Back to Dr. Azeem’s The Status of Women In Islam Addressing the Subject of The Veil or Head Covering; Everyone is Possibly Entitled to Their Own Opinion But Not to Their Own Facts; Subterfuge Defined; Jewish Women Have a Long History of Being Veiled; Ending in the 19th Century; Christianity Veils Its Nuns and St. Paul Orders Head Covering To Show Submission to Men; Veil is Worn for Modesty in Islamic Faith; Modesty Equals Protection for All; Women Pay Price for Lack of Modesty; Photographs of Alexis (aka Fatimah) Wearing Traditional Head Scarf.

A chapter entitled The Veil in Dr. Azeem/s scholarly The Status of Women in Islam begins with these words. “Finally, let us shed light on what is considered in the West as the greatest symbol of Women’s oppression and servitude, the veil or head covering. Is it true that there is no such thing as the veil in the Judeo-Christian tradition?” The answer to that question is NOPE, and Dr. Azeem backs that up with facts. At this point we  must remember this. In the wise words of Daniel  Patrick Moynihan: “ Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” 
Wikipedia explains this in different terms: “I’m entitled to my opinion or I have a right to my opinion is an informal fallacy in which a person discredits any opposition by claiming that they are entitled to their opinion.” This entitlement has been further eroded because most people in the United States of America do not know the difference between a fact and an opinion. So they form their own set of facts, which is, at best, misinformation and is, at worst, downright lies. Republicans are particularly adept at such subterfuge with Trump being the Mighty Leader of subterfuge.isdeceit used in order to achieve one’s goal. Synonyms of that tricky word are: intrigue, deviousness, evasion, deceit, deception, dishonesty, cheating, duplicity, guile, cunning, craft, craftiness, slyness, chicanery, bluff, pretense, fraud, fraudulence, sophistry, sharp practice;  monkey business, funny business, hanky-panky, jiggery-pokery, every trick in the book;   Much can be learned from looking at its antonyms which are honesty, openness. So a man such as Trump is the Master of Funny Business, Hanky-Panky, Jiggery and Monkey Business. The Master of Every Trick in the Book. But just to be clear, he is not alone in that and dishonesty, duplicity, guile, slyness and craziness is not confined to the United States of America. It certainly raises its ugly head in the UAE.More from Wikipedia about the matter “I’m entitled to my opinion or I have a right to my opinion is an informal fallacy in which a person discredits any opposition by claiming that they are entitled to their opinion.] The statement exemplifies a red herring or thought-terminating cliché. The logical fallacy is sometimes presented as “Let’s agree to disagree“. Whether one has a particular entitlement or right is irrelevant to whether one’s assertion is true or false. Where an objection to a belief is made, the assertion of the right to an opinion side-steps the usual steps of discourse of either asserting a justification of that belief, or an argument against the validity of the objection.[Such an assertion, however, can also be an assertion of one’s own freedom from, or a refusal to participate in, the rules of argumentation and logic at hand.Philosopher Patrick Stokes has described the expression as problematic because it is often used to defend factually indefensible positions or to “[imply] an equal right to be heard on a matter in which only one of the two parties has the relevant expertise”. Further elaborating on Stokes’ argument, philosopher David Godden argued that the claim that one is entitled to a view gives rise to certain obligations, such as the obligation to provide reasons for the view and to submit those reasons to contestation; Godden called these the principles of rational entitlement and rational responsibility, and he developed a classroom exercise for teaching these principles.”  
But back to the facts cited by Dr. Azeem showing that there was a veil, or head covering in the Judeo Christian experience.  Citing a book written by a Rabbi as authority: “it was the custom of Jewish women to go out in public with a head covering which, sometimes covered the whole face leaving one eye see.” “Rabbinic law forbids the recitation of blessings or prayers in the presence of a bareheaded married woman since uncovering a woman’s hair is considered ‘nudity.’”.Dr. Brayer, (the Rabbi author) also explains that veil of the Jewish woman was not always considered a sign of modesty. Sometimes, the veil symbolized a state of distinction and luxury. The veil personified the dignity and superiority of noble women and also represented a woman’s inaccessibility.  The veil signified a woman’s self-respect and social stats. Jewish women continued to wear the veil until the 19th century. Today, most pious women do not cover their hair except in the synagogue. Dr. Azmeen then asks”What about Christian tradition? Everybody knows that nuns have been covering their heads for hundreds of years but that is not all. St. Paul in the New Testament made a strong statement almost mandating women to cover their head. (I Corinthians 11 3-10) Canon laws of the Catholic Church today requires women to cover their heads in church. The Amish and the Mennonites keep women veiled to the present day. 
So from all this evidence, Dr. Azmeen concludes “that ‘it is obvious that Islam did not invent the head cover. However, it did endorse it” The Qur’an speaks of both men and women lowering their gaze and guarding their modesty. (24:30-31) Why is modesty so important? So that women should “be known and not molested” (33:59)
“Modesty is protection. Thus the only purpose of the veil in Islam is protection.” The veil of Christian tradition is a sign of man’s authority over women – not so the Islamic vail. Unlike the veil in the Jewish tradition it is not a sign of luxury or distinction – the Islamic veil is a sign of modesty to protect all women. The author, in a flash of humor writes: “The Islamic philosophy is that it is always better to be safe than sorry.” Heavy punishment is meted out to those who falsely accuse a women of unchaste. Lying men are flogged (24:4)  
People in the West ridicule the concept of modesty for protection saying that education, civilized behavior and self restraint should work. Why is it then that women in the USA cannot walk alone on a dark street or even cross an empty parking lot? If education is the answer why is it that at Queen’s University there is a ‘walk home service’ for female students on campus. If self restraint the answer, what about workplace harassment and the MeToo movement? 
Then dreadful statistics are cited from the Dean of Women’s office at Queen’s University. For example In Canada a woman is sexually assaulted every 6 minutes. 1 in 3 women in Canada will be sexually assaulted at some time in their lives. ! in 4 women are at risk of rape or attempted rape. Can you possibly imagine the statistics for Indigenous women in Canada? I cannot, it would simply be too depressing and horrific. 
And women pay the price – the culture of modesty is SO badly needed. Dr. Ameen strongly concludes: “Therefore, a society like France which expels young women from schools because of their modest dress is, in the end, simply harming itself.  It is one of the great ironies of our world today that the very same headscarf revered as a sign of ‘holiness; when women for the purpose of showing the authority of man by the Catholic Nuns, is reviled as a sign of ‘oppression’ when worn for the purpose of protection by Muslim women.”
To end on a lighter note. I often see women with the world’s worse hair – messy, uncombed, poorly coifed, their roots showing. Sometimes I just laughingly say to them. Me: One of the advantages of being a Muslim woman is that you do not have to worry about your hair because it is covered up.  Now that is not the only reason I became a Muslim but it does come in handy. They: (shocked silence). Never can I remember anyone saying: “I do not worry about my hair anyway.”  If they did I would smilingly say:Me: That’s obvious. 
But this is the irony of it all. Women’s heads are covered in modesty so they are less sexy. There is nothing at all sexy about most ill-groomed women’s hair. A further irony is this: Muslim women hide their long hair behind head scarves. I had most of mine cut off, why have long hair and just cover it up, particularly in a hot climate?  Life is sometimes most complicated and most ironic. 
The photographs are of me in the Premier Inn wearing a head scarf. A more typical one. I posted the photograph on Instagram announcing that I would be writing about the subject on this blog. There will be two photographs – black and white and a color shot. . 

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