Think Anew, Act Anew

observations and opinion

The Cloth Prison

Thoughts on Quebec’s decision to ban face coverings, AKA, “the burqa ban.”

The burqa is not part of Islam but rather, is a custom adopted in certain Muslim cultures, representing the power of a man and his ownership of the women and girls in his house.

The burqa is a dog collar. It is a “sold” sign on a woman’s body. To be required to wear it against her will is a brutal violation of any woman’s rights and of our cultural norms.

But if a woman is already living under the tyranny of such a father or husband, will her “owner” permit her to uncover her face? Or will he instead, force her to hide in the house?

And if a woman has to trade the cloth prison of her burqa for the bricks and concrete prison of her home, what kind of “freedom” exactly has Bill 62 advanced?

Quebec is right to be concerned about the rights of these women and to act to help them. But the problem is not the cloth and the problem is not the women wearing it. The problem is, the husbands, fathers and imams who insist that they wear it.

There is no easy or obvious answer to the problem of such men. But whatever the answer is, it is probably not one which makes life worse for the women under their thumbs.

I would like never to see another woman in a burqa. They make me shudder for the women inside them, and for the rest of our futures. But what matters in life is probably not what people wear on their heads, but rather, what’s going on inside their heads.

Let’s work on that, shall we?



4 comments on “The Cloth Prison

  1. Osyth
    October 22, 2017

    Yes lets. So many ideologies are well-intentioned but not helpful in practice and this is a really strong example. I abhor Burkha, of course I do but simply making a liberal stand and banning it doesn’t help if the perpetrators are not being engaged and encouraged to think differently.


  2. Susanne
    October 22, 2017

    There are a number of Muslim feminists who have spoken out about the burkha in much the same way you have. I find it puzzling that their viewpoint is not explored more in media. There is lots of concern about not violating religious freedom but little investigation if this is grounded in the faith or, as you say, an interpretation based on domination.


  3. Gerry
    October 22, 2017

    Why do we not just ask the women whose traditions, faith and customs we are all so eager to trample on and see what they think and feel about this instead of talking over their heads. There just might not be a problem looking for a solution.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Osyth
    October 23, 2017

    So many fine threads, fine lines to tread. For me, burkha is, indeed, an aberration but I was not born into that culture. I live at the moment in a French city with a large and ancient North African and Arab population. For me, seeing a young girl in burkha is an abomination … I brought up four young women to chose, feel equal, make their own way and to never ever be dominated by another person be that person man or woman. To understand respect but to expect to earn respect themselves. But these women were brought up in a different culture and it is not for me to judge as hard as that is. Surely, in the end, it is a question of trying to understand and respect whilst gently suggesting that neither sex is more important but that equality is delightful because it infers balance and balance always feels so much nicer.


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This entry was posted on October 22, 2017 by in Canada, The Rights of Women, The War for Civilization.
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