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Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

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Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Ivan on Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:31 pm

First topic message reminder :

In July 2005, Yassin Omar put on a full veil when running away from London after his failed bombing attempt. Now Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed, who was under surveillance due to his connection with the Somalian terror group which bombed a Kenyan shopping mall, has done something similar. This has opened up the discussion on whether the UK should follow the example of France and Belgium and ban full face coverings. It will no doubt provide an opportunity for right-wing bigots and racists to crawl out of the woodwork, but it’s also an uncomfortable topic for those of us on the left in politics.
 
Let’s start with a few definitions. The niqab is a combination of a head covering and scarf that covers all of a woman’s face except for her eyes. The burqa covers the whole body from the top of the head to the ground, covering the entire face, including the eyes - with just a mesh cloth to see through. The hijab, which is the most common type of headscarf worn by Muslim women in the UK, covers the head and neck, but leaves the face clear.
 
As an atheist, I have no empathy for any religion, but I accept the right of others to believe absurdities if they wish to do so. So why is this topic uncomfortable? Because, at first glance, it doesn’t seem compatible with equal rights for women, which has always been a goal of the British left.
 
Writing for ‘Left Foot Forward’, Lejla Kuric said: “My grandmother and great-aunts described their own experience of wearing the burqa in the 1930s and 40s as physical and mental slavery”. The Australian Muslim cleric Sheik Taj Aldin as-Hilali uses offensive language to justify ‘covering up’ because he blames women for rape: “If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside… without cover, and the cats come to eat it… whose fault is it, the cats’ or the uncovered meat’s? The uncovered meat is the problem.” Assuming that males are sex-obsessed beasts, with no control over their animalistic instincts, is also demeaning to men, and arguably leads to a rape culture in which women are blamed for their own violation and sexual abuse.
 
Kuric argues that the face veil should be opposed because it is an inherently sexist and misogynist concept at odds with all precepts of an egalitarian society. She continued: “Despite the best effort of many to present face veiling as harmless, it depersonalises women and assigns them an existence different and separate from men, burdened by social norms such as a woman is the custody of her male guardians, strict gender segregation, non-essential conversation with men is prohibited etc. It is, by design, a device of exclusion and apartheid.”
 
Bina Shah, a Pakistani writer, notes: “Many people use blackmail to convince women to wear the hijab or niqab: you won’t be a good Muslim, you’ll go to hell, you’re pleasing God, you’ll be subject to harassment and molestation if you go outside without a veil. By playing on women’s vulnerabilities, by bringing up the imagery of women being sexually violated or bringing shame upon their families by walking around unveiled, by implying a woman’s morality is linked to how she dresses, women are coerced into believing they are making a free choice in the thousands and millions, every day of their lives.”
 
In 2006, Jack Straw, former minister and MP for Blackburn, asked female Muslim constituents who wear veils to remove them when they come to see him. Arguing that watching facial expressions was important for contact between different people, he said: "Communities are bound together partly by informal chance relations between strangers - people being able to acknowledge each other in the street or being able pass the time of day. That's made more difficult if people are wearing a veil. That's just a fact of life.” More recently, former justice secretary Ken Clarke has said that the Muslim face veil is a “peculiar costume for people to adopt in the 21st century” which should be banned in court. He added that women should be able to wear “what the devil they like” - but in a courtroom the judge and jury “have got to be able to see the face of the witness”.
 
So what’s the answer? Journalist Nabila Ramdani argues that ever since France introduced its ‘burqa ban’ in 2011, there has been a constant stream of cases involving the handful of Muslims who choose to wear such garments. She claims that “not only are perfectly upstanding women being fined for their choice of dress, principally the full-body niqab, but an increasing number of defendants are being tried for attacking them. The legislation introduced by Sarkozy's government not only stigmatised Muslim women, but somehow legitimised physical attacks on them. The ban in France is a hateful assault on basic freedoms, one that has been seized on by an unlikely alliance of right-wing politicians and feminists.”
 
