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Old 09-08-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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No one is brushing it aside.
Poor choice of word. I just mean that I'm not really sure how relevant men's modesty or American modesty standards are to the nature of the preceding questions about niqab. If it was just an aside, forget I said anything. It's just that I've very often heard "but men are required to be modest too" used in my community as a sort of distraction from really addressing questions about definitions of modesty which apply to women alone.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:15 PM
 
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:16 PM
 
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Jennica brought up that only women have to wear a veil and that sort of created a side conversation... about male modesty.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:57 PM
 
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I think I've seen what you are talking about. I saw a group of women with the veil and everything, but it looked like they were wearing metal muzzles. that was like 18 years ago though, on a london subway. I've always wondered why they wore them. It looked very uncomfortable.

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Old 09-08-2008, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I've seen what you are talking about. I saw a group of women with the veil and everything, but it looked like they were wearing metal muzzles. that was like 18 years ago though, on a london subway. I've always wondered why they wore them. It looked very uncomfortable.
Yeah, muzzles is the right word, that is exactly what they looked like. Now I am really curious about this group and wondering if it is cultural or religious.
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Old 09-08-2008, 07:28 PM
 
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So I spent some time googling this morning to see if I could find anything remotely resembling what you are describing. And in every search, using various combinations of words including, but not limited to metal, niqab, middle east, mask, face, mouth, etc. Two pictures keep coming up....one of the cover of a Quiet Riot album and the other is a picture of Rosy O'Donnel
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Old 09-08-2008, 07:54 PM
 
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http://www.crescentlife.com/thisthat...the_bikini.htm

"What is the burka? As routinely imposed on women, it is a full-length one-piece garment that covers the woman from head to toe, almost invariably black. Usually the face is uncovered, except in extreme cases where there is a veil or even worse, a metal faceplate. This is almost exclusively a Sunni-Wahabi innovation of recent times, whereas if you look at the modes of modest dress in other Islamic societies you see much more healthy interpretations, ranging from the two-piece colorful ridah garments worn by women in my own community, the Dawoodi Bohras, to fully-Westernized business attire (jacket, pants) topped with headdress or scarf. "

I wonder if that could be it?
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Old 09-08-2008, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I spent some time googling this morning to see if I could find anything remotely resembling what you are describing. And in every search, using various combinations of words including, but not limited to metal, niqab, middle east, mask, face, mouth, etc. Two pictures keep coming up....one of the cover of a Quiet Riot album and the other is a picture of Rosy O'Donnel
Weird. I have been googling too, but haven't got the Rosey picture.
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:19 PM
 
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Like this?

or this?

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Old 09-08-2008, 11:05 PM
 
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So I spent some time googling this morning to see if I could find anything remotely resembling what you are describing. And in every search, using various combinations of words including, but not limited to metal, niqab, middle east, mask, face, mouth, etc. Two pictures keep coming up....one of the cover of a Quiet Riot album and the other is a picture of Rosy O'Donnel
I got that Rosie hit too! Our google must be similar.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://www.crescentlife.com/thisthat...the_bikini.htm

"What is the burka? As routinely imposed on women, it is a full-length one-piece garment that covers the woman from head to toe, almost invariably black. Usually the face is uncovered, except in extreme cases where there is a veil or even worse, a metal faceplate. This is almost exclusively a Sunni-Wahabi innovation of recent times, whereas if you look at the modes of modest dress in other Islamic societies you see much more healthy interpretations, ranging from the two-piece colorful ridah garments worn by women in my own community, the Dawoodi Bohras, to fully-Westernized business attire (jacket, pants) topped with headdress or scarf. "

I wonder if that could be it?
Yes, that sounds like it could be it.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Like this?

or this?

No and no. The first looks like jewelry and is kind of pretty. The second has been posted about 5 times now and it is not it. That one has a metalic color but looks fabric. This was real metal, and looked like a muzzle.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:28 PM
 
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Is this it?

http://momox.typepad.com/mad/images/burqa4.jpg

eta: if I saw a group of women wearing those I would certainly be startled and I would not be thinking "Oh, it's another version of hijab!" Often the Muslim women I see are wearing beautiful headcoverings and they just look like other women I see in the community, shopping or at the park or what have you. I don't think that image reflects mainstream Islam, but it's not something I know a great deal about.

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Old 09-08-2008, 11:34 PM
 
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http://www.amazon.com/My-Forbidden-F.../dp/1860499619

Then there's that, which seems like it has more in common with what I think of as a regular burqua.

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Old 09-09-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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I wonder if we're not going to find any pictures of it due to beliefs about photography.
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:58 AM
 
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I wonder if we're not going to find any pictures of it due to beliefs about photography.
I was thinking the same! It's very odd otherwise that we couldn't come up with any pictures.
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, the two pictures above are not it. The fabric didn't flow over the face. the metal mask was tight to the face, looking like it inhibited movement, which is why the word "muzzle" really fits the best. I almost want to travel to that city and try to get a photo now, but that probably wouldn't be too respectful and they weren't exactly too friendly looking so I wont attempt that.
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Old 09-09-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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I used to know (kind of) a woman who wore something similar, only she wore it under her face veil. According to her, this is not mainstream Islamic practice, but more of an "extra" thing that some people do. It is intended to inhibit speech. This is (according to her) to encourage a value of quiet, not speaking out or drawing attention to oneself, discretion, and such. It probably sounds odd to those of us from a culture in which speaking out and speaking one's mind is considered such a virtue.
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:41 PM
 
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I used to know (kind of) a woman who wore something similar, only she wore it under her face veil. According to her, this is not mainstream Islamic practice, but more of an "extra" thing that some people do. It is intended to inhibit speech. This is (according to her) to encourage a value of quiet, not speaking out or drawing attention to oneself, discretion, and such. It probably sounds odd to those of us from a culture in which speaking out and speaking one's mind is considered such a virtue.
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.

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Old 09-09-2008, 10:22 PM
 
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I agree with Adele'sMommy. In the Middle East, this is rarely seen and is considered quite extreme. They find it odd; and they live where this is practiced. I do not believe it is cultural. An individual practice, religiously based perhaps, but it is not just odd to Westerners.
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:39 PM
 
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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.
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Old 09-10-2008, 12:14 AM
 
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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

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Old 09-10-2008, 12:30 AM
 
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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.
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Old 09-10-2008, 01:52 AM
 
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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?
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Old 09-10-2008, 01:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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Old 09-10-2008, 01:57 AM
 
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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.
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Old 09-10-2008, 02:02 AM
 
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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?
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Old 09-10-2008, 04:10 AM
 
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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...

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Old 09-10-2008, 04:32 AM
 
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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.
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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.
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Old 09-10-2008, 04:39 AM
 
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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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