UK rules out Burkha ban; protest against French ban, in London today


by Sunny
11th April, 2011 at 10:07 am    

The Home Office released this statement yesterday:

It is not for government to say what people can and cannot wear. Such a proscriptive approach would be out of keeping with our nation’s longstanding record of tolerance. Accordingly we do not support a ban on wearing the burka.

That’s a welcome statement. There’s also a demo today at the French embassy to protest against the French ban, which comes into effect today.

Monday 11 April, 6pm
Outside the French Embassy: 58 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7JT (nearest tube Knightsbridge)
Called by Unite Against Fascism and One Society Many Cultures


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  11. Sajini W

    Interesting position from our Home Office. Anti-burkha ban protest outside French Embassy tonight. http://bit.ly/h1ebPz




  1. Rumbold — on 11th April, 2011 at 10:24 am  

    Good.

  2. jamal — on 11th April, 2011 at 10:36 am  

    this ridiculous ban seems like a desperate attempt by the sarkozy government to appeal to the radical right in France.

  3. Hermes — on 11th April, 2011 at 10:56 am  

    Why ban the Burkha. It is just a new fashion statement by all those young Muslim girls wanting to tease men and keep them guessing what’s going on underneath all that cloth. Rather sexy really.

  4. douglas clark — on 11th April, 2011 at 11:04 am  

    Yes.

    There is an interesting thread to your right called ‘The Burkha should not be banned’. It is fascinating that the UK government agrees with Pickled Politics :-)

  5. damon — on 11th April, 2011 at 11:28 am  

    The country must be totally split on this I’m guessing.
    At least I hope so. And it offers huge scope for civil disobedience, with masses of people – not even all muslims, donning niqabs in public and flauting the ban.

    And if the French wont do it, some plucky Brits must cross the Channel and lead the way.
    This is one of the few direct actions that I would support.

    Or should we just say: ”Vive la différence” … and let the French get on with it?

  6. earwicga — on 11th April, 2011 at 11:40 am  

    Pretty sure the opinion polls in France showed majority support for the ban damon.

  7. earwicga — on 11th April, 2011 at 11:43 am  
  8. Nikki — on 11th April, 2011 at 12:10 pm  

    Now see I support the ban. Living near Birmingham, I see the niqab quite frequently and it strikes me as nothing more than segregation, because who is going to start up a random conversation or ask a question to someone whose face you can’t see?
    I don’t like segregation. I want everyone to get along. If this ban helps to stop the segregation, even slightly, then I am all for it.

  9. damon — on 11th April, 2011 at 12:19 pm  

    Nikki, would you ban this guy’s shorts too?

    http://freethinker.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/daisydukes.jpg

  10. meatpie — on 11th April, 2011 at 12:36 pm  

    Don’t ban the burka, but ban people burning holy books in there own back gardens.
    Ban martin smith and his grotesque affected cockney accent and shit retro clothes as well.

  11. platinum786 — on 11th April, 2011 at 1:07 pm  

    It’s good to see the government doing the right thing. Not only is banning the burkha against the tolerant principles of Britain, but it is also counter productive. The women who refuse to go out without wearing a burkha will simply stop going out unless the absolutely need too. Maybe that’s what France wants, i know there are plenty in Britain who’d be glad if the Muslims would just disappear.

    I love how someone posting on the internet, from behind a computer screen, using a screen name, can claim they can’t/don’t want to communicate with people who they can’t see.

  12. Kismet Hardy — on 11th April, 2011 at 2:43 pm  

    Funny that it’s blokes like this dude who wants the burkha banned the most…

    http://www.marcvallee.co.uk/blog/2010/03/edlgeert-wilders-protest-05-03-10/

  13. Yakoub — on 11th April, 2011 at 3:40 pm  

    I see Denis MacShane is berating the BBC on twitter for saying the law is a ban on burka when the law actually doesn’t say that. Okay, I gather the law doesn’t specify burkas, but everyone and his horse knows that’s what the law MEANS, just as we all know about Den’s admiration for looney Zionists like Mad Mel, his “deep disdain for Islam” (to quote William Dalrymple), and his feeble attempts to represent Tariq Ramadan as a supporter of terrorism.

  14. douglas clark — on 11th April, 2011 at 3:49 pm  

    Yakoub,

    Any link? If, for any reason my blood pressure were heading down, I only have to read Melanie Phillips for it to go back up again. And they have her on the moral maze. It is beyond a laugh…

    She’s a deaf dumb and blind kid, sure plays a mean pinball…

  15. Sarah AB — on 11th April, 2011 at 4:16 pm  

    Nikki – there are many reasons people might wear the veil – it makes them feel more comfortable because it’s the norm in their culture, they want to make a political statement, purely religious reasons, they are pressured into it. As Platimum said, it’s the latter group that might need some support – and they are exactly the people whose lives are probably going to be limited still further by such a ban.

  16. douglas clark — on 11th April, 2011 at 4:45 pm  

    Sarah AB @ 15,

    I think you are the voice of reason. Despite my conclusion that the burka should not be banned, see the thread to your right, I am still a bit uncomfortable with the fact that the burka seems to have been a post 9/11 political statement.

    By men. Using women.

    That is not to say that women shouldn’t have a right to cover their faces, it is to say that it is political. And not, necessarily, what women want.

    Not to deny that some muslim women want it exactly, just that not all muslim women want to be politicised.

    I suspect there is a degree of coercion in all of this, but it would take muslim women to stand up and be counted, and that’s not going to happen. They are wives and daughters of Stockholm Syndrome, and we know where that leads.

    Just my opinion.

  17. Kerry — on 11th April, 2011 at 5:10 pm  

    The Burka is not a religious requirement at all; it is a Saudi wahabi device that was invented to cover up women lest they get raped because men cannot be considered responsible for their actions.

    There is nothing liberating about it at all.

    It is disgusting symbol of oppression that legitimises rape; excuses rape.

    It has no place in the western world, it is against every tenet we hold dear and if any women genuinely feel a ‘cultural’ need to wear it and absolve men of any responsibility for rape they should go to a country where that culture is practised and women need to be covered up lest they get raped.

  18. Sarah AB — on 11th April, 2011 at 5:17 pm  

    Kerry – I think some, if not all, of what you say is compatible with opposing a ban. This links to an interesting article

    http://normblog.typepad.com/normblog/2011/04/not-this-time-la-libert%C3%A9.html

    I heard a French woman on the news today comparing stopping women wearing the veil with stopping someone committing suicide. Which seemed a bit exaggerated.

