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.


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. ayse

    iam so surprize that people just want to label people for something they dont know or scared to understand, if you want to label me and that make you feel better then do so, iam american muslim.. yes i was born in the america and my family are amerian, but iam the one is who is muslim and few of my family are, not all but just some of us.. i say this i didnt choice islam, islam choose me.. and iam very proud to be american and to be muslim.. iam just try to do what i think is right in my eyes and try to have close relationship with my creator... no differences then the jewish or christian etc people.. no one is perfect only allah(god) is perfect.. wearing the hijab is important part in all religion and covering your body is also is important in all reliigion to, being modest is the way all religion teach us, and in the bible, as well as the quran say, women is to only allow to show her face,hands,feets, this a rule of allah(god).and alot of women are just try to what allah(god) say to do.. and for that alot of people judge them for this, but not me, i think that women that choose to wear the hijab and najib and keep there body closed is beautiful and take alot of courage to do so,and i have the most up respect for them to, for stand up for what you believe in, and stand your ground, that take alot of courage, i thank you sisters for sharing you stories, that takes alot of courage to speak out, and share your point of views.. and now it make me even a little stronger to do what i think is right for me..inshallah( godwilling) that allah(god) give me the same strenght... iam so proud to be a muslim woman.. alhamdililah(thank the god)

    February 28, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  2. Rosisi

    Moslem women have the right to wear whatever they want to wear. But I also have my rights. I do not trust people when I cannot see their facial
    expression. It is not their expression of their religion that worries me, but I can not feel comfortable greeting or talking to "eyes". So they make their choice and I make mine.

    December 5, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  3. AFG-UnitSoldier

    I think that wearing a Hijab or a Niqab is something of you're own choice.
    It is also a choice which must be respected by anyone, either if you are muslim or not.
    I also think it's strange that some countries ban the Hijab and Niqab at schools, universities and public spaces.
    People say that we live in a democracy and that we are free to remove them. What people don't know or don't want to know is that we are not only free to not-wear them but also free to wear them. Everybody should be free to wear their religious symbols, clothes etc, wether if you're Christian, Jewish or Muslim.

    September 30, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  4. Tomas

    I think I wanna be a Muslim ! Yo Muslims ,help me plsssssss!!!

    August 4, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • J

      Are you mental? We moved to North America to escape the belittling & abuse of women. Moslem women have to be stronger & stand up for their rights. This is a free country. You don't have to wear that hijab or burqa anymore just because men said you have to. People stare at you more if you have it on. You can live your dreams and no one can stop you. Believe it. Religion & beliefs are carried within the privately within the soul & not to be advertised.

      September 20, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • Adam


      December 4, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • yavuz

      brother, contact me please.. i might help you out. First of all, contrary to what J say, religion is sth. that regulates one's life since this life is so short and we are not sent here just to have fun and do whatever we want (freedom ?). There is a bigger reason behind. We got to recognize the Creator and try to please Him in the way He wants. Islam teaches this to us.

      December 4, 2011 at 5:50 am |
    • elham

      Hi Tomas

      If people knew how Islam is beatiful and how true Islam can make a big and posetive diffrence in our lives, they wouldn'y doubt even one minute to be a Muslim* Hijab is the greatest respect Islam have towards women. I , as an Muslim woman am proud of it.I am sooooooo happy. And there is no need to wear the face at all. We need our facial expressions and we can spread our sweet smell as a wonderful flower and makepaople around us (men and woman) enjoy our feminin featurs even using Hijab. This way more beauties of us are displayed.... our beauty is not restricted to our bodies but it's our pure feminin feelings and souls that matters.

      January 25, 2012 at 6:04 am |
    • A.K.I

      Being a muslim takes a lot of work...Especially for me cause i'm 12... You have to pray 5 times a day, you have to try your BEST to not do anything bad... Idk bout you but for me thats REALLY hard...I'm not saying I'm bad... But if you are gonna become one Good Luck Sista!!

