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Should America Ban the Burqa Too?

Posted on April 27 2010 6:00 am
Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at City University of New York. For extended biography visit The Phyllis Chesler Organization.
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All across Europe, government leaders are deciding whether to fine, restrict, or ban the Islamic veil. France’s Prime Minister Sarkozy wants a full ban—one that will also apply to Muslim tourists. Belgium wants one too—although it has been warned that doing so “will violate the rights of those who choose to wear the veil and do nothing to help those who are compelled to do so.” (That vote has not taken place due to the collapse of the government). Recently, a Madrid school expelled a girl for wearing hijab; the government is backing the school, but four of the girl’s classmates have been coming to school wearing hijab “as a sign of support for her.”

What’s the fuss all about? Isn’t the West committed to tolerance—even towards the intolerant? But aren’t we also in favor of women’s rights, human rights, and the right to pursue our individual destinies?

Wherever there are burqas, there are also radical Islamists who believe in polygamy, arranged child marriage, cousin marriage, militant jihad, and in the subordination of Muslim women and infidels. Also, please understand that the full Islamic veil means sensory deprivation, social isolation, and various Vitamin D deficiency diseases for its wearer. And don’t discount the effect the full veil is meant to have on infidels and other naked-faced women (this is how we are described); it is meant to terrify us, like the sight of a severed head on a pole, or of a prisoner publicly chained for years to a stake.

Then, there is always the security aspect: A common thief can hide a gun, a homicide bomber can hide an explosive device under such flowing garments—and “she” can just as easily be a “he.”

Thus, it is no coincidence that the French woman who was just fined for wearing her niqab while driving turns out to be one of four wives all married to the same Algerian-French man, who has fathered twelve children. If not this polygamist then the next polygamist will turn out to have ties to an Islamist group or will be indoctrinating his French citizen children into Islamism. This French polygamist is also a welfare fraud since all four wives collect government subsidies as single mothers. And, no surprise here, our polygamist is also leading the drive to build a mosque.

And, by the way: The veiled women are not only victims. Yes, of course, they are “choosing” not to be honor murdered or rejected by their communities. But, they are also proudly, aggressively, defiantly marking out Islamist territory in infidel countries; the fact that they have been brainwashed or not given a free choice makes no difference. These Veiled Crusaders view themselves as superior to an allegedly (and often truly) “racist” infidel population. They are choosing a glorified group identity as opposed to an unknown, difficult, lonely, or dangerous individual identity. Finally, as I’ve explained in Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman, women are empowered to break the spirits of young girls and female rebels. Even more than men, women are conformists who are supposed to keep other women in line.

I wish to acknowledge the important work being done by “Esther” at her blog Islam in Europe.

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