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To Hide the Truth, or Not

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

Submitted by M. Tovey (United States), Aug 7, 2007 at 12:00

The proposal to prohibit the wearing of the various types of female coverings associated with Muslim practices of modesty according to the dictates of Islam, whether from the Quran or by subsequent pontificating of Islamic leadership, is in many ways an expression of intolerance, from a perspective from inside and outside of Islam. The history of requiring practicing Muslim females, either voluntarily or involuntarily, of wearing mandated covering is long and varied, and though not always associated with being Muslim, it is in the Islamists' practice of it that everyone makes the connection.

Intolerance from within the Muslim practice seems to come from the mindset that the female modesty must be protected at all costs in order to preserve the purity of the female relation, and the family honor. Evidence of this is found in the honor killings of female relations in the Muslim realm for violations that besmirch family honor, which are demonstrative of the serious attitude some have towards the issue, and it is not an exaggeration to say it is getting more deadly when we read an example that whole groups of sisters are put to death by a male family member to preserve some form of alleged integrity.

Granted, Muslims are not alone in honor killings, but they stand out more in this day and age of examining Islamic culture as it expands into non-Islamic cultures. Muslim intolerance to infractions of modesty will ebb and swell according to the society in which they try to integrate, or in the case of extreme views of the practice, not integrate. But intolerance will continue as long as there are unresolved issues of morality.

Intolerance from other societies to many Muslim practices have been expressed over the ages since the time of the Islamic influences overtaking pre-Islamic cultures; hence the wars fought from before the crusades, during the battles of the crusades, and in later times where Islam was pushed from the greater realm of influence into the current post World War One era. The conflicts over the Islamic and anti-Islamic perspectives of what female Muslims wear is an extension of the greater conflict between western civilization and the resurgence of Islamic influences over the various world societies. A sense that western societies have lost some of the moral advantage have allowed a reintroduction of the idea that a greater moral influence might be had were Muslim practices encouraged, or more to the point, enforced.

Moral advantage or not, the situation stems from conflicting ideologies, and from one perspective, it will not make a difference if one form of morality or another seeks a greater influence if it is not based on absolute truth. Truth has the greatest intolerance to all that opposes it, and the final judgment of ideologies that seek the truth or seek to pervert it will bear out acceptance or intolerance to the truth.

If absolute truth is not found in the hearts and minds of those who propose their form of morality over another, then it does not make a difference whether one hides the face, parts of the face and the body, or tries to hide everything, the heart will subjected to the truth, or the lack of it. Seek the truth and the true source of it, and the heart and mind will produce the sense of being modest and provide a true covering of a pure mind, and the rest will follow suite.
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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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