Kuric comes to the following conclusions on this dilemma: “A blanket ban on the face veil would be wrong – based on a liberal principle that adults can make lifestyle choices that are self-restrictive and that state should interfere as little as possible. However limited, context based bans are right and justified, based on the following egalitarian principles: the state must assert gender equality within its institutions; religious freedom is not absolute, other concerns such as security or identification must be taken into consideration; the state must protect those coerced; the state must protect children not old enough to make an informed choice.”
 
So, is this about misogyny, freedom of expression, refusal to assimilate or just devotion to faith? Ramdani warns that in France “it is mainly ‘patriotic’ men who rally around the burqa ban, viewing it as a legitimate reason to persecute a religious minority”. She concludes that what Muslim women wear is “a petty issue blown out of all proportion, one that ultimately creates nothing but hatred and violence”. Do you agree?
 
Sources used:-
 
http://www.leftfootforward.org/2013/09/progressive-case-against-the-veil/
 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5411954.stm
 
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ken-clarke-muslim-face-veil-2673812
 
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/21/dont-ban-veil-in-uk
 
Further reference:-
 
http://www.theweek.co.uk/uk-news/55892/labour-calls-inquiry-al-shabaab-suspect-flees-burka#ixzz2jmLDzCeg
 
http://theconversation.com/no-point-in-knee-jerk-burqa-ban-after-suspect-has-bolted-19847
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by stuart torr on Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:25 pm

Maybe snowy it is cos you are a bit too bright for her love.Cool  ET SHOULD BE SHOT, Snowy.

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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Ivan on Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:28 pm

We had a poll, which finished last Sunday, in which only three members voted for a chat facility on this forum. However, we do have the personal messaging system for members who wish to communicate directly with each other. It’s a pity when threads go off topic, since the subject under discussion can go ‘cold’, as this one appears to have done.
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:40 pm

snowyflake wrote:Hi stu and Doc

Sorry about the kafuffle on the other forum. and thanks for your support. I think I am better off here. The people are nicer and actually stick to the topic and don't resort to insults at the drop of a hat or 'hate' me for my opinion.

That ET is an idiot. I know you are 'friends' with Anita but I get the feeling she doesn't like me there. Smile
For what it's worth I thought et provoked it, got it back, didn't like it, and cried like a girl. Which is rather ironic given the macho posturing style that is his MO on there.

Sorry, off topic again, I apologise. Just saw the post and replied.

I find the whole concept of women covering themselves from head to toe deeply disturbing, and whilst some women make vociferous claims to want to dress this way, I feel sure that for the majority it's cultural and religious pressure from misogynistic men that is the driving force. I am all for a woman's right to dress as she wishes, but personally this is one freedom I'd be happy to see expressed in a different way, and the Burkha and the veil to consigned to history.
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by stuart torr on Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:57 pm

same as i saw it sheldon, back to topic, I think Shirina and Kazza were the last writers of posts corresponding with the OP. In reply to yours It is definitely how the man interprets the quran because nowhere in there does it say that the woman has to cover her whole body with a garment such as the burqa. It only mentions the brain or the chest, it is the mans interpretation of it to decide how much of the body that is.
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Heretic on Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:00 pm

Ivan wrote:We had a poll, which finished last Sunday, in which only three members voted for a chat facility on this forum. However, we do have the personal messaging system for members who wish to communicate directly with each other. It’s a pity when threads go off topic, since the subject under discussion can go ‘cold’, as this one appears to have done.
I once ran an msn messageboard and a WinMX chat room some time ago, both of them called "A Room for Heresy" and it was a format that worked quite well, in fact the chat room on WinMx is still going although it has changed a little bit in the last 10 years. What spoilt the format was Micro$oft finishing the msn message boards and not giving us access to our data. It might be worth experimenting with for a bit if you can perhaps use an irc chatroom for a while and maybe bringing it in-house if it works out.

Just an idea.

Heretic

PS Why am I not on the WinMx chatroom? When others took over the hosting of the chatroom they found it embarrassing for people to keep on asking me to arbitrate because I started, there are only so many times you can refer back to the new site hosts. I eventually made my excuses and left to give them a fair break and they've done well. I occasionaly go in under a guest user name and they are doing fine.

