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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Hijabs and Burqas

I have no problem with hijabs. I think they look quite fashionable. If people want to wrap stuff around their head then cool, loads of people across cultures do it. Nuns wear habits; some Orthodox Jewish women cover their heads. The point isn’t the hijab itself, but the reasons behind it. It’s the fact that Islamic women are forced into it as part of their scripture because (apparently) men are super sexual predators that fear women’s sexuality and think the hair is such a turn on. If people want to cover their hair then fine, but they shouldn’t be forced into it.

However, I do have an issue with burqas for specific reasons. I don’t think people should be walking around in society with their entire face covered, especially when we’re living in an age of terrorism. This isn’t about being ‘islamophobic’; Muslim women can cover their faces and for all we know could be hiding stuff under there. No one should be allowed to walk around wearing burqas and niqabs, because no one should be walking around with their face covered. A terrorist could be hiding stuff in their burqa and no one would know because their face would be covered!

But if that doesn’t have you convinced, here are six reasons from a talk I went to years ago led by a Muslim Imam and academic regarding why the burqa should be banned:

There’s no theological reason to wear a burqa. Burqas aren’t actually mentioned in the Quran and are banned from being worn in Mecca. 1500 years ago the burqa originated in Ancient Persia before Islam was created. It then spread to Turkey. 

It makes social interaction difficult. We’re social animals, and if you’re on the street and want to ask someone the time, or just standing next to someone who’s entire face is masked, it can feel uncomfortable. You don't know who someone is if they're wearing a mask.

It’s sexist. Telling women to cover their faces at the expense of men is sexist chauvinistic bullshit. Also, it’s sexist towards men because it means women are trusted to cover their faces and men aren’t. If men walked around with their faces covered no one would trust them. It would feel intimidating, hence why thieves wear balaclavas.

Health implications. Women with their faces constantly covered are missing out on Vitamin D and are more likely to suffer from Vitamic D deficiency. As a result, this costs the NHS (and therefore tax payers) money to prescribe them Vitamin D capsules because they’re not getting enough natural sunlight.

Security and Terrorist Risk. As mentioned, if women walk around with their faces covered how do we know they’re not a terrorist? How do we know they’re not terrorist men pretending to be women? At face value that sounds ridiculous, but when you look at the statistics regarding terrorism it isn’t all that crazy. It’s common sense. If men walk around wearing balaclavas it’s a threat to national security because you can’t tell who they are and whether they’re harmless or a criminal. Criminals cover their faces because it allows them to not be identified and get away with their crimes easier.

(And no, that does not mean that every woman wearing a burqa is a potential terrorist).

Public Anonymity is not a human right. It is not within the public domain to walk around with your face covered. Also, if people are allowed to cover their face and entire body then why can’t people walk around naked or in their underwear? I have no problem with this; in certain tribes and cultures people wear little to no clothing. But in prudish (and cold) Britain there is no way that’s going to happen.

The Anti Burqa-Niqab Initiative (ABNI) is a Muslim-lead group that advocates for banning the burqa in the UK. Unfortunately, ‘lefties’ want to protect this useless garment because ‘banning it is offensive to their culture.’ I have no problem offending people for the sake of logic or national security. France has banned the burqa. Shouldn’t Britain do the same?

End notes:

I understand the basic premises of this; all women want to look beautiful for their SO. Wanting to look pretty is a natural evolutionary thing; looking good for women is part of attracting mates. That's why flowers have colourful petals, they need to attract bees. In peacocks its the man that looks prettier than the woman. But, beauty should first and foremost be to please YOU, not anyone else. You shouldn't feel you have to look beautiful for the validation of men or to impress other women. Taking care of your looks should be to make you feel good about yourself.

Furthermore, I disagree with the 'ethical' parts of this. When I was in year 11 and I overheard this girl saying 'you can't be a good Muslim girl if you swear; wear tight clothes or have a boyfriend.' In that case I guess I'm a bad slutty atheist girl because I like guys, swear and wear shorts and tank tops when its hot. Some women prefer to be conservative and 'cover themselves', and that is fine, but as mentioned I dislike it if they're 'forced' into it because a book says otherwise they'll go to Hell. 

Islam claims to have the moral high ground, but then its women are subjugated to half of what men inherit, have their sexuality controlled by men, not supposed to leave the house without being accompanied by a man, and told that their HAIR is a turn on?! It's funny, when the Imam was making his anti-burqa speech, he said 'if I see a sexy woman walking down the street I'm not going to be looking at her hair.' You're not a 'better' person for choosing to cover up, it's just about what makes you feel comfortable. But fearmongering someone into doing that IS wrong. This is what makes Islam different; nuns are not forced into wearing habits. They do it because it's their choice. They're not told that when they hit puberty all men will become sexual predators who will dive after them if their hair is not covered. If you want to cover your hair then fine, but do it because YOU want to and it makes you feel good about yourself. 



  1. "But, beauty should first and foremost be to please YOU, not anyone else. You shouldn't feel you have to look beautiful for the validation of men or to impress other women."

    Unless of course you don't want to end up alone and want a romantic partner that actually finds you to be attractive. Not saying beauty **can't** be for yourself but if you choose to ignore what men like then you might not have what men like and then men won't like you and you become an old and lonely cat-lady because you weren't willing to lose a few pounds or brush your hair etc.

    "and told that their HAIR is a turn on?!"

    While I do agree that the Muslims take this too far, most men actually DO find long hair to be a turn on. That's why Native American culture didn't allow women to cut their hair either.

    "nuns are not forced into wearing habits"

    - Are you sure about that? I'm pretty sure that's basically part of the required "uniform" to be a nun?

    1. What I meant about beauty is that yeah you should take of how you look but because it makes you feel good about yourself. I believe taking care of how you look on the outside can boost self-confidence, hence why just after a break up or during a depression a woman is less likely to care about what she looks like and just slobs around in old clothing. When you feel good about yourself you generally care about how you look.
      Yeah again misworded - I meant as in people aren't forced to become nuns, they choose to become nuns and wear the uniform. In the Quran it states that women are supposed to 'dress modestly' and cover their heads once they reach puberty in the presence of a guy who isn't related to them.


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