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  •  You look beautiful. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina

    And I love the pictures of these other beautiful women.

    But my problem with women wearing hijab or more constrictive muslim garments comes from the perception that it is based on a very patriarchal religion and society that imposes unequal mandates on men and women. To me, a woman with that kind of clothing is making a statement that they choose to be set apart from our modern free society and adhere to antiquated restrictions or even having them imposed by male relatives.

    I associate hijab with women not being able to drive in Saudi Arabia and some other countries. To me it symbolizes violence against women, including murder, and controlling women. It is antithetical to everything I believe in as a feminist. I have a hard time believing that women actually choose clothing that places limitations on them voluntarily, absent a culture of oppression in ways large and small.

    This is also related to my perception that there does not exist in Islam a significant movement for moderation and modernity. I have great hostility for religious orthodoxy of any kind, including in protestant christianity (I was raised in a more moderate branch of mainline protestantism, although even that is not modern enough for me today). At least in protestantism and Judaism one can find recognizeable movements for liberal thought.

    So when I see a woman wearing hijab, I see a woman who rejects my values. It represents a religion that condones violence and murder against LGBT people in many parts of the world.

    Fair or not, that's what I see. I don't have to look very far to see substantial numbers of liberal voices in protestantism and Judaism. And I react with visceral dislike and suspicion to all expressions of religious zealotry, not just Muslims.

    But for me, Islam is more suspect because on the surface, I cannot readily identify any organized movement or body of liberal practice. Hijab represents adherence to outdated practices that supress women. It's their free choice to dress that way, but I don't have to like it. I have never been rude when interacting with women wearing hijab, but I avoid them in public.

    Well Dayum! The Fat Lady just sang her tits right off!

    by homogenius on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 05:55:31 AM PDT

    •  It's not fair, that's their culture, their way of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      empathy, earicicle, Deoliver47

      life. I'm sure there is plenty of stuff we Americans do that they don't like because it's not a part of their culture. But in a country that is supposedly treating everyone equal, people should NOT be discriminated against because they choose to show their religion.

      How are the Democrats going to protect us from terrorists, if they can't even protect us from Republicans?

      by Muzikal203 on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:12:03 AM PDT

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      •  I didn't say they shoud be discriminated against. (0+ / 0-)

        I said I was uncomfortable. I am uncomfortable around many people whose dress or behavior indicates religious zealotry. When I hear people talking using identifiable terminology that suggests they are fundies or republicans, I don't want anything to do with them, either.

        Well Dayum! The Fat Lady just sang her tits right off!

        by homogenius on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:18:01 AM PDT

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        •  So you're uncomfortable around Christians (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          empathy, earicicle, Deoliver47

          who wear crosses around their neck, and as earrings, and have those bumper stickers on their cars?

          I am uncomfortable around many people whose dress or behavior indicates religious zealotry

          This is why the diarist was advocating tolerance. People are going to be proud of their religion, and it's really sad that them being proud of their religion makes you uncomfortable. If I sound like I'm judging you I apologize, that is not my intent.  

          Are you an atheist?

          How are the Democrats going to protect us from terrorists, if they can't even protect us from Republicans?

          by Muzikal203 on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:20:42 AM PDT

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          •  It depends. (0+ / 0-)

            Religious symbols make me wary, but not automatically suspicious. Probably more like "guilty until proven innocent".

            To borrow language from the military (DADT), I would say that outward manifestations of religious belief produce, for me, a refutable presumption of adherence to beliefs and practices I don't believe in. And the more overt and pronounced the behavior or appearance, the greater my suspicion.

            I know lots of great people with a variety of beliefs who don't buy into everything their more orthodox counterparts believe. There are great traditions of charity and justice in many religions. There are many progressive catholics, in spite of the fascist structure and practices of the Roman Catholic church. There are many liberal protestant churches and even whole denominations. The Reform branch of Judaism is very progressive. Many Bahai followers are liberal, even though the religion is officially anti-gay and the institution is anti-democratic.

            I'm sure there are Muslims who are progressive in their thinking and politics. But it is not readily apparent to me that there is any identifiable liberal movement or body of work within Islam. This may be my perception, but I can't point it out the way I can in Christianity or Judaism.

            I would classify myself as "decline to state". I don't follow any religious belief. I don't claim there is no god, I just don't claim to believe in one.

            Well Dayum! The Fat Lady just sang her tits right off!

            by homogenius on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:34:41 AM PDT

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            •  Clarification-- (0+ / 0-)

              I should have reread before posting.

              Religious symbols make me wary, but not automatically suspicious.

              Actually small religious symbols, alone, DO make me suspicious, but not automatically hostile. More overt expressions in behavior and dress make me extremely wary. If a coworker decorates their cubicle with bible verses I steer clear. If people talk like fundies (and I know all the code words), I tend to avoid them.

              Well Dayum! The Fat Lady just sang her tits right off!

              by homogenius on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:38:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  So is there anything that you feel so (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KentuckyKat

              passionately about that you wear something to express that passion?

              If there is, how would you feel if people automatically looked down on you or were "uncomfortable" around you? You may be the greatest person in the world, but they will never know because they can't get over their preconceived notions of who/what you are.

