Why do some women choose to wear Burkas and Niqabs?

The Burka/Niqab is such a restrictive, clumsy garment that is restrictive, inelegant and oppressive. Why would anybody choose to wear one?

Well I can only think of a limited number of reasons:

  1. Some women do not like being looked at by men and find the anonymity of the Burka safe.
  2. It is a political statement of a militant position.
  3. It is a religious statement of piety.
  4. It is the result of coercion or expectations emanating from parents, husbands, relatives and the community.
  5. It is a habit.
  6. It is a lack of self-esteem and confidence.
  7. It is a cultural requisite.
  8. It is a fashion.
  9. It is a rite of passage indicating a move into adulthood.

Whatever the reason is I find the whole history and implications of the Burka offensive and unpleasant. I believe it is both oppressive and misogynistic.

However, I would stop short of banning it. I think people should have the right in a free country to wear what they like – with the proviso that anything that covers the face, and hence facial expressions, should not be allowed in places where facial expressions are necessary – i.e. when dealing with the public in an official capacity such as in teaching, the NHS or in a role where face to face meetings are necessary, neither where transactions are conducted.

I find the wearing of these garments abhorrent and I hope that Muslim women will find the power and will to overthrow what I see as a misogynistic tyranny.

What do you think?

14 thoughts on “Why do some women choose to wear Burkas and Niqabs?

  1. 10) It is completely alien to British culture, any western culture.
    Tell the truth.
    The only reason they wear them is because that are third world sand monkeys. Many of the men folk are the same, dressed like Wee Willie Winkie at bedtime. Upon their arrival here, after checking all the contents of their bags, we should give them vouchers for General George, H&M, iKrush and Peacocks who will be able to provide with suitable attire. Then they will be more able to integrate into OUR society rather than assimilate that of what they came from.
    If anybody is familiar with the old adage “a change of clothes will do you good”, well there’s a reason for that.

    1. Whitehouse – I would agree that it is entirely alien to British culture. But so are many other costumes that we quite happily accept – including pyjamas.
      I find your comments racist and offensive, intolerant and arrogant. I bet you don’t complain about British people going abroad wearing their shorts, skirts and absurdities like ties. Or would you think that we should wear the same ethnic costumes of the countries we visit?

      1. Yes, and I needed you to inform me that pyjamas came from “abroad”. Indeed, and so did your trousers, your shirt, your tie, your jacket, your anorak, your boots, your umbrella, your bedsheets, your bed mattress, your socks, your underpants, your toothbrush, your hankerchief, your knife and fork that’s stuffs that pie from abroad into your mouth. Oh and by the way – ties aren’t British. Or Western. Learn up, eh?
        Do you want me to go on?
        Costumes? Is that how you talk? Costumes…oh really? How pretentious are you?
        Is that what you ask for walking into Moss Bros.? “eh, I’m looking for a new costume…”
        Cool. I bet you’re dressed like a lemon. LOL.

        Firstly, we don’t tend to wear pyjamas on the streets. Some Indians wear an outdoor equivalent of them. I don’t mind them at all and they look quite comfortable, not particularly warm, but comfortable all the same. That isn’t any problem for anybody.
        What is the problem is covering one’s face to almost it’s entirety and walking about in public with it. Personally, I don’t care. It doesn’t affect me at all. I have nothing at all to do with these people or them with me. The two of us have no connection between each other whatsoever.

        Racist, offensive, intolerant and arrogant – no, you are mistaken. But you can add “far better educated”, “understands the need to integrate”, “needs to attend English class”, “needs to produce less numbers of children”, to that list of yours.
        The vast majority – in case you don’t know – who wear this stuff, are immigrants from the third-word. Indescribably backward nations like Sudan, Niger, Algeria, Bangla Desh, Pakistan. The majority are completely uneducated – because they are women. They’re flown in from a society that operates as if it’s still in the 7th century and that’s why they are wearing this stuff. They’re from dusty-town or desert environments and nothing like what we have. They are fish out of water. I’d doubt that many of them are even half-knowing that their attire raises some questions.
        By all means you can have sympathy for them, but don’t tar me with that same sympathy brush. I don’t share your empathy. They don’t interest me enough.
        I’m surrounded by them and trust me on this, most of them haven’t got a clue what’s going on. They live hand to mouth, meal to meal, day to day. They don’t do “life planning” as we know it, weekend trips away, holidays abroad other than a visit back home, excursions out to the countryside. If you ever see one sitting in the cafe of your local Waterstones having just bought themselves this month’s best seller, do let me know. Everything that they DO do centres around Islam and there ends.
        This is why only 5% ever end up in a white-collar job. That’s an indication of the difficulties with assimilated integration. Many who arrive here had never stepped out from their front door for work before, so it’s a terribly big ask that we expect this from them when they get here. Their Islamic practice dictates they do not and should be home being mother to as many children as they as a family can afford. That level of affordability – opportunity given to them here does not compare to what they had before. Upon arrival on out shores they can instantly afford to have twice as many children. Today, the average number of children within a Muslim household if four.

        Why are you talking about visiting a country? We are NOT talking out tourists in Britain, but Islamics that have come to LIVE here. Or isn’t there a difference in your book?
        As a matter of fact, in a number of circumstances that I could list for you, there are very strict codes of attire in place for a great number of places for a westerner person visiting an Islamic country. Your imagination is running riot if you think it is a free-for-all. It is not. You are ignorant of the facts of the matter.

      2. Well you make my point for me. Most of our attire comes from third world origins. Yes they are costumes. Nothing pretentious about it and no I am not dressed like a lemon. It is your use of language – third world sand monkeys – that is rude and racist. I am afraid you do nothing but stereotype.
        There is indeed a problem. I think these immigrants should not be dumped in enclaves and great effort should be made to ensure they are assimilated and integrated. That is the nub of the problem. Vilifying and stereotyping do not help solve problems. It leads to isolation and creates the very problems you identify.

    1. Thank you for that Pizzuti. But I would find it hard to form any relationship without seeing the full human expression of another person’s face.

      1. Well I am not used to doing that Pizzuti. I am used to seeing the whole face and understanding what it reveals. There are many subliminal messages to be gleaned. The eyes, while expressive, do not communicate sufficiently for me. I find it unsettling.

      2. Unsettling? Really? That’s interesting. I feel like I can get everything I need to know from eyes and voice. And if I had to pick one or the other, I’d go with voice. I don’t personally know anyone that wears a burka but I don’t think Id have any problem being friends with someone who did. Of course if I were to marry I think I’d like to see their face first 🙂 But really I don’t think it’s any of my business what people wear. We all get one life to live and it’s our choice how we want to live it. If wearing a burka makes you happy, more power to you. To each his own.

      3. How racist, offensive, intolerant and arrogant of you.
        Isn’t that very short-sighted of you because you could play the game with her called “guess what I’m wearing underneath?.
        Games Without Frontiers…

      4. Pizzuti – it does not work that way for me. I find the face very expressive and I find anything that hides the face unsettling. I would find the same thing if someone was wearing a balaclava. It adds a sinister aspect. Reading a face is more than the eyes there are hundreds of muscles that confer emotion and communicate that add to the picture. That is why hoodies are threatening.
        I would support the right of people to wear them but I do not like it one bit. I do believe that they are oppressive and misogynistic and that a lot of women are coerced into wearing them. That creates an additional unease for me. Then there are the signals of extreme religious views which again I do not like.

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