have arrived in is not acceptable from any point of view. I happen to be a Canadian agnostic, I simply do not know what is 'out there' in the sky, but somehow I doubt very much if its an old man looking down and concerned about nudity or what goes on in a bedroom. We are not long out of the cave and all that the religious community has done is keep women in particular in a yoke. Religion Poisons Everything. Keep your books of "Ignorance" to yourselves, allow others to live there lives in peace and without interference from the chains of commandments.

        August 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
        • agentAA08

          you got to Canada somehow, didn't you? unless you're Native, which I highly doubt, your descendents were once upon a time immigrants. deal with it.

          August 24, 2010 at 12:55 am |
        • Gwain52

          Right on, pockets! I had a good laugh when I read your image of an old man in the sky judging what people wear and peering into their bedrooms.

          August 24, 2010 at 9:58 am |
      • Joe

        So Joel...are they still trying to enact sharia law in Canada?

        August 23, 2010 at 8:10 pm |
    • Isragirl

      All 3 major monotheistic religions (the only ones I'm familiar enough to speak of) have rigid restrictive elements that stem from the rules that were appropriate for the period when these religions were created. Some people chose to follow them as an integral part of their religious lifestyle. Dress-code are not the worse ones among them. Most of these rules/elements are outdated, represent the climate and lifestyle demands of the locale where the religion originated and frequently are misogynistic. Walking in the 110F heat in Jerusalem wearing a fur hat and a wool coat makes no sense to me, but for an Orthodox Jew it is a way to show his devotion to God, b/c that's how the Hassidim did it in 17th century Poland. I don't oppose it the same way I don't see any religious/personal insult to me when I meet Muslim women covered head-to-toe in any part of the world. I do believe though that religions have a way of pulling the world backwards, rather than propelling it forward, despite the fact that they may offer emotional relief for some individuals. Whatever reasons these women bring up in the article – they are justifications to follow the rules that were invented by the Saudi tribesmen in 7th century or before that, and it's beyond me why they would willingly choose to do that. But they should appreciate the fact, that in America they CHOOSE to do it, and this freedom is a luxury that should be appreciated and valued by these two very intelligent women.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
    • LaGryphon

      Iran & Saudia Arabia pass laws for women to wear religious garb but here in America Muslim women have a CHOICE as to what they will wear......pretty amazing don't you think? If they CHOOSE to wear it, who cares? Guys are letting their pants hang to the ground, women are wearing cones for breast armor, baby girls are wearing ridiculous headbands, guys in camo so I say let them wear their religious coverings!

      August 23, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
    • harry from VT

      She mentions her "creator". If they take a minute to study science and disspell the "imaginary guy in the sky floating on a cloud" thought, and used that wonderful mass of meat called a brain, you would realize quickly that this is silly. You were BORN without clothes. Did GOD invent clothes? Live for who you are, not what you want people to see you as.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
    • Sally A

      In today's society....Men who hate up could be covered. I think their faces should be seen.... and the big robes could conceal all kinds of weapons – bombs, guns..........It's our country – conform to our ways...if you don't like – leave

      August 23, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
    • Kate

      @Joel

      Niqabis are requires to identify themselves to the authorities or when needed, such as in stores to check ID. That's been a bone of contention, but the fatwas are clear on the subject. That doesn't mean they have to prove their identity to every tom dick or harry on the street – and if you remember, there's a Supreme Court decision not so long ago that says that Americans don't *have* to carry ID or identity themselves unless doing something licensed and controlled by the state (e.g. driving)

      @NEHicks

      I think there's a confusion – wearing niqab isn't meant to be an outward sign, it's not for the people who look, or to brag about how devout the niqabi is. That's why i said it's between her and her God, she's not doing it for the world, she's not doing it to say "Look how devout I am!" to everyone else, she's doing it inside her own mind with God.

      I'm not sure I explained that properly. Consider it like someone who plasters their car with stickers proclaiming their faith – ask yourself are they doing it to show off to *you* how pious they are, or are they doing it because doing it is a sign of their love for God, between the two of them?

      All of the external factors – modesty, removing looks from the equation, are ephemeral reasons. They're recommended (some say commanded) but think about how people react to it. The niqabi's faith helps them deal with those reactions, just as someone banned from wearing a crucifix at work (and there have been those) has their faith, embodied in the wearing itself, to help them stay strong.

      @MadisonAvenueMan
      You'd actually be surprised how cool it is in an abaya – something about the way it's cut and flows leads to great airflow. Does it get warm in there? Sure, but given people going nearly naked have been keeling over from heat exhaustion in this summer, does it really make *that* much difference?? 🙂

      August 23, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
    • Fred

      This would be the perfect coverup if I were embarrassed to be an African American.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
    • Jcw740

      She could at least dress like a ninja, it would be less weird and more cool LOL.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
    • DavidMichael

      I would be far more concerned about the real dangers of hijab or niqab, namely things like escalators, elevators, bicycles, and other machinery. You need only look at the news for proof. Driving without question is impaired when vision is obstructed.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
    • Sun1965

      if a woman has to cover herself that much then what are they hiding? Are they that unsure of themselves? Modisty is great but to hide so much of themselves shows disrespect of their own self and others. I know when I see them I am very distrustful because to me they are hiding from the world and must have a low self esteem. I want to say be respectful of those around you.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
    • C

      what's the point of this article? Why is this a front page article on cnn.com? what a waste of my time.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
    • C

      I read this article and the statements of these women made absolutely no sense to me:

      "Like most Muslim women who cover, they do so only in front of men who are not in their immediate family."
      – Right, because lesbians do not exist and there is zero chance any female could look at you in a sexual way. Where is the consistency, or would that be inconvenient?

