Monday, August 17, 2009

The so controversial piece of fabric

I came across an article today in the BBC about France and the debate about banning the Burqa (where everything is covered including the eyes). I have mixed feelings about this issue, because it involves many problems for me as a Woman and as a Muslim. I completely understand why having Burqas would be a danger in society, how many stories did we hear about people, mostly men covering up with Niqab and pretending to be women and doing all sorts of stupid crimes like kidnapping children and many more So yes, if it is banned in public places as a measure of security I completely understand why we should ban it or at least ask those women in public places to uncover their faces so that there could at least be any kind of social interaction.
I remember back when I was at AUC, there was this big controversy and court case about girls wearing niqabs on campus and I remember the girl in question was with me in Psychology class. I remember our professor would let her sit at the back of the class but tell her to remove the face veil because she wanted to be able to interact with her.

Anyway, my problem is not with the banning, it is rather with how the French put it, as my sister says, they are so arrogant to think that this is what will help women free themselves and have an identity. The article says, "Mr. Sarkozy said it was unacceptable to have women who were "prisoners behind netting, cut off from all social life, deprived of identity". I don't like the fact that they are putting all veiled, niqab or burqa women in one big bag: Oppression. I am not pro veiling but I am pro freedom of choice, those liberators think that by banning it they will help the poor little oppressed girls. No, that is wrong, this way you are confusing them more and imposing your ideas? What if this girl is convinced that this is the right thing? It's all about what she wants. I understand that most of the time it is not the girl's choice this is why I'm in a dilemma because I don't know how we should handle this sensitive issue. I think that a piece of fabric is not a factor of how religious you are, religion is about you and God. Many girls especially in Egypt weir veils and niqabs and do not display a single religious or moral value in fact, they do the opposite (sometimes veils are covers for prostitutes). On the other hand, there are so many intelligent, free spirited well educated and completely happy about their choice- veiled girls. My perfect example is one of my cousins she was so annoyed that people would think that she has no social life no normal girl's stuff habits because she was veiled. I will always remember a note she wrote, she was saying things like I'm a girl too, I too cannot go out of my house without make up, I look at hot guys etc... All of this just to prove my point, the piece of fabric is not an indicator, not a restriction it is all relative. So who are we to say that by banning the burqa we are liberating women? I was trying to find an alternative solution instead of banning it but I honestly can't what about the oppressed girls? What about the security?

It is such a shame that a piece of fabric is causing so much controversy closing people's mind and making them do silly things. What killed me the most is my discovery. A campaign called "Veil Your Lollipop" supporting the idea that this piece of fabric is a way to protect women from sexual harassment WHAT? Yes, see the picture, we have the depiction of a woman as a lollipop (the disgusting Egyptian kind of lollipop not even Chupa Chups) one is wrapped with only one fly trying to touch it and the unwrapped one is full of flies stuck on it. So technically unveiled women are filthy like shit keda (it attracts flies) and because they are not veiled they are more prone to sexual harassment! Can you believe this? The problem with this outrageous campaign is that it is in a way justifying sexual harassment. Why would a guy even harass me whether I am veiled or not! He should not even be looking! So to protect ourselves from the frustrated Egyptian animals we have to get veiled, like that is going to make a difference! These days men would harass a cat if they could grab it like a woman.
But anyway, what's going on with people's minds? Veil, Niqab piece of fabric no piece of fabric, this is supposed to be a matter of choice and non merci we don't need liberators.