      March 15, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  5. Ess

    While a muslim wear her hijab she is oppresed but when a non muslim wear a veil she is respecting her religion

    July 31, 2011 at 5:00 am |
  6. Althor

    As to the contention by Muslim women concerning Islamic "modesty", and the wearing of the veil and or covering of the face to avert "lustful gazes", to which they so often demurely allude to; having seen plenty of Islamic women with no veil and or face covering, I would venture to say that on the contrary! If Muslim women really want to avert "LUSTFUL GAZES", all they have to do is NOT TO WEAR EITHER...instead of leaving it to the "inaccuracies" of "fantasy" and the "imagination"! No wonder Muslim men, who see them without either, prefer goats...."Baaahhh"!

    I mean, just look at the Muslim wife of Anthony Weiner! No wonder the poor jerk had to gets his kicks from strange women on Tweeter....since goats here in America are not as readily available. LOL!

    June 26, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  7. Ei

    I am prest in orthodox plaes contact me

    May 24, 2011 at 4:23 am |
  8. mariem

    still amazes how people still argue about head cover in islam. yet when you look at virgin mary's piccture. yo see nothing but face. nuns are also a live example. and also jewish people isn't part of their religion to look modest and women to cover their head.

    May 15, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
    • mary

      Mariem, one important difference is that in Christian & Jewish society where the women choose to veil they are not murdered and beaten if they choose not to wear it. There is still a place for them if they choose not to veil. The same cannot be said about most Muslim, if not all, Muslim countries.

      May 16, 2011 at 12:26 am |
  9. Sarah

    Yes, you all have valid opinions. I think we are forgetting the real problem- that the public thinks they can dictate what one person can and can't do. Aren't we sending a cliche, un-american message if we take away a persons 'freedom' to choose what they can and can't wear in public. Let's grasp the bigger picture here people.

    April 11, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
  10. AskAboutTheTruth

    Please People use your mind.
    When you talk about hijab, Islam,... etc. did you know that the nuns in Christianity use to put the veil (like the hijab)? have you ever seen a picture of Mary without the veil (hijab)? does any Christian woman follow what Mary did?
    now you jugde?

    April 11, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • mary

      There is a major difference between Christian nuns veiling vs. most Muslim women of the world veiling. That difference is that the nuns lived and still live in a society where it is completely safe if they should decide not to wear the veil. Currently, in most, if not all Muslim countries, women who choose not to veil are beaten, ostracized, imprisoned, and murdered. They are not safe should they choose not to veil.

      May 16, 2011 at 12:30 am |
  11. Scotty

    I encountered two very pretty young women with head scarves and very tight jeans and t-shirts. How is this modest?

    April 11, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Elmeaux


      December 4, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • A.K.I

      Scotty, I'm in 7th grade, I wear a covering and that's the way I dress.. Skinny jeans, a shirt, and of course my hijab.. You can't just say someone isn't modest because of the way they dress... i'm guessing you don't even know the girls... Just like they say 4 books. Don't judge a person by their cover, judge them by their personality..... Sorry if you feel offenced...<3

      March 15, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  12. Matt

    You don't have to cover yourself with a hijab or a niqab to be modest. You can dress normally and act appropriately and still be regarded with respect by those around you. A woman is not a piece of jewelry. She is an individual who deserve to decide on her own, make her career and not have any man tell her where she can and cannot go. I have daughters and it is insulting when men treat women like they are property or they're not smart enough to decide on their own. Those who agree with that story of the sheikh and the American above need to have their heads examined. I've been to the Middle East and I am not impressed with how they treat their women. If they care about them so much, they would have cared for the old widows that are reduced to begging on the sidewalk to make a living.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  13. Sonya

    I am 100% against hijab.......the women claims it makes them feel closer to God.....since u women claim that u are equal to man, what does the man have to do to feel closer to God? wear a tank top and shorts??? Fifty years ago, if u went to most countries in the Middle East, you could bearly find veiled women, now, everyone wears the veil and if u don't, you get nasty stares from both men and women......women are not like diamonds u keep in a safe box in the bank......culture is forcing them to cover up!!!!!

