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To ban or not to ban? And what to ban?
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In an age where the advertisement of food is sold pornographically. Where the very essence of a woman is expressed only in her "assets". In a society where motherhood, sisterhood and the like, is becoming diluted , less potent than that of the ultra-femme career woman with wardrobe, botox and sexual innuendo to match.
It makes me wonder, if a man sees a lady covering her privates, would he respect her less than a lady exposing her privates?
Women are actually encouraged by men to expose their bodies more often, with connotations such as beauty, liberation, and freedom.
That is degrading in itself. Women are obsessed with body image, weight loss, anti-aging therapies, all to look younger, sexier, but for whom?
All woman are beautiful and those that choose to be conservative by saying hey, I choose to cover my body up so that you may speak to me not my boobs. Well, I respect that more than a woman that uses her boobs to get ahead in the workplace.
As far as the burqa, nikab goes, it is not Islamically recommended.
But with an oil slick in the ocean, and the increase of facial piercing and facial tattooing, how did the French president prioritise clothing over all this? Why did he not ban excessive facial piercing as a security risk?
There are african women in France, a larger population than that of burqa clad women might I add, whom have facial branding etched into their flesh with knives and thin needles, this is a part of their culture.
I have no problem with this, and i am not attacking it. But why didn't the French president think to ban this as it is a form of self mutilation and a threat to the right of women?
It's just ridiculous, dictatorial and threatens the freedom of choice and liberty of humans.
Shame on the French president for wasting his country's time and wasting the time of the world by discussing such matters.
Live and let live! Focus on the quality of life that the poor people in your own country are leading first!
I see a lot of Muslims not even considering our western views and what they are actually about. I keep hear thier views on our women and even when you try to explain they still dont understand...so they then tell us to read all this stuff...so we do.
The same thing goes round in a circle...Westerners are used to critical thinking and we can pick up concepts pretty quick we dont need to read streams of Islamic text to know whats right we are used to thinking for ourselves.
Sometimes I amuse myself with the thought that secretly the men are hiding all these amazinly stunning girls and they dont want our trustworthy and honerable western men getting to them.
why is there even a debate about this boring subject?
this whole burqa veil thing is about sex. it is not like wearing a turban, cross or tatto. it is about sex and morality as the oh so pious 'brother" ashraf ali pointed out that was the only thing he found of significance at the g8 summit. and according to him sex is evil and the burqa will protect you from evil .i am so going to hell for this?naked in hell with all thos flames111 oh maybe i'll put on some knickers and the burqa on top ..no need for a wash or makeup....how s your cancer now? need some medication for your disease?
when i see a lady in normal jeans and clothes, i feel and think nothing. shes just another person. what do you feel ashraf ali? maybe you are a sexual deviant and need to be locked away?
what do i feel when i see a woman wearing a burqa"?: isnt she hot? how many of those does she own to be able to wear a clean and washed one every day? why doesnt she rebel for godssake and refuse to wear it?
this is all about sex and morality..and all of us women who dont wear the burqa are immoral and depraved correct?
Why such a hatred for people of a diffrent belief than yours?
No, its not mandatory at all in Islam to cover your faces and is not practiced by most Muslim women.
However, if a woman wants to wear niqab or cover her face why should anyone have any problems? Do we have problems with people wearing hats and scarves that cover almost all of their faces?
melies when something is done to show disrespect to someones beliefs and traditions then it does become painful.
then again where are your principles of equality and freedom of choice when you spark hatred for a particular race or creed? Think!
FK @ 20 July 2010 at 12:36
FK is a cyclist and of course it would just about impossible to cycle in a burqa. When bicycles became popular at the end of the nineteenth century in Britain they were liberating for women because they offered freedom of movement and also encouraged women to wear less restrictive and voluminous clothing.
I don't live in London but I do wish women that did would cycle along with FK as a kind of a reclaim the streets movement, like the reclaim the night marches.
Syria bans face veils at universities
Hijab and Niqab are symbols of hatred that Islamist (that is uneducated and superstitious) women wear, sometimes against their own will.
Mehdi - a proud Muslim apostate
Fact of the day: Did you know Mohammed died of syphillis?
This entire futile debate would not even be happening if Muslims and their Western collaborators would acknowledge what becomes clearer every day - that Islam and the West are incompatible - and took the appropriate actions, which are: repatriation, deportation, closing off of Islamic immigration, ring-fencing and keeping a watching brief from then on.
Wakeup - OMG u r so rite.
I don't have any particular opinion on hijab/niquab/burkhah apart from passport photos should definitely require verification.
