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Old 06-24-2009, 12:16 PM   #16
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Great post

So we have a different opinion. Not every woman who wears it burqa is forced into it and unhappy, but in fact find it comforting and familiar. Sarqoksy needs to realise when an opinion is an opinion and not FACT.

Last year there was a discussion in a Dutch newspaper between veiled Islamic women and Dutch non Islamic women.
One of the Islamic women said something remarkable: that in the western society women are the most oppressed of all, because they had to keep up with the image of beauty: staying slim and young and have a nice haircut, they are expected to look like Hollywood stars every day. Especially young girls are taught to take care of their body like that and it's hard for them to keep up with that beauty image.
These western women are expected to have a fulltime job and are expected to take care of a family as well.
She also mentioned the commercials and billboards where women are shown half naked, even in a Dove of Nivea commercial and the western clothing industry whose designers only consider women with small sizes.

I've never thought about that, but she kept me thinking, I am a woman who freaks out when I gain a few pounds, wondering if I am still able to fit in my skinny jeans, and at the same time I think I am emancipated...
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:37 PM   #17
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The ones who cover up must be ugly
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:37 PM   #18
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Yeah, that must be it
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:26 PM   #19
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Last year there was a discussion in a Dutch newspaper between veiled Islamic women and Dutch non Islamic women.
One of the Islamic women said something remarkable: that in the western society women are the most oppressed of all, because they had to keep up with the image of beauty: staying slim and young and have a nice haircut, they are expected to look like Hollywood stars every day. Especially young girls are taught to take care of their body like that and it's hard for them to keep up with that beauty image.
These western women are expected to have a fulltime job and are expected to take care of a family as well.
She also mentioned the commercials and billboards where women are shown half naked, even in a Dove of Nivea commercial and the western clothing industry whose designers only consider women with small sizes.

That's an interesting point. I guess you could argue how much of that is self imposed by women vs how much of the oppression in other places is imposed by others-men, the government, religion, etc. But I do agree that beauty and thinness and do-it/have-it-all standards can be oppressive-it's up to us though to decide how much we want to conform so at least we have that. And we can't be legally killed for not living up to those standards.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:30 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Bonoa View Post
Last year there was a discussion in a Dutch newspaper between veiled Islamic women and Dutch non Islamic women.
One of the Islamic women said something remarkable: that in the western society women are the most oppressed of all, because they had to keep up with the image of beauty: staying slim and young and have a nice haircut, they are expected to look like Hollywood stars every day. Especially young girls are taught to take care of their body like that and it's hard for them to keep up with that beauty image.
These western women are expected to have a fulltime job and are expected to take care of a family as well.
She also mentioned the commercials and billboards where women are shown half naked, even in a Dove of Nivea commercial and the western clothing industry whose designers only consider women with small sizes.

I've never thought about that, but she kept me thinking, I am a woman who freaks out when I gain a few pounds, wondering if I am still able to fit in my skinny jeans, and at the same time I think I am emancipated...
I see your point, but at least women in the western society get to choose whether or not they listen to these expectations. Oppression implies lack of choice.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:43 PM   #21
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Mrs. Springsteen and Nadie, that's true. We have the right to choose and we don't get killed or arrested for that. But I think the majority of women in the western world have this kind of oppression by fashion, men, and other women in their heads.
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Old 06-25-2009, 05:16 AM   #22
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I don't actually think a lot of these woman are "opressed". This life is all they know. They may be surrounded by different woman but the burqa is something they know. If they are truly unhappy with it, there are plenty of moderate muslim countries they can live in and not have to follow the strict law. I'm not saying every woman is not abused and held captive by their husbands, i've read a lot of stories but then we don't have a perfect society either.

I just think, who are we to put our "ideas" of what a woman should do and wear on another society. Its not breaking the law to cover up, we should be tolerant of others choices and not turn it into some feminist womans right argument.

interesting idea too bonoa what that woman brought up. It seems we can all be slaves to some ideal.
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:12 AM   #23
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If it were Christians making women obey modesty codes I suspect the attitude around here would be markedly different; some forms of religious misogyny are more acceptable than others.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:15 AM   #24
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I just think, who are we to put our "ideas" of what a woman should do and wear on another society. Its not breaking the law to cover up, we should be tolerant of others choices and not turn it into some feminist womans right argument.
Who is anyone to put their ideas of what a woman should do and wear on another. I agree with the idea of tolerance, but I personally find it very difficult to tolerate rules that are designed to oppress others.

