Let me begin by saying how much I enjoyed your appreciation of the freedoms in the United States.

Having spent three years in an Islamic country, I am well aware of their dress code. I find it ironic that Muslims in Europe are fighting for the right I was deprived of when I entered a Muslim country, the right to dress as I pleased. I was required to cover my arms and legs. Upon my return home I was immediately grateful for the ability to dress as I wished. On the surface it would seem that this standard of freedom should be easily applied in Europe.

However, that fails to address the deeper roots that may be the cause of the problem. It seems to me that your editorial (“Why is Muslim women’s clothing at issue in Europe,” May 13) avoids deeper issues.

For instance, you never discuss the historical clash between Christianity and Islam that has played itself out in the history of the Middle East and Europe. Even here in the United States, our reaction to the sight of an exponential increase of women in burkas might be similar to that found in France. The secular freedoms found in both Europe and the United States have their basis in a long battle with theocracy to achieve them.

Perhaps the people of France are inwardly fearful of a return to a theocratic way of life. Perhaps their apprehension toward Muslim dress is simply a gut reaction based on their understanding of history.

I read your editorial because its headline intrigued me. However, it failed to discuss the real issues and, in fact, seemed to belittle the depth and sensitivities involved. This is not an easy topic to approach, but it’s also not something to be taken lightly.