Tangling with the Muslim headscarf is no child's play, as this week's unpleasantness at Rye Playland proved all too well. There are lessons here both for Muslims and non-Muslims.

Muslims in America are free to express their religious identity, and today often choose to do so by adopting the hijab (a headscarf that covers only the hair and exposes the face) as a badge of devotion. Ignorance in many camps has helped this become intensely polarizing.

Though headscarves have come to symbolize Muslim identity in the post-9/11 world, the Koran does not in fact specify a particular garment for veiling. Yet, in an era of rising Islamic neo-orthodoxy, such inconvenient scriptural anomalies are often overlooked by Muslims ourselves.

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