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Poll: Should The Burka Be Banned In The U.S.?

July 2, 2009

Should America Ban the Burqa? – Chesler Chronicles

Excerpts

Earlier today, Muslims demonstrated in Antwerp to oppose the banning of headscarves in two schools–and the new Swedish head of the European Union, Justice Minister Beatrice Ask, stated that the “27 member European Union must not dictate an Islamic dress code…(that) the European Union is a union of freedom.” As my readers know, yesterday, al-Qaeda threatened France because President Sarkozy had called for a ban on the burqa.

Religious Muslim scholars and other experts disagree profoundly about this. Some say that such attire is merely a pre-Islamic, desert-based custom that has nothing to do with Islam. For example, in 2009, the Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC) urged Canada’s government to ban the burka. Mafooz Kanwar, a professor and an MCC director stated: “The burka is not mandated by Islam or the Qur’an and is therefore not religious and protected under the Charter. In Canada, gender equality is one of our core values and faces are important identifying tools and should not be covered. Period.”

Other Muslim scholars insist that such attire is an Islamic custom (if not an actual law) which women must follow in order to be “modest.”

In addition, and for this reason, the burqa (and niqab ) may also lead to health hazards. Lifetime burqa wearers may suffer eye damage and may be prone to a host of multi-factorial diseases which are also related to Vitamin D (sunlight deprivation ) deficiency e.g. “osteoporosis, heart disease, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, certain cancers, depression, chronic fatigue, and chronic pain.”

I therefore suggest that we begin a national conversation about whether Americans should consider banning the burqa not only for security-related reasons but on the grounds of human rights/women’s rights and for health-related reasons.
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H/T Rat_des_champs

niqab.jpgOne very good reason behind many in the west’s desire to ban the burqa. The complete anonymity the burka allows the wearer, is reason enough for a ban in my humble opinion. And personally I like to see faces of those around me! As I’m sure many would agree. It is utterly inane for anyone to expect/demand the allowance of such a ridiculous article of clothing. Burkas/niqabs creep people out. Oh oh, how islamophobic of me. [roll eyes] Heh. As if I care.

Imagine if you will, a teacher or a medical professional wearing a burka/niqab. How could any level of trust be established, if one couldn’t even see their faces?

Or how about this scenario? A clerk at a convenience store has one of the burka/niqab covered peeps walk into his store? That could not be a comfortable situation by any means. To say the least. In my area during Halloween no one can enter any public building with their faces completely covered with a mask. Makes all the sense in the world.

Or even worse, what if one would stroll into a bank or any government building. That should not be allowed under any circumstances. When you walk around covered from head to toe, you freak people out. A normal reaction that should be expected. Not whined about.

Security and trust should over rule sensibilities.

I say yes.

What say you?

Also see:
France sets up burka commission
British Muslim woman calls for burka to be banned
Burka-wearing leads to rickets in children

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Previously:
Video: Ban the Burka – Pat Condell
Sarkozy: Burka’s Will Not Be Welcome In France
Unveiling The Burka As A Security Threat

Oslo: Non-Muslim school girls coerced into wearing Hijabs

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16 Comments
  1. July 2, 2009 8:10 pm

    Should The Burka Be Banned In The U.S.?

    Man, I sure hope so…

    Butch’s last blog post..Don’t Tax Me Bro

  2. July 3, 2009 2:06 am

    Why I wear a Hijab ?
    By Raseena Sherif
    I was asked by a friend about why I wear a hijab. This is my answer.

    You asked me ages ago why I wore the hijab. It was always somewhere in my mind – not necessarily always the back – that I should reply and I finally decided I wouldn’t put off your reply any longer, and therefore you shall have it.

    Having grown up in a practising Muslim household, many things were just handed over to me. And having studied in an Islamic school all my life, consequently having an entirely Muslim circle of friends, I never questioned them. That was the way things were done in my little world, and it was therefore the way I did things too. The hijab was one of them. I grew up in it. Physically and also mentally. I think the question, or at least the one with the more interesting answer, is why I continue to wear the hijab even after having spent more than three years now, in Christian colleges, and with a friend circle that is largely non- Muslim.

