Thursday, January 28, 2010

The French, The Burqa and Security

As old as I am, I can no longer remember the time when one could just freely walk into public buildings in Israel without some sort of security check.  As I approach the bus station, my backpack is slipped off my back, my "fanny packs" (wallet etc and camera) are unbuckled and then they're all buckled up together so they won't get separated in the X Ray machine.  But before I can put them on the moving belt, I have to place them on a small "counter" and walk through a metal detector.  Some are so sensitive that I must take off my gold bracelet, so the machine won't beep. Before I lost a lost of weight, sometimes I was also asked to open my jacket.  The change may not just be personal; it could be a change in policy.

Last year when I needed new passports, the photographer made me pull back my hat as much as I was willing, because the Americans demand a "hair line" for identification.  It seemed rather stupid, since if I was wearing a wig or a full curly natural hairdo, all that would be hidden.

However much I cover of my body, and it's a lot, it doesn't compare to the Muslim women in their burqas.  There has been a lot of flack against France since the anti-burqa (cover up) law has been proposed by Sarkozy. 

Unfortunately he gave the wrong reasons for the ban.  No doubt he can't understand how some women enjoy the privacy and freedom they feel when covered up.  And if other women who wear burqas don't enjoy it, they certainly wouldn't come out publicly against their families' policies.

The obviously secular Sarkozy is going about this in the wrong direction.  By dictating to women about their alleged feelings, he's using the usual hypocritical Leftist approach of declaring that only their philosophy/ideology is legitimate.  One can't legislate true freedom of thought, because people think, believe and feel differently.

To me the burqa is dangerous for security reasons, and that should be obvious.  And it's very easy to prove.  As far as I'm concerned, security is the only reason to ban the burqa.  If I have to take off my bags and bracelets to get into various buildings, take off my shoes and empty  my water bottle before flying, then burqa clad women must understand that by wearing body-hiding capes and hoods they will be restricted.

Any and all countries and services have the right to demand to see faces and general body contours (as revealed in conventional clothing) for security checks.


Anonymous said...

The problem is Islam.

Batya said...

There are ways to stand up to it, but Sarkozy's barking up the wrong tree.