Monday, November 9, 2009

Headware: An Interfaith Connection

From the Mercury News:
Their head wear displayed a full palette of colors and patterns, and symbolized different faiths. But the two dozen Sikh and Muslim women who gathered Saturday at a Fremont community center knew their turbans and scarves had a singular effect on many others in a country where their beliefs are in the minority.

They make the women stand out as different, and to some, threatening.

Organizers said local Sikhs and Muslims had never held such a multifaith forum to address shared concerns about discrimination and profiling, but decided to do so because it remains a daily concern. While the overt hostility that peaked shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by Islamic terrorists has subsided, more subtle discrimination persists, they said.

Sikh and Muslim women are expected to cover their heads. In the Sikh faith, which traces its roots to 16th-century India, both men and women cover their hair, which they do not cut. In Islam, which began in seventh-century Arabia, women cover their heads as a sign of modesty.

Though the event was aimed at women who cover their heads in both faiths, a couple of Sikh men attended as well.

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