Mod­est dress a part of re­li­gion

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Naazneen Mo­tala

MUS­LIM women, like all peo­ple in South Africa, have the right to prac­tise their re­li­gion. They also have the right to be treated equally and the right not to be dis­crim­i­nated against or ha­rassed be­cause of their re­li­gion.

It is not only Is­lam that re­quires its fol­low­ers to be mod­est with their cloth­ing, but other re­li­gions and prac­tices as well. For ex­am­ple, in the Catholic Church, it is known that the Vir­gin Mary is rarely seen in paint­ings not wear­ing a veil.

A fa­mous quote by Italy’s former in­te­rior min­is­ter Roberto Ma­roni, chal­lenged the global is­sue: “If the Vir­gin Mary ap­pears wear­ing a veil in all her pic­tures, how can you ask me to sign a hi­jab ban law?”

Ac­cord­ing to Ma­roni, Is­lam and Chris­tian­ity are sim­i­lar and should be re­spected for that rea­son. Ortho­dox Jewish women of­ten cover their heads when do­ing the bless­ing over the Sab­bath meal and pos­si­bly in the tem­ple or sy­n­a­gogue be­cause mod­esty is the pri­mary rea­son, in ad­di­tion to pro­claim­ing their loy­alty to Ju­daism, as Mus­lim women do to show they be­long to Is­lam.

A Sikh man would be re­quired to wear a tur­ban as he would be­lieve it to be a gift from God, as would an Ortho­dox Jewish man be re­quired to wear a kip­pah. There­fore, on the sub­ject of Mus­lim women dress­ing how they wish, some would ar­gue that why they shouldn’t be able to as there are many other re­li­gions and cul­tures that in­cor­po­rate the same thing.

We live in a mul­ti­cul­tural so­ci­ety where it is nor­mal to see a wo­man wear­ing head­scarf in the street. I fail to see how that af­fects any­body else and how a piece of cloth­ing can be a threat to so­ci­ety. Re­li­gions like Ju­daism also re­quire Jewish women to be mod­est with their cloth­ing, there­fore Is­lam should not be scru­ti­nised for put­ting the hi­jab into prac­tice.

Many mis­con­cep­tions are con­stantly given in the way of Is­lam, such as Is­lam be­ing linked to ter­ror­ism and the con­tro­versy of the veil.

How­ever, each cul­ture, tra­di­tion and re­li­gion should be re­spected and treated equally.

Some peo­ple grow so ac­cus­tomed to the me­dia cre­at­ing stereo­types of Mus­lims and opin­ions for them, that their brains au­to­mat­i­cally reg­is­ter what­ever in­for­ma­tion they hear or read as cor­rect.

Not all Mus­lims are ex­trem­ists and not all Mus­lims think alike.

The hi­jab is merely a sym­bol of Is­lam, and Is­lam is a re­li­gion of peace.

How can a piece of cloth­ing be a threat to so­ci­ety?

Sherwood, Dur­ban

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