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Hijab vs. Security

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    Hijab vs. Security

    Maybe Hijab is not the right term, Purda is. In any case, this thread is inspired by the decision of the state of Alabama that currently requires people to show their whole face (including hair) for the Picture Identification Card (Driver or non-Driver) and CAIRs decision to dispute that.

    Most other states do require you to show your face, but you can still wear hijab. No ears or hair are necessary. Though, for all immigration purposes the US government requires that you do show a photo with the hair and an ear. I do not know if that law has changed but if someone has more information please do share.

    Here in US, your picture ID is needed at many places, when you write a check, pay something by credit card, when you board a plane or when you are trying to rent a car .. it is THE document used for your identification and for security. There are no other intentions behind taking the picture.

    I remember at my university, when I was working with the international office, a guy came with his wife from Pakistan. He was on a student visa and she was his dependent. His wife observed full purda, whenever they visited our office. And after a few weeks into the semester he came in complaining that the driverís license office will not issue his wife an ID unless she uncovers her face. The advisors at the office argued that she had to show her face in order to get the visa for United States then why canít she do the same for her picture ID? I do not know what eventually happened to the couple and did the wife ever receive a driverís license but it did spark a very long debate in our office. When I was asked, I told them that from my understanding, security is more important than purda. And in that respect she had to follow the rules.

    I cannot conceive an ID without the face. In Pakistan sometimes they make IDs with no picture.. my swimming pool ID was like that. As long as I carry it, it was considered mine and no one questioned. My brother would often take it with him whenever he misplaced his. Others were known to give it to friends just so they can get a dip. It was very ineffective.

    So, my question here is, is security more important or is Purda?
    I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    - Robert McCloskey

    #2
    ahmadjee the 'purda' means jack to the people implementing security.. you are forgetting that its' AlaeffingBama (My Cousin Vinny anyone?)

    the real discussion is whether Muslims should expect some of their obscure scholarly rulings to be respected by the majority in other countries.

    My take in that scenario is that if the guy's ok with his wife taking it off for a visa (yeah compromise your beliefs to enter the country) but refuses it now is a grand hypocrite of the highest order.
    JaddoN kaddya jaloos ghareeba tay shehr ich choatalee lug gayee

    Comment


      #3
      I understand that the Alabama case is more political in nature but CAIR has chosen the worst state to create a national debate.

      The problem with Alabama Picture ID is that it mentions color of hair along with height, weight, color of eyes as identification. And so they forbid people to wear hats or hijab in this case, while being photographed for the picture ID. In order to make exceptions, they will have to remove this field from teh ID. Some other states do not have a hair color field.

      As long as itís for security reasons, I wouldnít even mind showing my birth mark if they require it.
      I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
      - Robert McCloskey

      Comment


        #4
        It is also an important point that in the United States driving is a privilege and not a right, if one does not want to follow the rules that enables one to drive then donít drive.

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          #5
          Out of curiousity... are sikhs also required to remove their pagri for the security-related pics. I would think they will be. If a reasonable rule is applied without discrimination then how is it discrimination?
          "Let your friends underestimate your virtues. Let your enemies overestimate your faults." - Godfather.

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            #6
            Sikhs are required too and they are also protesting.

            I agree with CAIR that face, eye color, approx weight and height are enough for identification, even though US immigration disagrees. But that's as far as I go with them. I don't think concerns of hijab can over-rule the concern for security.

            In my school in Pakistan, many girls didn't send their pictures when registering for matriculation examination. That meant anyone can sit in their place and unless a local teacher points it out, there is no way for the invigilator to find out.
            I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
            - Robert McCloskey

            Comment


              #7
              For some reason, I can't get too excited about all this. Yes, religious sensitivities should be respected. And yes, even without hair color, there are enough identification fields available to ensure security (plus ppl change color of hair all the time, so its a stupid field to put in there).

              Then again, to ask someone to remove a cap, pagri or hijaab for a picture... nah! I can't get too excited about it. There are bigger problems to worry about.

              Ofcourse, I understand CAIR is trying to make it a big issue, simply because they fear this is just a first step. Today, its removal of hijaab for D/L in Alabama, tomorrow all other states will follow suit, then they may forbid praying namaaz in public because it creates a security situation and compromises the secular nature of the country, or something like that.

              Far fetched, yes.

              But then most western countries were open about religious freedoms a few years ago.. and now look at them.. France forcing young girls to remove hijaab from schools, Alabama asking muslims and sikhs to remove their religiously-mandated head-gear. One never knows where this will end. I guess, this fear of the unknown is primarily driving the CAIR campaign. I think I understand their position. Discrimination and lack of religious freedoms and civil rights is everyone's issue.
              "Let your friends underestimate your virtues. Let your enemies overestimate your faults." - Godfather.

              Comment


                #8
                All this fuss in western countries about hijab and women showing there hair or whatever and claiming its oppressive to have a piece of cotton on your head it would be funny if it was'nt so pathetic!

                They more concerned about muslim women and the way they look yet they not even bothered to fight prostituition, aids and crime!

                Just shows how much hatred they have for muslims and forcing them to comply with the fashion police and diverting from the real issues and problems that face them!

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