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You Don't Like The Niqab? Get Over It

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You Don't Like the Niqab? Get Over It

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/robin-lustig/niqab-ban_b_3959671.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

 

Give me one good reason why a woman shouldn't be allowed to cover her face in public if that's what she wants to do. You don't object to her covering her buttocks, do you, or her breasts? Do you find it offensive if a woman wears sunglasses? And anyway, what's it got to do with you?

 

Yes, I deliberately phrase the questions provocatively. I do so because I find the amount of cant that's been spoken and written on the subject of the "Muslim face veil" (note the first adjective, to which we shall return) frankly ridiculous.

Oh, and before you ask, yes, I do think this is an important issue, even though only a tiny, tiny number of women in Britain choose to wear the niqab, or face veil. It's important because it's about what kind of society Britain wants to be in the 21st century. There'll be other opportunities to return to Syria, Iran, Germany, and even the Lib Dems. This week, I want to write about women's faces.

 

Here goes. Reason one: "It's not acceptable for people to cover their faces in public so that they can't be recognised." Really? So should we ban men wearing hoodies or face-concealing crash helmets? Women wearing outsize sunglasses even in the pouring rain? Anyone wearing a face mask because they're scared of catching flu from someone on the bus? I think not.

 

Reason two: "It's a symbol of male oppression of women and often imposed on women by fathers and/or husbands as a

means of control." Well, yes, sometimes it is, but sometimes it isn't. Some women's fathers/husbands insist that they wear skirts below the knee, or long sleeves -- but is clothing choice really a matter for legislation? And if you argue that even when women choose to cover their faces of their own free will, it's only because they wish to avoid lascivious male attention -- well, isn't that why women cover their breasts?

 

Reason three: "It makes me feel uncomfortable because it's entirely alien to who we British are." Hmm. Who's "we" in that sentence, I wonder? We, the British Hasidic Jews of Stamford Hill, where the women wear wigs and woollen stockings, and the men wear long frock coats, wide-brimmed hats and side-curls? We, the British Sikhs of Coventry or Leicester, who wear turbans? Or we, the British Catholic nuns who wear cowls and wimples?

 

I'm old enough to remember the rows over whether Sikh bus conductors should be allowed to wear turbans instead of peaked caps, and whether Sikh motor-cyclists should be allowed to roar around the streets without crash helmets. I remember the debates over whether schoolgirls from Pakistani backgrounds should be allowed to wear trousers to school, or special swimming costumes for their swimming lessons. I thought we'd moved on, and that Britain had learned to accept that minorities have rights too.

 

Reason four: "It's important to be able to identify people, and you can't do that if you can't see their face." True, so in those circumstances -- in airports or police stations or court-rooms, for example -- where identities need to be checked, you can easily make arrangements to enable women with covered faces to reveal themselves in a private place. (We don't expect women travellers at airports to be body-checked by men, so if their wishes can be met, why not those of niqab-wearers?)

 

As for teachers, doctors or nurses, or others whose jobs entail dealing with members of the public, if it's an issue, write it into their contract. The vast majority of Muslim women do not cover their faces, so I see no problem with religious discrimination legislation in saying: "You want to work as a teacher, or a doctor? Fine, no face veil." (By the way, even in ultra-strict Iran, contrary to mythology, women are not required to cover their faces.)

 

I find it intriguing that most of the people who sound off on this issue are men. Why do they feel so threatened by women who don't want their faces to be looked at? Why do they think it's any of their business? Personally, I'm not wildly keen on women with metal studs in their lips, or men whose low-hanging underwear reveals far more than I would ever wish to see -- but I wouldn't dream of banning items of clothing simply because I don't like them.

 

When a man says: "Women shouldn't be allowed to cover their faces in public", what I hear is: "I'm a man, and I have the right to tell you, a woman, how to dress." Sorry, not acceptable.

 

Ah yes, I nearly forgot. Muslim. It's that word again. The word that seems to be inextricably linked in so many people's minds to other words like extremism, fundamentalism, terrorism. So if the niqab is Muslim, then, in the blink of an eye, the women who wear it must be extremists, fundamentalists or terrorists.

