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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. Mishka

    Have anyone made the joke yet that some full-faced head scarves should be mandatory for unattractive people, men or women? haha! I think the headscarves would be useful at work to hide the earphones from your Ipod. Beavis is pro-headscarf, dude-i.e. Cornholio! All pau.

    September 9, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  2. miriam korshak

    All this costuming is simply a device to attract attention. Just like the reverse of wearing revealing clothes. Ladies who adopt the headscarves simply never have a bad hair day.

    September 3, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  3. Melissa

    What happens at the airport? Are they required to remove it? We have to take off our jackets and hats and put in the bin...wouldn't this be considered an outward covering like a jacket?

    September 2, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
    • Kate

      @Melissa

      Usually a niqabi (or a hijabi for that matter) would ask for secondary screening in a private area – something anyone at all could request for themselves going through TSA checkpoints.

      TSA's standard regs for any secondary screenings are for two screeners of the same gender as the selectee, so the niqabi can lift her veil to prove her ident|ty against her documentation, and have a pat down search.

      I can't speak for all niqabis, but most that I know see no problem with this – it's necessary to prove ident|ty. the same with the search – if they're wearing an abaya, then it only makes sense to let someone be checked. It's not discriminatory, everyone is checked to make sure they're "safe", the niqabi's dress just requires a different approach to ensuring the security of pa5sengers.

      The same logic applies to other situations where ident|ty needs to be proven – although there have been a lot of media reports of misunderstandings about the guidance from scholars in recent years.

      The basic upshot is, if you see a niqabi airside at an airport, or on a plane, they went through TSA they same way you did and were checked out the same way you were.

      Just sayin'

      September 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
    • Kate

      Six tries to answer this, and not one made it through the automated filters.

      CNN, you obviously have no intentions of fostering intelligent discussions about any topics whatsoever as long as your filtering routine is dumber than the Great Australian Firewall.

      @Melissa, You can try http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/2198 for more info in general, but remember that each scholar's opinions might be accepted by some, rejected by others in favor of a different ruling.

      The usual routine for TSA screenings is a niqabi will ask for secondary screening in a private area, where she can lift the veil to match against her ID and get a pat down search.

      September 2, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
  4. Jochebed

    I have far more respect for Muslim infidels covering themselves up in modesty and being true to their religion in this filthy society than for any ditzy half-naked college girl anyday.

    September 1, 2010 at 6:19 am |
  5. Moonriver

    I live in an area with a large Muslim population, and the only thing I ever feel or think when I see these covered women in public is TERRORIST. Inside I am filled with disgust and hatred. I feel like they should not be wearing that garb here... they need to adhere to our societal norms and dress. I actually have to resist the urge not to scowl at them and mutter "terrorist go home" at them. They fill me with such rage and hate.

    I am not normally this way.. I am a mother and mostly peaceful person... do volunteer work, try to live a good life.. I wish that these people did not arouse such feelings of hate and fear in me but they do. I have known several muslims personally.. I tried to get to know them so that I could understand them... on the surface at first they were ever so nice, but the more I got to know them, they let down their guard and I came to see how they really felt and thought about our country and most of them had nothing but scorn for America and our way of life.. they were only here to make money and then they planned to go back to their terrorist factory countries that they came from.

    When will America wake up and realize that we are harboring the enemy here? Islam is not a religion of peace.. it is a religion of hate and is the cause of most of the worlds trouble spots today.

    August 31, 2010 at 11:52 pm |
  6. Hard of hearing man

    I am responding to the following people who replied to my comment on being unable to lip read a face covering Muslim women on 8/23/10 at 2:33 PM...

    @ Kana: People covering their faces when talking to me happens all the time. Men with very bushy mustaches. People who turned their heads away. Thank you Allah, for allowing me to pity the hard of hearing folks living in Muslim societies, where most if not all of the women cover their faces.

    @ caljellygrl: I do know sign language, but most people do not know sign language. Please read on and tell me how does that solve the problem if I encounter a face covering Muslim woman with sign language skills?????

