To Burka or Not to Burka?

Hijab (Head Scarf)

She Said:  .. this is the question.  At least it is in France… while the rest of the non-Islamic world ‘silently’ watches to see what happens next, and can they implement such laws into their non-radical societies, as well.

While I understand the reason for their socialist nonsense reasoning, it doesn’t mean I fully support it or agree with it.  Because it borders on – it IS discrimination.  But the delicate balance of walking the tight-rope of religious acceptance… does prove to be challenging at best.  Especially where a religious practice expects one to be fully covered (nowhere in the Q’ran does it say a woman is to be fully covered – it simply states that men and women are to conduct themselves with modesty).  But to use the words ‘condemn’ and ‘unacceptable’ because it is contrary to the values of a republic well that is just plain, in-your-face discriminatory.  It’s pitting one faith (Christianity) against another (Islam)… we simply continue to perpetuate violence and hatred.  Lovely.  Gotta love religious persecution…

Burka (Eyes Showing)

Look: I don’t disagree that wearing the hijab, chadri and/or burka worn by many Muslim women can prove a challenge.  I am not opposed to implementing rules that while in schools, hospitals, public transport/offices, airports and government offices… that it is removed, the portion that covers the face, the purdah – that is.  But I don’t agree that the hijab should be removed, as long as she can prove nothing is underneath it other than to be used as a head covering.  And to deny a woman/child because of her faith the basic and fundamental rights of a so-called Democratic society because she has chosen to cover her head with a headscarf as a sign of her faith… is wrongPlain and simple.  For a country that considers itself a ‘human rights leader’… I suppose that religious condemnation and discrimination doesn’t fall under ‘human rights’… at least not in France.

To even stipulate that the burqa is a symbol of women’s “subservience” that cannot be tolerated in a country that considers itself a human rights leader… is absurd: certainly they haven’t met or come across many a Muslim woman!  Because the ones I know, and I know plenty, are far from subservient… Their choice to wear the hijab or burka has nothing to do with subservience… and everything to do with faith – and personal religious choices.  I cannot speak for those living in an Islamic country.  But those who have escaped or chose to live in a so-called Democratic society rather than the restrictive Islamic Sharia Law – deserve the basic right to practice their faith, without causing harm to others – hijab or not.  And the vast majority of Muslims are NOT causing harm to others – are not terrorist hiding bombs under their burkas.

No rather, our fears are causing harm to others.

Chadri (Full Body Covering)

Banning the full burka in certain situations, I get itI really do.  In hospitals, at airports, in courts or government offices – I get it.  In a post 9/11 world, with fears of terrorisms at its peak, I can see how this happens.  But to DEMAND and make it law to ban even the hijab in public – takes it too far.  Christians around the world would revolt if there was a ban on crosses or on any religious garb/paraphernalia in public places…

DISCRIMINATION!!!  UNACCEPTABLE!!!  UNCIVILIZED!!!  UNCHRISTIAN!!!  OH NO HELL NO!!!

Yes – we would hear those words, along with a few more choice ones being yelled from every media outlet available.

Should we ban nuns from wearing head pieces as well?  What about Orthodox Jewish women?  What about our Wester KKK??? If such a ban is to be implemented, it must not discriminate and be targeted at one particular faith… rather be set for ALL faiths that cover their heads or faces.  And that isn’t the case here.

France has simply chosen to go after Muslims because they are an easy target.  It is discrimination.  It violates all human rights laws.  All in the name of fear.  Vive La France.

He Said.

Picture this: a flight on the Emirates Airline from Bahrain to Schipol airport in Amsterdam. Let’s also say, for the sake of argument, that the business class section of the plane has some Arab women seated about in full burqua dress, waiting for the plane to taxi to the runway and take off. Continuing on the standard timeline of aircraft, let’s say that we are now 36,000 feet in the air, and the fasten seatbelt sign turns off as we are now free to move about the cabin.

-And, since this is a COMPLETELY HYPOTHETICAL EVENT THAT I HAVE NEVER SEEN ABOUT A BILLION TIMES (*cough* *cough* *bullshit* *cough*) let’s for shit’s sake say that about ALL of the women in business class reach into the overhead cmopartment, remove a satchel, and make a dash for the toilets… to later emerge in FULL western clothing to include makeup and pumps.