 

No, actually. Most of them are simply women who, for reasons of their own, whether good or bad, have decided to cover their faces. Would I be happy if my daughter wore a niqab? No, I wouldn't -- but then what I want her to wear has rarely been a major factor in her thinking. Nor should it be.

 

Because what other people choose to wear is nothing to do with me, or with you. You don't like the niqab? Get over it.

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I LOVE niqab. I wish no one could see or identify me whenever I stepped outside my house. Just like I love anonymity on the internet, and for the exact same reason.

 

There is ALWAYS someone in each street, road, marketplace or house that should simply not see you or be able to know who you are. Or else they will attempt to exploit or abuse your kindness, generosity, beauty, bounty, whatever they can get from you.

 

It is everyones right to be anonymous and safe.

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Here goes. Reason one: "It's not acceptable for people to cover their faces in public so that they can't be recognised." Really? So should we ban men wearing hoodies or face-concealing crash helmets? Women wearing outsize sunglasses even in the pouring rain? Anyone wearing a face mask because they're scared of catching flu from someone on the bus? I think not.

None of these items fully cover the face; one is still recognisable to a relative extent. And, beside, they're not even worn 24/7.

Reason two: "It's a symbol of male oppression of women and often imposed on women by fathers and/or husbands as a

means of control." Well, yes, sometimes it is, but sometimes it isn't. Some women's fathers/husbands insist that they wear skirts below the knee, or long sleeves -- but is clothing choice really a matter for legislation? And if you argue that even when women choose to cover their faces of their own free will, it's only because they wish to avoid lascivious male attention -- well, isn't that why women cover their breasts?

You've heard it here, gals. There's no distinct difference between your face and your boobies...

Reason three: "It makes me feel uncomfortable because it's entirely alien to who we British are." Hmm. Who's "we" in that sentence, I wonder? We, the British Hasidic Jews of Stamford Hill, where the women wear wigs and woollen stockings, and the men wear long frock coats, wide-brimmed hats and side-curls? We, the British Sikhs of Coventry or Leicester, who wear turbans? Or we, the British Catholic nuns who wear cowls and wimples?

The author has apparent difficulty comprehending the broader aspects of social homogeneity in a society. Just as an uncovered female head may be incongruous to the standards of a predominant Muslim nation, in a society where dress code is not necessarily legislated, the same principle applies to a nation where it is wholly unnatural for the face to be veiled.

Reason four: "It's important to be able to identify people, and you can't do that if you can't see their face." True, so in those circumstances -- in airports or police stations or court-rooms, for example -- where identities need to be checked, you can easily make arrangements to enable women with covered faces to reveal themselves in a private place. (We don't expect women travellers at airports to be body-checked by men, so if their wishes can be met, why not those of niqab-wearers?)

Actually, these women would never be able to travel by air ever without a passport revealing their facial identity of which any male stranger can look upon. Talk about bad analogies.

Hey, thinking about it, they wouldn't even be in a country that requires them to show their face in a public tribunal.

I find it intriguing that most of the people who sound off on this issue are men. Why do they feel so threatened by women who don't want their faces to be looked at? Why do they think it's any of their business? Personally, I'm not wildly keen on women with metal studs in their lips, or men whose low-hanging underwear reveals far more than I would ever wish to see -- but I wouldn't dream of banning items of clothing simply because I don't like them.

Firstly, a "metal stud" isn't a piece of clothing. Second, an underwear is a necessity; it can't be banned.

A niqab is a piece of clothing that is not at all necessary, in fact infringing the basic right of others to know whom it is they are interacting with. If a woman chooses to isolate herself from society wearing her sacrosanct face veil then that's a different story altogether. She clearly has mental issues that should prompt immediate psychiatric treatment.

When a man says: "Women shouldn't be allowed to cover their faces in public", what I hear is: "I'm a man, and I have the right to tell you, a woman, how to dress." Sorry, not acceptable.

Because, clearly, if it comes from a woman, and it undoubtedly has, it's therefore rendered acceptable?

Do you want me to throw at you some more straws to grasp at?

Fact is, it has nothing to do with men or women. It is simply that a cultural value is acceptable insofar as it is within the boundaries of practicability on the societal level. This is not, though, because it transgresses sanity.

