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Inciting Anger and Suspicion

Reader comment on item: Ban the Burqa - and the Niqab Too

Submitted by Robin Dean (United States), Aug 2, 2007 at 18:59

In the city health center where I work, there are many lovely, hard-working women who don the hijab daily. We hold friendly conversations about our work and our personal lives, as they are held in any office anywhere. I can see the smiles on their faces or the frustration or any emotion, as a matter of fact. They are not cut off from the world and I do not feel cut off from them. However, when I encounter a woman in a niqab or burqa, there might as well be a concrete wall or a barbed wire fence between us.

On a shopping excursion to a famous, large market, I encountered a burqa(ed) woman at the cash register. Until then, I had never been so close to a woman with this attire. The reactions that this engendered in me were so violent that not only was I shocked at myself, but, I have never been back to shop at that store. I could not understand this cashier. We could not engage in friendly banter, although I remember making an attempt.

There is no way to feel at ease with a "faceless" person. It is as if you're having a conversation with a ghoul or a ghost. It turns the person wearing one into negative space and the person wearing one, is normally, a woman. Therefore, as an American woman, the burqa negates liberty. And, that makes me very angry. I know that we in America should be free to wear whatever we want, but, really.

These women walk down the streets of liberty like black shadows and personally, I feel imposed upon. Especially since the most violent forms of Islam want me to look the same. These ghoulish figures are a constant reminder to me of the war we must fight (and win). And, then of course there's the very real security issues that Mr. Pipes spoke about in the article.

Since they remind me of those with whom we're fighting the war, I am suspicious of their "real" intentions. I cannot see their faces, nor look into their eyes, and that makes me angry and fearful and uncomfortable, and, whether they really are or are not, they become my enemy.


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