Head covering and the freedom of religion Source: IslamiCity Dec 21, 2015 220 Comments Category: Europe, Faith & Spirituality, Featured Topics: Hijab (Head Cover), Veil (Burqa), Women Values: Freedom, Humility, Modesty Views: 79071 A number of European countries are instigating laws to ban or restrict the wearing of the Muslim headscarf. Such legislation questions the foundations of tolerance and equality in societies that champion pluralism and freedom of religion. France is currently considering an outright ban on the wearing of veils in schools, while in Germany, two states have proposed legislation which would also bar the scarf from educational institutions. This article address the issue of Hijab, the modesty of covering the head by Muslim Women, and also the Judaeo-Christian tradition of veil and head covering. The Hijab and Veil? Some in the west consider the modesty of head covering practiced by Muslim women as the greatest symbol of women's oppression and servitude. Is it true that there is no similar custom in the Judaeo-Christian tradition? Let us set the record straight. According to Rabbi Dr. Menachem M. Brayer (Professor of Biblical Literature at Yeshiva University) in his book, The Jewish woman in Rabbinic literature, it was the custom of Jewish women to go out in public with a head covering which, sometimes, even covered the whole face leaving one eye free. 76 He quotes some famous ancient Rabbis saying," It is not like the daughters of Israel to walk out with heads uncovered" and "Cursed be the man who lets the hair of his wife be seen...a woman who exposes her hair for self-adornment brings poverty." Rabbinic law forbids the recitation of blessings or prayers in the presence of a bareheaded married woman since uncovering the woman's hair is considered "nudity". 77 Dr. Brayer also mentions that "During the Tannaitic period the Jewish woman's failure to cover her head was considered an affront to her modesty. When her head was uncovered she might be fined four hundred zuzim for this offense." Dr. Brayer also explains that veil of the Jewish woman was not always considered a sign of modesty. Sometimes, the veil symbolized a state of distinction and luxury rather than modesty. The veil personified the dignity and superiority of noble women. It also represented a woman's inaccessibility as a sanctified possession of her husband. 78 The veil signified a woman's self-respect and social status. Women of lower classes would often wear the veil to give the impression of a higher standing. The fact that the veil was the sign of nobility was the reason why prostitutes were not permitted to cover their hair in the old Jewish society. However, prostitutes often wore a special headscarf in order to look respectable. 79 Jewish women in Europe continued to wear veils until the nineteenth century when their lives became more intermingled with the surrounding secular culture. The external pressures of the European life in the nineteenth century forced many of them to go out bare-headed. Some Jewish women found it more convenient to replace their traditional veil with a wig as another form of hair covering. Today, most pious Jewish women do not cover their hair except in the synagogue. 80 Some of them, such as the Hasidic sects, still use the wig. 81 What about the Christian tradition? It is well known that Catholic Nuns have been covering their heads for hundreds of years, but that is not all. St. Paul in the New Testament made some very interesting statements about the veil: "Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head - it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or shaved off, she should cover her head. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head" (I Corinthians 11:3-10). St. Paul's rationale for veiling women is that the veil represents a sign of the authority of the man, who is the image and glory of God, over the woman who was created from and for man. St. Tertullian in his famous treatise 'On The Veiling Of Virgins' wrote, "Young women, you wear your veils out on the streets, so you should wear them in the church, you wear them when you are among strangers, then wear them among your brothers..." Among the Canon laws of the Catholic church today, there is a law that requires women to cover their heads in church. 82 Some Christian denominations, such as the Amish and the Mennonites for example, keep their women veiled to the present day. The reason for the veil, as offered by their Church leaders, is that "The head covering is a symbol of woman's subjection to the man and to God", which is the same logic introduced by St. Paul in the New Testament. 83 From all the above evidence, it is obvious that Islam did not invent the head cover. However, Islam did endorse it. The Quran urges the believing men and women to lower their gaze and guard their modesty and then urges the believing women to extend their head covers to cover the neck and the bosom: "Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty...And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms..." (Quran 24:30,31). The Quran is quite clear that the veil is essential for modesty, but why is modesty important? The Quran is still clear: "O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their bodies (when abroad) so that they should be known and not molested" (Quran 33:59). This is the whole point, modesty is prescribed to protect women from molestation or simply, modesty is protection. Thus, the only purpose of the hijab in Islam is protection. The hijab, unlike the veil of the Christian tradition, is not a sign of man's authority over woman nor is it a sign of woman's subjection to man. The hijab, unlike the veil in the Jewish tradition, is not a sign of luxury and distinction of some noble married women. In Islam the hijab is a sign of modesty which safeguards the personal integrity of women. The Quran strongly emphasizes the protection of women's reputation and condemns men to be severely punished if they falsely accuse a woman of unchastity: "And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations)- Flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors" (Quran 24:4) Some people, especially in the West, would tend to ridicule the whole argument of modesty for protection. Their argument is that the best protection is the spread of education, civilized behavior, and self restraint. We would say: fine but not enough. If 'civilization' is enough protection, then why is it that women in North America dare not walk alone in a dark street - or even across an empty parking lot ? If education is the solution, then why is it that our universities have a 'walk home service' mainly for female students on campus? If self restraint is the answer, then why are cases of sexual harassment in the workplace reported on the news media every day? A sample of those accused of sexual harassment, in the last few years, includes: Navy officers, Managers, University professors, Senators, Supreme Court Justices, and the President of the United States! Following are some statistics, published in a pamphlet issued by the Dean of Women's office at Queen's University Canada: In Canada, a woman is sexually assaulted every 6 minutes, 1 in 3 women in Canada will be sexually assaulted at some time in their lives, 1 in 4 women are at the risk of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime, 1 in 8 women will be sexually assaulted while attending college or university, and A study found 60% of Canadian university-aged males said they would commit sexual assault if they were certain they wouldn't get caught. To combat the violation of women a radical change in the society's life style and culture is absolutely necessary. A culture of modesty is desperately needed, modesty in dress, in speech, and in manners of both men and women, otherwise, the grim statistics are likely to increase and unfortunately, women alone will be paying the price. Actually, we all suffer but as K. Gibran has said, "...for the person who receives the blows is not like the one who counts them." 84 A society like France which expels young women from schools because of their modest dress is, in the end, simply harming itself. It is one of the great ironies of our world today that the very same headscarf revered as a sign of 'holiness' when worn by Catholic Nuns, is reviled as a sign of 'oppression' when worn for the purpose of modesty and protection by Muslim women. The above article is adapted from "Women in Islam Versus Women in the Judaeo-Christian Tradition - The Myth and The Reality" by Dr. Sherif Abdel Azim of Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Notes: 76. Menachem M. Brayer, The Jewish Woman in Rabbinic Literature: A Psychosocial Perspective (Hoboken, N.J: Ktav Publishing House, 1986) p. 239. 77. Ibid., pp. 316-317. Also see Swidler, op. cit., pp. 121-123. 78. Ibid., p. 139. 79. Susan W. Schneider, Jewish and Female (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1984) p. 237. 80. Ibid., pp. 238-239. 81. Alexandra Wright, "Judaism", in Holm and Bowker, ed., op. cit., pp. 128-129 82. Clara M. Henning, "Cannon Law and the Battle of the Sexes" in Rosemary R. Ruether, ed., Religion and Sexism: Images of Woman in the Jewish and Christian Traditions (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974) p. 272 83. Donald B. Kraybill, The riddle of the Amish Culture (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989) p. 56. 84. Khalil Gibran, Thoughts and Meditations (New York: Bantam Books, 1960) p. 28. Related posts from similar topics: My Hijab makes me feel empowered The Essence of Ramadan Madinah Roads during the Prophet's Time To Cover or Not? - That's Messed Up! Burqa is matter of individual choice BBC: Make Me a Muslim - Young British women are converting to Islam Disclaimer The opinions expressed herein, through this post or comments, contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. 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For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml If you wish to use any copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. 220 Comments Comment Lauren Goldman from USA December 6th, 2014 I agreed with the article up until the Islam perspective. Will covering ones head prevent rape? No. Dressing modestly decreases ones chance of getting raped but does not in any way prevent the action. This puts blame on women and teaches them its their fault for getting raped because they didn't cover up enough. All this article did was assure me that I am still against the wearing of the veil and that it does implement oppression of women. Rape is a large problem and there is no one easy solution but covering ones hair and neck is far from a cure all. Natasha from Canada April 7th, 2013 I agree with most of this article but the idea that immodest clothing causes rape is just wrong. There has never been any evidence to support that idea. This king of thinking harms women because it perpetuates the false idea that women can prevent their own rape. Men don't rape women because they get aroused and lose control; raping someone is a choice. And since we can't control other people's choices there nothing a woman can do to avoid being raped short of never leaving her home. The false idea that women can prevent their own rape naturally leads to victim-blaming. After all she had the power to stop this so she must've done something wrong. A lot of women know they'll be judged like this so they don't say anything. Which means their rapist is free to go rape more women. And, like women, rapists are aware of these attitudes and will exploit them, raping scantily clad or drunk women because they know people will blame her. That's right. This kind of thinking actually enables rapists. "To combat the violation of women a radical change in the society's life style and culture is absolutely necessary" Damn right. We need to start condemning rape. We need to teach men to respect women so we don't end up with a society where over half of them are comfortable admitting that they'd assault someone. Shoshanah from Canada February 25th, 2013 Your article was very good and to the point. Even though I am not Muslim I have chosen to wear the hijab because, as a Christian, I like the modesty it offers and I think in general that women should have some kind of head cover at all times. This is only my opinion and I do not look down on women who do not wear head covers; the wearing of head cover should be a personal choice but I do think that women should give the matter of head cover at least some thought before discarding it. Mohammad Ghashghaee from Iran December 30th, 2011 Hello. Thank you for your illusive article. I have a question for which I will be really thankful if you can kindly reply. On the basis of your knowledge, is there any place (town, city, area, state) in Canada, or other countries where a man can reside and live with modesty without the danger of erotic events in the town? Or, if there is any place where most women are covered and behave like an Ismalic believer? Really truly yours, Mohammad Ghashghaee PhD student Tehran, Iran Liza Martinez from PR October 30th, 2011 Hello: I believe in head covering when it comes to praying and prophesying just as Paul mentions in the Bible and if a woman chooses to cover her head when she walks outside well that is her choice. But, the whole issue of covering their faces with the Niqad veil, well, that's a different story. In today's world people are scared of everything and if a person covers their face in the Americas and most of Europe then people assume they have something to hide. The Niqab veil is in my opinion distracting and has nothing to do with religion because if it was a religious requirement then all Muslim women would cover their faces with the Niqab? Also, if comparing Jewish women and Nuns with their head coverings then tell me where in the past 100 years have we seen them cover their faces in public? Religion is one thing but man made rules in order to keep women submissive are another. The Niqab veil is what people are really complaining about not the head covering and I believe that where ever we live we should abide by that Country's rules or else move to a Country that supports the life style that we what to live. mariya from india June 19th, 2011 I agree &like this artical MCM from USA February 10th, 2011 My comment concerns the reality of how USA nuns were perceived changing in the 1960s. From the mid-1960s they began to abandon the full habit because it restricted movement and sight and adversely affected their ability to do the 2 jobs which most Roman Catholic nuns held at the time: school teachers and registered nurses. Nuns who worked in some areas of the USA also faced discrimination because their clothes put a label on them. To these nuns their work was more important than their clothes. So, the habit disappeared for the most part outside of convent walls. Bringing this up to the present day there has been a backlash in our time of rising fundamentalism in all religions. Under the new conservative Pope, the Vatican in Rome (headquarters of the Roman Catholic church) is on a mission to return nuns to the practice of wearing the habit because the men in the Vatican perceive these holy women, who now run their own lives and have their own money, as being out of control. Restricting dress is about restricting behavior regardless of the religion. SAMIR from ALGERIA August 24th, 2010 ESSALAM ALEYKOUM SISTERS AND BROTHERS, THE QUESTION MUST BE ASKED WHEN WE SAW THE SISTER OF CHURCH COVERING THEIR HAIRS AND BODY NO BODY TALK ABOUT THEM ITS THEIR LAW AND BELIEVING AND I AGREE AND RESPECT THEM BUT WHEN WE SAW MUSLIM WEARING ALL NO MUSLIM WORL ARE AGAINST THAT WHYYYY????? SARA from PAKISTAN March 30th, 2010 That was overall abombastic answer against theier argues about hijab and it is the duty of all muslims women to apply this islamic symbol of modesty and ruel this farz to their doughters melisa from usa June 7th, 2009 Has anyone ever seen the " Wheel of Domestic Violance " ? Feel free to look it up . Some men use religion to control women all over the world even if they don't know better , because in some cultures that's all they know about how to treat a woman . Faith from ireland April 15th, 2009 Well, let me correct you my dear reader who says muslim women are allowed to beat their wives, ENOUGH WITH THE IGNORENCE PPL !!! pls those who do not understand islam don't speak of it . i have muslim friends who their husbands treat them better than western men ever have treated my irish friends. don't be like a robot that is fed with information without using u're heads and minds to search for the truth it self. Islam forbids hitting women and the wearing of the hijab is a chooise a woman has to take by her own , it must be her choice , not her husban's choice, not her father's choice ,, and for those who would believe anything and everything i say and NO NOT HER SON"T CHOICE !!! Rebecca Hendricks from US October 22nd, 2008 I disagree with this article. They use texts from the Bible to make Christianity look bad and if you have ever talked to a woman from Saudi Arabia, ask her how she feels about her veil. It is a mind set that they are born into. Just because a man might find a woman's hair attractive doesn't mean she should cover it. That is not her fault. God made man and woman equal, man made woman inferior. These women don't have any idea how much they are being silenced and abused. LizEtta Hines from United States October 5th, 2008 Well truth be told, if you read a little further on the passage in the bible, it says that our hair is our covering. I personally think it is the decision of the woman, no one else, besides it is her head nizam from India October 2nd, 2008 to LOOKING FOR HIS RETURN: here is the verse which says all about beating a wife. 4:34 Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all). If you read the verse urself then youll know at what circumstances one is supposed to beat his wife. In my opinion, if I did not know about this, I would probably beat SEVERELY my wife if I see her having an illicit relation with another man. I do not know about other man, but I think thats what most man would do. Being a western woman,u r probably well familiar with this,because every day we read about those nice stories. Our problem is that, we hear something and then believe in those fancy stories without verification which is what u are talking about in ur post. Yes, there are many people in society those are muslims but completely ignorant about Quran, therfore they only follow what they feel right.I do not blame them for their ignorance because most of them are uneducated. If an educated woman like u or a man like me believe in stories told in our TV to demonise certain people then how can we blame those ignorants? Unfortunately, most christians, having no knowledge about Quran or muslims religion, pretend to be an expert and spread lies for some vested interest and general public simply rely on these experts. As far as ur case is concerned,u r not the only woman on whole christian world,there are millions those are treated by their husbands like animals,but u never point out those incidents.. looking for His return! from united stated May 29th, 2008 I am a christian believer in Jesus Christ. I wear a covering to pray as it says in 1 corinthians 11 and i wear dress modestly wearing loose skirts and dresses. The difference I believe here isn't the actual covering of a womens hair that people feel oppresses the women. It is the fact that it is well known in the islamic culture a man pretty much owns his wife and can even beat her.Women are not at an equel status to men.(If I am wrong about this,please tell me.I have heard alot of stories of things like this happening) So to most people their covering is like an outward symble of that oppression. In the Bible(Ephesians 6:33) God commands the husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church,love them as they love there own bodies,and love them as they love themselves. Also in 1 Peter 3:7-"Likewise,ye husbands,dwell with them according to knowledge,giving honour unto the wife as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." My husband love me so much and would never hurt me,he truly loves me as christ loved the church. It makes it very easy for me to honour and respect him. This is how we live in the christian culture. People outlawing the covering for the muslim women is very wrong and simply taking away more freedom. A woman can be respected and dress modestly at the same time. khader from india May 22nd, 2008 u people wear off dress no one asking about tht showing ur body as public property but why u people commenting our womens Errol E. Povah from Canada February 5th, 2008 I find it fascinating how (on this website and elsewhere) the words "hijab" and "veil" seem to be used interchangeably (when, based on my understanding of the 2 words, they are very different, in that a hijab does not cover the face)...as are phrases like "hair covering", "head covering" and "face covering". Bottom line: I have no problem whatsoever with a "scarf", a "hijab" or anything else covering a woman's hair and/or head. I have a huge problem, however, with anything -- veil or whatever -- covering any woman's face! And all because men, apparently, have some difficulty controlling their sexual desires/urges??? Please! It's time for women to remove their veils...and for men to control their sexual desires/urges. It's called SELF-DISCIPLINE! Any man who can't do that needs to be treated like every other criminal (i.e., the man who can't control his urge to kill, his urge to steal, etc.). Thank you. ashley leela from Australia November 25th, 2007 you noted the statistics of women being abused etc in America but what are the statistics of women being abused in countries where they are persecuted for reporting such incidents? who is to say that women who wear modest dress are not also attacked, raped assulted etc? Demian from USA November 12th, 2007 I just wanted to point out that the Catholic Christian practice of veiling is somewhat misrepresented in this article. It is not a sign of a woman's subjugation to her spouse, at least not in the "worldly" way described here. It is above all a sign of the woman's modesty and humility before God. This is a great article on the practice, for future reference: http://www.fisheaters.com/theveil.html Peace, Demian Richelle from United states October 22nd, 2007 I am Catholic and I do cover my head. My mother does not nor my family made me.. I do it by choice. It says in the Bible that a womans head should be covered either by hair or a veil. If your hair is long then that is your veil, it is then your choice to cover it another way. I live in America where yes! people do judge and it isn't often that you see a Catholic with their head covered. Unless of coarse they are a sister. So yes the Catholic church has many nuns who cover their head...more then one would think.Not all nuns that wear habits are cloistered. It used to be that all woman in the church had to cover their head. That was changed because some lost the meaning to why their head was covered. The church was not going to make someone do something like that if it was with no meaning or feeling in the act. I think it is a beautiful thing. Yet if I was to marry and my husband asked me not to cover my head then I would stop, I am to answer to him. Right now I am to answer to my father, and he thinks its a wonderful thing. I started covering my head when I was 15, for a fifteen year old in this day and age I had to make sure of why I was doing this..I felt it was right. I felt called to do so. Now in my hometown we have about 4 of us that cover our heads. Think about it..a man would NEVER pray with a hat on his head. If this hasn't changed then why should a woman not cover hers. Its all scriptural! If she doesnt see the reason behind it then dont cover your head, but if you do see the reason dont keep your head uncovered because you are afraid of what one might think. Elanna from U.S.A. September 10th, 2007 Shalom; I am a Jewish woman who also wears her head covered. For me it is a matter of worship as well as modesty. Mary Bruce Miller from USA August 26th, 2007 I am Catholic and live in Oklahoma in the USA. Unfortunately, a head covering is not part of my culture. I am a single woman and have always managed to be covered --- for warmth and modesty -- from ankle to wrist to neck! If our world was not so judgmental, I would like to wear a veil. And, yes, our nuns wore veils and many of our cloistered nuns still do. May the understanding of women and women's prayers bring us all peace. Joe from US July 28th, 2007 You list some statistics about sexual assault, then claim that modesty will solve