As mainstream Muslim women, we see the girl’s headscarf not as a signal of “choice,” but as a symbol of a dangerous purity culture, obsessed with honor and virginity, that has divided Muslim communities. Continue reading...
The clash of values emerged this past New Year’s Eve on the streets of Cologne, Germany, when dozens of marauding young men, many of them described as coming from Muslim communities in North Africa and the Middle East, sexually assaulted scores of young women, setting off a scandal in Germany.

Last month, Hala Arafa, an Egyptian-American journalist, and I wrote a Washington Post essay arguing that the headscarf isn’t Islamically mandated. We received verbal abuse from American Muslim leaders and academics, not to mention countless angry online comments. But we also received hundreds of messages of support and thanks from Muslims and others who appreciated our candor. We’d like to have a civil conversation on this topic, and we welcome thoughtful comments and questions from the Parlio community.

Please find our New York Times piece here:

This is our original Washington Post article: