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What’s the Message Behind Quebec Burqa Ban to Muslim Women?

A British Muslim Woman Shares Her Thoughts

What’s the Message Behind Quebec Burqa Ban to Muslim Women?
The law is barring public workers from wearing the niqab and obliging women to unveil while using public transit or government services.

The Canadian province of Quebec has just passed a law that will ban the burqa or niqab (face veil). The law is barring public workers from wearing the niqab or burqa and obliging women to unveil while using public transit or government services.

This is not the first time to issue such laws; France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Austria have all banned the niqab in recent years with many other countries discussing the possibility to ban it as well. It is right that such laws impact a limited number of Muslim women because not all Muslim women choose to cover their faces. However, this is not a reason for us to accept violations of human rights.

As a British Muslim woman, I do not wear the niqab (face veil) nor do I believe it is necessary for a Muslim woman. It states in our Qur’an

{And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof} (An-Nur 24: 31)

Which is often backed up by the hadith:

 “O Asma’! Once a girl reaches puberty, nothing of her body may be seen (by non-mahrams) except this and these, (he pointed to his face and hands while saying so).” (Abu Dawud, Al-Albani Classified it as Hasan).

However, my argument is not about whether it is obligatory for Muslim women to wear niqab or not, my argument is, why do Governments wish to dictate to women what they should and shouldn’t wear?

There are many arguments that exist as to why ban the niqab ;security reasons, health reasons and integration reasons. Whilst I can understand why a woman should remove her niqab if she is in a court, passing through an airport or any kind of security, it is not a reason to ban it altogether.

The health reason that is being shouted about is that these women will not get their daily dose of vitamin D. The fact remains they live in Europe or Canada, the climate is not that of one where the sun is always out, so more than likely they are not receiving their daily dose of vitamin D anyway. Plus, there are other ways to get it, through foods and through vitamins. So for me, that argument falls flat on its face.

The most obvious and honest argument to ban the niqab is for integration reasons. In order to be in our country, you have to behave like us, talk like us, think like us and dress like us.

This is where I feel the West stinks of hypocrisy. Western countries have always claimed they are for freedoms, liberties and human rights. In general, yes they are, we can’t deny it. But telling a woman how she should or shouldn’t dress breaks all of those so called freedoms, liberties and human rights.

What is so offensive about a woman who wishes to cover her face? This is her belief, and it is a belief that she is entitled to have. Is it because she looks so out of the ordinary, walking down the Western streets, that people have the right to tell her “no, you cannot wear that?” Or is it simply because she doesn’t fit in with the Western idea of women?

Many people say, we want to see the face when we speak to someone, and whilst I can understand that, I would also point out that you will still be able to hear the woman and be able to understand what she is saying. For me, it is by no means a reason to dictate to a woman what she can and can’t wear.

“This ban only affects a few women” I hear people say. Whilst this is very true, it opens the gate to what other things can governments start to ban and continue to cut our human rights for. What about the hijab? What about the right to cover up? You may think no one can ban hijab, but take a look at Europe now. It is becoming increasingly difficult for Muslim women who wear hijabs to work and earn their living. In reality, many need to take it off in order to get a job.

When all is said and done, the Muslim woman is a walking target in the west. She is abused physically and verbally because of how she chooses to dress and practice her own faith, she is stopped from being able to get a job unless she looks like a Western woman, and she lives in fear.

This whole ban is not just about whether it is a requirement of our religion or not. You may not personally agree with the niqab; that is fine. This goes much deeper and it is much more sinister. In an indirect message to Muslim women, the governments or authorities who carry out these bans are basically saying, dress like us, be like us, and you can have all the freedoms, liberties and rights that you wish for. Go against that, and we will make life very hard for you to exist.

Unfortunately, this is an infringement on a woman’s right to what she can choose to wear. When we start going down this slippery slope, which we have already done, it will be next to impossible to climb back.

Read More:

Canadian Muslims Concerned over Quebec Burqa Ban

Canadian Muslims Concerned over Quebec Burqa Ban                                                                                        

About Nichola Taylor

Nichola Taylor: BA (HONS) European Studies with German language. Social Media Editor of About Islam and mother to my beautiful little girl.

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