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What do people think about the wearing of the Burqa (Burka) and/or the Niqab within societies that are not predominantly Muslim?

 

In Australia there has been some recent debate mainly due to security issues pertaining around people not able to be identified if they are wearing a burqa and/or niqab.

 

Personally, I am not entirely comfortable with either items of clothing from a security point of view, but I also feel that our culture of engaging people 'face-to-face' (e.g. look people in the eyes when you're talking to them) doesn't lend itself to accepting this style of dress. Personally I feel a lot more comfortable when I can see a person's face and facial gestures (including their eyes) when I am communicating with them.

 

That said, I can also appreciate that some people feel wearing this type of clothing is important to them. I know there are arguments concerning the oppressive nature of women having to wear such to comply with their religion, but I am talking here about women who freely wear this clothing because they feel it honours Allah.

 

How do members here feel about respecting these Muslim choices whilst at the same time addressing security concerns and/or cultural complications?

 

Like usual, I don't see a black and white answer here and I would like to hear other people's opinions about the issue.

 

22_niqabgraphic2.jpg

 

 

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Paul,

 

I think women in general are beautiful creations and that it is unfortunate that a religion might indicate they should cover their faces so thoroughly as in the Burka and Niqab to hide that beauty supposedly to please their creator. I find that a most difficult tenet to believe. Among creation to me, It seems unnatural and i do not understand the benefits . Even Butterflies know beauty is to be expressed, for as soon as they emerge they spread their beautiful colors for all to see. . Yet having said all that, it seems to me ones religious convictions are important to the individual and while security is not for me a personal reason to forbid it, it is a decision that is left for a society as a whole to make.

 

Joseph

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I’ve had a number of thoughts and qualms about this style of dress, and dress in a more general sense, since it’s been in the public awareness. I guess mostly since 2001. I don’t think my thoughts listed here are necessarily listed in the order of importance or that well organized, but my time limits being what they are,…

 

I don’t see why this style of dress necessarily has to denote or be a supporting statement the Muslim or Islamic religions. Why can’t a Christian, or a Buddhist, or a Hindu, or a Wicken, and so on and so forth… wear this kind of clothing without having to or being forced to be making a statement that they are Muslim or Islamic? Why should a person have to have any religious beliefs at all, or have to know what they think about everything in this context, to dress the way they choose to dress? Freedom of dress should be and is a form of freedom of speech and expression.

 

The American Indians, and the women in particular, used dress as an art form that was meant to show their true character and their ideas about things.

 

This kind of clothing could facilitate protection from prejudice and racism. You can’t tell what race, color or national origin a person is in a burka, or gender necessarily for that matter.

 

Nuns of many religions where dress similar to this. The women and the “Marys” in religious art at painted wearing this sort of clothing.

 

What would happen if for Halloween someone put on a burka with all kinds of pagan religious symbols, or Christian or Buddhist or what have you symbols on it? Would anyone get it, or what?

 

From a security point of view: It’s not just about identification, or being able to look a person in the eyes, it’s about a person being able to carry a piece or a weapon also. I’ve been in stores here in the US where there are signs right on the front door stating you cannot where a hoodie or baggies specifically for this reason.

 

During Vietnam there was a tendency for the men to wear their hair longer and dress a bit more colorfully. This in a sense gave the women some cover and protection,… someone couldn’t always tell if a person was a woman or a man mostly from behind or from a distance. What does the burka do in this respect? Unless a person is particularly large, one doesn’t necessarily know if that person is a woman or a man, or any variety of the two. My feeling is that unless you are my spouse or my truly committed partner, what concern is it of yours what gender I am or what I’m about. This again would give some responsibility for thinking to the men. My being there, my being alive and existing in time and space on this planet, (the only alternative to which is suicide), does not give a person a license to move in on me, corner me, pressure and intimidate me, or perpetuate to violate my rights. This kind of treatment starts at about age 13 if not at birth and is constant and continuous throughout all of our lifetimes. Even in the churches I might add.

 

I’ve been intimidated and practically forced into dressing like a man, and walk like one too, or walk like I’m looking to get in a fight just to get down the street with a gallon of milk or get to work, which duh I need to do in order to eat and have shelter, (that is survive, again the only alternative again being suicide). This forces me to shift my natural center of gravity to my shoulders where a man’s center of gravity is, and creates extreme stress on the legs, feet and back. I’m not the only woman who’s felt they’ve had to do this by the way.

 

Why do women have to go to such a degree to defend themselves simply because the male won’t pay any attention or concern to any self-management what so ever? Everything, all the pressure, all the stress, all the human need for self-management is put directly and intensely, all on the women. That is to say that the responsibility of self-management for both genders is put directly and intensely on just one gender, the women. That they tend to be smaller in terms of size and stature more than doubles this stress and anxiety. Of course men can’t care about women, it’s not in their programming and since they are preprogramed robots, they can’t step out of this kind of pack mentality. It’s not part of the mindless pack mentality that is their most rooted religion. But is there any way in three decades or less that they could care about the offspring. What kind of prenatal stress do you think this causes???????????????

