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Should the Burka be Banned in the West?

The niqab which is part of the sartorial hijab or burka, is a face covering worn by Muslim women. The only part of the body visible is the eyes – unless it’s sunny and they’re wearing sun glasses in which case it’s rather like a tent that has taken on a life of its own.

niqab-hijab-baurqa1

Niqab-Hijab-Baurqa. Pic courtesy of umearradio.wordpress.com

Westerners often tend to find the sight of a woman so dressed slightly alarming. The reason for this is because we are used to looking at a person’s face when we interact with them. Facial expressions being a part and parcel of our method of communicating. Not being able to see a person’s face in the West is generally associated with bank robbers or other criminal types.

Former French President Sarkozy successfully campaigned for the French government to ban this mode of dress and any woman wearing it can be fined on the spot.

Over here in Blighty we rather playfully refer to them as ‘peek-a-boos’ or ‘Ninja’s’ or ‘black letterboxes’ or, more recently, ‘Harry Potter Death Eaters.”  From time to time, I’m ashamed to admit, we do poke fun at the curious appearance.

If the woman in question is wearing the hijab of her own choice I have little sympathy for her.  They live in the west and should adapt to western ways. It’s simply a question of respect for their adopted home.

Wearing a headscarf or pretty much anything else reflecting their particular lifestyle or religion is cool.  Jewish people often wear skull caps, Sikh’s turbans, Americans baseball caps, Hell’s Angels WWII German helmets, Magicians fezzes, Muslim men en route to their mosque odd dress like things, nudists wearing nothing, and so on and so forth.

Now while I may blanch at standing in the street holding a conversation with a nudist, at least I can make eye contact and see their facial reaction – of course if said nudist happened to be an attractive female I would attempt to retain eye contact.

I would try and avoid holding a conversation with a Doctor Martin booted skinhead in case he disagreed with me and emphasised his difference of opinion with said Doctor Martin boots – but at least I could make eye contact and judge his facial expression if it suggested he was thinking “You are an asshole and my boot is heading for your head” I could run away.

The hijab with a niqab is not suitable attire in a western country if you are live there and are not just passing through.

Many Muslim women, however, don’t wear the hijab with the niqab out of choice. They wear it because their husbands or families force them to wear it and the consequences of disobeying their husbands or families would be dire.  This is extreme Islam.

Unfortunately, some followers of Islam can’t seem to grasp the obvious.  In some cases Islam is looked at with considerable suspicion. Moderate Muslims, for want of a better description, seem reluctant to publicly criticize their more extreme members, thereby leading many in the west to judge all of Islam as alien and invasive, which isn’t right either.

I have ‘moderate’ Muslim friends who tell me they are afraid to speak against the more extreme followers. I can only take their word for it.

Banning the hijab with niqab would be a justifiable action in Britain for two reasons:

1) Subjugated women would then be afforded at least a small amount of protection from said subjugation and feel the sun on their faces.

2) Women who wear it out of choice would no longer be allowed do so, thus making the job of law enforcement somewhat easier.

Recently three Muslim men attired as women wearing hijabs with niqabs robbed a jeweler’s shop not too far from where I live.  This useful disguise that would no longer be available if it was banned.

Sometime ago on a driving lesson, the sun was shining and the car windows were down. As my student trundled along in heavy traffic I spotted two hijab/niqab wearing ladies walking by. They were staring intently at my car – possibly as the advertising for the driving school features a not exactly overdressed attractive young lady tearing up her ‘L’ Plates.

I smiled and playfully said “peek-a-boo” as we drove along.

It appears the intended humor was lost on them and one, with a ‘screech,’ pulled a tomato out of her shopping bag and threw it at my car. I immediately regretted my untoward comment.

I wonder whether that homely little tale is sufficient to show we have a long way to go before such a different way of life adapts to the west? Perhaps taking the ‘bull by the horns’ and banning the hijab with niqab would be just a small start? Is such drastic action necessary?

Now before anyone mentions ‘The British Colony’ in eastern Spain… I know! The British ex-pats over there have shown zero respect for the Spanish culture and tried to create ‘a little Britain.’ This is reprehensible, shameful and disgraceful behavior.

‘When in Rome’ eh chaps?

What do you think?  Should the wearing of the hijab/niqab/burka be banned in your country?

God Save The Queen, the Spanish way of life and Fresh Tomatoes

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Posted by on April 28, 2013. Filed under PETS—POLITICS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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Norman Rampart
8 years ago

…actually I caught the tomato as it came through the open window, said “Thanks lady” and ate it….very nice tomato it was too 😉

I suppose I’m a lost cause really…I do try to be nice to everyone! Really I do!!!…It’s just sometimes my mouth runs ahead of what passes for my brain….

