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The Misunderstood and Misinterpreted Burqa for Muslim Women

Reader comment on item: Islamophobia?

Submitted by Georges Fernandez (India), Dec 8, 2005 at 14:55

I wonder if somewhere down the line someone messed things a little in understanding why Muslim women must wear the burqa in public.

Going by the record of Mohammed himself, it would seem most appropriate that all his followers (and victims) would want to hide away their women out of sight. I would do the same in his presence, and eventually, in the presence of his avid followers to-date.
The main problem arises when the same conditions are expected in non-Islamic countries. A caveat is in order. If protection of womanly virtue is the issue, the natural thing would be for them to wear the burqa at home, in the presence of father, brother, uncle, nephew, father-in-law, brother-in-law, grandfather, etc. That would be protection enough for all of them. They may also wear the covering garment to aver modesty in Muslim social gatherings.

I simply can't understand why they overstate the case by wearing the garment outdoors in non-Islamic secular countries, where they would tend to stick out as potential victims, and are safe from non-Islamic rape given the fast acting and vigilant justice system. I thought their very modesty would be protection enough in open societies.

That is not the case in Islamic countries, since their incursion into public space arouses much curiosity or approbation. They should be made to wear the burqa both at home and in the streets. Not only that, they'd be better to always be chaperoned by at least four witnesses at all times, outdoors, indoors or at home.

Even then, God alone might protect their honor against charges of wanting to make a fast buck in the event of rape.
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