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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Ivan on Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:55 pm

I appreciate the mature and sensitive responses on this thread to the difficult issue of face veils.
 
I’m not convinced that all of the women who continued to wear veils in Afghanistan after the Taliban had been removed from power were doing so as a preference. Many may simply have been hedging their bets, in case the Taliban regained power. However, I agree that bans of the kind that now exist in France and Belgium may be doing little more than effectively placing some women under house arrest.
 
In June this year, right-wing Tory MP Philip Hollobone tabled a bill in the UK Parliament to ban the burqa. After the recent news that a suspected terrorist escaped surveillance by wearing such a garment, I doubt if it will be long before further attempts are made to tell Muslim women what they can’t wear.
 
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/06/21/tory-mps-ban-burka-death-penalty-queens-speech_n_3477168.html
 
In our so-called ‘free society’, shouldn’t it all come down to what the women want? If they choose to stand out from the crowd in order to express their devotion to a faith, isn’t it up to them? If they’re being forced to wear face coverings by male relatives, isn’t that an offence of harassment which is already covered by the law? As the journalist Nabila Ramdani has mentioned, the French ban has gone some way to legitimising physical attacks by xenophobic thugs on Muslim women who have flouted the new law; we wouldn’t want to encourage that, would we?
 
Full face coverings are certainly anti-social. As a man, I find the idea that a woman must hide her ‘beauty’, in order to prevent me from raping or molesting her, somewhat offensive. Face coverings give out the signal that the people behind them aren’t prepared to interact with others and probably wouldn’t even be able to recognise friends and neighbours if they are similarly clad. However, if that’s their choice and they are prepared to stand out as being ‘different’ from the majority, then I think we must accept it even if we don’t respect it.
 
There are occasions when niqab-wearers need to reveal their faces – maybe at passport control or in a court of law. Ramdini argues that the vast majority of such women “can be as sensibly pragmatic as anyone else when it comes to dealing with day-to-day objections to their face covering. If it upsets anyone reasonably, which usually means in an official context, they will remove it. Unreasonable objections, from louts in the street for example, should not be entertained under any circumstances.”
 
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/21/dont-ban-veil-in-uk
 
Sara Silvestri believes that an anti-burqa law in the UK would be both ineffective and counter-productive. She says that it would “go against this country’s usually principled attitude towards human rights and freedom of expression and would contribute to alienating and upsetting parts of the Muslim population, both in this country and abroad”. I tend to agree.
 
http://theconversation.com/no-point-in-knee-jerk-burqa-ban-after-suspect-has-bolted-19847
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Bellatori on Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:48 pm

Ivan wrote:...
I cannot find the article so I guess it must be quite old as it referred to a time when I lived in Manchester which means pre 2004. The article was about a shop that closed in the Trafford centre so I believe. The owner had a video security system and refused entry to anyone who covered their face - hoodies, motorcycle helmets  and full face veils/burqas. If I remember correctly the owners of the centre closed him down and he was prosecuted under the race relations act. I also remember that eventually, though he lost his business and went bankrupt, he actually won the case. Clearly much good it did him.

As an aside...much good will Tesco's wonderful face recognition software do them under these circumstances also Very Happy 

I have a niece who works for a well known high street clothing chain. They have a lot of issues with burqas and shop lifting. The store is now thinking along the same lines as the poor chap from the Trafford centre... however they also probably have better lawyers.

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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:00 am

A question we might usefully ask ourselves is how much do we think we really know about Cultures other than our own - apart from what we may only have read somewhere?

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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Kazza on Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:00 am

oftenwrong wrote:A question we might usefully ask ourselves is how much do we think we really know about Cultures other than our own - apart from what we may only have read somewhere?

Nothing, other than what we've read, experienced, or watched on the news or documentaries.
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Heretic on Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:22 am

oftenwrong wrote:A question we might usefully ask ourselves is how much do we think we really know about Cultures other than our own - apart from what we may only have read somewhere?
Kazza wrote:Nothing, other than what we've read, experienced, or watched on the news or documentaries.
We do learn a great deal by exposure to these cultures from our neighbours and our holidays or other travel.

