Face veils....Niqabs.... *sigh*
While everyone else discusses the Oscars, this is the stuff that keeps me awake at night.
There has been so much talk about niqabs in Canada recently. Especially since in December 2011, former immigration minister Jason Kenney brought in the ban during a specific time - only while taking the citizenship oath. And also since Zunera Ishaq, a religious Muslim from Pakistan, has contested this ban by stating that she wants to wear a full face veil while she swears the oath of citizenship.
In Toronto, the liberals are outraged, the conservative Muslims are outraged, the liberal publications (which seem to have lost the plot in today's Islamist political climate) are outraged and printing nonsense, the right-wing publications have almost always been printing nonsense. There is very little left for readers like me who don't align with the right and are increasingly disappointed with the left.
The issue of the niqab and burqa is being volleyed between anti-Muslim bigots, Islamofascists and their ever-loyal, naive, liberal Western apologists - who in the fogginess of their collective 'white guilt' often trample on basic liberal principles such as gender equality and in fact endorse disgusting levels of misogyny.
Their knowledge of Islam is limited and shallow, yet these are the 'experts' called upon by Canadian large-name liberal publications to discuss the topic. It's almost always 'white' (non-muslim) experts attempting to explain the nuances and loopholes in freedom of speech to the rest of us, where we are almost coerced to think that niqabs are ok, because they are a 'choice'. And here in the liberal, secular West - we value freedom of choice.
As expat Pakistanis from Saudi Arabia, myself and my family hoped to escape this abhorrent visual reminder of the subjugation and mistreatment of women when we immigrated to a secular country like Canada for a better life. Yet, I am reminded that Islamofascism transcends geographical boundaries, it travels across oceans and nestles in every secular corner of the earth. It attempts to rear its ugly head by using secular principles to its advantage. Uninformed Western liberals allow this to happen under their perception of supporting equality. Equality for minorities in this instance.
One does not have to scratch the surface too much to realise that niqabs represent the opposite of equality. Let's look at the the core principle behind the burqa and niqab. What is this about? It is about telling women that their bodies are shameful, that their face may provoke lust in men. So they should be the ones to cover and hide, exist in discomfort and be ashamed of their bodies, their faces. It's about victim blaming AND not telling men instead that they should keep their lust in check like all humans should, which should render such extreme covering useless in civilized society.
This is about a visual representation of what male privilege looks like (and privilege in this case is an understatement).
If Toronto publications wanted to hear an honest view about what the burqa means, they would not be asking people of non-muslim backgrounds to write on these topics. They would be putting their investigative skills to use and finding people that have suffered under burqa-regimes - asking for their opinions. They would be asking women born into Muslim families that have had the courage to stand up to this subjugation to balance their perspective. If they wish to publish niqab-supportive articles, one can only expect that the flip-side be discussed too and in an authentic voice.
As a child growing up in Saudi Arabia, I witnessed my mother's ankles being 'lightly' caned by morality police, despite her wearing the burqa/a'abaya. I was terrified that people had such control to dictate what women looked like. I experience a flashback of that childhood terror and my heart sinks when I see a woman being treated this way and put into a niqab. Surely women did not invent this rule of invisibility, men did.
The ban on niqab during the small slice of time that is the citizenship oath and the pushback surrounding it is telling. One, Islamists don't like to budge even on reasonable things, but they will expect Westerners to abide by their rules while in their countries constantly. Below are pictures from an official Qatari campaign aimed at Westerners, in hopes of teaching them about Qatari "culture and values". Please note that 'any gesture', 'reciting songs', or 'uttering indecent phrases' can get you imprisoned and fined. And two, liberals are basically scared to disagree because of the whole 'minority' issue. Can you imagine the outrage if Western countries had similar signs up in their malls, banning hijabs and burqas? We wouldn't, because we're better than that and we do value freedom and diversity. All that is being asked here is to see your face while you declare yourself a Canadian. That is the least one can do.
|it seems person #3's lovehandles are not permissible either? Whut?|
- Malaysia - Although headscarves are permitted in government institutions, public servants are prohibited from wearing the full-facial veil or niqab. A judgment from the then–Supreme Court of Malaysia cites that the niqab, or purdah, "has nothing to do with (a woman's) constitutional right to profess and practise her Muslim religion", because Islam does not make it obligatory to cover the face.
- Morocco - The headscarf is strongly and implicitly forbidden in Morocco's military and the police.
- Syria - Before it fell to the hands of Islamists Ghiyath Barakat, Syria's minister of higher education, announced that the government would ban women from wearing full face veils at universities.
- Egypt - There have been some restrictions of wearing the hijab by the government as it views hijab as a political symbol, in 2002, two presenters were excluded from a state run TV station for deciding to wear hijab on national television.
- Abu Dhabi - In Abu Dhabi, the niqab was banned in all public offices to fight unrestricted absenteeism.
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