              How are the Democrats going to protect us from terrorists, if they can't even protect us from Republicans?

              by Muzikal203 on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:38:22 AM PDT

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              •  I've had people looking down at me all my life. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                empathy, Deoliver47, KentuckyKat

                I grew up gay in the '60s with undiagnosed ADD. I grew up with people thinking I was odd. Many still do. That's a way of life for me. Being perceived as different is at the core of my life experience.

                My only consideration today is whether something I wear will cause a hassle. I tend not to wear anything that is identifiably gay, even though 99% of the people who know me know that I'm openly gay--personally, politically, and professionally.

                But when I went to the annual gathering of our national amputee organization, I really didn't talk about being gay--it just wasn't important. I would have if it came up, but I was more comfortable flying under the radar.

                Most of the time I wear Utilikilts or shorts, which exposes my hi-tech artificial leg. I just flat-out don't care if people look. If kids (who are wonderfully honest) stare or point it out, I usually smile and say something like "pretty cool, huh!".  But that's my choice.

                Most of the time, I'm past the point of caring. There are situations where I'll give it some thought and make adjustments because of what is appropriate, but my lifestyle is pretty conducive to being myself.

                I don't really feel passionate about expressing my appearance--mostly I do what's comfortable. But then after all the things I've been through, I'm not really passionate about anything. I'm just trying to get by.  

                Well Dayum! The Fat Lady just sang her tits right off!

                by homogenius on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:56:45 AM PDT

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        •  Hijab does not symbolize religious zealotry (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          empathy, mayim, Muzikal203, Alohilani

          nor does my gele, nor do the Claddagh rings my dear Irish American friends wear, or crucifixes and crosses, or the Muzuzahs outside the doors of my Jewish friends, or the Christmas trees across America.

          These things are cultural.  Are you uncomfortable when you see a woman in a sari?  Or a man in a kilt?

          I'm not denying your discomfort - but perhaps you should examine it a bit more deeply.

          Anthropologists for human diversity; opposing McCain perversity

          by Denise Oliver Velez on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:35:50 AM PDT

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          •  Actually, I wear kilts all the time. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            empathy, Deoliver47

            Mostly American Utilikilts. Living here in San Francisco, it doesn't get much notice. When I'm down in Orange County looking after my parents, they get a decidedly different response. So sometimes down there I don't wear them.

            But even here I see some glances from older people. Of course, they could just as easily be looking at my exposed hi-tech artificial leg.

            I seldom wear clothing that makes a political statement. As a gay man I have in the past.

            But I recognize that people will respond to what I wear. I went to a very nice wedding a few weeks ago, but I decided to go ahead and wear my black Utilikilt with a dressier shirt. But at the funeral for an elderly neighbor at the Jewish funeral home I wore pants and coat and tie (hadn't worn a tie in at least two years).

            Well Dayum! The Fat Lady just sang her tits right off!

            by homogenius on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:45:44 AM PDT

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          •  What does a burka say? (0+ / 0-)

            It is "just" a cover. Muslims think the sight of a woman uncovered is an incitement to rape. Hair is especially potent in the eyes of men as a rape magnet, according to Islamic lore. In the West, we do not believe in this ancient myth. Personally, I have never seen a woman raped in the street because she fails to wear hijab or burka.

    •  hmmm (6+ / 0-)

      I associate hijab with women not being able to drive in Saudi Arabia and some other countries. To me it symbolizes violence against women, including murder, and controlling women. It is antithetical to everything I believe in as a feminist. I have a hard time believing that women actually choose clothing that places limitations on them voluntarily, absent a culture of oppression in ways large and small.

      I don't think this is the picture at all for muslim women in most of North America.  Women wear their hijabs because it is part of their culture and religion (hide your hair from men), and they WANT to wear them.  They're not suffering and they don't feel oppressed.  I hear you in terms of other aspects of oppression in some muslim cultures, but the hijab isn't part of the problem.  

      [Full disclosure:  There is a show in Canada called "Little Mosque on the Prairie" that my friend's parents record for him.  I watch it when I'm sick of watching the same movie on HBO over and over (I live in Asia).  It's actually a pretty good show.  So anyway, my "perspective" here is coming from a TV show, for what it's worth.  (But I still think I'm right on this one.)]

      McCain economic policy shaped by lobbyist

      by signals on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:26:57 AM PDT

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    •  I have friends who are Sunni, Shia and Sufi's (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homogenius, empathy, mayim, Alohilani

      I have family members who are Muslim.  
      I have lived in several countries where the majority of people are Muslim.  

      There are over 200 million black African Muslims - many of those women wear not hijab but a gele.

      Islam - was actually far more radical in its treatment of women historically than Europe.  Read the history of Khadijah.

      I reject those fundamentalists who advocate oppression - of any faith, or political groups who do the same - and many oppressive regimes are non-religious.  But to stereotype all Muslims is wrong.

      This country - right here, has never had a female President.  Patriarchy.  Look at Pakistan - who has had a female leader.  

      We have an oppressive male running for office who wants to remove our hard won rights.  Who thinks of women as bitc**s and Cu**s.  He calls himself a Christian.

      Ugh.

      Anthropologists for human diversity; opposing McCain perversity

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:27:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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