  19. douglas clark — on 11th April, 2011 at 5:31 pm  

    Sarah AB,

    It is quite clear that women will fracture along frankly political lines. It is not at all clear that women are fracturing along religious lines. Without, at the very least, influence from mad and sad muslim men.

    That is frankly evil and wrong.

    Those muslim men?

    Well, fuck them.

  20. Kerry — on 11th April, 2011 at 5:36 pm  

    All of what I said is true and none of what I say is ‘is compatible with opposing a ban.’

    Some real mental gymnastics there, Sarah.

    Many Muslim countries already ban the Burka so not only is it not a religious requirement, it is not a cultural requirement either.

    The Burka exists only to absolve men for the responsibility of rape. The Burka says that any women who doesn’t wear can be raped and it will be her own fault. The Burka says that women are just pieces of meat that need to be covered up, lest men rape them.

    Anyone who wants to wear the Burka should go and live where women can be raped because they are not covered from head to toe in some surreal medieval contraption and it is their own fault.

  21. Sarah AB — on 11th April, 2011 at 5:57 pm  

    Thanks Douglas – I think at least *some* women choose to wear it on their own account though.

    Kerry – All I meant was that it is possible to disapprove of something very strongly, yet not want it to be banned. I personally do not care to see a woman wearing a niqab, accompanied by a man in very casual Western clothes. But I come across lots of things I don’t care for …

    Your points have more force in relation to countries where religious dress is imposed. And in any case, even if the burka does reflect a completely offensive ideology in the way you suggest- is banning it the answer? Swastikas aren’t banned in the UK, for example.

  22. douglas clark — on 11th April, 2011 at 6:05 pm  

    Sarah AB @ 21,

    Well, that was all the point I was trying to make.

    It is not to deny that some women make it out of choice. It is to say that some don’t. I think that is undeniable. And I think that is evil.

  23. chairwoman — on 11th April, 2011 at 6:07 pm  

    Damon @9

    G-d, yes!

  24. abdul abulbul emir — on 11th April, 2011 at 6:57 pm  

    Mrs A says:

    I hope these ladies are wearing the practical M & S machine washable Burkhas that are all the rage down Tower Hamlets.

    They don’t even have to be ironed Abdul.

    It does my heart good to see them flapping about on the washing line.

    Though I do wish they’d take them off first.

    These sex crazed westeners don’t even know what we wear underneath .

    I could look like Carla Bruni for all they know.

    Mr A adds: Mrs A does NOT look like CB let me assure you.

    Peace

  25. Richard — on 11th April, 2011 at 7:16 pm  

    17 – one of the things we hold dear in the West is freedom of expression. Including freedom to dress like a complete tit.

  26. Kerry — on 11th April, 2011 at 7:27 pm  

    Yes Sarah, banning it is the answer. It says that women in the west are not meat to be covered up or get raped and anyone wanting to do that is in the wrong place. It says people that want to come to western countries and purposefully segregate themselves won’t be tolerated and it says that medieval attitudes and their offensively oppressive medieval costumes are not OK, not even remotely.

    Your equation with the swastika is odd, to say the least. The Nazis didn’t invent it by any means and it continues to be used to this day globally as a symbol of good luck.

    Richard, freedom is not free and allowing this perverted, backward hatred have any kind of legitimacy in the west will cost us all freedom in the end.

  27. halima — on 11th April, 2011 at 7:54 pm  

    Hope the protest at the Embassy is huge. Shame on France and I am very very, proud to be British today. What was the French Revolution about? Inalienable rights?

    If I were in France today I would wear the veil and I would take the French government to the European Court of Human Rights if I was arrested.

    Does anyone have a legal opinion on whether the French government could be taken to court?

  28. Yakoub — on 11th April, 2011 at 8:04 pm  

    @douglas clark

    Just search “Denis MacShane” on Islamophobia Watch.

  29. Boyo — on 11th April, 2011 at 8:39 pm  

    “I love how someone posting on the internet, from behind a computer screen, using a screen name, can claim they can’t/don’t want to communicate with people who they can’t see.”

    LOL

    Is it possible to be against a ban in the UK but nauseated by the Burkha? I hope so, because I’d hate to think all the right-ons here who claim to stand for equal rights etc really supported a medieval device to deface women and promote the idea that if they flash so much as an ankle they deserve to get raped. They wouldn’t support that, would they?

    On a technical point, I’m not sure if most people here understand the basis of the ban – they’re comparing our culture in the UK to the French, which is a bit arrogant tbh. On one hand they’re saying – these women (or the men who force them) have a right to their own cultural choice, but the French, who have a constitution which insists on certain values – and indeed a law that enables them to pass certain measures and is supported by most French people – are not.

  30. Boyo — on 11th April, 2011 at 8:51 pm  

    Oh, and to respond to the inevitable Sophism of – are you saying these women are not French? – I’m saying:

    - what right have we foreigners got to impose our cultural values upon them?
    - that’s French culture and anyone who lives there, whether French-born or not, has to accept that, as we expect everyone to abide by our glorious tradition of tolerance, self-loathing and Strictly Come Dancing

  31. KB Player — on 11th April, 2011 at 9:05 pm  

    Some of the French burkha wearers have been giving two fingers to the law and wearing it in protest. That rather belies the image of them as bullied, cowed women.

  32. Dr Paul — on 11th April, 2011 at 9:55 pm  

    Perhaps we should ask why it is that some Muslim women are actually wearing these things? What makes these Muslim women who came from or whose families came from sub-Saharan Africa or the Indian sub-continent wish to wear something that was usually limited to the most backward-looking Islamic areas? What is the appeal of this extremely austere variety of Islam? Merely to condemn without asking why this is happening is not helpful.

    Much as I don’t like this attire, I would oppose any law to ban it. A liberal society should be able to accept all manner of weird and wonderful apparel, and if women wish for religious or other reasons to walk around in a tent, then that’s up to them. On the other hand, I am not neutral in that whilst I defend the right of women to wear this clothing if they so wish, I would defend rather more enthusiastically the right of a Muslim woman not to wear it if she is being forced to do so by means of family or other ‘cultural’ pressure.

