You Can’t Wear That Here

French legislative authorities have dealt with Islamic extremism and the gender inequality that seems to coincide with it.  If you follow the news, you will know that France has banned the wearing of a veil that covers the entire face and any other fully covering facial mask in general. 

Dr Taj Hargey, an Imam of the Oxford Islamic Congregation, believes burkas are the product of male chauvinism and not religious necessity

This ban has elicited various responses from the Muslim and global communities, but the general response seems to be one of approval.  Many progressive Muslims are extremely pleased with the move France has made in relation to the relatively controversial Burqa.  Dr. Taj Hargey, writing for the UK Daily Mail online wrote:

The decision by the French government to outlaw all forms of public face-masking, including the burka and niqab, is welcomed by all thinking Muslims around the world.  The Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford which has pioneered an enlightened and egalitarian Islam salutes France for its bold legislative steps to eradicate this hideous tribal dress code that is deliberately given a completely false veneer of Islam.

Whether or not the burqa is something directly called for in the Quran is a separate matter, but the wearing of the burqa is certainly not a custom adopted by all Muslim women.  While the forms of Islam that tend to encourage the custom of wearing the burqa (including the veil) tend to be viewed as extreme in Western cultures, the issue of religious and personal freedom surely come up.  Should Muslim women be permitted to wear the veil if it is their personal choice?  Where does the jurisdiction of French governmental authority over one’s clothing end?

It’s definitely an intriguing issue.  It will be interesting to see which, if any, European nations follow France in this ban.  It may come down to whether or not the Burqa is a true, natural portion of the Islamic faith, rather than cultural or tribal tradition.  Dr. Hargey writes:

Face-masking is a pre-Islamic Byzantine and Persian practice and is non-existent in the Koran.  Indeed, since Muslim women are banned from hiding their faces while praying or when they perform the pilgrimage, why do they need to do so in the public realm?

Women should be reminded that as face-masking is not found in Islam’s transcendent text, it is therefore a non-Koranic and un-Islamic habit, not a fundamental feature of their religion.  Islam is not a faith of superficial symbolism.

Is this a matter of personal/religious freedom or an issue of eradicating male chauvinism?  What say you?

Hargey’s Article: HERE

Courtesy of The Washington Note

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