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Ban the Burqa

By ATWadmin On July 14th, 2008

Yes I know a year ago I was suggesting the arguments should speak for themselves on the burqa and its spin offs – and that provided there is a healthy debate on all the issues we should accept that some women will wear one of these ridiculous things just as some women will choose to date men on death row and think them husband material. Except that the debate c/o Jack Straw kind of fizzled out to the usual cries of racism.

So then I read about the French approach. To anyone who thinks political correctness is rife in France – think again.

Via Harry’s Place and The Guardian 

A Moroccan woman who wears a burqa is denied citizenship on the grounds that her “radical” practice of Islam is incompatible with basic French secular values such as equality of the sexes.

The woman, known as Faiza M, is 32, married to a French national and lives east of Paris and has been in France for almost eight years. She speaks French, has three French children, but lives in “total submission” to her husband. Her application was rejected finally (the case dates back to 2005) on the grounds of “insufficient assimilation”.

She appealed on the grounds of the French constitutional right to religious freedom, but the original ruling was upheld.

The ruling stated that the woman had “adopted a radical practice of her religion, incompatible with essential values of the French community, particularly the principle of equality of the sexes”. Furthermore, the paper reported that the woman’s interviews with social services revealed that “she lives almost as a recluse, isolated from French society”; “has no idea about the secular state or the right to vote”; and “lives in total submission to her male relatives”. It led Le Monde to ask the question: “Is the burqa incompatible with French citizenship?” and Harry’s Place extended the debate to the UK….

"Why be a citizen of a country that you have no interest or knowledge of, but in fact live in complete alienation  to?"

Well quite. Ban that ludicrous garb, burqa or niqab, before another bunch of hapless twits take it up and claim promoting fierce inequality of the sexes is now "a free choice" we should all just roll over and accept.

158 Responses to “Ban the Burqa”

  1. "Well this time, invited to a debate on radicalisation I turned up, daringly uncovered. Sure enough, those without hijab and niqab were a minority – and my opposition to both is well known"

    Guess who wrote that Alison?

  2. Percy – Yasmin AB first wrote she favoured a full burqa ban in 2005 based on her experience with women who wear one – particularly of one woman who was covered in bruises and had approached her personally for assistance. That is the only thing she and I agree on.

    Mostly her articles are about milking the very victimhood status she tries to condemn in her article. Saying that she favours a burqa ban does not excuse racism nor her support of an event organised by extremists. Pity she is more concerend with whitey than leading the way more robustly on this issue.

  3. Harry’s Place may be a popular site Alison, but I would not have thought it was worth mentioning, unless you were being kind of mildly ironical in that it publicized this news item.
    Why not link straight to the Grauniad?

  4. The French have a much more robust approach on this than us. I agree – ban the Burqa.

  5. I favour the mdatory wearing of the burqa/niqab by women of ALL religious faiths based on two premises:

    1) They’re ugly enough to stop a clock.

    2) They refuse to shave their armpits and legs!

    Hey, maybe those Muslim chaps aren’t so stupid after all!

  6. Bernard – Sorry but is it really that big of a deal? At any rate they were asking the question ive directly cited from -so of course they are worth the mention.

  7. Or require the mandatory wearing of burkas by all Muslim men as a quid pro quo for their forcing the women to wear the stupid things.. Watch ’em howl then!

  8. I would imagine that if we are banning the Burqa then Alison, just to make sure that no Islamic women are being abused, then we will also have a universal ban on makeup, just in case it is being used to cover up bruises.

  9. Who would have thought that the British right would be taken advice from the French.

  10. Harry’s Place is full of loathsome liberal pinko’s, that why.

  11. Oh Ive always loved the French Seamus. Ever since they gave high school headscarves the finger.

    Yes make up often is used to cover up beatings. By the women doing the covering up. I think YABs point was that the particular women she referred to were being forced to wear a burqa by their husbands. What with wife beating being a-okay under Islam and all.

    That wasn’t the motivation for my post however. Which was to do with equality Seamus. Not being a liberal and being in thrall to religion I doubt that jibes with yourself!

  12. Bernard – don’t read it then.

  13. –we will also have a universal ban on makeup, just in case it is being used to cover up bruises.–

    Haw, haw, that’s a real knee-slapper! And sunglasses too! They all hide bruises and cuts as well as full body garments! Hee hee!

  14. So Ban men being allowed to tell women how the fuck to dress. I barely know how to dress myself rather another person. Don’t ban a religious article of clothing just because you think it might be being used by some men to cover up their crimes.

  15. Its not a religious article of clothing–loads of Muslim societies do not have it. It is a sign of subjugation. Many of those who wear it do not do so voluntarily.

    By allowing the "freedom" to wear this badge of inferior status, you abandon the vulnerable and take sides with a proud, arrogant oppressor.