  33. douglas clark — on 11th April, 2011 at 11:02 pm  

    Dr Paul,

    Your concluding paragraph is more or less what I think too.

  34. joe90 — on 11th April, 2011 at 11:03 pm  

    freedom of expression lol only if your non muslim it seems

  35. joe90 — on 11th April, 2011 at 11:09 pm  

    post #17

    “It is disgusting symbol of oppression that legitimises rape; excuses rape.”

    really hmmm tell me that after you close all the strip clubs, ban pornography and have 0 tolerance for prostitution or is that what liberates the women in your world you hypocrite!

  36. douglas clark — on 11th April, 2011 at 11:10 pm  

    joe90,

    How is that exactly? It seems to me that muslim men are using muslim women in a political way. Do you recall this burkha fixation prior to 9/11?

    I don’t.

    It seems to me to be a sexual politicisation. There are some elderly muslim men that wear strange gear that covers their arses too. The fact that no-one would fancy them anyway is completely lost on them.

    Just saying joe90.

  37. Salman — on 11th April, 2011 at 11:58 pm  

    Nikki
    “Now see I support the ban. Living near Birmingham, I see the niqab quite frequently and it strikes me as nothing more than segregation, because who is going to start up a random conversation or ask a question to someone whose face you can’t see?”

    Yeah right Nikki cos people start up conversations with total strangers all the time in our country…

  38. douglas clark — on 12th April, 2011 at 12:22 am  

    Salman,

    Do you recall this burkha fixation prior to 9/11?

    I don’t.

  39. John — on 12th April, 2011 at 3:56 am  

    Any demos outside Saudi embassy?

  40. douglas clark — on 12th April, 2011 at 6:21 am  

    John @ 39

    Probably not, strange that int’it?

    100% of muslim women are apparently so subdued that they will all march in favour of the burkha and none against. It is like a North Korean election.

    Frankly I don’t believe in that sort of solidarity.

    Someone – usually men – are up to something. It is up to muslim women to tell them to fuck off. But they don’t. It is a sad and bad place to be.

  41. Sarah AB — on 12th April, 2011 at 7:01 am  

    I also pretty much agree with Dr Paul’s 2nd para.

    Boyo – although I do acknowledge and respect France’s different culture, and personally wouldn’t go on a march against their new law, I think there is a limit to how far we should simply accept other countries’ laws because ‘it’s their culture’. Such laws against the veil seem to be the ironic mirror image of Iran’s dress codes – perhaps with the difference that prescribing Islamic dress for women (and men) isn’t really part of Iran’s culture, I don’t think.

  42. douglas clark — on 12th April, 2011 at 7:11 am  

    Sarah AB @ 41,

    So the dress code

    Such laws against the veil seem to be the ironic mirror image of Iran’s dress codes – perhaps with the difference that prescribing Islamic dress for women (and men) isn’t really part of Iran’s culture, I don’t think.

    is OK if it is proscribed by a religion and not a state?

    I don’t agree with that.

  43. Sarah AB — on 12th April, 2011 at 7:26 am  

    I suppose religions can prescribe (or proscribe!) what they like. But the state shouldn’t impose religious injunctions on people.

  44. platinum786 — on 12th April, 2011 at 8:13 am  

    @ Boyo:

    I understand totally why people don’t like the Niqab. It’s really quite alien to British society in it’s physical form, as well as the politics it stands for. Now not all those who wear it, use it as a political statement, not all those who wear it are forced to do so, but some are. But then wasn’t the whole punk thing about dressing in an offensive and rebellious manner? That was tolerated, as should the Niqab, as should those horrible carrot jeans and men in skinny jeans generally.

    I don’t think people should wear a Niqab, I don’t think it’s required as far as my understanding of my own religion goes, but if people want to do so, I’m not going to stop them, or tell them not to, and I don’t think anyone else has a right to either.

  45. douglas clark — on 12th April, 2011 at 8:26 am  

    Sarah AB @ 43,

    Thanks for the correction on the English. Though I think proscribe was right in context. English grammarians may disagree. Then again, English grammarians may have little to add to the discussion. Indeed, English grammarians are probably a waste of space.

  46. Sarah AB — on 12th April, 2011 at 8:30 am  

    I wasn’t quite sure *which* you meant actually – both worked.

  47. douglas clark — on 12th April, 2011 at 8:43 am  

    Sarah AB,

    I’d rather engage you on the ‘facts’ of this thread.

    muslim men, apparently, rule, and muslim women don’t.

    A lot of commentators, including our good host, don’t care about that.

    It seems to me that women are being exploited and controlled by muslim men. I think that is wrong.

    So, there you go.

    That’s what I think.

    I expect the Stockholm Syndrome chicks to spew their shit on here any time now…

  48. damon — on 12th April, 2011 at 9:06 am  

    freedom of expression lol only if your non muslim it seems

    What are you ‘lol’ing at joe90? Doing your victim thing as usual?

    It seems that most people here don’t support a ban even if they don’t like it, and those that do have their reasons. It is a miserable garment in general, but can be just a rebellious ”look at me” come-on tease too. In Dubai last year, I was driven to distraction by the alluring eyes looking out from niqabs. And still remember the image of this woman, Aishah Azmi – the teaching assistant from Dewsbury sacked for wearing the niqab in class in 2006.

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2006/10/azmiPA_228x327.jpg

  49. Sarah AB — on 12th April, 2011 at 9:30 am  

    Douglas – er, it’s quite possible to be bothered about the way in which religion drives inequality between the sexes, and think that generally, if not in each individual case, the niqab reflects religious inequality, and still be against a ban. You can make lucid objections to various Western practices, such as cosmetic surgery, and still not want to *ban* them. (Obviously such things aren’t compulsory in the way Islamic dress is in some countries – but the parallel might work within a European context.)

    I dare say Sunny is concerned about it – at least, I believe this site strongly supports Southall Black Sisters etc. (Though I still think his interview the other day polarised the Sharia law question too much by excluding some middle ground.)

  50. douglas clark — on 12th April, 2011 at 11:34 am  

    Sarah AB @ 49.

    It is not at all obvious that our good host stands up for women rather than religious observancy. The article above would suggest not. This is not Sunny’s finest hour.

    And I count myself as a friend….

