No sane, free person would choose to wear a burka

In all the fallout that is likely from Sarkozy’s statement on the non-acceptance of the burka in France I thought I would post this article which was generously brought to my attention by Vlad’s exceptional commenter Proud Kafir.

I think it’s important in this discussion to consider a few counter-intuitive things. Some Jews did vote for Hitler and some black people fought for the South. I mention this because, in fact, many women may claim that they want to wear the burka. Well, some blacks did fight for slavery and some Jews thought Hitler would be good for Germany, what with the price of gifelte and all after Versailles. So perhaps it may be time to look past what each may think in terms of personal preference. We didn’t seem to have any problems with that when we banned tobacco smoking from all non-Arab establishments in the western world. What people wanted to do was of small consequence when the juggernaut of municipal and other legislative bodies decided that smoke was bad and was to be eliminated no matter what. Unless you are Arab, of course, in which case it is your culture and you can have your hookah and smoke it too — unlike having an ashtray at any Ontario bar.

The argument I like the very least is the one at the end of this article:

“Kanwar, a Muslim who has written eight books, including one on the sociology of Islam, echoes Sarkozy’s comments. “The burka is not mandated by Islam or the Qur’an and is therefore not religious and protected under the Charter.”

The idea of using some absurd holy book as a basis for determining what is legal or no in France or Canada or frankly anywhere at all including, but not limited to, Saudi Arabia, is repugnant to me and should be to anyone. Imagine Canadian legislators bringing in imams or rabbis or priests to argue a point of biblical minutia in order to determine the legality of some bit of barbarity which they wish to make acceptable in a democracy. Sorry. Democratic nations have laws based on secular principles and constitutional ones. These are the only sources that should ever be considered for making a thing legal.

This may seem like I am driving a zamboni across by own behind and in a way I am. I disagree with Sarkozy’s attack of the symptom and not the disease. Even so, a case can be made for it if no other course of action is politically feasible.

Eeyore for Vlad:

No sane, free person would choose to wear a burka

A while back I was asked to give a talk at my kids’ school about my December 2003 trip to Afghanistan.

As I waited to be introduced, I hid in an auditorium storage room wearing a burka I bought in that war-ravaged country, thinking I’d be out in a minute, maybe two. But the introduction took a lot longer than I had anticipated and by the time I came out to greet all those shining faces, I was very nearly hyperventilating from the oppression of it. I didn’t time my self-imposed confinement to the burka, but I probably wore the suffocating tent-like garment with mesh over my eyes for no more than 10 minutes. I told the kids I felt like I was buried alive.

I also told them that while in Afghanistan, I asked all of the many women I met there whether they liked wearing a burka. Not one said yes. In fact, they all said they hated it almost as much as they hated the Taliban.

It’s no wonder. The burka’s toll on these women was harsh. Many had lost most of their teeth and hair as a result of not having enough vitamin D, which comes from the sun. During the time of Taliban rule–from September 1996 to November 2001 –no portion of their skin, save their hands, was ever allowed to be exposed to sunlight. Think about the horror of that. The Taliban insisted that homes with women in them had to blacken their windows, lest a man pollute his delicate sensibilities by gazing upon the uncovered face of a woman behind the glass.

On Monday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy stated during the first presidential address to a joint session of France’s two legislative houses of Parliament in 136 years, that the burka was “not welcome” in France.

“We cannot accept to have in our country women who are prisoners behind netting, cut off from all social life, deprived of identity,” said Sarkozy.

He’s right. Women in burkas don’t seem human. After just a short while in Afghanistan, women in their blue burkas seem like ghostly apparitions devoid of a face, individuality or humanity.

At first, when my translators would tap me on the shoulder and suggest I “take a picture of that burka over there,” I would gently correct them by saying, “you mean, that WOMAN in the burka?” In a couple of days, however, I too was referring to them as simply burkas.

In France–where it’s already illegal to wear any conspicuous religious symbol in state schools including a head scarf–a parliamentary committee is studying the issue of whether or not to allow women to cover their faces for supposedly religious reasons. As Sarkozy said, the burka is “not a sign of religion, it is a sign of subservience.” The Muslim Canadian Congress agrees and urged Canada’s government to ban the burka.

“The decision to wear the burka is by no means a reflection of the genuine choices of Muslim women,” said MCC president, Sohail Raza in a news release. “The argument that Muslim women opt to wear the burka does not withstand scrutiny when considering the repressive nature of orthodox Muslim society in general.”

Reached at his Calgary home, Mahfooz Kanwar, Mount Royal College professor emeritus of sociology and criminology, says many well-meaning Canadians believe it is “tolerant” to allow Muslim women the “choice” of wearing the burka.

