A Muslim cleric in Saudi Arabia has called on women to wear a full veil, or niqab, that reveals only one eye. /BBC/ And you thought there is no innovation in Islam?
She was all for it before she saw it in reality. But now she hates herself for it.
Then she realized that freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. Young Heraldsun reporter Sally Morrell gets hit by clue bat:
This is a serious cover up
Heraldsun/Sally Morrell/thanks to Mullah
IT was in Hawthorn, of all middle-class suburban places, that I saw them. And where my dislike of the full-face burqa turned to loathing.
As they walked the store with their husbands, they drew attention and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to feel uncomfortable at the sight.
But why does the sight of a woman in burqa make us feel so awkward?
It’s the not the Islam thing, or not to me.
I think it’s because the garb seems such a bold statement of alienation, or even rejection of their new neighbours, people like me who have all their life taken to heart the Australian ethos of making newcomers feel welcome.
Who have taught their children to always offer the hand of friendship, and especially to strangers trying to make their home among us.
This was a rejection of not just me but of any welcome, it seemed to me to say “I don’t want to be part of your world and I don’t want you to be part of mine’.
It’s usual, when you’re all waiting in a queue for the cashier or the lift, to have some sort of interaction with your fellow queuers, especially when they have a cute little boy with them.
You meet eyes, you smile, whatever. But with these women it was like standing next to a statue. There was no sign of life coming back at you. You wouldn’t even know if they were looking at you.
It was just all so oppressive. We were doomed to always remain strangers to each other.
And, yet, up until this weekend, I would have hotly defended the right of Islamic women to wear the burqa.
Wearing the burqa is supposed to be all about a woman’s choice. Some women choose to wear ’80s parachute pants and still perm their hair, while others choose to wear a black tent. Nobody should have the right to tell anyone what they can and can’t wear. Right?
Well, there are many here among us who knew all along that this has nothing to do with freedom, but with submission: Qur’an (33:36) – “It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision.”
If these women believe no man other than their husband should ever look at their hair or face, that should be their right, shouldn’t it?
I don’t dispute that right, at least up to a point. But I can’t overlook how it threatens to weaken one of characteristics that have made this country so lovable – our openness.
Now I shudder at the sight of the burqa and no longer feel like defending it.
And I hate myself for it, because my reaction goes against so much that I’ve taught my children.
We were in a hardware store and the two women ahead of us at the cash register were clad head-to-toe in a billowing black tent. Even their hands were hidden, in black gloves.
Only the eyes peeked out, as if through a mail slot. And one had even that gap veiled.
They could see out, but I couldn’t see in.
There was no way I could tell what age they were or anything about them at all. I couldn’t tell if they were friendly or snooty. I couldn’t even tell if they smiled back.
It was like they had no identity, no personality at all.
To me, it seemed like they were prisoners trapped behind a huge black wall, cut off from all social interaction. They didn’t invite any contact, and seemed unable to fully respond to any.
The 36 comments on this story are quite telling about the general resentment and unease in Australia…..