If you are Amish and accustomed to seeing women only in long-sleeve, floor-length dresses with bonnets covering their hair, it must be uncomfortable to visit a non-Amish town and confront women in miniskirts, girls in tank tops and females of every size and shape in form-fitting garments cut down to here and up to there.

But that's life in a free society. Any Amish who object to provocatively dressed females have the option of staying away or averting their gaze. Any non-Amish who are annoyed by the sight of "Little House on the Prairie" fashions can do likewise.

The mutual tolerance approach works well in this country. But some nations that require ultra-conservative Muslims to accept constant exposure to immodest attire think modern Westerners should not have to put up with the clothing choices of ultra-conservative Muslims.

These governments want to forbid women to venture into public wearing the niqab, the black dress that covers everything but the eyes, and the burqa, which covers the eyes as well. Belgium has banned them, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to do the same.

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