Welcome to the real world

This post was spurred – although I am infinitely amused – by being characterised as racist fucktard in a burqa on Barefoot Bum’s blog.

In my fucktardy ignorance, I would have thought – along with the UN – that Islamophobia was a manifestation of racism.

****** This Racism 101 class will continue after you’ve all read the Wikipedia page, notably the Runnymede Trust definitions. And yes, it will be on the test ********

For Barefoot Bum, opposing Islamophobia is seen as “racist”. Apparently – insofar as I can make out the argument – because NOT protecting muslim women from themselves – in the face of their own perceptions – is somehow failing them. And ergo, racist. What?

Let me just spell out what a ban on items of clothing that would apply only to Muslims and only to women will mean, in practice. Note that I say “will mean” not “could mean”. In simple terms:

Muslim women would be challenged in French streets for unseemly dress (Yes, just like in Saudi.)

The French are notorious for hating anyone from the middle east. (Well Algerians, mainly, because of their colonial history.) Not all French people, of course, just enough bigots to make life hell for many Muslims. And apparently also for non-muslim sociologists who resist racism.

Some of the said bigots will be in the police force. Some members of the public will demand police action against women wearing burqas. At the very least, insulting women as they go about their daily lives will become more, not less, common. Burqa-wearers will be afraid to appear in the street.

That doesn’t feel like liberation to me. It feels like the first steps to ethnic cleansing.

(As an illustrative aside, a young woman was beaten to death in England last year – for wearing Goth clothes. The morons who did it didn’t even have a weight of ethnic-religious-racial prejudice to make them convince themselves it was OK. She and her boyfriend were just dressed in a way that offended someone’s narrow minded ideas of suitable dress.)

The first time that a woman is forced by the police to remove her coverings will produce a massive rage amongst her family, friends and co-religionists. If this doesn’t drive more muslims into fundy Islamic extremism, I don’t know what would.

Barfeoot Bum talks about women being informally coerced into wearing burqas. I take this to mean psychological pressure. Quite how far does he expect the law to go in policing personal relationships? Protecting the weak-minded from themselves?

Apologies, in that I didn’t plan to rant any more about this. The person adopting the nom-de-comment Bzzt, put all the sane arguments much better in 2 comments on the previous post here. So, I refer you to him or her.

2 thoughts on “Welcome to the real world

  1. There is a common perception among Western women that burqas are inherently misogynistic. It’s true that there are fundamentalist nations where women are forced to wear them. We (Westerners) find this offensive, though see no problem with forcing people to wear clothes in the first place, or forcing motorcycle riders to wear helmets, etc. We feel very strongly in the West that women should be free to let themselves be ogled by random men on the street, etc. I think it goes a little far though to be anti-burqa. Are we so sure there are not women who would choose to wear the burqa of their own free will — see aforementioned ogling comment — that we can assert an anti-burqa stance as pro-female? It’s not the burqa that is the problem, but those cultural paradigms that impose them that is.

    Of course, the popular debate over the burqa is less to do with womens’ right to show skin, and more to do with the government’s right to identify you in a crowd.

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