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Head Coverings With Masks - Page 5

post #81 of 124
Quote:
the beard is also a part of the "male hijab" in islam.
Ohhhh. Now that makes sense. It's the situations where it's a clear double standard that get me. In our community, for instance, frequently you'll see the woman covered from head to toe in black with only her eyes and hands showing, and the men have neither beards nor head coverings.

Although it's not as if there isn't a modesty double standard in American culture as well -- it looks very different, but it's still there. I am, of course, referring to the fact that it's fine for men to bear their chests in public but in many places it's actually illegal for women to do so. Even where it isn't illegal, there's a strong cultural pressure not to do it.
post #82 of 124
i tried sooo many searches. i couldnt find anything that hasnt already been posted. i found vague references but no pics. however, this thread came up in one of my searches
post #83 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adele_Mommy View Post
Actually, this does not sound "odd" to me, it sounds horrific. There is religious tolerance and then there is accepting abuse because we have become so afraid of offending people we won't even speak out against it. If this is what the OP saw, then I think she was quite right to be frightened by it. I find the fact that women can be treated this way in public in the US terrifying myself.

I have no problem with people dressing however they wish including head-coverings for religious purposes and it makes no difference to me whatsoever whether or not men have the same or equal restrictions on dress in that religion. I think it is pretty clear what the OP saw and what is described in the quoted post does not fall into this category. Wearing these things is not religious or spiritual. It is using religion as a cover to rationalize and defend oppression of women. Any "choice" a woman makes to wear them is not a free choice.

The woman I knew was certainly doing it as a free choice. She was not coerced, didn't even feel obligated or anything. It was something she chose to do for her own spiritual growth. Just like fasting, or various other forms of self-denial people practice for spiritual growth.
post #84 of 124
I am not sure how this can be discussed between Muslims and non Muslims when there seems to be no common ground.
I understand (and practice) the idea dressing modestly for religious reasons, and of making a distinction between the sexes which may be out of step with modern Western norms. I can also see that the form this takes will differ from one religion to another.
However, I would have assumed that there is some point at which we can all agree that a practice has crossed the line into oppression. I would also have assumed that the example of a woman whose husband maintains the key to her muzzle falls safely on the far side of that line. Apparently not. If a women-only locked metal mouthguard does not constitute an abuse, but is seen to be no more inappropriate or demeaning than a man's beard, then there truly seems to be no common point of agreement we can start from. Is there nothing that can be imposed on women that will not be defended as a legitimate, even beautiful, spiritual practice, as long as it is done in the name of Islam?
post #85 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna View Post
The woman I knew was certainly doing it as a free choice. She was not coerced, didn't even feel obligated or anything. It was something she chose to do for her own spiritual growth. Just like fasting, or various other forms of self-denial people practice for spiritual growth.
The thing is though, I think whenever one has a metal muzzle on their face to restrict movement of the mouth, it is not going to be perceived as a way to gain spiritual enlightenment. Also, it is going to be very hard to convince others that you are doing this by your own choice. Someone else posted that the husbands hold the key, and that is just abuse, whether it is the culturally or religiously acceptable thing to do or not. And whether it is really their choice or not is an area that we wont really be able to get to the bottom of. There may be so many social pressures, including the not so good variety, that teasing out the "choice" part becomes impossible. You can't take someone saying that they chose it as the final word on the subject, there are layers and layers of stuff to consider here, and you have to be careful about just hearing her words and not taking into account all of the other things that may have contributed to her "choice". It was a very upsetting thing to see on many levels. I actually hadn't thought about it in quite sometime until I saw the woman recently with a full head covering and face covering and it brought those memories back up.
post #86 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabadger View Post
I am not sure how this can be discussed between Muslims and non Muslims when there seems to be no common ground.
I understand (and practice) the idea dressing modestly for religious reasons, and of making a distinction between the sexes which may be out of step with modern Western norms. I can also see that the form this takes will differ from one religion to another.
However, I would have assumed that there is some point at which we can all agree that a practice has crossed the line into oppression. I would also have assumed that the example of a woman whose husband maintains the key to her muzzle falls safely on the far side of that line. Apparently not. If a women-only locked metal mouthguard does not constitute an abuse, but is seen to be no more inappropriate or demeaning than a man's beard, then there truly seems to be no common point of agreement we can start from. Is there nothing that can be imposed on women that will not be defended as a legitimate, even beautiful, spiritual practice, as long as it is done in the name of Islam?
For me, that line is personal choice. If a woman chooses to wear such a device, I am fully supportive. To force someone to do so against her will, I would consider cruel and abusive.



