Seclusion of Islamic Women

Article excerpt

Byline: Phillip Milano, Times-Union staff writer

QUESTION

What is the purpose of the Islamic practice of Purdah (concealment)? I can understand the hijab, but I think imprisoning a woman in the house, deprivation of education and work and forcing her to wear those "body tents" are extreme.

Rebecca P., 14, white, Jacksonville

REPLIES

Most Muslim women cover themselves because they want to be noticed for their intelligence and knowledge, not their sexy curves.

HYO, 14, Muslim female, Detroit

Muslims cannot control their own government, thoughts, sexual urges -- not even their own oil wells without the help of the Western world. Controlling their women is their last shot at self-respect.

Tom S., 53, Christian, Manteca, Calif.

The Islamic world has problems and needs help solving them, but as long as the West takes this missionary, ignorant, holier-than-thou attitude, it's not part of the solution.

Karim, 25, Muslim male, Los Angeles

You have to question societies that object to a woman's right to cover herself but call nudity a "human right." Is a nun required to be "liberated" for choosing to observe the habit?

Nadeem K., 24, Muslim male, Manchester, U.K.

Women dying because they couldn't walk to a doctor? Or couldn't purchase food because their male relatives were off fighting a war? Choosing to wear a traditional outfit and being forced to die from neglect are two very different things.

Aysha, 27, Idaho Falls, Idaho

EXPERT SAYS

Koran 33:53 refers to the Prophet Muhammad's companions asking his wives to relay matters to him. …