Many nations and territories are contemplating, drafting and passing legislation to deal with the issue of women’s Islamic clothing. This is indeed a very serious issue. But one which, in my opinion, is not being dealt with at all well by any of the nations I have read about so far such as Canada, (Quebec and other provinces) France, Belgium etc.
It would appear that most nations just wish to ban the garments by name or, ban them in some configurations, and still other people are arguing that Islam does not really mandate these clothes at all, so why submit to demands to allow them to be worn?
Both approaches are counter productive.
For one thing, you cannot protect the rights of women by removing women’s rights and that includes the right to wear whatever stupid burlap sack she may wish to wear on her head for religious reasons, and I say this even though I believe this has much more to do with the establishment of the primacy of Islam in ‘Dar Al Harb’ more than it has to do with any actual religious requirement. So yes, it is a political garb, and yes, we have to let them wear it or else being a free country means nothing.
So how do we fight the incursion of Islam and its draconian and misogynist rules?
The fact is, for all of liberal democracy until the birth of political correctness as a political force within free nations it was always understood that making one choice logically precluded certain other choices. It was also understood what freedom of religion actually meant.
It meant that a person was free to practice their religion without fear of the state pounding on their doors and burning them at the stake for calling their gods by other names or denominations.
It never meant that they could break the secular laws of the state under the flimsy excuse that their religion mandates it. In fact, it should be considered a fantastic thing by most people merely that they have the choice to make the choice.
Under Mulroney, Canada made a catastrophic mistake. I said so then, and maintain it now.
We allowed a man who chose to be a Sikh, to wear his turban with the official uniform of the RCMP.
Clearly Mulroney, as much as I liked him then as now, did not get the big picture.
That Sikh had the choice in Canada of being a Sikh without fear from the state or the Muslims next door. He had the choice of joining the RCMP and not being refused because he was a Sikh. But in no way should he have not had to make the choice between the uniform and the Turban.
Religion in Canada is NOT compulsory.
As no one has to be a certain religion, then there is no need for the state to accommodate any religious practices a person may have. That Sikh could have chosen to wear the turban in off hours, to quit that aspect of his religion, (I will not accept any argument that he cannot pick and choose what aspects of his religion to follow, all religious people do this and I mean all of them and Sikh’s routinely go to war with each other in Canada over degree of observance) He could also have chosen to accept his religion over being in the police since it would not fit the uniform.
The very notion of one choice precluding another seems to have vanished from the public mind. If a persons religion requires him to stink like a skunk then I reserve the right not to hire him at my restaurant. The same goes for now several Muslim women who sued because they were denied jobs at hairdressers when they refused to remove the veil.
Once again for clarity before I move on to the next point:
Since religion is not compulsory in Canada, then no accommodation needs to be made for people’s religious choices whatsoever.
This being the case, then here is how to handle any religious clothing etc. Whether it is Muslims Sikh’s Jews or whoever.
There is already all kinds of laws governing safety. Simply do not make an exception for religious people, as if their irrational beliefs somehow gives them the right to drive with their eyes covered. Make it absolutely clear that when driving you have to have nothing on your head that might obstruct your vision and make it dangerous to drive. Easy as pie.
Next, in factories, do not make exceptions for people who claim the need for modesty when safety is the factor, as we saw in Toronto last year with the UPS depot and the Muslims who sued because they refused to wear pants even though regulations demand it on ladders. They won a settlement by the way. Clearly this kind of garb cannot be allowed in Banks or jewellery stores. We do not have to ban the head coverings, but we are under no obligation to not make it inconvenient in the interests of public health, safety and security.
“I have seen the enemy, and it is us”
One could easily make the case that Muslims are not the problem but we are. All we have to do is say no.
We do not need one more law. Not one more regulation. We just have to stop making exceptions for Muslims to break all the laws we already have. Yes, clearly the fight about the hijab and all its various incarnations is about Islamic primacy. But look what happened in some European schools when they tried to ban it outright. All kinds of well meaning non-Muslim girls started wearing it to school to support their friends. In a way, I support them. I get it even though these girls are wrong, naive, and aiding a dangerous enemy, banning it in that way is not the answer. A school uniform might be, or a dress code that makes these things impractical most of the time. Certainly no hijab etc in:
Shop, metal, wood or any class that requires the use of dangerous tools
Home economics where cooking Etc. is involved. Religious people can have a choice. Not go to class and fail the year, or take off the damn thing when safety etc. demands it.
Somehow, Western peoples have been massaged into accepting the notion that we have to make exceptions for peoples voluntary choices of behaviour in the interests of non-racism etc. This is absurd. It is one thing to make public or government buildings handicap accessible. It is quite another when people handicap themselves by choice. We have no obligation to them whatsoever, and in fact an obligation to ourselves not to lower safety or health standards to do so.
Eeyore for Vladtepesblog after numerous conversations with Grace