      “You often see in many societies women being objectified because of how they look or being disrespected,” she says. The hijab, she says, helps “force people who may be otherwise unwilling to take the focus off of our physical appearance.”
      – Interesting, because later in the article she describes several scenarios where she is is judged based on, get this, her physical appearance. People are going to judge whether you are naked or covered. Get over it.

      She added the niqab to her wardrobe after about a year. She says the decision came after a conversation with other Muslim women who covered.“When I actually got to know them [the women], I understood that they were intelligent people still and they were still full of life and had their own character,” she said. “It didn’t take away from them. But what it added to them, to me, was this increased love for the creator.”
      – Let me guess. When you had this conversation with these women they were not covered (because being covered is only "required" in front of men), which may have accounted for their vibrant personalities. Communication is far less about words and more about facial expressions, gestures, and body language.

      I think these women should have to live the reality of women in Afghanistan who are struggling for their rights. Every woman who wears this willingly makes the struggle of woman who is forced to that much more difficult. Somehow, I think they would come home and be overjoyed to wear jeans and a t-shirt.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
    • Norm

      So there it is. She says she doesn't ahve to worry about her weight and the way she looks if she coveres everything up.
      This tells me anyone wearing one of these is going to be quite scarey when they take it off.
      YIKES!

      August 23, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
    • Fred

      FLORIDA Chapter 876 Criminal Anarchy, Treason and other Crimes Against Public Order
      876.13 Wearing mask, hood, or other device on public property.–No person or persons shall in this state, while wearing any mask, hood, or device whereby any portion of the face is so hidden, concealed, or covered as to conceal the identity of the wearer, enter upon, or be, or appear upon or within the public property of any municipality or county of the state

      August 23, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
    • Peace-be-upon-you

      Answer to nthe questions that many people have asked here.

      Q: Are islamic rules written by men?
      A: All rules are written by the one & only GOD.

      Q: Why muslim men dont cover from head to toe?
      A: Men are strictly ordered to lower their gaze so that they cannot see a non-related woman. Men have to cover from the chest to below the knees. This is because men are supposed to do the hard & laborous jobs to provide the woman. In Islam all the expanditure of woman & children begotten by him from her is obligatory on man. Apart from this, woman has a right to ask for marriage money (mehar) which is decided by the woman herself, & obligatory on the man to be paid at the time of marriage. She can also demand separate money for whole length of pregnancy & breast feeding. She can refuse to do any work at home (like cooking or washing etc.) & demand the husband to do it. She has got share in the property of husband as well as her father which she can use as she pleases.

      Q: Why women are stoned & not men?
      A: This is totally false. Adulterous men & women both are punishable by stoning if they commit adultery while married. If they commit adultery while unmarried , then punishment is 80 lashes for both. Adultery is defined as "sex without marriage, with consent".

      August 23, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
    • Kate

      @Joel

      Niqabis are required to ident|fy themselves to the authorities or when needed, such as in stores to check ID. That's been a bone of contention, but the fatwas are clear on the subject. That doesn't mean they have to prove their ident|ty to every tom dick or harry on the street – and if you remember, there's a Supreme Court decision not so long ago that says that Americans don't *have* to carry ID or ident|ty themselves unless doing something licensed and controlled by the state (e.g. driving)

      @NEHicks

      I think there's a confusion – wearing niqab isn't meant to be an outward sign, it's not for the people who look, or to brag about how devout the niqabi is. That's why i said it's between her and her God, she's not doing it for the world, she's not doing it to say "Look how devout I am!" to everyone else, she's doing it inside her own mind with God.

      I'm not sure I explained that properly. Consider it like someone who plasters their car with stickers proclaiming their faith – ask yourself are they doing it to show off to *you* how pious they are, or are they doing it because doing it is a sign of their love for God, between the two of them?

      All of the external factors – modesty, removing looks from the equation, are ephemeral reasons. They're recommended (some say commanded) but think about how people react to it. The niqabi's faith helps them deal with those reactions, just as someone banned from wearing a crucifix at work (and there have been those) has their faith, embodied in the wearing itself, to help them stay strong.

      (DISCLAIMER: Everyone is different, everyone has their own motives, everyone gets something different out of it – like I said, it's between them and God, and that's too personal to make a global generalization about. This is offered as *one* perspective)

      @MadisonAvenueMan
      You'd actually be surprised how cool it is in an abaya – something about the way it's cut and flows leads to great airflow. Does it get warm in there? Sure, but given people going nearly naked have been keeling over from heat exhaustion in this summer, does it really make *that* much difference??

