This week, The Humanist posted a poll on whether we support France’s ban on women publicly wearing burqas.
Bill Maher jokingly says that Arab men keep their women in beekeper suits, but this is no joking matter. Women are silenced, made invisible daily in many parts of the world and the incursion of Muslims into Europe is bringing many unwanted traditions, such as honor killings, arranged marriage of girls, and an epidemic of sexual assaults by Muslim immigrants against Swedish women (as a punishment for not covering themselves properly; that is, for wearing Western clothes in their own Western country), etc.
In some Muslim countries, women face such harrassment when they do not cover themselves that they happily embrace the burqa and their complete invisibility in front of men, just to avoid all the trouble that comes with being visible. But is this not dehumanizing? Is this where humanity should be headed? Should we expect men to be rapists and not require of them control over their senses; and accept a culture of blaming the victim when rape happens, and not the perpetrator?
When, after 9/11, many ignorant people in America began to attack not just Muslims, but even Sikhs (a completely different religious minority), and there was even a gun attack against a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, solidarity for religious minorities increased. This is understandable, and we should certainly protect the rights of religious minorities, but when these minorities engage in anti-social behavior, usually against women, gays and minors, how do we prioritize our values as Westerners who love humanity and freedom?
A hijab is fine, it can speak of pride. So can a turban: if you’re a Sikh and you love your Punjabi roots, then you should proudly wear your crown.
The burqa, on the other hand, is an extreme and dehumanizing slippery slope to intimidation and subjugation of women. It reduces them to the status of non-sexual, docile, non-people. Just my two cents.
Republished from my blog, The Autarkist.