  16. "Its not a religious article of clothing–loads of Muslim societies do not have it. It is a sign of subjugation. Many of those who wear it do not do so voluntarily."

    Many Christians don’t wear a cross or a crucifix. Are they not Christian symbols?

  17. Crucifixes are purely Christian symbols but are not essential to the faith.

    They are not signs of subjugation and they’ve never been known to hide a huge bruise or a broken jaw.

    Veiling and maybe even the burka predates Islam–they are tribal garb, not directly religious at all. The crucifix obviously does not predate Christianity.

  18. But they are worn because of that woman’s interpretation of a command in the Quran. The Quran requires Hijab, which is a command for Islamic women to dress modestly. Now, it thus becomes a matter of faith. If an Islamic woman believes that she needs to wear a Burqa to achieve Hijab, then we should not argue.

    Now, for any men, or women of a certain nature, on this site, click the link and tell me you don’t think Burqas can be quite good at times.

    http://doesitallmatter.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/burqa.jpg

  19. Phantom – both men and women used to veil up to protect them from the sandstorms so in the name of equality I think your ideas a goer.

    Also can I repeat that the post and reasons stated do not refer to women being beaten as the reason for banning. I was only answering Percy regards Yasmin Alibai Brown because he was trying to be a smart arse!

    France does not ban religious symbols btw, including the basic islamic headscarf. It was the burqa or all covering veil. Along with the other reasons stated in the post, all of which go against equality and therefore their definition of citizenship. Very sensible. As is the question Harry’s Place poses.

  20. Seamus

    In the endless debates about hijab there’s a common misapprehension that it applies only to women.

    This is not altogether surprising because Islamic scholars (all of them male) have spent far more time over the years prescribing detailed and often very restrictive dress codes for women than they have for men.

    Funny that.

  21. But Alison, if the woman feels that her Hijab is not fulfilled by a Headscarf, then by banning the Burqa or other veils, then they are attacking her citizenship by denying her Freedom of Religion.

  22. Equality takes priority in France since the headscarf is considered a sufficient religious compromise. If this fails to please her she should reside in a fully Islamic country.

  23. Seamus

    You continue to say "her freedom".

    It is anything but.

    It is more likely "the freedom of her husband or father to force her to wear certain attire"

    That’s the real world. You are on the side of the oppressor here.

  24. But one of the arguments about Hijab is actually sexist, but sexists against men. It says that some men can’t control themselves if they see the face of a woman and thus the veil is put their to help the man and protect the woman. Complete bollocks if you ask me, but its their religion and culture and I’m not going to try and tell people that their religion and culture is wrong.

  25. No, Phantom, you are assuming that they all only wear the veil because their Father or their Husband say the should. I think you aren’t giving some of these girls the credit they deserve by actually admitting that some of them think for themselves.

  26. Many are compelled to wear this rag. It happens in Muslim countries, it happens in Sarcelles, and if you have it your way, it will happen in Dublin.

  27. Seamus, she lives almost as a recluse, isolated from French society, “has no idea about the secular state or the right to vote”; and “lives in total submission to her male relatives both in attitude and via the burqa. This does not gel with French equalty and since the headscarf option was not an acceptable compromise for her she misses out on citizenship in France. Though I am sure she would be very comfortable in an actual Islamic country which France is not.

  28. Many are compelled, but many are not. You are trying to force your views on these women as much as their fathers are.

  29. But this post isn’t just about Faiza. It is about the Burqa and Niqab in general. The example of this woman should be learned from and prevented. But to ban the Burqa because of these types of Islamic woman is complete discrimination against other types of Islamic woman who have jobs, interact with the Western world, completely gel with the Western world, but were the Burqa because they want to, because in their opinion, their faith demands it.

  30. Not this old argument again. There is only one sensible and correct attitude to have to the Burqa. To be against it and to campaign to enlighten women who wear it into abandoning it, but there is no justification in ordering them by law not to wear it.

  31. Well, count me on the side of those who fear the rule of their fathers and husbands. Who will never ever dare speak up. You consign them to a despair and a very public servitude.

    At least those who prefer to wear demeaning garb can blame it on an impersonal government.

  32. Colm

    The women have no say in this thing. Its all bullshit. Its the little tyrant who wears the pants that have all the say in these situations.

    The youth gangs in Sarcelles and other sewer communities in France have been known to beat the hell out of women who do not wear the prescribed garb. And you speak of womens views? Its often not even a factor.

  33. The French example ordering and protecting equality and permitting religious reverence up to a point, before it interferes with the principle of equality, is by far the best way and the happiest compromise. In order to live in the West it is also the correct and fairest compromise to demand from cultures wishing to reside here.

