April 8, 2012 |
Joe Biel seems quite at ease on a recent Saturday morning, sitting for a conversation in his Chinatown live-work studio, sipping iced coffee. He faces a panoramic drawing of 1,124 tiny televisions aligned in towering stacks, each set with a meticulously rendered and often recognizable image on-screen. Biel, 45, has been working on the piece for two years and expects it will take him an additional year to complete. As eloquent and enthusiastic as he is about the work's sources and his process, "Veil," he admits, also makes him uncomfortable.
July 26, 2010
An 'honest meal' Re "Restaurant closure hard to swallow," July 22 As a downtown resident, I have to say that the trendy new restaurants where every item is served a la carte and in tiny portions at inflated prices can't compare to Edward's Steak House. As a boy, my parents took me to Edward's on Alvarado. I will never forget the gracious servers or the nice old man in the parking lot who always helped customers find a space — not to mention the delicious, juicy steaks.
July 19, 2010
What's behind the veil Re "French National Assembly approves ban on face veils," July 14 A recent Pew survey reported that more than 60% of Europeans favor the ban on full-face veils and only 28% of Americans do. This indicates to me that Europeans have a better appreciation for the ideal of true liberty for all individuals, an ideal for which our forefathers and mothers fought: the freedom to pursue self-chosen goals in life. Can a person whose face is always hidden in public realistically run for public office, be hired as a physician or as a schoolteacher, or serve in the military?
July 31, 2011 |
A Quiet Revolution The Veil's Resurgence From the Middle East to America Leila Ahmed Yale University Press: 352 pp., $30 When I was 13, one of my classmates came to school one morning wearing a beige head scarf. This was in the 1980s, in Morocco. Surprised by her attire, I joined a group of girls who gathered around her, watching them pepper her with questions. Our classmate calmly replied that she had decided to wear the hijab because that was what a "true" Muslim girl should do. This struck us as strange.
November 22, 2010 |
The unveiled one enters. That's what you notice first when Amal Basha, black hair flowing, hurries into the room, deploying sentences like poetic armies. She mentions that she's just returned from a human rights conference and is on her way to a seminar against torture. A man slides a tray before her and disappears. Tea? Coffee? A cigarette? A story? "I had to wear the full niqab when I was 8 years old," she says of the face veil worn by women here. "I couldn't breathe.
January 20, 2002 |
A few years ago, someone from the Feminist Majority Foundation called the Muslim Women's League to ask if she could "borrow a burka" for a photo shoot the organization was doing to draw attention to the plight of women in Afghanistan under the Taliban. When we told her that we didn't have one, and that none of our Afghan friends did either, she expressed surprise, as if she'd assumed that all Muslim women keep burkas in their closets in case a militant Islamist comes to dinner. She didn't seem to understand that her assumption was the equivalent of assuming that every Latino has a Mexican sombrero in their closet.
April 7, 2011 |
People should be free to publish cartoons of Mohammad. They should be free to wear the burka. In a free society, men and women should be able to do, say, write, depict or wear what they like, so long as it does no significant harm to others. Those who support a burka ban, like the one that goes into effect in France on Monday, must therefore show us the harm that comes from women being in public with their faces covered. So far, the supporters of a ban have advanced three main arguments.
June 2, 2003
Re "Woman Says Veil Is a Must in License Photo," May 28: I was under the impression that, even though we have religious freedom here, we still have separation of religion and government. Wearing the veil is Sultaana Freeman's prerogative for her religion. The government has its own requirements. Note that Utah rescinded the multiple marriage law (which was a part of Mormonism) and went to the law of the land. I see other Muslim women who interpret the Koran as not requiring the veil.
October 12, 1997
In "Unveiling the Book Behind the Cover" (Voices, Oct. 4), a young woman talked about how wearing hijab made her a new person with a new character. She wrote about how happy she was since she decided to wear the veil. As I was reading, I remembered my friend's back, cut open in 50 parts. She was given 50 lashes for not having the proper hijab. She was 16 years old. I remembered my neighbor begging the government police to not take her 14-year-old. The girl's hair was out of veil.