Boris Johnson was again in the news recently being all racist and stuff by talking to Steve ‘I’m not a Nazi’ Bannon about the Burqa like it was a post office or a ninja outfit. Or something. And it got me thinking about the Burqa and how I feel about it and how conflicted and illogical the whole debate seems to be right now.
A few thoughts:
It’s not the state’s right to tell me what I can and cannot wear
As much as I feel the hijab or burqa is a repressive symbol, and maybe because I just don’t recognise or understand it, or maybe I’m fearful of it, it’s not the state’s place to enforce how people dress. Lawmakers need to focus on positive aspects of change, rather than regressive laws that stigmatise a particular minority.
But folks will use it as a disguise to rob banks
No they won’t. Can you imagine the scene in the getaway car as Chris and Max approach the bank?
“Right, Max, let’s get the masks on! Max!! Max, what are you doing?”
“Well Chris, this face covering ban came into effect and we’re not allowed to cover our faces in public anymore”
“Oh no! Guess we’re screwed then. Driver, turn around!”
Bank robbers also wear wigs, lemon juice, dresses and Santa costumes. So let’s ban those too, aye? Prohibiting an item of clothing isn’t a deterrent to crime, nor will it stop criminals planning and committing offences.
It’s a choice
Over to redditor u/Pharmersmarket who writes:
I genuinely like wearing it. It makes me feel put together and confident in a weird way. Maybe because it does take a certain level of courage to visibly separate yourself from normal society. To start wearing a hijab I had to stop caring about what other people thought and now I can be proud of that. It definitely doesn’t stop street harassment, but men do treat you with a bit more respect. When I’m wearing a hijab it’s much easier not to care when I’m getting leered at because what exactly is he looking at? My face?
Shocking! There are rational, valid reasons why some want to wear particular types of clothing!
A ban might drive more muslims towards radicalism
There is evidence that prejudice against a certain cultural artefact reinforces perceptions of persecution and fuels grievances amongst minorities. This sounds like common sense; a burqa ban may have unintended consequences:
Previous research shows that indiscriminate or particularly harsh counterterrorism measures as a response to terrorist incident cause a backlash effect which leads to increase in terrorist activity. Researchers and security experts have also indicated that the burqa ban could lead to a similar counterproductive effect in alienating an already marginalised group of people even further and might serve as a radicalising factor in the long run. – source
And I dare say there are plenty other arguments for and against a burqa ban. But right now the debate is hampered by hysteria, lazy argument and ignorance.
Over to the comment section in The Sun where a frenzied ‘Frank’ is stomping his hooves into the keyboard:
Most civilized people living in a democracy, take offense at the sight of a mvslim woman wearing a bur’qa, niqab, hijab etc. because it’s a symbol of female op.pre.s.sion, su.b.mi.ssion & ‘ownership’ by males. It is as abhor.r.e.n.t to us as the sw.a.z.ti.ka — with all the same rep.ug.nant inher.en.t f.a.s.c.is.m. and is an ins.ul.t to the memory of the brave sufragettes who fought for emancipation and freedom
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But what do you think? For? Against? Dive into the comment section below!