Sunday, 28 August 2016

Burqini support: Protesting in favour of religious repression

Tehran 1970s and now. See others here.
It's nonsense to say that wearing a burqini is a matter of "freedom of choice".  (Tug of War Over Faith Played Out On Beaches, August 28).  It reflects instead the wishes of elderly Islamic theocrats.
When Khomeini overthrew the Shah in 1979 he demanded that Iranian women wear the hijab. Thousands of them took to the streets in protest. They were quickly crushed and Khomeini called them "Islamophobic".
The results have been dire for Muslim women worldwide.  In the Middle East of the seventies I rarely saw a veil-covered woman. In the 2010s I rarely saw an unveiled one. And the burqini is just another way of veiling.
Can we seriously believe that's because of "freedom of choice"? Of course not.  It reflects the growth of more assertive Islam. 
Burqini supporters trash the aspirations of Iranian women who fought their theocratic patriarchy, but were crushed by it.  Burqini supporters trash the aspirations of today's secular Muslim women who object to religious coverings, but are mocked for it. 
Knowingly or not, Burqini wearers and their sartorial fellow travellers support a theocratic gender-based cover-up. And calling we critics "Islamophobic" echoes the theocratic patriarchs. It is, in effect, protesting in favour of religious sartorial repression.
Where is the feminism, the liberalism, the toleration in that stance?

RELATED: Professor Gad Saad, interviewed by Dave Rubin, at minute 38, re the fetishising of the hijab.

Religious dress ban may add to jihadist fervour
The insistence on secular behaviour and non-religious dress when publicly visible in France (known as laicite), including leaving a Muslim (or Christian) schoolgirl’s head and face uncovered, is a double-edged sword.
Although the burqini ban is an extension of France’s fiercely protected laicite, meant to enforce one egalitarian standard for all girls and women, the ­Muslim community (women hopefully in the majority) ­believes that it curtails a ­woman’s rights to self-expression.
Beyond that, there is risk of alienating Muslims in the urban West and girding the loins of young minds to justify more acts of violence.
By itself, the complete ­coverage of Muslim women is not convincingly associated with jihadist terrorist attacks.
Women in the Middle East have voluntarily or under social duress worn some form of body covering for generations and ­incited no systematic violence.
It is far more important to study how Muslim youth of both ­genders are being radicalised at home and in religious schools by such bans, where the seeds of jihad are being sowed.
Banning religious dress and the imposition of culturally ­neutral lifestyles in the public domain are not going to sway young Muslim minds towards secular humanism. Coercing Muslims to eat, drink, and dress like proper Frenchmen and women could further inflame terrorist sentiment.
Joseph Ting, Brisbane, Australia