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Today, no female image invites a multitude of mixed reactions than that of a woman wearing a tudung (head scarf). A naked woman generally evokes one big reaction and then that's it.

The tudung itself, or versions of it, is called by different names in different languages. In this article and because I am writing primarily for a Malaysian audience, I will use only the Malay word tudung to refer to that article of clothing that Muslim women wear to cover their hair, ears, neck and shoulders.

The tudung is international. It has a variety of colours and styles and it frames just as diverse a spectrum of faces. The skin colour of those faces may vary just as the colour of the eyes in those faces may vary. Those faces may, or may not, be made up.

There are more Muslim women who wear the tudung than there are those who wear the type of veil which partially or completely covers the face. Some Jewish and Christian women too wear, or have worn, a type of tudung .

But the Islamic tudung has somehow become more distinguishable and visible. So what kind of image does the Islamic tudung continue to generate in the world today?

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