What's upset me enough to comment is Mohammad Ismail's blatant lack of historical knowledge! It is not OK to re-write history just to corroberate a point you want to make.
It is not enough just to say, for example, "Greek" civilisation - many civilisations have existed in Greece - pick one! Classical Sparta (a greek civilisation) had pretty much the best women's rights in the world at that time. Spartan women were accored the vote around 400BC while British women were not allowed to vote untill 1925AD.
I'm not going to go down the list because it'll give me a heart attck but I charge MI with having just made it up as he went along, with perhaps a vague memory of history class in mind.
"Ancient Egypt" spans a period of over 3,000 years for God's sake! Thanks for condensing 3,000 years of culture into one short sentance, I suppose I won't need that PHD after all.
A society which is forced by law to be secular is not making itself more secular it is simply creating the semblance of a secular society by becoming more authoritarian.
Banning the burqa would merely serve to hide the outward manifestation of the cultural effects that mass immigration is bringing to European society without actually addressing the cause.
The problem is that secularism itself is nothing more than a cultural vacuum caused by the loss of belief in the native culture and traditions of Europe leading to their marginalisation and with it the people associated with those traditions, that vacuum is now being filled by immigrant people, traditions and cultures which inevitably offend the exceptional and historically atypical norms of the secular society as well as the residual native cultural sensibilities of more conservative European people.
Muslims need to do a lot to set things straight keeping in mind that we all are living in 21st century not in 7th century.
First - all unauthenticated Hadeeths should be thrown out or better a panel of scholars should go through all the hadeeths of Bukhari, Muslim, ibn Maja, Trimizi etc and take out only those which are 100% right or true and which your mind and nature will agree to. I am sure no such thing was uttered by the prophet which will go against the nature of humans.
Second - again a panel of Jurists and scholars should agree on the Shariah keeping in mind that we are living in the 21st century. Get rid of all cultural things which creeped into the religion and above all we all should try to contain the influence of Wahabism - which made islam a dry religon of rituals.
This is to begin with soonest.
I think that Melies made two important points:
1. Just because women in the West are not legally forced to cover themselves, that does not mean that all who do so do it by choice. A woman, especially a married woman living in a tight knit community of immigrants, may have very little choice about how she dresses. Even the social stigma that could result from dressing as "a loose woman" and the extreme pressure placed upon her by friends and family can compel a woman to cover herself. I think, as many others have said, that banning the niqab would possibly lessen one of the many social pressures that these women feel in their communities.
2. Not all men are evil. I promise. And also, some of the arguments above equate Western emancipated women and promiscuous women. I strongly resent this. A woman who wears pants and has a job is different from one who sleeps around. It seems like a lot of the rationale behind the niqab is a hyper fear of masculine aggression and an idea that women cannot avoid promiscuity.
I prefer to take a more optimistic view of the human race, and believe that a woman can feel the breeze on her face and look up at the sun without tearing open the fundamental fabric of society.
I am a Muslim woman who doesn't wear the hijab or the naqab as I see no reason to wear it for either religious (the Quran urges modesty for both sexes and I don't see the need to interpret this as a uniform for women)or fashionable reasons. Ironically no one above seems to have picked up on the variety of ways the hijab seems to make a fashion statement: posh Arab women on Sloane street like to wear it turban style with a Hermes scarf and younger women in tight fitting clothes are not averse to jazzing it up with glittery sequins. And some women do it as an act of faith or identity, some do it because that's what they were conditioned or told to do and some do it to "fit in." However, I'm not sure how the hijab or niqab qualifies as a "hate mask" (re: A.M.R's previous comment, and yes I do know the difference between the two). If there were women in either walking around Blackburn market they were probably too engrossed in picking out tomatoes than in focusing beady little eyes full of hate at AMR from strategically disguised positions. As to the issue of anonymity, a woman wearing a hijab is as acessible to CCTV as one wearing a hat to fend off the cold. And if the latter wraps a scarf a bit higher around her neck that probably makes her as anonymous as a woman in niqab. So what will you do next - ban hats and scarves? As for Tony predicting "burqa bombers" will suddenly invade our streets...you might have noticed that suicide bombers are not particularly averse to being recognised; in fact they tend to record videos telling you clearly who they are and why they did it. Take a look at any of the terrorists from 7/7 or more recently Mumbai and you'll notice that terrorists seem to favour t-shirts and jeans rather than burqas. Regardless, if you see a platoon of either hijab or burqa clad women enjoying a pint in the pub you probably should worry.