it. But you have provided absolutely no evidence or statistics that show that immodesty causes sexual assault, therefore your conclusion is not valid. Also it is not true that women in North American can't walk alone at night. There are plenty that do. But women in Saudi Arabia never walk anywhere without a man day or night for their "protection". Women in North America dress in a wide range of styles. If those who dress more provacativly are getting abused more, then aren't the rapists doing your work for them, as the footsoldiers of the ministry of vice & virtue? If looking sexy a sure invitation to rape, then why haven't those women learned their lesson? HAMZAH from SINGAPORE May 28th, 2007 TALKING ABOUT ATTIRE AS JAPAN KIMONO,INDONESIAN KABAYA,INDIA SARI,CHAINESE CHONG SAM AND SO ON ONLY HIJAB FOR ARAB WOMEN TO AVIOD THE MENIAC OF ARB MEN...NOT COMPULSARY Annie from USA April 24th, 2007 Nonsense - I am a Catholic and our nuns have not worn veils for years. Today a few do wear a form of veil that is not constrictive and shows the hair - but they are not obligated to do so. It is clear to me that the veil, whether worn in the past by christian or jewish women, and today by muslim women is simply a middle eastern custom, with little religious significance. It is obvious that the veil is useful in desert climates, but honestly, with all the evil in the world today - does anyone seriously believe that God is concerned about what someone wears on their head or what they eat? I find great wisdom in what Jesus said when the Jewish leaders accused him of eating with people who did not keep the kosher dietary laws - Jesus said, "It is not what goes into a man's mouth that defiles him, but what comes out of it." I agree that there is entirely too much immodesty in the way people dress today - but when I see Muslim women sweating in hot, black robes and veils while walking with Muslim men who are in shorts and t-shirts - please....give me a break! The whole thing is clearly an issue of modesty for one sex only - if women are so distracting to men, then maybe men should wear blinders like horses! Kris from Malaysia January 1st, 2007 Assalamualaikum wrbt and greetings to all. Dear Barbara, I believe that despite your comments, that of against the Islamic headscarf, there must be some goodness left in you. I just hope that ALL MIGHTY GOD will open your heart to the truth one day. And to understand the significance of the observance to the headscarf. Why it has to be followed. With or without it, there would still be suspicions on Muslims, despite how they tried to be law abiding. Their Muslim names will ensure longer waiting hours at the airports, trains, etc. Regards, Kris, Barbara from USA December 30th, 2006 You make mention of a veil or "head covering" and the freedom of religion. In the first place, a Catholic, or Protestant, nun's veil signifies that that person is of a particular religious order, i.e., Roman Catholic nun; Anglican nun (Protestant). A nun of a particular religious order denotes that that person is "married" to her spiritual Lord, and not to a human man, and the veil signifies that that person is "chaste." It does not mean that the "ordinary" woman of Western culture wears a veil to protect herself from eyes of many men in society. In Islam, there is no counterpart of nuns in this religion, who probably would wear the veil out of respect for her Lord if there was, but only if she was a "religious." What we are talking about here is that the ordinary Muslim woman, in everyday life, wears the headscarf everyday, in public, and not because she is a religious, but only because the Koran says she must. In the second place, the reason why Westerners look down upon a Muslim woman wearing the headscarf, is because she will appear suspicious to the non-Muslim because she not only is hiding her face, but also gives the feeling that she IS hiding something. When Muslims, woman and men alike, move to a western country, i.e., USA, they should learn to conform and assimilate into that culture, and if that means, NO wearing of headscarves, then they should follow the rules of that particular country, i.e., USA. As an American born in America, when my grandparents came over from Italy and Germany in the early 1900's, they had to learn to assimilate into the American culture, and this should apply to people of all countries who move to America also, and that means, to Muslim women, NO headscarves in public. If anyone cannot follow Western culture when they immigrate to a Western country, then that person should stay in the country of their birth. We all had to assimilate at one time or another, so don't try to change the system. Natalie from England December 8th, 2006 I recently converted and i think a sister being asked to remove their hijab for any reason is terrible, Islam tells woman how to dress and behave as they truely should and the idea of somebody telling them otherwise is wrong. I have not yet started to wear my hijab as i am not 100% ready for it yet, however when i am i will not remove it, i will be wearing my hijab for Allah and Allah only, removing it is something i will not do. The hijab covers a womans modesty and makes her feel like more of a woman so i see no true reason why it should be removed, Islam teaches woman to respect themselves as they should and wearing the hijab plays a big part in that Natalie Anna from Israel November 22nd, 2006 Nice article, but I'd like to point out it's not true that Jewish women don't cover their heads anymore, or only use the wig. I live in Israel, and I see religious Jewish women cover their heads with hats or scarves. It's very common, and I'm going to do that too after I get married. Also, some Rabbinic authorities do not allow the wig at all, because it looks too much like hair and doesn't convey the married woman status. Sarah from USA November 20th, 2006 I am against the banning of the hijab in the school system. Muslim women should be allowed to wear it as a symbol of their obedience to Allah and to retain modesty. However, I feel that the article misrepresented Christianity's use of a headcovering. Although one of the purposes is to show submission to God, it does not mean complete submissiveness to man. If 1 Corinthians 3-12 is read (these additional two verses) a lot is revealled. Women and men both came from God and equal in creation since woman gives birth to man. Additionally, verse 6: "If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or shaved off, she should cover her head." refers to the belief that prostitutes of the time had their hair close-cropped and so a woman would show modesty and be more honored if she covered her long uncut hair. Kris from Malaysia November 13th, 2006 Assalamualaikum wrbt. Dear Sister Charmaigne, I am glad to hear that you are in the process of converting to Islam. Be assured that our prayers ( my other Muslim brothers and sisters worldwide ) are with you. Yes, I can see that you were brought up in a Baptist faith before. Never mind, be rest assured that some fundamentals of the Islamic faith are not far from your previous belief. Muslims adore Jesus ( Jesus - peace be upon him ) as a Prophet and Messenger of GOD. Infact in one instance Tony Blair had said in the British House of Commons that he had read part of the Quran and that there are more reverence to Mary the virgin in the Quran than the Bible itself. As a Muslim, I always propogate that there should be useful interfaith dialogues between the various religions in the world. In fact one day if you study the Quran and understand it's content, meaning and message you will be able to see that the name Jesus ( pbuh ) has been mentioned many times among those, Christ Jesus, al Masi ( the Messiah ) and others. Islam is a simple and practicle religion without any mythology. Islam honours the dignity of women. In fact in one Book written by a western writer in the 1920's Annie Besant, it was said that while the Christian dominated western countries only recognised the right of women to properties in the 20th. century, Islam has always recognised this rights from the begining of time. Do not Dear Sister, be influence by what some media tried to potray Islam as, because Islam by history has always been the religion of peace and a complete submission to GOD. When a Muslim pleads to GOD for better things in life or HIS Mercy and Forgiveness, he does it without any intermediaries. There is no class of priesthood in Islam. Insya ALLAH, I'll write more. May ALLAH bestow upon you HIS Rahmah and Baraqah, Sister. Peace be upon you. Your Brother in Islam, Kris Charmaigne from USA November 11th, 2006 I am now in the process of converting to Islam. Growing up a Baptist and even attending a Baptist HBC in VA. I see nothing wrong with covering yourself to remain MODEST. I really don't think there is a need to for one to have to remove their Hijab for DMV photo or for questioning by an officer. Especially if you are all natural in you appearance. I think alot of countries have misconception of Islam period. What frightens me is how now in all aspects of religon...gov'ts. are trying to remove GOD from schools, business, etc. They way that they are gettin around it is by appearing to focus on individual religous groups and covering up that it is Allah (GOD) that they are trying to remove from Humanity all together. The day I began appropiately covering my body was the day I truly felt like an honorable woman. Charmaigne Alwaysseeking from USA June 18th, 2006 I have a curious reaction to the veil when I see the good Muslim women in public. It has nothing really to do with their possible oppression. I believe it calls up emotions from my own life. I feel a bit of anger when I see a Muslim woman in the back seat of a car on a 90 degree day exhausted from the heat while her husband sits in the front in relative comfort in short sleeve t-shirt with his bare skin nice and cool. I wonder why I do not Muslim men in more traditional modest covering. I feel resentment well up in me based on MY cultural struggle for equality. I recall my grandmother's experience, denied college because she was female, needing permission for work from my grandfather, at the end of her life speaking fondly of her marraige but deeply regretting all those dreams that were turned to dust due to patriarchal order. The veil is a symbol that sits poorly with those western women who have been encouraged and taught by their mothers and grandmothers to assert our right to choose our own destinies, to not be unduly bound by patriarchal dominance. For all it is worth, my grandmother loved my grandfather dearly but deeply resented the limitations placed upon her. Of course, to her, the veil was only a small scarf atop her head required for her to attend mass in her Catholic parish when I was a child and even that was eventually removed from the requirements to worship. The deep rooted angst I feel when I see women of Islam in a veil in the states also resounds from dialogue I have held online on Muslim messageboards where I was described as a "loose western woman" who can't understand the veil or modesty. This counter accusation stings. Finally, I married a Muslim man who insisted I cover completely when his father/uncle visit, even though i dress modestly. I felt more like a possession than a human and our words were passionate and intense. I realize it is not simple to disentangle my reaction of the veil from my own feminine experience but I try. kvk from Canada May 15th, 2006 I grew up educated by Catholic nuns in traditional habits and I see nothing wrong with women of any religious beliefs wearing what is required by their tradition or just wearing modest clothes. pat from USA April 15th, 2006 What happen to freedom of CHOICE? If a woman wants to wear a covering on her head why wouldnt she be allowed. I think its ridiculous the idea of a bad on anything of the sort! I am not Muslim and I would never wear a veil covering my head...THAT IS MY CHOICE. It should remain a choice made by the wearer! GOD BLESS US ALL! roy redford from usa April 14th, 2006 GOD CREATED BOTH MEN AND WOMEN--WHY WOULD A WOMAN HAVE TO HIDE THEIR FACE AND HEAD FROM GOD,S CREATION. WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO HIDE ANY OF GOD,S CREATIONS? sheniqua from usa April 2nd, 2006 Well, I have to say that I agree with freedom of religion and believe that muslim women should be allowed to where the head covering. As a Catholic it is my fear if you start restricting Muslims from wearing their head coverings, Catholic Nuns will in time also be restricted from wearing their veil. At the same time, Muslim women should take off the Hijab when taking a picture for a license or ID cards. Also if a police officer for example asks a Muslim women to take off the Hijab enough to compare the ID picture to the women, that should also be allowed. Because Catholic nuns do not cover their face with their veil, it is not a problem for them to have to take the veil off for Picture IDs. Sheniqua MISSMARBEA from USA March 8th, 2006 I AM A BLACK MUSLIM IN THE USA AND SOME OF MY FRIENDS ARE MUSLIMS FROM JERUSALEM. WHERE I AM WE DO NOT HAVE TO COVER THE HOLE HEAD AND BOSOMS...JUST OUR HAIR WITHA SCARF. THOSE WHO ARE MARRIED ARE MORE CONSERVATIVE AND WEAR FULL SCARFS AND CLOTHING AND SHOW NOTHING AT ALL. IO RESPECT THOSE WHO RESPECT THEMSELVES AND THEIR BELIEFS JUST AS LONG AS YOU KNOW THE WORD AND BELIEVE IN IT THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS. GOD LOVES US ALL. PEACE WITHIN! HNS from Ireland February 3rd, 2006 I think a person should have the right to be able to practice their religion in peace, while showing appropriate tolerance for others of other faiths. I am a catholic, but I have no problem with women wearing headscarves, or other religious or cultural isignia, if they wish to do so. If you were to forbid the Hijab, then you would have to forbid catholic women to wear a cross as jewellery. However, I think that messages and meanings in religions of all kinds have been distorted to suit the various power factions of the day. This continues even now. The Catholic Church at one time permitted its priests to marry and have children. The emphasis on shame and guilt, as it was preached and practiced in Ireland for many lifetimes, is certainly not what the Christ preached. Love one another as I have loved you. If that is not a message of tolerance, then I don't know what is. Gracie from United States January 31st, 2006 I would first like to say that I am agnostic, and so not follow any of the religions mentioned in this article. I think that any woman that would like to cover more of herself rather than less should be commended. It seems that the trend now is to reveal more and more of the body. If she believes that she is doing the will of her God, than more power to her, because as I see it any human being has only guesses at what is "right". As far as the though for protection, who is more likely to be molested, a woman in skimpy clothing, or one who is fully covered. To all women- Leave parts of your body to the imagination, do not give everything you have away at once! hasan from turkey December 8th, 2005 ( first please forgive my English) I am muslim and I am not muslim because my family was muslim.I am muslim because of Quran. I am a follower of Quran not a follower of some one who tries to modernized the traditional customs of one country. Quran tells to people minimum qulifications to be a muslim and tells maximum qualification to be a muslim. There are no appharence requirement in minimum qualification nor in maximum qualification. There is guidence how to express yourself in anyway to others and how to see others even they are naked. Covering the head does not make you muslim but to see the naked person as covered is make you muslim.( I am sorry for what happening around the world. As muslim living in this century, I am more consern about poverty, ignorence, suffering, ilnesses than head covering !!!!) Laura from USA October 19th, 2005 I don't think that anyone should be forced to leave behind ths custom. I am a Catholic woman who wears veils in church and would hate to be forced not too. The veil is a sign of respect to God and to oneself, and I believe that if the woman wants to wear one, she should be allowed to. It's better than what many women wear today. kbwas from united states July 22nd, 2005 It seems to me that the muslims have taken the head dress and made it fit their society. Not becaue Allah commanded it; but because man has enforced it throughout their cultures. How did the commandment change from "cover you bosoms...to ...cover your head" where did Allah say (explicitly) cover your head in the Quran. I realize this custom (head covering) has been in the muslim world on a historical basis and that MUSLIM men would never ammit to it be misleading. Anyway, many people today (women) are realizing that the head cover is driven by the our human muslim men and not from our perfect ALLAH. Allah would never make such a beautiful religion so drab towards women. Thanks for reading MASMA December 3rd, 2004 I agree with your arguements. I am a girl wearing scarf, and i am practically experiencing benefits.i can escape from the strangers comments and rogues criticism. I admire your way of explaing the concept and qurans views when compared to jews and islam. I appreciate you for ur work and with the grace of allh , i wish u to write more for the awreness of muslims, including me. Alina from austrlia August 12th, 2004 Islam is different n christains r different yes they r near do get it that islam is the only believeable religious. N.Diamond from USA April 26th, 2004 Hi Rehan; Please visit me and others on the following Islamic discussion board. http://whyislam.org/Forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=1 I would love to share other things I've discovered in the Bible which agree with Islam. N.Diamond Rehan A from UK April 14th, 2004 N.Diamond, I am pleased to read your ideas about Jesus (peace be upon Him). They are almost islamic since you admit begotten = made ... and not the otherwise implied term by christian scholars which is a heresy. Actually this heretic term "begotton Son of God" is removed in RSV of Bibile since it was a concoction in KJV. [See RSV John 3:16]. Quran says about Jesus birth that his case is similar to the birth of Adam who was made by God without even a mother. God doesnt need worldly things to show his power of creation. He can cause a man to be born without a father (like Jesus) and He can also casuse a man to be born without a father and a mother (like Adam). The issue of veil in islam is fundamentally for the obediance of God. Like everything else in islamic philosophy it is a test for the believers from God to validate their submission. However its worldly benefits are also notable as it helps the believers to be able to maintain their piousness more easily. N.Diamond from USA February 16th, 2004 All humans lie Chris, we can't restrict it to a single gender, nationality, or religion. And I see your point about hijab insuring men's constant expression of desire. On the other hand, I can't agree with your expressions of hate. I can't appeal to your Christianity, since you are not Christian, but I can appeal to your humanity ... for the sake of peace, please try to see things from the other person's perspective, even if you don't agree. Peace. ND Indeed Ndiamaond Hijab is not to keep mens desires in check, it is to insure their constant expression. Muslim men are egotistical maniacs, they lie because they suppose it manly. The submission of women to contrived rules, and stupid traditions, insures that women do not actually express choice in their decisions to marry whom they will. Muslim men, and Indian 'men' are deathly afraid that their small stature will prove them inferior. Chris C from USA February 15th, 2004 Indeed Ndiamaond Hijab is not to keep mens desires in check, it is to insure their constant expression. Muslim men are egotistical maniacs, they lie because they suppose it manly. The submission of women to contrived rules, and stupid traditions, insures that women do not actually express choice in their decisions to marry whom they will. Muslim men, and Indian 'men' are deathly afraid that their small stature will prove them inferior. N.Diamond from USA February 10th, 2004 The following quote from a Muslim site seems to contradict the purpose of hijab as a protection for women from the prying eyes of men preached on this site; Hijab is not worn for men, to keep their illicit desires in check. Rather, Muslim women wear it for God and their own selves. Islam is a religion of moderation, of balance between extremes. Therefore, it does not expect women alone to uphold the society's morality and uprightness. Rather, Islam asks men and women to mutually strive to create a healthy social environment where children may grow with positive, beautiful, constructive and practical values and concepts. Men are equally required to be modest and to conduct themselves responsibly in every sphere of their lives. This version is more in agreement with the Christian version of head covering being for the purpose of submission to God as decided by the woman. ND N.Diamond from USA February 8th, 2004 Yahya Bergum; Thanks for the praise but I am not the one who teaches these truths, I only repeat what what the prophet Jesus taught. John 17:1-3; ...you Father... the only true God... John 20:17; ...I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God ... When Jesus referred to his God as "his Father" and "our Father", it is in the sense that we came from Him ultimately, and obey Him as our caregiver. John the baptizer taught that Jesus was "begotten" of God. He did not mean that God copulated with Mary to produce a son. Paul and Luke teach that Jesus was MADE BY GOD from the seed of David through the power of the Holy Spirit, NOT the copulative power of a man. God begot Jesus in the same sense as a fertility doctor begets a baby in a petri dish from the donated sperm of a man and ovum of a woman. God is not Jesus' father in a biological sense, but a medical sense, a creative sense. Yes, Jesus was only a man and messenger of God, not God Himself or even a god-man, but Jesus WAS and IS a special messenger with a special assignment. He was sent by God to be savior of the world. This is in the same sense as if our God and savior sent a boat full of sailors to save a drowning man. God is the ultimate savior who uses men to save. God saves THROUGH men. Yes, Jesus confirmed the Ten Commandment Law at Matthew chapter five, and fulfilled the Levitical Law for us so that we no longer have to make sacrifices of animal blood because Jesus offered his own blood once and for all time and performs these priestly tasks on our behalf in heaven daily. Yes, Jesus taught that only his Father is truly good. We obtain our goodness from God by obeying His teachings through His prophets. Truly, there is no God but God. The OT teaches this, the NT teaches this, the Qu'ran teaches this. The wise student will study all three to truly know and understand what God is trying to teach us through all of His prophets. They were all talking to all N.Diamond from USA February 7th, 2004 Muslimah; I must defend my views based on both history and scripture. I cannot pretend one or the other doesn't exist. I never said the Jews, or anyone else for that matter, deserves the land. The land belongs to God. He will choose who will pasture it. It remains to be seen to whom He will give it. I know this from scripture; He does not approve of it being divided. Yes, the Jews have rejected Messiah, and most of them are secular, not religious. Those religious are trying to reestablish the third temple, but Jesus said the third temple would not be made by human hands. This would suggest to me that their efforts will fail, but scripture also says God chooses Israel again. Now I don't pretend to understand yet what all this means, but I know God finds a way to make all of His commands and prophecies come true. And I intend to do nothing to interfere with God's plans. The Jews have always been present in that land from Abraham on in some small number. They are related genetically to the Arabs there. Exactly; who IS to say after so many conquests of the land who is entitled to it? I would say -God is to say. Therefore, I stand back and let Him choose. But I know in the record of the Book, He gave the land to the Jews for a specific purpose. I am not the one to determine whether that purpose has been fully fulfilled yet. I do know that God has promised to bless the whole world through the Jews. I for one, could use the blessings. To be continued. ND N.Diamond from USA February 7th, 2004 Continuation; Regardless of who has been in the land the longest, or who has a religious claim to