Today's "Modern" Muslim fashions
Turkish President Abdullah Gul (a member of the conservative Muslim AKP ruling party) holds his daughter's hand at her wedding at the Istanbul convention center, an event attended by thousands:
Here is a picture of the wedding party. Notice the shapeless fitting clothes worn by the older women. All the women have their heads covered in the conservative Muslim Fashion. Except maybe that women to the right in the photo below, wearing the red blouse. And is she wearing pants, too?
How did that whore get in there? I guess that's what happens when Sharia Law isn't enforced by the state. Turkey is special in that regard, and I hope it continues to be, despite changes the AKP is attempting to make to Turkey's constitution.
The bride looks happy enough, even if she is wrapped up like a 1950's nun.
Wedding of The Year In Turkey; President Gul’s Daughter Tied The Knot
Turkish President Abdullah Gul’s daughter Kubra married Mehmet Sarimermer, son of a businessman, in a ceremony that was held yesterday at the Istanbul convention center, and was attended by thousands of guests.
Istanbul’s Mayor Kadir Topbas officiated the ceremony and PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the former parliamentary speaker Bulent Arinc and current Speaker Koksal Toptan were the bride’s witnesses.
Source: All Turkish dailies, October 15, 2007
I suppose they do look like a happy wedding couple, even if her dress has a touch of that "Mother Superior" look. Women look more human when you can see their ears, neck and a bit of hair, in my opinion.
Now on to another continent...
Are you ready for the "burkini"? It seems the Muslim women of Australia are:
Burqa at the beach
[...]Developed for Muslim women looking for modest swimwear, the long-sleeve polyester tunic with long pants and a stretchy hood -- the name is a melding of bikini and burqa -- lets women hit the waves without fear of either revealing too much skin or drowning in yards of drenched clothing.
The loose-fitting suit, which has won the Australian Islamic Council's approval and is being bought by women across the world "is not just a swimsuit. It's a complete lifestyle change for the better," said Aheda Zanetti, its Lebanese-born Australian designer.
The swimsuit -- a remarkable mix of Victorian fashion and high-tech modernity -- also offers an option for modest-dressing bathers with no ties to Islam; swimmers worried about skin cancer and stinging jellyfish; and more than a few women eager to display a little less of their flabby thighs and sagging breasts in public. [...]
This young Muslim lady actually has a job as a life guard. The "burkini" actually makes that possible for her.
I've been tempted to make some snarky comments about the burkini, but I can't. As strange as it is, I have to admit, with the bright colors and patterns, they actually look cheerful. And there's no denying that it's offering many Muslim women a freedom they have not had before. And while it may not seem daring and modern by Western standards, in some Muslim countries, it would be considered actually criminal:
Here's proof of just how revolutionary the Burkini really is. Here is Laura Bush meeting with breast cancer survivors in United Arab Emirates. Some burkini's for these ladies would be a great improvement, IMO.
The idea that a woman has to cover herself completely implies that men don't (or aren't expected to) have any self-control. What about the concept of a man cultivating himself to be a "gentleman"?
And it's not just that I hate it when you can't even see a woman's face; there are also real health reasons to consider. Many Muslim women suffer from vitiman D deficiency, because their skin is not exposed to sunlight enough. Lack of sun exposure can even contribute to breast cancer (Sunshine helps in the fight against breast cancer).
I can understand Muslims valuing a woman's modesty; why they don't want their wives or daughters emulating Britney Spears or other Hollywood celebutramps. But surely, there has to be a happy medium somewhere between the thong and the burka, that's still modest but just more comfortable, human and healthy, too.
UPDATE 08-12-09: This post has generated a lot more traffic and interest than I thought it would. I'm adding a link to the following article, because I think it adds some insights into the subject:
Muslim women uncover myths about the hijab
[...] The surprising history behind the hijab
Some women say the hijab makes them feel like they're locked in a cage. But others say it leads to personal freedom.
Sarah Hekmati first wore the hijab at age 15 growing up in Detroit, Michigan. She is the daughter of Iranian parents who left Iran in 1979 during the Islamic revolution.
Hekmati says the hijab liberated her from some teenage angst: Does my hair look good? Am I cute enough? Should I lose weight?
"It gave me a sense of identity," she says. "I really liked the purpose behind the hijab -- a woman covering herself so that a man should know her for her mind, not her body."
That purpose can be traced back to the Quran, Islam's holy text, which encourages women to dress modestly, says Faegheh Shirazi, author of "The Veil Unveiled."
Some Muslims take the Quran's advice as a command for women to wear the hijab, while others disagree, she says.
"The Quran is very ambiguous about whether you have to wear the veil or not," Shirazi says.
The hijab, however, actually predates Islam, Shirazi explains. The first known reference to veiling (Shirazi uses the term hijab and veil interchangeably) was made in an Assyrian legal text in the 13th century B.C., Shirazi says.
In the Assyrian, and later, the Roman and Byzantine empires, the veil was a symbol of prestige and status, she says. By the 12th century, the veil had been imposed on women in the Muslim world to exclude them from public life, Shirazi says.
"A sign of distinction had been transformed into a sign of exclusion," she writes in her book.
People are still debating the meaning of the hijab today. [...]
Read the whole thing for more about the "culture clash". I've expressed my opinions here already. Mostly, I just want women to have a choice. I see the Burkini as basically a good idea, because it gives women more choices. It's a rather clever and smart-looking design, too.
As for the rest, well, no doubt the debate will continue.
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