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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. Bubba

    Where I live, it ain't safe to wear a mask. You'll be mistaken for a holdup man and shot before you can scream "Allah akbar!" which wouldn't help much anyway.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  2. bodie

    There really isn't anything these women could say that would make me understand why they choose to dress like this. It really dumbfounds me. That said, they have to expect some intolerance for the mere fact many of us are concerned that they could be suicide bombers. It is not unhheard of that women are acting as such.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  3. norm

    There have been recent stories about a woman being fired for not following Disney's dress code (she started wearing a hijab after a year of employment, and was warned and fired) and women being denied ID's and driver's licenses because they won't take off their headwear. Well, tough. Those are the rules. If you don't play by them you can't work there or get a DL. You are not owed a job or the ability to drive, or anything else you have been denied by wearing your traditional headwear. Other than that, I don't really care.

    As for the author being upset over negative reference to African culture being applicable to African-Americans, get over that too. First of all, we're all mutts, so using AA as an identifier is ridiculous. Secondly, the subject of the story is one generation removed from her homeland. Most "AAs" are hundreds of years out of Africa, and hardly have any claim to their "homeland". Finally, most "AAs"only use "AA" when they refer to some perceived slight or need to be part of a group. Few have the faintest clue about their far removed heritage.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
    • Moli

      norm, I refer to myself as an American of African descent. I tried to simply say American and got blasted from all sides. In my perfect world Americans would simply be that. By we Americans calling ourselves a Blah Blah-American be are separating ourselves from our fellow citizens. How many people can say my Mother/Father was born in x-country? The Constitution state born or naturalized, personally I feel that if you need to state the other country to are respecting that country more than your own.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  4. jkwyoming

    I totally support these women's right to wear what they want, and respect them for their decisions to stand up and do so as an American citizen. I do take offense, however, at their arrogance when discussing Islam's stance towards women. Their American schooling and studying has found nothing in the teachings of Islam that degrades women – that point is irrelevant to reality. The reality is that women in Islamic countries are horribly oppressed. As a Muslim American, you should be the first one taking a stand against the oppressive regimes of Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia or Iran. If a woman can be sentenced to death for being raped, there is a serious human rights issue here. Human rights take precedence over any religion. Perhaps your message is that these countries distort the true meaning of Islam – perhaps. I am no scholar on Islam. What I do know is that in predominantly Muslim countries, there is a blatant disregard for human rights, liberty, and women's freedoms. Much as the catholic inquisition used to burn 'witches', which was a gross and horrible distortion of church power, these regimes are using Islam to support their medieval mentality and hold on power. If you want to stand up and truly defend Islam, then start by acknowledging and then refuting the oppression that takes place in the vast majority of Muslim societies, and then we can sit down and have an honest conversation about Islam and one's freedom to wear the hijab.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  5. American

    I do not like this. Religion is going to far now in this country and we dont have any politicians with backbones left. The ACLU which was once a great organization for this country now supports terrorists. Cough I meant muslims. I despise the muslim religion and culture, they are ass backwards evil and do not belong in this democratic country. American Muslims are tools, they think that horrid faith is based on tranquility, respect, and dignity? Really when I was in Afghanistan i saw a 10 year old boy publicly have his hands run over by a car for stealing bread. He was homeless because his mom died and dad became a human tiki torch. What a messed up society, all based on their faith. No muslim country on earth seperates faith from government. Why do we allow them to infect our society? When I was in Iraq a 16 year old girl was stoned to death in the street because she dated a boy from a different sect of Islam. Everyone threw stones. You wear your stupid symbol of hate, I will continue to do what the Army trained me with a 5.56mm cap.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • mabel floyd

      great note-american men have respect for women–and respect themselves enough to be attracted to a women because they can appreciate her in her totality.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
    • Moli

      American, you do know that had it not been for the Muslims saving the ancient text we would not have them today? You do know that the Christians wanted all books destroyed, medical practices of any kind besides pray was considered pagan. Shoot, taking a bath AT ANY TIME was considered pagan. That to truely get closer to God you had to not think about you body....but only your soul. Muslim that live under archaic laws should be brought up to speed. What I have found, Muslims are afraid of modernization....due to what we Westerners portray as 'modern living' ie Brittany Spears Lady Gaga........ DO not disrespect my family members that happen to be the same religion as certain terrorist.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
    • Paul

      @Moli the problem is that the behavior in those Muslim countries are justified in the Quran. You won't find jusitifcation for not bathing or destroying books in the bible.