 

Certain wild animals, cats in particular kill off the existing young, the living cubs, that they think might be of a different lineage than their own. “Humans” it seems do this before the infants are even born.

 

A woman cannot just shut off all this stress that adds up to and leads to this kind of prenatal stress after a lifetime of living in this / these cultures on the day she meets a guy and therefor it won’t affect his children. What goes around comes around, but then who cares. These are just little helpless infants and if they want a voice, the “big” people can just take it away from them; so they can “loo-o-ok” like they’re all that, even though they are actually and really the complete opposite of what they so desperately wanna loo-o-ok like.

 

Having to where a symbol and sign of one’s own oppression must be spirit breaking and mind shattering both at the same time. Or of a religion they are forced into, same results, same effect, same lifelessness…

 

There have been several studies about how the fact that women legally have to cover their upper bodies’ effects the babies’ milk. A good deal of natural vitamins comes from the sun and this is important for an infant’s health and nutrition. Inadequate nourishment can stunt their growth, weaken the bones, muscles and ligaments. Sweden is the only country in the northern hemisphere where females are allowed to go to the beach without covering the parts of their bodies that particularly pertains to infant’s milk. There are tribes, in the southern hemisphere, where the men think that it is insane and ludicrous that an adult man would go after and be sexually attracted to what God and nature has clearly intended to be for babies. But then this isn’t about people / men it’s only about babies, so who will care.

 

I’ve heard a few months back from two medical professionals that rickets is back. Rickets is a bone disease caused by lack of sunlight and was very prevalent in the 1600’s and the Victorian era. It starts in the womb and develops during early childhood. It deforms the bones and can be crippling. It can develop in adulthood too, particularly in women. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickets#Diet_and_sunlight

 

But this again isn’t about people / men it’s just about infants, children and women, so who’s gonna care.

 

Osteoporosis is another disease that is very prevalent and particular to women. Again it’s about lack of sunlight, being kept indoors too often and having to cover the upper body in the sun. It is very painful, crippling and can even lead to an early death. These conditions in effect make it a form of “passive murder”. But this again isn’t about people / men it’s only about women, so who would care.

 

I’ve been told, by both women and men, both by their words, behaviors and actions, that you have to dress “bimbo” to get / command any kind of respect. Like respect needs to be commanded instead of inspired. Intimidated is more like it. The only time I have ever gotten any respect from any men in my fifty-something years of life here on this planet earth, including from relatives and family members, is when I had them convinced that I had a gun. Then all of a sudden I was dealing with a group of perfect gentlemen acting exactly the way they’re supposed to act and as if they had any common sense what so ever. Thing is it had to be forced and frightened out of them; none of it came from them of their own impetus or accord.

 

We can choose what to respect instead of going along with some mindless snake pack

 

In Gulliver’s Travels, Ted Danson as Gulliver speaks about how people should be able to go about without any clothing “like people couldn’t possibly manage themselves if they didn’t have clothes on,” he says. There are tribes, living on this earth today, who think it is ridiculous that people, in particular men, are attracted to a person simply by looking at them or looking at their bodies. What? Are they actually attracted by having some kind of a relationship? Do they actually recognize that other people might have some kind or character or personality? Do they actually get to know one another or something ridiculous like that? What, is their actually more going on here than just going to breed? Could something actually go on in a person’s mind, or spirit or body, than an acute case of the ya-yas?

 

Five Emmy awards and more nominations were given to this Gulliver’s Travels production:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115195/awards?ref_=tt_awd

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulliver%27s_Travels_(miniseries)

 

Is this about protecting the men or protecting the women? Or which gender is protecting which gender more? If the women have to go around protecting the men so much more than the men protect women, like they are always and forever little tiny baby three year olds or something, and so much tinyer than we are... Then I say "men" can go hang themselves,… they’ve already gotten and taken for themselves; way too much rope.

 

Every society it seems has legal limits as to how little a person is allowed to wear, one essentially has to keep their breaks on so to speak.

 

As for it being the law as to how one gender or another has to dress, and if one is going to legislate this sort of thing like they do in some countreis: If men or people can’t manage themselves, then put a leash / a tie on them and enforce the leash laws.

Or dress them all up like the Michelin tire man, the Stay-Puff marshmallow man or a bunch of Disney characters. In these outfits a person can only do so much damage and they are particularly difficult to get oneself in and out of.

 

All this because men can’t twigger out how to manage themselves,… thank you very much anyways, but, No Thank you.

 

People should be able to dress any way they want, from a full burka to the legal limit of near nothingness.

 

Boo

Happy Halloween

 

E.

Edited by Elen1107
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I’m hoping that anyone who might read my post above can take it with a sense of humor and a grain of salt.

 

I’m also hoping that the way people dress, all people, not just women, can come from a sense of freedom, intelligence and choice. That it can even be a statement about Freedom and Peace, which will always go hand in hand. That it can be like this for whoever wants to be seen that way, for themselves, as well as for everyone who wants to be noticed and understood in this light.