“There is no choice involved in this, and allowing it will lead to intolerance,” said Kanwar.

“Some people say banning the burka would be a slippery slope and would lead to the banning of wearing a scarf over your mouth in the winter while outside,” said Kanwar. “But the real slippery slope can be seen in some Islamist ghettos in Paris or in Denmark, where non-Muslim women are harassed for not covering their hair to the point where they have been forced to start doing so to prevent verbal and physical attacks by semi-literate Muslim men. That’s the real slippery slope.”

Kanwar, a Muslim who has written eight books, including one on the sociology of Islam, echoes Sarkozy’s comments. “The burka is not mandated by Islam or the Qur’an and is therefore not religious and protected under the Charter. In Canada, gender equality is one of our core values and faces are important identifying tools and should not be covered. Period,” added Kanwar, who is also a director with the MCC.

Many French politicians are on the side of a burka ban including some prominent Muslim politicians like Fadela Amara, France’s cities minister. Amara has called the burka “a coffin that kills individual liberties,” and a sign of the “political exploitation of Islam.”

Funny, but “coffin” was a word several women I met in Afghanistan used to describe their burka. Consider the words of Massooda, a 36-year-old widow, who looked more like 60 as a result of her harsh life. “I will never wear a burka again,” she said defiantly. “They will have to put me in a coffin before I walk around in one again.”

That’s choice. No sane, free person would ever “choose” the burka.


© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

5 Replies to “No sane, free person would choose to wear a burka”

  1. While I completely agree that some holy book should never determine the laws of a secular nation, the sad fact of the matter is that people get away with all kinds of stuff because of religious freedom clauses in our founding documents. Islam isn’t a religion, however, and therefore should not be given exception simply because it masquerades as one. Islam needs to prove that it’s a religion, which it can’t being an atheistic and patently immoral ideology. Furthermore, the burka poses as serious threat public safety and the authorities recklessly endanger us whenever we allow people to walk around in them. People cover their faces because they intend to commit crimes. There’s no reason to assume that that’s not exactly what they’re up to when they do it, if not to commit a huge homicide bombing.

    The burka’s track record has proven me right:

  2. Ok jdamn claims that Islam is not a religion. Well this is an outrageous claim. I mean a religion is anything people who believe in it say it is right? Some people are Scientologists for Landru’s sake. So I decided to have a look at some sections of Koran that Jdamn recommended to see if I can understand her point.
    I did find this which as far as I can tell is 100% consistent with being a religion as its absurd, incomprehensible and mildly amusing:

    Koran: Sura 17:60

    “Naught prevented Us from sending the signs but that the ancients cried lies to them; and We brought Thamood the She-camel visible, but they did her wrong. And We do not send the signs, except to frighten. And when We said to thee, ‘Surely thy Lord encompasses men,’ and We made the vision that We showed thee and the tree cursed in the Koran to be only a trial for men; and We frighten them, but it only increases them in great insolence.”

    Here is a good one:

    “In the seventh heaven, Muhammad meets Abraham, has further visions, and receives the command that the Muslims pray fifty times daily. But returning, Muhammad passed by Moses, who asked him, “What have you been ordered to do?”

    I like this cause it is so transparently an attempt of an individual to put himself on the level of myth to steal authority from idiots. This might be a modern equivalent actually used by Robin Trower I think it was or a variation of this anyway. Trower didn’t go this far but he did try and claim that he actually became Hendrix on an acid trip once and was in fact him.

    “And lo there was many times the amount of acid in my drink that I did intend for their to be, and at my peak I did speak directly to Jimi Hendrix who did impart to me that indeed I was to be the speaker of great things in his stead and all should hearken to me as I do lay out my message with the noble Stratocaster and then I did happen upon Stevie Ray Vaughn who spake with fury that those in the plane of common existence would not accept my authority without question even though I had the sign of the Mesa Boogie. Didst though not know that with Stevie all things are possible?”

    Nope sorry jdamn, I do not see one thing yet that makes this not a religion. Still open to evidence on this though.

  3. We are mistaken to believe that the wearing of the burqua is not a religious matter and one of mere subservience; when referring to Islam the two are one in the same. Islam=subservience, subservience=Islam.

  4. Ali Sina once wrote a brilliant reply to a letter, in the form of an essay, titled “Smashing the Fear of Allah.” Among several fantastic points, he included the following one: “Would really an all powerful god need the help of humans to kill his detractors? If Muslims only thought about this question alone they would leave Islam. Alas this fear that their psychopath prophet has has placed in them is so strong that they are rendered incapable of thinking.”

