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Study & Research Islam

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When Western societies discuss the status of women under Islam, the tradition of veiling frequently enters into the debate. Worn by most Muslim women throughout the world, the veil takes a variety of forms: The hijab covers only the hair; the black, cloaklike chador common in Iran conceals all but the face; the niqab veils the entire body and face except for a narrow opening that reveals the eyes; and the burqa, a required garment for women in Afghanistan, is all- encompassing, with only a small square of netting to allow for vision.

Westerners typically regard the veil as evidence that women are considered inferior by the Islamic faith. As Michele Lemon, a Canadian writer, explains, “How could anyone defend [the veil] as preserving anything but the low regard and true unimportance of women ...? ...[A veiled] woman is...

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This section contains 338 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Islam Encyclopedia Article
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Islam from Greenhaven. ©2001-2006 by Greenhaven Press, Inc., an imprint of The Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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