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Why Banning the Muslim Burqa Is Not Religious Persecution
Recently, France's President Skarkozy took a bold move and endorsed a banning of the "full veil" tradition of Muslim women while in public. Other members of the French government are pushing for a full ban of the Burka in France, which would impact over six million Muslim women now living in France.
The French often take a harder line on issues than their brothers in the UK or America, sometimes it is wrong, sometimes right. In both the UK and the US, there is a strong tendency not to offend by an over indulgence of PC, political correctness, spawned over the years by lawsuits against the government and private entities and one's individual rights, the separation of State and Religion, ad nauseum. The ultimate impact has been an "almost" anything goes in both countries.
What seems to be freedom is actually having an opposite effect. Think about it. One cannot put a religious symbol they believe in on a public site because it might offend another. One cannot call a gay, a queer or fag, if they elect to do so. What happen to freedom of speech?
France is banning the "full veil" approach to Muslim women wearing the Burka in public. And why not? If a Westerner lives in Saudi Arabia, you must do certain customary things expected in that society or be in trouble. Thus, the action of the French government is correct. The Burka is an offensive Muslim device to entrap women into being subservient to men. It is hard to believe that God women wanted to be so subservient to men, to be hidden from public eye, disgraced as if they were "not important" as men. It is a way to force women to always be a slave of a man. The Full Veil further worsens this. It is like talking to a black blob alien thing, where one cannot see facial expressions, eyes etc.. It is very disturbing to Westerners. It is demeaning to women and others trying to communicate. The Islam religion indicates that women must wear a Burka for a host of silly reasons because women are cherished items of a man and other nonsense. The real purpose is to hide them, keep women inferior to men, isolate them and make them stand out in a negative way.
Most western countries have men and women fairly equal in most ways and the Burka simply has the opposite impact. The Full Veil Burka or niqab goes against all Western countries culture and values, whether in the US, UK, France, Germany etc. In France, the government is considering a fine of $750 for any woman found wearing the " Full Veil" burka.
Skarkozy said, "The full veil is not welcome in France because it runs contrary to our values and contrary to the idea we have of a woman's dignity." He went on to say it is not racism unless you wish to put that spin on it, as many will. He said, "Let us undertake not to give opponents of democracy, dignity and sexual equality the chance for a victory which would put our society in a very difficult situation."
The full veil is more than an item of religious expression, it destroys any sense of identity and is simply incompatible with French values. It is a violation of a woman's rights and is often imposed by fundamentalist men. Additionally, the full veil gives poses a serious security concern. Covering your face in public should be illegal whether you were a niqab or a ski mask. People shouldn't be offended by such legislation, just as one Muslim should not offended if I can't walk around Mecca (Saudi Arabia) with shorts and a tank top ( if you are NOT Muslim, you cannot even go to Mecca!).The veil is not always a symbol of piety. Look up news footage of Egypt in the 70's, you will find very few women covering their faces. Ditto Iran in the 70's.
The veil is more a symbol of female compliance and male supremacy. A secular state that regards religion as a private matter should be able to insist that all religious trappings and forms of dress are banned from any publicly funded institution. Private life is a different thing. On the other hand, though, there is the the question of how much the burqah truly represents a "choice" for women who wear it. Some (probably most) will say that it's their own choice but we also know that most of such women have been subject to extreme familial and cultural pressure since birth so there's an issue as what "choice" really means here and, perhaps, a pattern to be broken so that future generations really do have meaningful choices. Many Muslims feel a fully-veiled women using the public space demonstrates her own piety and implicitly denounces the mores of any woman who is more scantily clad. The unspoken message is that men's sexual lasciviousness is a given and the way for a woman to indicate her unavailability is to hide herself. Yet, if this true, then there are no Muslim women available because all must where the Burka in public!
Obviously, cultures are clashing between the West and Islam. However, when one lives in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Mexico, one is expected to obey and comply with the core values of that nation and its culture, even if they feel it is offensive or stupid. If Muslims wish to live in France, they must comply with its rules and customs. No different than Americans living in Saudi Arabia.
The war on terrorism has not help Muslims anywhere in the West. However, unfair it is, the fact is that wearing a Full Veil burka is not liked in the West. Even a Burka is not liked much. A women wearing such a thing and trying to get a job in any Western country would most likely not get it. It poses too many issues for business, all negative.
The Burka should stay where it belongs in most Islamic nations. That is just how it is.