      August 23, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
      • Vicki O'Brien

        Kate, you sound like a terrific intelligent woman. I have enjoyed your thoughtful posts. But how do you justify choosing to wear a garment that only symbolizes oppression and suffering for millions of women? You have only referenced it in terms of freedom for women. I see it very differently. So do millions of girls and women around the world.

        As you say, just askin'..

        August 23, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
        • Kate

          @Vicki

          I think there's a disconnect somewhere ... Yes, niqab and burqa are symbolic of the oppression of women throughout the world – especially in Afghanistan. But they're symbols of the actions of people – the garments themselves are used as tools to further that oppression, they aren't the cause of it.

          I could take the coward's way out and say it's "taking back" the garment, the same way african americans say they're "taking back" the N-word, but that's too simplistic.

          (Note regarding this, I freely admit that a) It's a personal opinion, and b) it only applies in the US where that freedom and choice I keep harping on about exists)

          I think the easiest way to explain it is that it is what you make of it. If you see it as a symbol of oppression, then you'll feel oppressed wearing it. if you see it as dehumanizing or objectifying, then you will feel dehumanized and objectified wearing it. But all of these things are external, this is how the world might see it, how you see the world seeing it.

          But if you see it as an extra devotion of your faith, something that goes above and beyond what is *required* from your faith, if you wear it because to you it's a symbol of that faith for yourself, then it is just that, the positive thing you make it.

          At the end of the day it really doesn't matter what the outside world thinks it means, to them – even in countries where it's used as a tool of oppression. It is what it means to you, the wearer.

          Even in countries where they have no choice in the matter, if the wearer is at peace with themselves and feels closer to God, it ends up being the opposite of what those who enforce it intended it to be. it becomes yours, not theirs.

          Note I said *if* the wearer is at peace. Very few where it is enforced are – and that's where it's wrong. But even then the fact it's enforced on them is noticed by God and *will* be taken into account – as it will on those who enforced it.

          I tried to reply to you earlier and mention I'm a veteran, I've been there and done my bit to try and give others that choice. What irks me is we're giving people in the Middle East the freedom to choose, yet back here we're trying to deny people the same freedom.

          I may *sound* idealistic, but I am a realist – anyone who's seen some of the things I have seen has to be. But that just means I know that freedom means *freedom*. Freedom isn't qualified, isn't conditional, and when you give someone that choice you *must* abide by their decision, and respect it even if you disagree with it – else it is no choice. you're just exchanging one oppression for another.

          Does that help?

          August 23, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
        • Vicki O'Brien

          I understand you, so yes. However, the notion that 'God' would give special consideration in what I assume you mean 'the hereafter' to the child who was brutalized or a woman victimized and as part of that forced to wear the burqa, just sits badly with me. We need to find a way to change the minds of male perpetrators of atrocities in the name of Islam, in fact of any 'god.' Whether or not 'enlightened' muslims choose to cover themselves is a red herring. As a veteran, you have seen so much that I have not and it has left you incredibly tolerant. But as I said in an earlier post: if I was beaten by my parents and I left home for another country, I would not wear the whip around my neck. I would tell the world what I had seen and become closer to my god by speaking out honestly on behalf of those girls and women who have absolutely no voice and no future..

          August 23, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
        • Kate

          @Vicki

          I'm not sure it started as tolerance – more trying to learn and understand – but I know it *does* come from a refusal to allow the same victimization, the same removal of choice, the same impositions, as there still is in the 'stan.

          If we can't get it right here, then we've got no chance of getting it right anywhere else.

          Oddly enough, while I have no trouble with a niqab & abaya, I wouldn't wear a burqua for myself – but I wouldn't stop anyone else choosing to wear one themselves.

          You're right, though – voices against what happens where there is no choice are just as important as demonstrating there are alternatives. God sees that, too.

          August 23, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
        • Vicki

          Right, Kate. But that's taking the easy way out. Facing scorn in a country where, for the most part, freedom is cherished and individuality accepted, is a lot less personally painful than fighting back in a country where men stone those who step outside the accepted religious norm. Hostility and prejudice does not equate to violence and barbarism. Even your God would surely get the difference.

          August 23, 2010 at 9:06 pm |
        • fairplay

          @Vicki O.........I agree ......with all except the..err.... intelligent part.

          Just sayin.

          August 23, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
        • Kate

          @fairplay

          I was going to disagree with that bit too (the other sort of modesty dontcha know?) but then figured it'd just mean world+dog was going to jump down my throat and use it as evidence to accuse me of being a brainwashed weak willed girl with low self-esteem.

          Just sayin'

          August 23, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
    • Paul

      @rod, Haha Morons? You just showed your lack of intelligence and research with your comment. If you actually studied Islam, you would have read that Muhmmad the Prophet himself married a girl at six years old and consumated with her when she was nine. So who is the real pedohile? This is the man everyone should strive to be?

      August 23, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
    • icedawg

      Kate, has God prescribed almost full cover up for women as the indication of their devotion to Him? Where has He stated that? Is Islam all about sex? Is sure seems that way. Motivation for sacrificing oneself in jihad is supposedly some number of "virgins" waiting in heaven for the suicider. Women have to cover up so males won't sexually lust after them or be obsessed. Who knows, for some the cover up might be a turn on. All of this is a warped human fabrication.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
    • Freedom

      I am sick and tired of listening to this 'equality in islam'. I don't see any hijab wearing men around. Yes some of these women wear hijab out of their own free wills but frankly how many oppressed, brain washed people come out and say they are oppressed.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
      • Midwestmatt

        Amen! And I'm a freaking liberal Democrat! This is not about a culture's right to exist, this is about controlling women. Period.

