Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Banning the Burqa

The Dutch seem to be everywhere on religious blogs and news stories. They are now considering banning the burqa, one of many types of the Muslim woman's dress code. From the

“This is an enormous victory for traditional Dutch decency,” said Geert Wilders, the populist member of parliament who first proposed the burqa ban. “The burqa is hostile to women and medieval. For a woman to walk around on the streets completely covered is an insult to everyone who believes in equal rights.”

Ok, how is a piece of cloth hostile to women who choose to wear it everyday? A note about the whole equal rights thing to our flying Dutchmen: The term 'rights' takes precedence over the term 'equal'. Every person's right as a human being only corresponds to the extent of his/her will. You have an individual right, which let's you demand for things only you will for yourself. When this translates into national rights, they must be available to all individual citizens of the nation. Availability of rights indicates available choices that citizens can consider to better their lives.

The 'security argument' fails at all levels as far as I'm concerned. We might as well have a law preventing us from having any clothing at all, if the case is to be made that little time-bombs can be hidden inside the veils of Muslim women. And, if Dutch security officials cannot adequately distinguish a man from a woman "hiding" under a veil, then I guess the voices of their women are too harsh and their breasts are too flat thus enabling them to blend in with their men folk. I guess that's why the Dutch are hell bent on "equal" rights. In their book, men and women have the same physiological and psychological make-up, women are as physically strong as men and men are as nurturing and emotional as women.

My opinion is based on sociological reality: men and women ought to be valued the same, but they are ultimately responsible of different contributions to society due to the way we have been socialized for centuries.

France wants to eliminate Sikh turbans. I do not understand why the rights of individuals are being curbed for the sake of some sick version of utilitarianism. When "equality" comes to mean "marching to the beat of one drum" I have a problem with it. What happened to modern western values of individuality? What about personal belief? Do we now throw it all out the window just because we now want everybody looking the same way? If covering your hair is medieval, as Geert Wilders so eloquently puts it, why don't we put all our nuns in jail for devoting their entire life to their Lord. Choices make people who they are.

Respect others' space first and then live your own life. You will be respected ten-fold.


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