  51. Kismet Hardy — on 12th April, 2011 at 1:44 pm  

    People having the right to wear what they like is indeed a cornerstone of freedom. My muslim cousin in hotpants springs to mind. And speaking of strong muslim women, if my dad tried to make my mum wear a burka, she’d spade him in the head…

  52. kELvi — on 12th April, 2011 at 2:44 pm  

    Some of the French burkha wearers have been giving two fingers to the law and wearing it in protest. That rather belies the image of them as bullied, cowed women.

    Exactly backwards. They are well and truly under the control of their menfolk, if not brainwashed. They fear the law at home much more than the law of France.

  53. jamal — on 12th April, 2011 at 3:31 pm  

    the women wearing the burqa don’t have a problem with it.

    but what i have seen and read in general a lot of white men have a big problem it.

    i say let the women wear it if they want and the people who have an issue with it just get a life.

  54. Kismet Hardy — on 12th April, 2011 at 3:35 pm  

    That’s like saying ‘I say let the women who stay with abusive husbands stay if they want and the people who have an issue with it just get a life.’

    A lot of abused women will tell you to butt out if you try to intervene. doesn’t mean they don’t need our concern or promise of protection

  55. jamal — on 12th April, 2011 at 3:45 pm  

    kismet your argument makes no sense, women who have been asked say it’s their choice to wear it have you bothered to ask them or read the reports of women wearing the burqa?

    http://www.asianage.com/international/burqa-empowers-women-says-british-minister-968

    I see too many white men like the french politicians deciding what the women should wear, instead of the women being asked themselves!

  56. Sarah AB — on 12th April, 2011 at 3:52 pm  

    It’s a bit different though Kismet? I’d be very grumpy if someone came along and told me not to wear makeup, high heels, a wedding ring or whatever because they were signs of oppression. But clearly there must be some women who are being pressured into wearing the veil, in a way I assume women aren’t pressured into wearing makeup. But I still don’t think a ban is the right response.

  57. Kismet Hardy — on 12th April, 2011 at 3:52 pm  

    I know it seems tenuous, but a lot of domestic violence cases fall through because the women, through a myriad of reasons that range from fear to misplaced loyalty to stockholm syndrome, refuse to blame the man. It’s their choice to stay, so the law and do-gooders should leave her to try please her husband in the hope life will be better for her.

    It’s still abuse. And a woman with a religious nut (husband or father) that insists women must be covered up will find excuses for him

  58. jamal — on 12th April, 2011 at 4:05 pm  

    kismet

    do you consider women wearing the bikini a sign of an abused women how about a woman wearing the most make up maybe her boyfriend forced her to look like that a women will find excuses for him, right?

    you don’t know until you ask or have evidence. Your statements are labeling anyone who wears burqa as abused that is just nonsense.

  59. douglas clark — on 12th April, 2011 at 4:34 pm  

    jamal,

    You sir, are just nonsense. Please feel free to make a decent case rather than the daft one you did @ 58.

    Thanks.

  60. Kismet Hardy — on 12th April, 2011 at 4:53 pm  

    “you don’t know until you ask or have evidence”

    Jamal. I do. It’s what happens when women talk to you because you’re a mate and they see you as a mate because you don’t treat them like weaklings that need to be told how they should act

    (PS. a lot of women wear make-up and bikinis to GET men and impress other girls. They’re lovely complicated joys, women. I highly recommend you meet one)

  61. douglas clark — on 12th April, 2011 at 5:15 pm  

    I highly recommend you meet one.

    Me too. It seems to me that jamal is a bit solitary.

    Just saying.

  62. Kismet Hardy — on 12th April, 2011 at 5:21 pm  

    Nothing wrong with solitary, mind. Some of the best sex I’ve ever had was by myself. Although dolly always watches. Who’s a good little rubber sheep? Mwah, mwah. Ooh, dolly in a burka? I have to go now

  63. douglas clark — on 12th April, 2011 at 6:15 pm  

    Kismet Hardy,

    Yes, I suspected as much ;-)

    Anyway:

    I am just a poor boy, baby
    Lookin’ to connect
    But I certainly don’t want you thinkin’
    That I ain’t got any respect

    But if you got to go
    It’s all right
    but if you got to go, go now
    Or else you gotta stay all night

    You know I’d have nightmares
    And a guilty conscience, too
    If I kept you from anything
    That you really wanted to do

    etc, etc….

  64. Boyo — on 12th April, 2011 at 6:18 pm  

    @ 44 Plat – yes, I agree that’s why I’m against a ban in the UK too.

    @ 41 Sarah – well, I think it’s worth stepping bac for a moment and taking stock, from a “progressive” point of view. There’s a clear conflict here between visions – one which interprets progressive to mean anyone has a right to dress or comport themselves as they please, regardless of meaning, another which is guided by very strict post-Enlightenment principals which were ardently secular.

    The former more closely mirrors the UK view, the latter the French. My personal view mirrors the French which regards the Niqab as an act of barbarism which should have no place in a civilised society, and it is wishful thinking to think that an “anything goes” attitude will result in the best, or indeed is “progressive” in any sane way (what next, a right to carry guns?). However, I accept that the UK is far removed from the kind of crisis that led to the establishment of the French Constitution, and until it is, any ban would (literally) not make sense.

  65. douglas clark — on 12th April, 2011 at 6:24 pm  

    Boyo,

    How long do you think the fashion will hold? I don’t think it will see out the teenie years. But there you go.

  66. Kerry — on 12th April, 2011 at 7:04 pm  

    Joe90

    “really hmmm tell me that after you close all the strip clubs, ban pornography and have 0 tolerance for prostitution or is that what liberates the women in your world you hypocrite!”

    Not one of them exonerates men from the responsibility of rape, nor is it specifically designed to you moronic hypocrite.

    Really, where do fools like you come from? Are you really going to tell me that the Burka wasn’t brought about to cover up women like pieces of meat who can be raped if they are don’t don a medieval contraption?

    And if you don’t know this, the very basics, go away and learn it before spouting off your crap.

    Muppet.

  67. Don — on 12th April, 2011 at 7:12 pm  

    Boyo,

    While I agree that the French perception of rights and obligations within civil society differs from that generally found in the UK for historical reasons, I strongly suspect that the ban has little to do with laïcité. Not that you implied that, but it is an issue worth addressing.