        August 23, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
    • Dave

      If a woman chooses to wear something for any reason (religious, personal) then fine: wear it. BUT (and it's the big but) that does not mean she can hide her identity for security, civil, or other official reasons. Many men have through history "hidden" as women in this garb so too bad. If you want to walk down the street then fine. IF you want to get on a plane or get pulled over by the police then sorry, but you need to reveal your face.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
    • Robert

      So the women want to state they aren't oppressed and the dress isn't about oppression, but other women are going to jump in and say – yes you are, we decide if you are oppressed or not. And we will tell you what is acceptable to wear or not.

      And these other women, these controlling women, what shall we call them – uhm 'liberators' these liberators have a surprisingly strict allowance for what you can wear.

      You will not go topless.
      You will not cover your whole body.

      You will exactly wear some modest form of address, not too restrictive, not too revealing. Button that button while at work, missy.

      It's almost laughable but I feel sorry for these people – they can where whatever they want to.

      And excuse me to the lady said 'why can't they train the men not to look at their face, if they find it so uncomfortable'

      I can't look at someone's face??? While they are talking to me??? I mean if you don't want me to see your face, you better cover it, as a matter of fact, if there is anything you don't want me to see, cover it. My eyes will see what they see....geezuz, figure out the difference between public and private please. In public, you see public things.

      Is that too unreasonable?

      August 23, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
    • NAK

      This is the reason why islam wants women to cover:

      "Andy Zilenski
      Its cool with me if they covered its better then being in short dresses i am 22 and i do check out girls booties everywhere i go so do all my friends... it is a male thing we love to see you shake that bootey walking down the street... these females cover that... cool with me however sad not to see their nice booteys"

      you may think whats wrong with this but it protects women against being objectified..there is a reason why so many women worry about how they look and want to make themselves better doing plastic surgery and what not there is no end to this. islam gives women respect. if all women cover themselves it will eliminate a lot of social issues that we face in the modern societies.

      August 23, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
    • TheCruxDefender

      I saw a woman wearing the full burka at Legoland the other day.

      I have been a criminal defense attorney for many years. Once I saw the woman, I knew immediately what the garment was all about as I see it everyday. It is an effort to dehumanize someone, just llike the government does to my clients every single day. Very clear and apparent to me.

      Remember that humans evolved to interpret a multitude of subtle characteristics of the face in social interaction. Covering the face is anti-social and quite anti-human. I see little to no redeeming value in this misogynistic practice.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
    • tallicagrrl

      Kate, I only partially agree with you. When I was between jobs, and worked in a convenience store, I wouldn't let motorcyclists stay in the store with their helmets on. I'm not talking the basic helmets, that only covered the head. I'm talking about the full face helmets. I did not feel safe when someone would come in with all of their face, but their eyes, hidden. In this day and age, who would, especially in a job like that? Convenience store robberies are so common, that it's ridiculous. I respect peoples right to practice their religion...up until it infrginges on the possible safety of others. The head covering, the body covering is not a problem. The ablility for some bad guy/girl to pretend to be a muslim woman by covering their entire face, is a problem. This isn't justification for prejudice (nothing is), just a different angle of view.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
    • Dan

      Guess what Kate - to have an opinion, to embrace a prejudice or to simply not like the color of ones skin is the hallmark of a free society - liberty and freedom. You would chastize those that have little tolerance for someone who constantly displays their religious freedom within the same context of implying that such a right does not exist.

      BTW, Catholics often encourage the nuns to go about public service in casual attire; Jews are often reminded to be careful of public displays; and the public has little patience for the street-corner-reverend.

      Another BTW, we do (in the US) "mandate" how people worship - we determine through rules and regulations where places of worship may exist, we preclude displays of religious worship in our public (governmental) places.

      Sorry madam - I'll be forever suspicious of any religion that mandates a portion of its congregation hide behind veils and in essence demand non-followers what "thoughts" they should have.

      In otherwords, you're displaying the same level of intolerance. :-((

      August 23, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
    • Msn

      Oh that's right, only men judge women. Women never judge men! Maybe we should ALL should wear Hijabs

      August 23, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
    • Rex, Portland Maine

      This woman lives in an ivory palace at her comfy college and she only does this to draw attention to herself... hey look at that freak! But, what of the woman who live in sweltering heat and they are denied the right to an education because according to the Koran that also makes them closer to God. She should quit school if she want to be a real Muslim woman.. What a stupid idiot.. She is a disgrace to her sex.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
    • Amber

