Not all Muslims support the idea of full face veils for women. Some theological experts assert that the full face veil is never mentioned in Islamic holy scriptures and is therefore not required by Islamic law. Those who wear them generally adhere to a radical interpretation of Islam that seeks Islamist supremacy and threatens the freedom and national security of the west. This ideology promotes gender apartheid, second class citizenry for non-Muslims, restrictions on freedom of speech, and execution for those who want to leave Islam. Additionally, burqas help further the cause of gender apartheid, make women invisible, and serve as a way for men to avoid personal responsibility for their own sexual thoughts and deeds by insisting that women must not reveal their faces, lest they incite male sexual desires. Muslim women who comply with the Shariah dress code often do so under familial and community pressure.
In France, which has the largest Muslim population in Europe, nine out of ten people support the burqa ban. Those opposing the ban consist primarily of Muslims. They argue that a legal ban will stigmatize all Muslims and contribute to “Islamophobia”. Mohammad Moussai, head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, opposes the bill for this reason.
Amnesty International also condemns the ban as an infringement of freedom of religion and expression. If the bill passes in the Senate, it will be sent directly to the Constitutional Council, France’s highest constitutional authority, for a ruling on its constitutionality. It might also be sent to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg, which issues decisions to which France is legally bound.
In the meantime, a well-to-do French businessman has vowed to set up a one million dollar fund to help women pay fines they are issued under the new law.
Many other countries are contemplating burqa bans. Municipalities in Spain, Belgium and Italy have bans already in effect. Additional locations are in varying stages of legislative debate and passage. There is also a growing movement amongst the general public calling for burqa bans in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Denmark.
So, is the burqa ban a symbolic statement intended to stave off an anti-freedom ideology? Or is it nothing more than an oppressive Islamaphobic measure? Is anti-burqa legislation necessary, sufficient, or ineffective? In making one’s determination, it’s important to understand that the issue goes much deeper than merely terrorism prevention or clothing restrictions for a small minority. At its core, the legislation demonstrates the tension between Europe’s values of freedom and equality and the values of a growing and influential minority whose values are completely at odds with those of the West. The burqa is merely a symptom of a deeper problem with which Europe must contend. Whichever way one comes out on the burqa legislation, one thing is clear: the ideology of radical Islam and all its implications can no longer be swept under the rug. One way or the other, the Islamization of Europe must be stopped.
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