Monday, 11 April 2011

The burka: a line in the sand for a religion that needs to modernise and a country that needs to stand up for its values.

Islam is being scrutinised like never before, and with good reason. Recent terrorist atrocities have been linked to the extremist elements of the religion, and those who had never heard of Islam or the word "Muslim" before 9/11 are wanting to know what this religion is all about and why it has such extremists claiming to act on behalf of its religion.

The fact is that the burka is a visually shocking throwback that reaffirms suspicions that Islam as an extreme religion and one that is ill-suited to the western world. It dehumanises, shocks and possess genuine security problems. Moreover, it allows a special treatment to those who wear it. I've long given up counting the number of times I've been told to take my hood down in city centres when out with friends. That's fair enough: the face must be seen for security and social reasons. We live in a liberal nation where human interaction relies on the face not being covered.

Banning the burka from public places is common sense. What's more, I am encouraged to hear so many British Muslims, some my friends, some in politics and the media, arguing the case for the burka to be consigned to the dustbin of history, at least for Muslims living in Britain. It is time for Muslim women, who already enjoy rights in this country that they would never possess in the Middle East, to be liberated. Argue all you want, but a Muslim woman in a burka will never be able to progress as an independent person in the UK, with a career and income of her own. Who wants a teacher or nurse they can't see? It is alien to our culture. It is also far from a natural part of the Islamic religion, and is certainly not a requirement that is necessary for a Muslim to practise their faith properly

The truth is that for Britain to be united, the burka must be outlawed in public places. This is an issue about equality, modernisation and reaffirming Britain as a tolerant nation, but a nation that has its own values that must be respected as well.

4 comments:

Steven said...

If someone living in our country wants to cover their face, then they should be free and able to do so in private. But if in public and private places all should be under the same law and rights. No exceptions!.

Sue said...

I totally agree with you. Perhaps these women should be reminded of the cruelty that Arab women have suffered in the name of Islam?

Women in Afghanistan died having been denied treatment by doctors because of this cult, because there were no women doctors.

Children are being subjected to female circumcision in the name of this vile religion.

Female's are being denied an education because of this misogynistic, third world way of life.

We shouldn't have to ban the veil. Women of conscience wouldn't wear one.

The women that wear it, do so as a political statement, it's a denial of our culture and our freedom of expression.

These are the women that would scream blue murder if I said Mohammad was a paedophile and then burnt the koran.

Democracy works for everyone or nobody at all. They expect their rights to be respected but deny the rest of us freedom of speech or action.

Angry Exile said...

Picking up on a few points.

It is time for Muslim women... to be liberated.

Agreed, but all you can do is lead a horse to water. You certainly don't make it a more free horse by ordering it not to drink from the muddy puddle instead of this nice trough. Nor does liberty increase when the government restricts choice.

I've long given up counting the number of times I've been told to take my hood down in city centres when out with friends. That's fair enough: the face must be seen for security and social reasons.

I have committed no crime and have given no indication that I will, and I doubt you have either. I feel that you, like most Britons, have forgotten how to say no. It's long past time we learned how again.

Who wants a teacher or nurse they can't see?

This does not necessarily follow. The freedom (negative right) to wear a burqa, or for that matter a thin layer of blue paint or nothing at all, does not imply the positive right of being offered a particular job which is incompatible with the chosen form of dress. What's gone wrong here is that we have allowed people to insist on jobs despite their other lifestyle choices making them unsuitable. Again, we need to relearn the art of saying no. To use one of your examples burqa wearing applicants should be told they can choose between the bag on the head or being a teacher, not both.

It is also far from a natural part of the Islamic religion, and is certainly not a requirement that is necessary for a Muslim to practise their faith properly

Agreed. It's cultural and predates Islam. This cannot be said often enough, though it's by the by as far as the liberty argument goes.

Caroline said...

I hate the burka and I really do feel sorry for the women wearing it in this country. It is a symbol of a regime and ideology that is very offensive. I'm not Jewish but I find swastikas offensive because of what they represent, and this is similarly applicable to this face covering. However, it shouldn't be outlawed. It is not what we do in Britain. To do so would lower the level of our civilization and culture to that of the stone age middle east. Sorry, I totally disagree!