November 18, 2006

Ban on Burqas in Holland

It seems things are moving quite fast in Holland these days. I totally missed out on this public discussion until I saw it flashing by on CNN; The Dutch are going to ban the burqas in public places. The burqas is the traditional dress of – as far as I know – muslim women under the Taliban regime. It basically envelopes the woman entirely in a piece of cloth.

The Dutch government said the following: “The Cabinet finds it undesirable that face-covering clothing -- including the burqa -- is worn in public places for reasons of public order, security and protection of citizens," Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk said in a statement. "From a security standpoint, people should always be recognizable and from the standpoint of integration, we think people should be able to communicate with one another."

I know there were issues in England about a woman who was fired (at least they tried) from a teaching job because she wore a face veil, and as such the children couldn’t see her speak, only hear her. I think that makes sense; body language – of which facial expression is one – does make up a greater part of communication than speech.
So I can imagine you would want to ban it from public jobs. You wouldn’t want to be seeing a judge or a lawyer in a burqa, or a teacher and a police officer. I can imagine it makes driving a bit of a hazard as well.

But to ban them entirely from public places seems a bit strong. I wonder how we are going to get away with this. Besides, what about the ladies from the Gulf? I guess Amsterdam is no longer on the list of possible holiday destinations, now is it?

I wonder if this one is going to stand, but I seriously doubt it.
Translation: "We feel much liberated since the Taliban regime has gone."


Laila said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Laila said...

But please: what they are doing in the Netherlands is absolutely correct. Beside all the legal reasons and justifications your emmigration office makes, this jungle the Islamic extremists trying to make out of normal societies is disgusting. You probably know that the number of these women in your country is 50. So, all this fuss about this number of people? Oh, come on! You see, I have no problem with the beliefs of people. What I find really outragous is that they are misusing the freedom given to them. They are trying to impose themselves on the society:"Ah-ha, you claim we are free? Let's see how far you can go! How much you can tolerate us?"
And I really really wonder with this kind of attitudes these people have, isn't it proper to find other heavens on the earth to live in?

Laila said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Laila said...

After writing the angry comment above, I saw this which put a bitter smile on my face. The sign reads:" Beauty Salon - Palace of Bride"

Laila said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Laila said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Laila said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Laila said...

Dear Sietske,

I have been trying to post a URL which blogger erases ending part of it. If you try to delete the comment, you would see the entire URL. I don't know what's wrong with it.

Blacksmith Jade said...

I think the context in which this ban was presented is unfortunate. I'm personally against burqas, to me, they seem demeaning to women, but then again, I'm not a muslim - or a muslim adhering to the extremist philosophy which promotes burqas - but by presenting the issue in a public security context within the climate of distrust that seems to prevail the dutch muslim scene, it seems like the government is targeting a specific group of people.

As I understand it, the danger is with having people walking around with their faces and identities completely hidden. So why not put a ban on all masks which completely hide the face? This would encompass the burqa but not specifically target a segment of dutch society which wears them for religious reasons.

Wouldn't that deprive opponents of this measure of their argument of persecution?

Another idea would be to present the question in terms of women's rights.

I'm curious to hear what other people think about this.

Anonymous said...

blacksmith is right
The way this ban was presented is provocative. They could have simply announced the ban on clothes covering face without mentioning burqa or anything about social integration. Just keep it strictly a security issue, it would have diabled people to argue about it.
As far as I know, Quran never mentioned Women need to be completely covered head to toe?
And those who made it so are interpreting it wrong apparently.

Sietske said...

Hi Leila, I see you are struggling with blogger. I don't know what's wrong with the program, throws me out all the time. I'm going to ge back to you on this post later. I am waiting for the discussion in Holland, see what happens, but I found the different points of view offered here very interesting.

Observer said...

