Discussion (34)¬

  1. RobJFH says:

    Organised religion is just one big financial big scam, look at the way they’re hiding their prophets.

  2. M27Holts says:

    I would be fine if both sexes had to cover up entirely. Otherwise its just no-tail oppression with no place in a 21st century democracy…

  3. Thank god we are free to erase ourselves. Freedom freedom freedom!

  4. raymondm says:

    As silly as we might find the beliefs and clothing choices of others, I own myself, and no one may rightly force me how to dress. Not a mullah, not a gendarme, not a Polizist.

    Xenophobia is real.

  5. A M Sulivan says:

    Funnily enough I have no problem with women wearing the burka if they want to and don’t think it should be banned, except say where security or identity is an issue. However I reserve the right not to engage with or serve anyone who does not trust me enough to see their face and hides their expressions from me.

  6. M27Holts says:

    ^ try walking down your nearest high street with the emperors clothes on and see what happens…I wouldn’t give a shit, but a lot of people would, usually religious ones…

  7. Son of Glenner says:

    M27Holts: I would not try it on my local High Street – too bloody cold!

  8. Deimos says:

    I tend to agree with a m sullivan, I cannot and will not talk to masked humans. On certain special occasions I have been known to don the guy fawkes white mask and go about doing mischief, the mask means anonymity.

    But in primitive society the masked woman is a possession not a person. Such behaviour has no place in the modern world.

  9. Laripu says:

    For government ID like driver’s licenses and passports, the entire face should be required to be visible. Similarly, faces should be visible in dealings with police, government, banks, and anywhere ID may be required. While driving too.

    These days multi-factor authentication has become popular, to my annoyance. The simple authentication of seeing someone’s face is too important to abandon to retrograde religion.

  10. M27Holts says:

    However, I don’t agree with a ban either. People should be free to express their personality via their outwards appearance. If women feel they need to protect their identity in places that don’t require identification then they should be free to do so. But I feel that the owners of the burka are doing it due to cultural pressure and If educated they would express their individuality in any which way they chose.

  11. pink squirrel says:

    send your comment on a postcard to Boris Johnson

  12. Anonymous says:

    It would have been interesting if Jesus turned up naked …

  13. HelenaHandbasket says:

    The “everyone should be free to express themselves how they like through their dress” is not a foundational principle, it’s a recognition that this will be done within certain sorts of limits.
    To think otherwise is to be hopelessly naive. But, if people’s intuitions need pumping on this, consider the following potential “free expressions”
    1) Walking around naked
    2) Walking around a primary school naked
    3) Walking around with racist slogans on your shirt
    4) Walking someone else around on a lead at the local mall
    5) Walking around with doxed addresses of people who have offended a group in a crowd of those offended people
    Etc etc. Does anyone really think that humans are totally isolated little islands and that what they do can have no effect on those around them?
    Of course they don’t.
    So, the question is–what sort of effects do Burkhas have? Well, for one thing they are (pretty much explictly) signalling that all other women (who dont dress this way) are whores (and fair game for sexual exploitation).
    And the treatment of other women by the men who encourage such wearing underscores this signal. Some of the rapists up in (say) Rotherham explicitly said this at their trials.
    So–we need educated, nuanced, and more sophisticated analyses of how we are going to integrate with one another than the standard issue stuff we normally read (“Its my right!”, “No, its my right!”.)
    And, also, one from (in this instance) muslims who understand the issues involved and are not afraid to face them head on. Can I commend (once again) Maajid Nawaz (that figure so hated on the left) on this issue?
    (For one thing we are going to need to distinguish the different kinds of headgear, Niquab, Hijab, Burkha etc).
    But let’s please not pretend that the signal does not involve a “we are morally superior to you” element, or that this signal has no consequences.

  14. raymondm says:

    Governments are instituted to secure rights. They get their just powers from the people.

    How Mrs Smith dresses can in no way violate my rights.

    Therefore, I do not – either alone or in concert with “the people” – have the valid power to tell Mrs Smith how she must dress.

  15. Son of Glenner says:

    postdoggerel: That took a while to wade through!

  16. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Raymondm. Who spoke of governments? They come well after the interesting event. We are talking about the conditions of living together, of shared social space. Talk of rights is far too thin to do justice to that–as is made obvious when rights conflict (as they obviously do here). We need to do better than that to solve problems like this.

  17. Troubleshooter says:

    I have a couple technical points to bring here:

    1. There is no mesh over the eye openings with J&M’s outfits, so what they are wearing are more likely niqabs and not burqas.
    2. In the case of either burqa OR niqab, how do either of them propose to drink their beers?!? Those slits are nowhere near big enough!

    That second point is pretty crucial, too, I would think. Jesus and Mo love them some brewskis, whether it’s Guinness or Harp or John Courage, and not being able to down their suds would be a deal-breaker. Also, aren’t alcoholic beverages haram?!?

  18. Laripu says:

    Many words for ways to cover up that thing called a wife:
    Niqab, burka, hijab, chador, dupatta, shayla, al-amira, khimar.

    This suggests that covering it up is really important. It must be hideous, or maybe just unusually malodorous.