It's not really about "turning it into some feminist womans right argument." It IS one.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:39 AM   #25
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I don't actually think a lot of these woman are "opressed". This life is all they know. They may be surrounded by different woman but the burqa is something they know. If they are truly unhappy with it, there are plenty of moderate muslim countries they can live in and not have to follow the strict law. I'm not saying every woman is not abused and held captive by their husbands, i've read a lot of stories but then we don't have a perfect society either.
That's true, the burqa is something they know. That can also be the problem; a lot of these strict muslim women in France know that they have the right to choose, the difference is that they grew up in an area where only immigrants live, not the 'original' French. Most immigrant groups are closed communities, especially Moroccan and Algerian groups, everybody keeps an eye on each other. If a woman stands up for herself, she will suffer the consequences.
I'm not saying that they are all oppressed, but there are a lot of hidden stories there.


Quote:
I just think, who are we to put our "ideas" of what a woman should do and wear on another society. Its not breaking the law to cover up, we should be tolerant of others choices and not turn it into some feminist womans right argument.
True. These women have the right to cover up. There are lots of women who converted to Islam, or were already Islamic and choose to wear a burqa or niqab. That in spite of all the protest they got from their families.
In many muslim countries, like Egypt for example, women start to wear a burqa or niqab when they go to college or university, it's like a subculture, created around the women's self awareness and even political awareness.
I still think that wearing a burqa or niqab should be discouraged (not forbidden) in a western country, because in the culture we live in it's no more that polite when you can read someone's facial expression in a conversation. When I'm in an Arab country that's, of course, another story.




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If it were Christians making women obey modesty codes I suspect the attitude around here would be markedly different; some forms of religious misogyny are more acceptable than others.
But that's only because the majority of people in the western world are christians. But also in Egypt many people say that these veiled women are not muslims, they are crazy. The majority of Egyptian women just wears a hijab (headscarf). The burqa and niqab are often associated with terrorism, while that's often not the case.
I've stayed in El Minya (Middle Egypt) for a few days during a study trip and that's considered as the most conservative city in Egypt. Many members of Jamaat al-Islamiyya, a radical muslim group, are from that town. There was police everywhere and we were not allowed to leave the hotel without a guard. We eventually just sneaked out and found ourselves in a very friendly town!
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:27 PM   #26
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Nobody wears a burqa in France, it was just an indirect answer to Obama's speech in Egypt. And a way to distract people from his poor economic results.

"Immigrants" living in the suburbs of Paris or other big cities are not Algerian, Malian, whatever, they are born and raised in France. They are normal French citizens. The problem is social, not racial, the access to better living standards has been more difficult for the last 30 years for everybody.

Concerning the veil problem problem, muslims know very well it's forbidden to wear one in public places, as it is forbidden to have a cross, David star or anything related to religion. You can pray as much as you want and the way you want. But you do it in your home. It's part of the French citizenship contract.
The debate is close and will never be opened again in spite of some extremist muslims from abroad or moronic traditionnalist christians who need to talk for nothing sometimes to show they exist.

And for people who wants to split hairs and start debating over the image of women, etc, let's get straight : burqas is at the same level than excision, both are ways to humiliate women and transform them into under-citizens and under-human. The French citizenship contract is not perfect but at least it forbids that and protect women from middle-ages barbaric customs.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:22 PM   #27
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And for people who wants to split hairs and start debating over the image of women, etc, let's get straight : burqas is at the same level than excision, both are ways to humiliate women and transform them into under-citizens and under-human. The French citizenship contract is not perfect but at least it forbids that and protect women from middle-ages barbaric customs.
Very simplistic analysis, in my opinion. I can see the merits of France's citizenship contract, but they wouldn't really need it if they had regulated immigration properly in the first place.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:29 PM   #28
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If it were Christians making women obey modesty codes I suspect the attitude around here would be markedly different; some forms of religious misogyny are more acceptable than others.
A culture of wearing a burqua or hijab is not necessarily prima facie misogynistic, for reasons other posters already mentioned.

Recently there have been accusations that a Malaysian prince abused his bride:

Malaysian prince accused of 'kidnapping' - Monsters and Critics


Would you blame this on Islam?

I wouldn't, it sounds like a power structure where the aristocracy are not accountable enough. Which has nothing got to do with religion.

What about accusations that the Western fashion industry allows teenage girls to be subjected to similar treatment?