All crap aside I have seen this on literally every international flight from the Mid East to anywhere that was not predominately muslim. These chicks, as soon as they are removed from both their oppressive environment and any familial oversight, try to get out of that ninja suit as quickly as possible. THEY know that it is a garment used to control them, to hide them from the world, and backlash as soon as they get out and they HATE wearing that garbage. Hell, I used to have Arabic women that I met in Kuwait (which was a feat unto itself) come to my flat in full regala, only to take it off at the threshold to show off the blue jeans and tee shirts they wore underneath.

This is not an opinion that I have cultivated from years of research or interviews, nor is there any friggin article that I can link that can justify any of this. What I can present to you as a means of justification is simple:

I LIVED IN THE MID EAST FOR 4 YEARS, AND FAIRLY RECENTLY AT THAT.

-Which is why going to a “western” country and seeing the full veil in actual use just blows my fucking mind. These are obviously muslim women that are living in societies that support freedom on multiple levels, that actually have organizations in place, legally recognized groups and laws, that actively promote equality and freedom of the fairer sex… and they still insist on wearing something that is NOT mentioned in the Koran as mandatory for piety (last time I checked, but I think I was drunk) and is REALLY not complimentary to those hips girlfriend!!!

Alright, enough of that.

Quick quiz; you ever see a Turkish girl wear the hijab? -Or a Lebanese? Jordanian? Yeah, some do, but not the bulk of them by any measure. When I asked the only Turkish girl I know (who conveniently works in the same office) why she does not wear hers, as I know she is muslim, she had these awesome words to say in her broken, nasal english:

“that black sack? It is too fucking hot, and Allah cares for my beliefs not my costume.”

I just hope that the root reasoning behind the obvious non-integration process that these women are practicing is only a blatant way of “sticking it to the Man”, and not part of a patient strategy to take advantage of a free society to the point that we, in fact, adapt to them.

Just sayin’.

UPDATE: This is what they hide under that costume, or at least in MY mind it is.

Yum.

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About ~KC~
Strong but open minded, opinionated, sensitive, vivacious, outgoing, caring, compassionate, spiritual, habitual, mutable, at times controversial, sometimes superficial, perceived as egotistical and knowledgeable but mostly loveable... all things Sagittarius.

19 Responses to To Burka or Not to Burka?

  1. Gordon says:

    Last I heard, the hijab (head scarf) isn’t a problem in France, just as a nun’s habit wouldn’t be. It’s the full sack, or face veil, that are disliked by the French.

    There’s an interesting discussion about France and Islam here. Alison has some interesting first-hand experience.

    • Old Iron says:

      All I had to do is couple my experience with the experience of my buddies here and their work in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (which was a married status job) to formulate my opinion on this outdated piece of clothing. I also just read Allison’s post, and thank her for the fact that she has a much more eloquent way to put her views down, because for some reason the more I think about the western support for the burqua the more I want to just start yelling out the word “fuck” in machinegun-like procession.

  2. Gordon says:

    Both you and Alison have spent some time inside the tent, so to speak, and your perspectives are good ones. Mind you, I think Alison isn’t exactly a stranger to yelling “fuck” loudly.

  3. ~KC~ says:

    Gordon – head scarves ARE banned in schools in France and have been since 2004… The law forbids religious apparel and signs that “conspicuously show” a student’s religious affiliation. Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses would also be banned, but the law is aimed at removing Islamic head scarves from classrooms.

    Again… it is targeted at Muslims… in a mostly Roman Catholic republic.

    Look: don’t misinterpret my words. I dislike the Burka. But to ban the hijab doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to me, making France’s views just as radical as the Islamic faith they are targeting. Here’s why:

    There is a HUGE MAJOR difference when a woman is being FORCED by law with death as a consequence for not wearing a burka vs. a woman choosing of her own free will, living in a supposedly FREE country chooses to wear one.

    My issue is how is it worst: to deny a woman basic human rights for choosing of her own freewill (which is proven that there are few and far in between who do wear the burka outside of Muslim countries) to wear something that for you or I is deemed archaic and even perhaps oppressive… she might as well have stayed in her Islamic ran/human rights violator at ever corner country?

    I am not talking about the burka worn under duress. I am talking about free-will. Free-choice. Human rights violation at its best. Because in essence, what France is doing is telling a woman that SHE is unacceptable for a choice she is making to practice her religion or faith the way she wants. She is inferior because of HER CHOICE… that isn’t harming anyone. No rather – taking away her choice and her ability to get necessary services is the same as living in an Islamic country. It is DISCRIMINATION… and how is it any better than living in the Middle East then?