You don't like the niqab? Get over it.

Or how about you come up with better arguments justifying it? How's that for a modest proposal?

Edited by polymath07

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I guess freedom of speech is over rated... ^^

We all should have the right to wear what we want...

I've spoken about this in another thread; about the rank double standard extant. If a predominantly Muslim society enforces or bans a certain dress code, either through the legal system or by cultural expectations and standards, there's no real issue. But you're all up in arms when a society with different values criticises a garment for perfectly logical, valid reasons and tries to push for a ban through the legislature. It has to be understood that there is a middle path between being completely naked and completely covered from head to toe. Neither extremes are beneficial to any society.

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I've spoken about this in another thread; about the rank double standard extant. If a predominantly Muslim society enforces or bans a certain dress code, either through the legal system or by cultural expectations and standards, there's no real issue. But you're all up in arms when a society with different values criticises a garment for perfectly logical, valid reasons and tries to push for a ban through the legislature. It has to be understood that there is a middle path between being completely naked and completely covered from head to toe. Neither extremes are beneficial to any society.

I can see that your perceived autogenous academic prowess masks the reality that your arguments are flawed in many ways. To yourself and indeed to others. The fact that your are articulate doesn't make your arguments correct, friend. Stronger, perhaps, but not in the least correct.

 

When one uses rhetoric and complicated words, their argument can seem very strong, even if it's not. It's not what you say; It's how you say it.

 

Having said that, let me address your points.

 

If a predominantly Muslim society enforces or bans a certain dress code, either through the legal system or by cultural expectations and standards, there's no real issue. But you're all up in arms when a society with different values criticises a garment for perfectly logical, valid reasons and tries to push for a ban through the legislature.

You are looking at the issue in a very superficial light and not looking at the deeper reasons for the laws that each society passes specific to themselves.

 

1. The Islamic society passes laws that women cannot be dressed immodestly because it leads to many detriments to society such as rape, extra-marital relations, less attraction to the spouse, etc. Which have disastrous long-term consequences.

 

2. The western society passes laws that women cannot be dressed in complete and utter concealment because they don't like it and they don't like modesty. One only has to look at the French bans on the headscarves as a clear example of when there is modesty, the Western ideology wishes to squash it and let immodesty reign once again. Not to prevent societal detriment. Plain and simple.

 

Your "perfectly logical, valid reasons" are in actuality, completely baseless because the niqab is not mandatory in Islam, but those who choose to wear it do it because they feel that it helps them embody modesty to a higher degree. If they choose to do this, they are required to show their faces to security and have their faces on their legal documents and passports, take the face veil off in airport checking, etc. This is mandatory by Islamic law. Due to this, the niqab is most definitely not detrimental to society, unlike immodest dressing which has catastrophic effects on society. The two stances are worlds apart and to compare them as being equally discriminatory is plain ignorance.

 

So there is really no reason to ban the face veil other than "I'm racist; I'm oppressive to women's freedom of choice and rights; As a man, I want to be able to derive pleasure from their beauty". So don't try and apply pretentiously worded arguments to this issue whose resolution is resoundingly clear because you are most certainly going to lose.

 

It has to be understood that there is a middle path between being completely naked and completely covered from head to toe. Neither extremes are beneficial to any society. 

Agreed that there is a middle path. That middle path is mandatory by Islam. More covering is optional (and culture-based, not religion-based), and less covering is prohibited due to the reasons I stated above.

 

Middle path = Modest dressing (loose clothes, non-figure revealing, etc.) + Covering of the hair because the hair is a faculty of the beauty of a woman through which lust can be incited leading to the aforementioned consequences.

A niqab is a piece of clothing that is not at all necessary, in fact infringing the basic right of others to know whom it is they are interacting with. If a woman chooses to isolate herself from society wearing her sacrosanct face veil then that's a different story altogether. She clearly has mental issues that should prompt immediate psychiatric treatment.