the land, or even who "deserves" the land, -the land belongs to God, not any of us, and God will dicide who will fulfill His purpose there. Actually, Christians are divided as to whether the Jews have a "right" to the land. Many Christians believe that Christians are the "true Jews" and will receive the land in due time. I personally don't think that the land means anything to God now because New Jersualem is prophesied to come out of heaven, not the land. The third temple is not to be made with human hands at all. For Christians, the focus is supposed to be on the spiritual, not the phyisical or geographical. There is no question in my mind that you are correct that the west has benefited from the unrest in the middle east. To maintain power, the west has required the domination of oil. Whether intentionally or opportunistically, the west has managed to be in the right place at the right time to take control. Has this worked into God's plan? Apparently so, it all fits prophecy. It baffles me as to why people will fight so fervantly over dry and war ridden desert land; the Jews, apparently because they feel a need to fulfill God's command to them regarding the land, the Arabs apparently because it is their ancestrial home. I can understand and simpathize with both reasons, but I don't agree with either. But I see myself as an onlooker with no rightful claim to the land. I see it as your fight where I have no business sticking my nose. I grieve for the innocent lives lost and pray for peace. ND N.Diamond from USA February 7th, 2004 A.Ali; You stated that it is blasphemous for anyone to condemn the scriptures of Jesus, yet I've talked to Muslims on other boards who have done just that. Perhaps this is a sectarian bias, not a Qu'ranic teaching. However, I have given Muslims credit as to this teaching in regards to our inaccurate translations of Jesus' scriptures. I only hope Islam is teaching the difference between the two. In hope of resolving the confusion among both Christians and Muslims regarding why the NT was not compliled until centuries after the OT and how it differs; The first five books of the OT, called the Torah, was given by God through the great prophet Moses. Over the centuries, additional minor Jewish prophets added other revelations from God. Then God sent another great prophet, Jesus to the Jews. After him, additonal minor prophets added more revelations over time. Due to clues in the NT, I believe these were given origanlly in Hebrew, were then translated and copied into Greek and passed out to the congregations which eventually compiled them in a single volumn as with the OT. The differences are translation errors or possible copying errors which can be traced and revealed. Regarding the Trinity: Neither does the NT teach a trinity. This teaching was cococted by clergy beginning in the late second and early third century after Christ. Jesus taught his Father is the only true God, and his God as well as our God at John 17:1-3 and 20:17. Paul repeated this teaching at 1 Corinthians 8:4-6. No where does the NT teach a triune god, but Christian sects have been fooled by this clergical teaching for centuries in spite of what scripture clearly states. So strong is this false teaching that, any professed Christian (like myself) who teaches against it, is condemned as a heretic. There are similarities in some teachings in Islam and Judaism as well as you've pointed out. I appreciate your thoughtful, fair and balanced attitude towards other religions. Thank you Yahya Bergum from USA February 7th, 2004 N. Diamond, on the subject of Trinity, the Quran is quite clear. Well done - God be praised! [Quran 4:171] O People of the Book! Do not exaggerate in your religion - nor say of Allah aught but the truth. The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not "Trinity" - desist! - it will be better for you! - Allah is only One Allah. Far exalted is He above having a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as Defender. [Quran 5:46-47] And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah. Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by the light of what Allah hath revealed, they are no better than those who rebel. There is none good but God. God, alone, is good (see Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19, Matthew 19:17). La ilaha ill Allah. (There is no god but God.) Assalamu alaikum. (Peace be unto you.) N. Diamond from USA February 7th, 2004 Chris; I mean no disrespect to you when I ask you again, are all the people is your religion perfect? You are quick to point out the hypocrisy in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, and you're right! All three religions have fallen away from the direct teaching of our scripture, and you're right to point that out. But does every one in your religion keep it's tenants flawlessly all of the time? Are there any members whom you feel give Wicca a bad name? Or, at least an inaccurate reputation? Please answer. Yes, both Christianity and Islam are children of Judaism. both were created as a reform or restoration, a correction of inaccuracies in Judaism. The fact that they exist is evidence that people have recognized the need to purge hypocrisy from religion. The trouble is, humans will be human, and soon, even the restoration needs to be restored. ND A.Ali from Canada February 6th, 2004 N.Diamond, further to my last post a few minutes ago, on your question regarding 'accusations by many muslims...' As Muslims, we accept the true revelations of all Messengers of God, prophet Mohamad being the final Messenger. It is therefore blasphemous for anyone to condemn the Scriptures of Jesus. However, there is some confusion among both Christians and Muslims (myself included) as to why the New Testament, compiled centuries after the Old Testament, differs fundamentally from it. The concept of Trinity is not found in the Old Testament, and we Muslims do not accept it. Regardless, Qur'anic teachings require that we treat each others' religion with respect. Those who criticise your Bible are doing so out of ignorance and leave themselves open to similar insults, perpetuating a growing problem that Qur'an tried to dispel with in the first place. A.Ali from Canada February 6th, 2004 Muslimah, I recommend the reading of various texts (Qur'an, Hadith, OT, NT, Tora) instead of following mindlessly what clerics might otherwise teach. My own experience is that Qur'anic translations make perfect sense especially when historical references are properly researched. Experience with Hadith have not been as kind however. I've found that Hadith 'hardens' religious principles by adding more rules not found in Qur'an, much of which are based on old Arabic traditions and ideals. Countless stories about the prophet are told in support of these ideals, by people who have never met him. For instance, two years ago a Nigerian woman was condemned using Shar'iah law for having a baby out of wedlock. Her (Shar'iah) punishment was to be buried to her neck, and stoned to her head until death. Thankfully she was given reprieve following international outcry. The interesting point is, Qur'anic law requires that the punishment be 100 lashes for both man and woman, provided that four reliable witnesses testify in support of the allegation. The Nigerian case had zero witnesses, only the man's word was considered. Now the question is, how come both Qur'an and Hadith have the same law, but different punishment? And why is it that our scholars/leaders stood silent (as usual) while our religion was disgraced internationally when they knew full well they were condoning old, barbaric, tribal traditions in the guise of religion? Punishment by stoning is used nowhere in Qur'an. (It's used in Bible.) Hadith is recommended reading, but it cannot prescribe rules, laws and punishment. It offers someone else's interpretation of religion and should be treated as such. N.Diamond, demands of my career and helping my wife raise our children preclude too great an involvement on these forums, but I'll try to do what I can to bring a voice of moderation. Thanks for asking. Yahya Bergum from USA February 6th, 2004 N. Diamond, peace be with you. Briefly, you asked why the Quran would confirm so much of what is in the Bible. The Quran answers the question a number times, in various contexts, but here are two examples. [Quran 2:40-43] O Children of Israel! call to mind the (special) favour which I bestowed upon you, and fulfil your covenant with Me as I fulfil My Covenant with you, and fear none but Me. And believe in what I reveal, confirming the revelation which is with you, and be not the first to reject Faith therein, nor sell My Signs for a small price; and fear Me, and Me alone. And cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when ye know (what it is). And be steadfast in prayer; practise regular charity; and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship). [Quran 5:46-47] And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah. Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel. As I understand it, the Old Testament was passed down through oral tradition, during times of oppression against the faithful. That was not so much the case with the Gospel. In a nutshell, the Quran advises Jews to augment their understanding using portions of the Quran while advising Christians to evaluate behavior using the Gospel as a guide. Also, the Quran permits Muslims to seek instruction from Christians and Jews (Quran 10:94 & 16:43). On the subject of Trinity, the Quran is quite clear. It is better for you, having renounced it (Quran 4:171). Well done - God be praised! There is none good but God; God, alone, is good (Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19, Matthew 19:17). There is no god but God. muslimah from USA February 6th, 2004 Continue... The Palestinians are the sum and mixture of the people who lived in the land from time immemorial. Therefore, they have more right to the land than any other people, whether you cite religious or historical claims. Unfortunately, the situation the majority of the population has faced was unjust. They were told they had to give up a great portion of their land, which they inherited from their forefathers and let the European Jews take over. Incredibly, Christians have never before agreed with the Jewish right to the land, since they were of the belief that they lost that right after they rejected Jesus. It is incredible, how politics can re-interpret the Bible, now most Christians disagree with the opinion of their forefathers. And so we come to the issue of international laws. In October 1945, the UN was established by the US and its allies and they drafted international laws. For the sake of world peace, they made it illegal to displace people from their lands. Of course, their hatred of Muslims prevented them to apply their own laws justly. Instead of letting the mostly Muslim population live in peace in their land, they decided to partition it without any consideration of what would happen with the people that would be displaced. Of course, the Palestinians refiused this unjust decree, so did the Jews, who wanted the whole land. With the help of their western allies Zionists attacked the civilian population and forced out almost a million people. But they did not stop there, they went on taking Jordanian, Lebanese, Egyptian and Syrian lands. The aggression definitely was initiated by the Zionist. The whole region was destabilized since then, to the benefit of the West. The situation helped with the exploitation of the oil resources of the Middle East, and the Muslim countries have continued being the victims international laws. muslimah from USA February 6th, 2004 N. Diamond, please make up your mind. You either defend your view in religious terms, relying mainly on the Bible, or you look at it in terms of history and international laws. Lets start with religious right to the land. According to you the Jews were given the land now called Israel by God, but then they could not keep it because of "their idolatry, just as God warned". The Jews today are less practicing than their ancestors who left at the time of the diaspora, and they still reject Jesus as the Messiah. So, can you please tell me how did they become more deserving of the land today vs before. According to Islam the Jews have broken their convenant with God when they rejected Jesus, son of Mary, the Messiah. Now, lets tackle this debate in historical terms. It is important to acknowledge that Jews did not always populated that land; there were people who lived there before, during, and after the Jews. Lets also acknowledge that this land has been conquered by many people before, and after the Jews conquered it. Historically, the Jewish conquest of the land is no different then the conquest of the land by other peoples, such as the Assyrians, the Philistines, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Romans, the Arabs, the Ottomans etc... So, who is to say which of the ancient conquerors have the right to reconquer the land? Before, the present Israel was established, the population in the land consisted of a mixture of people descending from the Can'anites, the Hittites, the Assyrians, the Jews, the Arabs and others who first were mostly Christians and later became mostly Muslims. Still, Christians and Jews lived in the land and they would have lived in peace if it was not for the Zionist. In 24 October 1945 the United Nations was established. They (the UN) decided to partition Palestine between the majority Gentile population and minority Jews. Neither the Zionists nor the Palestinians accepted the partition. Continue... Chris from USA February 6th, 2004 You point out Christian hypocrisy to substantiate your own! what nonsense. The Koran requires full covering for women, and modest clothing for men at all times! Christianity and Islam are Jewish creations, formed to destroy the pagan world. muslimah from USA February 6th, 2004 A. Ali, sorry for not having read your post earlier. Only when I read N. Diamond's response to your post that I discovered you had addressed me too. In regards to understanding the message of the Qur'an, I hope you accept that the Holy Prophet was its living commentary, and that every ayah or verse had a background and circumstances. Furthermore the Qur'an was at first not a book but a living voice, that is why any literal translation of the Qur'an lacks continuity and fluency of the revelations. If you are not knowledgable of the history and occasions of the Qur'anic revelations than you can wrongly interpret the message and theme of the Qur'an. The prophet has said in many sahih hadiiths that the Qur'an and Sunnah are the salvation for Muslims. Even for Arabic speakers the Qur'an is translated and explained through hadiiths and historical accounts. From what I understood on your comments, you seem to have doubts about even sahiih hadiiths. I do not know how much you know about the science of compiling authentic accounts about the prophet, but I can tell you they are regorous and very strict. They are more strict than any historical writings. N.Diamond from USA February 6th, 2004 Muslimah, I'm not missing the point about Israel. The lands Israel occupies are lands they bought outright or acquired in war centurys before they were recognized by modern political powers as a nation. Subsequent occupations have been of lands they previously owned under those campains. God commanded that they take these lands due to the corruption and idolatry in the land. Israel has had trouble holding onto these lands due to their own idolatry, just as God warned. If Israel should give back these lands due to this international law, then Muslim nations should also give back lands like Turkey to the Greeks, the US should give back North America to the native indians. The entire globe will be playing musical chairs with nations being uprooted and moved to where they originally came from. Can you imagine the chaos? Arabs and others HAVE been unfairly treated. God has allowed all of this unfair treatment of one another due to our unfaithfulness to Him. He would fight for ANY nation who was obeying His direct teaching from Scripture. WE ALL fall short of the glory of God and are about to lose the very ground we stand on. No obsession about hijab, this is a thread about that subject making news in France due to unfair treatment of Muslims regarding it. Yes, I agree with you that hijab is a decent way to dress and should be permitted as modesty, not a testimony to religious faith as the French pretense. But, what I've repeatedly tried to point out is that there is a minimum hijab pointed out by Paul in the NT, and a maximum required in Shirah. Hijab, like so many other things, can be taken to dangerous extremes, especially when the lack of it can be used against women as an excuse for rape. I'm in no way suggesting by this that hijab should be disregarded. Please answer my questions posed at 20716. If you will reread my posts, you will notice that I did not point fingers at Islam without also pointing out the failures of Christianity and Judaism. ND N. Diamond from USA February 6th, 2004 Thank you A.Ali, for your comments (20706). I also agree with you concerning Shiriah Laws which are similar to some Jewish Laws which are NOT from the Torah, but from Rabbinical teachings, and also like Christian views shoved down our throats -like the Trinity teaching, which is not scripturual, but in fact contradict Jesus' teachings (John 17:1-3). As you pointed out, the Qur'an refers to the scriptural teachings of Jesus and Moses and David from the Book. In view of this fact, how do you respond to the accusations of many Muslims that the Book is corrupt? I always ask "why would the Qur'an quote from a corrupt book?" I've yet to receive an answer. I would agree that TRANSLATIONS of the Book have errors and illegal additions, but we have been able to trace these back to the original available manuscripts to prove them false and the Bible true. I hope you are correct that the Qu'ran is the final revelation of God's word, because, quite frankly, I'm ready for this world to end already. However, I wonder if we are correctly understanding what "final revelation" means since the last book of the NT is called the "revelation" and is supposed to be "final", yet we have had subsequent supposed Christian prophets come along claiming new revelations from God. And, Judaism continued to wait for it's Messiah. How many "final revelations" will God give us before exacting justice against us? A.Ali, I am concidering starting a forum for the purpose of discussing the ways that the warnings of the Book and the Qur'an are being found true today, and how our clergys have distorted the direct teachings of scripture. You are the kind of person I would like to see submit articles on that site. Would you be interested? NDiamond muslimah from USA February 5th, 2004 Again, Chris, you have proven my point. You are so blind that you cannot even read a little paragraph. I emphasized arrogance as the reason why you are ignorant and hateful. Good riddans!!! muslimah from USA February 5th, 2004 N. Diamond, you missed the point regarding Israel. May I remind you that Israel was established after the establishment of international laws where it was legislated it was illegal to take over other's lands. The reason why the Palestinians and the rest of the Muslim world is demanding the return and freedom of the Palestinians are due to those laws. We, the Muslims see the way international laws are used against Muslim countries, who are sanctioned, invaded and punished politacally, while Israel who has broken more laws is not punished. Regarding the hijab, I am amused of obsession for it. Hijab is the decent way to dress in public legislated by the Creator of the universe, this is the Islamic belief. You are not a Muslim, you disagree with Islamic laws and that is fine, to you your religion and to me my religion. Suicide bombings, honor killings, rapes, and all unjust acts are anti-Islamic. If we are to point the finger at Islam for some people's abhorrent acts, than it would be only fair to point the finger at every religion in the world for the grisly acts of their members. I am sure Christianity will be rated much worst than Islam. Chris To 'Muslimah' from USA February 4th, 2004 Hatred and ignorance are 2 completely different things, do look them up in a dictionary some time. The notion is that hatred stems from ignorance. This assessment is false. Can you not hate satan? and sin in fact, yet how then are you 'ignorant' of it. You contrive that the truly superior are somehow hopeless. It is only the weak, riduclous, and ultimately insane fools that seek to oppose we that are lofty that are in all manner doomed, and duly hated. Go To Hell. Yahya Bergum from USA February 4th, 2004 Chris, the issue still remains that the visitor to whom you are referring became the Prime Minister of Israel, partly as a result of having ignited the 'campaign of death' as you call it. Also (no) not everyone acquires land through a process of hostile encroachment. But (yes) death is normally the outcome for those who fail to win in such contests. You seem to be finding the situation somewhat humorous. I hope that I have not unduly offended you by sharing the observation. N.Diamond from USA February 4th, 2004 The rule of war for thousands of years has always been that if you successfully invade a country and occupy their land, it's yours. Arabs keep demanding the return of Israeli occupied land won from them in warfare, yet I don't see Arabs returning Arab occupied Greece (now called Turkey). America is the only nation that, as a rule, returns land won in war to it's native people. As a result of America's generocity, Arabs now think that all nations except them, should return occupied lands to them. Arabs think that they should be free to come and go anywhere in Jerusalem in spite of the terrorist threat, but they don't afford this same freedom to non-muslims who want to visit at the temple mount. This double standard perpetuates the Arab problem in Israel. What protection was hijab to the two young children shaking hands with political leaders at the resent suicide bombing in which the terrorist group "Helpers of Islam" claimed responcibility? The blood of these innocent bystanders was blown onto the camera lens as they passed by. When will Islam live up to it's name as a religion of peace and submission to God by perging these terrorist offenders from her? When will Christianity live up to it's name by genuinely being follows of the teachings of the Christ and promote peace and fight spiritual evil? When will Judaism live up to it's name and obey the Most High God by teaching His Name and His Law to all people? ND muslimah from USA February 4th, 2004 Chris, do you know what is the trouble with you? You are the kind of person described by my mother as the worst in humanity. She wisely told me that those who are arrogant and ignorant are the most hateful people in the world and that they never learn the truth because of their blinding arrogance. muslimah from USA February 4th, 2004 N. Diamond, what question about hijab are you talking about? Chris from USA February 3rd, 2004 The issue still remains that Palestines feel their crusade of death justified because someone visited a church. Palestinans do not want to become a state, for then they would become accountable. Now they are merely citizens, and as a result can commit terrorist actions with complete protection. If you wish for the right to any land, you must attain it like everyone else, if you cannot do not complain. If you say the terrorist acts, are acts of war, then their response is merely that as well. The entire world has been WAY too easy on Muslim invading regimes. The penalty for so many years for invading another country to make it your own, has been death. Now it seems to be questioning the ones that defeated the conqueror, lmao. Yahya Bergum from USA February 2nd, 2004 Chris, in your quest for perspective, please bear in mind that on Sept. 28, 2000 (CE), the right-wing opposition leader of the Knesset, Ariel Sharon, visited the Temple Mount escorted by over 1,000 Israeli police officers and accompanied by several Likud members of the Knesset. (You had mentioned something about some trouble in Palestine, which started three years ago, after somebody visited a church.) Sharon's visit was intended to symbolize his commitment to press Israel's claim to the land of Jerusalem. This highly symbolic action was part of his successful bid for the position of Prime Minister. Considering how sensitive you appear to be concerning criticisms of your own particular interests I'm surprised by how readily you seem inclined to trivialize what other people hold dear to them - such as their homes - and the lands their ancestors have inhabited for the past several centuries. Now then, if it makes any difference to you, I am personally inclined to respect trees (and other living creatures) because I fear Allah. Also, my personal understanding would be that it will be considered inappropriate to have worshiped any sort of rocks that were not spherical in appearance and maintaining an orbit (within outer space). Mind you, I am personally inclined to worship only The One who is in charge of They who crafted such things. Yours extremely, Yahya N.Diamond from USA February 1st, 2004 Muslimah; Concerning the media; I agree that the media is bloodthirsty and bias and would rather publish inflamitory content that gets ratings rather then publish truth which might bring peace. We have all been victims of it, not just Muslims. Christians are also taught to promote justice, but through peaceful means, by fighting against spiritual powers of evil, not fleshly ones. You must also realize that the same political interests to demonize and isolate Muslims, are also trying to do the same to Jews and Christians so that we all turn on each other, leaving no one to represent the truths of God. Please answer or comment on my other questions on hijab in my last post. ND N. Diamond from USA February 1st, 2004 Muslimah; Honor killings may not be allowed in Islam, but they ARE allowed in Islamic countries. If these same countries can put to death a Christian for sharing Jesus with a Muslim, please tell me why they can't manage to put to death a rapest for soiling a virgin rather then killing the victim whom they blame for dishonoring the family? Perhaps these countries are not truely Islamic, but just hide behind the name. This is exactly what has happened in Christian nations. We see our politicians pretending to be Christian in order to get elected, but then prove after the election that they are not. As a result, politicians are now more carefully questioned to see if they know scripture. For example; Howard Deen was asked what was his favorite NT book. He answered "Job" which is not a NT book but a well known OT book. Vice President Gore was asked what was his favorite scripture. He meant to answer with "John 3:16" which is a popular and well known scripture among Christians; John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. but he answered "John 16:3", which reads as follows; John 16:3 "These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me. This scripture sums up the truth about politicians in general. As for studying of the Qu'ran; the study of all sacred scripture is an ongoing endervour, never completed. I was taught the history while there and I've continued to follow the history offered on cable TV. I put very little value on the opinions of teachers of scripture of any kind since I am equally capable of reading what the prophets say. I don't need a teacher to tell me his opinion of what I should believe. Chris from USA February 1st, 2004 Muslimah, Muslim countries demonize the entire west, for coming to the aid of Kuwait, citing it merely for our interest in oil implicitly, whearas such was Saddams aim explicitly in the rape of Kuwait, yet this site and the entire lot of Muslims in the world, call Bush evil, Americans cruel and stupid, and their rock worshipping perverts, who refuse to admit the insanity of their own clueless religion, holy. I hate muslims, for they first hated me. Hasnt 3 years of bombing gone on in Palestine because someone visited a church and was not invited? hahahaha. Look for perspective dear. A.Ali from Canada January 31st, 2004 Muslimah & N.Diamond: Hopefully I'm not barging in on your chat, but... N.Diamond is correct by pointing out that religious leaders/scholars should do more by speaking out against the hateful & intolerant diatribe we're consistently receiving from extremists on all sides. Other than J. Kearney on this site, the other authors here do not exhibit a balanced view and should have instead used the opportunity to present a message of peace (Islam). I (respectfully) don't agree with Muslimah's opinion that Qur'an cannot be understood without religious teachings (I presume she means those written by scholars that were several generations removed from the companions of the prophet?) Other than the prayers of Mohamad, which Muslims must practice, religious traditions are not mandatory and should not prescribe laws and punishment as the Shar'iah attempts to do (some of which outright contradicts those of Qur'an, all of which came into existence centuries after the time of the prophet and are notwithstanding). We believe the Qur'an to be the final and complete revelation of God. It makes no mention of Hadith (Shar'iah) laws, which were written centuries afterwards. The only other teachings it refers to were ones that came before it: The Scriptures of Jesus, The Book of Moses, The Psalms of David, The Law & The Covenant. Muslimah, I regret the use of caps in my earlier posts. They were used instead of bold fonts, which does not seem possible in this editor. After re-reading, it looks as though I was shouting - that wasn't intended. I actually like Jack Nicholson, especially without a beard...glad he (and you) know the truth. Mulimah from USA January 31st, 2004 N. Diamond, regarding honor killings it is not permissible in Islam. I hope you know that. There are awful actions that are done in ignorance and arrogance in many parts of the world whatever their religious affiliation is. I am glad you read the Qur'an, but I can assure that was not enough for me to understand Islamic teachings. Reading the Qur'an without learning the history and the explanations of the verses by the prophet is incomplete knowledge in my opinion. About tolerance of violence and hate talk, Muslims are taught that they have a duty to fight injustice, and if fighting righously under God's laws is impossible than we should speak out against injustice otherwise our faith is weak. There have been many scholars who have throughout the past years condemned the terrorists and considered their acts un-Islamic. Unfortunately, they have not been covered by the media, instead the media has actively seeked those who preach hatred as the representatives of Muslims. There have been examples after examples of imams and scholars being interviewed by the media and never getting on air. This has frustrated Muslims a great deal and we have grown distrustful of the media. I realize there are other ways to get through the message, but without the media it would be very hard to reach most of the millions of people in this country and abroad. You must realize that there are political interests to demonize and isolate the Muslims. N.Diamond from USA January 30th, 2004 Muslimah; Christians also have varied understandings of those verses, but from what I see, Paul seems to be showing a minimum Hijab as being a woman's hair. Eve was naked in the garden of Eden before sin, but she still had long hair to cover her head. Who did she need protection from at that time? Her hair served as a sign of her husband's authority over her, and her submission to God. Over the ages, men have blamed women for their own victimization, causing women to carry the shame of rape, rather than the rapest. In honor killings, the family feels they must kill their soiled daughter in order to redeem their honor, rather than excecuting her rapest who soiled her. Does this make sense? This only encourages the rapests to continue. There are also laws in the OT and the NT to protect women, and Jesus reminded men that God originally gave Man only one woman in the garden as wife, not multiple wives as practiced in the Law of Moses and in Siriah. Paul taught that there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female in Christ, all are equal. I spent three years of my childhood in an Islamic country where I learned about Islam and I've read the Qu'ran several times. I own several translations of it. I respect Muslims, but I am a Christian because I see a perfect balance between justice and mercy in Christ's teachings about his God. If Islam, like Christianity, has been accused of many unjust things, it is because Islam, like Christianity, has tolerated and even applauded these unjust things rather than purging them from itself. No Muslim should tolerate even verbally the violence against Jews and Christians that is occurring currently. Nor should any Christian tolerate hatred being spoken against Jews and Muslims. We have an obligation to our God to promote peace and harmony, not discord and violence. We should allow God to take His own revenge against wrong doers. ND alwi from indonesia January 30th, 2004 its really show that they are dislike if a moslem become aware to their religion. May be their top peolple are affraid if the bright come from islam soon. Really they always reject and make aplan to make islam could be die. They have palan allah have more plan. Be unity my brothers as allah say we all brothers, chinese, negro, russion, asian, america, europe we are all brother muslim brother muslimah from USA January 29th, 2004 N. Diamond, thank you for the responses and the quotes from the Bible. I don't agree with your understanding of those verses, but that is fine. We don't have agree all the time. But, I agree with you that attacks on women of any kind is wrong and should not be tolerated. I am a woman and I do care about my rights. If you learn more about Islam you will find there are laws that harshly punish rapist, and you will also find a great deal of rights given to women that have been given to western women just in the last century. Islam has been unjustly accused of a great deal of awful things by people who are blinded by their own hatred. It is practically impossible to reason with people who are described in the Qur'an as blind, deaf and dumb. No amount of proof and dialogue will open their eyes. N.Diamond from USA January 27th, 2004 I'm glad you got that off your chest Chris. I hope you feel better. The following is a post from a practicing Muslim from another board. It doesn't sound like a denial of fault to me, but more like a humble admission of human imperfection; Well, thats the reason why Muslim countries are having trouble, and Islam having a bad name. Instead of upholding the Quran, muslims uphold the hadith and sunnah..two of the greatest lies in the history of mankind. Not only are they fabrications, they also directly contradict the Quran. 25:30 The messenger said, "My Lord, my people have deserted this Quran. Just look at the people of the taliban. Just look at the oppression. That is not the result of belief in the Quran. It is a result of following hadith and following blindly the opinion of Islamic scholars. Not only that. But also idolatry. Idolatry is not only the idolizing of statues and saints, but also trusting in the imams, the preachers, money, fame, fortune, instead of God, in what he taught in the scriptures. No wonder, the world is in chaos. People do not want to follow God even if they say they do. Instead they follow their own hearts, which easily get corrupted. You shall maintain your devotion absolutely to God alone. Anyone who sets up any idol beside God is like one who fell from the sky, then gets snatched up by vultures, or blown away by the wind into a deep ravine. 22:31 Indeed, those who submit themselves absolutely to God alone, while leading a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve. 2:112 Chris, the exact same words with different scriptures quoted could have just as well come from a Christian or Jew. When we don't follow the recommendation of scripture but act self-righteously as if we do, pollution is the result. Are the people in your religion perfect? I would write more, but I'm out of characters and I don't want to dominate the board. But I hea Chris To NDIAMOND. from USA January 27th, 2004 Ndiamond it is useless. Have you not come to completely understand that the Arab, and more Generally Muslim mindset is one of egotistical denial of fault, and bombast vaunting of their every inane affirmation, as the fruit of infallible sooth. They are beyond redemption, considering even the hint of dissent as oppression, the instance of freedom, as grave immorality. Perhas the shah of Iran is correct, hollywood is based purely on lust. In Iran, women are treated like crap, and the enemies of the 'king', are systematically purged. You must come to terms with a mindset that considers sexual mischievousness or mistake as more serious than murder, torture, the slaughter of innocents, and the forced marriage of children, and how such perverse thought systems could arise, and the religions which give them credance. For surely god must 'punish' unbelievers. THEIR IS NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE SUPPOSED IMMORALITY OF A WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTERY, when she was brought before Christ for him to judge. In fact, a woman that Christ DID say was adulterous, the woman at the well, Christ did not judge either, and in fact forgave her. The judgement with Christ is never death, but life. The Pharisean spirit of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, hates women, loves laws, and detests personal resposibility and the sloughing off of pride, THE SIN MOST DISCUSSED IN THE GOSPELS. Your 'evidence' on the woman 'caught' in adultery is nothing of the sort. It is mere assertions made by brainless fools, who cannot read, and refuse to follow the simple words of a book they claim continuially is infallible. N.Diamond from USA January 26th, 2004 Chris; as a Christian I take exception to your statement; "Christian headcovering is deemed morally offensive to most Christians. A majority of Christians find these verses of paul quite irregular, and indicative instead of revisionism...." I disagree with you on this issue. Since you are not Christian, I wonder why you would even say this? Most Christians don't find Paul's verses morally offensive or irregular, although many do question the exact meaning and motivation. Paul acknowledges that a woman's hair is her covering as given by nature, even to Eve in the garden. And while Jesus did speak to prostitutes, he didn't condone their behavior and he encouraged repentance. Prostitutes tried to hide their shame behind a veil. That is why it was a punishment among the Jews to take away her veil and expose her shame. Insidently, a man caught with a prostitute was supposed to be exposed as well, and stoned along with her. This is why Jesus didn't order the stoning of the adulterous woman at John 8. Because the men who claimed to have caught her IN THE ACT failed to bring the adulterous man with her to be punished. This is how Jesus knew they were all guilty of having been with her and told them to cast the first stone if they were without sin. He told her to "go and sin no more". You stated there was "a hyprocrisy at work in both Christianity and Islam, as rotten gifts from the Jews". Ah, those are pretty strong allegations. If you're talking about the behavior of imperfect humans within each religion, I could agree with you, but if you're talking about the teachings of each, I have to disagree. The teachings are intended as a guide to better behavior. N.Diamond N. Diamond from USA January 24th, 2004 Halil Aziz; I pointed out that women were raped in Afghanistan and Iraq EVEN when they wore hijab, so it didn't prove to be a protection for them, and you asked; "What if they were wearing tight or revealing clothes in those countries?". I ask you Aziz, could they have been MORE raped had they been immodestly dressed? I'm not suggesting that we ban hijab at all. I'm simply saying that we need to far more that to protect women! Putting all the responsibility for rape on what women wear will not work. Men need to be taught that they must not rape a woman NO MATTER WHAT SHE WEARS, and the court systems need to support that. Men must not be allowed to use a woman's dress, or lack of dress as an excuse to rape her, as if it's her fault HE couldn't control himself. It's like blaming the woman you hit with your car for the accident when you lost control of your car. If you can't control your car, how much less can she? You stated that rape is lowest in Muslim countries. I doubt this due to honor killings and the shame and blame on the woman that rape brings. I doubt seriously that women are reporting all rapes. Another great advantage for the rapest. We don't assume that hijab is forced on Muslim women because of the few who reject it, we think it's forced on Muslim women who are getting hit by cars because they can't see around their berquas. Hijab is fine and should be permitted, but it can be taken to extremes which endanger the very woman it's meant to protect. I suggest that a minimum hijab be defined, as Paul does in 1 Corninthians. If the woman wants to take it further, she should be free to do so, but not forced to do so. N.Diamond Chris from USA January 23rd, 2004 Christian headcovering is deemed morally offensive to most Christians. A majority of Christians find these verses of paul quite irregular, and indicative instead of revisionism. For Christ not only did not condemn women, even an Adultress, yet talked to them, when no Pharisee would. Many pagan religions in the region where Paul stayed had women as priestesses, and temple prostitutes, etc. These verses are a direct response to that, according to those that support Paul, enjoining Christians to be not like Pagans. In any case, their is a hypocrisy at work in Christian practice, just as their is a hypocrisy at work in Muslim practice, for the Koran teaches the entire body covered for women, and constant modesty for men as well. Both religions are expositions in ridiculous thinking, a rotten gift from the Jews. N.Diamond from USA January 23rd, 2004 That final verse quoted from the KJV regarding head covering for Christian women should read; 1 Corinthians 11:16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. Obviously this question raged even in Paul's day. So, bottom line, Christian women are in compliance with the minimum requirement of hijab if they wear their hair long, not shaved bald or cut very short like a man's. They are permitted to decide for themselves if they want to wear more than the minimum. This is the reason why some Christian women wear more covering in church while praying to God, or when representing others in prayer. Most Christian women do this more as a consideration for others so as not to stumble unbelievers or new believers. The referance to the covering being "power" on a woman's head could be interpreted as "protection" or, it could be interpreted as "authority" as most Christians perceive it. Either way the result is the same. But as has already been pointed out, a headcovering, whether it be hair or a scarf is pointless if the rest of the body is immodestly dressed. I do not consider the proper size to be immodest. N.Diamond Delwar Mian from USA January 23rd, 2004 Hijaab is ordained by islamic shariah, we've to respect the law, and keep the modesty of our mothers, sisters. It is their right to practice hijaab. It's surprising that French Govt. will enact law banning hijaab, we Moslems must work together to get our rights back, and we're following our Islam, and not encrossing into others right. Allah help us. N.Diamond from USA January 22nd, 2004 Christian teaching regarding headcovering quoted from King James Version; 1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also [am] of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered [them] to you. 1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman [is] the man; and the head of Christ [is] God. 1 Corinthians 11:4 Every man praying or prophesying, having [his] head covered, dishonoureth his head. 1 Corinthians 11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with [her] head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 1 Corinthians 11:6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 1 Corinthians 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover [his] head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 1 Corinthians 11:8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 1 Corinthians 11:9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 1 Corinthians 11:10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on [her] head because of the angels. 1 Corinthians 11:11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 11:12 For as the woman [is] of the man, even so [is] the man also by the woman; but all things of God. 1 Corinthians 11:13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? 1 Corinthians 11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 1 Corinthians 11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for [her] hair is given her for a covering. 1 Corinthians 11:16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the ch N.Diamond from US January 22nd, 2004 Also Muslimah, I AM able to "see the obvious differences between men and women", I just don't happen to agree one of them is that men are any more visually stimulated than women. I simply believe from my own experience that women are more in control of their lusts, not because women are any better than men, but because women are forced by both society, and a lack of physical strength to be more controlled. Blame it on feminism if you like, but men and women are far more alike than different. It's amazing to me how men make even their weaknesses into strengths. Lust is a weakness, whether from a man or a woman. But men use this weakness as their excuse to commit the crime of rape and will in court. They would never accept such an excuse from a woman. Take for example the female teacher who was impregnanted by one of her young male grade school students whom she lusted after and enticed. She was sent straight to jail for child rape. While a male teacher who was caught in the act of rape in the teacher parking lot with one of his female students got off scott free, even after another student proved her illegitate child was his as a result of rape. If we want to stop this kind of garbage, we have to hold both genders equally accountable. The same law cannot apply to one, but not the other. N.Diamond N.Diamond from USA January 22nd, 2004 Muslimah; I wish you would reread ALL of my posts. I have not made "demeaning comments on hijab", in fact, I've defended it. Nor have I narrowly applied it. I simply pointed out that one Muslim's definition of hijab is different from another's. Some believe only the head should be covered, while others believe the face and whole body should be covered, or it's not truly hijab. A glance over the other posts in this thread will demonstrate this. My personal belief is that a woman should be able to wear hijab in any way in any country she chooses. And a woman should be able to NOT wear hijab if she chooses. I'm glad to hear that you haven't tripped over your loose fitting skirts, however, there are stories out of Afghanistan of women getting their loose clothing (which they are required to wear) caught in machinery causing serious injury, and women getting struck by vehicles because they were not able to see oncoming cars out of their berquas. I personally think that hijab should be defined as the covering of one's head and the wearing of properly fitting and modest clothing. I don't bring up these examples to "attack" hijab". I bring them up to show that hijab can be taken to an unnecessary extreme, just as a lack of hijab also can. As to Paul's teaching to Christian women; if you look over that Bible passage, you will find that Paul states that a woman's long hair is a natural headcovering for her, and that Christian women have no custom regarding any additional headcovering, and, the choice is hers. Thank you Paul. In other words; freedom of choice. N.Diamond Yahya Bergum from USA January 16th, 2004 Chris: well, so much for (at least) one of my erroneous impressions! (To whom it may concern) I think that inhibiting virtue would draw a penalty, in the sort of friendly competition alluded to within Qur'an 5:48 - wherein we are told, "So strive as in a race in all virtues." Might I suggest, additionally, that we consider emulating the other team's winning strategy but not their sinful behavior? Chris, if you wouldn't feel compelled to kiss a meteorite, might you perhaps consider taking a closer look at the Qur'an? For what it might be worth, I would say that the heavens should not be confused with Paradise - as seems to be the case within Christianity. By the way, I myself am rather looking forward to kissing the rock in question. Here's something from the Qur'an, pertaining to the heavens (et cetera): [Qur'an 55:31-34] "Soon will We apply Ourselves to you, O you two armies. Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny? O assembly of the jinn and the men! If you are able to pass through the regions of the heavens and the earth, then pass through; you cannot pass through but with authority. Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?" In my way of thinking, we are being told to give it our best shot. (Anyone interested in exploring Mars?) Peace. muslimah from USA January 16th, 2004 Chris, I am amazed. Good luck in your magical word. You have are one of the most ignorant and closed minded people I have ever communicated with. You defy any logic. halim aziz from malaysia January 16th, 2004 Hijab is a very strong effort to protect every woman on this planet. Women were raped in Afghanistan and Iraq even when they dressed modestly.What if they were wearing tight or revealing clothes in those countries?. Every man scared of sin yet they commit the crime, is banning hijab the solution? We cannot bring rape to zero but surely it is the lowest in muslim countries compared to the west. Just because small percentage of muslim women who rejected the hijab, we immediately concluded that those who accepted it were in reality being forced into it.The real opression is, when those countries ban hijab when they want to wear it as commanded by their creator. A.Ali from Canada January 15th, 2004 Oh, great. Now we're discussing hijab with someone that call themself a witch. Chris, muslims do not worhip rocks. We worship the God of Abraham, same as Jews & Christians. And, together with Jews & Christians, We are Believers. Regrettably, Believers squabble in the Holy Land, which belong to neither Muslim, Jew or Christian; it belongs to God. This has been going on for thousands of years and has more to do with ethnic rivalry between two tribes (cousins) than anything else. Furthermore, Jews (and others) are successful because they know how to grow food and create jobs & wealth. We muslims, on the other hand, have made a science out of blaming others and a virtue out of being stupid. We seem fascinated by hijabs, beards, and halal meat while others are developing great nations complete with institutions, technology, medicines and every other need. I'm not against hijab, veil or headscarf. I am against the author's views: especially his misrepresentation of harassment as though this is something that only happens in the West. He is also wipping up sentiments of hotheads that easily misunderstand this article as an outright ban on hijabs in the West. In simple terms, this is troublemaking which I do not care for. We should be building bridges, finding common ground, not causing trouble. Our children need no distraction, they need good, sound education. Chris To Whomever from USA January 15th, 2004 In order to stay on topic, Wicca has no tradition of veiling, except in the dramatic rituals where some priestess may invoke a virginal Goddess, or other traditionally veiled figure. The meaning of the veil in esoteric religion, is light, which is so blinding, you cannot see its source. Wiccans get married in a ritual called handfasting, which is performed nude, and in some groups, the guests are naked as well. Of course I am bigoted, but do you know the meaning of the word? One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ, is the definition. That would include the writer of these slanted and contrarian articles. I must admit, perhaps freely, I have a knowledge of the Jews meddlesome and alien ways, wholly anathema to any true and august human being. Unfortunately many countries, have either chosen to support them, or become just like them. Your anecdote concerning politicians is amusing, I cannot Imagine any who have said "I hate this group", and have either been elected or reelected on that premise. Were a politician to say "I dont like blacks", it would have been as politically dangerous as saying anything against the Jews. So your assessement of any supposed power of the Jews is ridiculous. Honestly do you suppose the Jews invade the voting booths, and assure these politicians do not win? This is the USA, a place where even bush only got 50% of the vote.(And doesnt he support israel?). You should lose your superstition against the Jews, and merely crush them in friendly competition, by mastering along side them the various fields they seem to excel. I do not like Jews, for their religion teaches the inferiority of gentiles. I do not like Christians, for their god is a myth, concocted of 1st century paganism. I do not like Islam because they teach I must die or admit the sanctity of a rock that 'descended from heaven'. The worship of rocks stems from the adoration of the Pagan Goddess Magna Mater MANSUR ABDULLAHI IBRAHIM from NIGERIA January 15th, 2004 Well Islamically Allahu [SWA]have made clearly in different surahs[chapters]that a muslim woman should always cover her hair & also our beloved prophet [PBUH]said that every part of a woman is her al awarad expect her face & hands. muslimah from USA January 15th, 2004 Chris, I have read several of your posts throughout this web-site and it is clear you are bigotted against Muslims. Most of your comments show your lack of understanding or willing to understand the plight of Muslims all over the world. As to the Jews not having much power in this country, please answer some simple question; why is it that any politician who dared to criticize Israel in the past thirty years has no more a political career? How come the mainstream media does not show the atrocities Israel has been inflicting the Palestinians in the past decades? Esther from USA January 15th, 2004 Halim Aziz I never said that hijab was a muslim tradition. Anyway I have no problem with women wearing a veil. In my opinion women should be fully dressed and not wearing tight or revealing clothes. Now saying that there are Muslim women who are sexualy abused. For example women in Afghanistan and Iraq were raped and they were dressed modestly. Muslimah I am sorry that you think I am a liar. I am going to have to post you some history information sometime. Yahya Bergum from USA January 14th, 2004 Chris: is it always necessary to forsake tolerance in a quest for increased understanding? You already seem rather upset by my having shared but two of Izaak Greenbaum's official statements. Would you prefer to hear what Ben Gurion said? How about Menachem Begin? If you would seem unduly upset by hearing something then hopefully I wouldn't feel unduly moved to tell you more. However, if you don't wish to become more informed about what appears to upset you then you might wish to consider debating something else. In a search for closure to our discussion, my guess would be that the Nazis pulled the trigger because it simplified their theft of Jews' land, financial holdings and other tangible assets. Also, Israel does indeed appear to be useless as a military adjutant in the Middle East. Incidentally, I would personally imagine that the contributions made by Jews to world civilization owe more to a Jewish emphasis on early and continuous education than to their historical frugality and business acumen. Japanese achievement, I would agree, does indeed appear to result (perhaps primarily) from a Japanese willingness to sacrifice comforts for the sake of greater attainment. In the meantime, this article concerns head coverings and freedom of religion. Forgive me, but I was under the impression that 'hijab' (screening, in this context, regarding the sexes) was considered to be a tenet of Wicca as well. (Peace be unto you.) Yahya Mansoor Nasir from US January 14th, 2004 The article is really good but it needs to address the issue of Hijab from a secularists point of view in more detail. Especially since France, Germany and other European countries are beating the drum of secularism against Hijab and Veil. By disallowing Muslim women to wear head covering France is marginalizing 5 Million muslims living there. This goes opposite to the argument used by the government that this law will help the people to assimilate better in the society. I also hope that all Muslims realize that this is an issue of freedom (of religion) and something that concerns us all. Chris from USA January 13th, 2004 Their is a persistent belief, particularly among Muslims who hate Caucasians, that Jews run and control the enitre western world. Perhaps in the 19th century and early 20th century, but not now. By Saying Jews are culpabale is indicating contempt for The American, or even German, implying the Germans pulled the trigger but only because the Jews told them to. Much like the Japanese, the Jews have a capacity to make and save money, passing such benefits on to the rest of their community in peculiar ways. This is the extent of their powers. If Israel was not wholly the slave of the US(not the other way around), Their warmongering would result in a complete fruition of the Arab-Israeli wars, in a manner only suitable to them. They requested retaliation during the Iraq war, were told no, and In the most recent war, were not allowed any part. This is not publicized. Yahya Bergum from USA January 13th, 2004 Chris: slow down. Hitler and Stalin togather murdered over 11 million Jews. I'm not saying otherwise. The term I used was 'culpability' - and it was true. I won't take anyone's word but a Jew's on that sort of thing - period. I won't elaborate further, as it seems to upset you. Peace be with you. N.Diamond from USA January 12th, 2004 Good suggestion Jessica. But it often takes more than one voice to get the political powers that be to listen. Also, it helps if some of those voices are from people who are not included among the victims. In other words, Christians and Jews have to add their voices to the complaints of the Muslims. This can only happen if Muslims make their problems known to us on boards such as this. N.Diamond Chris from USA January 12th, 2004 I have noticed that Muslims tend to believe heresay, and relegate presented facts, universally agreed upon as fallacies, deceptions, and insights from none other than the devil himself. This is Superstition. it is true that Jews, particularly in the 19th century were morally corrupt in many cases, and meddlesome, however, They love their money. You present me one quote, by a jew, to suppose the complicity of the Jewish people for their own destruction, to what end? You are also among those that suppose that the Jews were behind 9/11, because many were not at work that day, despite the fact a Jewish- led company was one of the worst hit there. there was also a Mosque in the World Trade Center. I do not assume any country was behind it, or even who the terrorists where. I ALSO do not assume it was 'those darn jews'. Perhaps you do not really understand how universally hated the Jews were just a few years ago, partly for their own reasons, partly for the genocides they caused throughout their history, or partly because their own scripture says that "you will be most hated of all nations". I find it a disservice to human beings to not hold Germany accountable. I have always considered it curious, and worth further study, Germanys alliance with Turkey in World War I, as they massacred armenians, and everything else for that matter. Hitler was on very good terms with a few arab leaders, particularly as he sought to wipe the British from Muslim North Africa. muslimah from USA January 12th, 2004 N. Diamond, I am sorry you are not able to see the obvious physiological and psycological differences between men and women. I believe this is the major flaw of western femminism. Regarding your demeaning comments on hijab, I would like to tell that I am a Muslim woman who wears the hijab, my face is not covered, I have dresses, skirts and shirts of different fashions and colors that fit my taste and individuality. By the way, I have not yet tripped on my long-loose clothing. It is predictable that Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia are always brought up to attack the hijab and Islam. As a Muslimah I disagree with both regimes, I believe they both have taken away the rights women have in Islam. If you are a Christian and believes in the Bible than you should dress like Muslim women, because even Paul in the New Testament said Christian women should cover their heads. It is amazing to me that people who discard their own teachings because they find them too difficult to comply with, attack those who practice their own religion. Jessica Gonzales from U.S. January 12th, 2004 The part of the article, suggesting ( true)the inequality of rights/religion for many muslims in Europe. the discrimination of muslim women expressing thier modesty by covering their heads..........The list could go on and on. The truth is, this inequality of freedom of religion is one every one experiences. Reguardless of religion, race, age, gender, the only difference between us all,is in the manner the discrimination is expressed,or in what specific area ( of culture or religion)the people group is being discriminated in. Personally I believe, if this is a subject one must bring up at all, discussing it( it is not like it is a new one, everyone knows about the discrimination first hand)Then it is a matter that should be brought up with some one who can make a difference. Some one with authority, if not, then it is one quite frankly with no other point, than to stirring up remoarse. Jessica Gonzales from The United States of America January 12th, 2004 I believe the article written holds some truth, but I believe some of the points made where made with out much thought, and perspective of the whole issue. 1. As far as who ever said , that education,and self control... was the solution to all the cases of abuse, and sexual assult in America, and in the whole world for that matter. yes america offers free public education, so wouldn't that contradict the statment presented earlier. No, education is more that letters and numbers. Education is the molding of our crude person, into an acceptable character. ( one that respects other humans right,not because they area woman or a man, rather because they are a human being )that is why even the most educated, ( in letters and numbers) in the highest postions our country holds ( presidency) commit these assults. America, nor Canada should be used as a basis for any argument, against the statement made earlier. thank you N.Diamond from USA January 12th, 2004 Muslimah; I'm sorry, I don't have the specifics of the court cases I spoke of from memory. I can tell you they occured in the 1970's and '80's and several movies were made about them. You could probably find some reference to them at the library or on line. I will check for you when I have time. There are no loopholes in Christianity for rape either, but there are in the American judicial system. A sharp defence lawyer will always try to shift blame from his client to the accuser even in the case of rape. If he can prove that she was enticing the accused somehow, then he might be able to prove she was "asking for it". The problem with this is that the way a woman dresses is subjective. What is seductive to one man, may not be to another. Nuns have been raped by twisted men who are turned on by the prospect of soiling a virgin. Should we blame the Nun for dressing to suduce such a twisted mind? A woman's dress CANNOT EVER be justification for rape. You pointed out that there are anotomical differences between men and women that make it more offensive for women to go bare chested, and that men are stronger then women, able to overpower, and more visually stimulated. While I agree with you that there are indeed anatomical differences between the genders, I don't agree that a woman's bare breasts are any more obsence than a man's. It used to be considered equally a crime in this country for a man to go without a shirt as it is now for women. The Law has eroded to favor men, and discriminate against women. Women are just as visually stimulated as men, but women are under more pressure by society to control themselves than men are, and, because women are not able to over power men, they are forced be this lack of ability to be more self controlled. If the law applied equally to men, there would be less rape and immodesty. Why is it that prostitutes are held more accountable then their clients? It is simply because they are female in a male dominated world. < N.Diamond from USA January 12th, 2004 I have to agree with you in part Muslimah; it makes no since for a woman to wear a headcover while the rest of her body is seductively dressed. However, I don't agree with you that wearing a pair of jeans and a shirt that isn't twelve sizes too big isn't modest. For both confort and safety reasons, I think women should wear their proper size. We've all heard the stories of the unfortunate women in Afganastan who cover themselves from head to toe so well that they are not able to see where they're going. They get their clothing caught in things, they get run over by cars, they bump into things, fall off of things. This is NO protection for women. A better protection would be for men to stop using women's dress, or lack of it, as an excuse for them to molest them. N.Diamond N.Diamond from USA January 12th, 2004 Muslimah; As a married Christian woman from the USA, I can tell you that I would not like my husband to see EITHER a woman in tight clothing OR covered from head to toe in a shroud. No, I don't want my husband lusting after a seductively dressed woman, nor do I want him to be unable to recognize one woman from another in a crown of women dressed like Nuns. I would like HIM to see women modestly dressed in respectful attire which covers their bodies, yet reflects their personalities and individuality. If they want to cover their heads, let 'em. If they don't, okay, just cover their everything else that should be covered. N.Diamond N.Diamond from USA January 12th, 2004 If the West is SOOO anti-Islam Muruf, then why are they allowing Islam to be practiced freely and openly in a traditionally Christian country? Why then are so many Chrisitans flocking into their local bookstores to purchase a copy of the English translation of the Qu'ran? Why are some Christians going to Mosques and trying to understand our Islamic brothers and their points of view? It is not Islam the West is against, it is terrorism disguised in the robes of Islam. If you want to change this, purge the terrorists who walk amoung you calling themselves Muslims. In the mean time, I will continue to attempt to purge the hatred I occationally find among Christians. I'll remind them that hate is NOT what the prophet Jesus taught. N.Diamond N.Diamond from USA January 12th, 2004 What a horrible thing to say!!!!! These are human beings we're talking about. These are the people through whom God has promised to bless the whole world! These people gave us Moses and Jesus and the Book. Sayings like this are just motivated by hatred and jealousy. As a Christian, I will not stand by and condone such a thing against ANY people! Every people on earth are valuable. If one race of human beings is so dispised to the point that other human beings want to annialate them, it just a matter of time before we work our way down the list to elliminate every race we THINK unworthy. What a horrible thing to say! N.Diamond A.Ali from Canada January 11th, 2004 Y.Bergum: Apologies if I misunderstand your posts but, are you suggesting friendly religious competition in public schools? I thought we were sending our kids to school for academic achievement. The only competition needed there are purely academic and sporting. I believe that PUBLIC schools should be free of all religious, political, and protest expressions. In addition, they should also be free of cultural (pop, rap, body piercing, etc) expressions. I send my kids to school to LEARN. If one must exhibit their religious expressions in the school environment, it should be done at PRIVATE religious schools (I have a private tutor teach my kids Qur'an). I am all for the wearing of Hijabs, Nuns veils, Yamulka's, Seikh turbans, Crosses, even Chris' pointy witch(wizard?) hat, but NOT IN FRONT OF MY CHILD'S VIEW OF THE BLACKBOARD (overhead display device?). I studied Qur'an for many years and as far as I can tell, in the end we shall be judged by our deeds, and what is in our hearts and minds. Not by what we wear on our head in a publicly funded classroom environment. Yahya Bergum from USA January 11th, 2004 Chris: in assessing Zionist culpability for the Holocaust, please consider the following: "If I am asked, "Could you give from the UJA moneys to rescue Jews, 'I say, NO! and I say again NO!" -- Izaak Greenbaum, head of Jewish Agency Rescue Committee, February 18, 1943, addressed to the Zionist Executive Council. "One Cow in Palestine is worth more than all the Jews in Poland" -- Izaak Greenbaum Source: http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/holocaust/holocaustpics.htm (From Qur'an 5:48) So strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah (i.e., God). [In my view, it's a friendly sort of competition - wherein we would encourage our competition to best us rather than attempt to inhibit them from doing so. As far as I'm concerned, that includes witches, pagans and whoever else might care to participate in a race in all virtues.] I bid you peace. Yahya maruf from Nigeria January 11th, 2004 The west are known to be anti-Islam even in the face of obvious truth and justice. All I know that their Kufur civilsation has reach its peak and Inshaa Allah it must as their forefathers did ie Romans and Greek. Allah's promise will ever be fulfilled Ma Salam muslimah from USA January 10th, 2004 This question is for married women, which would you prefer your husband to see a woman dressed with tight clothing as are most women today, or a Muslim woman with hijab? If you are honest you would feel more compfortable if women weren't dressed so seductively in public. muslimah from USA January 10th, 2004 Hijab is not only a head cover. The whole body has to be covered with loose fitting clothing, so that the form of the body is not shown. This is in my opinion more important than the head covered. I remember one day while I was at the mall, I saw this Muslim woman wearing jeans and shirt with a little scarf on her head, walking with her was a girl wearing a long loose fitting skirt and a loose fitting shirt and was not wearing the head scarf. I thought the one without the scarf was more modestly dressed than the one wearing the scarf. I believe people get confiused when they see these girls who were tight clothing and a little scarf and they are considered to wear the hijab. This is not hijab in my opinion. It completely defeats the purpose. muslimah from USA January 10th, 2004 To N. Diamond and Esther. N. Diamond wrote, "however a great deal more modesty is required of women because men use a woman's dress as an excuse to violate her. In American court cases, men have actually won rape cases brought against them because they proved in court that the woman raped was dressed seductively, therefore inviting rape". Please, can you write the specific case that this outrageous reason was given, it seems incredible. Rape is inexcusable, I agree with you on that, and in Islam there is no loophole or excuse for such an act and the punishment for it is very severe. I also agree that the dress does not completely protect from rape or harassment. There will always be some people who are violent and immoral, these kind of people need to be punished for their awful acts. As to women being told to dress more modestly then men, there are a few logical reasons for this. I hope you are able to see the major anatomical differences between men and women; for example, if a man and a woman walked bearchested in public, the woman would be considered more naked than the men, and could be in trouble with the law. The other reason is the simple fact that men are more strong then women, therefore they can overpower a woman, while most women cannot do viceversa. The last reason is the desires of men compared to women. To be more blunt, men are more visually stimulated than women. There have been many studies that confirm this. Esther, I have read many of your posts. I cannot understand why you attack Islam and Muslims so much, when it is clear you are completely ignorant on Islam, Islamic history, Muslim countries and Muslims. Chuches and synagogues have always been in Muslim countries all over the world. Christians, Jews and pagans have been living among Muslims from the time of the prophet Mohammed. This lie you persist to believe in is just a lie. Nida from USA January 10th, 2004 How appalling. France is trying to impede on supposed "freedom" and "liberty" it offers in the name of secularism? Pathetic! What a cheap ploy to keep Islamic influence at a minimum. Ahmed and others, thank you for being so vociferous in this cause and replying to all the ignorant comments. Protest all things French, "FREEDOM" FRIES!!! To Akbar From Chris from USA January 9th, 2004 Yes Yes, I am quite sure you are of the crowd that believe the holocaust and all other things were pure jewish inventions to justify their cause. What nonsense. Muslims were oppressed by stalin? That is not saying much, he had many of the members of his family killed(sound familiar), and they say Bush is like hitler, hah! I know 2 American muslims they both shove down my throat how 'christians killed people' I tell them 1, I am not christian, Im a witch(Christians killed us to), and 2 if the christians killed billions it NEVER excuses the murder of civilians perpetuated by rogue beasts belonging to terrorist organization that the Arab media, and even this site, at best, characterize as 'freedom fighters'. Even Yasser Arafat has called them Terrorists. Yahya Bergum from USA January 9th, 2004 Forgive me, A.Ali (and also N.Diamond). Please allow me to simplify what I was trying to express with those verses: (From Qur'an 5:48) So strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah (i.e., God). [In my view, it's a friendly sort of competition - wherein we would encourage our competition to best us rather attempt to inhibit them from doing so.] (From Qur'an 22:40) Had it not been for Allah's repelling some people by means of others, certainly there would have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which Allah's name is much remembered; and surely Allah will help him who helps His cause. [Seemingly, the work of our competitors is as potentially acceptable to the Lord of the Worlds as is our own work.] You might also wish to consider quoting Qur'an 5:69 (which is identical to Qur'an 2:62). In my experience, Wahabis and Salafis (may Allah bless them and grant them peace) would appear to be less inclined to maintain that Qur'an 3:85 abrogates Qur'an 2:62, if it's the subsequent occurrence of the verse, in Qur'an 5:69, that's referenced. Alas - in as much as my nationalism is perhaps unsurpassed by no more than possibly a few neoconservatives, I am not entirely sure how well I might fit in (in the Middle East). In the meantime, I am happy to report that I have no grievances (political or otherwise) to take elsewhere - alhamdulillah (the praise be to God)! Assalamu alaikum (peace be unto you). To Chris from Akbar from Canada January 9th, 2004 Chris how silly of you to go and say "you" referring to Muslims, as having it easy in history as compared to Armenians, Jews, and Russians. I think it's time for you to get the chip off your shoulder and explore how Stalin did not only kill Russians, but 20 million+ Muslims who were also Russians and other ethnicities as well. Maybe Islamicity should explore this topic and draw a comparison between the Nazi's slaughter of so called non-Aryan's, not only Jews, with Stalin's dissimilation of Muslims in Russia and surrounding areas, leaving what is current day Chechnya today. Chris my suggestion to you is to go back to school and do some real studying. halim aziz from malaysia January 9th, 2004 To Esther, Think first before you say anything. Malaysia is a Muslim nation, thousands of Muslims attended Christmas dinner recently. Hundred of thousands Christians and non-muslims attended Muslims open house during aidil fitri(Muslim celebration after fasting month). I myself read your bible which they place at every hotel bedside table in my country.Some time Quran and Bible in one drawer! please tell the truth who kill muslims in bosnia, phillipine, irian jaya, palestine and who kill the iraqis now? Muslims cannot hurt non-muslim, even their hair muslim cannot touch!(refer this in quran).As for hijab and veil, it is not a muslim tradition but a crystal clear written law in quran ! N.Diamond from USA January 8th, 2004 Hello Muslimah; Thanks for responding to my post. Like Islam, Judaism and Christianity also encourage self control and modesty on the part of both genders, however a great deal more modesty is required of women because men use a woman's dress as an excuse to violate her. In American court cases, men have actually won in rape cases brought against them because they proved in court that the woman raped was dressed seductively, therefore "inviting rape". Fornication and adultery are sins in all three religions regardless of how the woman is dressed. Yet, men continue to use this excuse successfully to get away with their sin while the woman is victimized again. I'm not at all saying that women, AND men for that matter, should not be expected to dress modestly. But I'm saying it should not be an excuse for rape. Men have been know to rape children. Should we let them off if the innocent baby was dressed immodestly? Little boys and men have been known to be raped. Should they be required to wear a headcover to prevent this? It is still against Judaic and Christian principals to fornicate and adulterate and have children out of wedlock, but these things occur due to the decay of society, due to the falling away from Godly principals which Jesus warned would happen in the last days. There are fewer professed Christians in America now than in years gone by (pecentage wise) and far fewer practicing Christians. As God is taken out of our schools and public places by the government, we decay. I don't believe the headcover really protects women, but I do believe they should be able to wear it if they choose. As a Christian, I don't wear one, but I will wear one in support of all women's right to wear one IF THEY CHOOSE. N.Diamond Reply to Yahya Bergum from USA January 8th, 2004 Hello Yahya; Thanks for repling to my email. I understand your point about religious competition. I found verses in the Jewish scriptures, as well as the Christian scriptures regarding this. Basically it seems God used the Christians to make the unfaithful Jews jealous, and He used competition amoung the Christian sects to get the prophet Jesus' message preached throughout the nations. I consider the real possibility that He now uses the Muslims to make unfaithful Christians jealous. It is my hope that in the end, all of this jealousy will result in all faiths returning to God in faithfulness rather than resulting in us all killing each other off over it. Still, I don't like it. It's very uncomfortable. It's annoying to me as a Christian to hear a Muslim quote a scripture from the Qu'ran spoken by Muhammed which is almost word for word a quote from the New Testament spoken by Jesus 1500 years earlier. Now I know how a Jew feels when he hears a Christian quote a scripture from Jesus which is almost word for word a quote from the Old Testament. Now I wonder if God, in His irony, will use repentant Jews to make the Muslims jealous, bringing us full circle - returning us all to Him. Our God is very clever. Let all the prophets be blessed and the Most High God be praised. N.Diamond A.Ali from Canada January 8th, 2004 To Y.Bergum; perceived use of religious symbols for religious competition is precisely why it may be banned in public schools. Please take your competition and grieviances over regional and political conflicts elsewhere. Q'uran does NOT advocate religious competition (Ch2,v62): "Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." [end] As a muslim myself, the reason I live in the west is because there is more religious freedom, human rights and economic opportunity in Judeao-christian socities than they are in so-called muslim ones. Anyone who has a problem with that is welcome to go live in the middle-east for a reminder... Yahya Bergum from USA January 8th, 2004 N. Diamond - peace be unto you. Regarding the matter of 'religious competition' the Qur'an actually encourages it. [Qur'an 5:46-49] And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah. Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel. To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way. If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute; And this (He commands): Judge thou between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, but beware of them lest they beguile thee from any of that (teaching) which Allah hath sent down to thee. And if they turn away, be assured that for some of their crime it is Allah's purpose to punish them. And truly most men are rebellious. Salman from USA January 8th, 2004 This subject is indeed prone to a lot of arguments. However, for people who think that the wearing of Hijab is forced upon women in Islam are mistaken. The Quran clearly states that there is no compulsion in Islam. The laws have been clearly laid out and it is upto the believer to put them into practice or act in negation. Now places like Saudi Arabia enforce the covering up of the head - I am against that. When a woman realizes and reflects upon the importance of modesty in a society, she will definitely dress in a modest fashion rather than dressing to reveal her adornments. As far as the bans being enforced upon the veil/Hijab in France and Germany, that simply goes to show the lack of tolerance on religious freedom. hyat from canada January 8th, 2004 It is such an irony that since 9/11 all this is surfacing it seems like all the ingredients for attacking Muslims and Islam were in the same bowl. Since 9/11 U S A started the rounding up of Muslims and imprisoning them without charges invading of Muslim countries, and now these issues of hijab. Is it possible that all the Western and European countries planned this on purpose? It is obvious that the west is afraid how fast Islam is spreading on their territories and to combat it buy banning the hijab. It will start in France and Germany and the US will find a way to follow suite. Muslims and other descent people with morals, God fearing human beings should not let this happen. They are taking our rights away why is decency not acceptable any more instead vulgarity and injustices is the norm. The day has come for average decent human beings to stand up and be counted. Stand up for our children's right to protect them from indecent assaults, let them live a life of freedom and be proud of who they are and what they want to wear (hajib or head covering) whether they are Jewish, Christians or Muslims. May God, of the believing man and women guide his people and may they prevail. Muzammil from Malaysia January 8th, 2004 This 'hijab' fiasco is actually a milestone in world history which clearly shows hypocrisy of secular Europe, particularly France. Why do I say that? Western world, including Europe preaches freedom of expression, freedom to practice religion of one's choice, human rights, religious right, and so on and so forth- all those supposed tenets of democracy. And yet, this extremist secular Europe fails to practice what it preaches when it comes to Muslim and Islam. Perhaps, in Europe's mind, human right and religious rights is applied to any mankind BUT Muslims? Look Europe! Please understand! It is religious right of a Muslim woman to wear 'hijab' as prescribed by her God (Allah). Ironically, a Christian nun also wear hijab since it is prescribed by Christianity. Why does Europe keep its mouth shut on nun's hijab then? Perhaps Europe should ban 'hijab'-wearing nun from entering government's building now? What do you think Europe? Thus, on what basis does Europe want to deny the right of Muslim woman from following the command of her God? Isn't that is a blatant violation of religious right and thus human right of Muslims? Or perhaps Muslims are not human? Seems like Europe and whoever who think similarly has become confused about the things they themselves hold dear. All those human right and democracy is now a bunch of bull...! If Europe fail to revert this foolish decision, Europe should never again preach democracy, human right, religious rights, etc, etc, anymore. Shut your mouth up, Europe! Esther from USA January 8th, 2004 N. Diamond you are right that muslim women are also raped. For example the Afghan women were raped even when they wore a veil and even when they wore a burka. I have nothing against women wearing veils. As for the Christian and muslim topic. If I lived in a muslim society I most likely would not be able to go to church or own a Bible. I might even be killed. Md Siddiqur Rahman from Bangladesh January 8th, 2004 In the present world polotical scenario muslims are being considered as the enemy of the christians. What we do, what we think , what we opined are always being treated as against them.Wearing veil is the symble of showing honour to the almighty. To me every member of a democratic country should possessed the right to do whatever he likes. We know that all western countries claimed that they believed in democracy and do not hesitate to interfere the policy of other under developed country in the name of protecting democratic right. But they often violate that.I think the westerner should get the lesson to honour religious believe specially the muslims. We the muslims required to be united first and opposed any decision taken by any country which barred the right of muslims. Chris from USA January 8th, 2004 The point is continually the constant correspondence for both men and women, particularly in Muslim countries, with required modesty and societal oppression. 900,000 Armenians were killed by the Turkish in World War I. 6 Million Jews were killed by the Nazis in world war 2, Stalin killed millions of Russians. Today Spain and France have Muslim influences precisely because of the extent of the Muslim Invasions. You have had it easy.... Souad from Morocco January 8th, 2004 I would like first to congratulate you for this precious article that contains facts and important informations, esp that it treats the 3 religions... However, you have to focus that Al Hijab is not a sign in Islam unlike Judaism and Christianity. Its an order from divine Allah, its an obligation to any woman who believes in Allah and his Prophet (SAW). France by instigating laws that ban Al Hijab will in fact create a division among its society, its more than a harm to itself, as the law allows the creation of private schools for communities, the solution will be to create schools, so there will be a school for each ethnic religious community and in stead of unifying french society it will increase the division and strengthen the gate b/w the 3 religions in stead of establishing a dialogue through daily contacts in schools...Its the first time that such law is adopted and its very dangerous bec it affects the values of democracy that were defended for decennies...I wished if Cheikh Al Azhar, Mr Tantaoui mentioned during his meeting the French home Minister that Al Hijab in Islam is not a sign but an obligation part of obedience to the creater and of our faith...and defend the liberty of women to wear what they want...As you said its not a sign of submission or lowering women, in a way i understand when the west passes this judgement on Muslim women, bec Islam valued women, gave her her rights, unfortunately, some Muslim men forget that the fact that Allah said "Arijalyu Kawamuna alan nissam" its not a praise but a liability, its not a sign of superiority since Allah addresses both "Al muminina wal muminat" which mean that both men and women are equal but its an obligation towards women and the fact that she's part of the man its to protect her and treat her in a good way. The question is do all muslim men apply what Allah ordered them to do towards women ???? A reflection is needed Thanks Souad El alami from Casablanca/Morocco muslimah from USA January 7th, 2004 N. Diamond, I agree with most of what you said. I am filled with anger whenever I hear the injustices Muslim women go through in Muslim countries. Islamic teachings do emphasize the importance of self restraint and personal responsibility for both genders. I disagree with the notion that men cannot control themselves if they see a woman in revealing clothing. On the other hand, hijab has a very good use in society. In Islam fornication and adultery are not allowed, they are big sins. So, if men and women covered their bodies according to their attributes, then this would help prevent a lot of temptations that could lead to promiscuity and adultery. It is irresponsible and unrealistic to think that the way we present ourselves in public has no affect at all. I also realize adultery and fornication will occur regardless of the way we dress and the harsh punishments in place. Some people would do what they want regardless if it right or wrong, but they will be in the minority. For example, several decades ago it was frowned upon to have children out of wedlock, so they occured less, today it is becoming the norm. Second example; in the US there used to be discency laws, that prevented women to display parts of her body in public as illegal. We still have some reimnants of that law, women in America cannot walk topless on the street, while in Canada they can. America is considered by many western countries too puritanical for this reason. I have no doubt, in the next years there would be no laws governing how naked people can be in public. Soon we will see naked people walking around in the summer and then the clothed people will be considered close minded puritanicals. N. Diamond from USA January 7th, 2004 While I am in favor of women being able to wear headscarves if they so choose for whatever reason, I am bothered by your attitude of "Women in Islam VERSUS Women in the Judao-Christian tradition". I detest the God competition between these religions and would prefer a spirit of co-operation based on agreement of the scriptures of each holy book. Also, I don't care for the premise that wearing a headscrarf will, in itself, protect women from rape, molestation, and assult. The real problem with attacks on women is not how the woman dresses, but men's lack of self control. Men are allowed to use women's dress as an excuse to misbehave. The truth is, modestly dressed women, children, and old ladies are also attacked. Even males are sometimes raped. It has nothing to do with dress. It has to do with a wicked heart condition. That is what should be addressed first and formost. Women in Islamic countries which require headcovers are also attacked and the women often pay the price in the form of honor killings while their rapests go free. Why does the families of these women not recover their honor by killing the rapist of their women? It makes no sense! The committer of the crime goes free, while the victim is victimized again. Yes, let women wear headcovers if they are moved to, but don't let the lack of one be an excuse for disrespect of women. Judaism and Christianity also encourage headcovers, but Christianity leaves the decision to the individual. Jewish women wear them in the Synogogue. Catholic women wear them in church. Some protestant sects wear them in the form of long hair as a natural cover. Some believe the headcover is a spiritual reference for women to be submissive to their husbands. Let's concentrate more on encouraging women to cover other parts of their bodies in modesty. And, let's encourage men to self control without excuse. This is the true mark of mascaulinity, while modesty is the true mark of femininity. N.Diamond AneesaBee from USA January 7th, 2004 Assulam wa alaikum everyone, Yes, it is true that wearing hijab is something muslima's "should" do, but in this day and age of terroisim and harrasement in the workplace, a muslima must do what she has to support her family, and NONE of us should judge that muslima. That choice she has made is between HER and ALLAH alone. You don't know a muslima's reasons why she might not be wearing hijab and unless we are going to join together and finacially support each of the muslima's around the world that are not wearing hijab, we are best to let ALLAH be the judge of the sister. As muslims we should learn to me more understanding and sympathetic to one another. If the muslima is a self respecting woman,carries herself well and does nothing to draw negative attention to herself (ie: wearing tight or revealing clothing, acting totally unislamic, swearing, beating her children etc), then we must not judge her. If her family is well taken care of and she is a great person, again, don't judge her for not wearing hijab. There is enough secularism going around in the world without a muslima being ridiculed for something like not wearing hijab. May Allah continue to bless you all. Best Regards, Aneesa BEE Natasha TO CHRIS from USA January 7th, 2004 HIJAB IS GREAT, I love it. Chris: You do not know what you are talking about. I am a MUSLIM WOMAN/GIRL and I love HIJAB. Sure, it's hard to wear at times when living in a corrupt world and American society but at the end of the day, I'm glad I wear it. And it was MY decision. In fact, my family thinks it's unnecessary. Christianity is not OUTLAWED in those countries. Think before you speak. My mother is CHRISTIAN...she lived in Pakistan for over 15 years!!! Many of my classmates there were Christian including my best friend. When I went to Saudi Arabia for Umrah ALHAMDULILLAH, there were TONS of NONMUSLIMS there in Jeddah. I could tell...because they were excused from wearing a veil and walked around looking arrogant and sticking out like sore thumbs with their hair and tight...yes tight pants. Again.....THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK and bring your ideas to the IC message boards some time...id like to hear ur viewpoints and im sure others would too.... muslimah from USA January 7th, 2004 Chris, you definitely need more education. None of the Muslims you mentioned come close to the amount of atrocities Christians have done to Muslims in recent years and in the past centuries. By the way, Christians do visit and live in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and except with Saudi Arabia the other countries have churches in their countries. Furthermore, Christians and Jews lived among Muslims as a minority for over a millenium, and were treated very well. If you studied history more you would know that Christians have had much more intolerance toward other religious minorities than Muslims. As to Muslims in Indonesia and India being required to read Arabic shows you have no idea of what you are talking about. Arabic is the language of the Qur'an, unchanged for over 1400 years, so all Muslims who want to be more knowledgable in the religion have to learn Arabic. The richness of the Arabic language is unequaled, and most languages in the world do not have corresponding words to adequately translate this language, so the best way to understand the Qur'an is to learn its language. As to arabic customs, I disagree that Muslims from India and Indonesia have Arabic customs. Most of their customs are native, their dress in is mostly of their native traditions, their foods are native, they speak their own languages and have their own cultures. Of course, they have some Arabic influence as Islam originates from the Arabs. Any how, what is wrong with Arabic language and culture? Finally, regarding your animosity against hijab, you are entitled to your opinion and I am too. What I find offensive is to see women demeened in the tight tank tops and miniskirts they wear to the delight of men in the streets. I ask what makes them distinct from prostitutes, they dress the same way. I do not believe imitating prostitutes is a sign of freedom and equality. Fatima from Morocco January 7th, 2004 I wonder why when an Islamic country wants to make its way from dictatorship to democracy, one of the first signs of freedom to show up is the abolition of the dressing woman obligations. Women in the streets without headscarf is taken as an evidence of respected women rights. halim aziz from MALAYSIA January 7th, 2004 your article simply trying to prove the existance of hijab and veil in judaisam and christianity, but they are not interested to this argument. they simply hate anything that is islamic.they couldnt care if it can protect their wives, daughters, their mother and others.there is locks in their heart. it is good muslim countries never intend to ban nuns head covers. that is western democracy, human right and religious freedom... Chris from USA January 6th, 2004 The article misses the point that both Hijab and Veil are both offesnive and a moral affront to the essential freedoms guaranteed for every woman. The question must be asked, can women in a majority of islamic countries refuse to wear their veil if they choose? Furthermore, amongst those decrying the actions of Turkey and France, with regard to religious expression, have you not played advocate constantly and curiously to the efforts of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan among others, who kill Christians, and in Saudi Arabia have outlawed Christianity for natives, in Pakistan and Afghanistan everyone, including visitors? Take