  34. Phantom

    The opposite of dictat is choice not another dictat.

  35. [The womans ] choice is impossible in these social situations and you know it.

    You guys don’t need a Churchill, you need an Ataturk!

    Alison’s views have much merit.

  36. "The youth gangs in Sarcelles and other sewer communities in France have been known to beat the hell out of women who do not wear the prescribed garb."

    And there has been news of woman being attacked in London for wearing it. What does that say? People don’t like people who disagree with them. It is as wrong to attack a woman for not wearing a veil as it is to attack a woman for wearing one. Where is your sense of outrage at the attacking of innocent woman in London?

    In my opinion, these women should be encouraged not to wear the Burqa but ultimately, the choice to wear one should be up to them. Some of them feel that their Religious beliefs demand it of them. Some women feel naked without one. We should not make something illegal just because it doesn’t agree with us.

  37. Really? That many stories? All the more reason to ban it if you follow the route that it is for their own protection then Seamus. To protect them all. Since you cannot say with hand on heart that it IS 100% their choice in such cut off mini societies the premise of equality and freedom is also not something you can pretend to be wholly supporting. Hoisted by your own petard! Twice 😀

  38. Can we confirm that is really their choice to do anything? Should we kick them out of Universities because they might not actually want to be there? Should we ban them from any part of our society because we don’t know whether or not the want to do it. It might be just Daddy or their husband making them do all these things. Should we ban them from doing that?

    Do woman in the modern world really have a choice about what clothes they wear? David has done a post about "SEXUALISING CHILDHOOD", about how Magazines are influencing young girls. So many woman aren’t wearing what they want to wear, they are wearing what Mr Klein and Mr Levi want them to wear.

  39. Seamus

    Can you please send me reports of the beatings of women in London for wearing the burka. I have never heard of such incidents

  40. This one isn’t London, it is instead in Liverpool.

    news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/5415478.stm

    And this one mentions an attack on an Islamic woman in London.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/attacks-on-muslims-rise-after-veils-row-420002.html

  41. Seamus – following that sort of logic we should do away with equal pay because some women are stay at home mums and come to think of it.. do away with the vote because most women back when it was an issue preferred not to get involved, preferred their husbands take on the responsibility and thought it all rather unladylike that a vocal minority were shaking up the system.

  42. Phantom/Alison

    If the Burqa is banned what then do you do if those women who wear the Burqa stay in and become even more isolated from society because either through choice or pressure from males in their household they cannot leave the home if forbidden to wear that clothing. Do you send the police in and drag them out onto the streets ?

  43. No, banning the veil would be like taken away the vote for Islamic women. Because surely if a Father can force his daughter to wear the Niqab, then he can force her to vote for whoever he wants her to.

    Woman should be given the choice to wear want they want. The Law should make it illegal to force these women to wear the veil, but also enshrine their right as women to wear what they want, even if that means them wearing the Niqab.

  44. Okay for balance Seamus from Yasmin AB in the Evening Standard….

    I drove home, and 20 minutes later the doorbell rang. I opened the door to see the same woman standing there, her raven cloak billowing as a gust of wind blew up. Her eyes were light brown. She said nothing at first, then asked in perfect English if she could come in. I admit I felt panic rising. Because I write on controversial issues at this fraught time, death threats come my way and I have been advised by the police to be extremely careful about loitering strangers.

    "Please," she said, "I know who you are and I must speak to you. I saw you in the shops and followed you. I must show you something."

    "Who are you?" I asked, even more scared. She pleaded some more, told me her name, showed me her EU passport.

    I let her in. She took off her burqa to reveal a sight I shall never forget. There before me was a woman so badly battered and beaten that she looked painted, in deep blue, purple and livid pink. The sides of her mouth were torn – "He put his fist in my mouth because I was screaming," she explained. "My father and two brothers have forced me to wear the niqah (burqa) so no one can see what they’ve done. Many families do this. They beat up the women and girls because they want them to agree to marriages or just because the girls want a little more independence, to go to college and that. Then they make them wear the burqa to keep this violence a secret. They know the police are now getting wise to ‘honour’ killings and so they have this sheet to hide the proof.

    Over the afternoon she sobbed and told me about the horrors of her life. She was 25, came from a lower-middle-class Pakistani background in Bolton and was a chemistry graduate. She wanted to be a teacher, hut her brothers and father had resented her desire for independence and grown distrustful of her. At least she was alive. She told me of a dead friend, killed, she claims, by family members who felt she had shamed them: "Someone told the family they had seen heir daughter talking to a couple of men at the bus stop and that she was holding the hand of one of them." It was a lie. "This gossip can kill us," she said.

  45. That is a sad story. But I go back to an earlier point. Some woman are forced by their husbands, fathers, etc, to wear make up to cover up the tell tale signs of abuse. Should make up be banned?

