Burkas and Boris!

It is rare for me to side with Boris – no actually unique – but I think I agree with him on this. His words may be offensive but what is wrong with offense? Can it be Islamophobic if the Burka and Niqab are not Islamic? Certainly seeing a person’s face is an integral part of Western civilised behaviour. In my view these clothings are oppressive and misogynistic.

This is a precis of what Boris said:

Mr Johnson said that schools and universities should expect students to remove face coverings if they turn up ‘looking like a bank robber’. He wrote: ‘If you tell me that the burka is oppressive, then I am with you. ‘If you say that it is weird and bullying to expect women to cover their faces, then I totally agree – and I would add that I can find no scriptural authority for the practice in the Koran. ‘I would go further and say that it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes.’ But he said a total ban would boost radicals who claim there is a ‘clash of civilisations’ between Islam and the West.

What do you think?

21 thoughts on “Burkas and Boris!

  1. She wants to be a bit more careful with that shoe lace. She could trip and cause herself a nasty injury. God willing / forbid. delete as appropriate.

  2. I’m wondering if second and third generation Middle Eastern women in western countries will abandon the restrictive clothing that the rest of us dislike for varying reasons. It makes my blood boil that these mandates in Shuria Law apply just to the females. A very regressive system of law that has no place in this century.

      1. What caught my attention was not the general narrative of what you experienced but the detail within.
        When you say “friends”, I understand that to be several and of the plural variety and to integrate means they had at one time been apart and to become westernised means they came from another country. Am I correct? To have one friend to do this is believable, to have plural friends raises a question of factuality, at least for myself.
        To be Muslim is to serve Muhammad, the final Prophet of Allah. Muslim identity with God Allah is not slight and it is our life means. Without we have no life as it is God who gives life.
        There are very small numbers of Muslims who leave Islam. I know it is less than 1%.
        Integrate does not mean to become like a westerner. It cannot if a man is Muslim.
        Western tradition and life is not the way of Islam and they cannot mix and Muslim man cannot ever be western.
        My wife can never eat at another man’s table. She can only go to family houses, and never to non-family or strangers and my daughters are the same.
        I never have met any Muslim who is no longer a Muslim. To say to become “westernised” as understood by a Muslim is to leave Islam. This is not possible under many circumstances. Or a Muslim cannot be a half of a Muslim, and this is not possible. It is not children’s play. It is not a religion that provides for casual attention and is all encompassing as it is a lifestyle. It is not a life choice as there is no choice.
        Muslim religion of Islam is not for where a man lives or what country he lives. It is of no matter where a man lives with Islam. Islam is the country of the man in his heart.
        There cannot be Muslim westernised and this is not possible. It is Allah’s will that all men follow the Prophet Muhammad to give them the best life and closest to the God Allah and we hope this for all mankind and this is our dream wish.
        As a Muslim man, and born in UK, the becoming westernised when I was a child boy was not difficult but my parents made a stop when I reach 12. This is the way of Islam and all childish play must stop and the learning of the Koran is our life. I still don’t think I can say I am totally westernised because of customs in Islam and our tradition is so strong. There are many things I do not do. I do not go to theatre, music events, pubs, and such things. These things are not my way but I go to watch cricket in summer.
        My wife was born in Pakistan and always wears Hijab headdress, not always at home but with non-family visitors and always when going outside and with the long Hijab dress. My three daughters are the same. They do not wear the Burka / Niqab because we live in England and not Pakistan. There are no Religion Police here checking up.
        No Islam woman must wear Burka / Niqab in England. This is fashion dress of old fashion and with people from Sahara where the sun is very hot. It is not Muslim dress for England. There are many Muslim people in England and many new are coming from Africa and Sudan and Yemen. They are wearing the Burka / Niqab and are very strong Islam believers and will be very difficult for England. I finish and say to you that they will never be westernised.

      2. Hamdi – thank you for your input. It sounds as if you are very devout. Your choice.
        My Muslim friends were from work and college. Over the course of five years, until I moved up North, I had five such friends. They were in their late teens and early twenties. They wore western clothes, went out with western women and never went near any mosque, though strangely they all refused to eat pork. I remember one of my friends – Bali – Mohamed Iqbal – who had sausages in the canteen at work. He thought they were beef. I said to him on the way out that I thought he didn’t eat pork. With the realisation he instantly threw up. My friends were westernised but there were some entrenched ideas that stuck. I don’t think they had actually given up their religion. They just did not practice it. They never really talked about it. Back in the sixties and seventies there was not this extreme religiosity.
        I have a total dislike of all religion. I think it is man-made and created for power. I abhor all brainwashing of children. But I would support anyone having a personal faith. That’s their choice.
        In terms of burkas and niqabs, which are not Islamic but cultural, I think they are oppressive and misogynistic. I’m glad most Muslims choose not to wear them. I would strongly oppose the enforcement of these garments anywhere around the world.
        Thanks for your contribution.

