Looks like the secular Uzbekistan government is trying to cover its bases when officials and doctors have deemed that both the Islamic hijab and European mini-skirts are dangerous for women’s health, and are advocating a return to traditional Uzbeki garb.
“Some religious extremist women carried guns under their hijab,” warned an official from the state religious committee in the television program called “Tahdid” (“Threat”).
Although no-one seems to specify the actual dangers of wearing mini-skirts, other than offending the eyes of religious fundamentalists, there are health hazards from wearing too much clothing, including Calcium and Vitamin D deficiency; both of which are needed for healthy bones. You see, when every inch of your body is covered, including your face, there is no way for the sun to process the Vitamin D which calcium needs to be absorbed into the body, and this can cause many diseases from osteoporosis to rickets to diabetes, heart disease, cancer and multiple sclerosis
A recent study
confirmed similar findings from another 2007 study of 87 Arab-American women in Dearborn Michigan that found the more conservative a woman dressed, the lower her vitamin D intake and consequently the higher her risk of disease.
Even a local imam, Anvar Qori Tursunov, has warned against wearing the hijab, also urging women to don traditional dress and stay away from “foreign influences.”
Tursunov said on Uzbek state TV that “Foreign clothes will bring foreign ideology, which is dangerous for Uzbekistan.”
Of course, Uzbekistan is known for its authoritarian rule, with some of the world’s worst human rights violations; and urging women to dress a certain way (though they have not yet actually banned western wear or the hijab, yet) is a violation of rights in itself. But you can’t fault them for trying to prevent the undue influence of Islamic extremism from overtaking their country. They obviously want their country to remain secular.
And some women are in total support of the idea
Dildora Hakimova, a teacher at Tashkent University, that she supports the imam’s call because “there should be a balance between the secular and religious, and one should not prevail over the other.”
And that’s what life is all about, balance.