Headscarves for female soldiers in Afghanistan defended
1st Lt. Ana Monteiro swings with an Afghan girl at Ariana School in Kabul, Afghanistan.
April 5th, 2011
10:30 AM ET

Headscarves for female soldiers in Afghanistan defended

The top American military officer defended the Department of Defense policy of encouraging female troops to wear headscarves while on duty in Afghanistan, despite criticism the practice makes "second-class warriors."

"Those female service members ... do so as a personal choice," Adm. Mike Mullen wrote to Rep. James Langevin, D-Rhode Island, last week. "They feel this gesture helps them in accomplishing their mission by serving as a sign of courtesy and respect toward the locals."

For years, some American military women have worn headscarves, similar to traditional Afghan hijabs, when interacting with local civilians.

Read the full story on the Belief Blog
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Hal Jorden

    It's nice that they can form bonds with the locals.

    May 26, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. Kevin

    Just one more reason that woman are more harm than good in the military. Sorry ladies

    April 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Women are used in a disgusting way by the US politicians. They suffer a lack of consideration, and are pushed to joint the military to get that respect that should be normally given. Unfortunately they can be usefull in the military as they are keen to execute orders. The military remain a place where only animals can stay fine.

      April 14, 2011 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Susan A.

      Kevin, I'm going to be honest and tell you I find your comment highly offensive. Amazing how people can critique the Middle East on women's rights and then have American men making comments like that. Women do a lot of jobs in the military that contribute just as much as men.

      April 21, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Susan A.

    The Army forbids women to wear the hijab while in uniform. When I converted to Islam while still serving, a chaplain told me this. I was annoyed that the US Army was taking away my religious freedom, but dealt with it as I had signed my contract before conversion. There was nothing I could really do to change it as other Muslim women in the Army had already tried. I'm glad they give women the choice to wear the hijab in Afghanistan regardless of religious preference. Men have no idea how annoying it is to receive so much attention while in the middle east. Everywhere you go either other soldiers stare at you like a juicy piece of steak or the middle easterners do. I imagine it makes women's jobs easier to just cover up. While I was over there we didn't have that option.

    April 6, 2011 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      I can understand you, and I am glad that your contract with the military is over. There is always the opportunity to object like the christian navy officer Izbicki did recently.

      April 6, 2011 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. andrew lubin

    It's their country; their religion, and if we want to be considered 'friends' and not 'infidel invaders' like the Brits and Russians, then perhaps showing an understanding of their culture would go a long way.

    April 5, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  5. salerno

    They claimed to free islamic women from burqa and other forms of covering the heads, and the exact contrary is happening !!
    Of course the muslim women have no intention to change.

    April 5, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Very nice post , Yacobi,. Very true and very deeep.

      April 5, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |