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Islamic Gear A Kind Of Rorschach Test

Reader comment on item: Ban the Burqa, Allow the Burkini

Submitted by Dave (Canada), Aug 23, 2016 at 09:56

Just as seemingly amorphous inkblots reflect a person's psychological state, people tend to project their emotional attitudes about Islam onto Islamic gear. A burkini may not imply a sinister disguise like a burka, but it can still evoke significant responses.
If you're Moshe Sebbag, the senior Rabbi of Paris's Grand Synagogue, then you support the ban, because you see it as a "statement as to who will rule here tomorrow". The Rabbi clearly abhors the prospect of Islamic rule. If you're French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, the burkini means female servitude, being part of a "political project". He joins the Rabbi in viewing the burkini negatively, as a symbol of Islamic supremacism

On the other hand, Pierre Stambul, co-chair of the Jewish French Union For Peace opposes the ban, as well as the Jewish "colonization of Palestine" via Zionism. To him, the burkini symbolizes an anti-Western, anti-colonial struggle by oppressed minorities. Emotionally, perhaps he projects his own Jewish identity onto Muslim immigrants.

Then there are the cooler heads, like Dr. Pipes, who simply sit back and calmly ask: "So maybe a burkini is just a burkini?".


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