Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Banning the burqa is an answer to the wrong question

There is a passage in Mein Kampf where Adolf Hitler describes how, walking through the streets of Vienna he sees a man with black hair locks. Is this a Jew? He asks himself at first before rephrasing the question to: is this a German? The debate about the wearing of the burqa though dressed up in the language of ‘identity’ politics is really just plain, old fashioned ‘ugly’ politics; it is the politics of the gutter. It is clearly as ludicrous for the state to force women to wear the burqa as it is to compel them not to.

Wearing the burqa does create some challenges in a free society. I am strongly of the view that women should be required to show their faces at all border stops and airports for example. It is also perfectly reasonable that any veiled woman pulled over for speeding would be required to raise her veil when presenting her pictured driver's licence. However the creation of a national dress code is wrong. Just because some people may take offence about the way some women dress should not mean we have to prohibit the way they dress. Shami Chakrabarti, the director of Liberty, is absolutely right when she argues that “political and legislative culture that conflates irritation, offence, alarm and distress promotes a general fear of difference and dissent”.

I am not arguing that we should not question the use of the burqa, far from it. While the burqa has found fervent advocates amongst some of its users, there have been powerful arguments against its proliferation in a progressive, modern world which seeks gender equality. In an age when men and women are perceived as equal, what exactly is the role of the burqa which well and truly wraps the woman in a cloak of invisibility?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If people are so stupid that daddy can make them wear something they do not want, fine by me, I remember a father saying his daughters beauty was not for men to fornicate over, I looked at the mother and father, and I guessed the daughter looked like Olive off on the buses.

I could not stop laughing until the father said he rather see his daughter dead then uncover her self to the view of people.

I thought to myself why the hell is he living here, Iran or Pakistan would be better.

I remember a local girl going out with an Asian man I've known her for sometime, now she wears the Burka, cannot drive a car it's against the laws of her husband, and she is we are told well off, well personal freedom against lots of money, good deal if it's money your after.

In the end so long as they do not teach in school or in hospital, then I really do not care what they do, but of course thats wrong because it's form of abuse that people are made to cover up a womens face in case it drives me to rape.

But we do have freedom in this country it's just sad so many people who have come here from other countries like Pakistan now try to live the same lives here, why did they come here, and people who are born here still cannot see past the faith or religion which tells them this is right.

In the end though it's up to them.