    I don’t disagree with France wanting to put limitations on WHERE a burka can be worn. Because those areas ARE high security risks. But the hijab – that is idiotic. It’s the targeted nature of this ban that gets under my skin. The double standards hidden under the invisible veil of democracy and human rights issues… the “I am superior because we are Christian and evolved/You are inferior because you are not” bullshit that doesn’t bode well with me.

    I dislike the burka. But France is not the Middle East. And they need to start acting accordingly.

  4. Qwatcher2 says:

    I think France need to put some laws into place regarding some of the so called clothing that is supposed to be a fashion statement. Much of the latest “Fashions” will never be worn by 90% of the consumer base.

    Let’s be REAL. All fashions are designed to look good on a 5’10” anorexic girl with no hips or breasts. Is that reality. No! In case the fashion icons don’t know it,over 70% of Americans are overweight. Then this shows that the target market is overindulged teenage girls who care less as long as whatever “it” is, is considered to be the latest trend.

    Oh for the time when all you needed was a halter top and jean skirt. (Southern humor there)

    Back to the topic I was ignoring so I could rant. Tell em to come to America. Prisoners can get provided, at taxpayers expense,by the law of religous freedom, all the actrouments they need to practice the religion of satanism. Headless chicken anyone?

  5. alison says:

    Good for you Old Iron. Outside of the French banlieues I also lived in Morocco for a while and have visited Dubai a few times. I’ve seen the women do the same on planes.

    I totally disagree with everything you have written KC but that’s based on opinion and experience and we will likely never agree so I don’t see the point in arguing. Factually though, the hijab and ANY religious symbol is banned in French public municipal buildings because France is secular not because it is “islamophobic” as you are implying. It was secular long before immigration delivered the latest round of religious extremism.

    But France is not the Middle East. And they need to start acting accordingly.

    Quite right. Immigrants wishing to practise self segregation, indulging misogny (male or female) and other cultural aspects opposed to secularism and France’s long established French republican ideals can freely go find somewhere suitable to act accordingly! Or practise their religion in consideration of those ideals. Simple really.

    I’m assuming you are on the Left. Do you consider the secular French left and secular French feminists to be making any valid points re their own country? I don’t get why you are lecturing them.

    • ~KC~ says:

      Alison: (…) I totally disagree with everything you have written KC but that’s based on opinion and experience (…) It appears we have something in common then because I disagree with you. And therefore what we can agree is this: we will likely never agree so I don’t see the point in arguing.

  6. alison says:

    ‘Roman Catholic republic’.

    Hang on, no, it’s very much a secular republic. That was pretty much laid out in the French revolution when they decapitated half their catholic clergy. Secularism is the closest thing the French have to a state religion. It underpinned the French Revolution and has been a basic tenet of the country’s progressive thought since the 18th Century. The insistence on schools as religion-free zones goes to the heart of the French idea of citizenship. I think it’s important to make that very clear especially since many of those who supported the headscarf ban were in fact first generation muslims from North Africa.

  7. Old Iron says:

    I keep pleading with the persons that have such strong opinions on this matter (as well as all things muslim) to just tighten their belts and actually GO to a muslim country, get some actual first hand experience. I am also not talking about places like Dubai or Bahrain either; I mean such lovely places like Tehran Iran or Abu Dhabi (which is actually pretty westernized but ACTIVELY practices Sharia law). After doing so I have a feeling that some attitudes will immediately change… but who am I to take the ability from someone to formulate an opinion based on second- and third-hand information?

    Bottom line – the Wahhabi interpretation of Sunni and some of the radical Shia muslims are fucking troglodytes, and internationally the burqua is recognized as a symbol of that. Don’t believe me? Next time you are in Frankfurt watch a troop of these black-clad “religiosly liberated” women float through a crowd.

    -It’s like watching Moses part the Red Sea.

    (Ouch. Did I play the “To see is to know” card? Sorry.)

  8. alison says:

    All religious symbols are banned in classrooms and public buildings so contrary to how you updated your post, christians are ‘discriminated’ against in France. They were the FIRST to be ‘discriminated’ against in France under secularism. It only angers you more because the most ostentatious symbols are worn by muslims and other cultures so as a multi culturalist you see all cultures as equal even deeply misogynist fundamentalist ones.

