So apparently, the Burka Ban is gaining some ground:
Barcelona has become the first large Spanish city to announce a ban on the wearing of full Islamic face-veils in some public spaces.
The ban was designed to include any head-wear that hindered identification, officials said.
At least two towns in Catalonia, the region that includes Barcelona, have already announced bans.
Belgium and France have both recently taken steps towards restricting the use of full veils in public.
Barcelona’s city council said the ban would be largely symbolic, since it was uncommon to see women in the city wearing the full veil.
“Barcelona will forbid the use of the burqa, niqab and any other item which hinders personal identification in any of the city’s public installations,” a council statement said.
And it’s growing in the rest of Europe:
Countries across Europe have wrestled with the issue of the Muslim veil – in various forms such as the body-covering burka and the niqab, which covers the face apart from the eyes.
The debate takes in religious freedom, female equality, secular traditions and even fears of terrorism.
The veil issue is part of a wider debate about multiculturalism in Europe, as many politicians argue that integration of minorities was neglected in the past.
There is one part of Europe where the opposite is true:
Russia has been criticised for letting Chechen authorities impose a compulsory Islamic dress code for women.
A report by Human Rights Watch includes testimonies from dozens of Chechen women who were threatened or even attacked with paintballs by young men enforcing the ‘virtue campaign’.
The rights group says some attacks involved Chechen security forces.
The campaign has the backing of President Ramzan Kadyrov, relied on by Moscow to stabilise the region.
In 2007, President Kadyrov issued an edict that banned bareheaded women from entering state buildings. Though this is in direct violation of Russian law, it is strictly followed today.
Since then, an unofficial campaign limiting Chechen women’s freedoms has been gaining strength, Human Rights Watch says.
A Russian rights activist, Natalya Estemirova, who had publicly criticised the Islamic dress campaign, was abducted from Grozny in July 2009 and her body was later found in the neighbouring republic of Ingushetia.
As an atheist, I detest religious symbology as a rule. It represents a useless anachronism that we as a species should be free from. And likewise, something that covers the natural beauty of woman just because it might tempt some out-of-control loon speaks to me of a rapist culture, where there is no Schrodinger’s rapist, every man is a rapist, the assumption is that the rape will occur, and it will be the woman’s fault for simply being herself in front of others.
And the Middle East? A hotbed of rape culture, where women are routinely savaged, killed, or punished simply because of their sex. And apparently where the men are so insecure, they think every Tom Dick and Harry wants to rape their wives.
Let’s face it: Islam is no more (nor any less) anti-woman than the other two of the big Three Monos. In fact, I won’t even have to trot out the facts of any of those holy texts, because many of our steady readers will be happy to provide the ‘facts’ (such as they are).
In the 70’s in this country, women were burning their bras. Here in the 21st century, it would be nice to see these barbaric customs go right up in flames.
Till the next post, then.