Tuesday, July 1, 2014

ECHR bans the burqa!!!

The European Court of Human Rights is so much attuned to the sensitivities of marginalized groups that this decision comes as a bolt from the blue.

The burqa is already banned in France and parts of Belgium, Denmark and Italy. Germany has been thinking about it. Now plenty more countries will be emboldened by this ruling (but not the UK). In the near future immigrants may be asked to declare that they will abide by Western cultural rules.

A corresponding "civil rights" bill targeting Hindus (if one has to use such a lens) would ban caste based discrimination (proposed in  the UK but held back presumably because it will disturb UK-India relations). So the UK is nothing but consistent on these matters.

Arguments for burqa (full face veil) ban: The court agreed that this will enhance integration and help foster social cohesion. We agree, but only two cheers (see below).

Arguments against: (1) This will harm conservative muslim women as they will not be permitted to step outside the house. Well in that case muslim men should be prosecuted for involuntary incarceration.

(2) There should be no compulsion in clothing in a free society. Not true, we are not free to wear KKK and Nazi uniforms. Every society has rules, even so-called free societies.

(3) It is ordained by the Koran. No it is not. The Koran merely advises all muslims to dress modestly (good advice for all of us). 
 
(4) Very few women chose to wear a burqa. This is a bogus argument. If you are anti death penalty it is because you are opposed in principle, not because of the numbers. Even one innocent death is too much.

(5) Many young women chose to wear a burqa voluntarily (it is a socio-political statement and hence protected by the first amendment).

This is a truly a tough one and in our opinion the only reason why the Court could (should) have overturned the ban. This is also the reason why a burqa ban will never pass in the USA.

There are two not-quite satisfactory arguments against.

- The consequence of defining burqa wearing as acceptable (and symbol of piety) has very bad consequences for women (muslim or otherwise) who chose NOT to wear a burqa. Women are harassed in public for their choice of dress by muslim men.

- The question of security in a public space (everywhere except your home). Recently one muslim lady in Australia escaped conviction because she was dressed in a burqa. Male robbers have taken advantage of the burqa. Today we are all suffering from security restrictions. Muslims must share this burden equally.
...... STRASBOURG, France: The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday upheld France's controversial burqa ban, rejecting arguments that a 2010 law outlawing full-face veils breaches religious freedom.

In a case brought by a 24-year-old French woman with the support of a British legal team, the court ruled that France was justified in introducing the ban in the interests of social cohesion.

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Link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/European-rights-court-upholds-French-burqa-ban/articleshow/37573848.cms

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regards