      I agree with Kates assessment on many levels. However in the article Nadia and Aliya state that Muslim women are not oppressed, everyone in the free world knows this is an absolute falsehood. I believe their is a solid difference between being an American Muslim , newly converted, and one born in the Middle East. I work at a company that has a large amount of foreign workers on visa and many are Muslim. There is a noticable difference in how they treat their wives and me (I'm female) versus how men of other races and or religions do. I respect other peoples ability to believe in whatever they choose however I don't think some religions allow that in return and the Muslim faith is one of those. I wish CNN would've gotten a broader perspective on this topic. Two views which are the exact same and obviously not the average is not adequate. I was always curious why the women chose to wear the gear in the heat in a country where it isn't required of them so when I saw the article I clicked but it just left me puzzled because neither of their arguments were valid beyond basic religious choice. Everything else was false. I am mostly troubled about the fact that after 9/11 MORE women chose to wear them. That to me seems malicious. Is it my imagination or as of late are they picking a fight? Their is religious tolerance sure, their is also common sense and common decency and I would not be flying my flag all over town if something I represented caused great sorrow and damage. The mosque thing seems to be in the same vein. Why there? Of all the locations? You know it will anger people and cause great turmoil but you do it anyways. It troubles me. Anyone who questions the motives is considered a racist which I think is unfair. I don't expect them to hide their beliefs or not wear their hijabs but I do think their is a time and a place for everything and I would say if you weren't wearing it pre-9/11 why on earth would you wear it after 9/11?

      August 23, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
      • Kate

        @Amber

        I tried to reply to this but it's stuck in the mystical world of the moderation queue – what word got caught I can't tell, so ... sorry 😦

        August 23, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
    • Ali

      The extreme dress these women are wearing is NOT called for by Islam. The very fact that so many Muslim countries offer a range of "modest" dress shows just how different even Muslim women are on this issue. These women might also note that "objectification" is a function of the society–and that in Muslim societies, men objectify women even more than in the West. What isn't seen is all the more tempting. In Dubai, my male Arab University students (an "American" university at that) considered women who wore the burqa open over street clothes to be "prostitutes". Just can't cover enough for some people.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
    • Fernando

      I cannot communicate or relate to anyone hiding their face and peaking at me through a mask. People don't object to face coverings because of religion, but because it is intimidating and distrustful. Humans communicate through facial expression. How can you relate to someone when you don't know what they look like? If these people insist in wearing these coverings, they should move to a Muslim majority country where they put up with this nonsense!

      August 23, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
    • Kate

      @tallicagrrl

      I agree with your point, and how it would make you (or others) feel in similar situations.

      That's where segments like this one become critical. People are uncomfortable to approach muslimahs in niqab, or in general, and to ask, which means there's a huge gap in information – and when that gap is only filled by the ignorant, the prejudiced, or Rush Limbaugh, it only turns into misinformation, misunderstanding, and hyped fear.

      Even the people posting totally crazy stuff below are important to people being able to get information and make their own minds up from a position of *knowledge*. If they choose to maintain their position, that's their right too, but at least it's one based on fact not fable.

      And on that, the burden of not freaking out store clerks is on the niqabi. How they do it is up to them, but it has to go both ways, this isn't a case of "I'm veiled, deal with it".

      August 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
    • UT Longhorn

      @anna, do Nuns were long dresses and cover all their cleavag for fear of been rapied? do you think that it was a law written by man. are we going some day to ask them to wear short and tight dresses.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
    • someone

      Kate: I agree with you, however, it is not true that only Muslim women are ridiculed or told not to wear their religious covering. Being a Jew, I don't know much about other religions I suppose, but I do know that Jewish men who go to France cannot wear a yarmulka/kippa to cover their head, and mist instead resort to baseball caps. This is due not only to the law in France, but also the fact that men wearing kippas are prime targets, and are often beat to within inches of their lives. the same occurs less frequently in the US, but the bigotry is definitely there. I too have experienced far more than either of these women claim to have experienced as a Jewish girl, dressed in accordance with my religion. Ironically, while they were definitely not the only ones (the white 'rednecks' were far more vocal to me) the Muslims were among my tormentors.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
      • Kate

        @someone

        I disagree with the French Solution on multiple levels – you should have the right to wear a yarmulke just as much as a Christian a cross, or a Muslimah a hijab.

        This is what happens when you get politicians pandering to their Nationalist fright wings 😦 No-one is safe from the hysteria.

        August 23, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
        • mjva

          Laicite is the separation of public from private. Its not fringe. Its secularism. You have to draw the line somewhere with religion, which is a private matter not public.

          August 23, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
    • Scairp

      I pretty much agree. I wonder how they would feel if they had no choice about whether to cover themselves, as so many of their Muslim sisters do not.. It reduces women to objects rather than a person when you can't see anything but a pair of eyes. It is very easy to dress modestly without standing out they way these girls do. Many Jewish women manage to dress conservatively without drawing so much negative attention to themselves, and without looking as if they fell out of the 13th century. Or modern day Saudia Arabia.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
    • barb

      I have no urge to tell women what they can wear in public. I must admit, I have looked at clothing sites for Islamic women, and I find the idea of a hood with a "privacy screen" you can pull down that blocks your view of the outside world pretty odd.

