Modest dress a part of religion
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?