Mr. Blackwell
Mr. Blackwell
8 years ago

Next they will be trying to outlaw tie dye clothes because Abbie Hoffman wore them. My credit union requires you to take off hats and sun glasses when entering the bank. It is not a bad idea! Also to correct Mad Mike the Burka is a Arab clothing tradition not Muslim. They don’t wear a lot of these clothes in Turkey, Pakistan & Egypt which are all Muslim nations

Michael John Scott
Reply to  Mr. Blackwell
8 years ago

The three countries you mention are the more progressive Muslim nations, unlike Afghanistan and others, which are more backward and in some cases still living in the dark ages. I didn’t write the article so not guilty with regard to Arab/Burka :-).

Jess
Jess
Reply to  Mr. Blackwell
8 years ago

Our credit union is the same way with sunglasses and hats. I could see it being done at the DMV too, since you have to show your full face for a drivers license or a passport picture.

Norman Rampart
Reply to  Mr. Blackwell
8 years ago

I will not dispute Mr Blackwell other than to say I have a number of muslim friends who have come to England and tell me over a pint or three (which I agree suggests they are not necessarily serious muslims) that Pakistan and Bangla Desh – particularly Pakistan are increasingly succumbing to ‘extremists’ in terms of Islam.

Having never been there and having no desire to go there I can only take their word for it.

I am merely ‘winging it’ based on comments from many friends including muslims. The alternative is to ‘go there’ and see for myself but I’m no Ken Bigley mate…I like my head attached thank you very much.

Caroline Taylor
Caroline Taylor
8 years ago

Now we’re going to legislate dress? I don’t see where you’ve made a case for that Norman. You vaguely mention “law enforcement” but the rest of your article smacks of prejudice against Muslims. Now I could be wrong, but your “peek-a-boo” comment and your apparent enjoyment of the tomato incident has me suspicious of your motives.

Norman Rampart
Reply to  Caroline Taylor
8 years ago

My motives are simply ‘western’ Caroline. I call them ‘peek-a-boos’ as that is MY humor. It is not intended as offensive to them – especially considering many are ‘forced’ to dress in this way.

I feel reasonably confident in saying that ‘our’ western culture requires viewing the face of the person we are speaking to.

My ‘enjoyment’ of the tomato incident is merely MY humor and, as MY humor is western it’s not entirely unsurprising that it may not be entirely appreciated by another culture.

England is ‘western’ so OUR humor is fine here. I wouldn’t say it in Iran but I will say it here.

No offence is intended but I will not accomodate anything so alien in MY western country. They must adapt, I have no reason to.

A valid point Caroline but, in my case, off the mark.

My motives are simply to express my dismay that ‘foreigners’ can behave in such an alien way in their adoptive country – in many cases because they are forced to.

Subjugating women is wrong. End of?

Jess
Jess
8 years ago

I wear a tichsel once in a while to keep my hair up if I don’t feel like fixing it. It’s a Jewish hair covering for women. Not some religious reason makes me do this, just having really long curly hair and not being able to do anything with it, think waking up bed head. I think if these women want to wear this for a while to acclimate it is fine, has to be their choice to not wear it though in my opinion.

Bill Formby
Bill Formby
8 years ago

While we not be able to legislate it here there have been numerous business that have banned them with no problem. This is especially true of high value targets of robberies such as banks, and jewelery stores. However, I do live in a university town and most of the females usually express as much freedom as possible.

Raylan Lee
Raylan Lee
8 years ago

Of course they should be banned. They are prohibited in France because theloonies refused to take them off for the driver license picture and other government requirements, not to mention crime and criminals hiding behind them. These people want to wear that crap then they need to stay in their own shit holes and not invade our countries with their bullshit.

bitcodavid
8 years ago

Being British and all, I’m surprised that in your list of names, you didn’t include Daleks. They always reminded me of the Dr. Who Nemeses.

I wouldn’t say they should be outright banned, over here. It has been my experience, that you can’t legislate religious idiocy. What you can do however, is to educate. I just think that on a global scale, if people simply stopped believing in the plethora of millennium old fairy tales, the world would evolve into a much better place.

Michael John Scott
Reply to  bitcodavid
8 years ago

Well said and very, very true David.

Norman Rampart
Reply to  bitcodavid
8 years ago

No idea who you are but I like your thoughts..so there

Les Carpenter
8 years ago

They’re simply ugly, hideous in fact. When used as a control device over women they become part of the mechanism of gender based Muslim male tyranny. A disgusting symbol of the aforesaid as well as of religous tyranny.

In another 1400 years or so, perhaps…

Michael John Scott
Reply to  Les Carpenter
8 years ago

Perhaps Les…perhaps evolution will be the game changer, but that’s a hell of a wait.