When you think of what not only the Burqua but other distinctive Islamic garments say to people then it is scary. The burqua, the niqab, the abaya and to a lesser extent the hijab, all mark out the wearer as a follower of an ideology that so often hostile to the values of other groups. They signify that the wearer has submitted to an ideology steeped in misogyny and that she has surrendered to oppression. Islamic apparel, especially that designed for women, goes way beyond the sometimes extreme expressions of ‘modesty’ manifested in other religious paths. In Islam female garments are not for modesty, they are there to show that under Islam, women are always owned by some or other man.
This Bangladeshi woman is right, the burqua is scary both for what it is and for what it represents.
“Radical Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen has said the burqa used by Muslim women is the scariest Halloween costume, using the seasonal celebration to further her campaign against the body-covering dress worn by women in orthodox Islamic societies.
“No Halloween costume is scarier than Burqa,” Nasreen tweeted, referring to the celebration in the western hemisphere in which people wear masks and costumes mimicking evil spirits.
Nasreen shot into fame in 1993 with the publication of her book Lajja, or Shame, whose plot was the persecution of a minority Hindu family in Muslim majority Bangladesh.
This book, and subsequent ones that questioned the basic tenets of Islam, made her a target of physical abuse in her home country. She was exiled from Bangladesh in the 90s and was never admitted back.
Fundamentalist organisations in India and Bangladesh issued several fatwas against her and demanded her execution by hanging for hurting religious sentiments.
She preserved her life with the help of secular people in the country, even as the government filed cases against her, and later moved about in Europe and the US for almost ten years. “
In the UK we would not allow people to walk round in quasi-military uniforms like those of Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts, it is illegal under one of the Public Order Acts. Therefore why do we not question why it is acceptable to display the emblems of an ideology that hates us and our countries and our values? There can be now no doubt about it. Although many individual Muslims are fine people, who live their lives fully in accordance with the values of the non-Muslim nations in which they live, that doesn’t mean that there is not a problem with either the ideology of Islam itself or the encroachment of it and its manifestations into the public sphere.
There is something to be scared of in the signs and sigils of orthodox Islam, and you only have to examine the violence, chaos and oppression of Islamic nations to find out why.