    @ One Whose Name Means Beloved of God: Bingo, bingo, bingo. Unfortunately, even if the face covering women know sign language, you will still need to see their faces. Because so much of sign language involves the use of facial expressions. Same handshapes are used for many words, so that facial expressions are needed to convey actual meaning of these handshapes. This cannot happen if I attempt to communicate with a face covering Muslim woman, since true meanings of sign language words will be lost when a deaf person is looking at her communicating.

    Moral: Muslim women need to remove their face coverings, in order to be a fully participating member of any society. Or they are not pleasing to their "Allah"! PERIOD! If Allah exist.....

    August 31, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  7. Ms. Dowd's 7th/8th Grade Class

    Dear CNN,

    I've read this article and I think that the Muslim women should be allowed to have their own beliefs. Just because they are Muslim doesn't mean that they should be treated differently. They should be allowed to express their beliefs without people coming up to them and harassing them or not being able to come to a store just because they dress differently. They're right, they should be looked at as people and people should be happy for them. They should be looked at by their intelligence and their character instead of their looks.

    Sincerely, n
    Ms. Dowd's 7th and 8th Grade Social Studies Class

    August 30, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  8. Heather

    I don't think they get why alot of American women hate the whole cover yourself up so God will love you thing. If men stare it's they that should change not us. This is a women's issue to me not religous. I don't think of terrorism when i see it, i see women who choose todress that way, IN AMERICA, the image of that overseas where women are required to wear it I am disgusted, with the mena AND the women who put up with it. You want to dress in it here, i'm fine with that, i prefer Red Sox shirts but to each theier own, just don't next start defending other mistreatment of women like the mutilation they call female circumsism (sorry about the spelling), because no matter your religion American women believe in equality, and are NOT afraid to fight for it.

    August 29, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  9. StevieT

    Do me a favor, wear these things in Saudi Arabia. They insult my sense of Western humanity when I se them worn in this country.

    August 27, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
    • Joseph

      Ignorance is Bliss

      October 7, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
  10. Megan Ann

    I say ........RIght on! Do what you want to do. I think its great that someone out there isn't dressing like a whore. It's a shame that covering up is considered oppressive in America. We all should be like these women ( not saying that we should wear Hijab etc...) But dang.. it's embarrassing to see so many girls baring so much skin out in public!

    August 27, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  11. Have a blessed Ramadan

    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

    Say : "O Al-Kâfirûn (disbelievers in Allâh, in His Oneness, in His Angels, in His Books, in His Messengers, in the Day of Resurrection, and in Al-Qadar)! (1) "I worship not that which you worship, (2) "Nor will you worship that which I worship. (3) "And I shall not worship that which you are worshipping. (4) "Nor will you worship that which I worship. (5) "To you be your religion, and to me my religion (Islâmic Monotheism)." (6)
    May Allah guide us to the straight path. Amiiiine

    August 27, 2010 at 10:14 am |
  12. Quezz

    I really appreciate this article, because I am a Catholic who believes that modesty is a path to viewing people as more than objects. I think many people are too focused on how someone looks, and not what they say or believe. These young women through their faith have found a way to do that. I applaud them. I don't give in to lookism in different ways, but I support wholeheartedly what they are doing.

    August 26, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  13. Tara

    I have no issue with women who choose to wear the niqab, but effective communication in American culture involves more than just eyes and speech. It is hard to trust you if I cannot see you. It has nothing to do with your faith and everything to do with our shared culture.

    August 26, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
    • Kate

      @Tara

      Several people have made the same valid point about the niqab and communication. All I can say is that body language and intonation, as well as eyes themselves, can be just as expressive.

      I know many who can be just as eloquent as anyone else without needing facial expressions being seen. When you think about it, a niqabi is likely comfortable with her covering and is used to communicating effectively even though from outside you'd think it a handicap.

      I remember one time on an airplane (post 9/11 to boot) sitting next to a lady who was coming to visit her son in the town we were heading to and was wondering about what tourist traps she might visit. We spent a good hour chatting, both social and with me going over the places I'd recommend, or wish I could see, or places to avoid, and there was no communication problem at all.

      As with everything, it takes finding that middle point and requires both sides make an effort.

