Do Only Muslims Have Modestly Laws?

A Brooklyn-based Hasidic newspaper removed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and another woman from the now-iconic photo.

The newspaper Der Tzitung, described by the Jewish Week as “ultra-Orthodox,” has a policy of never printing photos of women in its pages because it thinks they could be sexually suggestive. Thus, Clinton and counterterrorism director Audrey Tomason, who was seen standing at the back of the room, were removed from the picture.

Explaining why they had removed Clinton and Tomason.

“In accord with our religious beliefs, we do not publish photos of women, which in no way relegates them to a lower status,” the statement said in part. “… Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive.”

They wrote in response to this incident, “The allegations that religious Jews denigrate women or do not respect women in public office, is a malicious slander and libel. The current Secretary of State, the Honorable Hillary R. Clinton, was a Senator representing New York State with great distinction 8 years. She won overwhelming majorities in the Orthodox Jewish communities in her initial campaign in ’00, and when she was re-elected in ’06, because the religious community appreciated her unique capabilities and compassion to all communities. The Jewish religion does not allow for discrimination based on gender, race, etc.

We respect all government officials. We even have special prayers for the welfare of our Government and the government leaders, and there is no mention of gender in such prayers.

All Government employees are sworn into office, promising adherence to the Constitution, and our Constitution attests to our greatness as a nation that is a light beacon to the entire world. The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. (See below.) That has precedence even to our cherished freedom of the press! In accord with our religious beliefs, we do not publish photos of women, which in no way relegates them to a lower status. Publishing a newspaper is a big responsibility, and our policies are guided by a Rabbinical Board. Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive.

We are proud Americans of the Jewish faith, and there is no conflict in that, and we will with the help of the Almighty continue as law-abiding citizens, in this great country of our’s, until the ultimate redemption.”

We Muslims agree with the following Jewish statements about modestly and that it is not intended to hurt anyones feelings at the personal level.

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