You can run like this in public but you can’t swim like this in public
A YouGov survey found that 57% of voters supported outlawing the wearing of the burka and the burkini in public places. Sadly, only 25% were against such drastic action. Muslim women wearing religious clothing has become a hot issue in the wake of terrorist attacks. In the West terrorist attacks are almost entirely carried out by men, non-Muslim men. Nevertheless, it appears that to reduce the threat of attack, Muslim women should uncover their faces. And in the case of the burkini remove their clothes. If women revealing their faces lessens the risk, image the impact when applied to men. So, to reduce terrorism, we should ban face coverings including the beard. Men should also walk around without their trousers. That would align with terrorist profiling. So, if we ban the burka we must also ban the beard.
Professor Charles Kurzman’s data shows that ‘Since 9/11, Muslim-American terrorism has claimed 69 lives out of more than 220,000 murders during the same period.’ That is consistent with earlier FBI findings that 94% of terrorist attacks were carried out by non-Muslims during a 15 year period.
The situation is worse in Europe! The European Union Terrorism Situation Report 2016 says ‘As, in previous years, separatist terrorism accounted for the largest proportion [of terrorism], followed by jihadist attacks’. In Europe, in 2013, there were 251 terrorist attacks. Only two of those attacks ‘religiously motivated’.
Experts have identified non-Muslim men carry out the vast majority of terrorist attacks. Overwhelmingly, they are pursuing separatist politics or are ‘lone actors’ like Anders Breivik. They do not wear a niqab or burka. Yet, Muslim women are a terrorist threat because they cover their faces and bodies. It surely follows that men who cover their faces in public, with a balaclava, scarf, or beard are a terrorist threat too. Nor should they be covering up with long trousers. We don’t know what they are hiding but we do know they are a high risk.
Freedom To Choose
I don’t like the niqab or the burka, they are ugly and dehumanise women because it hides the human face. Nevertheless, I will stand up for the right of women to dress as they please. Women are not public or political property. That has been the case for too long. In 1798 the Tignon law forced Black women to wrapped their heads then compelled them to wear ugly headscarves.
Ban The Burka and The Beard
So if we are going to take our lead from the French who have banned the full burka and niqab since 2004, along with Belgium, Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Brazzaville. Or follow the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey with partial bans we must apply the restriction to all face coverings and mens’ trousers. Otherwise, it is just plain sexism, racism and Islamaphobia and not a safety measure at all.
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