Cloth­ing op­tions

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “Jus­tices again rule in fa­vor of re­li­gious rights,” June 2

I re­spect­fully dis­agree with the U.S. Supreme Court rul­ing stat­ing that the choice of cloth­ing for a woman who was de­nied a job at Aber­crom­bie & Fitch was re­li­gious. It was not. Cloth­ing is cul­tural, pure and sim­ple.

The hi­jab is the re­flec­tion of a cul­ture that con­sid­ers mod­esty in women to re­quire such cloth­ing. Con­flat­ing free­dom of re­li­gion with free­dom of cul­ture as a con­sti­tu­tional right is dan­ger­ous and can lead to many un­in­tended con­se­quences.

Fre­quently we see state­ments like “the Mus­lim veil” in the me­dia. In fact, the veil pre­dates Is­lam by hun­dreds of years, and the wear­ing of a veil dur­ing wor­ship is even called out in the Bi­ble (such as in 1 Corinthi­ans, Chap­ter 11), which hardly makes it Mus­lim.

What peo­ple choose to wear is a per­sonal de­ci­sion that may be guided by their re­li­gious be­liefs, but ul­ti­mately, these choices come down to what their cul­ture tells them. The Supreme Court erred in mis­in­ter­pret­ing this.

Tom Tsot­sis

Santa Ana

Chip Somodevilla Getty Im­ages

SA­MAN­THA ELAUF, left, af­ter oral ar­gu­ments at the U.S. Supreme Court in her case in Fe­bru­ary.

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