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Modern Islamic attire

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  • misswisc@aol.com
    (This is like having Modern Christian Clothing as a topic... things vary to extremes depending on how you interpret Christianity.) The Koran says: Tell the
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2004
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      (This is like having "Modern Christian Clothing" as a topic... things vary to
      extremes depending on how you interpret Christianity.)

      The Koran says:
      "Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their chastity; that is
      purer for them. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard
      their chastity, and not to make a display of their beauty except what is
      apparent, and let them cast a cover over their bosoms.... And turn to Allah (God)
      altogether, O believers, in order that you might succeed (Koran 24: 30-31)."
      Thus the dress codes followed by modern Islamic women in aren't a decree from
      Mohammed, but rather the result of local politics. The Koran simply requires
      modest dress that hides the breasts.

      My first memory of a modern Islamic woman is Queen Noor of Jordan. I was
      about 10 when I read a story of what she was required to do to marry King Hussein
      including her conversion to Islam. She seemed to be very much a Western woman,
      and since she was born and spent most of her childhood in the USA, that makes
      sense. Yet in a 60 Minutes TV show interview after her husband's death, they
      showed many scenes of her in public in Jordan wearing loose fitting pants and
      shirt with a large shawl (hajib) around her shoulders in case she needed to
      cover her head and/or face. Her web site (http://www.noor.gov.jo/my_album2.htm)
      shows her wearing mostly western dress, but with other women wearing the
      hajib. However when she visits Oman (http://www.noor.gov.jo/offical.htm) she is
      wearing the hajib.

      At the other extreme are women who are required to wear a burka whenever in
      public. So what constitutes modern dress for Islamic women depends on where you
      are from, your socioeconomic status and most importantly, the politics of
      your country.

      The instruction to dress modestly and specifically to keep the most obvious
      sexual organs covered is similar to medieval western dress in that the body is
      considered to be a potential source of sin that must be kept covered to assist
      in avoiding that temptation. Both the medieval and modern Islamic dress are
      practical. A head covering protects hair from sun damage and keeps sand off the
      scalp. Having something that you can use to shade your eyes, is a good
      substitute for sun glasses. Loose fitting clothes won't bind and permit airflow
      underneath which is cooler. Dressing in this manner is an expression of personal
      beliefs and serves as an outward sign that you belong to that particular group.
      People everywhere dress to belong. If you live in a country where looking at
      another man could be considered adultery -- an offense punishable by stoning
      in some places-- having your eyes covered protects you from potential troubles.

      Kristi R-C
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