      3. I am not very devout. I am a liberal Muslim. I only go to the mosque one day a week, not every day. My wife and daughters never go.
        You might not understand. To be a Muslim he must go to the mosque. Your friends are not Muslims. I don’t know what to call them but it is not Muslim. Many religions do not eat pork and is not only a Muslim practice.
        Yes, back in the sixties and seventies there was very much more extreme religion, and maybe you would not know this. You are not all correct with saying Burka and Niqab are not Islamic. They are Islamic. It is the only religion that wears them. They are the culture of Islam. Why do you say they are not? That is the same as a cricketer wearing a white sweater. Do you see in the rules of Cricket a rule for a man must wear a white sweater? No you do not. But is that sweater part of cricket culture? Yes it is. The one and one go together. But England is not under only the law of Sharia. Only in country with total Sharia must the woman wear Burka/Niqab. You must understand better the Islamic state circumstances for wearing Burka/Niqab.
        I do not need to know what you like and dislike about my religion. This has no place with this and is your business.
        I do not like Burka/Niqab, but I do not live under Sharia Law as I live in England.
        This is where your argument falls. You forget this is England and Sharia must not be given any power or you will fall to Sharia. I do not want Wahhabi regime Islam and I think you do not want Wahhabi regime Islam. It is very dangerous and aggressive and why my family come to England in 1950.

      4. Hamdi – In Britain, as you may know, we used to have an extremely religious society. Everyone went to church. That is no longer the case. Most people do not believe in a religion and have a hazy belief in god if any. My Muslim friends may well have described themselves as Muslim but for them it was not something they thought about a lot. Their parents were religious but they weren’t. They had lapsed. They no longer really believed.
        I lost contact with them when I moved North. Nowadays I have just one Muslim friend and he does not practice either.
        People, like me, question religion and find it wanting.
        In terms of the burka. It dates back to cultures that are pre-Islam and is not mentioned in the Koran. Therefore it is cultural and not Islamic and not mandatory. I find it objectionable but would not ban it.
        No I do not want Wahhabi extremism and I see no place in Britain for Sharia law. Wahhabi beliefs are extreme, intolerant and obnoxious. They are no compatible with British ideals. We have British law here and have no need for Sharia. I am quite happy for people of all faiths or none to live here in Britain under the prevailing ethos of our tolerant society. I am not happy for people to demand that we change or accept different standards. If people want to move to our country they should respect the people and their values. If they want to live under Sharia then they should live in a country that practices it. That is not here. I think people should integrate into the community and live by the values of the country they adopt. Religion is a personal thing and all are free to practice their religion. We are a secular country though and that is how it must stay. We fought for that freedom.

      5. How many times are we going to hear this “it isn’t in the Koran”. So what if it’s not in the Koran. The FACT of the matter is Opher, that this garment is ONLY worn by Muslims. It IS mandatory in a number of Islamic countries. So for you to arrive at your point of claim as expressed means it is actually lacking in full information of customs and practices withing the Islamic umbrella. In Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan and such countries women would be flogged for NOT wearing it. You have NO argument in this respect.
        It is not mandatory for religious reasons in UK and for that reason alone any decisions as to its acceptability should be based solely upon our social mores and not those concerning religious practice. The fact it looks stupid and impractical walking around our streets is not the point. They might may as well pad around in a wet suit and flippers. The point is there are some places in our society where such a garment may not be worn and I refer to those walking into banks.
        We should perhaps catch up with some of our European cousins. To date Denmark, France, Belgium and Austria have imposed complete bans. Spain and Italy have imposed partial bans as has Turkey. Several African nations have also introduced complete bans, namely, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and the Republic of Congo.
        Our protective liberalism is strangling our common sense and we’re letting all this Sharia nonsense that very few of us fully understand, particularly any of these “progressive liberals” types that I talk to about this – they know nothing about anything! – make the decision for us. We need to get a grip.

      6. So these problems of clothing and customs will gradually go away. I surmise that these women oppressed by Sharia Law will readily embrace Western ideas about gender equity.

  3. I’m of the understanding that a burka is not based on Quaranic truth, but is rather a cultural element of some Islamic traditions. In the USA, I have actually only seen one woman wearing one in Colorado, and my first impression was negative. The hijab on the other hand makes theological sense to me. This said, my social libertarian impulse is “live and let live.” Not something I would do, but if it’s important to the individual’s faith and is not hurting anybody, have at it.

    1. Lionscafe – I think your instincts are similar to my own. I have a dislike of the garb. I do think it is oppressive and misogynistic but I to have the tolerant view – as long as it is not hurting anyone. But is women are forced to wear it or feel pressure then I take a different view.

  4. Hey, I’ve been getting heat just for wearing my LA Clippers hat. We can’t all look and pray alike. I don’t understand the venom and emotion behind this headgear issue.

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