 

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Paul,

 

I think women in general are beautiful creations and that it is unfortunate that a religion might indicate they should cover their faces so thoroughly as in the Burka and Niqab to hide that beauty supposedly to please their creator. I find that a most difficult tenet to believe. Among creation to me, It seems unnatural and i do not understand the benefits . Even Butterflies know beauty is to be expressed, for as soon as they emerge they spread their beautiful colors for all to see. . Yet having said all that, it seems to me ones religious convictions are important to the individual and while security is not for me a personal reason to forbid it, it is a decision that is left for a society as a whole to make.

 

Joseph

Indeed, all people are beautiful and in this case I think it is indeed unfortunate that some Muslim women feel they need to hide themselves, either because they fell compelled to or because they want to for whatever reasons.

 

Some of my thoughts concerning security come from some recent social experiments I have read about where a person wearing a balaclava in a shopping centre was treated entirely different from people also there but wearing burqas. I know France have laws prohibiting the wearing of the burqa in public (but I haven't read up on why France mightbhavevthese laws). I've also read of a couple of cases in the US of robberies executed by criminals wearing burqas. Had they been wearing balaclavas they may not have gotten into a position where they were able to carry out the crime.

 

Just thoughts getting tossed around.

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I’ve seen a program on why France is prohibiting the wearing of the burka and even the hijab, particularly in the public schools. The statements were being made by a perty prominent French public official. He said that the government was being thanked and congratulated by these women and girls because they were being forced to wear these things by their own family members and close communities. Clothing is a perty personal thing, being forced to dress one way or another very much seems to be a violation of an individual’s rights. Being forced into this by one’s family or partner must be particularly painful and continuously stressful.

 

A number of countries see immigration, as a way of helping and supporting people and giving them opportunities that they would not have otherwise. What being said has been happening however, is that certain groups then try to impose their ways, their culture and their laws on the existing long standing culture and national population. This happens even to the point of breaking federal and national law. Things like evicting women and refusing to give them their security deposits and refusing to make simple food sales; Their imported “law” being that they refuse to do business with a woman. This in turn jeopardizes her ability to obtain food and shelter and therefor her survival and her life.

 

Until reading this post thread I haven’t heard of any common crimes being committed by people wearing burkas. I have heard of a suicide bombing committed by one in Iraq however.

 

In some sense the burka, when worn by choice, is a privacy issue and centers around a woman’s right to privacy.

 

Is a person’s right to privacy a security issue?

 

Is Freedom a security issue?

 

Peace and Freedom go hand in hand; They always have and always will. Taking a person’s freedom is a covert form of war.

 

Is war a security issue? - I think so.

 

The following is quoted from the pastor and clergy member Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) who wrote several versions of this speech

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_...

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me

 

Niemöller was the leader of a group of German clergymen opposed to Hitler. In 1937 he was arrested and eventually confined in Sachsenhausen and Dachau. He was released in 1945 by the Allies.

Eight long years in places that are clearly understood to be worse than death and worse than hell,… because no one was willing to speak out sooner or in good, sensible and real actual time.

Edited by Elen1107
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It seems religion lives in the past whether it is Muslim or Christianity so the rules are from the past, but I think the coverings have a purpose that has become misplaced or perverted. It seems we gain knowledge from relationships. It is not about controling thoughts, but guiding our thoughts to harmony and a freedom leading to knowledge. When I was young and a monk I had to wear a turban and saffron robes. They were a symbol to others that I was celibate and concerned more with the spiritual than the physical plane. I have to admit that I became closer to women and men than before because they were not threatened sexually and I was not either so I could open up and be vulnerable. Muslims went out of their way to help me in different countries even thought I was wearing the uniform of their enemy. I learned a lot about women and myself. When I had to beg people bent over bakwards giving me have of their daily food not because I was American, but because of the coverings I was wearing and they seemed to understand.

 

On the negative side in Iran during the revolution if women didn't wear the chador the fundamentalist would throw acid in their faces. I lived with an Indian guy and he bragged that he could easily pick up the women hidden behind the cloth. I noticed that some women wore stylish clothes underneath and in Morrocco too even though theirs were a little different. They wore a robe with a hood and veil. I stayed with a poor family and the women underneath wore modern clothes and when they entered the home took off the veil and robe. Beauty is different in different countries and is emphasized. In Iran they would make up their eyes and would let the chador slide off one shoulder and then pick it up with a side glance. In India women wear jewlery on their feet, ankles, hands and feet. In America tight clothes are worn to show off the figure. In Australia I am sure Paul walks around without a shirt to show off his six-pack. I think the correlation between what people are doing, thinking and being is more important than the customs. I enjoyed the different clothes, customs and food in the countries I lived, but it was always a choice and not forced. When I came back to America and dressed or acted a little different people would ask if something was wrong. This mild pressure had no effect since I lived overseas for 20 years, but for others it might be termed forced. People saying are you sick or crazy. This comes with a warning watch out for wolves in lambs clothing.

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