The BURQA is a declaration of WAR.
It says to the NATION that welcomes all that THEY don’t want to be WELCOMED.
This a violent declaration.
It’s not as simple as choosing WHAT to wear: Pink or blue. Goth or punk. Thug or straight lace.
The burqa clad woman is taking an OFFENSIVE position and the declaration is I’m better than you, you are an infidel. I am here DESPITE of you.
She was all for it before she saw it in reality. But now she hates herself for it.
Then she realized that freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. Young Heraldsun reporter Sally Morrell gets hit by clue bat:
This is a serious cover up
Heraldsun/Sally Morrell/thanks to Mullah
IT was in Hawthorn, of all middle-class suburban places, that I saw them. And where my dislike of the full-face burqa turned to loathing.
As they walked the store with their husbands, they drew attention and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to feel uncomfortable at the sight.
But why does the sight of a woman in burqa make us feel so awkward?
It’s the not the Islam thing, or not to me.
I think it’s because the garb seems such a bold statement of alienation, or even rejection of their new neighbours, people like me who have all their life taken to heart the Australian ethos of making newcomers feel welcome.
Who have taught their children to always offer the hand of friendship, and especially to strangers trying to make their home among us.
This was a rejection of not just me but of any welcome, it seemed to me to say“I don’t want to be part of your world and I don’t want you to be part of mine’.
It’s usual, when you’re all waiting in a queue for the cashier or the lift, to have some sort of interaction with your fellow queuers, especially when they have a cute little boy with them.
You meet eyes, you smile, whatever. But with these women it was like standing next to a statue. There was no sign of life coming back at you. You wouldn’t even know if they were looking at you.
It was just all so oppressive. We were doomed to always remain strangers to each other.
And, yet, up until this weekend, I would have hotly defended the right of Islamic women to wear the burqa.
Wearing the burqa is supposed to be all about a woman’s choice.Some women choose to wear ’80s parachute pants and still perm their hair, while others choose to wear a black tent. Nobody should have the right to tell anyone what they can and can’t wear. Right?
Well, there are many here among us who knew all along that this has nothing to do with freedom, but with submission: Qur’an (33:36) – “It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision.”
If these women believe no man other than their husband should ever look at their hair or face, that should be their right, shouldn’t it?
I don’t dispute that right, at least up to a point. But I can’t overlook how it threatens to weaken one of characteristics that have made this country so lovable – our openness.
Now I shudder at the sight of the burqa and no longer feel like defending it.
And I hate myself for it, because my reaction goes against so much that I’ve taught my children.
We were in a hardware store and the two women ahead of us at the cash register were clad head-to-toe in a billowing black tent. Even their hands were hidden, in black gloves.
Only the eyes peeked out, as if through a mail slot. And one had even that gap veiled.
They could see out, but I couldn’t see in.
There was no way I could tell what age they were or anything about them at all. I couldn’t tell if they were friendly or snooty. I couldn’t even tell if they smiled back.
It was like they had no identity, no personality at all.
To me, it seemed like they were prisoners trapped behind a huge black wall, cut off from all social interaction. They didn’t invite any contact, and seemed unable to fully respond to any.
The 36 comments on this story are quite telling about the general resentment and unease in Australia…..
****A comment that I feel is important, because it give one the feel of what society could become all over:
Pete Schweady Posted at 6:15 AM April 19, 2010
As someone who has spent most of the last year in a country where burkas are mandatory for all female citizens, I totally agree with you. The whole point of the disgusting garment is to completely isolate the woman from society, ensureing that she remains the property of her husband or father. This country also has laws that will see you thrown in jail for talking to a woman who is not “yours” even for looking at her the wrong way (despite the fact you can’t really look at her at all). Just wait till you start having to go into government offices, and try to renew your drivers license with a woman who is nothing more than eyeballs in a black sack. Once a woman in a supermarket queue tried to start a conversation with me, and too my revulsion I found myself snubbing her well aware that their laws did not want me talking to her. Sadly I’ve seen the same thing in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, where my burka clad neighbor accross the road would scuttle across the road to our muslim neighbors house like a vampire in sunlight. She never returned a hello in 5 years.
Comment 9 of 36
and this one, which kind of says what I believe, as well.
