Thursday, February 28, 2008

Question of Incorporation

Welcome back, Dear Bloggers!

An interesting question came up when viewing ABC News' "What would you do"
showing Islamophobia in action and bystanders' reactions (both positive and negative)

Thus, the questions kept coming to mind: What extent can Muslims "fit in" and incorporate in the American landscape without compromising their true, core beliefs?

For example, the hijab is meant to be a form of protection, a way in which Muslim women are distinguished from non-Muslim women. The niqab (face veil) is not understood at all because it is very unique in the West, but I would say the purpose of the niqab is to be able to freely get work done, interact with others, etc. without fearing illicit gazes or interactions from the opposite gender, a step more cautious than just the hijab (I guess the West may call the niqab "ultra-conservative" if they understood its purpose?) How else would you describe the niqab to non-Muslims who are not yet completely comfortable with the hijab?

This is something that I would like to fully understand in the American context -- the extent of "incorporating" into society without compromising Islam. It is possible.

Also, what defines "American", and how can Muslims integrate, and be accepted in the American mainstream, without having to lose their chosen identity (i.e., their particular form of modest dressing such as their hijab, or headcoverings)?

Any thoughts?

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