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To ban or not to ban Burqa

I’ve heard many stories that Christians in Afghanistan and Pakistan have to wear a badge to distinguish them, and we know that Christian women have to wear a veil if she were to enter a mosque or if she was to walk in the street in some countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

If the first one about Christians in Pakistan and Afghanistan is right then the law is a bigot. The second one is right with the exception to some cities or compounds where people can enjoy their freedom as for other cities where it’s not allowed to walk without a veil I think it’s their right to do so at least because the society out there are not ready to see any part of the body other than the toes therefore they cannot break this protocol yet.

Now it's their turn to put laws and force to respect protocols not to distinguish us but to have us integrated in society, BBC World Have Your say running a poll and taking people comments about banning Burqa in Netherlands where I found many interesting opinions about the proposed ban.

Dr. H. Lauer
As a visitor throughout Afghanistan and Iran in the 1970s I put on a chadoor and burkha voluntarily to be around mosques. As a woman (from the USA) I found it a refreshing and liberating experience to be able to move around in public without being eyed as a sex object, which is the way I was brought up in a liberal westernized society where the size of my bottom and the shape of my chest determines my social worth. Guys, get a grip on why you resent so much women covering up in public. It is one way for us to overcome your social domination. Too bad. But it's true.

Indeed it helps to avoid being eyed as a sex object but it's still not clear to me what is the different between Niqab and Burqa and the comparison becoming harder and harder if we add Niqab, Burqa, Khimar, Chador, Hijab, Shayla to the list, you might think that these are just words referring to the same thing but it is not.

A flickr fellah have collection of four illustration that helped to understand the difference between them.

But now things aren't any simpler, Are they going to ban Burqa and leave Niqab? or do they refer to ban both of them? to me the only difference I can see between them is that with Niqab you can see women's eyes but not with Burqa, HEY LADIES is that kind of fashion style or is it the Burqa used in Afghanistan because of the heavy dust ? so it works as a religious symbol and eye protection, for me it sounds like it started Niqab and ended by Burqa because of the weather or ohh I don't know but I can't see why a dressmaker would make that style of Burqa

I am a Canadian woman living in Amsterdam. In principle i am against the burqa as an oppression of woman, and a barrier to integration, however, I am a firm believer in democracy. The Netherlands should put this to a referendum and let the people decide.

Tamara's opinion is also right because people might be annoyed by Burqa especially when they aren't used to seeing it, as according to Gerard who has been in for 20 years I've seen a burqa once or twice so why they are annoyed anyway? if the very minority wear it then it shouldn't be a problem unless there is no laws to protect minorities rights and if its that big then it should be acceptable as they are representing large scope of the population.

Michael commenting on the live interviews that BBC did in Amsterdam and it seems he's annoyed because they have interviewed men but not women when the issue is more related to women life

You have been talking about burkas for 45 minutes. Virtually all participants have been men. Do you expect anyone to take this seriously?

Michael add

Burkas are being presented as oppressive to women. Here in Amsterdam there are thousands of women walking around half naked. Does it ever occur to anyone that naked women are even more oppressed?

but I guess men has something to say when it comes to Burqa, for I want "WYSIWYG" (what you see is what you get), I don't want any surprises, maybe I can live with the Niqab but not Burqa.

Makes me ashamed to be a Dutchman. What happened to centuries of tolerance? Perhaps we need another 1941 strike in support of a different minority!

I'm not sure if I can talk about Hans's comment as I've never been to Netherlands and I don't know about the centuries of tolerance but in my country it's very acceptable to wear your favourite flavour of head cover but Burqa would look weird while Khimar is just fine.

[tags] burqa, khimar, hijab, chador, shayla, ban, Netherlands, Holland, bbc [/tags]


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