I know majority of my close friends and kins are of the opinion that banning of face veil in France is against the Human rights and needs to be protested. Again I stand as a miniscule minority who thinks differently.
Apparently I donot fear being labelled an eccentric or a cynic, and feel more at ease by expressing my genuine views–no matter how dissenting they may be.
Very valid that no one has right to tell women what should they wear and what they should not. Yes it amounts to usurping the ‘right to choose’ but I have certain reasons why I stand unconcerned on the issue.
1. First, it is a political issue. To give it a religious color and get emotional in my opinion unjustified. Headlines calling it–‘banning of a muslim veil’ – by endless news reports includintg the major international newspapers, is in my view ‘inaccurate’ reporting. The language used is ‘bans the veils anywhere in public’.
2. Second, facial veil is not a mandatory in Islam even according to scholars, so to get emotional about the issue as usurping of religious rights isn’t valid.
3. Yes in a way it is going to affect only the Muslims, because nowadays it is only the Muslim women who practice face covering on a regular basis. Is it not a food for thought for us liberals to shake our brains on our cultural primitivity?
4.It was voted by the French Parliament with an overwhelming majority through a democratic process, not by any one person’s whims and fancy. Even in the polls, 80% of French are against it. Majority prevails in a democracy.
5. It is not the first country to ban a face veil. “Tunisia since 1981, and Turkey since 1997, are two Muslim countries which have banned the hijab in public schools and universities or government buildings, whilst Syria banned face veils in universities from July 2010.” Why didnt we cry foul then?
6. French parliament has been there for ages and so has been the face veil. Why then the ban now? It is a case of ‘lost trust’ between the west and the Muslims ( if at all it is to be taken as a ban on muslim rights). In such a case, crying against the ban in isolation will aggravate the polarisation. It should be looked at more objectively than emotionally and must deal with the bridging of the wideing gap through restoration of trust. When the trust returns, prejudice against such practices and targetting them would die it’s own death.
7. I donot agree that any woman is eagerly willing to wear a niqaab if given the choice without being brainwashed on it’s favour. Hence to say that those who wear it willingly, have been made willing through constant brainwashing. In my view it is the same as a person who has been brainwashed/convinced on committing suicide should be allowed to do so. Why is that an offence then? Who does it harm if someone wants to die?
8. If woman should be allowed to choose covering her face, why would those who want to go nude, have female circumcision or tolerate domestic abuse without complain, not be allowed to do so as a fundamental right. Why are these considered offences?
9. In the number game, ban on face veil will help far more girls and women who are, by force, asked to cover in compliance to the family/cultural values, than those very few who will be forced to take it off.
10.Medically and psychologically, veil is harmful. Absolute covering prevents exposure to sun, hence Vit D deficiency and Osteoporosis is very common in women who wear veil. And such covering prevents light and hence causes depression in the women.
11. Veil is definitely a hinderance in communication. Facial and eye expression are a major component of communication. It affects those who are interacting with a veiled woman and causes inequality.The woman can see all the expressions of the person she is communicating to, but conceals her own expressions. It is an unfair and non-reciprocal exchange of communication.
12. We have common men women in Pakistan more worried about a ban on veil in France( where not even 5% will ever get a chance to go and live) and are oblivious to the packing up of HEC right under their nose–a case of wrong values.We need to divert our energies to that issue.
13. We have been complaing of western agenda against muslims, against Islam for the last two decades. Do we think the West are angels, they will not retalite to our constant dislike or suspicions towards them. It is a reaction to our own irrational actions.
Yes, ban of veil may be an infringement of one’s fundamental right, but I donot consider it such a big issue to waste my energy and divert from ‘real’ issues. We recently wasted a lot of energies, valuable time on the issue of Raymond Davis–but what was the end result?
Thank God I did not waste my time and mind on it, even then.
I think we must start doing the Cost-Effect Analysis of our worries on the innumerable issues concerning this world.