Monday, 26 July 2010
Ban The Burka?
I have read lots of arguments supporting the ban. The main one seems to be that it's a symbol of the oppression of women. I've also heard the argument that, as it isn't actually prescribed by the Qur'an, the burka should not be seen as an expression of religious observance.
It is true that there may be some women who aren't given a choice as to whether or not they wear a burka. However, I do know that there are women who actively choose this attire. There is a parallel in the wearing of a mantilla in church - an argument against it is that it is a symbol of the Church's oppression of women. I disagree: I understand the wearing of the mantilla to be a sign of reverence and humility before God, and I feel intensely uncomfortable without a mantilla in church. If the burka is being worn for a similar reason, then that freedom of expression should not be taken away.
I think that making the burka illegal is a dangerous route to follow. I wear a crucifix and miraculous medal quite openly over my rollneck jumpers. It is not "required" by the teachings of the Church, however, I would be extremely upset if I were told that I could not wear these symbols of my faith openly, because they might offend someone else's views on what is oppressive.
Today, the burka is being banned. Tomorrow it will be the mantilla, and the day after it will be the crucifix... and then, maybe priests will not be allowed to wear clerical collars in public...
We need to stand up for the right to dress according to our beliefs.
(I might not be expressing myself as clearly as I'd like because of the painkillers I'm on... apologies for the - greater than usual - incoherence!)