    April 11, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • Allison

      I agree with Sonya I the sense that if this is to feel closer to God then why don't men have to cover up? I believe that everyone has the freedom dress and express themselves as they choose, but with the hijab it seems that the expectations are not equal across both genders. This notion ultimately promotes inequality between men and women, despite what people say.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Patrice

      Why don't ask these same questions of ultra orthodox Jewish Women. They may not wear the hijab but they do wear something similar to the niqab. Some orthox women wear wigs in public and they wear long skirts and long sleaves to be modest. Are these women also oppressed? Why is one religions modesty viewed as "ok" and anothers viewed as oppresive. The sentiment behind each style of dress is the same, modesty.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • pauline

      In islam God created men and women of equal value, but that doesnt mean they should be identical. there is a difference between equity and equality. in these modern days even women generally differ from men in clothing,shoes, hairstyle, jewelry, needs, interests, so why so much hassle about an extra piece of clothing. why not let everyone wear what makes them comfortable, irrespective of their reasons to do so.
      and concerning feeling closer to God. as long as it doesnt harm others, what does it matter what anyone does to be closer to God? if a woman feels more modest and closer to her creator by wearing a skirt instead of tight pants or a hijab instead of nothing on her head, then why does this irritate so many people?
      why so many discussions about the headscarf, when during wintertime everybody covers all but their faces? some people have tattoos, some excessive jewelry, some wear black make-up and some cover their heads.
      who cares?
      people: live and let live....

      April 18, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • IslamicLove

      Hello Sonya. You are asking how men are supposed to express their Islamic devotion? In Islam, men are required to dress modestly as well. Men are not supposed to pray with their legs showing. Men are encouraged to have beards. Men are encouraged to go to the Mosque every week for Friday Prayer (as are women). Men are to express their Islamic devotion in many other ways too. Just because women are encouraged to wear the Hijab does not mean that it's "oppression" if the men are not encouraged to do it.
      In Christianity, nuns are encouraged to wear the entire dress robe with a veil on their head. Why not have priests wear the same dressing? It just doesn't work like that Sonya.
      Pauline and Patrice, I completely agree with you. Thank you for being such understanding and non-biased people 🙂
      And Allison, if you read the basics of Islam you will see how equally (almost superior) women are treated. Though Hijab may be required (in most Muslim's perspectives), it does not mean that the women is forced to do it. If a Muslim women chooses not to wear a Hijab, it does not mean that she is not Muslim. She could even be a better Muslim than a non-Hijab wearing women. It is a choice; a choice that some people feel the need to FORCE women to do, but essentially those people are very wrong. Please do not judge Islam based off of a few peoples' actions. There are good and bad people in all religions.
      Have a great day everyone.

      December 10, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • ayse

      sonya i feel sad for you because you are scared of something, and you want to say your aganisnt women covering but covering is part of them and who they are. jewish,christain and muslim women cover for the name of allah(god), prophet jesus,mother mariam(mary) covered her hair and body for the name of allah(god), and if you ask a muslim and which iam muslim or anyother woman that cover, why do you cover, i would say sister i cover for the name of allah(god) and iam just following my prophet jesus,mother mariam(mary), she covered to for the name of allah(god).. and men do have to covered up to, they have to wear long pants, shirts to there elbow, they cant wear gold, etc there alot of rules for the men to, during prayer time,reading the quran and everyday life, but you would have knew this if you just reserch and educated yourself about this topic.. its mine choice if i choose to cover or not and the same with the men..

      February 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • A.K.I

      Im 50/50 with you girl.. But back in the old/crappy days, people really didn't care about religion. They just cared about guys and getting marrie and having a happy life.. My mom wears a scarf, and I've looked @ her pics from the 60's/70's and she was wearing these freakin short skirts. And now I can't even show my legs... its sucks a lot... But for some reason people(muslims) care a lot about their religion now... Idk why but its annoying...

      March 15, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  14. Binta

    This is great i feel just like her i just started to wair mind people ask me all kind of funny Q and i just i have to be paysent and anwaer thiar Q. I`M PROUD TO BE A MUSLIM HIJABI!!!

    February 18, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
  15. jodiabot

    hello .it is a better choice you can ever do.GOOD LUCK FRIENDS

    December 25, 2010 at 11:07 am |
  16. a

    so many choices....

    December 24, 2010 at 1:46 am |
  17. zara

    i am a muslim girl teenager in england, and i wear the hijab purely out of choice. I dress normally( jeans, shirt etc) but with modesty in mind. I do not want to become an object for people to look at.

