Re: No burqas in the land of bikinis - French President
In a secular European democracy like France where the separation of the state from the church is total and irreversible, the least sign of people wearing religion on their sleeves in the form of peculiar clothing (burqas) or symbols (crosses, swastikas) revives scary memories of religious persecution and obscurantism at the hands of the Catholic clergy in the middle ages. Consequently, given the manner the Europeans valiantly fought to do away with church control and in view of their rational outlook and love of freedom, itâ€™s not surprising that every form of iconoclasm be it atheism, debunking of holy scriptures, mocking absurd religious beliefs, the revealing bikini, sensuous belly dancing, nudist beaches, skinny dipping or the g-string is welcomed and considered a sign of individual freedom so long as the person keeps away from criminal offences or acts of treason.
Extremely restrictive clothing like the burqa and its opposite (the skimpy bikini) are both objectionable modes of female dressing.
While the donning of the burqa, supported by the goading of crude scriptural dictates and chauvinistic male urging, can be viewed as a case of Muslim women egoistically flaunting their religious identity and claiming that the head to toe outfit makes them superior ("holier than thou") or more modest than those women who dress differently, the bikini is another form of egoism wherein unselfconscious women slip into it to flaunt their sexuality or to express their opposition to orthodox notions on the subject of what clothing suits women.
Modesty has both its inner as well as external aspects and usually one sees that a woman who's humble, ethical and restrained dressing in a sober manner which could be a demurely clad saree, a long sleeved salwaar kameez with dupatta drawn across the chest or a long skirt with loose fitting long sleeved blouse. All these female attires are modest and elegant and are in no way oppressive or restrictive like the shuttlecock burqas enforced upon women by the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But, if by modesty we mean head-to-toe covering then the women is seriously restricted in every way and can in most ways hardly be expected to make a constructive contribution to the exacting standards of modern society with her talent or skills which are bound to atrophy. Such a woman will only be fit for producing children, enduring male chauvinism and caring for her family within the four walls of her house. But, modesty, in a comprehensive sense, is more a psycho-emotional factor than related to a rabid interpretation of it in the gross physical sense. A woman can be fully draped from head to toe with the face fully concealed except for the eyes but yet can harbour the most sensual thoughts and may indulge them to if the situation arises, while another may wear tight jeans or a swim suit but may be extremely chaste in thoughts, words and deeds.
Interestingly, why did the medieval religious dictators while prescribing restrictive clothing for females ignore male sartorial styles? If men lustily size up a woman, it's equally true that women whether from behind the eye-slits of the burqa or those clad in jeans often ogle men of their choice. So, where is mental modesty of the women concerned in this case? From this perspective, one wonders why restrictive clothing with face masks was not recommended for males as they too are objects of female passions.
Another noteworthy point is that wherever a sizeable number of Muslim women dress in burqas, an unreasonable clamour is soon made for granting them special facilities and privileges such as the imperative need to be exclusively attended upon by female doctors, be represented in court by female lawyers and the establishment of females-only educational institutions. And what is even more irrational is their extreme reluctance to reveal their faces even when being interrogated by security personnel at airports, police stations, railway terminals or other public places or the their insistence on remaining fully concealed in a modern office set-up where they may wish to take up a job. These rigid attitudes makes these females misfits in a well-meaning, progressive modern context and the only place they can be accommodated with all their caprices intact is their own houses or a nation ruled by Islamic zealots.
Obviously, a women can't go to office or go about conducting serious business in a revealing bikini for obvious reasons and similarly a women who's covered completely cannot command much respect or elicit a meaningful response from those she's dealing with in a professional relationship and will be unable to work efficiently in any public setup given the restrictiveness placed upon her by the outfit.
If we stick to medieval notions of what constitutes effective communication or work culture in a professional sense, then women will have to be restricted from venturing outside the home to shop, from attending educational institutions or from entering the workplaces. Besides, we'll certainly have to replace efficient modern styles of interaction and work with its emphasis on globalization, eco-sensitiveness, mixing of the genders in public places, highly developed interpersonal skills and use of high end technology and replace all these wonders of modern civilisation with something as barbaric as the compulsory sacrificing of defenceless animals to appease some blood thirsty extra-cosmic god, selling dates, goat herding, the daily shutting down of businesses due to the compulsion of praying 5 or more times a day or riding atop camels in long winding caravans.
Apart from the vocal support for the burqa among the Muslims, the day wonâ€™t be far off when Muslims on the basis of their fast increasing global population will soon make demands for introducing ridiculous scriptural beliefs of creationism centering around the anthropomorphic extra-cosmic god which to them is absolute truth but which from the point of scientific proof and logic is utter rubbish !
Dr A K Isaacs
'Jaisa Desh Vaisa Bhesh' - before immigrate to any non-Islamic country, people should prepare for such things.. or compromises. Else go back to your own country..
Bikni's don't lead in to security issues - Burqas can. Look at the video footage whan Lal Masjid of Pakistan was stormed by Prez. Mussahraf; the terrorists were tried to leave the mosque my wearing Burqa.
Also, every woman loves to be praised and appreciates admirers of her beauty. They should be given a chance to swim in the swimming pools in Europe and America. Swimming in a Burqa ... doesn't it sound odd...?
I am not a religous Guru, nor do I pretend to have read any religous book. But I heard French President speaking about Burqas and watched a BBC programme to day about this.French President may not have read Quaaran himself but his advisors might have sought advice from the people who know about this and their advice was that Burqas are not part of the Islam religion. The people taking part in the BBC programme of all religions and in particular followers of Islam could not agree amongst themselves if it is part of the Islam religion.
My observation of over 70 years is that, you could hardly find any Muslim women wearing Burqas in UK or any other western countries 40 years ago. They have started using Burqas increasingly for last decade or so. I do not know the reason. But if it is a part of religion now. Was is part of the religion before and if so why was Burqas not used before.
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