02 May 2010

Europe continues its war

against Islam

Several amusing/ironic/whatever that term is points
1) "Only around 30 women wear this kind of veil (niqab) in Belgium, out of a Muslim population of around half a million." Ahh yes, the old pass a gigantic restrictive law to get at a handful of people who might be accommodated in other ways (as dealing with the supposed security issue of identification)
2) Most of these women will now effectively be on house arrest. They wear the niqab or burqa out of religious devotion and possibly because their husbands/families make them. This second reason is perhaps a reason to want to intervene, but I am disturbed that the intervention takes the form of telling people what they can and cannot wear as clothing. Since the effective response of women in this environment is not to become liberated and expressive people who were somehow confined by their clothing choices (presumably by their husbands/families) but instead to become even further withdrawn and isolated from the broader society within the protective cloister of their supposedly tyrannical families/husbands, this does not seem like a sensible approach to the actual problem.
3) "They chose to live with us in Christian countries so they must obey our customs" - I'm pretty sure that even Belgium has some Constitutional strictures that prevent the imposition of freedom of religion and customary behaviors (at least where they are non-violent or harmful to others, as clothing choices surely are).

I had some thoughts related to this around the time France was debating a similar law. One key difference I've heard between France's attempt and this one in Belgium appears to be the among of consultation and cooperation with Muslim scholars or the Muslims themselves in the process. I don't know that this cooperation "helps", in the sense that it makes such an interference in privacy and personal choices more wise and necessary, but it does seem like an important step to at least include the minority whose choices are about to become legislated in the process of that legislation.
Post a Comment