    December 13, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
    • Marina

      By covering up you prove just the opposite. If you want to be accepted as an equal to your male counterparts you have to act as an equal. You have to be able to command respect without hiding underneath the overy exaggerated rags.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • adfdf

      Islam is discriminating Women from Men.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Kelley

      @Zara: While I am not a Muslim I admire those who do decide to cover. I think it is a wonderful symbol of modesty. I kind of have a laugh ( in a good way ) when people say that covered women/female teens are " hiding " or " oppressed ". True, some may be oppressed, but a lot of females cover purely out of choice.

      I just started wearing a head covering back in early Marchish 2011. My blog: http://www.theheadcoveringgeek.blogspot.com. I think it's very nice that you wear the hijab. 🙂

      December 23, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
  18. Muneef

    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    And this is a blessed Scripture which We have revealed, confirming that which (was revealed) before it, that thou mayst warn the Mother of Villages and those around her. Those who believe in the Hereafter believe herein, and they are careful of their worship. (92) 
    Sura 06:92

    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Mîm (1) Aîn¬Sîn¬Qâf. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur'ân, and none but Allâh (Alone) knows their meanings] (2) Likewise Allâh, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise sends Revelation to you (SAW) as (He sent Revelation to) those before you.[ (3) To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, and He is the Most High, the Most Great. (4) Nearly the heavens might be rent asunder from above them (by His Majesty), and the angels glorify the praises of their Lord, and ask for forgiveness for those on the earth, verily, Allâh is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. (5) And as for those who take as Auliyâ' (guardians, supporters, helpers, lord, gods, protectors) others besides Him [i.e. they take false deities other than Allâh as protectors, and they worship them] Allâh is Hafîz (Protector, Watcher) over them (i.e. takes care of their deeds and will recompense them), and you (O Muhammad SAW) are not a Wakîl (guardian or a disposer of their affairs) over them (to protect their deeds). (6) And thus We have revealed unto you (O Muhammad SAW) a Qur'ân in Arabic that you may warn the Mother of the Towns (Makkah) and all around it. and warn (them) of the Day of Assembling, of which there is no doubt, when a party will be in Paradise (those who believed in Allâh and followed what Allâh's Messenger SAW brought them) and a party in the blazing Fire (Hell) (those who disbelieved in Allâh and followed not what Allâh's Messenger SAW brought them)[]. (7)And if Allâh had willed, He could have made them one nation, but He admits whom He wills to His Mercy. And the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers) will have neither a Walî (protector, or guardian) nor a helper. (8) Or have they taken (for worship) Auliyâ' (guardians, supporters, helpers, protectors, lords, gods) besides Him? But Allâh, He Alone is the Walî (Lord, God, Protector). And it is He Who gives life to the dead, and He is Able to do all things. (9) And in whatsoever you differ, the decision thereof is with Allâh (He is the ruling Judge). (And say O Muhammad SAW to these polytheists:) Such is Allâh, my Lord in Whom I put my trust, and to Him I turn (in all of my affairs and) in repentance. (10)The Creator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you mates from yourselves, and for the cattle (also) mates. By this means He creates you (in the wombs). There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (11) To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth, He enlarges provision for whom He wills, and straitens (it for whom He wills). Verily! He is the All-Knower of everything. (12)
    Sura 42:01 to 12

    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    He (Allâh) has ordained for you the same religion (Islâmic Monothesim) which He ordained for Nûh (Noah), and that which We have revealed to you (O Muhammad SAW), and that which We ordained for Ibrahîm (Abraham), Mûsa (Moses) and 'Īsā (Jesus) saying you should establish religion (i.e. to do what it orders you to do practically), and make no divisions[] in it (religion) (i.e. various sects in religion). Intolerable for the Mushrikûn[] , is that (Islâmic Monothesim) to which you (O Muhammad SAW) call them. Allâh chooses for Himself whom He wills, and guides unto Himself who turns to Him in repentance and in obedience. (13) And they divided not till after knowledge had come to them, through (selfish) transgression between themselves. And had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord for an appointed term, the matter would have been settled between them. And verily, those who were made to inherit the Scripture [i.e. the Taurâh (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] after them (i.e. Jews and Christians) are in grave doubt concerning it (i.e. Allâh's true religion — Islâm or the Qur'ân). (14) So unto this (religion of Islâm alone and this Qur’ân) then invite (people) (O Muhammad SAW), and stand firm [on Islâmic Monotheism by performing all that is ordained by Allâh (good deeds), and by abstaining from all that is forbidden by Allâh (sins and evil deeds)], as you are commanded, and follow not their desires but say: "I believe in whatsoever Allâh has sent down of the Book [all the holy Books, – this Qur’ân and the Books of the old from the Taurât (Torah), or the Injeel (Gospel) or the Pages of Ibrâhîm (Abraham)] and I am commanded to do justice among you. Allâh is our Lord and your Lord. For us our deeds and for you your deeds. There is no dispute between us and you. Allâh will assemble us (all), and to Him is the final return." (15)
    Sura 42:13 to 15   