Just an aside for a moment - Isn't it strange how a lot of people do not want to be seen as an example of something yet it frequently these same people that say they have a better understanding of their culture, religion or philosophy. Can I suggest that there might be a mismatch between what they know or believe and what they are capable of living.

Heretic wrote:Any truth that cannot be lived might as well be a lie.
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Dan Fante on Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:07 am

snowyflake wrote:Hi stu and Doc

Sorry about the kafuffle on the other forum. and thanks for your support. I think I am better off here. The people are nicer and actually stick to the topic and don't resort to insults at the drop of a hat or 'hate' me for my opinion.

That ET is an idiot. I know you are 'friends' with Anita but I get the feeling she doesn't like me there. Smile
ET is a weapons-grade tool. I think Anita's alright though. She definitely only kicked up a fuss because it was you though, in my opinion. I wouldn't worry about it. Jimmy Saville ffs Laughing
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Dan Fante on Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:08 am

oftenwrong wrote:A question we might usefully ask ourselves is how much do we think we really know about Cultures other than our own - apart from what we may only have read somewhere?

If you've asked yourself it why don't you post the answer on here?
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by snowyflake on Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:39 am

Sorry Ivan. If you remember, we had a chatroom on one of the other forums but for some reason people don't seem to like real-time chat. Perhaps, it's because people like to think about what they've read and go away and come back with a coherent response. A chatroom would require thinking on your feet in responses or the discussion would obviously stall. I still think the chat room would be a nice feature though and it could just be there for those who wish to use it for instant chat or private messages for more one to one. Amazon doesn't have either feature although it feels a bit like real time chat because people are on it all the time. Responses come fast and furious over there (mostly furious :))


Last edited by snowyflake on Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:47 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : numpty fingers)
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by snowyflake on Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:45 am

dan fante wrote:ET is a weapons-grade tool. I think Anita's alright though. She definitely only kicked up a fuss because it was you though, in my opinion. I wouldn't worry about it. Jimmy Saville ffs
My temper gets the better of me sometimes but really, Joyce Grenfell?? Seriously?

Anyway, back to the burqa - if muslim women make this choice to wear coverings of whatever nature out of devotion to their faith and not because of pressure from men or imams or culture then fine. The problem is that peer pressure from friends and family and cultural tradition is immense and so the idea that there is choice is a bit weak. Would muslim women in Britain wear a full body covering if they didn't have men in their families telling them they must? And may I ask what purpose it serves? It doesn't protect women from rapacious men any more than full body armour does. If a man is bent on rape, there is no amount of clothing that will protect her.
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Dan Fante on Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:00 am

snowyflake wrote:
dan fante wrote:ET is a weapons-grade tool. I think Anita's alright though. She definitely only kicked up a fuss because it was you though, in my opinion. I wouldn't worry about it. Jimmy Saville ffs
My temper gets the better of me sometimes but really, Joyce Grenfell?? Seriously?

Anyway, back to the burqa - if muslim women make this choice to wear coverings of whatever nature out of devotion to their faith and not because of pressure from men or imams or culture then fine. The problem is that peer pressure from friends  and family and cultural tradition is immense and so the idea that there is choice is a bit weak. Would muslim women in Britain wear a full body covering if they didn't have men in their families telling them they must? And may I ask what purpose it serves? It doesn't protect women from rapacious men any more than full body armour does. If a man is bent on rape, there is no amount of clothing that will protect her.
I think this pretty much sums up my thoughts on the issue too. Also, the burqa's supposed to be worn because women need to be protected from the uncontrollable urges of men I believe. Are men's urges really uncontrollable? If so, surely it's an issue for men to sort themselves out. In regard to whether or not women do it because of their own beliefs, rather than peer pressure etc. then Afghanistan provides a rather good case study. Prior to the Taliban taking over, the wearing of a burqa had, apparently, all but died out in urban areas. The Taliban made it compulsory for it to be worn in public places. I might add that I can see the reasons behind why the tradition arose but I think it is both anachronistic and used as a means of control in many cases. I think it would be naive to assume otherwise.
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:35 am

Dan Fante wrote:
oftenwrong wrote:A question we might usefully ask ourselves is how much do we think we really know about Cultures other than our own - apart from what we may only have read somewhere?