Thanks you so much for your thorough explanation of the French position. Me too I am fed up with the total misunderstanding of the French attempt to ban the niqab by the British public opinion.It is NOT racist to want all French women including Muslim women to be free and act free. The Niqab is a symbol of women's oppression and, after having banned, successfully, the hijab in schools,the government is simply trying to stop adult women of being forced, as they all are, one way or another,to wear this dreadful garb.It is not a racist act but, if anything, a feminist act, as the spirit of the law, if passed, is concern for women's rights and nothing else.The niqab has simply no place in French society and undermine the dignity of all French women, by sending the message that there is something shameful about a woman's face.As Melies explains, it is inspired by a very long tradition of secularism and struggle against the oppression of religion.Equality and human rights are at the core of French identity and it is in this context that one must see this law proposal.
All the quotes from my previous posts are from Islamic sources which I am sure everyone has noticed you do not care to refute.
Please stop whining that everyone who does not support the veil is, desperate,crazed,full of hatred,a fascist and a Nazi.
As it may appear to others that you are not only intellectually deficient and lacking in any creativity but that you are also engaging in the emotional projection of quality's that you yourself possess.
That is to say you could appear to be a desperate,crazed,hate filled Islmofascist.
Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 33:
Narrated Usama bin Zaid:
The Prophet said, "After me I have not left any affliction more harmful to men than women."
Tabari IX:113 "Allah permits you to shut them in separate rooms and to beat them, but not severely. If they abstain, they have the right to food and clothing(they should be locked up naked ,with no food until they abstain) Treat women well for they are like domestic animals and they possess nothing themselves. Allah has made the enjoyment of their bodies lawful in his Qur'an."
In this country Muslim women(unfortunately for you)
are able to
'Burqa Off'.... .. .... ....
So many of these postings about whether or not women should be free to cover their faces in public are in fact all about men, and a woman's relationship with a man, or men, whether family, friends or strangers.
I agree that a woman should be free to choose whether to cover her face but I also would argue that most women who do cover their faces have not freely chosen to do so.
In an ideal world, women would freely choose to wear what they wanted regardless of male opinion - and women's beauty and appearance would not be used to sell anything. But we don't have an ideal world, we are still working on it - and one of the ways that our world will become more tolerant, more communal and more integrated is if we can see and trust each other. Covering one's face - whether with a balaclava, a scarf, a niqab or anything - is essentially a way of disengaging, of trying to be anonymous, of separating oneself from the society, community and culture around one. Muslim women are often separated already by the differing cultures of their background, family and the Western society in which they live. Muslim men seem to adapt far more easily and seem freer to engage more. Until women both Muslim and non-Muslim are truly considered as, and treated as, equals to men, covering one's face for a patriarchal religion will always be seen as a sign of oppression and lack of free will. In a society which prizes secular freedoms and which is still fighting for female equality, it is both a logical and fairly inevitable step to ban religious clothing that obscures women's faces.
Thank you!Finally some sense at last!
Reading the Koran in context rather than according to Abrogation,Naskh (نسخ) would be a start.
BUT as abrogation is accepted practice I wont hold my breath and as a culture we have to deal with Islam as it is.Not how it should be or could be.
.RE 'Jurists and scholars should agree on the Shariah keeping in mind that we are living in the 21st century. Get rid of all cultural things which creeped into the religion and above all we all should try to contain the influence of Wahabism - which made islam a dry religon of rituals.'
I would be wonderful if you could get a group of universally accepted jurist together to drag Islam into the 21st century rather than being stuck in the 10c when the door of Ishtihad/Ijtihad (the process of making a legal decision by independent interpretation)was closed for Shais.Ijtihad has remained more open for Sunnis but it is read in the light of abrogation.
Unfortunately ijtihad can lead to even more rigid and reactionary interpretations.
The only way to stop this nonsense is by legislation. Ban the veil and burkah in public now, and liberate women now.
Question: Why does Islam degrade women by keeping them behind the veil?
Answer: The status of women in Islam is often the target of attacks in the secular media. The ‘hijaab’ or the Islamic dress is cited by many as an example of the ‘subjugation’ of women under Islamic law. Before we analyze the reasoning behind the religiously mandated ‘hijaab’, let us first study the status of women in societies before the advent of Islam
1. In the past women were degraded and used as objects of lust
The following examples from history amply illustrate the fact that the status of women in earlier civilizations was very low to the extent that they were denied basic human dignity:
1. Babylonian Civilization: The women were degraded and were denied all rights under the Babylonian law. If a man murdered a woman, instead of him being punished, his wife was put to death.
2. Greek Civilization: Greek Civilization is considered the most glorious of all ancient civilizations. Under this very ‘glorious’ system, women were deprived of all rights and were looked down upon.
