Why I am for banning the burqa in Morocco

Friday, 20.01.2017

Why I am for banning the burqa in Morocco

Why I am for banning the burqa in Morocco

Writer: Omar Bihmidine
> Levant TV
> Nowadays, the trendy issue of a large number of Muslims in Morocco, particularly women, is not to improve their lives and get themselves out of the messy life they gave long been facing and change themselves for the better. Their latest issue is with the burqa and the Moroccan ban of this piece of clothing. This is not to ignore or downplay the freedom to wear Islamist clothes or to encourage our state to ban Muslims from practising our religion.
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> However, let us stop to pose the real question: Is the burqa the most important thing to fret about and for it we need to take to the streets to protest? How about Muslim women who suffer in rural areas, away from hospitals and schools? Why do we Muslims continue to major in minor things and turn a blind eye to the real issues? Islam began with priorities, didn’t it? Most Muslim women today lack most of the priorities. Over the latest centuries, Muslim women have suffered almost all forms of oppression and injustice. Few people talk about this. Oh, it is not a trendy issue today since this has not stirred enough controversy as has banning the burqa.
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> Today, our women continue to suffer. In the rural world, women are banned from evincing their feelings. They rarely enjoy the right to say no to a suitor they don’t feel like marrying for fear of facing slurs from the father and opposition from the family and the society. Well, you may be accusing me of transgressing liberty and tolerance. Well, some Moroccans are afraid of terrorist attacks. Let us show them we care. It’s part of tolerance. Of course, not all burqa wearers are terrorists. But all female terrorists are burqa wearers. Don’t we need to uproot terrorism once and for all? Why not understand the motives first? Or we delight in playing the victim role once again. Ah, others want to defend Islam by showing that the burqa is part of it. Alright, show us then the other side, albeit overlooked, of our religion. Muslim governments are exploiting our riches. Do you have the guts to raise that. Muslim kings and presidents do that, too. Raise that if you really care about doing justice to our fellow Muslims, including women.
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> It is high time we Muslims began to question our way of life and priorities. Are we going to catch up with the world? We can have the right to say no. So let us go and live in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan where the burqa is highly celebrated. Why go to Europe for holidays and protest in Morocco against the ban of the burqa? At the very least, Muslims need to prove on the ground that their Muslim governments care about their living well. But that is not their business, yet unfortunately. It is banning the burqa. Hey you, defenders of the burqa. Can you talk about family allowances, retirement, indemnity, sufficient pension, work rights, good salaries, social security and a higher standard of living? By the way, Islam stresses these things more than the burqa. Our beloved prophet began with these rights.
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> After all this, we ask, why doesn’t the Muslim world get ahead? Simply, we are majoring in minor things and setting major things aside. We live in the Muslim world, dearest fellow Muslim? Some families aren’t thinking neither about the burkini nor about the bikini. They are simply obsessed with their earning daily daily food. But, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
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> Let us reiterate that our beloved prophet Mohammed didn’t begin with clothes and formalities. He began with the real issues, such as justice, rights, dignity, equality, living well, empowerment of women and other values, such as kindness, forgiveness, humanity and tolerance.
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> Yet, we Muslims seem to talk at cross purposes with the founder of our religion. At a time when women in our Muslim countries still struggle with domestic violence, confiscated rights and ill-treatment, we hasten to remind ourselves of the burqa in Islam and call for lifting the ban. What should we remind ourselves of when it comes to the Muslim woman? I am afraid there is a lot, isn’t there?
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> I am afraid that we Muslims seem to objectify the Muslim woman by caring more about how she dresses than how she feels, how she walks than how she leads her life, what piece of clothing fits her than what basic right she is denied, and how her body appears to us than how it appears to her. Why don’t the same Muslims who are currently lashing out at Morocco for the burkini ban and go and teach their Muslim rulers about female education, female workers’ rights, and emancipation. By the way, other developed countries scored well at these issues. We Muslims have failed at this. Why? We are busy discussing the minor things, such as the burqa.
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> It is unfortunate that every now and then, we knowingly or unknowingly expose our hypocrisy. For instance, we care more about the burqa than the education Muslim women receive. Underage marriage, for instance, is a common phenomenon in the Muslim world. Why are we silent over this? Let us go to rual areas in Morocco and we will come across Muslim women living in mountains and taking care of their children under harsh conditions.
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> To put things clearly, I am never against banning the burqa because I think it is not part of Islam. I am rather for banning the burqa because I very well know the founder of Islam honored women, not through the burqa, but through guaranteeing them all their rights to living well. However, given that we haven’t succeeded to give our women what they deserve, I am afraid debating the ban of burqa will never lead us anywhere simply because it is the last thing we should think about as Muslims, compared with our current challenges.

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