issue with this then, in light of your moral uprightness. Sumaya O'Grady from USA January 6th, 2004 I totally advocate modesty in dress, and think Muslim women should be able to wear hijab if they wish. However, there is a key point that the author did not address. In many Muslim countries, the women do not have a choice; they MUST wear the veil or they are punished. This is why people see the veil as opression. If being veiled or not is a choice, then it's not opression. Each person's relationship with Allah is their own private affair, and how a woman interprets the Qur'an and Sunnah about how much veiling is required should be left her own judgement and conscience. Therefore, the analogy with the Catholic nuns doesn't work. The nuns CHOOSE to wear the veil as part of entering the convent and taking their vows. Muslim women often do not have a choice. Also, the author greatly oversimplifies the reasons for sex crimes against women. To properly address this problem would fill volumes. Shouldn't be we blaming the perpetrators of sex crimes, rather than the victims? Modesty and mutual respect are important for BOTH genders. As a Muslim woman, I dream about living in a world where both women AND men took complete responsibility for their sexuality. shirley thomas from usa January 6th, 2004 i meant also to add one funny thing, i was asked whats wrong with your head,while wearing scarf, i said same thing that has always been only now i have the since to cover it ha ha shirley thomas from usa January 6th, 2004 asalam alekam, brothers and sisters in islam, i must say that i choose as a muslim to wear the hijab although,im the only one within like 250 miles or so that i have ever seen .im not in a muslim populated area.yes,its gotten many stares,and many suprized looks, many unapproving looks, but i chose to do this to stand up for my Allah .I think this is a privelege,and doesnt inslave me in anyway,as its my choice to do so.ive virtually been disowned by my family over my islam now for like 1 year and little more,but allah is with me through it all. there seems to be enough nudity to choke us all out there already.that only causes people to look at the outside appearance first, instead of getting to know the inner person. thank you, numahil now Mudasser Hussain Siddiqui from India January 6th, 2004 salam, i think that this article has given me us an opportunity to not only retreate our commitment towards following the religion of Islam but has also exposed the oppressive paradigm of other philosophies. Muslims all over should come out and protest this in whatever way possible, may Allah guide us to th eright path. Allah Hafiz Mohammed Kareemullah from KSA January 6th, 2004 Excellent artilce. Islamic sharia aims to protect every sect of people, society and every aspect of the life - One can find the moral behind it is " live and let others live PEACEFULLY", which is possible only and only when we follow Islamic Sharia.Wearing Hijab/Veil definetly protects women from evil and removes the evil thoughts from their innner thinking too. It's fact proven by your figures given as one assualt every sixth minute in Canada while almost nill in Saudi Arabia where the rule is strictly following the Sharia. Let the Muslims follow Islam through the divine revealation THE HOLY QURAN and the Sunnah of Prphet Mohammed Peace Be Upon Him and correct our lives accordingly before we present the benefits of Islamic way of life to non muslims. The Lord Thine True God from The United States Of America January 5th, 2004 Inasmuch that both hijab and veil are both oppressive and ridiculous, outward manifestations of a mans inner insufficiency, projected upon his 'property' no doubt attained through forced marriage or reliance on material and other superficial means, the point of this article is wholly mistaken. Women are oppressed in Muslim countries to the proportion of such countries' insistence in their women being made to wear Hijab. The correlation is direct and unmistakable. Furthermore the tendency, for particular Egyptians, who mutilate their women, and Arabs, who mutilate everyone, to enjoin women to cover, stems from the fact that swarth men are entranced by a covered women, as a perverse attraction for that which is hidden, yet ultimately his. Cesar Castro from USA/MEX January 5th, 2004 Umm Muhammad what are you talking about? In America Muslim women can wear anything they want with out interference from the government. I know at my work there are several Muslim women. Most of them choose not to wear Hijab and Veil but some do wear them, at least the Hijab. In America Muslims are protected, Freedom of religioun is one of our most important rights. Not say that there isn't any discrimination against Muslims but all religious groups do suffer for example Jewish Temples have been burn down and even some Christian Churches have also been damage by GOD haters. Umm the article refers to Europe not the US. By the way there are Christian Women at my church that do wear the head covering, they do it not because they are submissive to a particular man but out of respect to God and the Church. Get your facts straight Umm and quit believing all that Politized-Islamic-Propraganda it will get you nowhere. OPEN YOUR MIND Umm Muhammad, WAKE UP!!!!! By the way I am not a Bush sympathizer. A.Ali from Canada January 5th, 2004 The present day style of hijab was concocted by an Iranian mullah in the early 70's and became popular as a protest symbol against the Iranian Gov't at the time. It was modelled after headgear worn by lebanese catholic nuns according to the mullah, when interviewed. Hijab, meaning headcover, used to take on different styles according to culture. These various styles, some centuries old, are now at risk of being forever lost because of a 'hood' invented a few decades ago and ironically inspired by a catholic nun. Muslim women are being duped into thinking this is Islamic. Wearing modest headgear is Islamic. Wearing headgear inspired by a catholic nun has nothing to do with Islam. The real intent of standardised headgear is to remove culture and individuality in order to control one's behaviour. Originality and independent thought are the greatest threat to these clerics and 'scholars'. Furthermore, the articles' author and so many other like minded muslims seem obsessed with statistics showing women being assualted in the west, and other western ills. Well, at least western media are keeping statistics. Where are the statistics showing muslim women being regularly abused by their husband (like the tenants that lived upstairs from my in-laws...), or the 13 year old muslim girl forced to marry and become a slave to a 49 year old man (like the child I used to sponser)? Lastly, I think these scholars would serve us better trying to figure out why, in this day and age, so many residents in Bam, Iran and other places in the Islamic world are still living in mud huts. arifin muftie from indonesia January 5th, 2004 good article, very informative and clear. thank a lot for what you have done. Nazli Harith from Malaysia January 5th, 2004 When a lady choose to cover her head & body, why others bother? Does she has right to believe what she wants to believe and practicing what she believes? Sometimes I think the full covered ladies more liberal than self-claimed liberated nations. Simply because they not complaning if you choose to walk naked down the street!Besides, no Man or God could force any ladies to cover their hair.God only makes rules-he will not perform lightning-strike on those people who not following his rules. Kelly from USA January 5th, 2004 I am not Muslim but I found this article very informative. In the USA religious freedoms are protected, including how we dress. Umm Muhammad from America January 5th, 2004 Americans should change their mentality. A muslim woman is a slave of no one but her Lord. Because of that America can't buy her. Influence her and tell her how to think or act. The devout Muslim woman will not be a puppet for American culture. She will think for herself using the Holy Quran and Sunnah of our beloved Nabi (prayers and blessings be upon him) as her guide. American culture hates that it can not buy the Muslim woman and wants to destroy the Muslim Nation! Start with the woman. The woman is the foundation of the Nation. If you can strip her of her dignity, shyness, and self-respect, if you can control and influence her mind you are on your way to succesfully destroying the Muslim nation. OPEN YOUR MIND AMERICA, WAKE UP!!!!! Noora from usa January 5th, 2004 Thank you for this article. Although not all aspects of hijab were covered, it does show one advantage to it. To those who disagree, I say that Islam should be looked at as a whole and if this is done, one would know the many restrictions placed upon Muslim men, making this religion very FAIR. Islam allows so many things for Muslim women that othe religions do not, why would wearing a head scarf prevent us from be "liberated" and doing what we please (with regard to work and school, etc)? Hijab is a modest protection against the weaker gender: males. Abdur Razzaq from usa January 5th, 2004 Oh now this is ridiculous! After reading a few more comments I am nauscous! One who is undisciplined, carefree, lackadasical, irresponsible, etc will look upon all of the principles of Islam and say they are oppressive. Why must we stop what we're doing 5 times a day to pray? Why must we travel to Saudi Arabia and jostle with 3 million people at a time all trying to accomplish the same rituals at the same time? FAST ... for 30 days ... sunup to sunset?! All of these issues can be looked upon as oppression or extremism, if you does not have proper eemaan. Not wearing the hijab does not make one a disbeliever, but you establish a multitude of sins upon yourself which will be waiting to meet you at your Reckoning. And consequently men are ordered to lower their gaze and guard their modesty as well - and MANY are FALLING SHORT! Many men also drag their lower garments and shave their beards - these individuals should check themselves before checking these women. May Allah proptect us and His deen. Abdur Razzaq from usa January 5th, 2004 As salaamu alaikum. When I read about women who question the need for hijab and proper covering, it disgust me. My ex-wife left Islam basically because she could not dress "freely"! What kind of non-sense is this? Some of these feminist think that their future success lies in "liberation" - removing the hijab. Thereby you anger Allah, you DO lose modesty, and degrade yourself. Do you want to be a disbeliever? Is their standard of dress and their habits better than what was explained and displayed by the Prophet and his Companions? Women are not subjugated by hijab-rather-they should be uplifted and self-confidant because of this. Will hijab hinder you from excelling in any field of study? No. However, we have been infected with Ahlil Ahwa-people who want to follow their desires. When this short-term life passes, and you meet Allah what will be your argument? Entin from New Zealand January 5th, 2004 Salamu'alaikum, Alhamdulillah, With this information I hope both muslims and non muslims understand better about the hijab. In fact, I found many brothers and sisters do not have enough knowledge to explain it to non-muslim. Using the hijab in daily life can simply encourage of many people (non-muslims) around me to know about Islam and that is part of da'wah too!, and every muslim should do the da'wah in whatever and whenever they live as it is written in Al-Qur'an. Keep it up with good information. Jazakumullah khairan. BNAK from USA January 5th, 2004 ASAK, Wearing of Hijab is mandated by the Divine Decree of Allah (swt) and nobody can question His Wisdom. It's an Islamic law and you need to follow it, period. Those sisters who do not practice Hijab are answerable to Allah when their deeds are brought to account on the day of Judgement. Those unfortunate sisters who take Hijab as restrainment of their Freedom need to talk to those sisters who wear hijab willingly. Thanks! Jermaine from USA January 5th, 2004 Does it surpise anyone that France has banned the Hijab in schools? If it does it shouldn't. As Muslim grow in numbers in Europe we shouldn't be surpise when Islamic traditions are banned or limited. Islamic schools for Muslim children is the solution. Bibi Amina Khan from USA January 5th, 2004 Covering of the head and dressing modestly is a comand from Allah (SWT). When we do something for Allah, He (SWT) will protect us. Mir M. Ali from USA January 5th, 2004 Well done, infomative Feroz from India January 5th, 2004 This is the weapon for the woman Manuel from Spain January 5th, 2004 When young adults have not the freedom of deciding about wearing or not headscarf, this can't be taken as a sign of protecting their youth, but simply as a sign of lack of freedom and discrimination against woman, as only women must cover their heads under Muslim rules. Men have only the obligation of controlling over what women should or not should wear. Barkat from Pakistan January 5th, 2004 This article's attempt to make a distinction among various religions regarding hijab is nothing more than literal. On close scrutiny all religions are biased against women. Different words have been used to camouflage the desire of man to exercise his brute authority over woman; for example, the author's insistence on the world modesty. Why, in the first place, women are required to be modest unlike their male counterparts? The term 'modesty' connotes humbleness, submission or 'lowering the gaze'. If a woman does not wear hijab, it is considered indecent akin to the prostitution, inviting attack in a surrounding without 'protection'. Now, what about the lowering gaze of men? What kind of rituals are in place to enforce that? Basically, what right those people have to harass women only on the basis of her not wearing hijab? And, how in American universities hijab will protect if a woman is found alone in a desolate place? The issue of sexual harassment is all over place whether a woman wears hijab or not. In pakistan a woman was raped in front of a village council (you might have read the news), which have passed this ruling to address an offence. This hijab issue is a further attempt to keep women under strict authority, completly dependant on men. If men become enlightened, treating women on equal footing, whether a woman wears a hijab will not be an issue. On a sheer look at a woman will not sexually arouse a man to undertake an offence against her. For men, women are epitome of sex, unless they are hidden under cover. They are not fellow workers, friends or normal human beings who have, like men, certain feelings and freedom. Your way of thinking leads us to a Talibanised world where not only hijab but a complete veil will be the perfect solution to resolve this fabricated man-woman problem. Women will be invisible, a non-entity without any senses. I wonder whether you have read something on colonialism and the way it treats the invisible colonised people. Osman Yuunus from Ghana January 5th, 2004 This is a brilliant expose. We must realise however that the so-called secularism is only a means to suppress Islam. If Europe, and for that matter the West, are serious about secularism, then they must abolish Saturday and Sunday as rest days, the school calendar should be changed and of course christmas, easter, assumption, assension etc should be removed from the list of public holidays. Then can we believe that they are geniune in their quest for secularism. Aamir Ihsan from Pakistan January 5th, 2004 When one accepts Islam then there is no freedom for him to move. He has to obey the rules of ALLAH and ALLAH'S MESSENGER (pease & blessings of ALLAH be upon him). Yes there is compulsion once you have entered Islam. Not only in the issue of Hijaab & Veil, a muslim must follow and obey the teachings of Islam (Quran & Sunnah). And this is the only test of a muslim in this world to obey his lords whether he likes or not. Adam Ibrahim Muhammad from Nigeria. January 4th, 2004 The issue is not that the French Government or any of the other Dagut Governments are not aware of this basic facts in the scriptures. On the contrary they only want to imposed the paganistic dogma, the dominant culture of the Romans, which is further sanction by the present day Jews(Zionists) in their continual denial and cover up of Allah's message. They know it is wrong but by their nature they are always bent in doing the wrong things. I only hope that the citezens of these countries realise where the governments are leading them to, and rise using all means to see that they stop this obnoxious law taking effect or where it is currently operational(like in Turkey, Did I hear you say TURKEY? Yes in Turkey) it is brought to an end. The unfortunate thing again is that these citezens are being systimatically brainwash into thinking like the government. It is my sincere wish that articles like this one and others will be written and distributed accross wide spectrum of the West. This will go a long way to arresting this menace of the twenty first century that is threatening to doom all of the West. Mohammed Shaaban from kenya January 4th, 2004 I agree with the Islamic reasoning in support of hijab thou tend to share the same opnion with my friend (views attached) on the complete covering of face, hands and feet by women. Anne Kimiti is my former workmate and we exchange various ideas and articles of interest. ----- Forwarded by Mohammed Shaaban 05/01/2004 08:55 ----- [email protected] 05/01/2004 06:54 To: [email protected] cc: Subject: Head covering and the freedom of religion Happy New Year Mo! I hope the season was good for you. I've read with much interest the 'veil' e-mail and I was quite enlightened!! Accordingly, I guess every woman (even Christians) should veil her head!!........and that includes me!! However, due to the changing trends in the world, this has not been the case. I personally have no problem with the hijab..........but I find it rather insulting to some of these women that they should have their whole bodies covered up (including veiling their eyes, gloves, socks......I think this is too fanatical) Well, I don't mean any offence, but that's just my opinion. Hope you have a blessed year. khaled anam from pakistan January 4th, 2004 In the Quran Allah says,"there is no compulsion in religion",so it is totally a personal choice if anyone wants to put on the hijab or wants to discard it and like all the fundamental rights of mankind ,this too is an independant and personal right and choice to be made by all individuals concerned. Nabilah from Kuwait January 4th, 2004 Asalamulaykum, as an Muslim American raised in the country of freedom I grew up to know for a fact that isalm gave women the rights way before anyone said or thougt of women. one of these rights where the hijab. It not only protected her and vield her beauty but also gives her respect she thanks god for everyday. To wear the hijab to me was a blessing from allah. At the age of 11 I was totaly convinced that the hijab and that I have ben wearing for the past two years was sent to allah only for fortification on all women. I felt that allah was protecting me everysingle day when i went to school with the hijab. and I will never regret the day I wore it, but the day when the goverment bans me from wearing it. So for you who read this and think that this beautiful simble of love, protection and modesty is an opression think agine. S.T from Canada January 4th, 2004 This has been quite an interesting article and I feel that it should be printed out in many newspapers across the world because not a lot of people know the meaning of the hijab. Overall, great article! N.M. Ahmed from Canada January 4th, 2004 Excellent article. Gives a complete history and rationale for the hijab. Jazak Allah. Mulimah from USA January 4th, 2004 Nida are you Muslim? I am a Muslim woman and I wear the hijab whether I like it or not, I am Allah's servant so I have to obey His commands. It is important for Muslims to highlight the hypocracy of western democracies and their great freedoms and rights. Their bigotry has always shown their ideals to be very flimsy. I do not understand why there are not more of Muslim leaders speaking up in the media. All I see on the major medias are these so called experts on Islam who only spew hatred and ignorance against Islam while the Muslim leaders are silent, why? If the media does not give them time on air then they should loudly protest and do something about it, instead of being shyly silent. Mahmoud al-Maqdisy from The Great North (Canada) January 4th, 2004 I read the "against" comments and honest to God I am revolted. Especially on comments like on France, "This country was founded by Christians not Muslims" What kind of racist and inane comment is this? It reminds me of Hitler's Germany, when it was said: "Deutschland ist fur Deutsche Arya!" Germany is for Geman Aryans. So, this means that France is a country for French Seculars only, anybody else should go to their ancestral lands: Jews to Israel, Catholics to Vatican and Muslims to Saudi Arabia!? Is democracy an oxymoron? How could somebody belonging to the civilized world have such morbidly feudal principles? Did somebody say the Muslims were backwood? Ms Karen Keffir should redifine for herself the concept of freedom and democracy: if it did not include every sector of the society could it be still called freedom or democracy? I don't think so. Therefor, think again Ms Karen Keffir. To wear or not to wear hijab, this is the question...how sad that the modern humanity deals with such a basic human rights issue. Better let us ask: To let or not to let millions of children face starvation in the third millenium, this is the question. What wears the woman next to us is none of anybody's business but her own, as long as she did not reveal more than this society is ready to accept...unfortunately, in the place I live if a woman shed everything except her thong she could appear in public as such. Now, should there be a restriction for overdressing oneself? How moronic is that, Ms Karen Keffir?! Thank you and God speed. Ambata from usa January 4th, 2004 In response to other comments, hijab is not a fashion or merely a cultural practice. Religions do not modernize, western cultures put pressure on people to attempt to modernize their religion, but religions cannot change. The manner in which hijab is typically worn comes from Arab traditional styles but in my personal life I have seen many different styles of wearing the scarf. So called liberation tells us that we are oppressed if we cover, never mind the millions of women who choose to wear it on their own. In fact, some Muslim women are persuaded by their husbands or families not to wear it. Very few Muslim men would marry a woman who does not cover and then force her to cover, he would likely choose a woman who already does, that way he knows she wears it for the right reasons. When I started wearing hijab I was single and I lived alone in my own apartment, so who forced me? Many Muslim women feel liberated after they wear the hijab, not before. This is because you no longer feel like an object. And let it be known that hijab goes beyond covering the hair, hijab means to dress and behave modestly. To say that Muslim women who wear hijab are oppressed is ridiculous. People are always labelling us but never actually aproaching us to get our say on the issue. Next time you see a Muslim woman, you should ask her why she wears hijab instead of assuming that you know. cristina mariam from Canada January 4th, 2004 Salaam: - What is written in the Holy Qur'an and Hadith clearly is mandatory. Therefore, in response to one brother, this is not mainly a "fashion" or ethnic belonging, and yes, it is a symbol for Islam, such as belonging to the Muslim ummah. - as well, someone mentioned those in the end are dubious statistics; a while ago I checked a women's association in Vancouver on sexual harrassment, I found one same stat (1 woman is raped in North America every 6 minutes). - all the best, brothers and sisters in Islaam. Masalaama, cristina mariam. Fawaz from Wash.DC January 4th, 2004 I'm really not against wearing the scarf.I think all of us at one time in our life will decide wether we want to practice our Deen(religion) or just pretend we are Muslims.It really is a matter of time when a woman or a man decide to live by the Koran.I have lived in America most of my life and have done it all.Now that I've turned 40,it's my decision and no one else to start practicing my faith of Islam.I am starting to ask mt daughter what they think about covering up,but I never push them too.I think it will come to them and they will choose to cover up on their own.May Allah bless us all and make us victorious over the Zionists Bruno from France January 4th, 2004 Why did Shirin Ebadi go to pick up her Peace Nobel Award without a headscarf? Because she wanted to show that part of her fight for Iranian women rights involved the right to not cover woman head. Riaz Quadir from France January 4th, 2004 From everything that we are witnessing it is evident that Islam has invoked great fear among European and the American nations. As any psychologist will tell you, one of the principal sources of fear is reprisal. The West has built up such a great debt of inhuman deeds against much of the world that it greatly fears the reprisal that naturally ought to follow. It is like the fear that grips a white man when he sees any black man approaching. Under such conditions the minds devices whatever it can to justify the "evil" of the "other" and thereby justify destroying the other. Islam has become the other and any means to destroy, demean or humiliate it is justified. The Hijab is one such symbol whose denigration will serve as a symbolic victory against Islam. But as the wise know the irony of evil is that it always ends up destroying itself. haleema from usa January 4th, 2004 Muslims should be very concerned about these law changes. As a recently reverted muslim, it is very frustrating that the hijab is not looked upon as a positive image. I recently graduated from a private vocational college that would not allow the muslim sisters to wear hijab w/our uniforms. The muslims here in the west should be concerned that it could happen here. Roberta from USA January 4th, 2004 It seems an inconspicuous way of trying to put a damper on Islam...like picking on the women and hijab to get at other "feared Muslim extremist"...