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My 9y old DD is visiting a mosque with the school & has been told to cover her head.

(168 Posts)
Bohica Thu 30-Jun-11 21:09:12

I don't want my daughter having to wear something different than the boys have to wear & for the girls to be told to cover up whilst the boys walk freely in their own clothes.

It's going to raise questions from my DD that I am not prepared/willing to talk to her about as I strongly believe that men & women are equal.

I'm not sure how to say no without raising questions either!

VforViennetta Thu 30-Jun-11 21:13:56

Explain to her the reasons you disapprove, then leave it up to her.

FlorenceDaphne Thu 30-Jun-11 21:15:02

You "strongly believe that men and women are equal," so you're not willing to answer any questions she has? That doesn't make much sense.

And I think it's a symbol of respect when entering a place of worship on a vistit which will hopefully be enlightening and interesting and go a tiny way to promoting tolerance and understanding. Although nine does seem a little young, I havwe to say, to cover hair. Unless all Muslim women cover hair when entering mosques, even little ones? (Little girls, not little mosques).

Fennel Thu 30-Jun-11 21:16:04

I would explain that that's the deal if she wants to go on the trip, and then let her choose. Trip with headscarf, or stay home without. I think I'd probably encourage her to go though, cos it will be an interesting experience for her, as a one-off.

RafaNadalIsMyLoveSlave Thu 30-Jun-11 21:16:36

I'm not sure what you mean by it raising questions that you are not prepared/willing to talk to her about confused

Why can you not just explain to her that some religions believe that this is appropriate; you don't agree with that belief but you do think she should show respect to other people's beliefs when visiting their places of worship (unless of course you don't believe that; then you can explain to her what you do believe!)

thisisyesterday Thu 30-Jun-11 21:16:46

when you go to certain places then it is respectful to follow their customs.

any questions she has can be answered truthfully and will hopefully allow her a bit more understanding of other faiths.

if you don't want her to cover her hair then don't let her go at all.

LilRedWG Thu 30-Jun-11 21:19:08

Why don't you just teach, by example, respect for other people's beliefs?

Indigojohn Thu 30-Jun-11 21:20:41


I feel/felt as you did. For us, it wasn't about culture but a religion that decreed that women had to cover their heads while men didn't. And the reasons they had to cover their heads was because the woman is subserviant and because she has to hide her sexuality.
We explained why, as an atheist feminist household we found this unacceptable and DD decided not to go.

Tyr Thu 30-Jun-11 21:21:02

I think difficult questions are more likely to arise if you make an issue of it with her.

Indigojohn Thu 30-Jun-11 21:22:15

Ah, but we don't respect people who believe women have a different ( lesser) role than men.

( I don't respect religion in any form either but that's a whole new topic!)

whomovedmychocolate Thu 30-Jun-11 21:24:05

I'm not sure what your problem is with it TBH? Being different does not have a value ascribed to it.

It's part of the muslim religion. Blimey, believe what you like about women's rights but it's really a case of 'if she wants to go in she needs to follow their customs out of respectfulness.'

I think your assumption that the headscarf is some sort of affront to the rights of muslim women is a tad patronising to be honest.

harecare Thu 30-Jun-11 21:25:07

Maybe ask the school if the girls really have to cover their heads if they are dressed in a modest fashion and aren't muslim. If the mosque say that girls must cover their heads, then if you'd like her to visit the mosque she will have to do as requested.
You can explain that it's part of the way people interpret islam. I think, but I'm not sure that the Koran doesn't actually mention women covering their heads, it is just how it is interpreted, but I could be wrong.
Of course men and women are equal, but not everybody treats men and women equally, surely that's a lesson worth teaching?

KeepingUpWithTheCojones Thu 30-Jun-11 21:26:46

I don't think it's an issue with her having to cover her hair, per se, more the inequality of it. I get the impression the OP wouldn't mind her daughter going to a Gurdwara where both sexes are required to cover their heads.