In Greek mythology, an ‘imaginary woman’ called ‘Pandora’ is the root cause of misfortune of human beings. The Greeks considered women to be subhuman and inferior to men. Though chastity of women was precious, and women were held in high esteem, the Greeks were later overwhelmed by ego and sexual perversions. Prostitution became a regular practice amongst all classes of Greek society.
3. Roman Civilization: When Roman Civilization was at the zenith of its ‘glory’, a man even had the right to take the life of his wife. Prostitution and nudity were common amongst the Romans.
4. Egyptian Civilization: The Egyptian considered women evil and as a sign of a devil.
5. Pre-Islamic Arabia: Before Islam spread in Arabia, the Arabs looked down upon women and very often when a female child was born, she was buried alive.
2. Islam uplifted women and gave them equality and expects them to maintain their status.
Islam uplifted the status of women and granted them their just rights 1400 years ago. Islam expects women to maintain their status.
Hijaab for men:
People usually only discuss ‘hijaab’ in the context of women. However, in the Glorious Qur’an, Allah (swt) first mentions ‘hijaab’ for men before ‘hijaab’ for the women. The Qur’an mentions in Surah Noor:
“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.”[Al-Qur’an 24:30]
The moment a man looks at a woman and if any brazen or unashamed thought comes to his mind, he should lower his gaze.
Hijaab for women:
The next verse of Surah Noor, says:
” And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons…”[Al-Qur’an 24:31]
3. Six criteria for Hijaab.
According to Qur’an and Sunnah there are basically six criteria for observing hijaab:
1. Extent: The first criterion is the extent of the body that should be covered. This is different for men and women. The extent of covering obligatory on the male is to cover the body at least from the navel to the knees. For women, the extent of covering obligatory is to cover the complete body except the face and the hands upto the wrist. If they wish to, they can cover even these parts of the body. Some scholars of Islam insist that the face and the hands are part of the obligatory extent of ‘hijaab’.
All the remaining five criteria are the same for men and women.
2. The clothes worn should be loose and should not reveal the figure.
3. The clothes worn should not be transparent such that one can see through them.
4. The clothes worn should not be so glamorous as to attract the opposite sex.
5. The clothes worn should not resemble that of the opposite sex.
6. The clothes worn should not resemble that of the unbelievers i.e. they should not wear clothes that are specifically identities or symbols of the unbelievers’ religions.
4. Hijaab includes conduct and behaviour among other things
Complete ‘hijaab’, besides the six criteria of clothing, also includes the moral conduct, behaviour, attitude and intention of the individual. A person only fulfilling the criteria of ‘hijaab’ of the clothes is observing ‘hijaab’ in a limited sense. ‘Hijaab’ of the clothes should be accompanied by ‘hijaab’ of the eyes, ‘hijaab’ of the heart, ‘hijaab’ of thought and ‘hijaab’ of intention. It also includes the way a person walks, the way a person talks, the way he behaves, etc.
5. Hijaab prevents molestation
The reason why Hijaab is prescribed for women is mentioned in the Qur’an in the following verses of Surah Al-Ahzab:
“O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad); that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”[Al-Qur’an 33:59]
The Qur’an says that Hijaab has been prescribed for the women so that they are recognized as modest women and this will also prevent them from being molested.
6. Example of twin sisters
Suppose two sisters who are twins, and who are equally beautiful, walk down the street. One of them is attired in the Islamic hijaab i.e. the complete body is covered, except for the face and the hands up to the wrists. The other sister is wearing western clothes, a mini skirt or shorts. Just around the corner there is a hooligan or ruffian who is waiting for a catch, to tease a girl. Whom will he tease? The girl wearing the Islamic Hijaab or the girl wearing the skirt or the mini? Naturally he will tease the girl wearing the skirt or the mini. Such dresses are an indirect invitation to the opposite sex for teasing and molestation. The Qur’an rightly says that hijaab prevents women from being molested.
7. Capital punishment for the rapists
Under the Islamic shariah, a man convicted of having raped a woman, is given capital punishment. Many are astonished at this ‘harsh’ sentence. Some even say that Islam is a ruthless, barbaric religion! I have asked a simple question to hundreds of non-Muslim men. Suppose, God forbid, someone rapes your wife, your mother or your sister. You are made the judge and the rapist is brought in front of you. What punishment would you give him? All of them said they would put him to death. Some went to the extent of saying they would torture him to death. To them I ask, if someone rapes your wife or your mother you want to put him to death. But if the same crime is committed on somebody else’s wife or daughter you say capital punishment is barbaric. Why should there be double standards?