      August 23, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  6. Miria

    Covering your face is NOT REQUIRED in Islam. Did you skip that?

    @ No Fan of Islam:
    Actually *Jesus is their most PRAISED prophet.* I guess you didn't read the Qur'an.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • Moli

      Miria I applaud you while I was raised Christian, I no longer practice any religion. I have taken this time to study the history and practices of the 3 Abrahamic religions. Muslim love/adore Jesus he is one of their most beloved "prophets'! They are expecting the second coming of Jesus like Christians. Jewish persons simply call him a crazy man.

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

      Please do not spew Qu'Ran garbage here, I can post some evil quotes out of that book, actually you are a terrorist explain this one. "Surely they who disbelieve in the communications of Allah – they shall have a severe punishment; and Allah is Mighty, the lord of retribution. (3:4) " "The Quran also attributes negative characteristics to Christians like "falsehood" (Sura 3:71) and "distortion" (Sura 4:46). Among other things, the Qur’an teaches that the Jews have been cursed by Allah, as well as by David and Jesus. (Sura 2:61/58, Sura 5:78/82) And Allah was so disgusted with Jews that he transformed them into apes and pigs. (Sura 5:60/65, 2:65 and 7:166).
      I am so glad everytime I am deployed to the middle east, I prevent some islam fools every trip from reproducing and coming to america, the middle east is like disneyland to me, always packed with excitement!!!

      August 23, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
    • Moli

      American, just like their religious book calls for hatred of other faiths so does the Bible. If you need me to quote a bit I shall. None of the 3 major religions can cast ANY stones towards each other . All 3 have killed in the name of religion. Past and present.

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

      Moli, those quotes are the words of Muhammad, the pentacle figure behind Islam. Now yes, please find quotes from Jesus, the figure behind Christianity, expressing hate in any form of other religions or groups of people. Oh yeah that's right, you can't. You may be able to pull some stuff from the old testament but not from words spoken by Jesus himself, the man behind the foundation of Christianity, who all Christians should strive to be. Jesus repeatedly changed old testament practices.

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

      Paul you do realize that there are very few direct quotes from Jesus Christ. You also realize that the Mathew was wriiten at least 50 years after the death of Jesus.John wasn't written by any of the Apostles and Mark and Luke have questionable origins. You may also note that NONE of the original version of the first 4 books of the Bible even considered Jesus Divine. TO be clear and you may look this up yourself, Jesus Divinity was part of the Christian doctrine until the 3rd or 4th century. Jesus did not what a NEW religion based on his short life......he wanted people to be better JEWS. He wanted the Jews to take RELIGION out of God worship....back to the basics of the 10 Commandments. Please please do your research. I was born a Christian raised by a active deacon in our church. I no longer claim any religion........only love God and live my life following the 10 Commandments

      August 23, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
    • Paul

      I don't remember Jesus ever mention the ten commandments. I definitely agree he was trying to take the religion piece out.

      "But the Pharisees, when they heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, testing him. "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?"
      Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. A second likewise is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."

      Matthew 22:34-40

      August 23, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
    • Moli

      Paul, you have to look for sources outside of the Bible!!!! Even Jewish people who created the Bible use sources outside of The Bible(Old Testament). Paul fabricated so many things, Actually you you should read the Old Testament to see how much of the New Testament is simply copy/pasted of the OT. You should also take a look at how none of the 4 Apostles have the same resurrection story. Also, read the book of 'John' who is suppose to be the author of Revelation. The writing styles and verbiage is totally different.

      August 23, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
  7. blondephd

    OK. I understand not wanting to be judged based upon personal appearance. Hiding one's appearance may be a social norm in Muslim societies but the ultimate respect for a woman would be for a Muslim man to see her face and STILL respect her.