    There are many things I found in the hijab as I grew up. Things as varied as the convenience of not having to spend considerable amount of worry and time on my wardrobe and outside appearance, to philosophical, spiritual, and you might be surprised to hear this, but even feminist concepts that I feel proud to stand up for and show my belief in.

    In wearing a hijab, a woman is identified by the things she does and the things she stands for, rather than her looks. Even as a woman, there are times when I have found myself identifying another woman by her looks, where I might ask “Oh, the one with the long hair?” In underplaying my looks, I force others to look for more in me.

    My hijab saves me a lot of the time, effort, thought and worry that would otherwise go into my dress, my hair, my skin and my make up. I think it’s a pity that while theoretically looks aren’t supposed to matter, one must spend so much time and money on them. With the hijab, looking good means looking neat and the best part is that I get to stop where others begin.

    As a teenager, I have seen girls go to large extents to look attractive to men. I have heard of an entire class getting their mums to pay for breast implant surgeries as graduation gifts. I have heard of girls hanging themselves because they weren’t invited to a prom. I think it is so demeaning to believe that your worth lies in the admiration of the opposite sex. I think you insult yourself by preening in front of them. People say the hijab is oppressing. I think being compelled, by society, or even worse, by your own mind, to confirm to external standards of beauty is oppression. Mental oppression. In the hijab, I find dignity and freedom.

    Corporate circles are aware of power dressing concepts and how women feel that if they dress in certain ways, then they gain power and confidence. Does this mean that there are women out there who are learning that the way they look can earn them power? I guess in their ideology, we in the hijab are powerless. Maybe in the corporate world, the way you dress does give you power – I’m not arguing with the idea. I just don’t want to think of what happens to the self esteem of the people who believe in this theory when they grow old, or lose their beauty.

    And honestly, look at the larger picture. In society, the more women are expected to look that way at work, the higher becomes the man’s standards of beauty for women. The more dissatisfied he becomes with “ordinary” women. I think dissatisfaction is where it all starts from – look at the number of broken relationships, broken people, broken homes! I hate to think we are breeding a collective idea in the minds of both men and women about what a “modern day” , “powerful”, “influential” woman is “supposed” to dress like, and subsequently, look like. Why power dressing? Whatever happened to the power of goodness, the power of ability? Isn’t society supposed to run on the power of love?

    People say the hijab is “backward”. So I’m guessing I can find forward in the opposite. Hmm. In which industry does the focus lie on beauty, on desire and exposure? It’s the fashion industry! Starve yourself to get the right look, and once you get it, you can rule the world! If you die in the process, oh, how sad! Enjoy your short period of power, by the way, because tomorrow when you lose that figure of yours, you’re going to be dropped like a hot plate and no one is going to turn around and give you a second look. Personally, I think the hijab is fast forward.

    I know someone who doesn’t really like the hijab, but finds it convenient to wear one when she’s traveling by bus. She’s saved the stares and the gropes. People wearing hijab find that men don’t mess with them as much when they’re in one. They’re given a decent amount of space when they’re walking down a side walk.

    I can go on about the hijab and what it means to me, or what can be found in it. But the reason I wear it is none of them. In Islam, a person does a thing because her Lord asks her to. And because, she has faith. She believes. She believes in the Infinite Wisdom that the Creator of the universe would have. She believes that what comes from Him can be nothing less than the best. That does not translate to unthinking obedience.

    In the Quran, we are repeatedly asked to use our brains, and to think for ourselves – not to evaluate everything God asks of us, but to establish for ourselves that there is only One God, Allah, and that the Quran and all that is in it cannot be from any other source than Him. But once you do come to that belief, as I have done, you also believe in His Infinite Wisdom. You don’t need any other source of advice, or knowledge – you have the Creator of the universe in front of you. To settle for a lower source doesn’t make sense. It results in, not blind obedience but faith. And from that point on, it is a spiritual journey.

    We continue from there, trying to please Him by following His various injunctions. If He allows us to see the beauty and the wisdom behind them, that’s great. But those reasons do not then become the primary reasons for following those injunctions. The reason for doing what we do remains to please Him. And we feel good about pleasing Him, for we know that He is not a whimsical Lord. What pleases Him is what is good for humanity. Sometimes in so many more ways than we realize. In so many ways that it surprises us when we find another. And because we believe in accountability. That is the reason I wear the hijab.