    October 15, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  19. divine truth


    October 3, 2010 at 5:47 am |
  20. ZZJ

    An American businessman sat next to a shiekh during a flight. During conversation, the businessman asked: Why do you Muslims ask women to cover up in front of non-related men? Why dont you want to show the beauty that God has created? The sheikh replied: Please answer a question from me first, and hopefully you will get the answer. He said: Where do you keep all your money and valuable items? American: Locked up in bank safes, ofcourse. Sheiklh: Isn't your money, gold and diamonds beautiful? Why not show them off to the world? American: Because they are precious and I dont want them robbed, and I love them. Shiekh: Well I think you got your answer...

    September 23, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
    • Joseph

      Such a true comment. I have been told that same message other ways by Muslims. It is about covering yourself for the public and only sharing your body with your husband. It is not about hiding beauty. People who say, "You should show you beauty to everyone" are probably those men who sit alone at home thinking about the women they saw out in public. Ohh what would they think about if women covered up!

      October 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
    • Muneef

      Very nice and reflecting story indeed. Have heard a story of a poet who lived in Yemen during Islam in Sana'a his name was Wadah Alyemen,he was a handsome poet that every time he was seen throwing a poem women would fall for him and fight for him wanting him until he was called by the court and ordered to wear Niqab (Face Cover) in public and he wore it until the day he died and you do not need to know how he died the poor guy!!
      Main thing to say was that if Muslim women wore half naked and hair colored like Punks,full of Tatoos,with earrings all over the face,makeup applied looking like a subtropical parrot?guess that was ok and accepted as under any form of category? But for women who want to cover and apply God's teachings in their Holy Book or even adding little more are not considered an considered as violation, inconsistent ,incompatible with Nations and Societies? What morals are we supposed to keep if we are asked to give up most daring ones?
      Quran tells us that Eyes commit Adultery before body, so these women do not want to be a reason for some committing an Eye Adultery towards which the women would be panished by God for committing Seduction and the Men panished towards Eye Adultery Act, we are told the first sight of such scene it is for you forgiven but the second look,sight is Against you and considered a panishable Eye Adultery act.!? My apologies if offended any of those mentioned here in.!?

      October 7, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
    • Pleeease

      I'm sorry but that story might come off as "enlightened or cute" but he just objectified women by comparing them to OBJECTS – jewelry and diamonds. Which is ironic because the argument for burqas, niqabs and hijabs is to eliminate the opportunity to objectify women. But by covering them and hiding them as you would jewelry and money is the very act of objectifying them. Women aren't objects to "hide" from robbery. They can make their own decisions and protect themselves. It is men that need to change their perception of women as objects. Obviously the "root" of the problem stems from men not having any self control or will power. Hiding women is just a band-aid.

      April 11, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • everteta

      Interesting-apparently for this Sheik, women are property.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • wrong

      Isn't comparing women to jewels, money, gold, and other valuable objectifying women? I have heard that analogy too from Muslim sources and I think it absolutely proves the viewpoint of the people trying to criminalize the wearing hijab's or niqab's.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • fkthewaaat

      dude, they are comparing women as OBJECTS. Muslims think only man has a soul and women are property????????? please reply.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • adfdf

      uh... Man are ugly? not beautiful and valualble?
      Woman are properties in Islam?

      April 11, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Derek

      You just compared women to diamonds and gold: objects...

      April 11, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48
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.