posted on May, 16 2013 @ 05:05 AM
There are Muslim countries in which wearing the veil is not compulsory and plenty of women choose not to wear a head covering. In Turkey for instance
not only is it not compulsory, it was against the law to wear a headscarf at Universities until only a few years ago. Now, it is permitted for woman
to cover up, as it was said many women would not seek higher education unless permitted to wear the scarf. There were some protests against the
amendment to the new laws, but they were defeated.
In Libya there was no compulsion to wear any type of head covering but there has been a shift in attitudes since the end of the Gaddafi regime.
Albania is a European country with a Muslim majority, and again there is no compulsion for covering.
Obviously there are plenty of Islamic countries with a stricter adherence to the covering of the hair, but this is not a blanket assumption that can
be made of all Muslim countries.
Interestingly, there is no direct reference in the Koran to the wearing of the Hijab; there's no commandment, nor direct quote either from Allah or
Mohammed. There are Surahs which can be interpreted in a number of ways, and Islamic scholars can, and do argue these points. These however are
interpretations - one Surah states that when one is in the house of the Prophet, one should not act familiar to the wives of the Prophet; one should
act properly and cast the edyes down, as if a veil is present. This seems to address the men in my opinion, as one can hardly imagine woman venturing
out on their own nto the house of Mohammed to gaze lustily upon his wives.
There are 'Hadiths' which mention the wearing of the veil, but there are differing schools of thought on the validity of some Hadith which may be
split down sectarian (e.g. the Shia/Sunni) points of view.The Hadith are believed to be the sayings and customs of the prophet. The Sunni's follow
them religiously, but the Shia's are much more critical and have discarded a large part of the Hadith that are seen as trustworthy by Sunni's. In
the Hadith's may be seen direct references to the veil, but not the Koran.
It is certainly mistaken to view Islam as a monolithic entity with all Muslims believing exactly the same, but these nuances are often lost when
viewing the religion through the Fox news/Pamela Geller/Anne Coulter prisms of disinformation and misinformation. You have variations from the
mystical Sufi's, to the extremely hardline Wahabbi.
Currently the Muslic faith has taken a pronounced swing toward a more hardline fundamentalist point of view, but this trend has occured in
Christianity and Judaism at different points in time. Around the 10-12th century Islam was far more liberal than the Catholicism of the same period.
When the Muslim Moors ruled Spain, the Jewish and Muslim people lived together with a reasonable degree of cooperation and tolerance. With the coming
to power of Isabel and Ferdinand, the Moors were forced out of the countriy, and Jews were dispossessed of their property and valuables and either
forced to convert to Catholicism or leave the country (with plenty killed without being given much choice of anything). So began the Inquisition, and
a far more rapacious way of life within lay the basis for the acquisition of gold by divine right (or manifest destiny), the founding of the Americas,
and the modern age of today.