If you've asked yourself it why don't you post the answer on here?
I hadn't intended to direct that suggestion to anyone who never questions their own self-belief. Please disregard according to choice. What I do know from experience is that although more than 5 million tourists visit Spain in a year, fewer than half of one percent of them will have actually seen the inside of a Spanish home. Though many will harbour an opinion about the way of life there.
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Dan Fante on Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:14 am

oftenwrong wrote:
Dan Fante wrote:
oftenwrong wrote:A question we might usefully ask ourselves is how much do we think we really know about Cultures other than our own - apart from what we may only have read somewhere?

If you've asked yourself it why don't you post the answer on here?
I hadn't intended to direct that suggestion to anyone who never questions their own self-belief.  
Is that why you didn't answer it?
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Tosh on Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:16 am

There is this myth that all cultures are somehow of equal worth and value, I do not have to live in a culture to know female circumcision, child labour, arranged marriages and gender inequality is wrong.

I recall many women in Britain objecting to equality, principles such as universal human rights should take precedence over cultural sensitivity, if women wish to be emotional and physical slaves then they must freely choose this option, and not have it forced on them by their culture.

THERE IS ONLY ONE CULTURE OF VALUE, AND IT IS A SECULAR CULTURE THAT INCORPORATES UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS, THE REST ARE BARBARIC NONSENSE FROM OUR PRIMITIVE PAST.


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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by polyglide on Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:18 am

So far as I am aware there is no religious obligation to wear anything.

So the question should be, should EVERYONE be allowed to wear what they want or just a selected few and on what basis should the few be decided if everyone was not allowed to.

If everyone was allowed to, then we would have a very much more varied attire around.

Not forgetting of course we are born without any attire.

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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Dan Fante on Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:21 am

Tosh wrote:There is this myth that all cultures are somehow of equal worth and value, I do not have to live in a culture to know female circumcision, child labour, arranged marriages and gender inequality is wrong.

I recall many women in Britain objecting to equality, principles such as universal human rights should take precedence over cultural sensitivity, if women wish to be emotional and physical slaves then they must freely choose this option, and not have it forced on them by their culture.

THERE IS ONLY ONE CULTURE OF VALUE, AND IT IS SECULAR CULTURE THAT INCORPORATES UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS, THE REST ARE BARBARIC NONSENSE FROM OUR PRIMITIVE PAST.
Yeah, but have you been in a Spanish home? I completely agree with you, by the way.
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Dan Fante on Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:25 am

polyglide wrote:So far as I am aware there is no religious obligation to wear anything.

So the question should be, should EVERYONE be allowed to wear what they want or just a selected few and on what basis should the few be decided if everyone was not allowed to.

If everyone was allowed to, then we would have a very much more varied attire around.

Not forgetting of course we are born without any attire.

I think this debate has become somewhat polarised and, as such, misses the point. I don't think you'll find many people, bar a very small minority, calling for an absolute ban. The issue surrounds whether or not it is appropriate / should be allowed in all places or whether there should be bans in certain places, e.g. when teaching in schools, caring for patients in hospitals or wear there may be a security issue - (banks, airport security and so on).
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by polyglide on Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:28 am

I am out of this one because it can be too provoking regarding rights and the in particular the right to see who you are talking to etc;
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by snowyflake on Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:43 am

polyglide wrote:So far as I am aware there is no religious obligation to wear anything.
Woohoo, polyglide is nekkid Smile
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Tosh on Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:57 am

Yeah, but have you been in a Spanish home?
Only in my football top, eating bacon and eggs with HP sauce and drinking Watney's Red Barrel singing Torremolinos Torremolinos.

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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Dan Fante on Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:10 pm

Tosh wrote: Only in my football top, eating bacon and eggs with HP sauce and drinking Watney's Red Barrel singing Torremolinos Torremolinos.
 