      However, that kind of garb does not belong behind the wheel of a car. I got pulled over once for "trying out" my new motorcycle helmet while driving a car. Cop said the helmet restricts peripheral vision, and the face shield of a motorcycle offers better vision than the narrow slit in a niqab.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
    • Treblok

      I understand their stance, but why are the men not held to the same standard? Why just the woman. If it were a man, we would think he's trying to hide something. In my opinion (let me stress my opinion) this is Old news. Dr King, etc... "Not to be judged by the color of our skin, race, creed, political views, etc) This is a mask to gain attention or make you wonder.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
    • WhatIsBeliefe

      I see a lot of comments here from people who obviously don't understand Islam or the reason behind the hijab. I will do my best to explain this.

      1. It has nothing to do with oppression of self-esteem.
      2. It has nothing to do with making the woman lesser then a man.
      3. It has nothing to do with the man wanting to hid his woman and so forth.

      Unfortunately the main reason was and still holds true today is that the man can't control his urges. The woman is highly regarded in Islam as she is the one who brings new life to this world. It said in Islam the heaven lies in your mother's feet. So be very nice to your mom if you want to go to heaven.

      I see this everyday – a man whether he has a girl friend or is married will look at a "hot" chick walking by. The normal man will not follow her and rape her but there are men out there who do. How many cases of woman raping a man are out there? How many cases of woman inappropriately touching a man are out there? And so on.

      The point is it is to keep the man hormones in check. What they can't see they won't be able to touch, physically or mentally.

      My wife wears a hijab when you goes out. It is her choice. I am a very liberal Muslim as I grew up here. I even made her wear jean when we got married. She didn't feel comfortable. I respected her wishes to wear what she feels comfortable in.

      The problem in America is that we see something different and think it is not normal way of life. Or un-American. I believe in individuality and self-expression. If a woman here in American wants to walk "naked" down the street then that is her choice.

      Just to clarify – women in Islam don't conceal their faces when among their family members or in their own house. My wife will dress up and but still wears a scarf or hijab when we go out to a party.

      So don't judge someone for their religious values and beliefs but judge yourself and see where your religious values and beliefs lie first.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
    • Garrett

      The issue isn't religion – the issue is security. In this day and age, it should be illegal to walk around in public dressed like a bank robber. I hope you don't happen to be in line when a bank is robbed, you might get shot at as you might be taken for one of the bank robbers. Public video surveillance is ineffective with this garb – it should be illegal to hide your face in public.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
    • randy 711

      really

      August 23, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
    • SlightlyOffended

      These garments are insulting to me because it is essentially saying I am not capable, as a man, of judging a woman fairly and without bias if I can see what she looks like. It's a flag waving out the stereotype of males that states we are not able to exercise restraint or contain our passions in the presence of a woman. If half the human population on earth lacked such restraint over our combined history, regardless of cultures or religion (especially since Islam exists for only a brief part of our span as humans) we clearly would have never achieved so much and come so far. Projecting your religion and biases upon me and men in general to sooth one's own self-centered desire to be closer to god (of which there are many better ways) is a big part of why controversy over these garments will never end. Why then do men not wear these as well, so we too can be judged only on our intellect and personality, and not by our musculature, height, eye and skin colors etc.?

      August 23, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
      • Ron

        @slighlyoffended

        Right on the point.

        August 23, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
    • randy 711

      just for the sake argument if there supposed to conform to as you say it this countrys way what way is this countrys way englands or frances imean whats your point do as you wish where possible

      August 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
    • John

      I agree, but take it a bit further, the whole idea in the Quran and Bible is the the naked body is vulgar, which is a false assumtion to begin with.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
    • LisaKenney

      I think it is more than humility, the women have bought into the religious scolars ideas that it is womens fault for infidelity and in some cultures female genital mutilation and pass it off as allah or mohammed's expectations, when men get castrated after procreating and wear burka's then it would be a valid set of ideals for me to support, the scolars will never let themselves get castrated... just my opinion

      August 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
      • Ron

        I feel part of the problem is that the covering up is actually a statement about how these communities view males. Males are considered incapable of controlling themselves so every women has to be dress like an unappealing sack of potatoes.

        August 23, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
    • Eric

      This article is absolute nonsense. We just returned from London. Maybe the author can explain why so called modest muslim woman universally wore heavy make up and carried expensive purses and shoes. I would estimate that Harrod's biggest customer is the muslim woman which we saw buying expensive jewelry, make up, shoes and handbags. It was very hypocritcal. The woman are being forced to wear these coverings. They make up for it by expressing themselves in a materialistic manner. I am sure there are exceptions but to try and paint the repression of these woman in some acceptable light is offensive. What's next? A puff piece on how woman in Cuba love working forced labored in Cuban sugar cane fields?

      August 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
    • Dave

      The covering of the face is not Islamic; it is tribal beleifs that have some how become Islamic due to man rewriting and intergrating these tribal things into a "Muslim" requirement. The Quran DOES NOT mandate women wear these items, it does profess modesty. In modern Muslim countiers like Egypt and Turkey and for that matter Afganistan, once upon a time, women were not waering these coverings, until someone has forced them too or has put pressure on them to wear.
      My wife is from Turkey and it disturbs her a great deal to see more and more women wearing these coverings it those cuntries. It is becasue of the men in charge "encouraging" them to do so. Also if these women want to wear these coverings as part of their religon for modesty reasons then they hsould not be wearing make up, or jewerly or other itmes that draw attention to theselves. They are not to wear tight pants, so if you are going to wear these items then do all aspects of modesty as your religion dictates. When you do not it is simply a message; we are in America and get over it. Hopefully in America we will always have religious FREDOM and you can choose to wear what you wish, but when it is over 100 degrees and a women is covered from head to toe sometimes with gloves on and them men around her are wearing shorts and tee shirts I find it hard to beleive she really had a choice....Not to mention Muslim countries like Syria are banning the wearing of these items in schools and other public places; so if a Muslim country can ban it why should we not have similar laws to possibly protect religious freedoms.