    One thing is certain: any society that does this deprives themselves of half their talent, half their genius, half their ability. Even the worst sexist would have to concede that if it isn’t half, it’s at least 30%. Such societies enforce their own poverty.



  19. Troubleshooter says:

    The problem, Laripu, is that they (or at least their dogma) don’t recognize women as “talent” or “genius.” In the fundamentalist Islamic world, women are PROPERTY, to be possessed and coveted and controlled and hidden from others who might desire them for themselves. This concept appears to be embedded in the structure of Islam itself, yet one more reason why Islam needs a serious and thorough-going reformation.

  20. M27Holts says:

    Aye. The more that western apologists for the mass murdering mohammed refuse to concede that islam (as it is) has no place in the 21st century the more likely it is that the world will be plunged into dark ages II. Behind the burka nobody can see you scream…

  21. Troubleshooter says:

    I wrote this a while ago, and I stand by it:

    A burqa erases a woman. She ceases to have a face, a personality or any meaningful public identity. She becomes reduced to a nondescript presence in a cloth bag. This, indeed, may be the intention of those who superimpose the requirement of a burqa on women in the first place. A burqa is, above and beyond any other quality, Dehumanizing … which is why it should in no ways be tolerated in modern society.

  22. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Troubleshooter. Oooh…now you’ve gone and done it. You’ve implied that some societies are more advanced than others,when any fule kno that the only society responsible for evil is the west, with all other societies being ipso-facto superior. This is simultaneously true along with the cultural relativism, for some reason–but I wouldnt pull on that thread or the whole thing will unravel.

  23. Troubleshooter says:

    Helena, I guess it’s just that I love women … in my case, a couple, being my wife and my daughter, and I would no more tell either of them that they had to live out their lives in a cloth sack than I would want to do the same, myself. They have the right of self-determination, at least around here, and I would gladly defend that as well. Around the House of Saud? Not so much.

    Call me quirky, call me radical, call me collect (no, not really!), but that’s where I’m at.

  24. Inncubus says:

    About interacting with hidden people…isn’t that exactly what one is doing here? Faceless communication seems fine.

  25. M27Holts says:

    Cultural relativism?? That is a boil that should be lanced and its malign corruption of thought removed from philosophical discussion. No culture that is directed by the rantings of a 6th century madman can possibly be called advanced. Unless retarded world views are rightly scorned by the majority of mankind we deserve to become extinct and let evoution take its course without our base lunacy…

  26. HelenaHandbasket says:

    M27. Next you’ll be pointing out that the Islamic slave trade existed for longer, and enslaved more people than the mid-Atlantic one. And every time you do that you make a cultural anthropologist cry. Remember the principles: All cultures are equal. Apart from the western one, which is uniquely bad.

  27. Ah, cultural relativism. My theory is that this idea originated in reaction to prudish missionaries trying to rein in the sexuality of heathens to conform to their idiotic rules, such as breasts and genitals must be hidden from sight at all times and the only way to have intercourse is face to face, i.e. the missionary position. Anthropologists schooled the missionaries on this, telling them that they had no right to judge another culture. Then the idea turned malignant by logical extension. Such a shame. I’m pretty sure it was well intentioned in its origins. Just that fools presented with a slippery slope can’t resist sliding down it.

  28. M27Holts says:

    Face to face intercourse eh? Did it catch on?

  29. CliffB says:

    This kind of clothing, when worn by someone living in a western democracy is intended to send one or more of a number of messages, among which are:

    (a) Integration? Don’t make me laugh – I wouldn’t integrate with you lot!

    (b) My superstitious beliefs are of more importance to me than anything else

    (c) Do not approach me if you are male; I do not wish to conform with the norms of your society

    (d) Don’t even think about wanting a relationship with me that might lead to marriage; I won’t be marrying into your kuffar society

    (e) None of the above, but my husband disagrees with me and he dreams of living in seventh century Arabia

  30. PrivateFrazer says:

    where do we stand on nuns and monks also wearing middle-eastern robes and hoods, taking the veil, covering the head at mass etc.. And what’s with middle-eastern get up and religion?

  31. Son of Glenner says:

    PrivateFrazer: As far as I am aware, neither monks nor nuns cover their faces in public.

  32. M27Holts says:

    The wimple worn by xtian nuns covers the head and hair, leaving just the face on show. My uncle used to be a registra at a RC cemetary. There was a small convent in the grounds and I had one of my first sexual encounters with a randy middle aged sister…Jesus I would have shagged the crack of dawn if I could of got up early enough….Testosterone fueled fornicator I was. Guilty as charged….

  33. CliffB says:

    I don’t object to monks, nun, clerics, or priests of any religion wearing special clothes to show that they are, indeed, apart from the rest of society.

    I object to supposedly ordinary people wearing clothes that give out the messages I outlined in my earlier post.

    Integrate or go! is my message. If you want to live as a superstitious seventh century desert-dweller and to reject the people around you there are societies that are comfortable with it, and even some that insist on it.

    Of course, they don’t have some of the benefits of a western democratic society but if your superstitions are of over-riding importance to you this is hardly important.


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