Feminism | Posted by Sarah E on 01/23/2013

The Surprising Similarities Between Burqas and Short Skirts

The Burqa ban is the cause of much debate in France. The ban sparked a discussion about human rights: do the citizens of France have free will to wear whatever they want? Is the next step to silence people from saying what they want? Or is the Burqa a security threat — a piece of fabric that can completely conceal the identity of a person, and possible a weapon, or worse a bomb, too?

It raises many a question from a feminist perspective too. Is it empowering to be able to conceal your body so you are judged on your personality and not on how you look? Is it oppressive because it is imposed upon women by men?

When I asked a male Muslim colleague why women were asked to …

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Feminism | Posted by Helen H on 05/20/2010

Belgian Burqa Ban

I just read an article about the vote in Belgium that led to a nationwide ban of wearing burqas in public.

On one hand, I can see where people who are for the ban are coming from. The burqa does have a lot of stigma both within and without Muslim culture. It’s one of the more ambiguous Islamic concepts, and it’s hotly debated. Some Muslims believe it’s mandatory, others believe it’s just an option, and others still think it’s absurd. Personally I don’t think it’s a particularly liberating piece of clothing and I don’t expect I’ll ever wear one.

On the other hand, I don’t think this is the way to fix anything. First of all this absolutely screams Islamophobia and xenophobia and will only serve to perpetuate the negative …

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Feminism | Posted by Paul S on 07/27/2009

Gender Equality and Religion: Using the Burqa Ban as a Jumping-Off Point

 

A little over a month ago, The Huffington Post put up an Associated Press article entitled “Sarkozy: Burqas Are ‘Not Welcome’ In France.” The gist of the article was that French President Nicolas Sarkozy used “some of the strongest language against burqas from a European leader at a time when some Western officials have been seeking to ease tensions with the Muslim world.” Burqas, for those unaware, are a type of Islamic religious garb for women that cover the entire body. Burqas have a nasty reputation for being a hindrance to female equality in the Muslim world, and also apparently in France. Thus, some in that country would like to see them banned from being worn.

I saw this as an affront to the basic human right of freedom of …

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