8. Western society falsely claims to have uplifted women
Western talk of women’s liberalization is nothing but a disguised form of exploitation of her body, degradation of her soul, and deprivation of her honour. Western society claims to have ‘uplifted’ women. On the contrary it has actually degraded them to the status of concubines, mistresses and society butterflies who are mere tools in the hands of pleasure seekers and sex marketeers, hidden behind the colourful screen of ‘art’ and ‘culture’.
9. USA has one of the highest rates of rape
United States of America is supposed to be one of the most advanced countries of the world. It also has one of the highest rates of rape in any country in the world. According to a FBI report, in the year 1990, every day on an average 1756 cases of rape were committed in U.S.A alone. Later another report said that on an average everyday 1900 cases of rapes are committed in USA. The year was not mentioned. May be it was 1992 or 1993. May be the Americans got ‘bolder’ in the following years.
Consider a scenario where the Islamic hijaab is followed in America. Whenever a man looks at a woman and any brazen or unashamed thought comes to his mind, he lowers his gaze. Every woman wears the Islamic hijaab, that is the complete body is covered except the face and the hands upto the wrist. After this if any man commits rape he is given capital punishment. I ask you, in such a scenario, will the rate of rape in America increase, will it remain the same, or will it decrease?
10. Implementation of Islamic Shariah will reduce the rate of rapes Naturally as soon as Islamic Shariah is implemented positive results will be inevitable. If Islamic Shariah is implemented in any part of the world, whether it is America or Europe, society will breathe easier. Hijaab does not degrade a woman but uplifts a woman and protects her modesty and chastity.
Life is too short. Go out with a friend / lover. Have coffee then back to the crib for tlc. Forget about what you cannot change. Life is a bridge, don't try to repair it and just cross it fast... redhaa...
See these examples of the 'preservation' of Muslim honor..
To put it simpley the full-faced veil is Gender Apartheid.
The use of a full-faced veil is not a question of the subjective, individual disposition of the women wearing the burqa or niqab, but of objective imposition of the veil on women by the religion itself. Islam covers women because their presence in the social space is considered an ontological threat to the purity of men, whose lust can only be kept in check by the elimination of women from man’s normal realm of existence. When the serving of men requires women to enter the space of man in a Muslim state – buying his food, for example, she must limit the extent of her disturbance of male equilibrium by covering herself from head to foot regardless of her religion or lack of it, there is no freedom to choose. No reciprocal relations. Also if the veil is tolerated, then Muslim women will be subject to harassment if they do not wear it, even up to the euphemistically called ‘honour’ killing if they refuse their father/husband’s of families demand that they do wear it. France has the duty to refuse such a social construct as fundamentally opposed to women’s right to live in and influence society as much as men. It is wholly to be expected that fear of social, spiritual and physical punishment drives women to comply with the Islamic Hijab ordinance. But government has the right to give priority to the general protection of womens freedom, over the right of individual women to enslave themselves. I have often thought that the simplest solution would be to blind the Muslim males, a simple blindfold would suffice and a guide dog , oops I forgot Muslims don’t like dogs either. It would nonetheless satisfy the males need to be not corrupted by the sight of a female and free women to wear whatever clothing they desire.
I think some people are missing the point here. I accept that I don't know much about the various sorts of muslim dress or why women choose to wear it. However, I have been told by muslim friends that the Quran doesn't specifically say a woman must be completely covered. If its not necessary, why dress like that and claim its due to religious demands?
Yes, people have the right to dress as they like. I am not at all opposed to the hijab, as to me its no more than wearing a hat or other such headgear, but to cover yourself entirely in a niqab is a different issue. This is where a lot of people seem to get it wrong. I'm not picking on the niqab by saying things I can't be certain of, like 'oh she must be forced to wear that', as I don't see how so many women would allow themselves to be pushed into it, I really doubt they're as weak as that. I'm not being racist. Amazingly, I'm just putting across my own view. When speaking to someone, I like to be able to see their face. It gives a sense of mutual trust and respect between two people. As for teaching school children under wraps? Little kids learn from emotion and expressions - thats seeing the teachers face, I'm afraid.
Secondly, why does it seem to be such a worry to some muslim women that men will leap on them and rape them if they happen to show their face? Nobody is asking them to swap their niqab for minishorts and a crop top - any woman has the right to dress modestly, and many western women do (Put it this way, the day my gran ventures out in her miniskirt, I'll eat my words on this post), but how is showing your face making you some sort of available, ready-to-be-laid woman? Give men some more respect. Rather surprisingly perhaps, they're not all sex-mad. Just a thought or two.
I agree with Ellie. Its about time this nonsense was stopped, and the debate ended. There is no justification for the veil or burkah on any grounds. Lets hope the French experience proves this and the rest of the World have the guts to follow.