      August 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
    • ML in Abington, PA

      Modesty, they say? Oppression has many faces. Islam is a very oppressive religion. Too bad.

      August 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
    • Religion rules

      So sad so many of you live without religion. Lost souls!

      August 23, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
      • pockets

        I would like to see every single Muslim man, wear the same attire fully, or better yet a burqua. Men totally covered from head to foot to show their modesty to Allah and their religion, that way they cannot 'tempt' women.

        August 23, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
        • Kate

          @pockets

          Ummmm ... please don't take this the wrong way, but I don't think that should be restricted to just Muslim men.

          I'm sorry guys, but really, we really don't want to see your armpits, or any other hair. The beer bellies we can skip, the unshaved look really went the way of the dodo with the demise of Don Johnson in Miami Vice, and really – trust me, those stubby nubs you call toes? SHOES guys! Ever heard of them? OK, so you went through an owie getting a n|pple ring – you still haven't experienced childbirth, so it's not a symbol of your endurance and you can wear a top, and please please please – I know there's rumors about hair stylists, but you really need to see one!

          I can think of tons of reasons where men in general (well, some of them at least) really need to learn modesty.

          Just sayin'

          August 23, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
        • 1 view of many

          muslims don't have beer bellys haha XD

          August 23, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
        • Kate

          @1 view of many

          Hopefully, no n|pple rings either – not even Californian ones!

          August 23, 2010 at 8:06 pm |
        • carlie

          Oh please, she's only faking religiosity. If she was really devoted to God she wouldn't let her eyes show at all. Who is she trying to entice with those brown eyes?
          And as far as her statement regarding not worrying about looks, sounds to me like an ugly fat girl who just wants to cover up so noone pokes fun. I see insecurity and oppression. Whatever else you wanted me to see, not working.

          August 23, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
        • nina

          she clearly wasn't fat...

          August 24, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
        • Jon

          Yeah there has to be something incredibly tempting to ANY woman when she's around any mandle wearing, unwashed bearded psychopath who is in incredible need of a pedicure, a manicure, a shave. I think these women have been so threatened and brain washed that they can't think outside of a small box. If I'm wrong about that, and I may be, I'll go for the idea that wearing that mask or a burkha is an act of muslim feminism.

          August 23, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
        • Kate

          @Jon

          Since there's women in the Dove Outreach Center's congregation, there must be *something* tempting ...

          Just sayin'

          August 23, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
      • Joe

        It's my choice!!!

        August 23, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
      • Joe

        So sad so many people kill in the name of religion.

        August 23, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
    • mark

      It will wear the full body coverings or it will get the hose again.

      August 23, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
    • Moe

      Aliya and Nadia should go preach all their nonsense to the many meddle-eastern men who do oppress women.
      The only problem i see with their comments or statements is that unfortunately for Islam, too many muslims interpret that religion to fit their own feliefs and needs. Also, if you have to cover your face or body so you can be seen for what you are inside, then the issue is already there... Men and women both are probably equaly guilty of objectifying eachother, the differece is that because men are generally physically stronger than women, they sometimes become a danger to women. Those girls just want attention... that's all. it's very likely that if they didn't wear those garments, NO ONE would probably even notice them... there's probably a reason why they don't want to show their face... get some proactive or something... geez!

      August 23, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
      • Roland

        they wouldn't last two seconds in the middle east – – they would get the silly slapped out of them very fast

        August 23, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
    • Steve Michaels

      Strikes me as a cry for attention, nothing more. Some of the scarves look nice, but some of these full getups are nothing short of ridiculous costume. There is one young woman at my school, she comes shrouded every day, with only slits for her eyes. You're telling me that isn't attracting attention? She looks like a clown.

      August 23, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
    • Logan9773

      Lol, THEIR CHOICE. What a joke. Its because the muslim men would kill them if they didn't. Shows how the muslim women lie to themselves because they are too weak to fight for rights.

      August 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
    • massms

      There is another element to this "disguise". It's exhibitionism, a real in-your-face attention-getting device worn under the guise of modesty. It shouts, "Look at me, see how devoted to Allah I am." They know how out of place their ridiculous attire is in the West but they do it to impress Islam on the mind of the public...ever proselytizing. If they didn't wear the costume, and that's just what it is, no one would know they are Muslims, nor would anyone care. Were they genuinely interested in being modest, a simple long skirt and a long sleeve top would convey that ideal.

      August 23, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
      • JeffLawrence

        Absolutely right. Modesty does not require wearing a circus tent.

        August 23, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
        • Willard

          I don't think this has anything to do with religion. It's an attention getter. Any American women who wear this wear it only to draw attention to themselves. It's for shock value and to maintain this level of non-reproach. I can say or do anything wearing this because anyone who argues with me or disagrees is anti-Islam.

