Letter: The risks and advantages of hejab

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The Independent Online
Sir: Contrary to what Julie Hynds believes (Letters, 15 June), hejab does not require women to be shrouded from head to foot in black but states that a women should be modestly dressed and should have her hair covered. This is applicable only when she is in public. There is no such requirement when she is among family. The shrouding in black approach is culturally to do with Arabians and is only loosely connected with Islam. If you venture into other Islamic countries (Malaysia, for example), this does not occur.

The idea that women can walk down any street in Britain wearing less clothing without attracting much attention is mistaken. Wolf whistles from workmen are just a small sign. Less-dressed women are more obvious in Islamic countries because the Western woman may be the only person in the street dressed in a manner to which the locals are not accustomed and, as such, will be the centre of attention. People would be wise to check out the customs of a country before they visit, so that problems are reduced.

Since proper hejab only requires modest dress when out in public, I can hardly see vitamin D deficiency being more of a problem than wrapping up when it is cold or rainy.

Yours faithfully,

HAMZAH BAIG

Pevensey, East Sussex

15 June

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