Dutch to ban wearing of Muslim burqa in public

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by dong20, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. dong20

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    The Dutch government will introduce a total ban on the wearing of burqas and other Muslim face veils in public, on security grounds.

    The full article is here.

    There has been considerable media coverage of this [burqa/veil] issue in the UK over recent months. What do you think - Does this infringe freedom of religious expression or is it a justified response to legitimate concerns?
     
  2. dreamer20

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    Many years ago I recall seeing a documentary in which a Saudi Arabian man took his wives into a jewelery store. The wives features were completely hidden by their burqas, save for the slit for the eyes to peer through. Various golden jewelery pieces were disappearing under the long sleeves of the female's garments as they tried them on, several pieces at a time I might add. More recently a muslim woman refused to have her driver's licence picture taken with her face being uncovered.

    In the first case I would feel much better being able to indentify that person who might try to dash out of the store with the goods and in the latter case for the ID to be valid the person's face must be exposed.

    I support this security measure.
     
  3. scanjock8

    scanjock8 Active Member

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    as progressive as europeans can be, xenophobia is alive and well. as often non-progressive as americans can be, our constitution would never allow restricting this type of religious expression (no matter how distasteful). score one for thomas jefferson.
     
  4. Nitrofiend

    Nitrofiend New Member

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    I think that if your religion requires you not to show your face and only your eyes, you shouldn't be allowed to get behind the wheel of anything...except perhaps maybe one of those torture devices...
     
  5. dags

    dags New Member

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    I did a stint working at the Hilton several years ago in Minneapolis. At that time employees were required to bring a letter from their religous leader if they wanted to wear these burqas.
    I have to say I support this security measure also. I'm about as open-minded and liberal as you can get but I totally agree. I mean come on.
     
  6. joyboytoy79

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    Well, if they ban wearing of crosses (they can be sharpened and used as daggars), Stars of David (chineese throwing star, anyone?) and any other expression of religion, then i guess it's OK.

    Otherwise, it's discrimination, pure and simple.
     
  7. Ineligible

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    I am in two minds about this. It's certainly very confronting and difficult to talk to someone wearing such dress. It's like talking to a wall.

    It's also worth noting that covering the face is not required by Islam.
     
  8. SpeedoGuy

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    Sounds like xenophobia posing as concern for security.
     
  9. Ethyl

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  10. D_alex8

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    First, the main US precedent regarding the niqab (frequently referred to erroneously as a burqa; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niqab ) is, as mercurialbliss notes, the case of Sultaana Freeman, a Florida woman who wished to cover her face on her drivers’ license. This was refused, and all subsequent appeals by her have likewise been unsuccessful.
    http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/06/06/florida.license.veil/

    Second, the niqab is a recent imposition by fundamental/political Islamists in most of the Middle East and elsewhere. As a child in Egypt, I never saw it once. Returning to the University of Alexandria a few years ago, it was suddenly very much in evidence, but was viewed with distaste and suspicion by many, as the imposition of a non-Islamic, non-Egyptian tradition. It must be removed for the purposes of passing (border) checkpoints and similar circumstances where identification is required. The use of niqab by male fundamentalists to disguise terrorist operations is also a continuing theme in the press and within popular cultural representation, leading to greater popular discontent with regard to such ‘complete’ veiling in Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, and elsewhere.

    Third, the words niqab and burqa appear nowhere in the Qur’an with regard to veiling, and the word hijab (usually taken to mean a veil) is used in a quite different context to the way it is understood by many today. To quote a useful overview from the Macmillan Reference Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World:

    The term hijab or veil is not used in the Qur'an to refer to an article of clothing for women or men, rather it referes to a spatial curtain that divides or provides privacy. The Qur'an instructs the male believers (Muslims) to talk to wives of Muhammad behind a hijab. This hijab was the responsiblity of the men and not the wives of Muhammad. However, in later Muslim societies this instruction specific to the wives of Muhammad was generalized, leading to the segragation of the Muslim men and women. The modesty in Qur'an concerns both men's and women's gaze, gait, garments, and genitalia. The clothings for women involves khumur (≈ dresses) over the necklines and jilbab (cloaks) in public so that they maybe identified and not harmed.

    Indeed, the 24th Sura of the Qur’an offers the most detailed account of modesty in female attire:

    Tell the believing women to restrain their eyes and to guard their private parts and to display of their ornaments only those which are normally revealed and to draw their khumur over their bosoms. They should not reveal their ornaments to anyone save their husbands or their fathers or their husbands’ fathers or their sons or their husbands’ sons or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or their sisters’ sons or other women of acquaintance or their slaves or the subservient male servants who are not attracted to women or children who have no awareness of the hidden aspects of women. They should [also] not stamp their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments.

    This suggestion of retaining modesty and not revealing one’s bosom or genitalia is very different to the way in which the niqab has been mobilized (and in some areas, normalized) as a tool of political Islam subsequent to the Iranian Revolution in 1979.

    To reject the use of the niqab is a restriction only of wilful misinterpretation and extremism on the part of fundamental political Islamism, which has nothing to do with Islam at all beyond the most superficial level.


