Friday, July 16, 2010

Burqa And France

The lower house of French parliament has approved a law banning wearing Islamic veils, called burqas. The lawmakers consider that this practice is against the French ideals of women’s equal rights and the country's secular tradition.

Finally a western Government has shown courage against oppressive Muslim practices of forcing their women to wear “burqa” and “niqab”in the name of Islam. I commend President Sarkozy for this initial success, for he was the one who first declared in June 2009 that the burqa is “not welcome” in France.

Muslims are increasingly demonstrating their ignorance of their own religion by adhering to practices that is discriminatory against women and not even ordained by their holy book, Quran. Take for instance the statement of Egyptian Islamic scholar Abdelmotie Bayoumi, who said, “The niqab has no strong legitimacy based on Quran or in examples from the Prophet's life that makes it a religious imposition on women.” Then why women are forced to wear those veils?

The mainstream French Muslim organization agrees that such dress code is not suitable in France, yet, they worry that the ban will stigmatize all Muslims. However, perhaps it wouldn't if they did their part to educate their community to treat women as equals, and stop treating them as chattels.

During the National Assembly debate, the Greens lawmaker Francois de Rugy commented that conservatives “are throwing oil on the fire — you are reviving tensions just to win votes.” I say, how long will the civilized world condone medieval practices in the name of religion?

Berengere Poletti, a member of Sarkozy’s party, said that the face-covering veils “are a prison for women, they are the sign of their submission to their husbands, brothers or fathers.” Absolutely: this is the truth and the only truth. In France, the niqab and burqa are viewed as an opening to extremism and an attack on secularism which are the central values of French culture. As a Muslim, I say "Amen," and I share the French view wholly.

The Quran says when you are in a foreign country, obey their laws, respect their customs, and be a good citizen if you make that country your home. The tragedy is that many Muslims seldom read their holy book to understand its meaning, and defer their cultural guidance to the uneducated mullahs.

The Quran says: We made the Quran easy to learn. Does any of you wish to learn? (54:17) Yet, mullahs claim, it is difficult to understand Quran, and therefore they come up with fatwas (religious edicts) for uncharted territories, and force uninformed followers to live by their decrees.

The new law will be in the Senate in September, where it is expected to pass. However, this will be scrutinized by France’s constitutional watchdog before it becomes Law-of-the-land, and they may still find it unconstitutional.

I hope they do not.

Reprinted from Technorati