Monday, 30 January 2012

"Ban the Burqa"

Speaking of the Burka (see my immediately preceding post), it should be recalled that there are many Muslim women, especially in western countries, who would be more than happy to see a ban on the Burka. They don't want to see imported into the west this antediluvian anachronism, the medieval and non-religiously-mandated tent forced on women by male-dominated fundamentalist Islamic societies. I have noted this before, eg here and here.
I recently came across another article by a woman in favour of the Burka ban (though not, I assume, a Muslim), "Ban the Burqa", by Claire Berlinski.  She acknowledges the arguments against banning the burka:
These bans are outrages against religious freedom and freedom of expression. They stigmatize Muslims. No modern state should be in the business of dictating what women should wear. The security arguments are spurious; there are a million ways to hide a bomb, and one hardly need wear a burqa to do so. It is not necessarily the case that the burqa is imposed upon women against their will; when it is the case, there are already laws on the books against physical coercion.
But she comes out in favour of a ban anyway, on the following practical ground, one that affects all women in western societies:
If Europe does not stand up now against veiling — and the conception of women and their place in society that it represents — within a generation there will be many cities in Europe where no unveiled woman will walk comfortably or safely.
On the issue of whether the burka is mandated by Islam (it isn't), see this video of 25th Jan by Michael Coren [h/t BCF]:

Update, 7 Feb: "A leading cleric at Egypt's prestigious Al-Azhar Mosque on Wednesday applauded France's ban on the face veil worn by some devout Muslim women, saying the niqab harmed Islam's image." More...
H/t: BCF