Monday, October 16, 2006

GET ME A VEIL

Thanks to Shirin Neshat who I've 'bitten' with the picture here.

I've decided that when I next go to Inglan which, to paraphrase LKJ and Snoop, is certainly a beeeeeaaaatch right now, then I'm going to wear a veil. Not one of those wimpy scarves with forehead exposed but the serious Ninja niqab so that no one can see my face. Not even my eyes. When the blancmanges make you visible only according to their scopic regimes, then it's better to be invisible. This look or should I say veil-style will be even more severe than the sistahs who sneaked their bombs through to kill the French occupiers in the Battle of Algiers. Sorry forgot my etudes cinematique. They actually disrobed to deliver the bombs, integrated into western culture as Jack Straw would have it. Jackass is angling for a job in the next PM's cabinet. Oh you're so hard, Jackie boy. Thank you for protecting the deep-rooted fashion values of Great Britain. Winston Churchill would be proud of you. I'm surprised the Strawman's constituents haven't asked him to don the niqab himself. That way they wouldn't have to see his ugly visage. The sight of Fiery Jack certainly upsets my cultural sensibilities. I like to see an honest open face when I meet a member of parliament, not a liar's mug. I guess if you help send troops and bombs to kill Iraqis and occupy their country based on the WMD lie it will eventually appear on your face. 655,000 and still counting. So let's cover that face. At least wear sunglasses so we don't see your dishonest pupils. It's all in the face, as you said. In yer face.

2 comments:

Maggie said...

If I may share another perspective as to why someone like Jack Straw might feel called upon to address the subject of the veiling of females in British society: There is another reason why this is a problem. It has nothing to do with Islam or Muslims. It has nothing to do with conforming, fashion, or racism. It has nothing to do with freedom of expression. It has nothing to do with the individual wishing to live separately from the prevailing customs in observation of their religious beliefs - for example, the Amish in America are greatly respected, though they deliberately reject dress norms, electricity, telephones, modernity. Here's what the problem REALLY is:

It is deeply offensive to the most fundamental feeling of people in free societies to see other people openly oppressed. Though we know it happens in various ways to many people in many places, including our own, but when it happens it upsets us. To see degradation of another human being worn publicly and held up as a virtue of some sort is simply sickening to us.

It may be a cultural norm elsewhere to mutilate the genitals of little girls, and considered a virtue; that is not the case here. The custom must be observed elsewhere, not in this society. It may be a cultural virtue to sell off daughters in marriage to strangers, but that is not the case here, and it becomes something that people must do in private -not on the street. It may be a cultural norm for men to have four wives - but polygamy is unlawful here, and disgusting to the majority of citizens. People may freely engage in this sort of arrangement elsewhere. It may be perfectly acceptable to beat one's wife (wives) or kill one's daughters ("Honor" killing, I believe the term is) but here these things are crimes - assault and murder. They may not be practised, accepted and excused here.

Imagine if you will some reversal of experience regarding the veiling of females: what if people, for religious reasons, wore men’s clothing designed to expose the testicles, that women's clothing bare the breasts? Would we not all find this appalling? If you were forced to see it on the streets or in public transportation or to know your children were exposed to it in schoolrooms from their teachers, would you not, finally, no matter how much you wish to be sympathetic and tolerant, say something?

The dehumanization of women is obscene to us. To deliberately throw it in the faces of one's neighbors does more than separate -it's offensive. If you are in our countries, you are free to act as you wish in your homes - something that is not the case, I believe, in many of the countries that promote the subjugation of women as a virtue. If people are going to emigrate to free societies, they must understand that they are guests and conduct themselves accordingly, at least in shared public life. Or, live elsewhere. I cannot help but wonder what it is that attracts immigrants to places for which they have such contempt. Please, be happy, perhaps somewhere else.

Jack Straw finally said something. It's worth listening to. If it is unacceptable, perhaps it would be better, and people would be happier, occupying some country whose customs towards females are more in keeping with their comfort zone.

nabeel said...

Why list all these other vices--genital mutilation, honour killings, polygamy, forced marriages--alongside veiling. I'm from 'your' countries, entitled to a point of view as much as you. You do not define the values of that place any more than me. It's not a question of whether you like veils or not. The garment may represent repression but it may represent something else. Is female plastic surgery a form of oppression when it is a choice made by 'western' women? Is wearing the veil the same as flashing testicles? Hardly, methinks. You fail to understand the context in which Straw's remarks have been made. His government is at war with Iraq and a whole community has been deemed responsible for the actions of a few violent Islamists. Your brand of arrogant liberalism is another fundamentalism.