Burkas don’t belong in western societies

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Two burka-wearing bank robbers held up a post office near Paris in early February, using a handgun concealed beneath the face-covering Islamic-style full veil.

Believing them to be Muslim women, staff allowed the burka-clad pair through the security double doors of the banking branch of the postal office. Once inside, the robbers flipped back their burkas and pulled out a gun. They made off with $6,615 Cdn.

What’s most amazing about this incident is that the Taliban, or other terrorist groups, don’t more frequently disguise themselves as women in burkas, as this would be the perfect disguise for them. Dress up as women in burkas, mingle with the crowd, plant your bomb at the designated site and vanish. How simple. No one would see your face anyway. And therein lies the problem with allowing people to cover their faces in western and free societies.

I don’t blame the French for being jittery about the burka and for proposing a law that seeks a ban on wearing the burka in all public places.

Under the proposed law, refusing to take off a face covering could lead to a fine of $1,090. The proposal means that a woman seeking unemployment benefits or other state aid, for instance, would walk away empty-handed if she refused to uncover her face. She would also be denied entrance to the local town hall, the bus, the Metro, university classrooms, hospitals or post offices.

Among France’s five million Muslims, only a fraction of them — 1,900 — wear burkas. It is believed among them are those who are more traditionalist and very staunch in their fundamental They are generally the less educated and less progressively minded. For example, there were reports in France of confrontations in hospital settings in which a husband refused to allow his wife to be treated by a male doctor.

What on Earth are people like that doing living in France?

The French government is so adamant about enforcing the burka legislation that recently they denied citizenship to a foreign national who forced his wife to wear the full Islamic veil. I venture to suggest that this indicates to me that there is a need to educate the Muslim population in The beliefs that they hold are no longer valid in modern societies. They have to move ahead to live according to the laws, practices and rules of the country of their adoption.

One cannot be a guest or new citizen in a country and expect not to abide by their rules. Immigrants should not expect to live the way they lived in their own countries. If they want to live in a modern and democratic state like France, then they have to accept that modern

countries treat their men and women under equality of law; and that subservient views will have no place in modern societies.

No one is dictating to Muslim women what to wear or not to wear. The issue is that the clothing that these women are wearing hides their faces and hence their identity, which causes problems. This is the crux of the On the other side of the coin, we also have decency laws whereby the same countries, which believe in equality of men and women, would not allow women to parade topless on their streets or would arrest men for indecent exposure.

The onus also lies on the Muslim leadership in France to educate their congregations that burkas have nothing to do with Islam and that even the Qur’an does not say that one has to wear burkas.

Imams and mullahs should launch an aggressive campaign in mosques to greatly help alleviate the problem and assist the French authorities to solve the problem.

A time has also come when the state should ensure that Muslim women have access to educational facilities, even on a part time basis.

The more education they have, the more broad-minded they will become and hence there will be fewer tendencies on their part to wear the burka. Education means progress. The burka comes from the Middle East and if people want to wear it, they should go live where it is As a wise man once said, “if I had two children, one a boy and one a girl and if I had the means to educate only one of them, I would educate the girl because when you educate the girl, you educate a family.”

As the saying goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.


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