Seen this? A few days late with it, but I’m blithely unconcerned.
A Muslim woman has been fined for wearing a burka in a post office in Novara, Italy, after the mayor passed a law forbidding face-covering garb inside public buildings. Mayor Massimo Giordano could maybe be described as an Islamophobe, but as far as I’m concerned that’s like calling someone a murderophobe or a rapistophobe. It’s entirely rational to dislike or fear Islam, which makes it not a phobia but a very sensible intellectual stance.
Hands up who’s seen, in the UK (I can speak for no other country, being not well-travelled) signs in banks/shops/post offices etc forbidding the wearing of motorcycle helmets? Exactly; lots of ’em. Seems sensible to me. You don’t want someone shotgunning a hole through the till and making off with the money whilst disguised. Even ignoring the implications that burkas hold regarding the rights of women in Islam, illegalising a clothing that makes identification near-impossible is an act of common sense. If the burka was outlawed in all public spaces I’d have pause for thought; I’d think it was a breach of personal rights if not for the fact that burka wearing is pretty much imposed either by a man or by indoctrination to the religion.
And how have the Muslim couple in question reacted to this? Well, check this – when the woman (Amel Marmouri) was stopped by police, her husband (Ben Braim) wouldn’t let the burka be removed by male policemen. Presumably the sight of an unclothed face would have led to an instant and massive sexbrawl.
Kind of proving my point that burkas are often imposed, Braim is quoted as saying “We knew about the law and I know that it’s not against my religion but now Amel will have to stay indoors. I can’t have other men looking at her.”
Outstanding. He’d rather imprison his wife than allow her outside barefaced. That shows an admirable commitment to your faith, doesn’t it? It’s worth noting that Imam Izzedin Elzir, president of the Islamic Community and Organisations Union in Italy, said ” . . . we are against face veils or coverings in Italy because the law of recognition has to be observed.” So it’s not all bad . . . but does that mean that Muslim women in Italy are allowed out without a burka? Or does it mean they’re law-abidingly confined away from the gaze of other men? I hope, I really hope, that it’s the former.