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The Forum > Article Comments > Going burq-o > Comments

Going burq-o : Comments

By Katy Barnett, published 21/5/2010

Should our own discomfort be a reason for banning the burqa in Australia?

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I find that the very last sentence is the key to this topic.

Men should take responsibility for their actions/reactions to the presence or sight of womans body---and to human bodies altogether.

By the way, men universally respond to the sight and presence of a beautiful woman--no exceptions. We all treat beautiful women differently to ordinary women and uglies.

The burqua is a device used by sex paranoid double-minded patriarchal religionists to control women--full stop.
Posted by Ho Hum, Friday, 21 May 2010 10:41:57 AM
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The only way that we can all live together in reasonable peace & harmony is through compromise where possible. The wearing of the burqua is a good example of how this could work. I am uneasy about the burqua but respect the religious and other personal reasons for wearing it so I say to the wearer "If you agree not to wear the burqua, I will support to the hilt your right to wear the Hijab at ALL times of your choice". Both sides have to give some ground but neither has to capitulate completely. This matter is well discussed by John Gray in his essay "Modus Vivendi" published in his recent collection "Gray's Anatomy".
Posted by Gorufus, Friday, 21 May 2010 10:49:03 AM
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In general, I agree with Legal Eagle on this subject.

With respect to the argument that we should ban women from voluntarily wearing the burqa because it represents the oppression of Mslim women, exactly the same argument could be applied to high-heeled shoes.

Just because someone's attire makes some others "uncomfortable" isn't a good enough reason either. Surely the same argument could be applied to many other kinds of apparel, including (for example) baseball caps worn backwards, facial piercings, various uniforms, political t-shirts etc etc.

On the other hand, there are many situations in public life where wearing a burqa might be reasonably regarded as a security risk to others, such as in banks, travelling by air etc, or where it would obviate the ability to identify the wearer. It would be quite reasonable to deny access to those situations, to those who insist on wearing the equivalent of a tent.

But actually banning the burqa? No, if we want to be able to continue to claim we live in a 'free' country.
Posted by CJ Morgan, Friday, 21 May 2010 11:34:34 AM
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"At a recent conference in Brussels organised by the British Council and a European think tank, most European Muslim women made clear they had no sympathy for women wearing burkas. The women scholars pointed out there were no Islamic texts in favour of the full veil, the younger women even those with headscarves denounced the burka as alien and unacceptable in Europe."

The burka uproar
By Shada Islam
Saturday, 08 May, 2010
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/editorial/the-burka-uproar-850

I agree with the sentiments expressed above and have no sympathy with women who wear the burqa in Western democracies.

It is ridiculous to assert that on one hand that such women are doing it by choice and at the same time claim that their 'men' are making them do it. Equally, if they are so damn stupid as to walk several paces behind as well then good luck to them, but that is their choice and there can be no compulsion to do it.

Very few Muslim women wear the burqa in Australia and even if some say there might be one or two who are being 'compelled' by 'men' to wear the garb, the solution is as easy and quick as a phone call to the cops to tell the bully to pull his head in. However 'some' are likely to number fewer than the numbers on one hand if there are any at all. Fact is though society cannot always save people from themselves, they have to make an effort too.

Of course the burqa is a feminist issue, but in the West it is a feminist storm in a tea cup where some would like to milk the 'men controlling women' angle for all it is worth.

However the worst of all in this silly, frivolous business would be the media who flog this scare-mongering, dumbed-down sensationalist pap to people who have forgotten how to think for themselves (perhaps they never did).

If a few attention-seeking women want to rock around Oz in potato sacks so be it but really, truly, who cares? Frankly, it is not worth banning.
Posted by Cornflower, Friday, 21 May 2010 12:15:13 PM
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Speaking with the hearing impaired in mind, I would urge those who wear the burqa to consider those less fortunate. Many hearing impaired (including my Mother who was totally deaf) depend on lip-reading and facial expressions to engage in conversation. It is impossible for a deaf person to converse with a person whose face is covered.

As one needs to ponder - there are justifiable limits to free garb in a free country if it's only free for some.
Posted by Protagoras, Friday, 21 May 2010 12:33:13 PM
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What legal eagle failed to mention is that there is a fourth reason women wear the burqa, and that is because they feel compelled either by their husband's religious feelings or those of the extended family.

The question which is difficult to answer is how many of those now wearing this dress would really be grateful if it was banned, and they could wear normal clothing without recriminations?

Where it has been banned the protests have been very few.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Friday, 21 May 2010 1:16:10 PM
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