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Reader comment on item: Niqabs and Burqas - The Veiled Threat Continues
in response to reader comment: Burqa or Bikini

Submitted by mingocat (United States), Sep 24, 2009 at 11:15

I agree that a person has the right to choose her own clothing, be it burqa or bikini. However, the author is ignoring a few points.

1. Matters of public security. Anyone who walks around with her/his face hidden, wearing a billowing garment besides, is clearly able to foil security cameras while committing a crime. Yes, women do commit crimes. And yes, inventive male criminals are willing to dress as women if it increases their chances of getting away.

2. Coruption of religion. Isn't it troubling to the author that Muslim women feels they must cover themselves because of men who pry with their eyes? In a western country, I can understand that Muslim women feel pried at by non-Muslim men. However, in Muslim countries -- where most face-veiling occurs -- if women say they are veiling themselves to avoid men's stares, this proves that Muslin MEN are not obeying God's order to lower their eyes modestly. When women cover up completely, it frees men from this religious obligation -- allowing all men to sin by staring, and thus suffer possible hellfire. The proper Muslim solution is for men to be better trained in modesty and (if one wishes an Islamic society) for men to be harshly punished for leering at or harrassing women.

3. Finally, there is the question of what God wants. Is Allah happy when a woman veils herself out of (a) fear of her government, as in Iran or Saudi Arabia; (b) fear of male harrassment or sex crimes, as in much of the world; (c) fear of acid attacks and rapes as in the lawless borderland between Pakistan and Afghanistan; (d) fear that she will be unmarriageable and socially sanctioned as in much of the Muslim world; (e) tribal traditions as in much of the Muslim world; (f) lack of education and lack of options to do differently, as in the poor and rural parts parts of the Muslim world; (g) being put in a veil by her parents when she is still too young to decide for herself or too obedient to question their choice; as in many Muslim families all over the world; or (h) nationalistic/cultural pride and desire to flaunt her faith and heritage as a rebuttal to Western criticism.

Or is Allah just happy when an adult, educated woman, knowing that she can wear anything she wants in complete safety and freedom, freely chooses to dress in a way she thinks shows obedience to Him?


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