Do clothes make the Muslim?

The French cabinet approved a draft law this week that would make it illegal for women to veil their faces so that only their eyes—and sometimes not even their eyes—are visible. Wearing what are called burqas or niqabs, the women in question keep their bodies cloaked and their hands gloved even in the heat of summer. They say this is their religious duty and their civil right.

In the United States, meanwhile, controversy continues about Rima Fakih, a 24-year-old Arab-American from a Lebanese Shiite Muslim family who won the Miss USA beauty pageant on Sunday after her stellar appearance in a bikini. At least one surly blonde tried to suggest Fakih has family ties to Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon, but the big question that briefly threatened her hold on the crown was whether she was too sexy in a pole-dancing competition she entered a couple of years ago.

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