    The hijab is not being outlawed in the street either so not sure where you are headed with that update.

    It is the full face veil, eg religious extremism in a deeply secular country which is up for debate and new laws. If you want to indulge and tolerate extremism fine, welcome them into your country with open arms and then prove to someone like me that a little girl raised in a fundamentalist shut off and deeply bigoted environment which rejects French, secular or general western values of full equality stands a chance at being “free” to “choose” and an “equal” citizen in that environment.

    • ~KC~ says:

      Alison: thank you for expressing your very opinionated opinion and feeling the need to attack anyone who does not share it but you might to tone down other accusations as well. I did not update any of the above posting. I did not change my original blog or opinion. Nor will I. And while you might get your kicks on attacking me for strongly believing something other than what you do… I will kindly ask that you do not talk to what you think I believe. You don’t know me. Never will.

  9. Old Iron says:

    Just another group completely ignoring the need to integrate and abusing to the hilt the new freedoms that they receive from removing themselves from their previous environments.

  10. alison says:

    KC, You’ve written a very strongly worded attack piece expressing your personal opinion about an issue in France. I’ve experience of this issue in a personal way. Re the hijab, France is not a catholic republic. It’s a secular one. These are simply valid points.

    Old Iron – The first immigrants had no desire to find in France the mullahs they had left behind and supported the ban. Younger second or third-generation immigrants have seized on and degenerated Islam into a gang culture replete with molls. Those that reject it are often found murdered. “Tournantes” (taking place in the banlieues) are forms of gang rape, women are either “sluts” or “put to the burqa”. Worried French feminists want laicite strengthened and the burqa banned. The majority of those feminists are French North Africans. One of them was set upon and attacked by a French youth the other week and was lucky to escape with her life. Dozens and dozens of cases like this, most have horrific outcomes. There is, quite simply, no room for a naive or flippant acceptance of rising fundamentalism – not even if its basis in France is to express a sense of youth alienation. A lot of French imams have come out in support of the ban. It’s simply disingenius to chalk this issue up as racism. Quite simply, France needs jobs not extremist religion. But they have a very good and legally valid basis with laicite from which to have this debate.

    Anyway, bon weekend!

    • ~KC~ says:

      A strongly worded attack on an ISSUE… not a person. We have a rule here at our blog: attack an issue – not a person. While you might experience this issue in a personal way (and I respect that), please keep the comments to the issue and not towards the person, especially considering you don’t know me nor us. You are welcome to express your opinion anytime here, but to the very best of all of our abilities, we try to stick to that rule. It keeps it interesting while a safe place for everyone to comment, whatever side of an issue they may take.

      Thanks… et passe une très belle fin de semaine.

      EDIT: And while you keep emphasing the ‘secularism’ of France… I would like to state this: just because a country may state or put in writing “I AM THIS” or “I AM THAT” – it simply allows one to hide behind a veil of discrimination… especially when targeted at one particular group… while become impune to their action. All Western societies have done it… and France, in my personal opinion, is no exception in this case. Perhaps they need to target the ones attacking the Muslim women who have chosen NOT to wear the Burka in France, rather than targeting those who have chosen to. Again: I am not for the Burka. But I am all for the choice to decide for themselves… regardless of what you or I may feel about the garb… and to be able to choose to do so in a safe environment, without fearing for their lives, regardless of their choice.

  11. t i m says:

    I was reading about this earlier in one of weekend papers over here. I must admit don’t really know much about this, although there was one quote from a young Parisian which stood out, “Nowadays women have the right to take clothes off but not put them on”.

  12. alison says:

    The reason I emphasised secularism so often was because you claimed that muslims are discriminated against uniquely and that the hijab ban in schools was a form of racism. Neither of these arguments are factual. I’ve also mentioned the deeper issue of the banlieues. It would be worthwhile looking at that rather than simply leaning on racism as a crutch in this issue. Especially since since the hijab ban was supported by French society including its Arabic communities. And especially since it is the liberals in France, along with North African French citizens, who support the current discussion. They are hardly racists. Laicite matters in France. Immigration doesn’t change that.

    Strong opinions levelled at your argument or yours at French society are one thing KC but I don’t accept I made this in ANY way personal or unsafe. I came at this entirely through and about the issue via my blog. You are more than welcome over anytime.

    Cheers

  13. Pingback: Conflicted… Part II « Naked Writing

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