  46. Seamus

    Oh, forget it.

    Read Alison’s post again. Really read it this time.

  47. The words "liberty, equality and fraternity" are still taken seriously in France. The secular values of the revolution have survived frequent attacks by reactionary catholics (remember Petain and Vichy?) and show every sign of surviving against reactionary islam.

    Vive La France!

  48. Which women are those Seamus, now you are making it up as you go along.

    The British state is based on liberal values – individuals can decide what they want to do as long as it doesn’t cause harm to others. But within this broad liberalism, there are still restrictions for the sake of a greater good. No religious cult can demand the legal right to multiple marriages for examples even if it is a free choice. Why should the state then tolerate the burqa, which even in its own terms turns women into sexual objects to be packed away out of sight.

    There are muslim women like the one above who would dearly like the state to take a stand on their behalf. If it doesn’t, it will betray vulnerable British citizens and the nation’s most cherished principles and encourage Islam to move back even faster into the dark ages.

    This is a society which prizes individual autonomy and the principle of equality between the sexes. The burqa offends both of these principles.

    France has acted. So should we.

    And incidentally offering up the measly pathetic excuse that some women DO choose to wear this garb is no argument. If you have been educated to believe that this is proscribed in Islam, which it is not, then you are NOT exercising free choice. Just as some women who knew no better shunned getting the vote.

  49. Phantom

    Can you suggest an answer to my 9.09pm question ?

  50. The type of psychopath that would keep the wife locked inside is probably locking her inside right now.

  51. Colm’s question is essentially what do we do about multi culturalism Phantom. It’s a broad question but imo it has only some bearing on the wider debate on the burqa and *equality*.

  52. Feeble answer Phantom.

  53. It gives rise yet again as to why you would allow entry to those who practice cultures that are entirely incompatible with that of the host society.

    Feeble question Colm!

    Following your logic, we should never try to stop any type of ritual abuse in public, as the alternative would be that the victim will be chained in a basement.and never allowed out.

    Should not be illegal to beat the tar out of a child in public as the bad parents can just keep them inside forever and ever. Yea yea

  54. It’s nothing to do with multi-culturalism Alison but about the right approach to a problem and the correct powers that the state should employ. Persuasion and creating a climate of real choice is far better in the long run than the easy and patronising option of compulsion. It is just as wrong for the state to tell Muslim women what they cannot wear as it is for their husband to tell them what to wear. By all means stretch every sinew to encourage as many women as possible to reject the Burqa and crack down fiercely on any abuse and violent cohersion of these women by their menfolk but it is not acceptable and it is plain wrong and an abuse of power for the state to punish women for the ‘crime’ of wearing a Burqa.

  55. "If you have been educated to believe that this is proscribed in Islam, which it is not, then you are NOT exercising free choice. Just as some women who knew no better shunned getting the vote."

    If you have been educated in any way then you aren’t exercising free choice, you are exercising the choice of the persons who taught you. Girls are being educated to flaunt their bodies by the media and by society in general. This, while much better to look at, is turning woman into purely Sexual creatures as much as the Burqa is.

  56. Colm

    Your missing the entire point..the women often have no choice and, in a closed community with women who are intentionally concealed, you will rarely know of whatever abuse that takes place.

  57. Phantom

    your comparisons are illogical. If a man is beating a child in public he is commiting an obvious criminal offence and can be arrested and jailed. If a woman is seen walking along in a Burqa, what should the authorities do ? What crime is she commiting. Do you arrest her , thereby potentially punishing an already opressed woman, or take her home and arrest her husband under the presumption that he forced her into it. The case would fall apart in court. This is not an iaaue that can be addresses by compulsion byt by education and support for changing attitudes voluntarily.

  58. Colm raises an interesting point. How do we enforce this law? To the Police have a right to walk up to a woman in the street and order her to strip? Will she get a ticket for it? Or would it only apply to the workplace?

  59. Phantom

    I am not missing the point. I know full well the cultural and familial coercion that compels many women to wear the Burqa,not to mention the possibility of the Burqa hiding abuse but I feel that attempting to criminilise it is not the best way to address it.

  60. ‘The type of psychopath that would keep the wife locked inside is probably locking her inside right now.’

    What about a fella who locks his daughter in the dungeon?

  61. –your comparisons are illogical–

    I only make that point in view of your comment about dominant husbands forcing women to stay at home.

    Abusive parents can do the same thing and confine the abuse to the home.

  62. Enforcing a ban would be a nightmare. Are we really going to lock women up in order to free them?

    I think a better approach is a restriction on where it can be worn. We could insist on clear identity in public buildings, government offices, banks, shops etc. It should not be allowed while driving or when in charge of children.

