Even a stopped clock gets it right twice a day…
Banning the burqa doesn’t further women’s rights – it limits them. Now, obviously there’s a difference in Islamic women’s dress from the hijab to the burqa – but legally banning any of them erases all agency from Muslim women.
This one’s more than a year old, but no less relevant for that…
Ultimately, though, there’s no evidence that most burqa-clad French women regard themselves as oppressed. "There are women who wear burqas who are not being forced by anyone, who think that form of modesty is appropriate for who they want to be in the world," says Scott. "It’s hard to distinguish between them and those who are being forced." And so in the end, a ban putatively passed to further women’s rights could instead impinge on their freedom, and take from them something they value. Even worse, it could lead to those in the most fundamentalist of households being trapped inside their homes altogether.
Riffing-off the previous writer…
The French have a strong tradition not just of secularism, but of a kind of illiberal egalitarianism that holds that everyone should really be the same, and I think it tends to push them toward measures like this that don’t ultimately help anyone.
An abdullah‘s perspective…
Women themselves will face a smaller fine of just over £100 because they are “often victims with no choice in the matter”, says the draft but this just shows the sexist view points of those drafting the laws, not seeing women as a person in her own right.
If a woman wants to wear a burqa out in public, and she’s doing it completely by her own free will, there is no reason why she shouldn’t be able to and a law banning the burqa would be a slap in the face for women’s rights.
However, if it turns out that women generally only wear the burqa to avoid being abused by jealous males, banning the burqa would be an important step toward women advancing in society.
And another, though this gem shines through…
That said, although almost all societies do enact dress codes that reflect their notions of decency, banning the burqa from the street seems to me to be both a step too far and, quite possibly, counter-productive. What Sarkozy should do, however, is ensure that his fellow-citizens are as free to criticize the burqa as he is. In a country that stamps on free speech in the name of combatting the bogeyman of “Islamophobia,” it’s by no means clear that this indeed the case.
A Crowning Moment of Awesome from David Mitchell:
There’s altogether too much harping on respect and banning these days. If you can’t respect something, you should ban it. If it’s not banned, you should respect it. Bullshit. There is a huge gulf of toleration between respect and banning. In a free society, people should be allowed to do what they want wherever possible. The loss of liberty incurred by any alternative principle is too high a price to pay to stop people making dicks of themselves. But, if people are using their freedoms to make dicks of themselves, other people should be able to say so.
And, finally, an even bigger CMOA from this Muslim tycoon:
One million sounds a lot, but to protect one’s liberty it’s not much, and I hope that others in this country who hold the constitution dear and want to protect our fundamental liberty will join me in fighting this law.
Vive la dissidence!