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or, the differences between Muslim and Christian guidelines for modest dress.

I know this may be difficult for those outside of either religion to see the differences. It is easy to simply group all modesty teachings together as the ravings of religious fundamentalists and move on, but by doing so you miss a vitally important part of understanding the world’s two largest religions.

In Muslims areas of the world, women, regardless of their personal faith, are required to wear the burqa with threat of law or bodily harm. In Christian areas of the world, women have no such requirement or binding to dress modestly. The huge difference between the two is the application of the law to force a purely religious issue on all of society.

The Bible instructs Christian women to dress modestly so as to help out Christian men trying to avoid lustful thoughts. And while it may would be a positive thing for our society to reevaluate the attire (or lack thereof) that young women (and men) wear, there will be no call to institute a Christian-esqe Sharia law dictating exactly what everyone women in America can legally wear. The teaching was meant to apply and appeal strictly to Christian women. While the principle (dress modestly) can and should be adopted by others, it will not be required by force or law.

Christian women are asked to dress modestly. Muslim women (and any women in a Muslim area) are commanded and threatened to go far beyond modesty, covering up every vestige of skin except eye slits.

The short cut response to hearing any call for modesty is to begin yelling “Fundamentalist!” as loud as you can, but it illustrates a complete lack of comprehension of either religion that you are comparing.

If you doubt the differences between the two, why don’t you ask a fundamentalist Muslim man if Christian women dress modestly enough or ask a Muslim women longing for freedom if she would rather live under the Muslim dress code or the Christian one. I think the answers to those questions will make my point better than I ever could.