Rebecca of UK Posted at 6:43 AM April 19, 2010
Its shocking ~ you should see London! Up until 5-7 years ago no one wore the burqa, in fact nothing black Islamic at all. Now Muslim women – from different backgrounds – have changed from their traditional dress – to the all covering black dress and black headscarf or the all black burqa ~ at times eyes covered. It has been a shock in Europe as well. I visited a website once ~ where it was telling the women to wear the stricter Islamic attire ~ to show their objection to western society. I think that it is in part a protest against the Western way of life. But also there is a lot of influence coming from the Arab world ~ say in a place like Bulgaria where the native Muslims never dressed this way ~ are now applying to schools to wear the black clothes ~ because the Middle Eastern NGO’s have been telling them that if they don’t wear these new clothes they will face the wrath of God. Manipulation through fear is obviously a factor as well. There is some great insight on what is inspiring these changes in the following work: MINARETS AND MINISKIRTS: DEBATING ISLAMIC DRESS IN CONTEMPORARY BULGARIA By Kristen Ghodsee http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/nceeer/2008_821-01h_Ghodsee.pdf
Comment 12 of 36
And this last one, which is quite distrubing too :
Phillip Turnbull of Jakarta Posted at 10:26 AM April 19, 2010
I was in the supermarket last week and met 6 women in black burqua’s in the aisle. Six pairs of eyes exchanged glances then stared at me. As I reached for the Weetbix I said, ‘Assalamu alaikum!’ (Peace be with you) Through what sounded like gritted teeth a quiet, reluctant response came back from one of the women (And also with you). Next day at work I spoke with of my Muslim friends. She wears the gilbub, the headscarf, but not the full clobber. Did I do something wrong? Should I have spoken to them? She said, “Don’t speak to them. They don’t want you to speak to them and they don’t want to speak to you. Why, they don’t even speak to us, their fellow Muslims.” Down at the local Coles or Safeway? I’m afraid not. This took place last week in a supermarket in Jakarta. Sally Morrell’s observations are sadly true. You have people living in Australia who do not wish to be part of Australian society unless and until it becomes a Muslim country according to their interpretation of that faith. We have the same here. Give them no quarter. Too many soft, liberal trendies in Australia have already handed them too much on a platter. And they are laughing up their burquas.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Wearing the burqa is neither Islamic nor socially acceptable –The Independent.
To deny face-to-face interaction is to deny our shared humanity.
I am a Shia Muslim and I abhor the burqa. I am offended by the unchallenged presumption that women covering their heads and bodies and now faces are more pious and true than am I.
The disease is progressive. It started 20 years ago with the hijab, donned then as a defiant symbol of identity, now a conscript’s uniform. Then came the jilbab, the cloak, fought over in courts when schoolgirls were manipulated into claiming it as an essential Islamic garment. If so, hell awaits the female leaders of Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Soon, children as young as four were kitted up in cloaks and headscarves (“so they get used to it, and then later wear the full thing,” said a teacher to me who works at a Muslim girls’ school) and now for the graduation gown, a full burqa, preferably with dark glasses.
White liberals frame this sinister development in terms of free choice and tolerance. Some write letters to this paper: What is the problem? It is all part of the rich diversity of our nation. They can rise to this challenge, show they are superhuman when it comes to liberty and forbearance.
They might not be quite so sanguine if their own daughters decided to be fully veiled or their sons became fanatic Islamicists and imposed purdah in the family. Such converts are springing up in Muslim families all over the land. Veils predate Islam and were never an injunction (modesty of attire for men and women is). Cultural protectionism has long been extended to those who came from old colonies, in part to atone for imperial hauteur. Redress was necessary then, not now.
What about legitimate fears that to criticise vulnerable ethnic and racial groups validates the racism they face? Racism is an evil but should never be used as an alibi to acquit oppressions within black and Asian or religious communities. That cry was used to deter us from exposing forced marriages and dowry deaths and black-upon-black violence.
Right-wing think tanks and President Sarkozy of France scapegoat Muslims for political gain and British fascists have turned self-inflicted “ethnic” wounds into scarlet propaganda. They do what they always have done. Self-censorship will not stop them but it does stop us from dealing with home-grown problems or articulating objections to reactionary life choices like the burqa. Muslim women who show their hair are becoming an endangered species. We must fight back. Our covered-up sisters do not understand history, politics, struggles, their faith or equality. As Rahila Gupta, campaigner against domestic violence, writes: “This is a cloth that comes soaked in blood. We cannot debate the burqa or the hijab without reference to women in Iran, Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia where the wearing of it are heavily policed and any slippages are met with violence.” What happened to solidarity?
Violent enforcement is evident in Britain too. A fully veiled young chemistry graduate once came to my home, her body covered in cuts, tears, bites, bruises, all happily hidden from view. Security and social cohesion are all threatened by this trend – which is growing exponentially.
As for the pathetic excuse that covering up protects women from male lasciviousness – it hasn’t stopped rapists in the most conservative Muslim nations. And what a slur on decent Muslim men, portrayed as sexual predators who cannot look upon a woman without wanting her.
We communicate with each other with our faces. To deny that interaction is to deny our shared humanity. Unreasonable community or nationalistic expectations disconnect essential bonds. Governments should not accommodate such demands. Naturists can’t parade on the streets, go to school or take up jobs unless they cover their nakedness. Why should burqaed women get special consideration?
Their veils are walls, keeping them in and us out. We need an urgent, open conversation on this issue – which divides the Muslim intelligensia as much as the nation. Our social environment, fragile and precious, matters more than choice and custom should to British Muslims. If we don’t compromise for the greater good, the future looks only more bitter and bleak. Saying so doesn’t make me the enemy of my people.