Thursday, July 15, 2010

Peeking Behind the Veil

A reader of the National Post is distressed by France's ban on the female veil and body bag, and is worried that the same restriction might be contemplated in English Canada. She writes in a letter to the editor:
...Muslim Canadian women, such as myself, are integral and productive members of society who possess diverse capabilities and faculties. The Islamic teaching of modesty allows us a comfortable atmosphere where we can further these strengths and skills. This legislation, however, does not bode well for the integration and participation of women, and will inevitably lead to further gender inequality.
It's hard to see how getting rid of veil, an instrument of scripturally-decreed gender inequality (chicks coming in second best in the Koran's gender sweepstakes), will lead to further gender ineqity, but no matter. An Egyptian-born Christian, writing in the Montreal Gazette, explains what's really behind the veil--i.e. the insistence that we infidels tolerate Islamic intolerance and its yen to Islamicize (h/t MH):
...I was raised in a financially comfortable family in Egypt. But as a Christian, my fate in Egypt was sealed. I was deemed to be a third-class citizen, behind Muslim men and Muslim women. I went to the U.S. at age 17, not in search of economic opportunity, but in hunger for equal citizenship. I now live and work in Canada, and I continue to be thankful daily for the gift of openness, tolerance, and free expression.
But I am also astonished by the naïveté of many Quebecers, who think that the niqab, the burqa, the insistence to be served by another female, and so on are simple matters of free religious expression. They do not understand that those who ask for such accommodation are also those who espouse fundamentalist Islam. Their goal is to "Islamize" the society they have immigrated to. Those requesting accommodation have never accommodated indigenous minorities, do not acknowledge the continuous ethnic cleansing of Christians from the Middle East, and will never raise a voice to criticize the persecution and oppression of religious minorities in the societies they left behind. Organizations that lobby hard for Muslim rights in Canada, such as the Muslim Canadian Congress, have yet to shed their hypocrisy and look back at the complete lack of accommodation of their native religious minorities.
Not going to happen. That is to say, it's about as likely to happen as Queers Against Israeli Apartheid getting a clue and reforming under a new banner: Queers Against Islamic Repression (QuAIR).

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