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:
- Some women do not like being looked at by men and find the anonymity of the Burka safe.
- It is a political statement of a militant position.
- It is a religious statement of piety.
- It is the result of coercion or expectations emanating from parents, husbands, relatives and the community.
- It is a habit.
- It is a lack of self-esteem and confidence.
- It is a cultural requisite.
- It is a fashion.
- 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?