    Sanity check... in a modern, pluralistic society where it is outside the societal norm to dress in this fashion, these women must understand and accept they will be judged based upon appearance if they choose to hide behind this clothing as much, if not more so as they would be judged by their appearance if they show themselves to the world. This dress is a voluntary decision and it is not the same as being judged by the color of one's skin. If they accept that people will not as readily trust a person who hides their identity (and make value judgments based upon mistrust) , go ahead and voluntarily cover yourself. Just be prepared to accept the consequences.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  8. Peppermint

    Anna,
    The best(most ridiculous) part is they do stone men. They are put in an almost full body sack with their hands tied. Women however, are buried up to their chests while men are only buried up to their waists. In some cases (for certain crimes), if the person being stoned is able to get themselves out of the hole, they are then allowed to go free. Kinda funny how men are allowed to keep their upper body strength free while women don't seem to get a chance at all. Alls I know is that every widely used holy book has been written by man, man has flaws, and if given the chance can get greedy. Why not "interpret" things a little differently if you end up gaining in the end?

    August 23, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  9. Chandler02

    People spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME focusing on what fabric other people wear! If it is your body, have an opinion. If it is someone else, why do you care?????

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

      Chandler, you miss the fact muslim nations have a specific dress code for both men and women. Every muslim nation does, it differs per country. In this country we do not want that. Muslims incorporate faith into thier government. Muslims want to turn America into a stone throwing nation like their own, aint gonna happen.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  10. morris2196

    I applaud any woman who dresses modestly, whether it be for spiritual or self-respect reasons. (Although I do believe that the niqab is going to the extreme, and well as being impractical.) Many older girls and young women in the US dress as if they want to be regarded as pieces of meat; I certainly prefer either of the two attires discussed in this article to that.

    On the other hand, if they want to dress that way to make a statement like "I'm proud to be Muslim", that's ok too.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  11. hanan

    @shahrum Think abt security why would Nadia want some crazy stalker figuring out where she lives for producing her last name think about it and from the comments that are being left I would choose to not publish my last name as well. A lot of ppl are very one sided and they live off negativity. Just take the interview for what it is and stop trying to pry for more information. it will just make you look ignorant in the long run...

    August 23, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  12. wilson

    I love how these women try to justify covering up by ignoring where the underlying tradition comes from and what it stands for. It's about subservience and desexualizing because muslim men think women have sexual power over them. In those religious societies, it's all about giving up personal identity and submitting to the men and their god.

    If these women want to desexualize themselves in our society, it can easily be done without bowing down to an ancient belief. I know many women who dress smart and I see them not as sexual objects, but as intelligent and respected women. None of them have their faces covered.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  13. Miria

    @Jason:
    That is what she means when she says "cultural" ("it is the fault of people and culture").
    It is the culture of Saudi you should blame. And the culture of Afghanistan you should blame. Not the religion. The religion doesn't say tell your wife to carry your crap or walk 10 feet behind you. It tells you to live as equals.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
    • Paul

      is that before or after Muhammad the Prophet raided the woman's village, killing the men and children and took the women as slaves? Because when I am pretty sure that is in the Quran and authorized as a Muslim man. Or did you conveniently skip those parts?

      August 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  14. kittybling

    Whatever you do, please don't "air" out your costume.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  15. DUDE

    in islam a woman does not have to cover her face. i think both of those ladies made that abundantly clear, though many of you seem to have skipped that part or can't read or listen well both ladies chose to go a step beyond their religious requirement. and to you who are ignorant of the dress requirements for men under islam they are as follows men are required to wear clothes that are not overly form fitting and they also must be covered in public from their navel to their knee. so you won't catch a practicing muslim man in a speedo or a pair of nut hugging jeans!

    August 23, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  16. David Stone

    Why does CNN work so hard to push Islam? Why?

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

      cnn is not pushing islam cnn is the person trying to tell the rabbid mob who are listening to those who are spreading lies and half truths about islam and don't even know what they are talking about to take just a moment and talk to and listen to the person who you are demonizing tell their side of the story. sarah palin and shawn hanity and newt gingrich have never studied the quran or islam, are not religious scholars, do not have a clue about what is inside the hearts of the 1.6 billion muslims on this earth and are not qualified to speak on their behalf or their intentions. "muslim triumplalism"? i have been a muslim all of my life and have never heard such a term or many of the other things attributed to muslims by this treacherous three they are trying to cast muslims as boogeymen and devils who need to be exorcised when the truth is if we were soo bad the over 5.6 million muslims in america would have acted by now long before 19 lunatics from saudi arabia did!

