Islamic Veil: Liberation or Oppression

One claim I’ve often come across is that women who adhere to the practise of covering up assert that the Islamic veil is very liberating.

Really!! … for who and in what way?

OK, lets think about that for a moment and apply a bit of thought to it. What is actually going on here is that within the Islamic tradition it is apparently a woman’s responsibility to cover up just in case she causes some male to glance at her and respond sexually. In other words, men need take no responsibility at all for how they respond to women. This is completely batty, but then this is religion we are talking about here, reason is not an option. Think about it for a moment … if some random female wanders by and is not covered up, then its OK to rape her because its her fault for not covering up and so its her responsibility for how men respond. An individual mans accountability for his response to a woman is being totally ignored, its completely her responsibility.

That truly is how crazy this “its liberating” argument is. Being asked to take responsibility for the emotional response of others is oppression, not liberation.

So where do you go next with this line of thinking …

  • Its the banks fault that I robbed them, they should not have had all that money out on the tellers counter, they should have covered it up
  • Its the cafe’s fault that I’m fat, they should cover up all that food to stop me from being tempted to stuff myself silly
  • Advertisments and TV should be banned, least I be tempted to consume goods and not spend my time praying … oh wait, hang a moment, the Taliban really do take that stance, so I guess its not satire.

So what is Real Liberation?

Yes OK I know, I was banging on about this only a couple of days ago, but its important, so I’ll keep beating the drum. There are two specific freedoms that give us all true liberation.

First is “Freedom of Thought”. This allows people to believe whatever them want … and if that means allowing people to believe its liberating to totally cover up, then so be it.

However, there is also “Freedom of speech”. That not only permits believers to spout nonsense, or go totally Orwellian and claim that oppression is liberation, but also permits those of us (and hopefully you as well) to be more grounded in reality, and put a finger on such nonsense and name it for what it is, “bullshit”.

Utilizing superstitious beliefs to dictate what people should think, wear, or do is oppression … period.

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