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Of Hijab and skullcaps

Reader comment on item: Hijabs on Western Public Women

Submitted by Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai (India), Apr 3, 2008 at 04:15

Your collection of photos showing non-Muslim women, most of them celebrities in the West, wearing improvised Hijab, is quite interesting and would go against any campaign to denigrate Hijab. Hijab is a symbol of modesty and even those that are foreign to the culture of Hijab find no great impediment in going public in Hijab. They probably treat it as ornamental, or new fashion, or a gesture of respect for those that wear Hijab. This is all very positive.

I find that those who are against Hijab are in fact are against Islam and are ready to criticize all symbolism that identifies Islam or its cultural accoutrements. The propaganda against Hijab can only be affective in a short time span. With passage of time, people are more inclined to follow live and let live attitude. This is the way of the majority.

But I will not rule out, that a minority with an anti Islamic agenda, will however, give up its vituperative and relentless campaign against all things Islamic. The world perception is that more than the Christians, the Jews are in the forefront of the anti-Islamic resistance. They feel very insecure what with their problem with the Palestinians over Israel and its occupation of Palestinian lands. Once they gather the courage to sit down and accept the premise that both communities have the right to live in that biblical land, they too would to revert to their own equation with Muslims which had been the hallmark of their past co-existence over centuries.

Your comments over comparison between Hijab and the skullcap worn by Jewish male while praying, is a bit arbitrary in that you want to restrict Hijab to a religious symbol. In fact Hijab is both religious as well as cultural symbol. You would like Hijab to be treated merely and strictly as religious symbol to be compared to the skullcap. I would feel that is highly arbitrary and self-indulgent.

Your comparison of skullcap at prayers to the taking out shoes at Masjid could be valid if the wearing of skullcap is not a religious requirement. Taking out of shoes is merely a formality to observe cleanliness and not a part of the strict observation of the prayer norms. I am not well-versed in Jewish religious lore to comment if wearing of the skullcap is compulsory or just has other functional justifications. But about Hijab, I can say it is not a ritualistic requirement.

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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