Cody Daily ENGW 1101 Professor Douglas 04/27/10 Controversies Over Women Wearing the Burka Now in present society their seems to be more and more controversies with Muslim women wearing the burka or veil. All over the world the burqa has become a subject of discussion and controversy. These articles of clothing are part of the Islamic faith, they are cultural and religious symbols.
There are many names for these articles of clothing some being burka, burqa, veil, hijab and niqab. It loosely covers the woman’s entire body, plus the head. The burqa erases the Muslim women’s identity.It is said that the burqa is a symbol of traditionally conservative Afghan society and Taliban subjugation. But the burqa has also became a symbol of terrorism causing even more controversies with the Islamic faith. So now more and more European countries are trying to ban the wearing of burqas in public places and also in homes. The burqa can be seen as a symbol of faith, subjugation and most radically terrorism, and even though countries are trying to get rid of this Islamic symbol it should be left to the women wearing the burqa to decide if they want to wear it.To some the burqa is seen as a symbol of faith and oppression but, to many people, the burqa has become a symbol of terrorism and has causes the burqa to have certain stereotypes.
In July 21, 2005 there is video footage of one of the failed London bombers wearing a niqab as a disguise (Beyond the Burqa). The niqab is a veil which covers the entire face, niqabs are part of the burka. This caused more people to stereotype terrorism and the burqa together, making them go hand and hand.The burqa is also seen as a religious and cultural symbol by the followers of the Islamic faith.
To the women who wear the burqa, it’s the ultimate demonstration of modesty and adherence to faith and family. The wearing of the burqa goes all the way back in history to about 5000 BC (Beyond the Burqa). In the Islamic faith Muslims, both men and women are required to dress and behave modestly in public. But the burqa is also seen as a symbol of subjugation because of the oppression on Afghanistan by the Taliban.Women were seen as men’s possessions and were meant to be hidden from other men, that’s why women wear the burqa. The Taliban does not remain in Afghanistan but, women are still required to wear the burqa. The most controversy presently with women wearing the burqa is found in the country of France. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is trying to ban the wearing of the burqa in France.
This is a direct quote from President Sarkozy, “The burqa is not a religious sign, it is a sign of the subjugation, of the submission of women.I want to say solemnly that it will not be welcome on our territory” (The New York Times). Some may believe that President Sarkozy has anti-Muslim bias because he wants to ban the wearing of the burqa in public. He believes that the burqa imprisons women and erases their identity. But this banning can be a violation of rights of the Muslim women who want to wear the burqa, it should be left up to chose. Also many Muslim women feel that wearing the burqa is not a symbol of oppression, they wear it to represent their religion in public.This banning of the burqa is in a way a double-edged sword because there are many critics on either side about the decision to wear the burqa or to ban it.
In conclusion, the burqa means something different to every culture and person. The burqa can be a symbol of faith, oppression, and at its worst terrorism. And with it being a symbol of terrorism it causes even more controversy and stereotypes from many people. The controversy in France with banning the burqa in public is causing a lot conflicts between the Muslims who believe that banning it is wrong.But the banning is a violation of rights, it should be left up to the women wearing the burqa if they want to wear it or not, not the government.
Works Cited Eltahawy, Mona. Ban the Burqa. The New York Times, July 2, 2009. Web. 29 April 2010 Gerntholtz, Liesl & Gauri van Gulik. Beyond the Burqa, To Help Women, Leaders Should Dig Deeper than Religious Clothing. Human Rights Watch, July 2, 2009.
Web. April 29, 2010. Haddad, Yvonne Yazbeck. “The Post-9/11 Hijab as Icon*.” Sociology of Religion 68.
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