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Islam The Burqa Ban: Another Misguided Step Toward So-Called Equality

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Tejwant Singh, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Oppression is in the eye of the beholder, you know. Having spent my undergrad years up to my elbows in literature on marriage and families, this is a topic that's graced my intellect on more than one occasion.

    With the dawn of the feminism age in the mid-1900s, droves of women proclaimed their independence and threw off the fetters that bound them to narrow, socially acceptable roles. The message to society was simply this: "How dare you tell us what we cannot do based on gender? How dare you confine women to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen? How dare you tell us we're worth nothing more than a gaggle of children and a few loaves of homemade bread?"

    But if I may interject here, let us not forget that the sword cuts both ways. While equal opportunity is all well and good, it is my opinion that we have veered much too far in the contrary direction. In an effort to proclaim their right to wear business suits and earn paychecks comparable to their male counterparts, my feminist sisters, perhaps inadvertently, knocked sexual prejudice on its little head and took things for a 180-degree spin.

    Case in point: society now places a firm taboo against telling a woman that she doesn't belong in the corporate world; however, society loves to tell women like me -- women who, yes, admittedly, firmly place motherhood as our primary goal in life -- that we are aiming too low. That raising children is old-fashioned and simple-minded. That we are less intelligent, less capable and less ambitious than the female CEOs and political leaders of the world. That women who choose full-time motherhood are just stay-at-home moms.

    What once again brought this double-edged topic to my attention was France's recent ban on wearing burqas in public. The burqa, traditionally worn by Muslim women in public places, is a veil that reveals little more than a woman's eyeballs, worn with a robe that reveals little more than her hands. Society, round up your cavalries and raise your red flags: how dare a religion tell a woman she must cover herself in public? How dare a culture so brutally oppress a gender?

    If I may interject again, let me point out what the burqa truthfully represents: respect. Many Muslim women wear the burqa because they respect their bodies to such a degree that they do not wish to flaunt it to the world. How sad is it that society screams "oppressive and wrong" at this, while plastering billboards and media with pornographic depictions that shriek "liberating and right."

    I admit that corrupted dictators and governments have tainted society's view of traditional Islam with their extremist attitudes and, yes, oppression of women. But surely it is a logical fallacy to brand a religious practice as 100-percent erroneous because it has been warped at the hands of fanatics. Perhaps we are the ones with a warped idea of what is truly beautiful.

    If we ever tried to put a ban on immodesty, the world might simply implode. Heaven forbid free expression that dictates reverence and respect for a woman's body by covering it rather than revealing it.

    Forgive me, but something about this doesn't sit well with me.

    So if I may: France, how dare you?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/katie-hawkes/the-burqa-ban-another-mis_b_754555.html
     

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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Just a note. The author of this article is Katie Hawkins of Brigham Young University, in fact a graduate of a famed Mormon institution. Mormons, who are members of the Church of Latter Day Saints, at one time practiced polygamy. However they gave the practice up - by and large - when seeking statehood in the US. It is reported that women leave the Mormon faith more than men at a ratio of 4 to 1.

    Here are some excerpts from an interesting article (1995) - a bit old regarding the place of women in the Mormon Church. Entire article at this link: http://www.exmormon.org/mormwomn.htm It may explain the bias of Katie Hawkins.

    Girls and boys are also told that a good and proper Mormon home is a patriarchal one. A handbook written for fourteen year old boys states that, "The patriarchal order is of divine origin and will continue throughout time and eternity" (Laake 39). Husbands conduct family prayers, bless their wives and children, and generally control the household. They also are in charge of "family home evening", one night per week set aside for family prayer and togetherness. The Mormon belief is that Eve's roles in life, those of help-meet and child-bearer, set the pattern for all of her daughters (McConkie 844). Girls are told that God wants them at home (Laake 153), and boys are never taught to clean up after themselves, since when their mothers stop doing it for them, their wives will take over the job. These ideas, at least, have not changed at all since the nineteenth century.

