Yes, I’m still banging on about this burqa thing.
I don’t want to start a flame war over at Trixie’s place, but as you’ll see from the comments I’ve attempted to explain why I think the UKIP policy is wrong.
Her response to my comment is succinct to say the least: ‘You know what? When one of your mates is blown to shit by a group of fanatical muslims you just hate them.’
I really don’t see the connection between suicide bombers and the burqa. It’s like trying to connect fanatical Christians killing abortion doctors and a nun’s habit. The logic is flawed, the London bombers claimed to be devout Muslims, some women who claim to be devout Muslims wear the burqa, therefore the burqa is representative of suicide bombers.
If what Trixy is really trying to say is that ‘the burqa should be banned because I hate fundamentalist Islam’ then that is what she should say. I don’t much care for fundamentalist Islam either. Granted none of my friends have been blown up by them, but that doesn’t alter my dislike. I’d say the same for fundamentalist Christians, Jews and anyone else who seeks to destroy and kill in the name of their beliefs. It seems obvious that Trixy lost someone she cares about in an attack, and for that she has my sympathy, but it doesn’t alter the fact that banning an item of clothing is just plain wrong and unproductive.
What would the ramifications be of banning the burqa? Would it send all the Muslims ‘home?’ No. Would it serve to send the nutters over the edge into real fruit loop territory and the pissed off into the nutter camp? Probably. What is certain is that you’d see fewer Muslim women on the streets. These women would not just sigh and discard their burqa in favour of a permitted item of clothing? No. They’d be even more isolated and alienated because they’d never leave the house. This isn’t going to help assimilation, it’s going to set it back. It would imprison some Muslim women, not liberate them.
An easy response is to say, ‘well, they chose to wear it, they can just as easily choose not to if they want to leave the house.’ But why the hell should they? What business is it of anyone’s what someone else chooses to wear?
As I said in the comments over at Trixy’s; I was considering voting for UKIP at the next election, but things like this which demonstrate a mania for control in line with Labour, Tories and the LimpDims gives me real cause for concern. If they want to regulate what people are allowed to wear then what else is going to be regulated before and after it?
Trixy herself says that women wearing the burqa ‘make themselves unapproachable and many people find them intimidating.’ Well, suppose they don’t want to be approached? I would maintain that being left alone if you want to be is fine and dandy. As for people finding them intimidating, so what? Why do they find them intimidating? Is it down a specific incident they have encountered personally, or is it down to the fear of ignorance? Would they feel intimidated by a bishop in full garb? A skinhead in braces, tight jeans and cherry reds? A cyclist wearing a face-mask? A man wearing a football shirt? A woman in full punk regalia? An officer in police uniform? Should all these be banned because many people could find them intimidating? Is the problem with the image you are projecting or with your perception of the person you are looking at?
Trixy continues; ‘I don't agree with the excessive amount of CCTV cameras. . .’, I am imagining because she feels it is wrong to watch and track people when they are going about their lawful business. ‘. . . but I also don't agree with fundamentalist muslims dressing up in Burkhas and veils knowing that they can't be recognised’ Does this mean that Old Holborn should be banned from wearing his V mask on Novermber 5th? Or is it OK as he’s not a suicide bomber or a Muslim? (I’ve met OH on a few occasions, I don’t know if he is Muslim or not, I’m guessing not, but I’ve never asked, it’s none of my business and I couldn’t care less anyway)
Again, if Trixy is saying ‘the burqa should be banned because I hate fundamentalist Islam’, then where do we draw the line? Do we also ban men wearing traditional Muslim garb? Will that make terrorism more difficult? Or did the 7/7 bombers dress in a Western fashion to avoid drawing attention to themselves? How about banning Mosques? Banning the practice of Islam in the home? The deportation of Muslims from the UK? How about the Jews, should we do that too? Are people intimidated by Hassidic Jews and their dress? What about Blacks? Many people get very nervy when they see a black person, just look at the gun crime stats, should we be afraid of them? Catholics as well, the Irish have been blowing things up for years.
Or is this just lashing out at something because it has harmed you? Is it acceptable then to punish one whole section of society for an injury caused by a very small part of that section? I would suggest that in any other discussion, Trixy would say that it is not acceptable.
I’m not accusing Trixy of being a racist, that’s a ridiculous argument, and it’s a lazy one as well, it’s just one step from Godwin’s Law. I’m just trying to illustrate a point that once this particular box is opened, you can justify the control and restraint of any group in society with great ease.
Banning things which cause no injury or harm to anyone or their property is a bad thing, it restricts liberty, it does not extend it. Banning things because they are a symbol of something you don’t like or that is different from you is very bad and will more often than not end in tears.