Interfaith Panel Tackles Modesty, Modernity

February 14, 2007

Author: Michah Rynor

Source: University of Toronto Campus News

European governments are currently debating whether or not to ban certain Islamic garb worn by Muslim women due to their concerns that veils and hijabs cause civil strife, discourage assimilation and help disguise terrorists and lawbreakers.

The Canadian debate has been far less dramatic but it continues to be a topic of discussion, so on Jan. 25, the anti-racism and cultural diversity office, the Muslim Students’ Association, U of T Compass Catholic Fellowship and Hillel of U of T held a panel discussion on the subject of modesty and modernity at the university’s Multifaith Centre.

“This is part of our ongoing series of conversations on spirituality and the student experience,” said Nouman Ashraf, director of the anti-racism and cultural diversity office and moderator of the panel. “In response to student input, we’re presenting this topic to explore how being modern and modest are often seen as being at opposite ends of the spectrum.”

Panellist and nutritional sciences student Farah Naja, who wore the hijab with a contemporary black pantsuit, said, “Dress doesn’t make the person.