To the Editor:

Oct 262006

Intolerance of “Intolerance” (Muslim Women’s Hijab)

Thanks Mr. Speaker for posing your questions concerning the Muslim women’s Hijab or headscarf. I have always believed in the vitality of civilized dialogues and discussions that result in defusing misunderstandings and distrust between different groups.

As Muslims, we believe that we have been created for the sole purpose of worshiping God. If we look through the eyes of a Muslim woman, the Hijab symbolizes obedience and devotion to the commands of Him. Furthermore, she sees it as protection to her honor and intellectual talents and wears it to impose upon the ill-hearted who would rather view her as a sex object.

God says in the Qur’an, “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their chastity; that will be purer for them. And God is well acquainted with all they do. And say to the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their chastity; that they should not display their beauty, except what appear thereof; that they should draw their coverings over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers.” (Qur’an 24:30-31) Such commandments, if strictly obeyed, give birth to a society that fosters the true essence of a woman’s worth.

As a “non-religious” person, if you still don’t “get it,” I fail to understand how else to explain it. Might I suggest we try to be more tolerant of people from different religious backgrounds and leave them to practice their faiths freely. If I have still failed, define for me personal freedom so I can better understand your view and see how it relates to the religious freedom guaranteed in the West.

Zaki Safar


exchange student from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

president of the Muslim Student Association

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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