    For the state to intervene in matters of religion in the private sphere is far from secularist unless there is a clear and immediate harm, and I don’t see that this has been demonstrated. This ban is based on darker impulses than the Enlightenment.

    Full face covering may well have a number of motives and I doubt if any of them are healthy, from my world view. But my own wonderful world view doesn’t give me the right to dictate garments. It is a symptom of an ill, but dealing with an illness by excising the symptom is counter-productive.

    You may as well deal with the plague by slicing off buboes.

    We have covered this extensively and most regulars here have made their positions clear. Even people with whom I disagree most of the time have given arguments I can agree with. It isn’t healthy, it isn’t conducive to an affable society, it isn’t even a religious requirement. (Not that the last is a compelling argument, but I’d be prepared to entertain it out of courtesy).

    But you don’t get to tell people that they can’t show up on the street dressed as they please without an overwhelming reason. I agree you can’t go into a bank, jewelers or airport with your face covered, but just being seen in public as a criminal offence? No, different matter entirely.

  68. Don — on 12th April, 2011 at 7:22 pm  

    Joe90 #35

    And in societies where covering the female is customary or mandated one never finds men indulging in prostitution, pornography or rape? Or are they just less likely to be held to account?

  69. veritas — on 12th April, 2011 at 7:32 pm  

    Pakistan most sex-starved

    By Khalid Hasan

    WASHINGTON: Google, the world’s most popular Internet search engine, has found in a survey that mostly Muslim states seek access to sex-related websites and Pakistan tops the list. Google found that of the top 10 countries – searching for sex-related sites – six were Muslim, with Pakistan on the top. The other Muslim countries are Egypt at number 2, Iran at 4, Morocco at 5, Saudi Arabia at 7 and Turkey at 8. Non-Muslim states are Vietnam at 3, India at 6, Philippines at 9 and Poland at 10.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20065\17\story_17-5-2006_pg1_4

  70. veritas — on 12th April, 2011 at 7:35 pm  

    “… It was the nature of the pornography then being hunted within Muslim countries that was disturbing. Those searches showed then that Pakistan came top of the list of searches for a range of perverse interests.

    Google Trends data has been gathered since 2004. A search of all data for those using Google to seek out “child sex” from the years 2004 until now places Pakistan far ahead of any other country. Narrowing down the parameters, a search specifically targeted for the current year (2010) again shows that Pakistan tops the list of countries where internet users have searched for the term “child sex”.

    Google Trends can present data of searches carried out during every month and every year from April 2004 up until the present. Pakistan topped the list of Google’s internet searches for “child sex” in 2004, in 2005, in 2006, in 2007, in 2008, and in 2009.

    Just in case anyone argues that the data could refer to innocent searches made by developmental psychology students, Google Trends shows that when the term “child f***ing” is examined, across all years from 2004 until now, the highest amount of searches for this term came from Pakistan. Similarly, of all global Google searches for “naked child” from 2004 till now, Pakistan still tops the list. Google Trends reveals that of all global Google searches, from 2006 to 2010, for the term “child sex video” Pakistan was second in the world, only being outdone by Bangladesh (a country that was once officially part of Pakistan)…

    The nature of the pornography that is sought in Pakistan is bizarre. The most disturbing aspect is that child sex is sought on the internet more frequently in Pakistan than anywhere else in the world. Pakistan leads the world in Google searches for “baby sex”, for Heavens’ sake. It also leads the world in searches from 2004 to 2010 for “rape sex”, “rape video” and “rape pictures”.

    What I found in 2006 was that Pakistan also topped the list of Google Trend’s searches for animal sex. Over all years and regions, Pakistan still has the highest number of people Googling for “animal sex”…”

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=6eb_1277767032

  71. Boyo — on 12th April, 2011 at 8:16 pm  

    @68, no they have a simple way of demonstrating that rape, homosexuality etc does not exist – they don’t count it!

  72. Salman — on 12th April, 2011 at 10:05 pm  

    Birth rates in Pakistan suggest that the proposition it is “sex starved” is false

  73. joe90 — on 12th April, 2011 at 11:17 pm  

    post #66

    your hypocrisy is outstanding take a bow

    you consider a burqa a rape tortue equipment? that is more pathetic than some of the swiss commentators who wanted to ban minarets because they looked like rockets!!!

    stop embarrassing yourself because you don’t have 1 iota of proof to back up your claim except showing how sick your mind is.

  74. joe90 — on 12th April, 2011 at 11:23 pm  

    Watching french police arrest muslim women on the tv amazing french gov claim to liberate muslim women, but they are the ones oppressing them by arresting and harassing them are they blind or just plain stupid to what they are actually doing!

  75. Kismet Hardy — on 13th April, 2011 at 4:59 am  

    Much as I don’t agree with you Joe90 (especially about the shaky corrolations you drew over western women feeling liberated through pornography), the french police do seem be driven more by garden-variety racism than aiding liberation

  76. Boyo — on 13th April, 2011 at 5:06 am  

    @72 yeah, poverty, ignorance and domestic slavery has got nothing to do with it.

  77. Sarah AB — on 13th April, 2011 at 6:34 am  

    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/10418/

    There’s a very good piece on Spiked about this.

    Also I posted something on HP – linking to this thread as well.

    http://hurryupharry.org/2011/04/12/banning-the-burqa/

  78. Kismet Hardy — on 13th April, 2011 at 6:51 am  

    “A woman who truly believes that it is wrong to go outside without being covered up – and as Locke pointed out, you can’t magically change people’s beliefs through brute bans since ‘no man can, if he would, conform his faith to the dictates of another’ – will now potentially be imprisoned in her home. She will be less free.”

    Good bloody point

  79. Lamia — on 13th April, 2011 at 11:43 am  

    One can go round in circles for ever arguing about whether women are wearing the veil willingly or under coercion. The gneral principle stands that one should be allowed to wear what wants.

    Nevertheless, that is not where the matter stops. The issue isn’t simply about ‘wearing’ particular clothes, it is specifically about covering one’s face. What seems to have been left of this discussion so far is the right of other people and institutions not to have to deal with people who keep their face covered, and also, indeed, the requirement that the rest of us don’t do it either.

    It is already the case that you can’t cover your face in certain situations, e.g. in a bank, shops, dealing with the police. No one else is allowed to keep their face permanently covered in public. Wearing the Burka is an anomaly which has only lasted this long out of political correctness and fear of the usal cries of racism.