    Sadly, the Dutch ruling will be seen as Islamophobia rather than a corrective of fundamentalism, however. One could also imagine fundamentalist husbands (or indeed many who have internalized the use of the niqab as a norm without exploring the recent nature of its imposition) restricting the mobility of Muslim women in the Netherlands beyond the confines of their own homes.
     
  11. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Thanks, Alex. Welcome back.
     
  12. Gillette

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    I'll second that.

    As always, Alex, your ability to reference information is superb.
     
  13. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    Thirds from me xxx
     
  14. dreamer20

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    Yes. Welcome back Alex8.:hug:


    It is an example of a woman's subjection by males and not a religious expression. As explained by Alex8 and this Italian MP:

    Italian MP speaks out on veils despite imam's 'death threat' | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

    In Islam a death sentence for those who convert to another religion or leave the faith, the killing of homosexuals , polygamy and wife beating are all advocated.

    Expatica - Living in, moving to, or working in Netherlands, plus News in English

    Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh gets police protection after he makes film about wife beating in Islam - Militant Islam Monitor - Militant Islam Monitor

    For throwing the spotlight on some of these contentious issues in Islam's faith, in the film Submissions Part 1, the filmaker Theo Van Gogh was killed in Nov. 2004 by a radical Muslim.
     
  15. clear

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    I TOTALLY AGREE!...

    Alex8…

    Even though I do not know you personally, I must confess my most deepest and profound respect for you. It is because of postings like the one you wrote above (and similar postings from a choice few others on this site) that compelled me to become a member of this community. And this latest posting is no different. I can only hope that you find it not robbery to continue freely giving out such jewels of wisdom and insight in the future for all of us to enjoy and learn from.



    Most Respectfully,

    T.D.



    :notworthy:
     
  16. Heather LouAnna

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    I've read several articles on similar topics. The people who're interviewed express that it's a personal preference to don such garments, not just religious beliefs.

    Personally, I see nothing wrong with certain countries banning it. In some regions in the middle east, women are required to cover their whole bodies. If I went there, I would be required of the same. In other countries, you're required not to wear them.

    It doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me. One requires you to wear something, one requires you not to. It shouldn't be as such, but I'd rather be naked everywhere I go and that's not allowed.........*Shrug*
     
  17. joyboytoy79

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    The way I see it, this is too much of an imposition on the lives of the people.

    It is, to an extent, a restriction on religious freedom. Inasmuch as it the burqa (or more correctly, niqab) is a recent developemnt in fundamentalist thinking in islam, the protestant idea of mass in the native language of the people is a recent developement in the (then) fundamentalist thinking in christianity.

    It may not be right, but i personally draw a paralell between this ruling, and middle-ages rulings that banned protestant religions. It is a clearly biased ruling that infringes on SOME peoples right to interperet their religion for themselves. I do wonder if the law specifies anything about more traditional nuns who don a similar facial obscuring habit. I highly doubt it.

    *shrugs*

    I just don't see this law as just. Let the people dress as they will, as a form fo personal expression (and therefor an extension of free speach).
     
  18. bentos

    bentos Member

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    If i walked into my local store wearing a particularly narrow balaclava the fuck would happen to me.

    I feel the law is very leniant on religion and the fact if its your religion you can get away with pretty much anything. I personally detest the majority of major religion and see them as brainwashing tools.

    but i also firmly believe that people have the right to worship in anyway they see fit.

    this is one of those questions i can see both sides off. although in fairness its not quite the same as those big ass knifes that a lot of muslims were carrying to school for religion.
     
  19. D_alex8

    D_alex8 Member

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    And this is really the point of this story which has been transformed into an 'Islamophobia' rant by the press: the Dutch law plans to prohibit all forms of facial covering that impede identification, including eye- and mouth-slit balaclavas, motorcycle helmets with reflective visors, etc.

    Such cases are likely to be far more consequential than those relating to the burqa or niqab in the Netherlands; for while Muslims in the Netherlands account for 6% of the population (or around 960,000 people in real terms), most sources state that fewer than 100 women in the Netherlands actually wear a burqa or niqab; with the Dutch Muslim community placing this estimate lower still, at around 50 women nationwide.

    Those figures are wholly in keeping with the notion of this item of clothing as wholly untraditional for the majority of Muslims. As a recent imposition, one could well argue that it should therefore be extended no more rights than a motorcycle helmet or face-covering balaclava, neither of which has a long religious tradition either.

    Sources of statistics:
    BBC, Reuters
     
  20. joyboytoy79

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    The way I see this law is this: "we're going to make it illegal to look like you might do something illegal."

    I do hope halloween in the Netherlands doesn't include masks, because they are outlawed now (or very well should be, to be fair). It's a very good thing the netherlands is pretty flat, as ski-resorts would suffer (most people wear ski masks to protect their faces from chapping). Gay Pride parades in Amsterdam are going to be very boring without all the costumes. And yet, i'm sure, if someone wants to perform an illegal act with some ammount of anonymity, he/she will wear a mask of some sort.

    I sincerely feel that this is an imposition on anyone (muslim or otherwise) who may wear a naqib or something similar as a form of personal expression. It doesn't really matter to me if he/she is wearing it for personal reasons or religious reasons. For me, it's about freedom of expression in a society that was heretofor the most "free" of them all.

    I dislike this law. If similar measures were introduced where i live, i would vocally advocate against them.
     
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