    Airports are another obvious one. I think it is reasonable that we are in a position to identify each other when dealing with each other.

  63. Of course it is Colm – hidden societies concealing abuse, firced marriage and honour killings are multi cultural societies.

    But since you haven’t properly argued regards equality and liberal values which was the subject of my actual post, I sure ain’t being drawn into the multi culti debate. Yet.

    They don’t seem to be having such a nightmare in France Henry so not sure your argument. In fact it’s been easy.

  64. Colm – would you suggest we roll back the vote, equality legislation. equal pay, and widely accept more sexism? Perhaps just lean on re education to get past the serious issues?

  65. Gotta go but your 9.28 Phantom is an excellent response.

    It does give rise to that question and the suitable compromise in a liberal society.

    France, in this case study and their handling of it, have got it nailed. They are not shunning religious deference as they permit regular veils but they will not allow it to override equality. Voila!

    If people started walking around naked because it is their "religious choice" and having your knackers on show was a demonstration of "piety to God", I believe we have some laws that would ensure they cannot for the greater good and i doubt many here arguing for the burqa as "a choice" would accept it as a-okay. It’s always about compromise. In this case serious compromise with respect to equality.

  66. Alison

    They haven’t banned the Burqa in France, so your point about France handling it easily there is irrelevent.

    The point about equality legislation is that it gives women equal rights to choose to work without discrimination and to be paid fairly regardless of gender for her efforts. It doesn’t force women into the workplace . It doesn’t order women not to be housewives.

  67. "Would you suggest we roll back the vote, equality legislation. equal pay, and widely accept more sexism?"

    Considering how fucked up society has become since we brought those things in that just might be an idea. The world was some much simpler when women knew their place. In front of the sink and between the sheets.

    But I jest.

    The little steps are needed her Alison to convince these women to abandon their shackles. The vote, equal pay, equality legislation and many of the other things that brought women to where they are now took time to bring in. The process takes time. Do it too quickly and people will reject it.

  68. David,

    "The French have a much more robust approach on this than us. I agree – ban the Burqa."

    Well your call for religious freedom for all did not last long. Paging Ms Ladelle.

    Very well. The society that can ban the burqa can also enforce the anti-discrimination laws on religious organisations that won’t employ women and gays as priests and bishops etc. To hell with the lot of you. Let all of you go find some backward country that will put up with all of your BS.

  69. Seamus..shut the fup..if you have nothing intelligent to say, then say nothing.

  70. Colm – it is not at all irrelevant. They refused a woman citizenship based on equality and her wearing of the burqa. By extension I believe we should extend the argument here to people here already in terms of a full ban and especially those coming in. We currently do neither. France have handled this issue easily based in principle. Including a challenge to it. I hate having to repeat parts of my post just so others can keep up. Now. Care to comment on equality and the burqa?

  71. Why Alison? Why do you do this to me? Why do you put me on the same side of the argument as Frank?

  72. France is now a backward country?

    Quelle surprise. Who’d a thunk it?

    What would be an advanced country?

  73. Maggie, that was joke. You know, a little humour to spice up the argument. Obviously, it didn’t get too far.

  74. Seamus, enjoy it while it lasts – it’s the first time you’ve been right since you got here :p

  75. Ban the burqa; ban the niqab. Neither have any place in any Western society.

    For any who doubt just how alienating and uncomfortable it is for normal human beings to walk amongst these idiots, visit (as I’ve said before) Dewsbury Market on a Wednesday afternoon.

  76. The point about equality legislation is that it forces employers to accept equality Colm and was born out of a few women shaking that particular tree. Shall we roll it back and educate the employers as we would educate muslim men?

  77. Seamus

    See, Andrew and I have to suffer with being on the same side! You have it easy here.

    Andrew and I can gang up on Frank.

  78. Better Andrew, the King of Bigots, than Frank, the King of Stonewall.

    Alison, the problem with such legislation, is that in the current climate, banning the Burqa would be viewed by the Islamic community as not attempting to integrate with Muslims, and help them become equal, but would be seen as an attack on Muslims. Believe me, if legislation is brought in to ban the Burqa, within a year an attack worse than 7/7 will be carried out here.

  79. Seamus,

    "the King of Stonewall."

    eh?

  80. Seamus

    He’s on the side of the angels on this one, and you’re not!

    And I am not sure that the "let them do whatever they wish or they’ll blow your ass up" is the best of all possible arguments.

    Stonewall has all kinds of connotations.

  81. Stonewall is a gay rights Charity.

  82. I believe that those in favour of banning the Burqa do need to take into account how it would be portrayed in the Islamic community. If we are going to try to remove the Burqa, we need to do it correctly and slowly, rather than alienate an already alienated community.

