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The Republic Issues in Islam Unfortunately it has taken the horrors of September 11 and the bombing of Afghanistan to turn the spotlight on Islam and the Muslims and to encourage a reexamination of common biases against Islamic tenets and Muslim stereotypes No subject seems to receive more attention as an issue unique to Muslims than that of womens dress Muslims and non-Muslims alike dwell on this issue using womens appearances to categorize others in an effort to understand them In some instances the dress of the Muslim woman ends up meaning more to others than it does to the women herself with often far-reaching political and social implications Much has been said and written about the political economic religious and cultural significance of veiling Both non-veiled and veiled Muslim women have all been involved in the debate each with differing views on the reason for the advantages and disadvantages of veiling Muslim womens reasons for veiling are quite complex usually rooted within their own personal belief and habits Opinions may vary according to their specific class regional national and cultural backgrounds The practice of veiling and of body covering is perhaps one of the most controversial issues regarding women in Muslim communities It is seen by some as a symbol of oppression and sexism proof of a backwards society While others view veiling as a form of upholding tradition and adhering to their faith The tradition of veiling refers to womens modesty in line with representing purity loyalty integrity and fidelity There are many reasons why women veil themselves that are present both in cultures that decree veiling as mandatory or consider veiling as an option subject to a womans choice Veiling may be seen as a status symbol or as a claim to a high social class Many women cover also themselves as a means of protection from harassment or to keep from praying eyes of men
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