Sorry for returning to the same topic so soon after my previous post, but as often happens, I posted in haste previously and further reading has brought out some more enlightenment. First off, a bit in the main post I neglected to comment upon before. Mr Illeborg wrote:
The veil, I was told by Karen Armstrong, when I interviewed her this winter, has for some Muslim women become a way of expressing anger over the war in Iraq and disquiet with western aggressors. There is not just one meaning to wearing a veil and Abdol-Hamid has herself chosen to wear it. This is something we must accept, even if we don’t like it.
Now this, to me, pretty much undermines the main premise that the hijab is an expression of religious belief and therefore wearing it is a “right” people have. Here it seems wearing it is nothing more than a statement of outrage over actions carried out by an unrelated nation. It seems to me the Special Pleading is going strong in this instance. If I decided that walking the streets naked, with blood splattered all over my face, was an expression of anger over the French Elections (as an example), would that be “something we must accept?” It certainly would not be a pleasant sight. (Reductio Ad Absurdum is a wonderful tool…)
In addition to this, as is always the case, the comments left by the “public” (yes, they are sneer quotes) is even more entertaining than the original article. It goes some what towards reassuring me I am not being seduced by the RightWing (the claims that the left are in bed with Islam shows how truly ludicrous right wingers can get, not to mention this bit of nonsense). It is nice that a lot of people realise the hijab is not mandated by Islamic doctrine and is a fairly modern implementation (which further undermines the argument it is an inviolable “expression of belief”).
As one comments points out, if your beliefs demanded you refused to shake hands with coloured people, would that be a defended “right” in the same manner? Or (different commenter) if your belief led to you wearing a white sheet and a pointy white hat with the eye holes cut out, would that be just as “right?”
Rights are special, important, things. Creating ones where no right exists just to be seen as reasonable and helping the “minorities” helps no one and does little more than dilute the status of rights.