    Looking back now, at how I began to wear the hijab, I’m glad I did start the way I did. In spite of the fact that I prefer to find things out for myself, and hate taking things for granted, or doing things without really believing them. Because having started the way I did, to me, the hijab was always just another type of clothing.

    I think about the kind of stereotypes people have about hijabs, and women who wear them, and I know that if I were left to discover the hijab for myself, it would have been tough for me to go beyond those stereotypes, to go back on all that I grew up hearing, seeing and believing, and to allow myself to actually see the hijab for what it is and its beauty. Having grown up wearing it, in a society that didn’t jump to conclusions about me because I did, or look at me like I was weird, I have always felt comfortable in it, and never thought of myself as any different from the rest. It was just my way of dressing. And with the stage for objective evaluation of that type of dressing set, I have come to love that way of dressing above others.

    On the other hand, I know there are those that hate the hijab they wear. I feel bad for them – for the fact that they are forced to do something they don’t even understand, and the fact that they haven’t understood something so beautiful. However, I think the saddest part is that they are losing out on both the happiness they might have found in dressing the way they would have liked to, and the happiness they could have found in pleasing their Creator. It’s always our intentions that are considered and if you’re doing something only because you’re forced to, it doesn’t count. You might as well enjoy yourself living life the way you want to. And then if you are fortunate enough to find God for yourself, I think you are really lucky.

    In fact, I feel bad for all those Islamic ideologies that are reduced to meaningless customs and traditions, and the joke that they have been allowed to become in the minds of people. Anyway, I won’t start on that or I shall go on for a couple more pages. I just want to ask you to make a distinction between actual Islamic ideology and the actions that one sees from some people born into Muslim households – especially the kind I heard you grew up with.

    In the hijab, honestly, I feel blessed.

  3. toby permalink
    July 3, 2009 4:24 am

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    The site also offers to supply customers with a free supply of 400IU for their children and it also has a good newsletter.

  4. July 3, 2009 7:52 am

    Raseena

    Please do pay attention. This poll does not concern the banning of the hijab. It regards the banning of the burka. The full face covering style and the one with the eye slit.

  5. July 3, 2009 10:21 pm

    I agree with everything said, a burqa is a symbol of the tryanny against women – but if the burqa (which is a religious symbol) is banned, how long before wearing a cross around your neck is banned? If the burqa is shed, it must be because the women of Islam stood up and made it happen.

    Douglas V. Gibbs’s last blog post..Holder’s Hate Crimes Testimony

  6. Muttaqi permalink
    July 5, 2009 5:31 am

    I just wrote a detailed post that was rejected because it contained a word that we do not want to deal with as a society, and consequently, the problem increases due to this deadly silence, rpae (unscramble these letters). Almost 30% of all reported cases in the world occur here in the United States. Last year alone there were 100,000 reported cases (vs 59 in S. Arabia). In US, there is one reported case every 10 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Let us look at facts and not be afraid. Those that fear the niqab (full covering) should think twice if there fear is based on facts or if it influenced by 5-second media clips taken from war zones overseas.

    It is time for us to stand up as leaders of the free world and lose the attitude that we have everything to teach and nothing to learn. I am not saying who is right and who is wrong. I am only saying that there are issues that we need to deal with on our own, but which never make it to the surface because we are not focusing on the reality at hand.

    Peace to all who read this and may it be taken in the best manner in which it was meant to be conveyed.

    PS – You can go to NationMaster.com to back-check my statistics.

  7. July 5, 2009 9:29 am

    Muttaqi

    Let us look at facts and not be afraid. Those that fear the niqab (full covering) should think twice if there fear is based on facts or if it influenced by 5-second media clips taken from war zones overseas.

    If muslim women want to hide their faces they should live where it’s an accepted part of life. In the west hidden faces cause alarm. And most of all it is a security risk. If my face shows on camera then by God theirs should TOO.

