This month a little less than a billion of the world's population will be fasting and praying to Allah, the god of Islam. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. Incidentally, many people put on weight during this month, as they feast early in the morning and late at night after the sun goes down. But you have to respect their commitment.
I was talking to Ava about how we need to be praying that Jesus would reveal himself to them as they pray. Our conversation somehow shifted to a Hindu kid in her class who brought an idol for show-and-tell to some covered ladies that Ava has seen at the mall.
She asked, "Does God want us (girls) to be covered up like them?"
I've been to five Muslim countries and I've seen the oppression of many women firsthand. I've met Muslim women whose stories are not unlike the horrors found in A Thousand Splendid Suns.
So with that baggage, the best I could do was to tell Ava that "their God is mean."
He doesn't just want them to be modest, he wants them to lose their identity and femininity. I know that isn't always the case, as many of the head coverings are pretty stylish, and many moderate Muslims reject such extreme forms of modesty. But Ava had in her mind the full on burqa covering.
Although this is becoming more and more counter-cultural to even bring up the topic, I'll use this opportunity to talk about Christian modesty. I'm pretty sure God's will for Christian women is not the burqa; however, there is a modesty line somewhere. There is often a disregard for modesty, as I've observed this a lot in college and youth ministry. I was appalled at a swimming party we had a few years ago for our junior highers. The swim suits these 12-14 year old girls were wearing...Wow. And that, with mom and dad's approval...
My encouragement to young women is to invite the wisdom of older women into your life when it comes to modesty. Ask the women who dress stylishly feminine what they think of your wardrobe.
I've also seen a number of "Little House on the Prairie" Christian sub-cultures. I'm not sure God's will has to mean that you knit your own dresses.