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Interfaith Dialogue
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honeto
 
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Quote honeto Replybullet Topic: Woman's head covering....
    Posted: 05 October 2008 at 2:04pm

Why is it that, no one had a issue with the Nuns' head and body covering in the West, but when it comes to a Muslima covering her head with a scarf, it's raising tentions?

Double standard, racism, fear or all of the above?
 
It is not surprising for a Muslim to know that the people of the book were not just believing same as a Muslim today, but they lived pretty similar lives as far as their daily obligations were concerned.
 
It may be surprising and quite contrasting for those who claim to hold and follow the earlier scriptures (now known as the Bible) that the very people they hold as an example in their belief did in fact followed the same dress code as Muslims do and try to live by.
 
This following quote from the Bible may seem strange to those who profess to follow it, but not so to a Muslim.

Genesis 24:62 Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. 63 He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. 64 Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel 65 and asked the servant, "Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?"
"He is my master," the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself.

Here is the command in the Quran that does not look any different than what Rebekah did.  There are many women here in the West, in the so called Judeo-Christian lands.  How many of those women you see following Rebekah's example and taking their veils and covering themselves in front of a stranger?
 

33:59 O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters, as well as all [other] believing women, that they should draw over themselves some of their outer garments [when in public]: this will be more conducive to their being recognized [as decent women] and not annoyed. But  God is indeed much- forgiving, a dispenser of grace!

 
 Hasan
 
 


Edited by honeto - 05 October 2008 at 2:10pm
39:64 Proclaim: Is it some one other than God that you order me to worship, O you ignorant ones?"
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Hayfa
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Quote Hayfa Replybullet Posted: 06 October 2008 at 2:39am

Asalam Alaikum,

 

Let me try and answer that from someone from a different perspective...

 

Nuns are not very populated here... not that many left... Catholic church cannot recruit nuns and priests... life has changed here. Alot of people hardly ever see a nun here so the comparison does not hold alot of sway.

 

People see that one chooses to be a nun or a monk at an older age... and you go through years of training before being accepted. (Yes one can be rejected.) And it is a Catholic thing… not from all Christian denominations.

 

I think that people view the hijab, less in US then in Europe as a symbol of "otherness." People all over the world have issues of "otherness." I know people who live in Pakistan or having traveled there where the folks don't like you to wear any other clothes by Shawal Kameez.  Not just for its modesty.. but more cultural. So conformity is expected.

 

I think this is true all over.. people expect some level of conformity, or shall I say are comforted by it. You get less of an issue in a large, diverse place like in Wash DC area. Cause how does one define “conformity?” But you head into  other areas… and people are often unsure about “different” people. Then you have these “different” people separate themselves for cultural and religious reasons.. and then well… people feel rejected.

 

I think that it is a fine line for Muslims living in a nonMuslim world. Because we should support our communities and yet much of the community is “corrupt.” Say for instance in a smaller town the local “fun” is playing Bingo on a Wednesday night (yes I grew up in smaller town USA). Well Muslims won’t do that.. so… how do they begin to socialize and get to know their neighbors?

 

Acceptance and rejection are fine lines. For instance, I think that for many reverts myself included, struggle enormously with the Muslim culture and the women. We often do not think like they do. We often are not accepted cause we are not Turkish, Egyptian, Pakistani etc. Who we can talk to in a general way is nonMuslims.. cause our mental processes and focuses are similar if not religiously. But here in the US, religion is considered a private matter so its not often discussed.

 

Plus here in US, and I am sure this may be true in Europe, people are not fond of people who tend to be “overzealous” religious people. Many people have had Evangelical Christians tell us we are off to hell for not believing in Jesus. “In your face” religion is how shall I say, not too popular. I have seen over-enthused Muslims talk to nonMuslims about “finding Allah” without knowing it really turns people off. So being so “outward” with religion can be difficult.  As once was said in a good piece in a magazine I read.. the difference between west and east so to speak is that here, religion is private and sex is public, in “east” religion is public and sex is private.