    I wonder if your handy stats factor in the percentage of r*pe attacks (R*pe Jihad) against women in the west perpetrated by Muslim immigrants? And FYI crime statistics in muslim countries are not as well documented as they are in the west. Additionally when considering the unjust unequal treatment of muslim women who report a r*pe, it is very likely many r*pes go un-reported.

    http://www.dcrcc.org/myths.htm

    Myth: “R*pe is not a big deal; it is only sex.”

    Fact: R*pe is a big deal. It is a crime of dominance and control using sex to express power and anger. Sex is between two consenting partners, while r*pe is an aggressive act using sex as a weapon. To be r*ped is to be violated and stripped of control and self-determination.

    Myth: “R*pe only happens if you ask for it. Women who are provocative are the only victims of r*pe.”

    Fact: Women’s behavior is irrelevant. The r*pist chooses to r*pe and he is solely responsible for that choice. To act provocative or to wear sexy clothing does not mean you are asking to be r*ped. The attitudes behind this myth betray a double standard. According to this double standard, sexual feelings and expression are acceptable for men, but unacceptable for women.

    Myth: “Men r*pe because they need sex.”

    Fact: Men do not r*pe because they need a sexual partner. Men r*pe in order to humiliate and dominate a woman. In fact, 75% of men who r*pe are either married or have regular sexual partners. (3)

    An understanding of r*pe which considers society would, however, emphasis the urgent need to change relationships between men and women and to ensure greater equality between the two. Such an understanding would also acknowledge the importance of changing relationships between men.

    Ultimately sociobiological explanations of r*pe are nothing more than a science in the service of oppression

    http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/938

    Worse than that is the skyrocketing crime rate, which is closely tied to Muslim immigration. The Brussels Journal found that the number of r*pe cases in Sweden has quadrupled in the last twenty years, and ***85%*** of the rapists are either first or second generation immigrants. The Swedes have opened their gates to an enemy that now works within the system to undermine it by using every advantage that their hosts generously extend them.

  8. July 5, 2009 9:29 am

    http://www.iris.org.il/blog/exit.php?url_id=52895&entry_id=757

    R*pe charges in the capital are spiraling upwards, 40 percent higher from 1999 to 2000 and up 13 percent so far this year. Police Inspector Gunnar Larsen of Oslo’s Vice, Robbery and Violent crime division says the statistics are surprising – the rising number of r*pe cases and the link to ethnic background are both clear trends….While 65 percent of those charged with r*pe are classed as coming from a non-western background, this segment makes up only ***14.3 percent*** of Oslo’s population. Norwegian women were the victims in ***80 percent*** of the cases, with 20 percent being women of foreign background.

    A Living Hell (article from my archives)
    Westernized Muslim females are victims of gang r*pe in the west. Too.

    Though the assaults occurred in the late 1980s, Bellil didn’t speak up or press charges until three other girls attacked by the same gang appealed to her. Bellil decided to write about the experience now to call attention to the spate of banlieue gang r*pes and the perverse attitudes toward sex that feed the crimes.

    …but they also frequently embrace the traditional prejudices of their immigrant parents when it comes to women: any neighborhood girl who smokes, uses makeup or wears attractive clothes is a whore.

  9. July 5, 2009 9:30 am

    http://www.iris.org.il/blog/exit.php?url_id=52890&entry_id=757

    The number of r*pe charges in Sweden has tripled in just above twenty years. R*pe cases involving children under the age of 15 are six – 6 – times as common today as they were a generation ago….

    According to a new study from the Crime Prevention Council, Br, it is four times more likely that a known r*pist is born abroad, compared to persons born in Sweden. Resident aliens from Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia dominate the group of r*pe suspects. According to these statistics, almost half of all perpetrators are immigrants….

    http://www.thelocal.se/article.php?ID=890&date=20050125

    the number of reported r*pes against children is on the rise. The figures have nearly doubled in the last ten years: 467 r*pes against children under the age of 15 were reported in 2004 compared with 258 in 1995. Legal proceedings continue this week in a case involving a 13 year old girl from Motala who was said to have been subjected to a group r*pe by four men. (Note: These four men were Kurdish Muslims, who r*ped the girl for hours and even took photos of doing so).

    If the burka is meant to cover women in the name of modesty and to prevent Muslim men from getting all worked up. (Which does not say much for Muslim men BTW if they can not control themselves unless women are covered form head to toe.) The burka does not protect muslim women. Explain to me why Muslim women are still r*ped.

