I am calling out to every woman in this world who, regardless of her ethnic origin, religious background or even sexual orientation, will recognize my voice as female, feminine, and therefore will feel and acknowledge the resemblance, the sorority. I am calling on to you my sisters because some of us are suffering today and I believe that we, as loving sisters, must show them we will not turn our backs on them. Muslim women are indeed women like us, mothers, daughters, and sisters. The most common thought when a Muslim woman is seen wearing a Hijab (headscarf) is to assume that it is a sign of oppression and that this woman is not free of her own choices. Yet in the “Western” world (of what I know myself from France and Canada) wearing a Hijab is certainly a very difficult and courageous act because it is the visible and unmistakable sign of a religion that has become synonymous with terrorism since the 9/11 attacks. But “terrorism” has no race or religion. The Muslim community, Islam, have nothing to be forgiven for. The actions of some people cannot justify the generalization of a whole group. I think History has proven this point many, many times. People from my father’s family have perished in concentration camps during World War II along with Jewish people, communists, homosexuals, and many other oppressed groups rejected solely because of their existence. This situation is not different. As human beings we cannot accept this injustice: we cannot condemn and reject Muslims on account of their nature. I was raised a Christian and as such I will address the Christian community, in particular the Catholics. Oh my sisters and brothers I am asking you, for the love of Jesus (peace be upon his head) himself: who is the good Christian? who is the good Catholic? I will tell you. The good Catholic is the one who hid his Protestant neighbours on the night of August 24, 1572 at Saint Barthélémy, France. An estimated 70,000 Protestants were killed in France, 3,000 in Paris. Yet a lot survived because good Catholics extended their hands to their Protestant brothers and sisters. The same good Catholics, good Christians, saved their Jewish neighbours from deportation during World War II. The good Christians today, I have no doubts, will reach out their hands onto their Muslim brothers and sisters.
All I am asking of you is to follow my lead in a peaceful and symbolical gesture: let us wear a Hijab for a day. Let us show our solidarity and love for our Muslim sisters who choose to wear it every day, not as a sign of oppression, but as a sign of courage and honesty.
After reviewing A Nuns Habit, which lists poorly devised reasons for not wearing the habit, I feel encouraged to write on the subject. In short, my opinion remains that all religious sisters and nuns should wear the habit of their respective orders. No longer should these women, who have given their lives to the service of God and the Church, be dressing like laypeople. It is time to return to the ancient practice of wearing a distinct habit - this is not fulfilled by wearing laypeople's clothing!
The habit inspires women to leave their lives and gives themselves to God. The same is true for men who are inspired by the garments worn by priests and monks. To enter a religious order, one does not just experience a change of heart and soul, rather, there is also a change in the physical realm. For example, many religious orders require the women to adopt a new name when they become a nun in addition to wearing the habit.
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