Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Burka is not clothing

Banning the Burka debate:

'...the Liberal Party, which is the senior partner in Denmark's coalition government, rejects the idea of legislating about citizens' clothing, provided they are not employed in a public function.

"It's going too far if we start legislating on what sort of clothes people can and cannot wear. The burqa and covered faces should not be allowed if you work with people in the public sector -- but that is where we draw the line," says Liberal Party political spokesman Peter Christensen, who adds that it is important that politicians know where to draw the line in introducing policy.',1518,643490,00.html

The Burka is not clothing- it is a statement of ideological conformity. Do this simple mental experiment: what would happen if I turned up at work on Monday dressed as an German SS concentration camp guard, in full uniform, complete with deaths head symbols and concentration camp name. According to this argument, anything you wear is simply clothing. What happened to Prince Harry when he wore that Nazi uniform to a fancy-dress party? I don't remember everybody saying 'its just clothing, no biggie'.

Burkas are a very distinctive part of the whole islamist/wahhabist project of returning the whole world to about 670 a.d., complete with primitive arab dress. We absolutely do not have to allow that in our societies. Just like we don't accept people dressing in public as SS prison warders.


Pearl de Ghins said...

1) the burqua is not at all like a nazi uniform because the nazis presumably WANTED to wear this uniform, the burqua is often imposed upon the woman by the male members of her family (father or husband or brother or all of them). You simply cannot compare apples and oranges. So now you are going to punish the woman who is forced to wear a burqua??
2) He says they can wear the burqua at home if they want but not in public. Well, there you go: how can he be so freaking blind?? these woman would NOT wear the burqua at home where their families/ children can see them clearly, they are required to wear the burqua outside the home as not to be seen by STRANGERS (males). So this is completely stupid to tell them "you can wear it at home", they wouldn't and it wouldn't be asked of them.
This entire article shows the complete misunderstanding of the muslim culture (surprise??).
I am not sure the burqua comes from the Taliban, although it is imposed by the taliban, I personally believe it predates it and has a function in very orthodox muslim regions / families. This doesn't mean I agree with it. Certainly I would disagree with anything a woman is forced to do or wear and forcing her NOT to wear a burqua when her well-being in HER OWN FAMILY is threatened and threatening her again is completely wrong.
I could see a woman wanting to wear a burqua also, in some (albeit small) cases. There must be a huge sense of invisibility, anonymity and therefore freedom, though I bet you it's not given to women for that reason. BUT I can see a woman opting, AFTER ALL, to keep and wear her burqua (because she feels less conspicuous, less vulnerable, less exposed, whatever, if it HER decision, it's ok with me).
I read an account of a woman who was searching fo an embroidery pattern and took a trip (alone) from India to Bulgaria, going through Pakistan, Afghainstan, Iraq and then some. At some point she wore a burqua as to be safe (so this was during the Taliban) , Believe it or not, she was hitch-hiking and using public transports for the most part!!!! the book is called "the Afghan Amulet" .
Well, she said she tripped over herself constantly and bumped into things (and people which was very dangerous) because she had no peripheral vision.
YET..think of the anonymity of going freely through the streets without having anyone checking your facial expression, you! You are totally retired from the world. I wonder about it.
Years ago (around 1980) I had a fabulous photo of a woman standing on a road in the middle of nowhere in a burqua, walking with a bird cage perfectly balanced on her head and a bird in the cage.. her face was in the shadows behind the cage of her burqua and the bird was in the cage above her head.
It was both hauntingly beautiful and to the point.
Anyway, a ban has never solved anything. Threatening woman who wear burquas is in my view mean and stupid or stupid and mean.

Edmund Ironside said...

Thanks for commenting. You make some very interesting points, although I fundamentally disagree with you about the ban. There is nothing either impractical or immoral about western societies passing laws to enforce western values. There is also absolutely no imperative for anyone other than muslims to understand muslim culture. If a Britons living in Britain want to live exclusively according to British Christian traditions, and enforce laws forbidding foreign practises which contravene our values and moral sensibilities, why would people who support all those things for Iraqis or Saudis contest our right to do so? If I go to Saudi Arabia and lambaste the Saudis for being ignorant of Christian traditions, while swigging my whisky and trying to convert everybody to Christianity, I would very quickly be arrested or perhaps killed. All that is being proposed in the present case is that a piece of clothing be banned. You may think thats stupid and mean, but I think its perfectly justified, both as a statement of intent and a practical measure.