BTW I have also known other couples who have had similar arrangements for purely secular reasons. I don't think it makes a difference whether it's religious or secular or whatever else.
post #87 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennica View Post
The thing is though, I think whenever one has a metal muzzle on their face to restrict movement of the mouth, it is not going to be perceived as a way to gain spiritual enlightenment. Also, it is going to be very hard to convince others that you are doing this by your own choice. Someone else posted that the husbands hold the key, and that is just abuse, whether it is the culturally or religiously acceptable thing to do or not. And whether it is really their choice or not is an area that we wont really be able to get to the bottom of. There may be so many social pressures, including the not so good variety, that teasing out the "choice" part becomes impossible. You can't take someone saying that they chose it as the final word on the subject, there are layers and layers of stuff to consider here, and you have to be careful about just hearing her words and not taking into account all of the other things that may have contributed to her "choice". It was a very upsetting thing to see on many levels. I actually hadn't thought about it in quite sometime until I saw the woman recently with a full head covering and face covering and it brought those memories back up.
If they say it is their choice, yes, I take them at their word. I understand that their lifestyle makes you uncomfortable, but, maybe your lifestyle makes someone else uncomfortable, you know? We each have to make our own decisions based on what is right for us, not on popular opinion.

To me it's thought provoking... why is speech important? Why do we value it so, to the point of dehumanizing those who cannot or do not speak?
post #88 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
Ohhhh. Now that makes sense. It's the situations where it's a clear double standard that get me. In our community, for instance, frequently you'll see the woman covered from head to toe in black with only her eyes and hands showing, and the men have neither beards nor head coverings.

Although it's not as if there isn't a modesty double standard in American culture as well -- it looks very different, but it's still there. I am, of course, referring to the fact that it's fine for men to bear their chests in public but in many places it's actually illegal for women to do so. Even where it isn't illegal, there's a strong cultural pressure not to do it.
That is a good reason to stop looking at what muslims do, and think its islam, look to what islam say, and dont care about muslims

My husband has a beard, wear loose clothing, and he always cover his head with a knitted cap every day. I dont really care what other muslims do, its not my problem, but yeah, it does tick me off when men do what you say, and wives are all dressed up... My ex was like that, but he did not want me to wear even headcover, I just chose it myself, while he was wearing his jeans an t-shirts...
post #89 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
It's the situations where it's a clear double standard that get me. In our community, for instance, frequently you'll see the woman covered from head to toe in black with only her eyes and hands showing, and the men have neither beards nor head coverings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nabbe View Post
yeah, it does tick me off when men do what you say, and wives are all dressed up... My ex was like that, but he did not want me to wear even headcover, I just chose it myself, while he was wearing his jeans an t-shirts...
Sounds like my marriage too.

But the thing was we each had our own path, you know? Like my husband never requested I dress in any particular way and I never requested that he dress in any particular way. He wasn't the world's biggest fan of niqab, and I'd have probably preferred he grow his beard, but these things were just not central to either our lives or our relationship to one another.

I guess I just mean that when one sees a couple where the woman appears more restricted, or whatever the perception about coverage may be, it can't really be assumed that it has something to do with gender dynamics in the marriage.
post #90 of 124
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Originally Posted by Dr.Worm View Post
I think different cultures wear beautiful things..my favorite is the sari..it is just so beautiful to me. I really don't know why the mask is frightening to you but if it were to frighten your child I would do as others have already said and explain that people from different cultures and religions dress differently. I think that should be enough but if you want to continue the conversation you could talk about how throughout history people have thought of others as frightening because of how they dressed or the color of their skin or their beliefs or a disability and how some people won't be friends with others who are different and sometimes even are mean to them and get others to be mean too..but aren't we glad we are smart enough to know to find out why people are different and that we can like them because deep down we are all the same...and we wouldn't want people to not like us because we live in America or have a small house or our hair is red so we should treat others the same way. Maybe check out some books at the library on different cultures/religions.
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post #91 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennica View Post
The thing is though, I think whenever one has a metal muzzle on their face to restrict movement of the mouth, it is not going to be perceived as a way to gain spiritual enlightenment. Also, it is going to be very hard to convince others that you are doing this by your own choice.
While I agree that if it is done against an individual's will, male or female, it is just wrong. But would you say the same about about a Franciscan Monk that takes a vow of silence? OK, there is no physical contraption to ensure silence, but there is definitely a purpose to it. Similar to fasting, which many religions attach to spirituality. Yes, forcibily starving a person is wrong, but fasting is not.
post #92 of 124
I understand what you're saying, amma_mama. What about stuff like hair shirts, self-flagellation, and other ascetic practices? Obviously, it's not cool if it's forced, but some people use these things as a spiritual practice. It's totally not my style, but whatever...
post #93 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by amma_mama View Post
While I agree that if it is done against an individual's will, male or female, it is just wrong. But would you say the same about about a Franciscan Monk that takes a vow of silence? OK, there is no physical contraption to ensure silence, but there is definitely a purpose to it. Similar to fasting, which many religions attach to spirituality. Yes, forcibily starving a person is wrong, but fasting is not.


