Friday, May 21, 2010
Criticism of Islam is exactly what the press ought to be doing, something up until now which has been sadly missing, criticism which desperately needs to be part of healthy public discussion. - Dave.
Full article here at The AGE.
A bizarre form of political correctness is preventing us from an open discussion about what is, in fact, female subjugation.
It would seem there are some things in Australia we are not allowed to discuss. A ban on the burqa is clearly one of them. But the time has come to get over our fears and cultural fragilities - and grow up. The call to ban the burqa is receiving serious consideration in European parliaments. And it should here, too.
Belgian legislators voted last month to outlaw the burqa in public places. On Wednesday, a bipartisan resolution passed by the French parliament deploring the burqa - on the grounds of "dignity" and "equality of men and women" - was presented to the French cabinet, and a ban is expected later this year. Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Canada are also grappling with the issue.
But in Australia, in a sign of cultural timidity and intellectual weakness, we seem intent on shunning any meaningful debate about the burqa and its place in a liberal democracy. At one level this is understandable, given the issue has become a confusing tussle between feminists and well-meaning liberals; nervous libertarians and right-wing ideologues; and the usual smattering of racists and dog-whistling shock-jocks.
Unfortunately for Muslim women, the burqa is not just a garment. It has become a weapon in a war of ideology: a war in which women are the battleground and their rights and freedoms are at stake.