I have said all along, we should get our house in order first before we go pompously lecturing the Islamic world on its faults.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:40 PM   #29
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If it were Christians making women obey modesty codes I suspect the attitude around here would be markedly different
The main issue is whether someone with great political power (e.g. Sarkozy, but could just as easily be some influential lobbying group etc.) is in the right to seek to regulate the clothing worn by female adherents of some particular religious sect on grounds of 'protecting women's rights.' It's not whether people in here would wish living by that sect's clothing or other rules for themselves or their daughters. In our culture, it's doubtless true that if you had some highly visible Christian sect requiring very unusual-looking dress of its female members under 'modesty codes,' then many individuals outside that sect would feel highly confident in their ability to grasp all the nuances people within it find in those customs, and show that in how they form and express their personal opinions on it. But I think to a considerable extent that's justified, since as Bonoa said, ours is a majority-Christian culture profoundly shaped by Christian social, ethical, etc. traditions, so that even if you've never been a practicing Christian yourself, chances are you have a pretty on-target intuitive grasp of how something like 'modesty in dress,' both in concept and in social application, looks and feels through Christian eyes (or more correctly, Western Christian eyes). Most of us would be considerably more reluctant to assume we're as well-equipped to do so concerning the varieties of traditional Muslim women's dress, and not unreasonably so. Additionally, Western women who are well-traveled in the 'non-Western world' may have had numerous, direct personal experiences with the reality that projecting aspects of the gender system they know so well from their own culture onto another's, based on initial impressions of everyday customs such as dress, can sometimes lead to assumptions re: 'How They Think About Gender' that turn out upon further experience to be quite off-base.
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That's true, the burqa is something they know. That can also be the problem; a lot of these strict muslim women in France know that they have the right to choose, the difference is that they grew up in an area where only immigrants live, not the 'original' French. Most immigrant groups are closed communities, especially Moroccan and Algerian groups, everybody keeps an eye on each other. If a woman stands up for herself, she will suffer the consequences.
I'm not saying that they are all oppressed, but there are a lot of hidden stories there.
I agree; this is very much the core of the dilemma. It rankles to acknowledge the reality that the freedom of religious/cultural minority communities to perpetuate their customs amongst themselves invariably means that some of their members (and in almost any community really, female members particularly) will wind up being forced, against their will, to comply with customs which can significantly determine the longterm course and potential of their lives, even though the legal means to prevent this are technically available to them as individuals. But the only really surefire solution to that, state intervention in the freedom of these communities (and by extension every individual in them) to observe their customs, may set precedents that seem equally loathsome, again not unreasonably.
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burqas is at the same level than excision, both are ways to humiliate women and transform them into under-citizens and under-human.
That's a pretty extreme overstatement. 'Female circumcision' is absolutely more deserving of urgent legal and educational measures to abolish it once and for all, since it has dramatic (and easily verifiable) adverse medical effects on not only the ability to experience any sexual pleasure whatsoever, but even worse, on safety in childbirth. Just because you (hypothetically) might look on a woman wearing a burqa or niqab with contempt or consdescending pity doesn't mean she'll embrace you as her savior and defender of her honor if you banned the garment altogether; her investments in her (sub)culture's worldview and traditions are likely a good bit more complicated than that. As is true for every one of us.
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:13 PM   #30
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Following an imbroglio in France in late June when President Nicolas Sarkozy declared the burqa to be unwelcome and against French values, al Qaeda is threatening retaliation. According to CNN, the extremist group has listed threats on extremist Islamic websites that include:

"We will not tolerate such provocations and injustices, and we will take our revenge from France ... by every means and wherever we can reach them ... Our Muslim brothers in France in particular and in Europe in general are increasingly troubled by the practices of the French politicians and their leaders, and their constant harassments of our people regarding the burqa issue"

The statement was signed by one Abu Musab Abdul Wadud who claims to be the "commander of al Qaeda in North Africa [Islamic Maghreb]." CNN notes that it is unable to authenticate the statement.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) was originally a militant Islamist movement against Algeria's secular government in the early 90s. It has since spread its geographic and political influence. According to the Council on Foreign Relations:

Terrorist activity in North Africa has been reinvigorated in the last few years by a local Algerian Islamist group turned pan-Maghreb jihadi organization: al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). A Sunni group that previously called itself the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), the organization has taken responsibility for a number of terrorist attacks in the region, declared its intention to attack Western targets, and sent a squad of jihadis to Iraq. Experts believe these actions suggest widening ambitions within the group's leadership, now pursuing a more global, sophisticated, and better-financed direction. Long categorized as part of a strictly domestic insurgency against Algeria's military government, AQIM claims to be the local franchise operation for al-Qaeda, a worrying development for a region that has been relatively peaceful since the bloody Algerian civil war of the 1990s drew to a close.
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