    Earlier today I found myself thinking about more of these questions that could make mahoundians leave islam, if only they could break away from their permanent state of total mental submission to allah to ask them, and not take an imam’s quranic blabbing for an answer. Licia Corbella’s description of how the lack of vitamin D affects burka-wearing women in Afghanistan due to their lack of exposure to sunlight, which is something that I first read about a few months ago in the very article Jdamn provided a link to, helped me think of one: if allah “knows best”, why would his female slaves have to dress in a way that would not only affect their health and, as a consequence, their ability to breed jihadists and work as a household slave for them? And, furthermore, the health of their little vitamin-D-deficient future-jihadists themselves, already likely to have been made genetically weaker by inbreeding?

    In addition to that, one could consider the suitability of burkas, abayas, niqabs and even a great-coat-and-hijab combo to temperatures easily oscillating from 90ºF to 115ºF in most of the provinces of Mahoundistan; especially those located in the Arabian Peninsula, where such hellish weather is common all year round. In such scorching heat, if there is one thing that everyone should know about trying to prevent their body temperature from rising to dangerous levels is that several layers of thick clothing are definitely something to avoid. Of course, many mahoundians rely on that brilliant infidel invention called the air conditioner to offset the negative effects of their submissive dress-code insanity, but that is something certainly out of reach for most of those living in lands beset by inshallah-fatalism across North Africa and the Middle East. Individuals living in slums and cemeteries in Cairo are certainly among the ones who can’t afford to buy and/or power those cooling devices. Except for keeping female mahoundians warm in Swedish winters, therefore helping them advance their duty of demographic jihad against Sweden (with a great deal of aid and welfare money from its political elites as well), there isn’t really any practical reason that one could mention for those tents to be donned. And Mein Qurampf 33:59, the sura stating that “only veiled women shouldn’t be molested” cannot be used as a valid argument, for only to mahoundians could there be anything remotely truthful and divine about that nonsense. Nonsense which, in the light of burqa-wearing-induced vitamin-D deficiency, shows how allah (the imaginary) not only does not know best, but doesn’t know squat.

    And, going back to mahoundians in Scandinavia, they are a reason to ask another one of those questions that could challenge the “infinite wisdom” of allah (the imaginary), and one which I’ve seen many an infidel bring up as an example of mahoundianism inherent problems with its claims to being a perfect and absolute faith, and mahoundianism’s “holy” texts being the source of all knowledge anyone should ever want to have access to. If mahoundianism, according to Mein Qurampf, is supposed to rule the entire world, and one of its five pillars if fasting between dawn and dusk during ramadan, how can that be compatible with high-latitude locations when that stupid starving madness takes place in summer? The primitive Arab bedouins who concocted islam probably had no knowledge whatsoever of how there’s no sunrise and sunset for days on end around the Earth’s geographic poles in summer; or they probably didn’t consider how their extremely unhealthy, month-long daytime fasting madness would affect their brainwashed followers in Scandinavia when ramadan didn’t take place in seasons other than summer. The current solution to that problem? Mahoundians had to come up with something to fill up that gap, which their “all knowing, almighty” imaginary allah never remembered to include in Mein Qurampf, and which mahound’s companions never added to the hadith:

    “The obligation to fast from the first daylight to sunset might seem problematic for Muslims living in the polar regions where daylight lasts for several months during the summer months. Under such circumstances, Muslims usually follow the timetable of either the nearest major city with a normal day-night cycle, or that of Mecca. Although this solution is not specifically mentioned in the Qur’an or Hadith, it is an example of how Islamic doctrine can be adapted to local circumstances while still preserving its core tenets.”

    “An example of how Islamic doctrine can be adapted to local circumstances…” So how come “local circumstances” are never to include respect for secular laws, gender equality, gay rights, democracy, skeptical and scientific inquiry, non-Arabs, non-mahoundians (especially Jews) and so many other examples of pillars of Western Civilization that so completely contradict mahoundianism? Oh yeah, it would make it impossible for mahoundians to keep their supremacist jihad from going ahead, so there can be no flexibility here. But then, we could tell them that, for the fasting to be strictly observed in Scandinavian summers, they’d have to go without food and liquids for days on end; and, since allah is supposed to be so damn powerful, and it “does as he (sic) will”, shouldn’t it keep its followers alive even if under those circumstances if they’re not to disobey mahoundianism’s holy texts? Don’t they trust their allah to help them out, so that their actions won’t so clearly violate one of the five pillars of their sick little cult?

    It’s more than obvious that the supposed immutability, inflexibility and eternal perfection of allah’s will can and is applied selectively whenever it suits mahoundians.

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