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SAURAV DUTT: “No civilised country should allow women to wear such 7th century slave garb”

SRI Lanka has done the right thing and banned the burqa. And why not? It’s an obscurantist, medieval and regressive item of clothing that demeans women, is inextricably tied to an archaic ideological strand within Islam and is not even religious, and in its most modern day extrapolation, a brazen security risk.

But it is an utter shame that so many have first had to die before Sri Lanka took this step. We saw the terrorists sauntering into public spaces with sagging backpacks loaded with explosives, imagine what they can bring under the freedom of a loose, impenetrable dark coloured garment that nobody is even allowed to question?

President Maithripala Sirisena said the emergency measure would prohibit any garment which “hinders identification” as a national security risk, after blasts which killed hundreds were attributed to the National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) group.

“The ban is to ensure national security… No-one should obscure their faces to make identification difficult,” the president’s office confirmed in a brief statement.

No civilized country should allow women to wear such 7th century slave garb. They shouldn’t be forced by their male masters, or allowed, so to uphold their ‘victim status’.

The reaction of the Muslim autocratic religious orthodoxy in the country is telling. They condemn the ruling because they feel that they are the only ones that can make law when it pertains to their religion. They will never fit in to any country and its laws completely.

it’s interesting to see that once again we find that some segments of the Islamic community is more concerned about being ‘offended’ and wanting everything its own way than it is about innocent dead victims.

Other than being a complete security risk, perhaps most concerning is that young women who are choosing to wear burqas, are doing so as an Islamic fashion statement. Although widely condemned by feminists as a demeaning piece of clothing that violates women’s human rights, many young women who wear the burqa do so of their own accord; even when their mothers have never chosen to wear such restrictive garments.

In 2010, France and Belgium voted to ban the burqa, and Germany prohibits wearing it while driving. Europeans consistently vote that they would approve of the burqa being banned in their countries when asked to participate in a poll addressing the subject.

Yet Britain and America often remain strangely silent on whether the burqa is an appropriate state of dress.

U.K. politicians try and avoid the burqa conversation at all costs, and we remember well when President Obama staunchly defended the right of a woman to wear the veil, while in the same breath ignoring the protection of women who may choose not to do so.

It’s not enough to permit death, terrorism and barbarity first and then to have a conversation around it after the fact, it needs to start now.

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