    Mormons, and particularly Mormon girls, are commanded to remain completely chaste until marriage. Girls grow up believing that their virginity is what makes them worth marrying (Laake 195), and they are told that "If you sully your body by allowing boys to touch it in forbidden ways...no good man will ever want to marry you" (Johnson 74). According to Mormon Doctrine, "Loss of virtue is too great a price to pay even for the preservation of one's life--better dead clean, than alive unclean" (McConkie 124). In order to enter the temple for the all-important marriage ceremony, Mormons must undergo a rigorous interview by their bishops about the intimate details of their sexual history to ensure their purity (Laake 86). Mormon colleges today have dress codes for women which forbid shorts, short skirts, and other articles of clothing that could possibly incite a young man's lust.

    Mormons, like most religions, believe that the woman in a relationship bears the guilt for any sexual wrongdoing. Girls are told that if they "let" a man touch them, he will not respect them, even though he is the one doing the touching. One Mormon woman's date, at the front door of her house at the end of a perfectly sinless night, ordered her to enter her house, fall on her knees, and pray for forgiveness for the sins that she had made him want to commit (Johnson 79).

    The strict chastity demanded by the church often clashes with the fact that girls are taught please their husbands and the other men in their lives. This lesson makes it very difficult to maintain the strict chastity required of women. What does a girl do when the man she is dating, whom she is supposed to obey because he is inspired by God, wants to do more than kiss her? In Mormon-dominated Utah, in 1978, seventy percent of the teenage brides were pregnant at their weddings (Johnson 39).

    However, the Mormon church is more tolerant of unwed mothers or pregnant brides than it is of divorced women (Laake 217). No matter how sinful the circumstances, a pregnant woman is fulfilling God's plan and her purpose in life, by providing a body for one of the many spirits waiting to be born. Bearing children is the main purpose of a woman in this life; Sonia Johnson stated that, "I'd been conditioned to believe that if I didn't have babies, I wasn't worth much. Having children was what women were made for" (Johnson 42).
     
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  4. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    No matter what is the background of Author,she has written some harsh truth that how today That people don't respect housewives much now and how society has started dictating in its term what women should do.
     
  5. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Kanwardeep Singh ji

    Doesn't make sense. Please explain how only now society has started dictating in its terms what women should do. This started only yesterday?

    When was it dictated that women should throw themselves on their husband's funeral pyre? Pehaps that was a good thing. It would mean there was one less woman lurking around seeking ways to dishonor her husband's family with backdoor sex. And it would also mean there was that much more jewelry to go around. Naturally she should do it willingly no questions asked. In the US of course it could be different of course. On her husband's death she should could give everything she inherited from her husband to her church. Or her son's could manage it for her. That way everyone could be sure that she would not be spending it herself and her silly projects. After all, what else does she need except to wait around until she dies.

    How far back should we turn the clock so we can get it right? Put women in their place? Keep them where we think they should be?
     
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  6. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    No Where I said That society has only now started dictating terms.I just said that I agree what she said that how society has started dictating that what women should do.

    Infact I believe Society always dictate to both men and women,it is only terms that change O/W people always have to follow society whether they like it or not
     
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  7. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Here is the shabby fraud which Katie Hawkins has managed to publish.

    Many people have risen to say it was unjust and unfair of France and other governments of Europe to ban the burqa using the shabby arguments that these governments use. Many people rose up to say that Muslim women should be able to make this choice on their own. These are the same people at whom Katie Hawkins is pointing her fingers.

    Katie Hawkins has done something very different in this article. She has tried to make it seem as if the good will to allow choices, and the freedom to express one's faith without fear, is itself a form of oppression of women who would be modest.

    That makes Katie Hawkins something of a fraud. Especially since her argument is backed up by a biased and narrow understanding of modesty/chastity/the role of women.


    She is not about protecting the right of Muslim women to chose.
    And she is not a defender of Islam, quite the opposite. This article is about ridiculing the same people who would protect the rights of any women in any case. The article really is a good example of a "straw man" argument. Take a point that someone else has made. Take it out of its original context. Turn it into an evil. Then set it up in order to knock it down in the new context you have deliberately created for it.

    Another way to look at this. It is nothing more than one big cheap shot, the likes of which are all over the Internet.
     
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