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Burkas and turbans

I find myself deeply troubled about the burka issue. Should women be allowed to cover their faces in public? After re-reading that line I wonder why the hell in 2010 I would feel it necessary to consider this issue. Why would anyone dive a fiddler’s fart about what women wear?

They do in France where the Parliament has passed a law forbidding this practice. Here’s what President Sarkozy had to say: “The problem of the burka is not a religious problem. This is an issue of a woman’s freedom and dignity. This is not a religious symbol. It is a sign of subservience; it is a sign of lowering. I want to say solemnly, the burka is not welcome in France.”

I was surprised to learn that a Canadian Muslim spokeswoman said this: “The burka has absolutely no place in Canada,” said Farzana Hassan, of the Muslim Canadian Congress. “In Canada we recognize the equality of men and women. We want to recognize gender equality as an absolute. The burka marginalizes women.”

In the UK Minister Damien Green said of a private member’s bill to ban the burka. He said: “Telling people what they can and can’t wear is a rather un-British thing to do”.

I say good on Mr. Green! He might have gone a bit further and said it flies in the face of democracy and people’s rights.

Somehow it reminds me of the turbans in Legions issue that arose in BC about 15 years ago. This had nothing, we were assured by Legion officials, to do with racism. Dear me no, it was insulting to the Queen to wear a “hat” inside the legion. That very same November, with the issue raging around BC because Remembrance Day focused on this issue, Wendy and I attended the Armistice Day parade in London where the Queen appears and places a wreath on the Cenotaph.

During the parade itself we couldn’t help but notice an Indian regiment led by a big man with several rows of medals. He was wearing a turban. He also only had one arm. Would a Legion in BC turn him away on Remembrance Day we wondered?

What earthly reason can there be for such idiocy?

If it’s a religious issue, let the religion deal with it. If it’s a women’s issue, let women’s organizations take up the cudgels on their behalf. Leave me out of this, I have better causes to concern myself with. Indeed, if I were to begin dealing with religious practices, I’d start with the pernicious practice of mutilation by circumcising baby boys without them having any say at all in the matter, the only virtue of which I can discern is giving the doctor a little help paying his golf club dues.

One Response to “Burkas and turbans”

  1. Jeff Taylor says:

    My problem with the burka is NOT with woman’s freedom(s) or religion. My issue with woman (or either sex for that matter) wearing a burka is one of SECURITY – PERIOD. We now live in an age where certain cultures have little or NO problem with blowing people up – using children and WOMAN if and when necessary. I believe that France’s issues with the burka is not only one of woman’s freedom(s) & rights, but one of their country’s security. In this day and age (with the track record of certain cultures), I, for one, have absolutely zero problem with a country’s right to try things to help keep their citizen’s safe & secure.

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