The Citadel, founded in 1842, is one of the most esteemed military colleges in the United States and has a 175-year history of a strict dress code that coincides with the lessons they are attempting to teach the students about cohesion and discipline. An incoming female freshman has requested to wear her headscarf and it is being reviewed with a decision coming next month because religious accommodations are considered.
The accommodations are not permitted if they “will have an adverse impact on a competing institutional interest including, but not limited to, cohesion, morale, good order and discipline, cadet welfare, safety and/or health…accommodation of a cadet’s religious practices must be examined considering these factors and cannot be guaranteed at all times.”
Will she next ask to say prayers several times a day no matter what? Will they have to ban pork? These are just questions.
The students wear buttoned-up uniforms, close-cropped hair, and they wear their uniforms nearly all the time. They have a 35-page booklet of rules and regulations addressing military courtesies and uniforms.
The headscarf is more politics than religion and in any case, the system is more important than the religion. Cadets of other religions must hide religious jewelry such as a cross.
Precedent has been set however.
A Sikh college student at Hofstra University on Long Island was allowed to enroll in the US Army’s Reserve Officer Training Corps without shaving his beard, cutting his hair or removing his turban because a judge ruled it didn’t diminish his ability to serve.
It does dramatically change the entire purpose of a strict dress code however.
ROTC began allowing women to wear the hijab in its activities in 2011.
It is not acceptable for the headscarf to be worn in public places or in military schools or service in a secular society if we are to be true to our principles but PC and hypocrisy abounds. If you state the obvious, however, you will be accused of Islamophobia.
Mohammad saw the woman as an object of lust. There does not exist a greater fitna [temptation] for the man than the woman.
The hijab is the direct cause of the stigmatisation of non-Muslim women and bad (sic) Moslimas.
The hijab shows modesty according to Arabs in America. They say women choose to wear it to show modesty or their devotion to God and still others wear it to show their Muslim identity. Whether they choose to or not is an open question.
Female hair is considered awra (an intimate part of the body that must be covered by clothing) in much of Islam. There is no such requirement for men.
The Quran mandates hijab (literally “cover”) for both men and women though men have largely abandoned the practice.
The Quran states “tell the believing men to lower their gaze (in the presence of women), this is better for them”, and for women “tell the believing women to put their khimar over their bosoms”. The word “khimar” by all Arabic translations means “a veil worn by a women to cover her head”, and the second part of the verse, “over their bosoms” indicates women should cover their breasts in the presence of men who are not their immediate relatives.
Men must not look sensually at women – those temptresses.
Some Muslims take a relativist approach to hijab. They believe that the commandment to maintain modesty must be interpreted with regard to the surrounding society – they assimilate.
Some governments encourage and even oblige women to wear the hijab, while others have banned it in at least some public settings.
Some Muslims believe the hijab covering for women should be compulsory as part of sharia, i.e. Muslim law. Wearing the hijab was enforced by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. The Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan required women to cover not only their head but their face as well, because “the face of a woman is a source of corruption” for men not related to them.Today, covering the face by niqab is compulsory in many sacred places in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Iran demands it.
Turkey, Tunisia, and Tajikistan ban it in public buildings.
In 2014 the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was reported to have executed several women for not wearing the niqab with gloves.
Hamas tries to force it in place like Gaza with a good deal of success.
In 2014 the Legislative Council of Aceh, Indonesia passed Qanun Acara Jinayat (a sharia-based criminal procedures code) applying Islamic law to everyone in the province, including non-Muslims. This would compel non-Muslims to wear hijab. The bill is under national government review.
In Srinagar, India in 2001 an “acid attack on four young Muslim women … by an unknown militant outfit [was followed by] swift compliance by women of all ages on the issue of wearing the chadar (head-dress) in public.”
Islamists in other countries have been accused of attacking or threatening to attack the faces of women in an effort to intimidate them from wearing makeup or from wearing allegedly immodest dress.
You can read more about the hijab here but given its connotations, it’s not appropriate for The Citadel.
A student who will graduate soon from the Citadel wrote about a student with Cerebral Palsy who had to pass the same tests as everyone else. There were no special accommodations. It’s the way it should be.
He added: “If I valued liberal ideology, I would go to UC Berkeley. I’d wear, say, and do whatever I wanted and it wouldn’t cost the university any time or money for me to do so. If I valued conservative ideology and wanted to challenge myself in a military environment, I would go to the Citadel. It’s no secret that you can’t wear what you want when you’re at the Citadel. You’re punished even for wearing what you want when you’re not on campus. But, those who come here are signing up for that, no matter how much they hate it (we do). So it’s not unfair to those people who want to join an organization with the intentions of excluding themselves from the regulations, it’s unfair to those who practice within the realms of those regulations. It’s unfair to the school having to change rules and adjust to the individual, when the individual could’ve gone to USC without incident. Your expression of self shouldn’t place a burden of cost on others.”
It’s a long post but good.