Tuesday, September 21, 2010

SBS Insight - Burqa Ban Debate

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September 21, 2010 on SBS Insight (Australia) - Transcript
The French Senate has voted to ban the burqa in public places. Similar laws are being considered in Belgium, Spain and Italy.

President Sarkozy said in Parliament "We cannot accept that in our country some women will be imprisoned behind a fence cut off from all social life, deprived of identity. This is not a principle that the French republic has about women's dignity."

In Australia, a recent decision by a judge to have a witness remove her face veil has sparked controversy and recent polls show that the majority of Australians support a ban.
(Thanks D.S.)


  1. That was a heated debate! Nevertheless, I do not think that on the secular side the point was made entirely out of reasonable objections. The simple apprehension about the threat burqa has on security is similar to the one proposed by radical Christians who support external intervension in Iraq.

    Vonnegut once said that we can be protective of ourselves only when the enemy attacks you at your porch. Only then you can take the gun and shoot.

  2. I find the hijab degrading and downright scary, but if someone wants to wear it in their day-to-day life, who the fuck cares?  

  3. Banning is wrong. A free country is a free country. That said, I think the Burka is fucked up beyond belief.

  4. Their argument is that people are free to wear whatever they want, right? Requiring people to show their faces is no different than expecting people to hide their genitals. Its time to go visit their mosque in the nude. They better not complain, they are all so pro-free expression after all.

  5. R€LIGION Stinks of moneySeptember 21, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    They´d be offended that our salami´s (100 percent pork) are un-mutilated!

  6. Free country or not, I'm not allowed to wear ski mask in public places, and you are obligated to reveal your identity if a policeman asks you to - by showing some ID of yours and your face.

    And what's in their photographic ID?

  7. Showing your face only when you're asked is simply not enough. There are cases, where the security cam recordings are examined long after the suspect left the place...

  8. I endorse this view but would like to add a hearty HAHAHAHHHHAAAAAA!!!!! to the idea of wearing that stupid thing. I CAN'T SEE IF THAT FIRST WOMAN BEING QUESTIONED IS EVEN THERE OR NOT, let alone see her face. It's hilarious!

  9. But, the law doesn't just state that it's illegal to cover your face/identity. It specifically states that Women may not cover their faces and that men may not force a woman to do so. It discriminates both on religion and gender. 

  10. there is just no truly free relligion, they'r all such shams.

  11. Why don't muslim countries aloud the same freedom? These "I choose to wear it" ladys should visit a muslim country and talk to the women there. 

  12. I was thinking the same thing when I saw that woman. I had to adjust the brightness on my screen to be able to see her. There was really some camoflauge going on there. *lol*

    I think wearing something like that is as silly as can be, and irrational, but they still should have the right to wear it in the spirit of freedom of expression.

  13. I think it's a matter of freedom of expression. I don't agree with the countries that force women to wear it, and in the same way I don't agree with countires that force women not to wear it. Its a peice of cloth and I agree people should take it off when it becomes a security issue.

    Still, this is not the way to show Muslims that wearing a burqa is an irrational thing to do. This is just givng them the oppurtunity to turn this into a freedom of expression issue, and in turn creates a back lash which can convert some people to Islam sometimes.

    Instead, the way to show them that wearing a burqa is irrational, is to tell them the reasons why, which ultimately would lead to telling them why it makes no sense to be a Muslim, and there are good reasons to show them that. I personally have deconverted many Muslims before. 

    I don't agree with forcing anyone out of their beliefs. That is why I support seperation of church and state here in the US.

    When people have truth on their side they don't need force. All they need is reason and evidence.

  14. they can wear and look stupid all they want- the only problem is integration- do we want people who look like that in our society? will they be able to integrate and assimilate into the western world looking like that? unlikely...

  15. Here's my opinion on the burka.
    If you want to cosplay as one of the pacman ghosts, you have every right to do so, but I also have the right to not take your seriously if you do, and if I can't verify your identity when it is important, I can take your sincerity in doubt.
    I don't care if that offends you. It offends me that you might think I would rape you if you show me your face. I can keep it in my pants, so you can safely show your face. It's part of the social contract in modern western civilisations.