      August 26, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  14. Christian in the Middle East

    OK, here goes. I am a Christian living in the Middle East and here are my comments:

    1- Everyone should have the right to dress the way they want (except for the face covering in public places ONLY for safety and security reasons) Just like people are allowed to wear mini skirts and low rise tops, they should be allowed to wear modest and covering cloth

    2- A LOT of my Muslim friends here wear their Hijab ONLY because they are forced to by their parents (please note i am speaking of fist hand experience as most of my closest friends are Muslims) and most of these girls with both Hijab & Burko take it off the first chance they get. Like when they leave the country and travel to Lebanon, Egypt, London, and the rest of the world. This happens some with their parents consent (as long as they put it back on when they come back to their home countries) and some with out their parents content

    3- Some of these girls DO where the HIJAB by choice, and pray by choice because they truly believe in their faith.

    4- A lot of the oppressed women here are being oppressed by their own family members, (i.e. Fathers & Brothers) these family members don't allow them to go anywhere they please, talk to men, date, or dress the way they please, so most of them do it behind their families backs.

    At the end of the day and the reason I heard most from these girls, is because they don't want people (society) talking about them badly, or negatively, which to them means, telling their parents they dress proactively, or have male friends etc.

    So my comment it, as long as it is by CHOICE and not by FORCE then do whatever the hell you want. 🙂

    August 26, 2010 at 3:55 am |
  15. AGA

    Everyone should get one thing straight. 20,000 AMERICANS CONVERT TO ISLAM EACH YEAR!!!!!
    Why so much hatred people when 20,000 of you guys convert each year? If u want to love normally in this country then bring bak tolerance and respect for others and please have an OPEN mind. Not like what I've seen here. Islam will soon be the most populated religion in the world and that's nothing to be afraid of as long as u dont judge people by stupid stereotypes.

    August 25, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  16. hehe

    i personally think if they want to wear hijab they can. and ppl shouldnt judge.and it hink its coool cuz they want to get close to GOD.

    August 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  17. Islam is equality

    Not unlike the covering prescribed for Jewish and Christian women in those faiths, Islam has a prescription for hijab that is usually only spoken of in terms of the external covering of the woman but it is actually a code of modesty that applies to both women and men. The men are instructed to lower their gazes in front of women to reduce inappropriate, unsolicited glances and dress modestly while the women are instructed to do the same, although there is much more involved (and disputed) when concerning the woman's role in the code of hijab. Everything from how much she should cover to when, and in front of who, has been an issue of contention for centuries among scholars and there is no real definitive "hijab" that Muslim women can say is the official. As Islam spread across Arabia, North Africa, Europe, and the Indian subcontinent, every culture that embraced Islam saw a different form of hijab. Some of these cultures were more rigid in their interpretations while others were more loose, and the women of these cultures wore their hijabs according to custom. However, covered or not, women all across the world throughout the ages have been subject to the extremes; on both sides of the veil as it was. In Saudi Arabia for example, women are not allowed to drive even and cannot leave their homes without a mahram (a man who is religiously and legally unable to marry her or have such relations.) Rules that did not even apply during the Prophet Muhammad's times. Stories from parts of the Muslim world have left a sour taste in the mouths of the sane – horror stories of girls who had to suffer death under a burning school – not allowed to escape – simply because they were not veiled at the time, and women gang-raped and killed because they were looked at by a man of an outside tribe and accused of adultery without any proof. The Prophet (s) himself fought for the rights of these very women during his own times, of the oppressed and abandoned. His society had a similar problem where women had no rights; female babies were subject to infanticide, sons would inherit their mothers after their father's passing, and whore houses were just around the corner. Men would marry as many women as they wanted with no limit, and no one knows how prevalent adultery was. This was called the Arab's "Age of Jahiliyya" (Ignorance.) The Prophet came to restore modesty and respect for the woman, giving her previously unheard of rights, and honor her sexuality by placing limits and restrictions on how, when, and who can have relations with Muslim women. It was an unprecedented victory for womens' rights in those times, and Islam set such a high standard that even today, the majority of Muslim converts are women.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  18. 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 ra-pe, 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.

    August 25, 2010 at 9:02 am |
    • Kate

      @Reality

      You kind of forgot to mention that in 2002, 70 women were murdered by their husbands in Canada, 64 in 2003 (Source Canada's Homicide Report).