I'm a bit fed up with being called "racist" or "extreme-right" because I don't like women covering themselves from head to foot, face included, & think it should be banned, so I'm going to try to explain the French position on religion, which is extremely different from the reverence shown in Anglo-Saxon countries.
It all began with the Enlightenment in the XVIIIth century. The great ancestors (Voltaire, Diderot, Condorcet, etc.) started to question everything, & particularly the so-called “revealed truths” of Catholicism & Christianity. They decided to refuse all ready-made answers, they decided that all & every idea should be examined under the light of human reason; all ideas –whether scientific, ethical or religious - could therefore be examined, scrutinized, analysed, criticized & discussed. There was no “no-go area”.
After the Enlightenment came the century of revolutions & we had quite a few in France: 1789, 1830, 1848, and 1871. During all those revolutions the left always found the Catholic Church confronting them. The Catholic Church as an Institution never wondered if the people who rose up against the government had any serious grievances, they always sided with the Bourgeoisie (or the Nobility in 1789) against the poor & the downtrodden. Of course a few individual priests here & there helped the insurgents, but the Church was clapping with both hands when the insurgents were massacred (Le Sacré-Coeur in Paris was built to thank god for the quelling of the “Commune” revolt in 1871, which caused 20 000 deaths among the insurgents in one week, just about as many as the victims of the guillotine during the “Terror” in 1793/94 –see Paris Commune on Wikipedia).
After that the left did not like the Catholic Church very much & very quickly they concluded that all the other religions were just as bad. This had several consequences of course, among them the official separation of Church & State in 1905.
A century later religion has become an opinion just like any other in France; it has lost its special status. The laws & values of the French Republic are superior to any idea or ideology, & the latter are accepted so long as they comply with the former. There are many freedoms in France, freedom of religion is just one among many others, it certainly is not the main freedom of them all, freedom from religion is just as important.
This can explain why we are very wary of extremely religious sects or cults. We do not believe that religion is a benign & benevolent force; we do not believe in giving a free rein to all & any kinds of religion & cults under the pretext that they will neutralize each other & we shall live happily & in peace ever after. We know (because we experienced it in the past) that accepting intolerant cults will tear up the fabric of French society & may lead to social unrest or even civil war. We do not believe in placating fanatics by allowing them to do almost anything they want; we know that bending over backwards to accommodate these intolerant cults will only strengthen them & make them more power-hungry & dangerous.
Consequently when a group of religious people starts acting so strangely that, after a while, they are questioned about their behaviour, and if they answer that they behave that way because “God” told them to, & that such behaviour is one of the tenets of their religion, we are not impressed, not at all; we tell them that in France religious traditions have no special status, every opinion/ tradition must be examined and analysed to make sure it is not in contradiction with the laws & values of the Republic. There will be no exception.
Now wearing the burqa/niqab is one of those extreme behaviours. The people who insist on it in Europe belong to fanatical sects inspired by the Wahhabite/salafist tradition, the extremely harsh, puritan, woman-hating version of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia & Afghanistan.Very serious Muslim clerics & theologians told the French Enquiry that hiding one's face was not prescribed anywhere in the Q’oran, it was a way for these cults to pretend that they were better, cleaner, purer than the rest of society, a way of cutting themselves off from society because society is bad, dirty & impure.It is a way of refusing the Other,of refusing to mingle with ordinary human beings like you or me.It is in one word unadulterated religious fanaticism, & there is no reason to accept it.
For those who say that most Muslim women use their Hijaab, Niqaab or Burqa because it is their choice, I would like to tell a little event that happened to me:
I was living in a hotel in Dubai in 2009 for more than 2 years and one of my favourite hobbies was to swim in the rooftop pool, which was visited by a Muslim family almost every Friday. The mother always used the Hijaab, showing her face, but never jumped in the swimming pool, in spite of the temperatures ranging from 25 ºC (winter) to 47 ºC (summer). Most of the time the father was in the pool with the 3 kids, the elderly being a girl of 12-13 years old, who was the most enthusiastic of them.
In fact, I admired the courage and patience of the mother in staying under an umbrella around 3-4 hours drinking sodas and just watching her whole family having fun in the swimming pool, while she was sweating like hell under her black dress.
But what shocked me most was the day when the 13 year old girl came to the rooftop also wearing a black pitch dress, like her mother, her new Hijaab! She had had her period! I paid particularly attention to the behaviour of this poor little girl from that day on. She never jumped to the pool again, limiting herself to approach to the border and splash some water to her 2 young brothers. I could see from her face that her new status (as a marriageable woman, and so must be covered) was preventing her to enjoy the pool, what she really adored! She had now entered in her new ‘boring’ life and had to wait her body to take shape (she was really a young teenager) until their parents would find her a ‘suitable’ husband (in their point of view).