You have real control issues if you're that upset over the lack of being able to see a stranger's face. Mind your own business and let others mind theirs. There is no need for you to pass judgement on who needs psychiatric treatment or not. You cannot back up your claim that niqabi women are mentally ill with statistical evidence. You call women who want to cover their faces mentally ill, but if you encountered a movie star that had performed multiple nude scenes, I guarantee you wouldn't refer to them as mentally ill. Subhanallah what double standards). Therefore your argument is flawed yet again.

Actually, these women would never be able to travel by air ever without a passport revealing their facial identity of which any male stranger can look upon. Talk about bad analogies.

See above.

The author has apparent difficulty comprehending the broader aspects of social homogeneity in a society. Just as an uncovered female head may be incongruous to the standards of a predominant Muslim nation, in a society where dress code is not necessarily legislated, the same principle applies to a nation where it is wholly unnatural for the face to be veiled.

Really? Homogeneity? Is that what Britain's societal system is based on?

 

Homogeneity for all people's dress so that none are deprived of their rights upon the other! (Social laws of Marxism? WEAR THE SAME THING!).

 

Or was it life, liberty, and property? Freedom of speech? Freedom of religion?

 

If a society has the RIGHT to impose THEIR freedom of speech ON ME through unavoidable indecent advertisements, indecent clothing on the beach (practically nude), internet pornography, etc. Why do I not have the RIGHT to practice my own freedom of speech and freedom of religion and fight against this by taking the opposite stance? By covering myself from head to toe? You have problems with one but not the other? And you were talking about double standards?

 

Just as an uncovered female head may be incongruous to the standards of a socially stable and healthy nation

My friend, I have corrected your statement for you.

 

the same principle applies to a nation where it is wholly unnatural for the face to be veiled.

Strong argument you got there. Can you prove to me through statistics or any sort of evidence that it is "wholly unnatural" for the face to be veiled in said nation? Just because a few people don't like it makes it "wholly unnatural"? In a country where freedom of speech is prevalent in every immodest and indecent shape and form including dress code, a British citizen cannot practice their own perception of a modest dress-code to fight the system because it is "wholly unnatural"? That truly makes a ton of sense.

Edited by BuggyLemon

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I've spoken about this in another thread; about the rank double standard extant. If a predominantly Muslim society enforces or bans a certain dress code, either through the legal system or by cultural expectations and standards, there's no real issue. But you're all up in arms when a society with different values criticises a garment for perfectly logical, valid reasons and tries to push for a ban through the legislature. It has to be understood that there is a middle path between being completely naked and completely covered from head to toe. Neither extremes are beneficial to any society.

 

Well, actually, it's a matter of holding British people to their own values. The values of Britain include individual freedom of choice, of expression. It's part of the values of Britain that government doesn't have any business telling people what to wear. The idea of government dictating people's clothing choices is a fundamentally un-British one.

 

A niqab is a piece of clothing that is not at all necessary, in fact infringing the basic right of others to know whom it is they are interacting with.

 

This "basic right" doesn't exist, aside from certain specific situations where identification is required (formal dealings with justice system or police, travel security, obtaining certain government services). In fact, the basic right of people, as understand by statute and common law going back for ages, is a right to anonymity and privacy. The other specific cases where one must self-identify are exceptions to that basic right.

 

I think you need to go back to school and review the basics.

Edited by kadhim

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I can see that your perceived autogenous academic prowess masks the reality that your arguments are flawed in many ways. To yourself and indeed to others. The fact that your are articulate doesn't make your arguments correct, friend. Stronger, perhaps, but not in the least correct.

 

When one uses rhetoric and complicated words, their argument can seem very strong, even if it's not. It's not what you say; It's how you say it.

 

Having said that, let me address your points.

 

You are looking at the issue in a very superficial light and not looking at the deeper reasons for the laws that each society passes specific to themselves.

 

1. The Islamic society passes laws that women cannot be dressed immodestly because it leads to many detriments to society such as rape, extra-marital relations, less attraction to the spouse, etc. Which have disastrous long-term consequences.

 

2. The western society passes laws that women cannot be dressed in complete and utter concealment because they don't like it and they don't like modesty. One only has to look at the French bans on the headscarves as a clear example of when there is modesty, the Western ideology wishes to squash it and let immodesty reign once again. Not to prevent societal detriment. Plain and simple.

