I believe that Muslim women wear the hijab as part of their culture and religion. I respect them for this. When I was younger I sometimes felt like covering up my body in order to not get too much attention from men. Now that I am older I do not have to worry!!Sansa Morse, Tucson, Arizona
In all cultures women (and men) cover certain parts of their body. The dress we choose is a personal statement about ourselves and sometimes the degree of our sexuality. But from culture to culture and within cultures there are differences about what parts of the body are 'sexual' and degrees of sexuality attached to those parts. In some societies women with bare breasts in public is culturally acceptable, in many other cultures this would be harshly judged in moral terms. In many Muslim countries, including Egypt, uncovering the head is judged, maybe like a woman wearing a short skirt might be morally judged in the West. It seems wise not to apply our own culturally-bound judgments to women in distant, different cultures, or at least to reserve judgment till we better understand.
I learned that wearing a head scarf is for modesty. I heard that prophet Mohamed taught Muslims to be modest and I respect this religious/cultural custom. With that understanding, I am sometimes confused when I find Egyptian women whose hijab is really fashionable and it actually caught my attention more than anything. Do you think some Egyptian women wear hijab not for modesty but for the opposite purpose?
Women covering with the hijab or niqab is a cultural interpretation of the Quranic principle of modesty. While the Quran never specifically says that women should cover their hair it does recommend that they should be modest in their appearance. Muslims all over the world interpret this differently as some cover their hair, cover their entire body (burqa) and some living in societies where men and women are very integrated, do not cover at all.