Gypsy's Travels

Friday, February 1, 2008

Headscarves and Kidnapping

Women Rally for US Aid worker
KANDAHAR - 500 Afghan women gathered in a rare mass protest against the kidnapping of an American aid worker. The women called on officials to find the captured American and urged the kidnappers to release her. Cyd Mizzell lived in Kandahar for 6 years, working on educational projects, women's development, and income generating projects for a foundation. She spoke the local Pashto language and, while travelling, dressed in a burka, the head-to-toe shroud most Kandahari women wear in public.Women had to ask their husband's permission to attend the rally. Many, giving only their first names,said the kidnapping underscores the danger facing all women in Afghanistan.

ANKARA - A bill that would lift a decades old ban on women wearing head scarves at Universities was submitted to Parliament. Critics say the plan is a "threat against the Republic."
The ban on headscarves, imposed when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk carved the modern republic out of the Ottoman empire in 1923, is regarded as one of the most divisive issues in Turkey today. It is a source of friction between the Islamist government and the secular establishment.

13 Oct 2006
The Madani High School in Leicester will be required by law to accept 10 per cent of its 600 pupils from a non-Muslim background. Girls who are not Muslim will still have to abide by a rule insisting all female pupils cover their heads as part of the uniform.

Dec 2003
A commission report favoring the banning of Muslim head scarves, Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses in public schools, prompted remarks by Chirac in an address to the nation: "I feel that wearing any kind of symbol that ostensibly shows faith, is something that should not be allowed in schools and colleges."

Islamic dress is one of many rights granted to Islamic women. Modest clothing is worn in obedience to God and has nothing to do with submissiveness to men. Muslim men and women have similar rights and obligations and both submit to God.

Women are still chafing under the rule of men in the guise of religion. Religious symbols are banned even as a minority of the population cries out for their demise - no prayer in schools; no mention of God in our workplace, schools, or legal system; rename the holidays; trust in no one on our money; no crosses, skullcaps, or headscarves.

One of our interns in a big city hospital wore a headscarf every day wiithout any incident or comment. We attempted to provide female doctors when women requested them for religious reasons, although it was often the husband making the request.

Now one of our American women who attempted to follow the approved customs, has been kidnapped. It is, most likely, the work of a radical group, but it is it having the desired effect? Amazingly, the Afghan women are speaking up and speaking out, calling for support for this American. True, some had to seek the permission of their husbands, but is gaining that permission not also a step into freedom? Bravery begets bravery.

I wonder how brave I would be.


  1. I've got a bunch of bananas if you want to give it a shot.

  2. I believe you threw one at a certain someone after a comment about your cooking?

    You've come a long way, baby.

  3. Yes, it is true. I did throw a banana at DH, and never did live it down! At the time, he was lucky a banana was the closest thing at hand.
    Funny, the story lives on, but the precipitating comment has been forgotten.


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