and body, leaving only a strip of gauze for the eyes”. First of all, let’s get some terms straight. A burka is a leathery mask used to cover the face in places like the United Arab Emirates, and other gulf countries, as well as Afghanistan. Hijab, (mentioned later on the article as “a scarf”), refers to the manner of dress Muslims deem modest. Why am I being a stickler about terms that bear little or no significance to the general content of the article? The answer to this question is my insistence on correctness is due to my belief that if you’re going to write about something, (whether you be a journalist or author of books), you are expected to be responsible enough to disseminate correct, fatual information. If you don’t, it lessens your credibility. The article goes on to illustrate the supposed toughness of the Dutch right-winger Rita Verdonk by mentioning that she canceled a meeting with leaders of the Muslim community because the men wouldn’t shake hands with her because she is a woman. Observant Jews call that being shomer negia, and it refers to the act of refraining from touching someone of the opposite sex who isn’t a close relative (spouse, sister, brother, mother, father, child). It’s accepted in this country all the time. You don’t think all those Orthodox businessmen and women don’t do things like go to job interviews, meetings with their non-Jewish bosses, etc., simply because their faith forbids them from shaking hands with someone of the opposite sex, do you? Yet, one of the most liberal countries on the face of the planet, one that even allows homosexual unions the status of legal marriages, sells marijuana in its coffee shops and regards prostitution as legal, can’t deal when someone refuses to shake hands due to modesty concerns. And then they make the claim that they’re just worried about terrorism. Newsflash folks, women wearing burkas, (or, for the benefit of the French, scarves), aren’t going to be carrying weapons under them. I can only think of one, maybe two instances where a burka should be temporarily removed, the most important of which would be taking a picture for an ID card or driver’s license. And if Muslim law is anything like Jewish law, (incidentally, there are a lot of similarities, if you exclude those who twist either system to fit their own agendas), there’s a legal way to make those situations work. I could also see it in the case of childcare, as children do get weirded out if they can’t see who’s caring for them. Once again, I’m sure there’s a legal way around that one too. But banning burkas and scarves in public (which is where they’re worn in the first place), especially scarves isn’t based on security concerns, it’s based on ignorance. It’s extreme secularism. Same goes for banning kippot. No one’s wearing a kippah (yarmulke) or scarf screaming “Jihad”.
Wearing kippot or wearing hijab have to do with modesty concerns, not politics.
I’m aware that there exceptions to the rule, but they are just that, exceptions.
There were huge numbers of women wearing hijab during the 70’s and the 80’s in the Middle East as a political statement, but we have yet to see any evidence in Europe of Muslim women doing so.
In fact, I have yet to see anything in the news concerning any of the corrent violence going on in France and Germany being committed by women.
It’s young men and teenagers who are starting the problems.
And lest anyone put forth the asserssion that the women should do their part to bring order to their communities, I would remind said asserter to remember the status of women in most Muslim communities versus that of women in western society.
If something comes up in the news concerning someone who actually figures out how to effectively conceal a weapon under a scarf, turban, kippah or burka, I’ll be the first one to start rethinking my position.
But until then, let’s not over react.