I travelled to Dublin yesterday for a number of clients meetings. It was while zooming down the N6 between Galway and Dublin, that I heard something that made me slow down and turn up the volume on the radio. Apparently the former Lord Mayor of Cork had called on the Irish government to ban Burqas AND hoodies. This is another example of the ever-increasing calls for intolerance that are steeped in ignorance, hypocrisy and quite blatant stupidity.
Let’s have a look at the various components of this proposal; It conveniently puts hoodies and burqas in the same group. Not only that, from the content of his statements, it is clear that hoodies as seen as the uniform of juvenile criminals by Mr. O’Callaghan. This obvious incorrect. On inspection my wardrobe contains numerous hoodies. However I am neither juvenile nor criminal. The second incorrect assumption is that by banning the wearing of hoodies we will see a drop in crime levels. This would mean that someone set on committing a crime would be prohibited from doing so because of the fact that he/she is not able to hide their identity by using a hoodie. This is as stupid as it is wrong, the juvenile criminal will either not care *or* use some other means of obscuring their identity.
However, what is much more worrying is that by lumping these two garments together in this manner it puts a veiled impression of illegality on burqa wearing. Nothing is more untrue. Burqa wearers are fundamental Islamic women and by definition not very liable to commit criminal offences. I suspect that this “lumping together” is done purposely rather than accidentally and will be a foundation for further calls for intolerance in the future.
However let’s leave the “hoodie issue” for what it is and concentrate on the Burqa for now. First of all tend to agree with a number of commentators I’ve heard recently on the point that most people (including Mr. O’Callaghan) are ignorant on the differences between a burqa, niqab, hijab or a Chador for example. Both the burqa and the hijab for instance stem from the Quran calling on women to dress modestly. However as this is a very unspecific description it is open to cultural interpretation and in some parts of the Islamic world this has led to women wearing the burqa or niqab while in other parts of the Islamic world women only wearing a hijab covering hair & neck.
While living in Belgium I became used to young women wearing a hijab combined with the latest in fashion (but still covering most of their legs) and make-up. In some strange way this added to their attractiveness in my personal opinion (from an aesthetical point of view).
What annoys me most however is the public outcry from the so-called liberals supporting a ban of a burqa or any other related object of clothing. The Journal and other liberal on-line hang-outs are full of supporting messages. Their support is based on the ignorant presumption that women wearing a burqa are only doing so because their religion, their husband or Allah himself forces them to do so. They also assume that these women are in dire need of rescuing by armies of liberal crusaders. This however is far from the truth. The large majority of Islamic women, especially those living in the western world, wear their religious garments by choice. And if the liberals want to stay true to their ideals they should allow these women to do so. But that’s where the issue is. Bleeding heart liberals want to liberate the world but only so it can accept their world-view which they see as the only “way of enlightenment”.
This kind of hypocrisy makes me sick. See, I am a supporter of the school of thought that multi-culturalism has failed in the western world and that by being too tolerant we have created a society rife with religious, social and ethical problems. I also see the conflict between the western (Christian society) and the Muslim world as one of the bigger threats in the future (together with economic, financial and societal collapse) and think that we need to act swiftly to stop a tidal wave of trouble coming our way. However there is one thing that worries me even more and that is the increasing amount of hypocrisy in government, religion and society. I mean what happened to calling a spade a spade?!
In this case we have liberals demanding integration, equality, freedom of speech and religion but ONLY if these fit into their worldview. They see a woman wearing a burqa and immediately react from within their own limited worldview in which they would *never* wear a burqa. But the point is that they are not of the same religion as those women wearing a burqa, hijab, chador or related garment. It is a fact that the majority of these women are not forced onto this religion and hence do not object to wearing these garments. So to proclaim freedom of religion and expression while at the same time calling for a ban on the wearing of these garment is hypocrisy of the highest order.
Liberty is NOT a pick ‘n mix product.
If you object to Islam and it’s effect on western society then grow a pair and ban the religion. Don’t support the building of Mosques all over the western world but then dictate what the people frequenting these mosques are allowed to wear.