BrokenBananaTantrum Thu 30-Jun-11 21:29:33

I have taken a class of year eight students to visit a mosque and none of us were asked to cover our heads. We were asked to remove our shoes. That's all.

Indigojohn Thu 30-Jun-11 21:29:57

Quite, keeping, quite.

My DD wanted to know why girls had to and not boys.

How do you explain that without reference to sex or subserviance?

kittens Thu 30-Jun-11 21:30:09

I think you'll find in most mosques the men have to wear hats/caps to cover their heads also.

Women in Islam are equal not subserviant, I think some of you may have been sold the media myth that all muslim women are kept locked up at home obeying their husbands - it really isn't like that. Perhaps if met and mixed with Muslims you would learn this yourselves and see there are many muslim women in postions of authority and prominent roles within this country and others. I would allow your daughter to visit a mosque, have some respect for another culture and cover her head and perhaps she'll learn something....

When I visited the temple in Thailand we were told to cover ourselves up out of respect. Would you object to that too?

Bohica Thu 30-Jun-11 21:30:57

I'm not prepared/willing to talk to her about it more so because she is too young than because I strongly disagree with it.

I wanted to ask here because I don't want to raise it with DD or the school because I am then making a big deal out of it but at the same time I don't want my DD wearing a scarf when the boys don't have to.

It's a new problem to me because she is still very young.

DD won't have an issue with wearing a scarf & will go on the trip & do so but that doesn't mean I am happy about it.

PacificDogwood Thu 30-Jun-11 21:33:16

Riven will have an interesting and informed opinion on this, I would think.

Personally I'd explain my reasons for being uncomfortable with the whole covering-your-hair-thing, but would most certainly let my DD go. Disclaimer: I do not actually have a daughter.

I have never been inside a mosque and would love to have a nosey go. Of course, I would respect whatever rules I'd be asked to obey. That's only good manners IMO.

Does not mean I am in a hurry to convert, mind.

harecare Thu 30-Jun-11 21:35:52

I'm guessing it may be the teachers who have made the assumption about head covering for girls and not boys.
You don't have to talk about sex or subservience, just compare it to Christian Nuns who cover their heads for modesty.

Indigojohn Thu 30-Jun-11 21:40:07

So, if men and women are equal why are the boys not asked to bring a cap?

RafaNadalIsMyLoveSlave Thu 30-Jun-11 21:40:55

I still don't understand what you think she is too young to deal with. My DS (8) dealt with a conversation about vasectomies and contraception admirably before moving on to talk about the best way to play marbles. They seem to me to be very matter-of-fact about a lot of things. He would certainly grasp the concepts you are dealing with here: inequality; religious beliefs; respect for the beliefs of others whilst not necessarily subscribing to them oneself.

I would think your DD would be more than old enough for you to explain your reservations and allow her to make a decision for herself - but obviously, you know her best and if you think she's not ready, fair enough.

dittany Thu 30-Jun-11 21:41:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

unfitmother Thu 30-Jun-11 21:42:08

If the class went to synagogue next week and the boys had to wear skullcaps would you feel the same?
Can't imagine why you can't discuss such issues with a 9 year old BTW, my DD loves such debates.

kittens Thu 30-Jun-11 21:42:28

if you contact you local mosque I'm sure they'll be happy to show you around and not try to convert you!!

Our local mosque is pretty well known and does lots of outreach work with the local community to show that muslims are normal people and do care about their community. It is sad when people think all muslim women do is follow the orders of the men - it really isn't like that. The women at my mosque are strong, independant women who want to make a difference in the world - there are loads of bankers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, dentists, IT specialist, ladies who run their own businesses as well as stay at home mums.

I think its sad the OP has such a narrow view of muslim women and is passing her prejudice onto her daughter.

Sidge Thu 30-Jun-11 21:46:21

I thought females only had to cover their hair if they had reached puberty?

Is it the school or the mosque that has asked them to cover their hair?

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