    So it’s not for us to defend the full application of laws and rules that apply to the rest of us, it’s for defenders of the Burka to justify why an exception should continue to be made for it.

    The ban on covering ones face permanently in public is there for perfectly good reasons – again, as noted above, there are recorded cases of shoplifters and terrorists using the Burka to conceal their identity. That is something defenders of the Burka have never addressed and usually can’t even bring themselves to admit.

  80. Shamit — on 13th April, 2011 at 1:23 pm  

    The State has no right to tell anyone what to wear except to cover their private parts when in public.

    Banks, airports, shops etc – yes people can be asked to remove their veil so they can be identified and rightly so.

    Rather than legality a common sense approach must be adopted in these cases and I think the French Government has messed up big time on this issue. This would trigger a challenge in the European Court of Human Rights and 9 out of 10 chances of this being declared null and void.

    However, no matter how much I think that the state should not impose dress codes on civilians there is no running away from the fact that many women are coerced into wearing the full face veil.

    There is also no running way from the fact that this does stop those who wear the full face veil from fully participating in society beyond their homes.

    In addition there are some places of Britain, where religious thuggery is quite an effective force such as Tower Hamlets for example – where wearing certain clothes or not being gay are enforced by thugs.

    Further there are schools in this country funded by the State which require young girls to wear “Islamic” uniform – and Panorama has made quite a few programmes on what those schools get up to. Nothing really that supports integration into wider society rather create more divide between Muslims and others seem to be their prime agenda.

    Legislating is not the best way to resolving this – neither is extending tolerance so far that society’s tolerance becomes the extremist’s best weapon.

    A Muslim woman asked me the other day when I said I oppose the French law but support stopping the coercion. She said the subtle coercion begins at home and mostly by parents and from a very young age – you are taught to abide by these “religious” rules – and her and her sisters and cousins all have been coerced into wearing the headscarves when they were young.

    It is often equated with being a good girl – and being accepted in the community and this too at a very early age.

    So what seems to be choice is nothing but an extension of subtle coercion from a very young age. So how the hell do you tackle that?

  81. roadrunner — on 13th April, 2011 at 2:24 pm  

    For the state to intervene in matters of religion in the private sphere is far from secularist unless there is a clear and immediate harm, and I don’t see that this has been demonstrated. This ban is based on darker impulses than the Enlightenment.

    France is not a secular state. It is a lay state. In matters of religion it is founded on laicite, it recognises no role for the first estate of priests and the nobility. The 1905 law on separation of church and state is meant to keep church out of affairs of the state, and holds all places of worship as a property of the local administration. The French state does not recognize a person’s religious identity in almost all respects. It might make an exception in the case of diet, because it is a matter of sustenance, while religion is not. As some laicite experts would say, religion is irrational, and cannot be discussed in meaningful way by a rational authority state. Article 1 of the French Constitution is very clear that France is a laique republique not a secular republic. Big difference.

  82. Kismet Hardy — on 13th April, 2011 at 3:00 pm  

    “She said the subtle coercion begins at home and mostly by parents and from a very young age”

    I suppose we’re trying to help the young girls you see (especially in east london) wearing D&G headscarves (girls aren’t required even by the hardcore to don the full burka until they reach ‘marriagable age’), and not necessarily the adults who believe it’s part of their faith.

    Speaking of fashion (and I think it’s worth reminding some people there’s a huge difference between the burka and the hijab, but as any hijab wearer will tell you, they get the same shit flung at them by intolerant types), there’s a huge line in hijab fashion at the moment.

    I’m loath to promote my webshite (it’s beta, forgive the crapness of layout), but you’ll find some pretty majestic examples here…

    http://www.asiana.tv/fashionfinder/uk/jaan

  83. Lamia — on 13th April, 2011 at 3:32 pm  

    “(I think it’s worth reminding some people there’s a huge difference between the burka and the hijab, but as any hijab wearer will tell you, they get the same shit flung at them by intolerant types)”

    I agree with that. I fully support the right to wear the hijab, there is no reasonable objection to it. Under a number of circumstances there are perfectly reasonable objections to the burka.

  84. Don — on 13th April, 2011 at 6:28 pm  

    Kismet,

    Love the menswear section. A couple of those are just me.

  85. Kerry — on 13th April, 2011 at 6:40 pm  

    @ Joe90

    “you consider a burqa a rape tortue equipment?”

    What are you on about now, you demented silly little man?

    You do indeed have a very sick mind. “rape torture equipment”? What?

    I said it is a device invented to absolve men from the responsibility of rape, you silly, silly little man. And it is. There is no basis for it in Islam. It is men who forced women to wear it lest they be raped.

    You ignorant, silly hypocritical little man. You don’t even know why it came into being but post such demented rubbish anyway.

    Here are a just three modern Islamic scholars and Islamic leaders on three different continents with their precise view on what happens to women who don’t cover up, and exactly whose fault it is:

    “An Islamic mufti in Copenhagen has sparked a political outcry after publicly declaring that women who refuse to wear headscarves are “asking for rape.”

    Source

    “The 78-year-old Egyptian-born scholar … Sheikh Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi … believes that female rape victims should be punished if dressed “immodestly” when assaulted…

    Dr al-Qaradawi’s views on rape appear on a website called IslamOnline, which purports to give a modern interpretation of Islam. He is the website’s chief scholar and leader of a group of Islamic academics who provide answers to questions posed by Muslims on moral issues.

    One question asked: “Are raped women punished in Islam?” A panel, headed by Mr al-Qaradawi, replied:

    “To be absolved from guilt, the raped woman must have shown some sort of good conduct . . . Islam addresses women to maintain their modesty, as not to open the door for evil.

    “The Koran calls upon Muslim women in general to preserve their dignity and modesty, just to save themselves from any harassment…

    “So for a rape victim to be absolved from guilt, she must not be the one that opens . . . her dignity for deflowering.”

    Source

    “… Muslim leader Sheikh Taj al-Din al-Hilali has savaged Australia in an interview on Egyptian television…

    The interview, in Arabic, was about the furore he created last year with a Ramadan sermon in which he compared scantily clad women with “uncovered meat”, suggesting that they were responsible for rape…

    “Is it the flies’ fault if the food is on display? If you put petrol and then add a spark, won’t the street be on fire?”

    Adib: “But where is the responsibility?”