  83. Seamus

    We have seen how writing a novel or drawing a cartoon can be portrayed in the Islamic community. I don’t think that should even be a consideration.

    The consideration should be how any move we make is in keeping with our own standards of liberty. By insisting on the need to be identifiable in particular situations we will make the burqa impractical in the long run

  84. I suppose this is the other sack race thread on ATW today (see JFK primary school post).

    Here is the thing, if someone is crazy enough to want to wear it, so be it.

  85. Henry94

    Yes

    The alienation felt by some is self-created, by those who wanted to move to England or France and not change one damned thing about how they lived in the old country.

    All discussion at or near this subject should begin with "When in Rome, do as the Romans do". Good advice then, good advice now.

  86. Phantom,

    "He’s on the side of the angels on this one, and you’re not!"

    How can you even say that with a straight face.

    The fact is you are no better than the mullahs and the husbands, brothers and fathers. All of you think you can dictate to women how they should dress. You’re all wrong.

  87. One thing that is good about Burqas, is that whenever there is a post on ATW about banning them, the threads often turn out to be amongst the longest and liveliest… and I always win the argument habds down 🙂

  88. Phantom

    White westerners are the very last people to use the ‘when in Rome’ argument.

  89. Frank

    But you’re the one backing up the husband/father/house-tyrants!

    Churchill and Roosevelt were allies with Stalin when that was the right thing to do. Someone needs to help the victims of forced burqa wearing when their "friends" are saying kind things but backing up the oppressors.

  90. Surely, surely, the way to go is enforced nudity for all, except ugly people.

  91. There’s nothing in the Koran which dictates wearing a headveil, some references to modesty only.

    Some scholars think "Belt" is a better translation, similiar to the chastity belt, an outward sign of virginity

    At any rate in Cairo of 1974 , there were NO veils, its a recent thing, as Muslim hate preachers and puritans have better access to the media, oh that and Wahhabism in general emanating from Saudi

  92. Phantom,

    "But you’re the one backing up the husband/father/house-tyrants!"

    No. People who treat women as their property and dictate to them how to dress should be jailed. People like you.

    When freeing women means telling them what to do then you know somebody is lying.

  93. Percy,

    "There’s nothing in the Koran which dictates wearing a headveil, some references to modesty only."

    And there is nothing in the Bible that dictates wearing a turtleneck sweater and sweatpants, so let’s ban those too.

  94. Frank

    And that someone is you. You are knowingly aiding and abetting those who you know very well do treat women as property and dictate to them how they should dress.

    You take the side of the oppressor while speaking fine words of liberty.

    Shame on you.

  95. Frank

    Your inescapable logic will manage to escape our Ban the Burqa brigade.

  96. Contrarian confusion more like it.

  97. Oh AWESOME. Just been reading that the French are tabling plans to have the damn things outlawed period off the back of this unique ruling.

    I think all your burqa lurkers should start a new religion which requires the wearing no clothes. Then you can go round jangling your bits at people and stating its in the name of piety or whatever claptrap – and of course defend your choice against the already in place laws to stop you! I mean..how dare they!

  98. btw apparently this woman did not wear a burqa in Morocco. Go figure

  99. Phantom

    Many men in all walks of life beat and abuse their wives. Is society ading and abetting such abuse by allowing women and men to marry ?

  100. Frank

    Please answer Colm’s question

  101. Three sane people on this thread and one blind lunatic.

  102. Alison

    I thought you were outta here ages ago ?

    I guess the message that you and Phantom whish to put across is

    Compulsion = freedom
    Obedience = Liberty

  103. Phantom,

    "You are knowingly aiding and abetting those who you know very well do treat women as property and dictate to them how they should dress."

    That’s still you.

    Why haven’t you called for a ban on turtleneck sweaters? Clearly this means you are in favor of not only spousal abuse but child abuse. You must be a terrible person indeed.

    Shame on you!

  104. Daphne, I’m partially sighted I’ll have you know. I’m not blind.

  105. Colm

    Please stop backing the forces of compulsion and obedience and we’ll get somewhere

  106. And your message

    equality = down the toilet

  107. Phantom

    Please stop changing the meaning of words in Orwellian Big Brother fashion.

  108. Frank

    "And there is nothing in the Bible that dictates wearing a turtleneck sweater and sweatpants, so let’s ban those too."

    the point I’m making is that its clear many women are wearing the veil out of FEAR.

    I support their right to choose

  109. Or "fuck equality" which would work better on a t shirt for Islam

  110. Frank

    strawman strawman strawman

    Sure you’ve heard the word before!

    Colm

    I speak the truth. You can’t handle the truth! [ said Jack ]

    I speak of what happens in real life, not what prevails in a blog argument

  111. Alison

    Well if in your world equality means singling out and punishing women for their choice of clothing and patronisingly telling them ‘we know what’s best for you’ , then it’s not an equality I would recognise.