 

So honestly,  I don’t think it has anything to do with religion. It has to do with cultural norms. The paradigm and views are just different. So whenever I see that argument I know it won’t make much of an impact.  Yes there is “freedom of religion” so to speak. But people just want you to keep in private. Not make a big deal about it. Many people have never seen a nun or they are all older that 60.

 
I hope that helps you understand. And of course these are my thoughts..
 
Hayfa
 
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi
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honeto
 
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Quote honeto Replybullet Posted: 07 October 2008 at 12:53pm
So true Hayfa, I appreciate your thoughtful response. It is true you don't see that many nuns, plus even nuns's covering has evolved, and the skirt got a lot higher. You are very right about the "otherness", we all have that in us about the others. The thing is we (the Americans) do think and claim to be more than the rest of the world, the best in everything. With that in mind I can understand ingorance of mostly uneducated Pakistanis' views, but similar ignorance coming out of a "civilized" nation's masses is beyond my understanding.
You are right about Muslims' not participating in community around us here in the West, simply becaues it negates our belief. What is a common fun, i.e.  dance and concerts, bingo as you mentioned, weekend drinking parties, going to the casino and club etc. Simply and truthfully we can't make concessions to our faith and belief. However, we must find alternate ways to fill that gap by being part of our own community of like minded people.
You are right again that this whole thing has notheing to do with religion rather culture, and when you mix that with "otherness" you got a big challange.
Thanks for your thoughts. I think it all comes down to the ignorance and lack of knowledge of one's own belief more than anything else.
Hasan


Edited by honeto - 07 October 2008 at 12:58pm
39:64 Proclaim: Is it some one other than God that you order me to worship, O you ignorant ones?"
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Hayfa
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Quote Hayfa Replybullet Posted: 08 October 2008 at 3:37am
Salaams,
 
There is a difference, in my mind between "educated," "ignorant" and "worldly." I would say the vast majority of people in the US havea basic education but are not worldly by any means. Most never leave the borders on their state, let alone the country. Or they get as far as Florida and Disneyworld.  
 
I think Europeans are more "worldly" as they are in a more diverse region of the world and they have many countries in a smaller space. They may have more issues due ot geography alone...as more people in smaller space and asl due to different immigration policies.
 
The US is a hard country to immigrate to. And the US is huge so fewer issues of "closeness," you can find your niche and no one really knows or cares you are there.   
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi
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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 08 October 2008 at 10:46am
The Catholic nuns/sisters in Pakistan still wear the traditional head-covering. With the black dress...
 
So do the ones in India(theres is white tho i think), not the Sub-Continent traditional viel, the typical Nun one . . .
"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 08 October 2008 at 10:48am
Originally posted by Hayfa

  As once was said in a good piece in a magazine I read.. the difference between west and east so to speak is that here, religion is private and sex is public, in “east” religion is public and sex is private.

 

 
Interesting observation! and quite true . . .
 
Smile
"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Quote Hayfa Replybullet Posted: 09 October 2008 at 1:12pm
Yes, it was quite noticeable to me. And made so much sense where people feel conflicted. Muslims are quite affronted by all the open sex-ads, dating etc. and yet you'll offend people if you stick "religion" in peoples' faces.
 
It describes a mindset for sure.  People think each "camp" goes overboard.  
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi
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Quote Nazarene Replybullet Posted: 09 October 2008 at 5:20pm
well i think it's a wonderful way to dress. i'm trying to talk my wife to dress like muslim women. i belive it to be most noble. i to live in u.s.a. and find our ways in this matter most distrbing. little children(girls) dress like harlets. boys show little respect them. cause they show no respect for themselves. pitty, shameful. where are the parents? well their the ones  picking the close out for them , thats even more shameful.
 
leland


Edited by Nazarene - 09 October 2008 at 5:22pm
love for all conquers all
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