Watching Only Fools and Horses on TV too I hope.
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Norm Deplume on Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:50 pm

polyglide wrote:So far as I am aware there is no religious obligation to wear anything.

That depends on the religion; Sikhs and Jews have obligatory head coverings, for instance. Voudon requires distinctive apparel and accessories when ridden by a loa.

You should really have remembered this from your in-depth researches into all of the world's religions.

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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Dan Fante on Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:59 pm

Norm Deplume wrote:
polyglide wrote:So far as I am aware there is no religious obligation to wear anything.

That depends on the religion; Sikhs and Jews have obligatory head coverings, for instance. Voudon requires distinctive apparel and accessories when ridden by a loa.

You should really have remembered this from your in-depth researches into all of the world's religions.

Laughing
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by stuart torr on Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:01 pm

Well Norm and Dan, polyfilla did a lot of in depth research did he not. thumbsdown Suspect 
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:30 pm

Dan Fante wrote:
snowyflake wrote:Hi stu and Doc

Sorry about the kafuffle on the other forum. and thanks for your support. I think I am better off here. The people are nicer and actually stick to the topic and don't resort to insults at the drop of a hat or 'hate' me for my opinion.

That ET is an idiot. I know you are 'friends' with Anita but I get the feeling she doesn't like me there. Smile
ET is a weapons-grade tool. I think Anita's alright though. She definitely only kicked up a fuss because it was you though, in my opinion. I wouldn't worry about it. Jimmy Saville ffs Laughing
Jimmy Saville might have sued if he were still alive. ET is a tool all right.
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:33 pm

snowyflake wrote: Anyway, back to the burqa - if muslim women make this choice to wear coverings of whatever nature out of devotion to their faith and not because of pressure from men or imams or culture then fine. The problem is that peer pressure from friends  and family and cultural tradition is immense and so the idea that there is choice is a bit weak. Would muslim women in Britain wear a full body covering if they didn't have men in their families telling them they must? And may I ask what purpose it serves? It doesn't protect women from rapacious men any more than full body armour does. If a man is bent on rape, there is no amount of clothing that will protect her.
 
It also annoys me that whenever the issue is discussed on television the women who defend this "right" are very vocal, but the women who are forced to dress as their men dictate are never heard for obvious reasons.
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Heretic on Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:28 pm

I have no problem with women wearing what they want I don't mind recognising that their culture and religion require them to dress modestly. What I object to is people hiding their faces in public. Do you remember the hullabaloo a few years ago about hoodies and how intimidating people found them this was in no small part to them being unrecognisable or at least unidentifiable.  

I have a mask that covers my moth and nose that I use in the winter while I'm riding my bicycle but I have the decency to remove it when I dismount from my bike. We in the culture find masks unacceptable.

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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:22 pm

I agree pretty much. Though I do find the idea that an omniscient omnipotent deity with limitless benevolence created us, but wants women to hide themselves, whilst men can dress as they please, pretty absurd. Of course when you reason that these rules come from patriarchal societies where women had no rights and were considered mere property of men, then it it becomes clear that this whole business founded on cultural misogyny.
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by stuart torr on Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:09 pm

I find the whole thing disgusting, and wonder what would be said if the roles were reversed? I think our law would have something to say then don't you?
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Shirina on Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:43 pm

What I find reprehensible, in addition to what has already been said, is how religion is given a massive amount of leeway when it comes to their practices and so-called traditions. If, for instance, public schools began requiring girls to dress in clothing similar to a burqa, there would be a very loud outcry from the majority of people. But because religion requires wearing a burqa, well, that's okay then, because it's their religion.

Even the idea that parents should be allowed to let their kids die instead of taking them to the doctor because of religious belief is merely "controversial" rather than outright illegal as it should be. I can't stand how people suddenly lose all conception of morality, ethics, fairness, and liberty when a god concept is involved. It reminds me of alcoholics, people who are wonderful folks until they get a bit of booze in them at which point they start yelling, screaming, breaking things, and abusing others.

And just because it's funny (and true)!