  16. The answer lies in making them feel foolish. If by wearing the burka they are disadvantaged in our societies, then they will soon stop wearing it.

    I agree with an above poster, we aren't free to display our genitals, even though they do so in other remote cultures. It's about their respect for our societies as much as it is our respect for theirs when we visit them.

    Lets not stoop to their level and ban it, lets show how compassionate and fair we are. But lets encourage these women to come out from behind their masks, that we will love and appreciate them for who they are, not what they look like.

  17. <span>"Its a peice of cloth and I agree people should take it off when it becomes a security issue.  "</span>

    OK, and how do you know, whether a man at a public place stole something in burqua, or he left there an exploding device, or such? And do you do with the security tapes, when you cant see his face?

  18. The more interesting question here is why there is a debate over this in the first place. If you take away the xenophobia and the jacked up hostility toward Islam since 9-11, no one would care about the burqa in most public places. The security issue is the only legitimate debate, and the only reason that is an issue is because of the privileged status we have allow religion to assume. Other items that cover one's identity aren't allow in banks, for example, but the burqu / niqāb is OK only because it has some kind of religious significance. Take away religion's special privilages and that part of the debate goes away as well. 

  19. i think that if a religion is to wear the burqa then wear the burqa but if the police want ID then take this women in to a room and let her take her burqa of in front of a WOMEN. alot of people think that things like this are stupid but they dont know the story behind it all!! like what someone said in the debate we wear this for a reason and you wear that for a reason. its like telling people that drugs and alchol and beer and smokes are ban, but this being more worse then any of that.

  20. I agree with most of the statement about how the burqa is oppressive etc.,

    However, I am fed up with the same silly idiots making the same silly false arguments - that woman who wear the burqa are a security threat. These women do show their faces when it is necessary for ID and security. So please stop with these falsehoods, and I suspect in some cases down right lies.

    Another lie is that women are forced to wear it. Where as no doubt this is true in some cases, overall it is false. According to nearly all schools of Islamic law  it is haraam (not lawful) to force a woman to wear a burqa. So even those Muslims who think that it is good for women to wear the burqa, also know it is halaal for them to force a woman to wear it.

    However, this does not remove cultural pressure, but there are many ways in which people feel confined by cultural/peerage pressure to conform -one cannot ban that. Education is what is needed.

    What we should be banning is religous schools so all children receive a secular education.

    In a free society people are free to wear what they want. We may not like it, but so what - that has nothing to do with the issue. The problem some muslim women face is their community (society) telling them what they should and should not wear  - having a law that tells them what they can and cannot wear is not the way to instill personal autonomy.

    Thinking one is increasing a woman's personal autonomy by using the power of the law to enforce what they can and cannot wear is just stupid!

  21. i dont thhink that they should ban the burka because it is an islamic religon and they dont wear it for use they wear it for allah and who has a problem with muslims wearing the burkas if you do have a problem deal with it because its there choice if they want to wear the burka or not 

  22. <span>i dont thhink that they should ban the burka because it is an islamic religon and they dont wear it for use they wear it for allah and who has a problem with muslims wearing the burkas if you do have a problem deal with it because its there choice if they want to wear the burka or not because it is not your choice and leave the muslims alone they havn't done anything to use they can wear the hijabs burkas your not the boss of them 1 more thing leave the muslims alone alright.</span>

  23. <p><span>I agree with most of you that banning the burqa is not the right thing to do. I think one thing that hasn't been said yet is that t</span><span>he burqa and hijab bans were passed to “ensure the dignity of the person and equality between the sexes,” according to the French government. This excuse brings a gendered element to the debate. The Parliament is not banning the burqa to bring Muslims in line with the rest of the populace; the burqa is being banned to liberate women.</span><span></span>
    </p><p><span> </span>
    <span>Therefore, my criticism stems from the inherent patriarchy and colonialism within the French Parliament. Telling women to 'rebel against tradition' implies that they are not already do so. It also takes away the power and symbolic importance of the action if they DO decide to remove their burqas. Moreover, it implies that non-Western traditions are wrong and that it is the West's burden to "fix" these beliefs.</span>