HRS International

It’s high time we forbid the burka

While the burka debate rages in many countries, the Norwegian government has put its foot down. The Legislation Department of the Ministry of Justice believes that a ban on women covering their entire bodies with a burka or niqab in public spaces will likely be considered a violation of religions freedom under the European Human Rights Convention. Not everybody agrees. Philip Wendahl, for example, believes that accepting the burka and niqab amounts to sexual discrimination.

By Philip Wendahl, theological student, author, and commentator

Now that Belgium is expected to be the first country in Europe to forbid the burka and other items of clothing that fully cover women’s bodies, Amnesty and Swedish ”feminists” are defending women’s right to wear the burka rather than their right not to wear it. It’s unworthy of an enlightened society that believes in equality and a betrayal of women.

The fully covering veil is a mobile prison in which the woman is reduced to a man’s property – an object.

There are many women who “choose” the burka as the result of long-term brainwashing rather than as the result of a free choice.

There are burka-wearing women – female Islamists who promote the same undemocratic and anti-woman values as some men. Why should we turn the clock back to the Middle Ages to please these women? Religious freedom must also mean freedom from religion. Just as we do not accept the swastika in public places, we should not accept this political symbol that is an insult to half of the world’s population.

Where are the opinion pieces, the demonstrations, and the support from Amnesty and countries with equal rights, such as Sweden, when female protesters in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia risk their lives by burning their veils and burkas?

Deep down, the fully covering veil is about gender apartheid – a fixation in part on separating boys and girls and in part on clearly subordinating the girls to the boys.

In recent decades Islam has inflicted its anti-woman positions on the Western world, with the support of cultural relativists and arguments for “religious liberty.” There are separate swimming pools and gyms for men and women because “our Swedish Muslims” want it that way. There is sexually segregated education for children because “our new Swedes” from “other cultures and religions” prefer such arrangements. There is a “multicultural health care system” that restores hymens and provides certificates of virginity for young people whose “purity” is called into question by their families.

Authorities issue the certificates of virginity to certify that the commercial and sexual commodity – that is, the girl – is unspoiled and suitable for their parents’ marital trade.

We have already seen cases of genital mutilation and several honor killings of girls who had become too “Swedish,” but according to Mona Sahlin’s integration expert, Professor Masoud Kamali, they were very few in number and that the girls lied about these matters in order to secure their own free apartments courtesy of the government.

One is not supposed to mention at all that many girls in Europe are the victims of honor killings: to do so would upset the feminist establishment’s theory about the ordering of gender power. When Amnesty, politicians, the Red Cross, the Children’s Ombudsman, the Equality Ombudsman, and Save the Children stay quiet about what the burka – and the veil on children – represents, they are guilty of a racist policy that creates divisions and radically different living conditions for Swedes and for many immigrant women. To support the burka – a means of rendering one of the two sexes totally invisible – in the name of multiculturalism is nothing other than sexual racism. The tyranny of the burka is not a question of legitimate human rights but is rather about the freedom to totally oppress women.

As a direct measure against gender racism, we should welcome a ban on the burka in Sweden and the rest of Europe. To try to dismiss such a ban as a xenophobic action that plays into the hands of the intolerant is just a slippery means to avoid examining and discussing what really exists behind the burka’s facade. If one believes that women “choose themselves” to wear the burka, one should also embrace the idea that women choose themselves to be stoned in order to demonstrate that they “regret their sins.”

As a foreign-born commentator, I can never accept compromises with a primitive view of humanity at the cost of myself or anyone else. I welcome a multiethnic society, but with zero tolerance for violations of women’s rights founded in religion or culture. We should never be tolerant of intolerance.

Translated from the Swedish by Bruce Bawer