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Why do Catholic nuns cover their hair and chest?

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Guest Shia by nature

(bismillah) (salam)

Muslim women always get the remark that they are being mistreated and wearing a scarf is putting the women down.

How come Catholic nuns wear a scarf? And why was Mary wearing a scarf in Passion of the Christ? (actually in all JESUS movies, shes wearing a scarf)

Why the double standard? Could anyone please tell me why Catholic nuns wears a scarf?

ali

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Generally Nuns don't wear scarves. The head covering is called a 'wimple' or referred to as a 'habit'. The covering is a sign of modesty, yes, and seperation from society. They want people to know they are married to Christ. They have taken vows of chastity, poverty etc.

When the orders of Nuns were formed, most women in society wore head coverings. The traditional style habits you see on the classic version of a nun's habit date back to medieval times. They typically wore the clothes of a woman in mourning. An example of a different habit is Mother Teresa's Sisters of Charity who wear a sari and veil, both typical culteral wear in India. They do not have the colors of mourning for her habit. Some orders took other types of head coverings, similar to the hats or bonnets of the day, like St. Elizabeth Ann Seton's Sisters of St. Joseph. They wore the mourning clothes and bonnets of 18th century New England. Another order, "The Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart" wear no head coverings and only wear white, cream, beige or brown (depending on vows) because their order was begun by a woman in Communist Hungary, so wearing distinctive habits would have led to persecution.

btw Nuns have been targeted over the years for their distinctive outfit, including assault.

I would guess the difference in how people generally view the head coverings is due to seeing one as a 'choice' the other as an 'obligation' imposed by law or family. Not all orders of Nuns wear wimples anymore, but they can if they wish to.

Edited by Dragonlady

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(bismillah)  (salam)

Muslim women always get the remark that they are being mistreated and wearing a scarf is putting the women down.

How come Catholic nuns wear a scarf? And why was Mary wearing a scarf in Passion of the Christ? (actually in all JESUS movies, shes wearing a scarf)

Why the double standard? Could anyone please tell me why Catholic nuns wears a scarf?

ali

Also orthodox Jewish women wear head coverings and modest clothes, they are ordinary people not nuns, but no one complains about their dress.

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Muslim women always get the remark that they are being mistreated and wearing a scarf is putting the women down.

This topic has come up before, but basically here is what it comes down to:

1. In English-speaking countries at least, virtually nobody objects to men or women (of any religion) voluntarily covering their heads, hair, whatever. (France is, well, France.)

2. Many Westerners object to laws that require women to cover their heads, hair, face, etc. whether they want to or not, based on the principles of religious freedom. Thus, I think you have misunderstood the remark. What the speaker probably said was that forcing women to wear a headscarf (or full-body covering), even if they don't want to, is mistreatment.

3. It has been pointed out that only a handful of Muslim countries impose such laws, and that most Muslim countries leave it to the woman's individual conscience and/or social/communal values. Obviously point #2 is only talking about countries that impose such laws.

Edited by ron

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people dont get stoned for not wearing veil in any country

stoning is for adulterers (both male and female) and is prescribed in the Old Testament which you claim to believe in ;)

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I think people forget that France by outlawing the covering of the head of women in school discriminates against Catholics and other religions, not just Moslem women. Secularist Humanist are using people's fear and ignorance of Moslems to attack all religions. A nun can longer wear her habit in a French public school. Also, I have heard that French student cannot wear religous symbols, like the cross, for the same reason. Secularist are threatened by religious freedom of expression.

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so why do muslim women get their scarves ripped off?

Well, I haven't heard of this happening. I live in the USA, so if this is happening in, say, Germany, I might not have heard of it. If you claim it's happened in the USA or Canada, I'd like to see a news account.

More importantly, if someone walks up to a Muslim woman in the USA or Canada (or any country with a legal system originating in England; and, probably, any Western country) and rips off her scarf, she could sue that person for assault. She probably wouldn't get a large monetary award (unless she was injured physically as well), but the legal principle would support her: It is illegal to walk up to someone and rip her scarf off.

So, we have the following situation:

1. In most Western countries, it is illegal to rip off a Muslim woman's head covering.

2. In some Muslim countries, it is illegal for a Muslim woman not to wear a head covering.

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(salam)

I've been wearing hijab for 25 years. In the 7+ years I have been in Canada, I only had a problem with one person, one time. During the time I was in the US, (or now even during visits there), I got some sort of negative treatment almost every time I went outside. To say Americans don't mind someone covering their head, for religious reasons, is not true. There might be some area where it's different, but in all the places I lived, it was something that the average person on the streets felt the need to criticize or worse.