      August 23, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
    • Paul

      @Dude That's funny because Muslims DID try to blow up the trade centers prior to 9/11 and succeeded in carrying out two attacks against the trade centers. Oh and lets not forget the attacks by Muslims on the USS Cole, or the marine barracks in Beruit. And if those were succcesses, there probably was hundreds of foiled attempts by our nations intelligence agencies that we just never heard about.

      August 23, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • Paul

      @Dude Muslims DID try to blow up the trade centers prior to 9/11 and succeeded in carrying out two attacks against the trade centers. Oh and lets not forget the attacks by Muslims on the USS Cole, or the marine barracks in Beruit. And if those were succcesses, there probably was hundreds of foiled attempts by our nations intelligence agencies that we just never heard about.

      August 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  17. paul

    With all the ridiulous articles cnn has been posting of late and the equally ridiculous comments this seems to me to be a very timely and interesting one.After reading Ayaan Hirsi Alis book "infidel" ,i happened to go to volunteer in India for 2 months.It was the first time I had seen many in full length black burkhas,and I was FREAKED.At first.then my 2 hr commute on auto rickshaw had me covering up (male) face head sunglasses,etc.and all of a sudden,the police did not stop our vehicle for bribes because he could see i was a westerner,and interestingly .I suddenly felt very peaceful,and in an effort to try and understand this practice I do believe that it is a very serious attempt to effect modesty and to encourage mindfulness towards god in however you worship him. It reduces judgement by men OR ,women based on looks and insists on the quality of ones character to make "contact".I dig that, and I felt some of the anxiety that the "infidel" book calm down a bit.Ali paints with rather dangerous broad brushtroke about something "we " will never completely understand and frankly is not doing a service to moderate muslims the world over.
    .That being said,in this country ,I think the affect is actually the opposite of what they are trying to effect with other people 99 percent who do not practice this.I believe it in fact , attracts ten times the attention and makes people uncomfortable and I think these women have a pretty defined arrogant streak ,.If I am in another country I try to adapt my behavior as best I can to being thoughtful and sensitive to other customs. Here, this cannot help but be an attention getter which is in direct contradiction for the very personal beliefs which I respect these women have with the general outcome in public.Be modest in public,be yourself,be compassionate and you will be revering the prophet .By covering up in THIS land,you are in fact creating dissension,uncomfortableness among others and showing yourself to be an attention seeker.There is in this I believe a stunning hypocrisy.NOT in the beliefs which I respect but in not caring about how it affects the vast majority of people here.We have the most deservedly admired freedoms in the world by far,I feel that covering up here is a successful attempt to say to everyone that sees you ,I do NOT want you to see me,I do NOT want to interact with the simplicity of a smile or gentle look because I AM following god and you are not regardless of their sincerity which I belive is real,this is how it comes off.I am sorry as I am not trying to be judgemental about something which I have a new found appreciation for ,but there is something in this that does not reflect the very sensitivities they are claiming to adhere to.

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

      1 who cares if my religion and garb makes you uncomfortable. either we have a constitution that we stand behind or the whole thing about life liberty the pursuit of happiness and freedom of religiom is bullshit! and yes there has been some muslims who have committed acts of terrorism but they have also suffered much at the hands of our military and global "interests" it didn't come out of the blue. and i'll tell you if you put your hands on either of my daughters because they wear the hijab, i will protect them at all costs, this is america i am an american and i have the right to my beliefs even if it makes a dainty sensitive person like yourself feel all squishy inside

      August 24, 2010 at 1:59 am |
  18. HeatherW

    Bravo for standing up for what you believe ladies!
    I wouldn't want to wear a niqab, but I stand with you in your right to wear one.
    To do anything less would be un-American.

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

      We will outlaw Muslim culture soon enough, hopefully sooner than later. You people can only be evil for so long before the door is shut. No 47 virgins for you or whatever they give the women, not sure maybe lil stones?

