Mosque Visit, Proper Dress

Old Jun 20th, 2005, 03:35 PM
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Mosque Visit, Proper Dress

Other than modest dress, how should a female dress when visiting a mosque? Is it necessary to cover the head if not a muslim? Or does it show respect and is expected of visitors. I noticed Laura Bush had a scarf on her head when she was visiting a holy site in the Middle East.

I recently visited a mosque in China without a head covering and was admited after paying a small entrance fee, but now wonder if I was unintentionally disrespectful. I was the only woman there and it never occurred to me to cover the head. Appreciate any advice from knowledgeable people.
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Old Jun 20th, 2005, 03:42 PM
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Yes, you must cover your head and shoulders too. Many mosques will have a covering for you to wear if it is deemed you are not appropriately dressed.

Even if they admit you without a head covering, I would wear one anyway out of respect.
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 12:00 PM
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Yes, you should wear a head covering and, as a previous poster wrote, your shoulders are usually covered, too, but I've always regarded that as just because the scarf was large enough, but it does address the need to display modesty, too. Jeans, pants, or showing too much skin in shorts, etc., are also usually not a good idea. People are ambassadors (aware or unaware) of their own countries and cultures, and when they display reasonable respect for other customs, they leave behind goodwill. You sound like a thoughtful, polite person, so I'm sure if you inadvertently did something they regarded as improper, they simply overlooked it. And this would be especially true if you were in a place that experiences many tourists.
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 01:15 PM
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Appropriate clothing applies to men as well as to women. Men in shorts are required to wear a sarong-like wrap provided by mosques we have visited in Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, and India.
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 04:17 PM
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Thanks to you all for the guidance. I suspected that I had been careless. Next time, I'll follow your advice and wear a large scarf over the head and shoulders.
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