Monday, July 21, 2008

Morality check

A couple of responses to my burqa blog. Deborah says that
writing her doctoral thesis on multiculturalism she rejected
moral relativism and argued that some things are just
morally wrong—and burqa-wearing is one of them,
"because it is so closely linked to the subjugation of
women." Good call. Truth-seeker, for his part, has no
objection to the robes and head-dresses worn by Muslim
women but draws the line at covering the face entirely.
Seeing two women in downtown Auckland wearing full
burqa with only a slit for the eyes bothered him so much,
he says, that he thought hard about it and concluded that
it threatens the function of individual accountability
necessary in a nation of responsible citizens who obey
laws. "If you hide your face from me," he writes, "you are
rejecting that responsibility to be open and accountable
for your actions."


Anonymous said...

have you considered looking a little more widely at the question "why do people in NZ object to the full-face, eye-slit burqa ?". Have you for example canvassed a variety of NZers of different ages and asked them for their input ? Just to get you started, here are a few ordinary reasons why the burqa is objectionable in NZ.
1. the concealment of the face is bad because a concealed face is a sign of malign intent. We can see this in eg. a Western movie, where the bank robbers draw the kerchief over their face to conceal their identity. Some banks and petrol stations and other institutions in NZ now forbid the entry of persons who conceal their face. Concealing your face is a statement - I have something to hide and I am likely to be up to no good.
This tradition is an ancient one with it's roots in our European ancestors., our British ancestors for the most part.
2. I saw young gang recruits being interviewed on TV last week - they had drawn a kerchief over their faces just like a bank robber - they knew what they were saying was bad and were concealing their identity. Your burqa wearer is aligning herself with those thugs - that she may be ignorant of that is no excuse.
3. In NZ we pride ourselves on our achievements in bringing females to full equality and there are many proud monuments to that achievement. When a women wears a burqa she is openly stating she is contemptuous of our achievements there, as is her husband, and those who support her in the action. Because the wearing of the burqa is a symbol of oppression, of ownership by men of women. I personally regard the wearing of the burqa in NZ as a direct insult to my mother, to my wife and my daughters, and thereby an insult to me directly.
4. The wearing of the burqa is offensive because it is so openly disrespectful of our culture and traditions - this stretches our tolerance too far - why should we have any respect for them when we, the people who created this country as it is, are treated with such disrespect ?

Stand up for your people Denis, your culture, your country, your traditions - the equality of women in NZ is an achievement of the highest order, it took centuries to accomplish, and here we see it treated with contempt.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the burqa is older than Islam. It came to me the other day that it is an ideal covering for oiled hair and clean clothing in dusty countries such as Mesopotamia and Egypt. Eyes would need to be free to see but to protect them from fly and dust borne diseases they would use the thick mineral coloured powders.See Ancient Egyptian wall paintings etc
These would develop into eye makeup to ogle the passing men and the burqa would become what every respectable woman would wear.