Judaism has a ta'anit dibur, a "fast of speech," in which you make an effort not to speak for however long a length of time you choose your fast to be.

I once went to a Jewish Renewal retreat center where they had these purple buttons with the letter shin on them (for "sheket," meaning quiet) so that you could wear it and folks would know your were in the middle of a ta'anit dibur and they should respect your silence (ie., not be offended if they talk to you and you don't reply).





Have been reading all this with interest. There was recently a group of Jewish women in Israel who took to wearing multiple layers of clothes in an overly hysterical (okay, that's my projection) effort at over-the-top modesty. By layers I mean long sleeved dresses on top of long sleeved dresses with one or two coats on top and gloves, along with hats and scarves draped over their faces. They were referred to as (no offense intended) "the burqa ladies." Well, anyway, they were led by a woman who was reportedly a very charismatic teacher who originated the reasoning for it all and managed to convince these women to live like this ... and then abruptly landed on the front pages in May/June-ish when this charismatic teacher was arrested for some seriously mind-blowing abuse of her own children.






My point being, that sometimes people take on things that are beyond the pale of normative religious practice because they fall under the sway of some charismatic someone-or-other (teacher, spouse, whatever) who convinces them to do something for their supposed spiritual elevation.

And then maybe it can turn out that that teacher/leader is maybe just totally off their rocker. Or just plain dangerous.
post #94 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna View Post
If they say it is their choice, yes, I take them at their word. I understand that their lifestyle makes you uncomfortable, but, maybe your lifestyle makes someone else uncomfortable, you know? We each have to make our own decisions based on what is right for us, not on popular opinion.
The choice, as a PP said, has to be taken in context. One question is, what happens when a woman "chooses" not to wear the particular garment?
I would also suggest that "uncomfortable" is too mild a word. I am "uncomfortable" when I see pictures of 19th century slaves in ankle shackles, and it is not because I look down on African culture or despise the Southern states!
Quote:
To me it's thought provoking... why is speech important? Why do we value it so, to the point of dehumanizing those who cannot or do not speak?
I think that is twisting things. Nobody here is putting down those who cannot or do not speak, but trying to advocate for those who, apparently, may not speak. Speech, whether literal or through some other medium, is almost a definition of humanity. Every human being wants and deserves a voice.
post #95 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna View Post
If they say it is their choice, yes, I take them at their word. I understand that their lifestyle makes you uncomfortable, but, maybe your lifestyle makes someone else uncomfortable, you know? We each have to make our own decisions based on what is right for us, not on popular opinion.

To me it's thought provoking... why is speech important? Why do we value it so, to the point of dehumanizing those who cannot or do not speak?
They didn't say it was their choice because they were muzzled with metal muzzles the restricted speech to which their husbands apparently held the keys. If one or two of them was making the choice to be on some spiritual path of enlightenment then why where ALL the women muzzled, and why weren't any of the men? The circumstantial evidence was overwhelming, and I saw this on more than one occasion. And since they were unable to speak, I came away with the distinct belief that they were being forced.
post #96 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by amma_mama View Post
While I agree that if it is done against an individual's will, male or female, it is just wrong. But would you say the same about about a Franciscan Monk that takes a vow of silence? OK, there is no physical contraption to ensure silence, but there is definitely a purpose to it. Similar to fasting, which many religions attach to spirituality. Yes, forcibily starving a person is wrong, but fasting is not.
No I wouldn't. Monks don't walk around in groups flanked by women who seem to be forcing the monks to stay silent. Also, the monks don't wear a special contraption to which another person holds the key. Lets say I want to go on a diet. That doesn't mean that I allow my husband to muzzle me and then give him the key to keep me from eating. Even if I gave him the key, I at that point gave away my personal choice to be able eat or to be able to diet. I would at that point be on a fast that was out of my own control. This is the same thing. As soon as a muzzle is put on and the key is given away, so is their choice to speak or not. At that point, they can not speak whether they want to or not. It ceases to be a personal choice and is now the choice of their husband whether or not they can speak. A monk is making a continual personal choice, he never hands over his ability to make that choice, he is complete control the entire time.
post #97 of 124
One person posted that someone told her that someone else said the husbands have the key. Can we please not treat that as bedrock fact unless we get better information?
post #98 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by kama'aina mama View Post
One person posted that someone told her that someone else said the husbands have the key. Can we please not treat that as bedrock fact unless we get better information?