    Sheikh Jindi: “The responsibility is first, second and third with the woman — then with the man.””

    Source

  86. douglas clark — on 13th April, 2011 at 8:46 pm  

    Kismet Hardy @ 82,

    The fact is that D & G is neither here nor there. You are coming across as a designer freak. Why should anyone care about the designer, when women are subjected by a lot of folk that are a lot cheaper than that?

    Do tell.

  87. jamal — on 13th April, 2011 at 8:57 pm  

    kerry

    stop taking the drugs instead of quoting telgraph and random uneducated imams do you have specific quotes from the quran to back your claim err no didn’t think so.

  88. Sarah AB — on 13th April, 2011 at 9:05 pm  

    Kismet – I’d got a bit bored of the burqa debate – so looking at your magazine made a nice change.

  89. Kerry — on 13th April, 2011 at 9:16 pm  

    Jamal

    Well done for the gratuitous ad hominem, but I guess that’s all you’ve have because I have already said, three times now, that women being covered head to foot is not a religious requirement but that men have forced women into Burka’s.

    And it is not the Telegraph being quoted, nor ‘random uneducated imams’ but influential Islamic scholars and leaders.

  90. Boyo — on 14th April, 2011 at 5:11 am  

    Isn’t Al-Q Ken Livingstone’s pin-up boy?

    Having said that, i think Cameron’s attack today on mass immigration is an outrageous diversion. Although it does show they’re getting worried.

    Woe is Labour for being so fucking hopeless at fighting back the past year. I didn’t vote for Ed, but after shafting his bro I thought he might at least have some fighting spirit, the wanker.

  91. AbuF — on 14th April, 2011 at 6:56 am  

    Burqa as obligatory; Dawinism as heresy – who said Joe90 and Jamal are not medievalist bigots?

  92. Kismet Hardy — on 14th April, 2011 at 11:02 am  

    *82

    Dougie, of course I’m a designer freak. I work in fashion. Have I not been coming across as shallow in my usual posts or something?!

    The D&G example is down to the fact that if these young girls were covering up on their own accord, then their fashion love, same as any other teen, belies their apparent blind devotion of the Big Man, is all.

    Anyhoo, discounts on designer outfits for all PP folk on me! :-)

  93. Dr Paul — on 14th April, 2011 at 12:10 pm  

    Lamia # 79: ‘The ban on covering ones face permanently in public is there for perfectly good reasons – again, as noted above, there are recorded cases of shoplifters and terrorists using the Burka to conceal their identity. That is something defenders of the Burka have never addressed and usually can’t even bring themselves to admit.’

    It can have its better uses, however. I know an Iranian left-wing woman who donned a hijab to escape from the mullah’s police, on the basis that they might not be able to recognise her. And it worked! They didn’t manage to identify her, and she was able to flee Iran.

  94. Tory — on 14th April, 2011 at 12:32 pm  

    ‘There’s also a demo today at the French embassy to protest against the French ban, which comes into effect today.’

    White Guardian readers demonstrating in favour of a medieval garb and obvious symbol of oppression. Possibly swapping halal recipes with Hizb ut Tahrir types whilst denouncing France, and Israel.

    It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre.

  95. Kismet Hardy — on 14th April, 2011 at 1:02 pm  

    Tory, do you by any chance happen to be think we should all get wet in the rain because hooded tops are the garb of the devil? One day they will come for your tweeds sir, and we won’t be there to help you

  96. Tory — on 14th April, 2011 at 1:39 pm  

    Of course I never said I supported a ban in the UK. The French police are already saying enforcement is going to be impossible in places they sadly refer to as Muslim areas. Its just sad you think tweed has the same symbolic significance and implications for integration as the medieval garb.

    Scrap that, you don’t believe that for a second. It just that happens to be the only argument left apart from telling me they want to dress like its the 7th century. How progressive.

  97. Kismet Hardy — on 14th April, 2011 at 1:53 pm  

    I don’t really disagree with you tory. Just that I don’t think anyone has the right to tell someone else what they should or shouldn’t wear. That’s what the demo was about. Only you think it was about saying the burka is alright by me, guv. It isn’t. The freedom to wear it bit is. If they succeed in banning one garb, how long before they come for my plastic underpants?

  98. Tory — on 14th April, 2011 at 2:22 pm  

    Also the freedom to be forced into wearing it.

    We tell people what not to wear all the time, like motorcycle helmets in shops or hoodies in Bluewater. Now you are going to tell me they aren’t public spaces. But you would be arrested if you wore a tee-shirt saying vile things about Mohammed in a Muslim area. Also, we still have laws about nudity and public decency.

    You are fighting for an absolute freedom that never existed. I’m just saying its ironic the demo is promoting notions of Anglo Saxon liberty, on behalf of people who fundamentally reject the most basic concepts of freedom and tolerance.

  99. Kismet Hardy — on 14th April, 2011 at 2:37 pm  

    “absolute freedom”

    Absolutely.

    I want to live in a world where people walk around in t-shirts expressing their beliefs rather than weilding baseball bats, hoodies to go shopping, and strange little hippies running around naked with their bollocks painted red shouting ‘ectoplasm’ in the name of enzymes if that’s what they want.

    I’ll take naive optimism over intolerent cynicism any day. And a packet of crisps

  100. ABEDA — on 20th April, 2011 at 3:48 pm  

    A AM A WEARER OF THE BURQA&FACE VEIL AND ABSOLOUTE LOVE IT!!!, A FEEL REALLY BAD FOR THE WHAT SHE BELIEVES TOBE AS THE LABEL GIVEN TO HER’ A LIBERATED MODERN WOMEN’ TRUTH IS SHE IS NO MORE THAN A SEX OBJECT FOR THE OPPOSITE GENDER WHO DESIGN HER MINIS IN A WAY SO THAT THEY CAN PERV UP HER BUM!!!
    AND SO GET A LIFE LOW LIVES!!!

