Religion. People have a religion whether it is believing in one God, many Gods and Goddesses or not believing in a God. The point is that we all chose to live life a certain way, all of which is OK. Some say they do something “religiously,” meaning on a regular basis.
All it means is that they choose to do certain things at certain times of the day. Practically every war, if not all, has been started in the name of religion – forgetting no religion promotes war and bloodshed of course. Being Americans, we are used to individualizing. We all want attention and feel that we are different from everyone else.
There is controversy over the veil in the Muslim religion all over the world. There are different degrees to the veil, which is more cultural and based on individual interpretation than religious.
Earlier this month, Britain’s government minister and deputy election leader in the labor party, Jack Straw, wrote in a column for the Lancashire Telegraph that he was uncomfortable talking to Muslim women who wear nikab, a full-face veil, and asked them to remove the veil from the face before talking to him, reported the BBC. He later said he wanted to “abolish” the nikab completely and wanted to leave the topic up for debate.
It is mind-boggling to single out a community. When people can walk freely with eyebrow piercings, short skirts, blue hair and painted faces, than why can’t a woman dress modestly to her taste?
There is also the case about the 24-year-old math teacher who had an agreement with the school that she would not wear the veil in the classroom as long as a male was present. However, this agreement was broken when a male co-worker provoked her.
It would be unethical if a woman did not wear the veil to her job interview and then show up the first day of work with the veil. That would be misleading and dishonest. Yes, there is discrimination against career-oriented Muslim women who practice the veil, but that is not an excuse to go around the system.
It is also unethical for governments to ban the veil in public schools.
France has already done so and now others may follow by example. By banning the veil in public schools, young women are deprived of education indirectly. Yes, there are public schools, but how many people can afford it? Assuming that most cannot afford private schools, it means that Muslim women must choose between religion and education.
The true Islam never takes away a woman’s education and career goals. Islam has encouraged education for both men and women.
To practice the veil is a jihad. Not the jihad that is being misused by terrorists today. Jihad means to struggle for religion. A Muslim woman practicing the veil can be considered as doing jihad because she is struggling to keep her religious identity. A Muslim practicing Ramadan. Fasting can also be considered as jihad because he or she is struggling to for religion.
Women in bureaucracy who practice the nikab are also a hot topic. In some Muslim countries, nikabi women are accommodated to.
Bureaucracy has important meetings to which the public is not always open and the officials involved should be identified. It can be dangerous to talk about classified information only to find out that instead of the official, there is a terrorist under the nikab. In this sense it is understandable to check and make sure only because the person’s face cannot be seen. It is hard to determine who is wearing it. However, is it also easy to verify with a simple fingerprint, with the confirmation of one or more female coworkers, a retina scan, or a voice recognition system.
Whatever the case, it is not that hard to verify who is under the nikab with the technology and strategies that are available to us today hence it should not be a problem to have nikabi women in government positions.
People and governments should be respectful to one another, whether it is a Jew wanting to wear the yarmulke, a Sikh wanting to wear the turban or a Muslim wanting to wear the veil. Also, Muslims should not protest in violent ways because that is everything Islam is against.