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And to the original poster who said that they tried to sheild their child from this "mask". What would you do in case you encountered a person with a "facial deformity"? I think it is better to try to explain to a child then to try to hide things that they will eventually encounter.
You mentioned that your child wouldn't understand if you explained God. Well, why not try saying that this is a part of the persons dress when they are around other people. It might look scary to other people, but the person wearing it doesn't find it scary.

I don't really get annoyed when people question the Muslim womens dress. What I do get annoyed about is when people question in an belligerent way. The other day my husband wore a red shirt and a therapist said, "I thought Muslims had to dress modestly". Apparently her sister is Muslim. What reaaly came out in the conversation was, if uslim women have to dress a certain way, why don't the men?

Allah has prescribed certain roles for men and women, because the two sexes are not alike.
A woman could walk past a man wearing a shirt and jeans and not think twice about him. While a man could walk past a woman and think she's hot or even give her a second look.

In Islam the woman has certain parts of her body(Her Aura) that must be covered, but so does a man(His Aura). For instance, a Muslim man can't go to the beach wearing speedos.
As someone mentioned before, some women wear niqab because they believe it's mandatory, some wear it because they want to because they think it's beautiful,modest, they believe it's a form of worship. Personally, when I first started to see it I thought it was a little scary. Now I think it's beautiful and If I lived in a country where it was more prevelant and acceptable I'd wear it too.

In the end Islam is more than just the dress.
post #99 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jannah5 View Post
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And to the original poster who said that they tried to sheild their child from this "mask". What would you do in case you encountered a person with a "facial deformity"? I think it is better to try to explain to a child then to try to hide things that they will eventually encounter.
You mentioned that your child wouldn't understand if you explained God. Well, why not try saying that this is a part of the persons dress when they are around other people. It might look scary to other people, but the person wearing it doesn't find it scary.
First of all, dictionary.com's first definition of "mask" is: a covering for all or part of the face, worn to conceal one's identity. I am sorry if the term mask offends, but it is the correct term to use. I saw a metal mask and a fabric mask. They fit the definition above, and even if they have other alternative names, they are still masks. Why get so hung up on semantics? I used the correct word.

Second, the reason I didn't want my son to see this was because it startled me. When something startles me I try to protect my child from it, that is just instinct. I didn't stop to think about until later when I posted here about it. I wanted more info so I could understand why this is done so that I could better explain it when it happens next time. I can explain to him why women wear head coverings, It's harder to understand or explain the mask. That isn't a part of normal clothing. I mean, people wear hats, so a particular kind of "hat" is not hard to comprehend. People in our culture don't wear masks unless there is something unusual about their situation, and in every other case the unusual thing is anxiety producing, so we have been conditioned to experience anxiety when we see a mask. If women wear these in their own country and culture that doesn't have those connotations, it is probably a pleasant thing for her and others who see her. However, when you take it out of context and put it into one that is not used to it and has different connotations when they see people wearing masks, there is going to be some discussion around it. I mean, our culture needs to get used to this and start to understand it better. Once it is understood it wont be as scary. I didn't know how to explain it to my child because I didn't understand it.
post #100 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennica View Post
First of all, dictionary.com's first definition of "mask" is: a covering for all or part of the face, worn to conceal one's identity. I am sorry if the term mask offends, but it is the correct term to use. I saw a metal mask and a fabric mask. They fit the definition above, and even if they have other alternative names, they are still masks. Why get so hung up on semantics? I used the correct word.

Second, the reason I didn't want my son to see this was because it startled me. When something startles me I try to protect my child from it, that is just instinct. I didn't stop to think about until later when I posted here about it. I wanted more info so I could understand why this is done so that I could better explain it when it happens next time. I can explain to him why women wear head coverings, It's harder to understand or explain the mask. That isn't a part of normal clothing. I mean, people wear hats, so a particular kind of "hat" is not hard to comprehend. People in our culture don't wear masks unless there is something unusual about their situation, and in every other case the unusual thing is anxiety producing, so we have been conditioned to experience anxiety when we see a mask. If women wear these in their own country and culture that doesn't have those connotations, it is probably a pleasant thing for her and others who see her. However, when you take it out of context and put it into one that is not used to it and has different connotations when they see people wearing masks, there is going to be some discussion around it. I mean, our culture needs to get used to this and start to understand it better. Once it is understood it wont be as scary. I didn't know how to explain it to my child because I didn't understand it.
I'm not hung up on semantics. If you notice, I also put facial deformity n quotes. Personally, I wouldn't use mask, even if it's the definition that the dictionary uses. I also put "facial deformity" in quotes because I don't know if it's politically correct.

Yeah, it is a natural thing for a mom to want to protect their child. Must have been some scary "mask". My advice, never bring your child out on halloween. Especially if you're ever in NYC
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