Veiled in history: how women have been covered up

WASHINGTON DC, UNITED STATES – NOVEMBER 25: Robert Kennedy and Edward Kennedy with their sister in law Jacqueline Kennedy during the funeral of President John F Kennedy on november 25, 1963 in Washington DC, United States. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Source: Swiss Info

In recent years it has mainly been Christian countries, especially in Europe, which have had issues with women wearing the veil, seen today as a form of radicalised Islam. Historically though, it was Christian and Jewish women who were the primary wearers of the clothing before the birth of Islam.

In Christian tradition, the veil was a symbol of dignity, chastity, and virginity. More generally, the question of the female dress code – and its relation to piety and the observance of moral codes – is part of Christianity and has been imposed throughout the centuries by heads of Churches.  

In the Middle East, several countries have attempted to regulate the clothing. In Turkey, the veil was banned in public institutions from the 1930s. For many years, in urban areas across the region, the veil was a rare sight. During the 1970s, however, mass migration from rural areas to towns and cities brought with it women who wore the veil, albeit more for reasons of tradition than of religion.

Read further

Suggested Reading by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times:

Three Hijabis: The Three Muslim Women, Who Received Nobel Prize

Hijab: Quran is to be Understood in the Context of Time – Every One Knows It But Does Not Say It

Austria’s compliment in disguise to Islam: Headscarf ban in primary schools

French PM Manuel Valls wants to ban Muslim Hijab. Has he ever seen Mother Mary’s picture?

Hijab By Choice versus Hijab by Coercion?

Left: A fully veiled woman in Morocco, Africa, from the early 20th century. Right: A girl from Japan uses a veil practically, as part of her warm winter clothes, early 20th century. United Archives/carl Simon

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