JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: STILL MORE ON THE NIQAB – FREEDOM OF SPEECH – UGLY ASPECTS OF MANY RELIGIONS – NO ONE WHO LOVES FREEDOM WOULD SUPPORT SARKOZY   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

FURTHER POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY NAZEEN SHEIKH IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

“Freedom of speech does not include freedom to oppress others.”

That is so obvious a truth it need not be stated. It is the ethical equivalent of announcing that the earth revolves around the sun.

Its author here only uses it as a lead-in, a way to gain the first favorable nod of the reader’s head, to the bits of prejudice he wants to plant.

That is the well-established method of propagandists and prejudiced people everywhere.

Our laws, as are those of France, are sufficient to deal with all instances where true oppression might be involved. A woman claiming oppression would be supported by all agencies of the state.

Like so many other religious groups, conservative Muslims in Third World countries sustain ancient practices which we view as foolish.

Almost any aspect of the practices of African Animists is repulsive by our lights. Not just silly stuff like witch doctors, but common practices like female genital mutilation – an African, not a Muslim, practice – or the common practice of older men in villages raping young girls. How about the hunting down and killing and magical use of dismembered body parts of people unfortunate enough to be born albinos?

In backwater India, a poor family will sell a good-looking daughter, at 12 years old, to a rich old man who pays them a “dowry.” When the old man dies in not many years, the poor girl will likely inherit nothing, and she will be consigned to terrible abusive practices towards widows. She must never marry again, she must wear only certain clothes, she must eat only certain foods, and she must not socialize in any normal way. She is consigned to living death at perhaps 18 or 20.

Or how about the young girls sold to certain temples to “serve” there? They become institutionalized prostitutes at very young ages, and they are subject to the ravages of venereal diseases from all the old men who use them.

I could go on and on.

The practices of Ultra-orthodox Jews are as ugly as anything at the extremes of Islam – yet note that we tolerate them in our society. We actually allow Ultra-orthodox rabbis to give a woman’s children to her husband upon divorce, and she has no recourse unless she wants to leave her faith entirely. Such people in fact live under a Jewish form of Sharia Law right here in our society, something we would not tolerate for Muslims. And they wear clothes as impossible and ridiculous as any fundamentalist Muslim in the Third World.

And just so our conservative Mennonites – many of their practices are not quaint and charming, they are brutal and outdated, yet we tolerate them.

Going on and on about the small number – and it is a very small number – of traditional Muslim women who wear the niqab is absurd. They hurt no one. They are free at any future date to give it up.

But telling them through force of law that they cannot wear the niqab is simply the tactics of a police state.

Sarkozy has a shameful record concerning minorities, including his nasty deportation of gypsies, something reminding one of the early days of the Third Reich when Hitler focused on deportation and abuse, murder coming later.

No one who loves a free society will embrace Sarkozy.
_________________________

@David_C3:

You assume this is “enforced.”

You have no factual basis for saying so, but I suspect prejudice.

Lots of religious or culturally conservative people do things I think are silly or even offensive, but if they mind their own business, they have every right to carry on.

Should Ultra-orthodox Jews be required to shave and remove their big hats? In effect, the men’s faces are virtually hidden.

Should Ultra-orthodox Jewish women have equal rights in marriage and with their children, something they do not have unless they leave their religion?

The world is full of foolishness, and worse.

A few women wearing the niqab is hardly an issue worth writing about. But forbidding their right is very much worth writing about.
__________________

There is a lot of confusion about the various female Muslim garments.

In general, for readers:

The niqab is a sheer veil worn over the lower face. It was not that long ago regarded in the West as attractive and mysterious, but not now in the insanity of the war-on-terror world, we read nonsense accusations. The niqab is not typical in the Muslim world and few migrants wear it.

The hijab is a headscarf, not much different to a babushka. Anyone criticizing this is being ridiculous, considering how many others cover their heads, including Mennonite women, many Jewish men, and senior Catholic Priests. It wasn’t many decades ago that Western women routinely wore hats and very often veils.

The burqa is a head-to-toe sack with a meshed face slot. The burqa is almost exclusively used in truly backwater places like rural Afghanistan. Only a tiny percent of Muslim women use this.

The chador is a robe worn over the head which goes to the feet. It may be worn with or without the niqab. The chador is associated with Iran.

If you look at films from Egypt or Syria or other places, you will see an immense variety of women’s dress, from purely Western to chadors.
________________________

The naiveté of people writing about why some Muslim women use these various modes of dress would be funny were the consequences not so deadly serious.

I recall nuns decades back, dressed in their immense, flowing head-to-foot habits, many of them with huge uncomfortable starchy head gear, who were such strong individuals they might take your breath away.

I am sure, there are Muslim women, wearing the chador and or the niqab who are exactly the same way.

How very foolish it is to assume they are all just beaten beasts, but that kind of cheap assumption comes with the blindness of prejudice.

We are in the midst of a great conflagration of anti-Muslim prejudice. It is a fire constantly stoked by those with an interest in demeaning and demonizing Muslims.

Again,

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_NtgXlrcvXZA/S9dSOIkOI_I/AAAAAAAAk0Q/6hXzcWFiT94/s1600/HIJAB+-+WHY+I+LAUGH+AT+LUNACY+OVER+THE+HIJA


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