“Likewise, it is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practicing religion as they see fit — for instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear. We cannot disguise hostility towards any religion behind the pretence of liberalism….I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal…” — Barack Obama, Cairo, June 4, 2009
Will Obama likewise stand up for the freedom of Muslim women not to cover their hair?
“Hamas set to compel Gaza women to wear head covering,” from Haaretz, July 26 (thanks to Kisan):
Senior Hamas officials had claimed, in the wake of Hamas’ June 2007 Gaza takeover, that the organization did not have any intention to turn the Sharia, Islamic religious law into official state regulations. Two years later, however, it seems that the Hamas government is slowly introducing more and more regulations in the spirit of the Islamic decrees.
The London-based newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi reported that the organization’s Gaza government had recently approved a series of laws, a Muslim code of conduct of sorts, meant to guard Muslim religion and morals. These guidelines join an increasing amount of reports from Gaza residents saying that modesty patrols were forcing women to wear head coverings, especially at Gaza’s beaches, and that they were inspecting isolated cars in order to prevent unmarried couples being alone together.
Gaza’s judicial authority, which runs the strip’s courts on behalf of Hamas, had even recently ruled that all female attorneys must wear the traditional Muslim head covering, the hijab, and wear dresses during court appearances. The ruling was condemned by the independent lawyers association.
Supreme Court chief justice Abdul-Raouf Halabi said Sunday that female lawyers will be required to wear a headscarf and a long, dark colored cloak under their billowing black robes when the court returns from its summer recess in September.
Halabi said his order was designed to ensure that women dress in accordance with Islamic law, which requires women to cover up in public, wearing loose garments and only showing their hands and faces….