Westerners hear Muslims from the Arab world. Yet most Muslims are in Indonesea and Malaysia. Listen to Asian Muslims speaking about their headgear. Traditionally they wear no head covering or headscarves (like Westerners during the war years, and the Queen still). The all-over cover is Arabic, not Islamic, but it is spread by the oil-money of Saudi Arabia which finances madressas, mosques and Wahibi Islam.
Travelling through Java in 1969 I never saw women’s headgear that was more than a hair covering. Most women did not. Then in the 1990s young women were wearing head-scarves that were like nun’s wimples, but left their face and bodies free. Now even small girls are wearing bigger scarves.
In Malaysia my daughter sees Arab visitors in burqas, hot and sweating. They try to eat in burqas in restaurants, and they drown in their habits when they try to swim. They have to stand by and watch their husbands and children having fun in the park. But the Malays only have to cover their hair by law – the Indonesians have no law.
2. Pressures on young women. Young women are always pressured to wear what is bad for them, and give in. Western young women wear stiletto heels, wax body-parts painfully, stick hooks in their face and bodies, tattoo, diet unhealthily, wear ridiculous clothes because they are fashionable, pose for underwear ads – all things we thought we women would not do again. Men like this. A Muslim man’s attitude affects Muslim women too– as when in France a woman was fined for wearing a burqa, her husband declared, ‘All right, she stays home; other men must not see her face.’ Religious? Young Western women are not only showing they have no spine, but their behaviour also affects the Muslim response of modesty to go to extremes too. There is a reaction to other extreme, especially among Western women converts to Islam.