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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The veil is not a choice

Farzana Hassan, past president of the Canadian Muslim Congress, wrote today in the Huffington Post (!) that she fully supports Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's decision to prohibit women from covering their faces during citizenship oath-taking ceremonies. This should be required reading for all those who worship at the altar of political correctness and can't decide what's the more important shibboleth: feminism or multiculturalism.
Minister Kenney deserves our applause for taking a bold stand against one of ultra-orthodox Islam's most pernicious symbols: The face veil.


Indeed newcomers to Canada must embrace gender equality as a core Canadian value. In recognizing the patriarchy behind the veil, Kenny acknowledged that women must make choices freely in an atmosphere of equality and transparency. The face veil must be removed, not just to ensure the integrity of the oath-taking ceremony, but also to affirm the equality of the sexes. And despite what third-wave feminists and multiculturalists assert, the burka is both oppressive and anti-feminist, steeped in patriarchy and control.

It is nonetheless the muticulturalists' love affair with the "exotic" that prevents them from seeing the larger picture about the burka. Their view is obviously predicated on moral relativism that regards all cultures--even the horrendously patriarchal ones--as equal. Third- wave feminists, in particular, assert that women should be free to define their own femininity even if it includes donning the veil. But can a choice be deemed feminist if one adopts a practice that is clearly the result of patriarchal religious edicts?

Regrettably, contemporary feminists continue to support a woman's right to wear the burka. According to them, women have chosen this path of femininity for themselves. Their choices must be respected and any contradictions in their stance must be accepted. To deny a woman the right to wear the burka would mean imposing someone else's standards of equality and freedom.

And herein lies the fallacy. Women who purportedly choose practices that stem from patriarchal interpretations have in fact not defined their femininity. Burka adherents have most certainly taken their cues from chauvinistic and patriarchal religious interpretations and embraced them without question. That women must accept polygamy, that they must veil before strange men, that they must restrict themselves to domestic roles are the result of patriarchal conditioning, rather than women defining these roles for themselves.
Heads are exploding at CBC headquarters at this very moment.


Frances said...

Let's see Farzana trying to tell the Saudi religious police at Mecca that 'the veil is not a choice'. The veil is NOT ALLOWED when one is doing the Haj.

Alain said...

This is not a religious issue as the chattering class and Islamists claim; it is a political statement. The statement being to thumb their nose at Canadian culture and values. Furthermore this Arab tribal custom is about keeping women and girls as property and inferior, which is against our culture and values. Also more importantly it is a security issue and Canada should do as France and other European countries in totally banning it in the public space.

Cytotoxic said...

Actually, the veil is completely a choice. It's just a choice you don't like and the government is arbitrarily picking on in the citizenship oath. How does wearing a veil interfere with that (in contrast to wearing one on the witness stand)?

Eric said...

Well, it isn't much of a choice if the alternatives are a) wear the veil, or b) be beaten by your male relatives or shunned by your community.

As for the witness stand example, there is no difference. Veils should not be allowed in the courtroom either. Women should be able to wear whatever they want, but when they are interacting with the agencies of the state, it isn't really a private occasion.

Anonymous said...

If there was no Fine for running a stop sign while driving, THEN I would say I made a free will choice to stop at a sign at 4:00 am if nobody was around. But I will not buy the BS by Imam's that the Niqab and Burka's are a free-will choice when the punishment for NOT wearing them could be getting drowned in a car as we saw 4 muslim females get donwe to them in Ontario.
If muslims really pine for the days of living in a islamic hell-hole run by Shariah Law where thay ca nlegally murder gays in public, then they should move to Saudi Arabia, Gaza, Iran, or Somalia.

Dr.Sheema Khan was at CAIR for many years when it was tied to terrorism funding for Hamas and Hizballah, CAIR had crusaded for Sharioah Law in canada which failed big-time. Khan jumped ship after the FBI Court case linking her CAIR Org. to terrorism support , but she has yet to use Saudi-Air to leave Canada for her Utopic islamic hell-hole with the Burka's and Niqab's she so strongly defended for wearing in canada. CAIR canada is now upset that the pro-islamists in Niqab's can to commit Citizenship fraud by getting it for a muslim outside of canada. CAIR will miss the Rent-A-Muslim express line for Citizenship.