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Apartheid Fashions: Hirsi Ali on the Muslim Veil

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Posted on July 8 2010 9:00 am
Ben-Peter Terpstra is an Australian satirist and polemicist. His works have been posted on numerous sites from The Daily Caller (Washington D.C.) to Quadrant Online (Sydney, Australia). He blogs at Positively Churchillian.

Expelled from Saudi Arabia. Unsafe in Europe. The libertarian-minded atheist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali will not be silenced. In her latest book, Nomad: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations, the former Muslim takes on the Muslim veil (p. 16):

The Muslim veil, the different sorts of masks and beaks and burkas, are all gradations of mental slavery. You must ask permission to leave the house, and when you do go out you must always hide yourself behind thick drapery. Ashamed of your body, suppressing your desires – what small space in your life can you call your own?

It is a question that Muslim-first libertarians (often middleclass white males), don’t like to answer, probably because they can’t (in a convincing manner, at least). It is a question left-liberal college women like to avoid, in order to show off their supposed multicultural credentials. But is Ayaan Hirsi Ali creating problems or facing problems when she talks frankly?

In a toxic religious culture, Muslim-first libertarians side with the rights of men over women. They side with a patriarchal religion over a woman’s right to sunlight. They are siding with propaganda (fed by censorship) today too when they insist that all Muslim women just choose to veil up. Indeed only uncaring ideologues would deny the power of Stockholm syndrome and the reality of domestic violence for the woman who doesn’t cover:

The veil deliberately marks women as private and restricted property, nonpersons. The veil sets women apart from men and apart from the world; it restrains them, confines them, grooms them for docility. A mind can be cramped just as a body may be, and a Muslim veil blinkers both your vision and your destiny. It is the mark of a kind of apartheid, not the domination of a race but of a sex.

There’s nothing libertarian about apartheid fashions, because they suffocate self-expression. In a toxic religious culture too, men are free from such restrictions, without reason. And yet, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the infidel. She is the unveiled woman, who was asked to run for the Dutch Parliament, as a member of the free-market Liberal Party, to the chagrin of Islamists. “If only Hirsi Ali would shut up and cover up,” shouts misogyny.

So, is now the time to pressure Muslim-first libertarian males to veil up? I’ll cover them from head to toe, and call it “freedom,” under summer’s sun. Their sweaty Orwellian version of “freedom,” I mean.

Ben-Peter Terpstra is an Australian satirist and cartoon lover. His works have been posted on numerous sites from American Thinker (California) to Quadrant Online (Sydney, Australia). For more information see, Pizza Trays and Beer Bottles.

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