Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mary's Hijab

It isn't often that Mary, the mother of Jesus, has been portrayed without a head covering of some kind. There are images of Mary wearing a crown to signify her exalted role as God-bearer.
Most of the time it is a simple cloth covering, not unlike the hijab.

This came to mind as I munched my Shreddies this morning and listened to the CBC report about a soccer league in Alberta which will allow girls to wear the Islamic head covering when they play. This is definitely a "tempest in a teapot" from my perspective. It has been argued that wearing the hijab is a safety issue so it must be banned, but I am dubious about this explanation. Surely it has more to do with our notions of fitting in. Remember when the world was going to end if we allowed Sikh RCMP officers to wear turbans and beards? I remember being miffed about this challenge to a Canadian institution. Now I wonder why it bothered me. The controversy quietly went away and now the Mounties have far more pressing issues to contend with.

I won't be thinking about girl's soccer when I see all the images of Mary through the rest of the season but I will ponder the wonderful act of inclusive love which was the birth of Jesus, the Saviour.

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