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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by stuart torr on Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:51 pm

Brill Shirina.Laughing Laughing Laughing 
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by timeout on Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:51 pm

Shirina wrote:
oftenwrong wrote:a) Face veils diminish the wearer.

b) Girls who wear skimpy clothes are "asking for it!"
The first one acknowledges the fact that stripping someone of their individualism and identity does, in fact, diminish the wearer. When a woman puts on burqa, she becomes indistinguishable from every other woman wearing a burqa, thus she is no longer unique. Friends cannot greet each other in public, store owners cannot recognize regular or faithful customers, even her own family members couldn't recognize her until she took off that veil. Moreover, it must be a real bitch for a child who gets separated from his mother ... holy shit! Imagine being five years old and trying to find your mother in a sea of identical burqas! This is precisely how it diminishes the wearer, and that is indisputable fact.

The second comment is just a redneck ultra-conservative misogynistic perception of rape, a quote often uttered by country bumpkins who have been taught by their "pappy" that women are somehow less than men. Eve was the one who ate the apple, dontchya know! It is a famous excuse for men to rape and has very little to do with the first comment. Most everyone should know by now that rape isn't about sexual gratification, it's about power and dominance. A burqa isn't going to stop a rapist because it doesn't matter what the woman looks like - it's the rape that matters, the feeling of power that some people really crave.



i would have thought it more likely to be sexually repressed Muslim men who think that skimpy clothing is a justification to rape as the woman/girl in question obviously has no morals or sense of decency.  i think we might have to make a distinction between the misogynist wanting the feeling of power over women through rape and the religious sexually repressed male who wants an excuse to rape to have sex.
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by Heretic on Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:12 pm

timeout wrote:[i would have thought it more likely to be sexually repressed Muslim men who think that skimpy clothing is a justification to rape as the woman/girl in question obviously has no morals or sense of decency.  i think we might have to make a distinction between the misogynist wanting the feeling of power over women through rape and the religious sexually repressed male who wants an excuse to rape to have sex.
It is a cultural misunderstanding but it is a misunderstanding that means a lot of our most vulnerable women and children are getting hurt. Islamic men aren't the only group that are attacking these vulnerable women and children but these crimes need addressing seriously by our society. It need to be made clear to everyone that crimes against the weak and vulnerable will not be tolerated and very long prison sentences will be dished out to anyone convicted of such a crime. I personally would like them in the general population of the prison rather than the protected wing for prisoners likely to be attacked but I know that's probably a step too far, but that doesn't stop me feeling that way.

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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by stuart torr on Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:29 pm

Very true Heretic, let them get battered. deadhorse 
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:49 pm



snowyflake wrote: ....

Anyway, back to the burqa - if muslim women make this choice to wear coverings of whatever nature out of devotion to their faith and not because of pressure from men or imams or culture then fine. The problem is that peer pressure from friends  and family and cultural tradition is immense and so the idea that there is choice is a bit weak. Would muslim women in Britain wear a full body covering if they didn't have men in their families telling them they must? And may I ask what purpose it serves? It doesn't protect women from rapacious men any more than full body armour does. If a man is bent on rape, there is no amount of clothing that will protect her.
"Peer pressure" indeed.  Our own culture has only recently moved away from the practice of wearing full mourning - apart from very formal public occasions.  At least up until my Grandmother's generation it was obligatory for females to wear all-black clothing for some months after a relative died. In an extended family, a girl could find herself wearing only black, continuously from the age of 16 until marriage as successive rels passed away.  A widow might wear nothing but black until her own time came. [/quote]
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by starlight07 on Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:14 pm

The verses in the Quran first state about a man's modesty and then a woman's. One can read the Hadiths and Quran to understand what is allowed/acceptable.

Personally, as a Muslim, I will not cover my face since
a) I find it difficulty to breathe under any cloth/material
b) Living in the West, the culture does not require it
c) It hides one's identity which is a necessity when in public.

However I will not judge anyone as oppressive if they choose to cover their faces for whatever reasons even though the media portrays the image as such.
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

Post by starlight07 on Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:16 pm

Black is not the only colour for burqas/niqabs. I quite like the designer ones. But they are very pricey.
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Re: Are face veils a symbol of free expression, misogyny or devotion to faith?

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