Re: Head coverings

Yousuf Khan (
Tue, 01 Oct 1996 23:38:33 GMT

On 1 Oct 1996 16:40:03 GMT, (Alison Treleaven) wrote:

>In reply to Yousuf's comment that "people know how to dress for the
>conditions of the region they are living in, they don't need a holy book
>to tell them how to dress..." I wonder why it is that there
>are millions of people in the Middle East who dress according to
>a 'Holy Book'.

No, they aren't dressing according to a holy book, the holy book only sets
guidelines for what has to be covered for modesty. But the dress is
entirely local customs. If you go to any Muslim country, you'll see that
the dress is not at all related to the dress in another Muslim country.

I think you are under the mistaken assumption that the Koran states that
women must wear black veils with their faces covered. That's entirely a
local custom of Saudi Arabia and a few other nearby countries. Even within
the Arab world, there is considerable range in fashion due to local
customs. In Saudi Arabia, you have a lot of desert conditions, therefore
they have the black veil. In Lebanon however, you have mountains and
vegetation, therefore few wear a black veil there, fewer still who cover
their faces. Going away from the Arab countries, you have Pakistani muslim
women who basically wear pants. As you go towards the hotter parts of
India, upto about Bangladesh, you have muslim women wearing sarees, which
are see-thru pieces of wrapcloth, and their midriff is entire exposed; they
keep the modesty requirement (sort of) by pulling the top of the saree over
their heads. Local customs modified by religious guidelines, that's all.

>These Books were the equivalent to our law
>codes except they became unbreakable - why did Catholic's
>eat fish on Friday for centuries. People don't need a book
>to tell them what to have for dinner. As I read the orriginal question
>posed by a woman who's name I have now forgotten it was about
>how interesting she thought it was that so many religions
>involved themselves in head wear or the lack thereof.

You're bringing in all kinds of miscellaneous noise into the question. The
only question was "why do some religions require women to wear
headdresses", and that was answered.

Why do Catholics eat fish? I don't know, I wasn't answering that question.

Yousuf Khan

Yousuf J. Khan
Ottawa, Ont, Canada
Nation's capital