Well, as per the Wahhabite’s point of view, she is now ‘protected from evil eyes’, ‘no need to worry about her beauty: make-up, fashion or jewelry’ (this is just for her husband), ‘no rapist will approach her’, etc…. This is just a perfect life.
Most people seem to have missed the irony. According to the Tenach, the niqab is an ancient form of hypersexualising women, it was used prior to marraige and by prostitutes.
That's precisely why some rigorous branches of Islam (which at root has many features of a fertility cult) encourages its use.
www.strateias.org/niqab.htm for details.
Trijicon is an American company making a special kind of rifle that has just been bought by the British gvt.
A Trijicon spokesman said: "For two generations our Michigan-based, family-owned business has been working to provide America's military men and women with high-quality, innovative sighting systems for the weapons they use...
"As part of our faith and our belief in service to our country, Trijicon has put scripture references on our products for more than two decades.
"As long as we have men and women in danger, we will continue to do everything we can to provide them with both state-of-the-art technology and the never-ending support and prayers of a grateful nation."
Another example of religion being a benign & benevolent force, isn'it?
We are finding that it is younger women that are wearing the face veil and the trend is growing. Why have we got 2nd and 3rd generation kids wearing them.
Why do we have faith schools at all? Do they not segregate our young according to religion. How will they mix and at what age with other faiths? That's where you should start first. All children should be banned from wearing them until age of 18 & not in public buildings etc. How did we manage smoking, by making them aware of the hazards and benefits and then introduce a partial ban, with no smoking for under age kids. The reason that you have a new generation of wearers is because you failed to educate them at school and let then attend faith schools. Ban faith schools if you want social cohesion & integration.
So, why do you have faith schools, which do nothing to break down barriers? Critics said that faith would be used by religious groups to proselytise and further segregate members of faith communities. Faith schools are discriminatory, both in their entry requirements and in their choice of staff. They select children on the grounds of their parents’ religion and have a quota system for children of other backgrounds and prefer teachers who share the school’s religious identity. If we live in a country with a such a diversity of ethnicities and a diversity of views, then our schools should surely reflect that. Some faith schools allow girls to wear the Burka or Hijab at a very young age. WHY?
Last year, representatives of the Anglican and Catholic churches and Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths signed a letter stating that banning selection of pupils by faith in religious schools would be “perverse and unjust”. But, if we had every religious group having their own schools, what do you think will be the social consequences later on in the years to come.
For example, The Muntada al-Islami Trust, which owns al-Muntada Islamic primary school in Parsons Green, west London, was exposed as seeing ‘its mission as propagating a Wahhabist version of Islam.’
Similarly, the King Fahd Academy in Acton, west London, is Saudi-funded and influenced by the fundamentalist Wahhabi version of Islam and it’s 600 primary and secondary school children follow a SAUDI CURRICULUM.
You have allowed a Saudia Curriculum into the UK, but are banning the burka, surely, you should be tackling this from the opposite direction so youngsters are taught at an early age.
You started sex education early in schools to prevent pregnancies and banned under age sex. You didn't ask adults to take sex education lessons.You expect them to make an informed decision.
Its mass hysteria. Just put a stop to it by legislation, before it all gets out of hand. Reminiscent of what happened in Salem. Someone in their community has got to have the courage to come out strongly against the practice and say so.
Niqaab is a choice one makes to please Allah(SWT)*period*There is NO enforcement as said by the many individuals both non muslim and Muslim!Hijaab is worn by Nuns and why so?Is it because it is outdated or part of a religious belief?Please consuly the Pntiff is you have any doubts.....Hijab is asked of us Muslims in the Qur'aan....so cut out all your commercials coz those muslims that disagree means you attaining the level of Kuffar.....Do not deny the Qur'aan literature!
My personal opinion on the niqab is that I should not have one! Its not up to me or anyone else to tell women what to wear or what not to wear. If we all follow this creed, freedom will truly be supreme.
I agree with Thomas, above. I find it highly unsettling speaking to a person whose face is covered. But you measure the mark of a democracy by the freedom that it gives to dissidents, not its conformists.
Maybe you should re-read the quranic verses that specifically order the wearing of khimar (hijab) and jilbab...
Brother Mohammed Ismail. May you be blessed for explaining the hijab & its rulings so well.
As for what Muslims REALLY think about multiculturalism and relative values.