    AND in the west we do not flog or stone r*pe victims!!!!!!!
    AND In the west we do not have “forced marriages” Which boils down to nothing less than legal r*pe in the eyes of Islam, sexual slavery and often times incest and pedophilia.

  10. Muttaqi permalink
    July 6, 2009 8:16 am

    VelvetHammer,

    You never addressed the problem that WE have here in America. I don’t know how Sweden got in the debate and you never answered the original question: If you have two lands, in one 100,000 women are brutalized in the most horrific fashion known to man and another there less than a fraction of 1% of that number – which one is oppressing and unjust. Here in America one in 200 women will be forcibly r*ped and one in 4 will be physically assaulted. So let’s look at the issue if we are truly concerned about security and women’s rights.

    The issue is that once society begins to abandon respect for itself and for others, a downward spiral ensues. Today you will find (if you are honest with yourself) that the acceptable style of dress for young girls has reached appalling depths. They are being subjugated by a mass media that is run on illicit sexual inuendos and they are going astray due to a lack of moral guidance from their elders.

    As for this blog, banning burqas is not going to make this society any safer because it is not the root of the issue. The root is that we as AMERICAN males consume an average of $500 billion dollars on p*rnography (not sure if that word will pass the sensor here) and another $500 billion on alcohol. To top it all off, we spend at least another $750 billion on defense because we are afraid that someone is going to come and steal our freedoms.

    And as for the snide comments about men being unable to control themselves, I ask you this. Why are the Marines absolutely detested in Okinawa, So. Korea, and yes, Iraq. Look no further than fine examples like James Barker and the like. To refresh your memory, he is the guy that admitted to r*ping, killing, and burning a 14 year old girl – along with the rest of her family. He will be eligible for parole in about 10 years or so – and there VH is your true American Justice. In fact, on a blog that is supposed to represent freedom of speech and welcomes debate, I will be rather shocked to see you even post this response on your site – although it is again completely (and sadly) based on the facts.

  11. July 13, 2009 2:05 pm

    You are the one who brought up the lame r*pe argument. My argument against burkas in the US is that they are a SECURITY THREAT. If muslim women want to hide their faces they should live where it’s an accepted part of life. In the west hidden faces cause alarm. And most of all it is a security risk.
    If my face shows on camera then by God theirs should TOO.

    Taliban jihadis hide among civilians, dress like women, to elude Marines

    Unveiling The Burka As A Security Threat

  12. Muttaqi permalink
    July 13, 2009 3:45 pm

    The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

    America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war.

    -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “A Time to Break Silence”, April 4, 1967

    May the All Merciful Creator guide us all on the straight path and help us to love and pray for one another with the fullest sincerity of heart.

  13. Muttaqi permalink
    July 14, 2009 7:00 am

    I would also like to bring attention to a news story which (inexplicably) never made it into the mainstream press. On July 1st a pregnant Muslim women was stabbed 18 times and died in a German courtroom (in front of her 3-year old son) while the police shot her husband who was trying to save her. Her attacker was driven by an extreme hatred of her covering her head and was found guilty of slander after unleashing an unprintable barrage of insults on her last year in a park while she was playing with her son on a swing.

    Other than the Guardian in the UK, I have not found any other Western media outlet to even report on this shameful human tragedy (all around), which is irresponsible journalism in my opinion. In fact, the simmering hatred being stirred in the West towards Islam is the result of a larger misinformation campaign undertaken by the corporate media outlets that we have come to rely on for “objectivity”. We only see what they want us to see – and this cannot be debated.

    I post this as an example of the tragedies that ensue when we allow ourselves to be deceived by people who have other agendas. We need to put aside any fear and prejudice we may have developed over the years of indoctrination since 2001 if we are to come together to really solve problems on a grand scale, which I believe is what most people truly want. Inciting suspicion and mistrust will only lead to greater evils.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/07/german-trial-hijab-murder-egypt

    I assure you Velvet Hammer, you have nothing to fear from women covering their faces in public. I encourage you to sit with local Muslims in your community and put your concerns on the table. They would be more than happy to sit with you and try to work out the issue peacefully and for the betterment of all.

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