          August 23, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
        • Guest

          yeah, right–what you said. Do you actually believe what you are saying?

          August 24, 2010 at 2:28 am |
    • Kate

      @Amber

      You're right I think to a large degree about those coming to the US, and the attitudes they bring with them from the cultures they originally came from. We see that with all of the cultures, and that's why we end up with Chinatowns, Little Italy's, Little Odessas, and all the rest.

      And yes I agree it's hard to say "This is America, we do things culturally different here" – when someone has grown up all their life adhering to one cultural norm it's a lot to take in when those norms aren't the same for situations over here.

      That takes time, education, patience, and communication to find the middle ground of assimilation (not, as many would prefer, domination of our mores over theirs totally).

      As for the reaction to 9/11, I think you may have seen it from the wrong perspective – most people I know didn't wear hijab and niqab after 9/11 as an "in your face" thing. Remember, it *was* a group of Muslims were responsible for the murder of 3,000 people, and that had an impact on Muslims too – "How could they have thought this was right??" being a common one I heard.

      People started trying to get closer to the real ideas of Islam, because the actions of those 19 shook Muslims just as much as it did everyone else, as far as I'm concerned. How could it not? So just as people flock to churches when there's a disaster, my guess is more Muslims got closer to their religion to try and find understanding of what had happened, and to find comfort.

      It's just a guess on my part, but it's based on direct knowledge and conversations with others. I'm not saying everyone is all sweetness and light, but every religion has its extremists in the woodwork – Westboro Baptist Church and Dove World Outreach Center show us *that*.

      People have a choice, on either side – they can listen to Al Zawahiri and Beck, to Al Awlaki and Limbaugh, to Al Jazeera and Fox ... or they can go out and *ask* and find out, on both sides.

      People either think for themselves, or follow the noisiest demagogues. That too is American 🙂

      August 23, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
    • Priderockt

      The real reason why muslim women wear these things is to hide the injuries they suffer at the hands of the male family members. The abuse the women get from their loving husbands and fathers. It's common knowledge, after all, that these poor women can expect an " honor " killing from the male family member at any time for whatever reason. Another reason muslim women wear these bonds is fear. ( See " honor " killing ). And, finally, muslim women wear these things to hide the shame they feel. The shame of being property to a - so called - man in a rabidly male dominated institution instead of being an individual person. These are the real reasons muslim women wear the hijab and the nijab.

      August 23, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
    • StopBragging

      Im a muslim woman as well, and here is my opinion about complete covering in the name of God. I think that religion is a personal thing, if ppl want to talk to god all the time, they can do that wearing whatever, I dont think that God is some old pervert checking to see what you got on. Not to mention, if God is really God, he can also see us naked. This covering thing is more of a cultural thing and more women are covering becausse of the Saudi sponsored indirect Wahabisim that is extremely widespread, where all these religious extremist scholars with access to modern media can preach their views and brain wash these young girls into thinking that a Muslimah should be like a ninja. Complete covering is Saudi culture, not Islamic mandate. Islam also teaches that we have social duties and responsiblities, I have been in settings where im in a room full of ladies covered head to toe, nothing but eyes and feel deeply uncomfortable . They can see you, but you cant, you dont know if they are laughing at you, or sad or what their expressions are. You just cannot connect with people in that setting, its very antisocial. I also learned that this attire is very difficult in a classroom setting, a teach cannot tell whether a student is really paying attention or completely withdrawn, and very few of them participate in a social setting. I am not against it, if 300Ib person can go out in a bikini so can a woman with a complete hijab. Its just a choice to express yourself. Even if you are hiding behind all that fabric, u r making a statement and that is ok, its your choice, but dont bring God in it, we are all just as close to him.

      August 23, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
    • blondegeisha

      Excellent comment MG. Lets all cover ourselves up and see what happens.

      August 23, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
    • Bipin

      Live and let live – exactly the point. You can live with your whole-body-covers but we will have trouble living when a terrorist or suicide bomber in disguise will hide a gun/bomb.

      August 23, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
    • Adam

      Being stupid and ignorant wont help your case. You guys should read about islam and see how fair this religion is. your point is senseless because no everyone carrying a gunis a killer and not everyone hiding his face is going to rob a bank.

      August 23, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
    • JeffLawrence

      If Naim or Nadia want to believe that covering themselves brings them closer to their god, that's OK by me. But the reality is that the countries that profess to be run by religious Islamists abuse women, and force them to be second class citizens. There are laws specifically against women that do not pertain to men: laws like whipping women (not men) who commit adultery, forbidding women to drive, own land, own businesses, divorce their husbands, be seen in public with a man who is not a relative, require a woman to have four MALE witnesses when accusing a man of rape, etc. etc. It is these same countries that demand woman cover themselves with the garments being discussed. It clearly is not for the women's benefit.

      August 23, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
    • tigerchuong

      Who in the world can identify a person that cover from head to toe? I think European nations realized that they have security issue. Therefore, they are banning the hijab. Should do the same here. You can practice your believe, but in the public place, at least show your face. That's why people carry identification card with their picture for identification purpose

      August 24, 2010 at 7:05 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.