      August 23, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
    • muslim

      i just want to say some things ;
      Why a nun can be covered from head to toe and she is respected for devoting her self to God?

      But when Muslimah does the same she oppressed and they are reactionary!

      When a western women stays at home to look after her house and kids she is respected because of sacrificing herself and doing good for the household?

      But when a Muslim woman does so by her Will, because Islam don't prevent Muslim women from work they say, "she needs to be liberated"!

      Any girl can go to university wearing as she need and have her rights and freedom?

      But when Muslimah wears Hijab they prevent her from entering university!

      When a child dedicates himself to a subject he has potential.

      But when he dedicates himself to Islam he is hopeless!

      When a Christian or Jew kills someone religion is not mentioned, but when Muslim is charged with a crime, it is Islam that goes to a trial!

      When someone sacrificing himself to keep others life, he is a noble one and all respects him.

      But when a Palestinian do that to save his son from being killed, his brother's arm being broken, his mother being raped, his home being destroyed, and his mosque being violated. He gets the title of terrorist! Why? Because he is Muslim!

      When there is a trouble we accept any solution? Only if the solution is in Islam, we refuse without having a look at this solution.

      When someone drive a perfect car in a bad way no one blame the car.

      But when any Muslim make a mistake or treat people in a bad manner – people say "Islam is the reason"!

      Without looking to the tradition of Islam, why people believe what the newspaper say.

      i want to add ;1-imagin you are sick??? what will you do??
      of course you will go to a doctor......a specialist
      or surf up abook of medicine
      this is the same in islam
      if you want to judge...... you must search your self in muslim websites
      we all know that jornalists and newspapers mislead us ...may be not all of them
      but the most
      2- i will tell you that
      – killing children ,women& the old in islam is Forbidden
      so peaple who do that are not really muslim
      -look around at every thing of value is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock
      so our islam considers thewaman as the most value thing in this world ..........can not be seen
      just by his husband who must treat her well

      here you are my advice
      life isn't so long as you imagin
      you may die at any time
      you have to think again..........really ...........open your mind &heart .....how your life is going on
      ask your self are you on the right way?????

      August 27, 2010 at 12:33 am |
  19. Brian in WI

    As a man I am insulted by the attitude that I cannot take a female seriously if her skin is visible. It is demeaning to me to be considered as nothing more than an animal that will act on my most primitive emotions and be able to blame the female for the showing to much of her self. This is would be insulting to a god that created all of us, but half of the created cannot control themselves to behave. This is nothing more than a male dominated culture controlling the females.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  20. Ralph

    I think wearing niqab is like saying to Americans that Musliims are here and more are coming. It's like in 'our face' that we are powerless against future Muslim expansion deep into the American heartland. They are getting very bold and are ideliberately trying to make us uneasy. That is what waering the niqab is all about. Making us nervous and fearful that they are here now and we must cater to them. It's like wearing 'colors' in certain neigherhoods. Actually its worse since one cannot ever identify who is under the 'mask'.

    Its a terrible religion of intolerance and they are growing. Most women ARE oppressed. They are intolerant but we are expected to be tolerant of their beliefs. Are there any churches in Saudia Arabia? Can a christain speak freely there? I think not. Yet we must afford them here every little triffle so as not to upset or offend them? I really fear for our future. We are idiots for allowing in people who will not ever assimulate into our culture. In this case I am sure this girl is at least encourage by foreigners.

    And I'm also sick about hearing about Muslims every damn day.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
    • swest

      I agree!! Ralph for President!

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

      I'm sick about hearing about ignorant people like you every day.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
    • American

      Miria, I hope you are nearby when the next Muslim Human TIKI torch that kills children parades around in public, maybe then you will get it. My last time in Iraq, a 13 year old boy was strapped with a vest of explosives by his father whom promised him he would go to Allah. The vest malfunctioned and burned half of his face off. His father well he got his (POP), the boy, he is in the US getting some good old fashioned non Islam medical attention. I have seen nothing from Islam worth praising in 5 middle eastern countries I have been. Wake up America we are at war and most of you dont get it. Muslims want an only Muslim America, just like every other Muslim nation where any other religion is banned, punishable by stoning.

      August 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
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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.