This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington.
In recent weeks, skirmishes in the cultural conflict over the clothes worn by some Muslim women erupted in Belgium's parliament, in an Italian court and at a traffic stop in France. The burqa and the niqab cover a woman's body almost completely, but there are also disputes over less comprehensive coverings, including the head scarf.
While the issue of the moment is about Muslim dress, Islam is hardly the only religion that connects modesty to faith. Mormons wear special garments. Amish women adopt plain clothes and cover their heads - men, too. Some Jews and Christians either encourage or require modest appearance, and many faiths have rules about hair - again both male and female.
Is this tradition or scripture? What kinds of problems do these practices present in a largely secular world? If you practice modesty as a way to connect to your faith, we'd like to hear from you. Give us a call: 800-989-8255. Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join the conversation on our website. That's at npr.org. Click on TALK OF THE NATION.
We begin with Sally Quinn, founder and co-moderator of On Faith, a religion blog for the Washington Post. And she joins us from the studio at the newspaper. Nice to have you back on TALK OF THE NATION.