  112. alison — aligator 😉

    Your use of the term "burka-lurker" is well cool.

  113. Phantom,

    Except it’s not a strawman. Scroll up and you will see the argument made that the burqa should be banned because it may hide abuse. Long sleeves, turtleneck sweaters, etc., are also used for that so they must be banned also. Yes?

    Or is your argument that the burqa should be banned only because of what it symbolises? I advise you to think carefully before you answer.

  114. Fair warning–

    expect to visit both Dublin and London in September!

    Frank

    Basically a strawman. You can hide a vastly greater amount of abuse behind a burqa than you can with any other attire or makeup or anything else.

    The abuse Alison spoke of earlier would never be hidden by a sweater or by long sleeves. Here, it was hidden by a burqa. Even the most terrible physical damage would be obscured by a burqa

  115. Ditto if your world equality advocates a reversal of even the most basic western liberal values, all so you can sit on the fence.

    signed allie the alligator

  116. McDonalds should call a burger, with all the meat hidden ———— a burqha lol

  117. Phantom, those people who abuse their wives and children, in such away that can only be hidden by a Burqa, would abuse them in other ways that could still be hidden. Banning the Burqa purely to hide abuse would be like banning make up, long sleeves and turtlenecks, just because they can help hide abuse.

  118. Phantom

    "Basically a strawman. You can hide a vastly greater amount of abuse behind a burqa than you can with any other attire or makeup or anything else."

    Ah so a little bit of abuse is OK. Anything below the neck, that’s fine.

    No, if we find a woman at large in attire that may hide abuse – be it a burqa, niqab, turtleneck sweater, sweatpants, headscarf, long sleeves, nun’s habit, or a trapper hat – then clearly we should send the silly bitch home to change, and give her some sewing and odd jobs to do for us while we’re at it. Does she think she knows better than us or something?

  119. I’m off to bed.

    Goodnight to all believers in equality liberty and genuine freedom for women… and goodnight to Alison and Phantom too 😉

  120. Colm
    I resemble that remark!

    Frank
    You need to go to bed too!

    It is interesting that the woman who has been all over this issue has not agreed with either of yiz

  121. Genuine freedom? Yikes.

    Vive la France

  122. Daphne,

    "Three sane people on this thread and one blind lunatic."

    You say that like it’s unusual.

    There again I suppose 3 sane people on an ATW thread would be a record.

  123. Sorry I missed this last bit…..

    Seems like y’all have gotten sidetracked on what type of clothing hides bruises better.

    The burkha is a horrid misogynistic piece of clothing used to indicate a woman’s inferior status. It is a sign of property ownership. It is cruel, ugly, hot and damn well intended to subjugate the wearer. Put the religious significance aside, this is a cultural piece of crap used by men to control their women.

    We should ban this wicked shroud to the ends of the earth.

  124. I’m always sane Frank, except when mad cow disease (as Charles calls it) hits. Then I just want to beat idiots about the head with a frying pan rather than argue.

  125. OK, two women on the thread, from two different countries, and they both disagree completely with Frank/Seamus/Colm, the misogynist and oppressor-friendly "Axis of Evil"!

    Apologize,you lot, or I’m sending Flanagan after you. After a Babylonian bushwhacking you reactionaries will never be the same!!

  126. Put ’em in a burkha for six months, that might change their minds.

    Do any of you advocate fellas read ME women’s blogs? They hate wearing this damn thing.

    The few muslim western women who’ve bought into wearing this load of crap does not make for a pro-feminist legitimate argument. Want me to introduce to a few FLDS Mormon women out in Texas? They’re nuts too.

  127. Seamus, let me clean your glasses for you. You’re wrong on this issue.

  128. Phantom,

    "OK, two women on the thread, from two different countries, and they both disagree completely with Frank/Seamus/Colm, the misogynist and oppressor-friendly "Axis of Evil"!"

    Why would you say that when your position is that you don’t care what women actually involved think. If even one woman actually chooses to wear a niqab, you still say that off it must come. It is all about what YOU think.

    "I’m sending Flanagan after you"

    No call for that.

    I was going to buy you a drink in London. Of course, only if you are dressed appropriately. I may have to reconsider now.

  129. That is why we need to put the choice on the table. Those that hate it shouldn’t have to wear it and should be protected from those who want to make them wear it.

    Those that want to wear it should be allowed to wear it and should be protected from those who want to stop them wearing it.

    Speaking of men wearing Burqas, I work with a guy called Ivan who likes to wear women’s clothing, so for the sake of all our eyes [try not throwing up when a 6 foot 2 man wearing a mini skirt walks buy], maybe we should make Ivan wear the Burqa.