 

Your "perfectly logical, valid reasons" are in actuality, completely baseless because the niqab is not mandatory in Islam, but those who choose to wear it do it because they feel that it helps them embody modesty to a higher degree. If they choose to do this, they are required to show their faces to security and have their faces on their legal documents and passports, take the face veil off in airport checking, etc. This is mandatory by Islamic law. Due to this, the niqab is most definitely not detrimental to society, unlike immodest dressing which has catastrophic effects on society. The two stances are worlds apart and to compare them as being equally discriminatory is plain ignorance.

 

So there is really no reason to ban the face veil other than "I'm racist; I'm oppressive to women's freedom of choice and rights; As a man, I want to be able to derive pleasure from their beauty". So don't try and apply pretentiously worded arguments to this issue whose resolution is resoundingly clear because you are most certainly going to lose.

 

Agreed that there is a middle path. That middle path is mandatory by Islam. More covering is optional (and culture-based, not religion-based), and less covering is prohibited due to the reasons I stated above.

 

Middle path = Modest dressing (loose clothes, non-figure revealing, etc.) + Covering of the hair because the hair is a faculty of the beauty of a woman through which lust can be incited leading to the aforementioned consequences.

You have real control issues if you're that upset over the lack of being able to see a stranger's face. Mind your own business and let others mind theirs. There is no need for you to pass judgement on who needs psychiatric treatment or not. You cannot back up your claim that niqabi women are mentally ill with statistical evidence. You call women who want to cover their faces mentally ill, but if you encountered a movie star that had performed multiple nude scenes, I guarantee you wouldn't refer to them as mentally ill. Subhanallah what double standards). Therefore your argument is flawed yet again.

See above.

Really? Homogeneity? Is that what Britain's societal system is based on?

 

Homogeneity for all people's dress so that none are deprived of their rights upon the other! (Social laws of Marxism? WEAR THE SAME THING!).

 

Or was it life, liberty, and property? Freedom of speech? Freedom of religion?

 

If a society has the RIGHT to impose THEIR freedom of speech ON ME through unavoidable indecent advertisements, indecent clothing on the beach (practically nude), internet pornography, etc. Why do I not have the RIGHT to practice my own freedom of speech and freedom of religion and fight against this by taking the opposite stance? By covering myself from head to toe? You have problems with one but not the other? And you were talking about double standards?

 

My friend, I have corrected your statement for you.

 

Strong argument you got there. Can you prove to me through statistics or any sort of evidence that it is "wholly unnatural" for the face to be veiled in said nation? Just because a few people don't like it makes it "wholly unnatural"? In a country where freedom of speech is prevalent in every immodest and indecent shape and form including dress code, a British citizen cannot practice their own perception of a modest dress-code to fight the system because it is "wholly unnatural"? That truly makes a ton of sense.

I think you said it all!

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I think you need to go back to school and review the basics.

At the risk of being an erratic bigot, I've paused and mused on what you said and figured you're right. Law invariably takes precedence in such cases. Basically a bitter pill to swallow for the greater good.

Your "perfectly logical, valid reasons" are in actuality, completely baseless because the niqab is not mandatory in Islam, but those who choose to wear it do it because they feel that it helps them embody modesty to a higher degree.

It's a misplaced sense of modesty.

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Why dont shias understand in karbala one of the tragedies was the veil being pulled from bibi zeinab as? Yet they go and talk about niqaab and say it is not even apart of the religion.... its " a misplaced sense of modesty" ....dont you know the shadow of bibi zeinab was never seen?

 

If you dont agree with it thats fine...if women should walk in the streets with tight hijab and clothes so tight they look like paint, that is there choice too, yet no one seems to have issues with that....

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the niqab is not an :Islamic requirement , but a political tool from the enemy to target the removal of the true  :Hijab.

And it's working all over the world.

the lawmakers know it cannot target the true :Islamic :Hijab , so it enters through the back door of the pre-islamic niqab.

and through the colour of the law , and the manipulation of the english language , laws are created that attacks the :Hijab.

As for ID purposes , we have sufficient  modern techs available such as iris scans , finger prints recognition , voice recognition etc to adequately ID anyone without seeing a face , so it's another smoke screen.

 

 

 

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