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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Burqa Rage"

Michael Gerson has an opinion piece in today's Washington Post about the controversy swirling in Europe over the banning of head coverings.  I've never lived or worked in Afghanistan but know many women who have -- and they pretty universally see it as a symbol of oppression and subservience.

Is the burqa really a reasonable expression of religious freedom, particularly when it serves to subjugate women?

I'd love to hear from some of my friends who live in Europe and can shed further light on this.  As well as those who can fill me in on the benefits of the burqa.

3 comments:

Jane Phelan said...

This is certainly an interesting topic--and I certainly can understand both sides. I have been following the debate over hijab in France. I don't know if it has passed yet...

oliva said...

I have worked and lived in Morrocco, Pakistan, Iraq and Bosnia. I have Muslim/Turkish roots. I am absolutely against hiding a woman's face, and I see it as the ultimate sign of opression and male dominance. However, I do not think France or Belgium should lead this fight - it is up to the liberal voices in the Muslim world to help liberate their women.

Amanda said...

I agree with Olivia. Having worked with many Muslim men and women and having lived in Afghanistan for a short time, I have only seen the burqa used for the staunch oppression of women. It is a deeply saddening challenge to any progress being made in societies like the UAE, urban areas of Afghanistan and more open Islamic communities in Europe and North Africa. However, I believe it is counterproductive for any government to exercise its power far enough to outlaw the burqa. The fight should be lead me from the bottom - or at least the middle - up of Muslim communities.