  130. Phantom

    Now I know my anti-Irish American opinions tend to jar with that circumcised shamrock you have between your ears, but do try to post something without continuous petty references to myself.

    Being pro-United States puts me on the same side as yourself. But you are way off the scale of importance to make reference to everytime I comment on Uncle Sam.

  131. I won’t say anything Daphne. I made a joke about women cleaning earlier on and Maggie stopped posting after that.

  132. I agree with Frank’s sentiments. Keep Sam to yourself and I’ll buy you a fucking pint.

    Then again, maybe drink is the way to cure Sam. Then again, he’s crazy enough now, what will he be like under the influence of the Devil’s sweet Buttermilk.

  133. Andrew

    I was far kinder to you today than others have been, others who were shocked at my making a positive comment about you today.

    My comment only meant to say that politics makes for strange bedfellows, which indeed it does. I may see you as the Stalin in my aside, when you may see me as the ally of convenience. Thats OK.

    Some here think that a guy with a rap sheet as long as yours can never be correct. Well, this issue proves them wrong. Take a bow.

  134. Seamus

    Where do you hang your hat?

  135. "Where do you hang your hat?"

    Um, what?

  136. Are you in Dublin, London, or elsewhere?

  137. Probably not on the crossdresser in his office. 😉

  138. Belfast

  139. It’s all good Seamus, I can take a joke or a jab on the chin.
    You seem to be one of the benefits of David opening up comments, I’m very glad you’re here.

    **watch out for Maggie, she’s fierce, smart and takes no gruff.

  140. The bricks they may bleed and the rain it may weep
    And the damp Lagan fog lulls the city to sleep.
    It’s to Hell with the future, we’ll live in the past
    May the Lord in his mercy be kind to Belfast

  141. Phantom, how did you manage to piss off Andrew on a burkha thread?

    I’ve been gone all day and missed the whole shebang.

  142. Amen to that Phantom.

  143. Daphne
    On a thread when I was being nice to him!

    This city that harbours our hopes and our fears
    Was knocked up from the swamp in the last hundred years;
    But the last shall be first and the first shall be last;
    May the Lord in his mercy be kind to Belfast

    Gotta go

  144. So, where is everyone else from. I sort of think that Alison is from London, and Daphne is from the States. And Phantom, I think you’re from the States. Where about are you all from?

  145. Red brick in the suburb, white horse on the wall,
    Italian marble in the grand city hall;
    O stanger from England, why stand ye aghast?
    May the Lord in his mercy be kind to Belfast.

  146. I’m from Austin Texas. Phantom is from Brooklyn. Alison and Colm are from London. Frank is just mysterious.

    Goodnight Phantom.

  147. Austin, are you a ‘Boy or a Houston fan?

  148. Cowboys all the way. The Houston (my hometown) team just hasn’t captured my fancy. The quarterback was pretty fine though.

  149. Thank Christ. I’m an Colts fan and I just wanted to make sure that there no other AFC Southers here. I know that Phantom will like me know, giving that he, being from Brooklyn, will support the Jets [or they would have killed him and ate his organs by now], and I hate the Patriots. See, the world brought together by American Football.

    Matt Schaub isn’t my type. Ask Frank, he might like him that way. [Pst… I think Frank is that way inclined]

  150. Frank! No way, the man’s a hound.

    I love the Colts! Steelers too!

    Hate list; Patriots & Redskins. Hope they rot every blessed year.

  151. Don’t really come up against the Skins enough to hate them, and we beat the Steelers every year, so I don’t mind them. So, a Cowboy’s fan who hates the Patriots. The Superbowl must have been difficult, having to choose either the Giants or the Patriots. My brother supports the Patriots, so when the came so close to Perfect and then loss was probably as good as us winning the Superbowl two seasons ago.

  152. I went Patriots on that one, because I will always go against a New York team…it’s a Texas thing.

  153. Can’t cheer for the Patriots. Imagine, a team in the most Irish city in America and they call themselves New England.

    And, I quite like the Jets. So the New York thing wouldn’t be as bad a thing for me. [I really am sucking up to Phantom here].

  154. Daphne,

    "the man’s a hound."

    A minute ago I was mysterious!

  155. Black Labrador barking in the shadows then.

  156. sweet jesus, I’m laughing so hard my sides hurt – y’all are both funny as hell.

    Frank, I’m (ME!) defending your butt and you’re giving me grief?

  157. Phantom

    You see that’s the problem with, in the main, British society. People will have a continuous go at me because of my ‘rap sheet’, yet show absolutely no concern about the wrap sheets stupid, parochial Muslims put over their faces!

    Let’s extend the ban: burqas, niqabs AND Lefties.

  158. Good one Andrew!