Modesty Doesn’t Keep Us Safe

In the Muslim tradition the hijab, or head scarf, is supposed to show modesty and offer protection in public space. Modesty is a virtue in the Christian and Jewish traditions, too. In fact, in the last few weeks we have been surrounded by images of the Virgin Mary wearing a head covering. The Virgin Mary, one of the most respected and revered women in human history, is depicted in an outfit very like those of modest Muslim women we see on the news or television shows like American Muslim. If you were watching the TV news on Friday, then you may have seen the image of a modest, head-scarf-wearing Muslim girl who went missing from the University of Kansas Edwards Campus.

Her name is Aisha Khan, and she was in my class last summer. I remember many things about her like her laugh and her smile. However, the first thing anyone noticed about Aisha was the head scarf she wore to show modesty, so she would be protected in public space.

But on Friday, according to police reports, Aisha sat studying for her final exam, and a crazy man did not care that Aisha had her head covered. We don’t yet know what happened to her, but according to globalgrind.com that in her last desperate cell phone call to her sister she left this voicemail. “Oh my gosh it was so scary. My heart is like pounding. I’ve never got this scared in my life. Pick up your phones. I am freaked out right now.”

As I am writing this, Aisha is still missing. We don’t know the rest of the story. But we do know that her modesty and her head scarf were not enough to keep her safe in a public space. If that is not enough, then what is?

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Posted by admin on Dec 23 2011. Filed under Beth Gulley, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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