(linking them together) Like if they can curb the women, then that would curb the men...?? Crazy. I think it is a cheap shot at trying to oppress the religion of Islam from spreading. Nida from united states January 4th, 2004 i dont like it. i mean we r suppose to cover r head so we do it. u cant ban it. it's not fair. i really dont like this idea. i really dont. i hate to say this but guess wut u guys r not being fair to us. i hate this idea. n i wish it never happens. i mean i wanna wear scarf on my head and u guess just... i dont no wut to say but i dont like this. Mustafa from Canada January 4th, 2004 I agree with the fact that this law is unfair, and against freedom of religion, but I was wondering if thisi law applied to madrassas and muslim schools? Abdul Azeez from USA January 4th, 2004 Now its time for other countries to free their female residents. Give them freedom by asking them to remove thier clothes. Let the men enjoy. Also ask the Christian Nuns to remove their head scarf. Ask them to give up their modesty. Oh mother Terisa, lucky you escaped. Arshad Ahmed from USA January 4th, 2004 Assalamu Alaikum Brothers and sisters in Islam, We muslims are trying to protect our culture and rich Islamic values, Almamdullillah. This is the right time to defend our religion. But as a muslims we have to spend a lot of time cleaning our own backyard. This is my observation and opinion. I am a muslim from a non-muslim country living in USA. 1. I have seen a lot of people wearing hijab in my own country which is not Islamic state. 2. I have seen majority of muslim sisters wearing hijab/niqab here in the United States. 3. I guess, same thing with other countries such as UK, France, Australia etc; But, have you ever seen Pakistani ladies wearing hijab, except very few?? NO. Here in US, you go to any gatherings and you'll find Pakistani Ladies dressing like Models. Proof: Watch any cricket match played at pakistan. But, there are few good muslim sisters who wear niqab. May Almighty Allah protect their family, thier Iman and grand them success here and hereafter. Now Turkey. Being a muslim in Muslim country, can you wear hijab? What about Eygpt, Iraq and other muslim nations? Do they wear hijab? If yes, how many people are wearing and what is the ratio? I can go on writing but i dont want to do that. Instead i urge all Muslim brothers and sisters to practise Islam whole heartedly and urge your mothers, wifes, sisters, daughters to wear hijab. Note: What do you think about the verdict given by Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar university regarding this ban. Corrupt ARAB rulers and some muslims are the real enemies of Islam. We have enemies within. Ma Salama Deb from USA January 4th, 2004 This is a wonderful article! Subhanah Allah! I found this article quite interesting concerning the Catholics and Jews wearing of the veil. I had some prior knowledge but this really helps a great deal. If we are truely "free" countries then more information as such should be made public. I would be interested in having pamphlets to distribute with this information. I am often asked about my reasoning behind wearing the hijaab. A pamphlet of such would help people to understand that Muslims aren't so unusual. Jamil Brownson from Canada January 4th, 2004 Do clothes make the person? Some still think so, thus fashion. Hijab/Turban is an ethnic fashion, an outer symbol of identity more than religion, which is a personal issue. Religious freedom is the opportunity to worship whatever, however, whenever, without fear of censure. But to make public display, such as a fashion of Arab headress for men or Hijab for women contradicts and undermines freedom, as it pressures others of that persuasion to follow fashion or be censured for not doing so. Many progressive Jews have found a spiritual reality that also frees them from old ethno-cultural baggage, such as strict controls on women. Christian nuns have largely abandoned their Medieval costumes for more modern garb. Most modern Muslim women also want their freedom to choose whether or not to wear ethno-cultural fashion, or be free from it. While the hijab/turban has become a symbol of anti-Western attitude, it also remains more an ethno-cultual fashion than anything necessarily associated withTrue Islam--spirituality, not outward display of ritual or other symbols. Jamil Brownson from Canada January 4th, 2004 Old fashioned is not Saliifiya! Most conservative Muslims supporting Hijab are poor historians. Hijab has nothing to do with Islam, at the core of which is Tauheed--unity of all existance, and a Qur'an that "lives in the heart". To focus on externalities distorts and deprives Islam of its spiritual essence. John William from USA January 4th, 2004 Hijab is a piece of fabric can already make a nation shaken. Ibrahim Yahya from Malaysia January 4th, 2004 Every muslim woman is obliged to wear it otherwise she commits sin. This is the law of Allah. Any human being who prevents it will be responsible for the sins committed and such being will go to hell. Ramal from Italy January 4th, 2004 Women should be free of wearing headscarf or not. In countries run under islamic laws, the headscarf is an obligation, not a woman option, which is the evidence of its use as sign of control and oppresion. R.Ali from United Arab Emirates January 4th, 2004 Islam is the religion which is FULLY according to the human nature. If we follow Islam properly, deep inside, we will feel the true satisfaction. Words cannot explain the TRUE FEELINGS, one has to go thru it in order to understand it. A more detailed analysis of the Hijab (and many more commonly asked questions) can be seen at the following link: http://www.irf.net/book2.zip Thanks. Imran Ahmed from USA January 3rd, 2004 Excellent article despite the desire to shift focus to the protection of women and the dubious statistics at the end. We call ourselves civilized, yet our knowledge is so shallow, we appear to still be in an age of ignorance. REMEMBER: ALLAH (SWT) deems it obligatory and I dare not question HIS commands. Anyone who thinks differently and disregards HIS Commands should ponder the punishment HE has meted out to generations past. Sri from Singapore January 3rd, 2004 To Karen Kaffir Just to inform you that I have been to Saudi Arabia 3 times and I, along with thousands of women (Muslim or non-Muslims) who visit the cities, even the Muslim women to the Holy Cities of Makkah and Medinah, do not cover our FACES, which is acceptable. What we do cover is our whole body and hair. ibrahem mosa from Ghana January 3rd, 2004 Something I was thinking of all the time.Nuns wear it.It is no problem.They wear it in universities.Okay! But when some Muslims wear the same thing it becomes such a fuss.This defies human logic.And coming from so called civilised countries incredible. salma saeed from USA January 3rd, 2004 I am a muslim and cover my head.. i teach in USA In Islam... in Quran... it says if you do not want to do the things reqired by Allah.. ask Allah for forgiveness... Allah may forgive... but sin against people Allah will not forgive..... I do not understand .. why would a civilized ..educated... leader of freedom... ban hijjab... what is the diffrence between them and the terrorist... who tell women they must cover.... the way it should be ... that donot tell women to cover or not to cover.... let them have a choice...i wear hijjab because i want to.. I want to please God.... Muslim get what they deserve... nobody is coming forth and telling the world about good things in .... Islam is peace...modern... and a religion of choice.....and the terrorist groups that name themslves with Islam... should be rooted out... they have given bad name to Islam.... if they want ot make a point they should protest and get united in their cause. May Allah be with us acklima from trinidad January 3rd, 2004 Young adults wearing hijab is a sign of protecting their youth. Azad from US January 3rd, 2004 Salam to ALL, 1. It doesn't matter what the Jews and Christians do to their beliefs and their life styles. A muslim is supposed to obey Allah and His messenger (SAW). 2. Any authority, whether it is a dictator, a democratically elected President, UN, US or any other power, he/she is NOT above the commandment of Allah, period. 3. Internal affairs of Muslims are outside the scope of unbelievers. And this must be known and clear to them. 4. Being 'Civilized' is to submit our will to the will of Allah, not going against it. So, discover Islam and become real civilized. Thanks! Fadzil Mohd Taib from Singapore January 3rd, 2004 In Singapore, the government makes it compulsory for government school students to wear the school uniform while in school. For female students this would mean no headscarves and the short skirt is the norm. Requests by the Muslim parents for the headscarves for their daughters in schools has been turned down time and time again by the government in the guise of "national integration" and the longing to share "common space". Someone comment, "while countres in the West are seeking strength in diversication, Singapore is practising complacency in uniformity." Singapore would do better to recognise our diversity as a strength than to pretend that everyone is the same. usher from australia January 3rd, 2004 I guess this also means that nun's are going to be barred from wearing the veil aswell because by furthering their knowledge in their chosen religion they are being educated which then brings into question whether churh is classed as an educational institution and if so will they be asked to remove the veil while practising? Michael Abdul-Hakim from USA January 3rd, 2004 We as beleivers in Allah and his Messenger are obligated to come together and protect the rights of women and our own against any system that trys to eat away at our G'd given rights and this is one of our rights, and if that right is taken we can see today what will happen to our women by looking at some of the sexual assaults of women in civilized societies of this day. H.A. from Transgressor County, USA January 2nd, 2004 Well, it's time someone civilize the Godless,infidellic and vouyerstic citizens of the so called "progressive" society. People of the stone age were more progressive. I feeling a butterfly in my stomach thinking about it. They (the citizens of the west) forget to see how "LOW" they have become. Want to know the fruits of secularism???? - well, here is your answer. The chiristian priests even can't control themselves; they are molesting little kids in countless heads. Britney spears is even affecting the preists. Anyone disagrees w/ me? Secularism = Fascism = communism = moronism = chimpism = vouyerism = molestism. What tremendous penalties they are accumulating!!! They are too drunk to realize it. Hulkly sad!!! Let us pray for the lost creatures of the west. Zubair Khan from USA January 2nd, 2004 Assallamualaikum sister Karen was talking about "think the author is trying to skew the intentions of France - The law passed in France also bars Jews from wearing skullcaps and Christians from wearing large crosses." but in a way jews and christians should also be against the laws and fight for their freedom of religion. all the religions should step to fight against it. by wearing a hijab or skull cap or cross u are not hurting anyone. there is no clear justification why these young kids regardless of which faith they are to take off what is seen as religious. By wearing these things they would be giving positive influence to others through being better muslims, jews or christians. inshallah allah knows best. jazakalah shazmin from us January 2nd, 2004 i love wearing the hijab. i think that by wearing the hijab has given me so much recept by other people. And it has given me self confidence. i love it. i will pray for all of you in eroupe. May allah help all of you Sameer Abdul from Canada January 2nd, 2004 ASAK, I completely agree with this article and believe that the legislation banning the Hijab which is to be brought forward is the result of Islamophobia which has gripped the West ever since september 11. Moreover, people who are planning to ban the Hijab because they feel it is a symbol of oppression should take a close look at the condition of women in their societies.The West has reduced women to mere sex symbols.In the name of freedom women are exploited.Just take a look at any magazine which is on sale at the newsagents and you will know what I am trying to say.They are made to walk wearing the skimpiest of clothing on the ramps in the name of promoting fashion.The West has disgraced women for a long time now and treats them as have been reduced to mere sex symbols for commercial purposes.Why then would you need a woman to sell a shaving cream.What has woman got to do with the shaving cream?The very people who talk about women's rights and freedom have been exploiting them. It is about time the women, especially in the West, think for themselves and realise that they are being taken for a ride. Yahya Bergum from USA January 2nd, 2004 Assalamu alaikum. Personally I see nothing wrong with quoting various writings that most Jews or Christians would consider to be sacred - when in the course of encouraging them to act in the same manner that we ourselves would hope to act, in submission to Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala). In writings considered sacred to Jews or Christians, I am also referring to such writings that are not actually within but are consistent with Torah, Zabur and Gospel. Also, in sending down an Arabic Qur'an, was the Lord of the Worlds unmindful with respect to the "countermanding nature" of some of the ayat found for example in the fifth surah? Even during our attempts to form a society of those who believe in the Qur'an (Qur'an 5:51) are we not also to encourage non-believers in the Qur'an to compete with us, as if in a race to goodness (Qur'an 5:48)? Are we not to encourage them to be mindful of at least some of the writings for example that Christians themselves would consider to be sacred (Qur'an 5:47)? Are we then to expect that those who have struggled in the cause of Allah will be denied their reward - simply because they continued to hold fast to early teachings than we did (Qur'an 5:69 and Qur'an 2:62)? Furthermore, are we not to encourage Jews and Christians to remember Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) - regardless of the names by which they might remember the Lord God Almighty (Qur'an 22:40)? And does not Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) use one people to limit the religiously motivated excessiveness of another (Qur'an 22:40)? Will not Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) help those who help Allah's cause (Qur'an 22:40)? Personally I think we might wish to consider whether or not our own individual actions, words and beliefs will be considered to have been in conformance with Islam (Qur'an 3:85). Ameena Abawi from us January 2nd, 2004 An excellent article, specially that it traces the judaeo-christian tradition of head covering. May Allah (swt) reward the writer with the best in this world and hereafter, Inshallah ameen Karen Kaffir from USA January 2nd, 2004 I think the author is trying to skew the intentions of France - The law passed in France also bars Jews from wearing skullcaps and Christians from wearing large crosses. It would have been interesting to see the author answer the question of Women in Saudi Arabia - are they allowed to wear a scarf? No - they have to be covered from head to toe. France is a secular nation. The country was founded by Christians, not Muslims. If Muslim girls want to wear a scarf, they have the right to do so in Muslim countries. Why doesn't the author complain that Christian women can not show their faces in Saudi Arabia? Kiambu Abdul-Malik Akhdarr from USA [NYC] January 2nd, 2004 Asalaamu-Aliakum. This article really says it all and more about Hijab and modest dress but modesty is also a double edge sword and Men must abide by it just as srongly or the purpose if it will give way to immorality and sexual disease. To say that each person should create their own moral standars and go by them is no more reasonable to say that all Pedestrians and Motorist should make their own traffic laws and go by them---YOU KNOW what the result would be in either case. They will say "If you got it flaunt it" and that "The body is a work of art,why hide it?" But what they must realize is that a work of art must be displayed in a Museum or a gallery and not a sewar or a gutter. So to Hijab and modest dress is most respectable, for if a women dresses and behaves in a sexually alluring manner she has no right to complain about the onslaught of Womanizers who constantly harass her for the sole purpose of her behavior. Most women of this calbre fail to realize that when you dress and behave in this manner,you will likely attract someone whom you dont want to attract. Some women treat their bodies like sacred temples while others treat thier bodies like an amusment park. ZUHARYAH from UNITED STATES January 2nd, 2004 SALAAM. ALHAMDULILLAH FOR ALL CIRCUMSTANCES THAT ARISES WITH US AS MUSLIMS. FIRST I WOULD LIKE TO QUESTION WHY ARE MUSLIM KIDS GOING TO NON MUSLIM SCHOOLS, THE WORD "KIDS" OR "CHILDREN" IS INNOCENCE IN THE NAME ITSELF, BUT SHAITAN IS AN ENEMY TO ALL OF US TO INCLUDE KIDS OVER THE AGE OF PUBERTY, SO JUST BECAUSE A CHILD IS IN "SCHOOL" DOES NOT LIMIT WHAT ALLAH HAS ORDAINED FOR SHAITAN TO DO, IE., ALLAH'S WILL. WE NEED TO HAVE OUR OWN SCHOOLS, NURSES, DOCTORS, ETC.. IF THEY WANT TO BAN IT IN THE SCHOOLS, ALHAMDULILLAH, MASHA ALLAH, THIS CAN BE ALLAH'S MERCY ON OUR MUSLIM YOUTHS. WE NEED TO KEEP OUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE DISBELIEVERS AS MUCH AS WE CAN. SALAAM Kiambu Abdul-Malik Akhdarr from USA [NYC] January 2nd, 2004 Asalaamu-Alaikum. I dont know if Islamicity sells or distributes its own printed literature but this article is a MUST for any and all who wish understand "'WHY HIJAB?'" Its definately one of the best articles Ive ever read on the subject and should be also availble in printed form as a pamphlet complete with the photos and perhaps other photos included in the text. It would be a grest disservice if this article wasnt availible in printed form. Please consider it if it already isnt. Abdul Abdulbarr from United States January 2nd, 2004 (All Praise be to Allah) This is a wonderful article. It is ashame that in today's society the Hijab is looked at as an oppression for women. This is wrong, the Hijab is a thing of beauty and a sign of modesty and respect. Anyone who thinks that the Hijab is a sign of oppression I ask you to do a test for yourself. Go introduce yourself to a Nun. And notice in your own actions how you approach and talk to her with a sign of respect and modesty. Now go introduce yourself to a regular women. Notice how you see her diffrently and treat her diffrently than the Nun. Not disrespectful but you don't see as much modesty in the regular women. This is one of the reasons for the Hijab. As-salamu-alakum (Peace be upon you) Esther8 from USA January 2nd, 2004 I have not problem with women covering thier head (women in ancient Europe covered thier head). And of course nuns also wear a veil. Women are also raped in countries that are dominately muslims. Also, European countries there are cases that the rapist is a muslim man. H.A. from Satanic West January 2nd, 2004 See!!! Here is the true face of the morally corrupt,hedonistic, nudistic, and extremely sick society of so called the "MODERN and Civilized" western society. Can anyone tell me how people in stone age dressed up? Ans- exactly like you see people in the western societies TODAY in 2004. People during stone age had only tree barks and animal skins to cover partially; not b/c they did not want to, but they did have enough barks and guidance (scriptures) to dress modestly. Today, what don't we have? Let me reveal the sad truths of these extermely paganistic and sick people of the west. They think that they've made tremendous progress in science and crossing all barriers (been to Moon, sending spacecrafts to different planets). SO whatever they say is right and better than what God has prescribed to them. How infidellic!!! They have indeed gone far far astray and what tremendous penalties they are accumulating!!! They are too drunk to realize it. I have only one question for the drunken and vouyeristic pagans!!! - If you can say, "It's my body!!! I can do whatever I want with it"... Why can't Muslim women do whatever they want with their bodies? ...I know you are too drunk to anwer my question, but Do know what me (H.A.) is a MOZLEM MAN & I am going travel to Europe wearing Hijab/burkah (head to toe). If anyone messess with me, I will make you float in another dimension instantly with just one simple punch!!! I know how to change your sick society. All Muslim men should follow my example... "Sometimes you have to resort to punch to civilize the uncivilized" - American Chimp. Farhat from United States January 2nd, 2004 Asalaamulaykum...What a wonderful article 🙂 We live in times when ignorance prevails over logic and reason. Some muslims in the states have adopted things that harm us and destroy our iman instead of things that benefit us. To most women wearing the veil is the next step to becoming a "good muslim". Those same muslimah have not established prayer and an understanding of islam so forget about the hijab. They are too busy reading people's magazine or watching Dawson's Creek. May Allah keep us Muslim men and women out of the state of IGNORANCE. ameen... Murphy from USA January 2nd, 2004 Interesting article. AsadUllah from Canada January 2nd, 2004 Great Article According to Chirac, hijab is a symbol which displays "a sort of aggression". If this is so then what about french and british colonizing symbols e.g. their armies and flags etc. They appear quite aggressive to the rest of the world. Why not give them up? Jewish skull-caps and large Christian crosses can not be put in the same category with hijab. Hijab is not a symbol of "islamism".It is part of the dress. Just as we cover other body parts hijab is supposed to cover the hair. What if the french govt. declares full dress as oppossed to partial nakedness as offensive? Are we going to accept that? Its not going to end here with hijab. Jamia Al Azhar needs to expel that fool(I want to use much harsher words) who said its French govt.'s right to impose any laws in its country. That idiot should know that no government has the right to interfere in personal matters atleast in the world we are living in nowadays. The muslim governments should object to this foolishness and take this matter to UNO. If we study about Jihad in our countries, all of these monkeys jump up and say this is an international matter and UNO must take action. What about this violation of personal rights and liberties? Chirac has made secularism a new religion. Secularism is supposed to let everyone practise their religions freely, not to suppress people's religious beliefs and rights.