Friday, April 15, 2011

Can a feminist support the Islamic Burqa?

I believe a woman has the right to endeavor any task her heart sets her toward. And I also believe that ALL major religions have a vein of misogyny, whether it be in their sacred texts or in a practiced tradition. But it is most certainly a woman's right to submit to them. Or not.

So when France tells a Muslim woman it is illegal to cover her face in public, they are violating her religious/civil rights. 

I can understand the need for public safety rules. Such as, "All citizens must present identification upon request". However, that is already the law. This new rule against burqa's and veils is wrong-headed, discriminatory, and anti-women's rights.

A traditional Muslim woman may wear a veil for any number of reasons. One being her husband's preference. This degree of submission not MY preference, however it is her right to submit.

The government of France, by trying to de-veil her, may in essence be taking away her freedom to leave the house and enter the public square.

And suppose the burqa is her personal preference. Should the State substitute it's conscious for her own? Does this a FREE woman make?

Before we burn burqa's to "liberate" Muslim women, let us first re-examine the ethics/soundness of a State interfering in a woman's religious preferences/practices.