Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How do YOU show your religious identity ?

BY: Gabrielle Cecala

Whether you are atheist, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Catholic or Hindu, we all have a religious identity. Some people reveal their religion through words, practices, clothing, tattoos, jewelry statues, figurines, paintings and even the way that they carry themselves s a person. 

Through our clothing we show what we believe. In Islam hijabs and jilbabs are worn for modesty. You may often see Muslim men with a beard wearing long robes and a kufi to display their religious identity.  Half of my family is Muslim and I, too one day will take my shahada, insha'allah. Many religions use pictures, statues, and ornaments to express faith in their homes. Islam is one religion that does NOT use statues or replicas of Allah or the prophet Mohammed. (صلى الله عليه وآله) Sometimes, henna is worn on the arms and feet of newly engaged and married women. In Hinduism saris are worn. Something similar to the hijab, but hair is still shown. Bindis are usually worn on the heads of married folks, but in certain occasions children wear it as well. An ignorant term that people usually call " a dot. " The real word is a bindi. Many Buddhists show their faith by jade bracelets and statues of Buddha and incense with offerings of fresh fruits. In Catholicism, crosses are usually worn as jewelry. Another popular trend that I have been seeing for a while now is people wearing rosaries. Many catholics and Christians get tattoos of crosses on their bodies to express their religious identity. Many of these religious are similar in a way. in almost all of these religions, everything that is bad for you is against that particular religion.

Some people are scared to defend and show their faith, for the fear of being judged. In almost every religion, if you are fearful of what others may think of you for defending or showing your religion, that is a sin. I, myself am not scared to show the world who I am. The world is one big place. We are all unique and different from each other. We are all our own individuals. There is no need to worry about what others think of you, as long as you are proud of who and what you are. Ever since 9/11, I must say that as an Arab-American, it is very hard to display religious identity without other judging you. Religion is supposed to bring peace to ones self and to others, whether they follow the same practices or not.


  1. I can see where you are comming from, there are a lot of ways to show your religion. There are also people were afraid showing their religion as well. I remember in elementary school when everyone in my class was making fun of me, and saying stuff about me because I'm not Christian. However, today I'm not religious at all, I don't believe I ever was. I only said I was Buddist because my parents told me that's what I am. In contrast to then, I am my own person and I don't believe in a religion. From my stand point I'll believe once I see for myself, basically when I'm dead I guess.

  2. It's true since 9/11 we Muslims are afraid to show who we really are because we're afraid of how people are going to judged us maybe that we're terrorist or evil. I have a christian friend who still believes all Muslims are terrorists. I am a Muslim and am proud to say it to the world that this is my religion and this is where i belong to. All over the world we all serve the same God it is just the way we call unto God that is different

  3. I myself do not really have a particular religion, but I consider myself spiritual. I express my religion by having a tattoo of angels and a cross to symbolize heaven on my back. It is a shame that people are more worried about being criticized rather than being their true self. How can they be true with other individuals?