Meanwhile robbers are already using (abusing) this as in recently near Toronto:

Jewel heists target Asians
One recent robbery included a male thief disguised in a head-to-toe burqa
Nov. 21, 2006. 10:14 AM

Abdul Rasheed Khalid was alone in his Brampton jewellery store filling the display cases with yellow gold rings and necklaces when two people, one wearing a head-to-toe black burqa, appeared outside his locked door.
"Salamu alaikum," the 58-year-old store owner said after pushing the entry buzzer, believing them to be a Muslim couple. There was no reply, and seconds later the pair — both males — forced him at gunpoint to the back office where he was bound with duct tape and hit several times. Then his store was cleaned out.
"Keep quiet, keep quiet, close your eyes," they said, while emptying the red velvet trays into duffel bags carried by an accomplice. Khalid caught a glimpse of the crooks. He thinks they were Pakistani or Indian.
Last Friday's daylight robbery has other South Asian jewellers across the GTA on edge, fearful they'll be next. The thieves didn't seem to care that Zaibi Jewellers is in the same strip mall as a storefront Peel Region police station at McLaughlin Rd. and Ray Lawson Blvd.
That unease is reflected by police, who say that robberies are up overall in Peel but there has been a particular spike in the number of South Asian jewellery heists. Det. Sgt. Bruce Chapman, who runs the Peel force's central robbery unit, said police are "doing everything we can to solve each and every one" of the robberies.
It's so bad that robbers, brazenly posing as police officers, hit two other stores last month, prompting Peel police to form a task force.
"They're all scared now," said Abdul Gheffar Shehzad, who provides jewellers with their wares. He and others from the industry gathered in Khalid's now-closed shop yesterday. They sat amid the empty glass displays behind a door that will be closed indefinitely.
Citing several reasons, they say they are worried they are being targeted by well-organized bandits, possibly with ties to gangs. It's not known how many businesses have been robbed, but the jewellers said at least a half-dozen retailers across the GTA have been victimized, including several businesses in Toronto's Gerrard St. India Bazaar.
The owners believe Indian jewellery stores are easy prey because they are often found in outdoor malls without security guards and with wide-open parking lots that allow criminals to make a swift getaway.
"If you go to something like a diamond jewellery store, Peoples' Jewellers for example, they're located inside large malls and it's obviously much harder to attack them versus something outside," said Imran Ahmad, Khalid's son-in-law.
Ahmad also points the finger at disaffected South Asian youth who have inside knowledge about the business dealings of the community.
"The ability to make a quick buck is very attractive to them," he said. "The first generation that came here are working hard while the second generation, partially, are coming into the crime scene."
Pakhar Jhuty said he closed shop about a year ago because he was "fed up" with the robberies and figured it was a matter of time before he got hit again. He was robbed four years ago, but the thugs got away with little.
At Nu Deep jewellers on Gore Rd. in Brampton, two suspects in police uniforms buzzed to get into the shop. The man-woman team handcuffed the victim and told him he was under arrest. The victim was beaten with a pistol, taken to the bathroom and tied up. The thieves stole jewellery and cash.
A year earlier, a 45-year-old woman was working at the Dhesi Jewelers on Airport Rd. when two people — one wearing a police uniform — sounded the front buzzer. They said they were conducting a police investigation before forcing her to the basement. When she came up, she discovered her store had been ransacked.
Two weeks ago, three people were arrested for both robberies.
But that's small comfort to the jewellers who are not convinced police are doing enough to catch the criminals and recover their jewellery. Khalid estimates he has lost $1 million and doesn't have insurance because it's difficult to get coverage in his type of business.
His son-in-law says, if police can't crack a case quickly, thieves are "going to melt all the gold into something that unrecognizable and sell it."
In the meantime, some jewellers have taken to varying their hours to throw off would-be thieves conducting surveillance.

Anonymous said...

i'll give my opinions as a muslim.

As it is true they seem to target a specific group of ppl, it would be fair to ban all masks period.

what those ppl did to the store owner is despicable.

As a security measure also, Sikh are a religion where you have to wear a sword at all time, and would be a greater security risk than a niqab or burqa in my view.
It does not seem fair to rule out one part of one religion and not another religion.

Also Besides the point, it is not obliged to wear the burqa, only the hijab. Also men should wear a head dress although not obliged it is sunnah.

ഷാഫി said...

Itz fun to hear some nations ban someone's clothing, identity etc... when you cannot beat them logically, beat them legally... ha ha ha... anyhow, i don't Islam or Muslims will be wiped out from earth by this ban. the motive is correctly religios...