You can't usually press charges against someone for snatching your hijab off, they usually do it and then run away. Real brave folks. Yeah there are all these laws, but the average American obviously doesn't believe in them.

WaSalaam, Hajar

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I don't agree with people ripping off anybodies clothing. There are idiots and bullies everywhere. For example in some islamic countries I understand it is not unknown for a women who perhaps doesn't have her face covered (and/or no scarf) to be slashed with a razor or have acid thrown in her face.

To me that sounds a lot more severe...

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For example in some islamic countries I understand it is not unknown for a  women who perhaps doesn't have her face covered (and/or no scarf) to be slashed with a razor or have acid thrown in her face.

To me that sounds a lot more severe...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What Islamic country is that?

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I've also heard this, I think it was Saudi Arabia.

In Germany they also wanted to forbid the head-covering in schools, but this gave a problem with the nuns teaching at elementary schools in many conservative parts of Germany. So now they're up to making a law that makes an exception for them. (don't know the latest news on this)

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I've been wearing hijab for 25 years.  In the 7+ years I have been in Canada, I only had a problem with one person, one time.  During the time I was in the US, (or now even during visits there), I got some sort of negative treatment almost every time I went outside.  To say Americans don't mind someone covering their head, for religious reasons, is not true.  There might be some area where it's different, but in all the places I lived, it was something that the average person on the streets felt the need to criticize or worse.

Sigh. As an American, I must confess that a certain number of my countrymen are a**holes and/or idiots. I apologize on behalf of the decent people of the USA.

If someone makes a comment on the street, I recommend saying "Mind your own damned business." And I hope you realize that if a storekeeper makes such comments, you could sue for religious discrimination (and you would win).

Yeah there are all these laws, but the average American obviously doesn't believe in them.

I do take exception to "the average American." Think about it: you go outside and get an unsolicited negative comment from some nitwit. But you probably walked past 300 people who didn't make any remarks at all. And the essence of the American spirit is, basically, you mind your business and I'll mind mine. The laws, the "spirit," and (in my view) the majority of the people of this country support religious freedom, including the freedom to wear a hijab -- or a sheitel, the Orthodox Jewish equivalent; or a kipah (Jewish man's skullcap); or a Sikh turban; or a Rastafarian crown; or whatever.

This might also vary depending on where you are. In a major city, like New York or LA, people probably wouldn't even notice that you were wearing a hijab. In rural Alabama, a woman in a hijab would probably be a major news item for a three-county region.

I think it's appropriate to end with a speech made by President Bush, six days after September 11, 2001, said the following, which I quote and wholeheartedly endorse (without endorsing any other aspects of his Presidency):

America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country.  Muslims are doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, moms and dads.  And they need to be treated with respect.  In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect.

Women who cover their heads in this country must feel comfortable going outside their homes.  Moms who wear cover must be not intimidated in America.  That's not the America I know.  That's not the America I value.

I've been told that some fear to leave; some don't want to go shopping for their families; some don't want to go about their ordinary daily routines because, by wearing cover, they're afraid they'll be intimidated. That should not and that will not stand in America.

Those who feel like they can intimidate our fellow citizens to take out their anger don't represent the best of America, they represent the worst of humankind, and they should be ashamed of that kind of behavior.

source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/20...0010917-11.html

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Tearing off a woman's head scarf is a prank, and pranks are done by punks. It is against the law to touch another person in that manner - her head covering is her personal property, and her own damned business, as ron said.

I have seen many women in hajib, both visiting our mountains and down in the city, around the university, and it isn't even noteworthy. The only reason I notice is because the scarves are usually very beautiful, and I'm a girl, too ;)

Where I live if someone pulled off a woman's scarf, he better run pretty damn fast. The folks around here wouldn't tolerate it. But punks are extremely rare around here. Hajar you are welcome in your hajib in my town anytime.

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I live in the rural mountains of Northern New Mexico! We have Sikhs, Buddhists, Cowboys, Indians, every kind of hippie, Spanish, Nuns(convent), all in a town with only 2 stop signs, living in peace together. Population 320, including dogs and horses. Only in America. If anybody snatched off your hajib, we would send the posse after 'um. There is only one road and bears in the forest, they wouldn't get far :D

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I live in North Carolina, near Wilmington, which has a black Muslim population. Of course we have more then our fair share of racist idiots, but even the punks would think twice about snatching anything off a Muslim, unless they wanted a good beating. If I saw such a thing, they would get body blocked and held for the police. If the black Muslims got to them first, well, my cell phone would stay in my pocket. No need to involve the police if they are not needed.

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