...this gives the game away.
nabeela ..i dont have the time to debate with an illiterate Wahhabi.
It's just a piece of cloth that doesn't threaten anybody.
Hardly any Muslim women wear it.
It's not a religious obligation, in my humble opinion, but if some Muslim women feel it is or want to wear it I say let them. They're not harming anyone else.
If you think it's a sign of social division then so is the Sikh turban and the stuff Orthodox Jews wear. But no one is having a go at them.
Muslim men don't force women to wear it - they choose themselves and would probably hit their husbands over the head with a frying pan if they tried to get them to remove it.
Men should stay out of womens' wardrobes.
This whole debate says more about the people opposing the niqab than those who wear it. Prejudiced, unreconstructed bigots.
Haven't we got anything more important to worry about?
Opposition to the burka is a straight feminist issue. No need to over-think it.
How many people wear it from any genuine volition? Something like none.
"And we all know how that turned out ..."
yes, we do: there were elections there the other day in which the turnout was higher than ours will be in may
Three Things About Islam
Three surprising things you probably didn't know about Islam.
This subject WILL affect you in the near future, so take the chance to inform yourself now - before it does.
hey dear felix..
dont tell me my post was so complete in itself that a person of ur stature(with so much knowledge bout things), unable to find faults with it, chose to switch d subject.
PEACE with u dear felix.
Seems to me people including feminists should have the freedom to wear what they want.
As I said, what on earth makes you believe that there’s the slightest element of volition involved in those wearing (or more accurately being made to wear) the burka?
Dear brothers and sisters
Burqa is not against humanity or women's freedom.its god given safety wall against all evils.I name a few advantages which you all will readily accept.
1)it gives protection from evil eyes.
2)you are free to wear even nighty inside.
3)time taken for dressing and makeup is saved.
4)gold or other jewels are not needed.
5)you save money,not to worry about fashion,move freely,etc
6)An incident during G8 Summit-President Obama and Sarcokzi watching a delegates back embarrassed all.This would not have happened if burqa was followed by that lady.
7)Seriously speaking,men are affected by a type of cancer on seeing females wearing exposing dresses.
8)A married women need not show her beauty to all except to her husband.
9)It is really unfortunate that in this present world,women are allowed to wear anything to show her beauty or expose to get noticed but banned to cover her beauty.
10)can anyone honestly tell what you feel when a lady wearing burqa and when you see alady wearing tight jeen and T-shirt
Does it matter whether it's a niqad or a burqa - they are both deeply unpleasant, sinister, backward and definitely a security risk. Let's recall the failed 21/7 bomber who tried to escape in a burqa - or maybe that was a niqab... Should the security forces have let him go while they questioned that single pedantic point. All people wearing them look intimidating and are cut off from society. In the UK they are creeping into the mainstream - even teachers arguing their case to wear a full body bag. What could anyone learn from a teacher in a niqab/burqa? Who would want to buy food from someone so covered up that you couldn't ascertain their hygiene standards? Who would want medical treatment from someone squinting through a narrow opening? And factory workers wear protective clothing for safety reasons... So how exactly will these people contribute to the economy when they would be, at best, a nuisance in the workplace? Or is it that they won't bother getting a job? I think it's a great idea from France to stop all benefits to anyone wearing a burqa/niqab. Much better for their self-esteem if they finance their own isolation.
CORRECTION: Does it matter whether it's a niqab or a burqa - they are both deeply unpleasant, sinister, backward and definitely a security risk. Let's recall the failed 21/7 bomber who tried to escape in a burqa - or maybe that was a niqab... (Wow, that sure changes things..) Should the security forces have let him go while they questioned that single pedantic point?
All people wearing them look intimidating and are cut off from society. In the UK they are creeping into the mainstream - even teachers arguing their case to wear a full face and body bag. What could anyone learn from a teacher in a niqab/burqa? Who would want to buy food from someone so covered up that you couldn't ascertain their hygiene standards? Who would want medical treatment from someone squinting through a narrow peep hole? And factory workers need to wear very specific protective clothing for safety and hygiene reasons...
So how exactly will these people contribute to the economy when, at best, they'll be a nuisance in the workplace? Or is it that they won't bother getting a job? I think it's a great idea from France to stop all benefits to anyone wearing a burqa/niqab. Much better for their self-esteem if they finance their own isolation.
Thankfully, chaps like Mr Gardener exist to tell all those silly brown girls how they feel and what they want to wear.
Nobody likes having religion persistently rammed down their throats.
try asking someone, who is heartily sick of Islamic rhetoric, how they would react to being regularly doorstepped by Jehovah's witnesses.
Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12.