  101. ABEDA — on 20th April, 2011 at 4:00 pm  

    AND JUST TAKE A LOOK AT A GOLDEN OLDEN DAY MOVIE, AND YOU’L NOTICE HOW AN AVERAGE MIDDLE CLASS WHITE WOMEN EVEN DONNED A FACE VEIL,DRESSED IN LOOSE MODEST GOWNS AND CLOTHING, AND THATS WHY IT WAS CALLED ‘THE GOLDEN DAYS’, AND BUT IT SEEMS THAT THE MORE WHAT WE THINK THAT WE MOVING AHEAD, THE TRUTH IS WE GOING BACKWARDS!!!
    A BLAME THE QUEEN!!!IF SHE DONNED A VEIL, SO WOULD THE FEMALE CITIZENS!!!ALLAH GUIDE THE QUEEN AND SHE SOON STARTS WEARING A BURQA!!! IN SHA ALLAH!/ALLAH/ GOD WILLING

  102. A.M — on 20th April, 2011 at 4:24 pm  

    A CHRISTIAN WOMAN CLAIMS 2 LOVE MARY AND SO DO MUSLIM WOMEN (AS THEY BOTH BELIEVE MARYAM/ MARY TO BE THE BLESSED MOTHER OF ISA/ JESUS, ALLAH/GOD BE PLEASED WITH THEM BOTH, AMEN) AND BUT HONESTLY LOOKING @ THE CLOTHING OF A MUSLIMA AND THAT OF A NON MUSLIM WHO CAN 1 HONESTLY SAY CLOTHING RESEMBLES MORE THAT OF MARYAM/ MARYS?, A FEMALE MUSLIMA? OR A CHRISTIAN WOMAN? A AGREE 100/. WITH U FAN’S OF BURQA’S THAT OF A FEMALE MUSLIMA!!! WITH HER FLOWING GARMENS, COVERED HAIR & BURQA (AS PORTRAYED IN CHRISTIAN CHURCHES ALSO) AND CERTAINLY AVE NEVER COME ACCROSS A PIC WITH HER CLOTHED YET NAKED!!! E.G A MINI, BOOB TUBE OR LITERALLY WHAT YOU CAN CALL 3 DORITOS!!! ANY DAY DO MAKE MINE A BURQA!!!
    AL-ISLAAM IS THE TRUTH AS BROUGHT 2 YOU BY MY&YOUR BELOVED, ISA/ JESUS (ALLAH’s BELOVED APOSTLE) AND INTENDED AS A WAY OF LIFE AS FOR ALL HIS CREATION BY NONE OTHER THAN THE 1 ABSOLOUTE CREATOR ALLAH!!!!!!!

  103. A.M — on 20th April, 2011 at 4:40 pm  

    A AIN CHEEKY
    A AIN BEING SNEAKY
    A MAY SEEM A LIL FREAKY
    A ABSOLOUTE BUT LOVE D BURQA!!!

  104. A.M — on 20th April, 2011 at 4:44 pm  

    A ASK ALL THE FEMALE CITIZENS JUST 2 TRY IT 4 A DAY!!! AS LIKE FAMOUS SAYING GOES YOU WONT KNOW IF YOU AINT TESTED&TRIED IT! AND SO PLEASE DONT SPEAK WITHOUT EXPERIENCE BUM CHUMS!!!

  105. Daria — on 20th April, 2011 at 4:55 pm  

    that’s what I call “the protest”

    http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/wear-headscarf-or-face-death-woman-told-in-britain-99665

    let’s fight for muslim’s right to do so! call for rally, Sunny

  106. A.M — on 20th April, 2011 at 5:01 pm  

    A BUNCH OF UNWRAPPED SWEETS, (AMONGST WHICH ONLY 1 WAS COVERED) WERE TOSSED INTO THE AIR AND COINSIDENTLY LANDED ONTO THE FLOOR, WHICH AS QUICKLY WERE PICKED UP AND OFFERED TO A A DISBELIEVING MALE, HAVING 2 PICK 1 THE GUY CHOSE THE WRAPPED UP ONE ( ALL KNOW @ HEART THE BEST!!!) AND WHEN ASKED, CONFIRMED ‘LESS LIKELY TO B DIRTY’ ANSAD D BELIEVA & DAT’S HOW WE LIKE OUR WOMEN 2BE ALSO !!!

  107. A.M — on 20th April, 2011 at 5:07 pm  

    ALL A CAN SAY TO THE LINK ABOVE, AS THAT WHAT GOES AROUND, AND COMES AROUND!!!
    A BELIEVING FEMALE FACES THAT ON A DAILY BASIS AND BUT BES BRUSHED UNDER THE CARPET, AINT ENEN ADVERTISED!!!

  108. Daria — on 20th April, 2011 at 5:10 pm  

    are you OK, A.M.?
    comparing women (also people if you don’t know) to things – bad taste/

    I think you women would also prefer as you have called it “wrapped sweets” lol

  109. Daria — on 20th April, 2011 at 5:16 pm  

    What do they face, your believeing women? death for non-wearing Burkha?
    are you sane? rethorical question, nevermind

    no “what goes around, comes around” here! as you have forgotten one thing – it’s not you stinky muslim country.

    in your muslim countries you attack non-muslims everyday – why are you coming to Europe? to turn it to another gutter?

  110. Don — on 20th April, 2011 at 5:42 pm  

    3 Doritos? I’m baffled.

    Other than that, do you really want to feed the troll?

  111. Don — on 21st April, 2011 at 3:04 pm  

    Yeah, but about the Doritos?

    WHEN IN THEIR OWN BACK YARD A PROSTITUTE LURKS EVERY CORNER!!!

    Damn you, Google Street View, damn you to hell.

  112. AbuF — on 21st April, 2011 at 10:20 pm  

    WITH HER FLOWING GARMENS, COVERED HAIR & BURQA (AS PORTRAYED IN CHRISTIAN CHURCHES ALSO)

    I know a little bit about Christian iconography – and I must admit, search as I might, I can find no image of the Virgin Mary in a burkha anywhere.

  113. KB Player — on 22nd April, 2011 at 8:58 am  

    I know a little bit about Christian iconography – and I must admit, search as I might, I can find no image of the Virgin Mary in a burkha anywhere.

    Knock one up and you might be in line for the Turner prize for something exciting and transgressive that interrogates etc etc

  114. AbuF — on 22nd April, 2011 at 6:31 pm  

    KB Player

    Ha ha!

    Presumably Herself would be wrapped in a deep blue Burkha (as opposed to the usual black or powder blue), with a hint of red underneath… these being here usual signals in such art.

    Ironically, the medieval artist’s palate sourced the lapis lazuli and carnelian used as pigments from Afghanistan.

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