Monday, August 02, 2010

Ok then, Ban the Burka

'Newt’s key insight is that we are engaged not in a war against terror but a war against Sharia, i.e., Islamic law.'

I really like Roger Kimballs stuff. But very rarely does he change my mind on a major issue. That just happened with the Burka ban.

It has been my consistent position that in a free country the government does not prescribe or proscribe clothing types or styles. Got nothing to do with them what I want to wear outdoors or indoors. Except, perhaps, in the case of the Burka.

Islamism is a political enterprise whose goal is world domination. As such, a law for Britain banning the Burka would symbolise our determination that Islamism never succeed here. The Burka is a flag for Islamists, a way of promoting themselves and their difference from us. It is also a means of separating women from men in a way deeply inimical to the conduct of relationships in the way free societies do. Banning them in public deprives the Islamists of this very visible flag of membership, and strikes at the heart of Sharia- its insistence that it decrees how every aspect of your life should be run.

This was understood by the founders of Turkey, who wanted to promote the secular values of the west. Although these have been deeply undermined recently by the Erdogan government, the bans on headcoverings and other anti-sharia decrees were in place for many decades. They did symbolise the desire to overthrow the worst and most oppressive parts of sharia, and replace them with a more open, lively and free way of live.

I still don't like a government telling people what to wear and what not to wear- but I feel an exception is warranted in this particular case, because of the particular history of the Burka and its place in Islamism.

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