      Now personally, I consider domestic homicide to be pretty much the same thing as so-called "Honor Killings" (which only show the perpetrator had no honor to begin with). So I'm curious – what exactly is the cultural reason for so many women being murdered by their husbands (and that's not even counting the number of women killed by family members, which those statistics show are even higher) and why aren't you railing against that culture as well?

      Somehow you think those 12 specific familial homicides over an 8 year period somehow are more important than the couple of hundred spousal homicides over the same period? What is it makes the victims of those spousal homicides so unimportant in your mind that you just focus on one group and bring that particular statistic in alone?

      Or are non-Muslim spousal homicides just culturally acceptable for you? Maybe if those 12 women you cite had just been killed by "other" husbands it would have been "OK"?

      Then there's your sneaky attempt to link ra.pe to veil wearing, or domestic abuse to veil wearing. Do you realize just how insult|ng that statement is? Once upon a time, women didn't report ra.pes for the simple reason they were afraid no-one would believe them – *your* attitude now is that people who wear the veil shouldn't be believed if they say it's voluntary.

      The simple fact of the matter is that your prejudices blind you to the possibility anyone *could* wear one voluntarily, and so you're willing to cast a bogus shadow over every muslimah with the implication they wouldn't tell you the truth even if they were being forced.

      Do you really think all women just *have* to be so oppressed that a) they'll all lie on the subject, and b) they have no will of their own to choose to wear the veil voluntarily, and c) any of them that do by definition should be disregarded, as your statement implies?

      There's an old saying about statistics. They should add you to the end of it as the final type.

      August 25, 2010 at 10:04 am |
    • Kate

      @Reality

      You kind of forgot to mention that in 2002, 70 women were murdered by their husbands in Canada, 64 in 2003 (Source Canada's Homicide Report).

      Now personally, I consider domestic homicide to be pretty much the same thing as so-called "Honor Killings" (which only show the perpetrator had no honor to begin with). So I'm curious – what exactly is the cultural reason for so many women being murdered by their husbands (and that's not even counting the number of women killed by family members, which those statistics show are even higher) and why aren't you railing against that culture as well?

      Somehow you think those 12 specific familial homicides over an 8 year period somehow are more important than the couple of hundred spousal homicides over the same period? What is it makes the victims of those spousal homicides so unimportant in your mind that you just focus on one group and bring that particular statistic in alone?

      Or are non-Muslim spousal homicides just culturally acceptable for you? Maybe if those 12 women you cite had just been killed by "other" husbands it would have been "OK"?

      August 25, 2010 at 10:05 am |
    • Kate

      (Split because the full post was getting hit by auto-filtering)

      Then there's your backdoor attempt to link ra.pe to veil wearing, or domestic abuse to veil wearing. Do you realize just how daft that statement is? Once upon a time, women didn't report ra.pes for the simple reason they were afraid no-one would believe them – -your- attitude now is that people who wear the veil shouldn't be believed if they say it's voluntary?

      I think your own prejudices blind you to the possibility anyone -would- wear one voluntarily, and so you're willing to cast a false shadow over every muslimah with the implication they wouldn't tell you the truth even if they were being forced to wear one.

      Do you really think all women just -have- to be so downtrodden that a) they'll all lie on the subject, and b) they have no mind of their own to choose to wear the veil voluntarily, and c) any of them that do by definition should be disregarded, as your statement implies?

      There's an old saying about statistics. They should add you to the end of it as the final type.

      August 25, 2010 at 10:11 am |
    • Kate

      I give up trying to post the rest of it – CNN, will you PLEASE discover what a "Preview" button is for, or install Intense Debate? If nothing else it'd make your moderators jobs easier, as well as stop failed postings piling up wasting server space for no reason.

      August 25, 2010 at 10:13 am |
  19. 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 ra-pe, 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 o

    August 25, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  20. 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.

    @mohawk067.... In the nobal Quran it does state to cover all except eyes and hands and also in an ayat in Quran it also states that we follow our Rasolullah sala llahu alayhi wa salaam and he also told us what Allah commanded and we follow his ways cause god told us to do so.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:47 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.