What’s behind the burqa? Too often—as British law enforcement and other international authorities have had to find out the hard way—it isn’t even a woman. Burqas have been worn to facilitate violent robberies, jail escapes, evade airport security checks and numerous other legal dodges.
It’s not just men who have purposefully employed this ruse. The case of Carnita Matthews centered on her false accusations that, during a routine traffic stop, an Australian police officer attempted to tear off the burqa she was wearing. Vehicle-based video camera recordings supported the officer’s denial of her charges. After being convicted of making a deliberately false statement, Matthews successfully appealed by claiming that the court could not prove whether she was the person who appeared in full burqa during the hearing. This appeal went through, despite the existence of a written statement that was shown to be in her hand. This cynical manipulation of Western legal systems by Muslims is emblematic of how Islam “weaponizes” the benign traditions and practices of civilized societies.
Some Western nations are catching on to this chicanery. Canada now requires that women must remove any facial coverings when reciting their oath of citizenship. Ostensibly, this is to make sure that they are actually speaking the words. Not much ink is devoted to concerns about someone else showing up in full burqa and falsely receiving naturalization. Equally disappointing is how Canada’s high court recently ruled in favor of Muslim women being able to testify in court while keeping their faces covered.
Most ironic of all is that Muslim women pay the biggest price for wearing such coverings. Not only is there a resurgence of rickets—a bone disease related to vitamin D deficiency that is linked with inadequate exposure to sunlight which allows the skin to synthesize this vital nutrient—but shari’a law that mandates the equivalent of body bags for Muslim women can get them killed.
This was what happened in Saudi Arabia where the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice fields “religious police” known as the mutawa or (plural) mutaween (or,mutawwa’in). They patrol the streets with whips and rods looking for women who are wearing excessive eyeliner or displaying too much ankle. Transgressors are beaten or whipped on the spot. Do not underestimate the power of the mutaween. They were at the center of a major scandal in 2002 involving a devastating fire at the Mecca Intermediate School No. 31 for girls. In this case, young girls fleeing the all-woman staffed facility—a unique feature that allowed the pupils to uncover during classes—had not donned their head scarves and were pushed back into the burning building by the mutaween, who then interfered with desperate parents, local residents and even responding emergency services personnel. Evidently, the risk of having men’s minds being polluted by the sight of uncovered female flesh far outweighed any need for a speedy rescue. Those who did manage to flee the blaze were beaten on the spot for being uncovered. Some 15 young women perished, five of them died of burns while ten others were crushed to death in the chaotic evacuation and another 50 were injured.
In a ground breaking and unprecedented move, the mutaween were criticized. Yes, you read that correctly. No charges of involuntary manslaughter or child endangerment were filed, these sanctimonious prigs were merely criticized.
So, Muslim women can end up paying the ultimate price for this prudish nonsense. To give some perspective with regard to just how warped the mutaween can be, consider this recent case. Omar Borkan Al Gala, a poet, actor and internet personality from the UAE (United Arab Emirates), was forcibly removed from a Riyadh culture festival and deported for being “too handsome”. Evidently, the religious police felt that his good looks would “drive women to distraction”.
There immediately springs to mind two separate issues, both involving psychological projection. The first impression being that there is a distinct undercurrent of homoerotic transposition involved. Despite it’s reputation for being violently anti-gay, Islam’s policy of purdah—the confinement of women—is responsible for a large portion of homosexual activity in Muslim nations. Afghanistan’s bacha bazi boys—young males dressed as girl dancers that are auctioned off to the viewing audience afterwards—and the Taliban’s set of thirty rules of which number nineteen prohibits fighters from taking young boys without facial hair into their private quarters are prime examples of the unadmitted homosexuality that goes on, even in the most puritanical Islamic nations.
The second issue of psychological projection lies in how Muslim women must go about covered lest Muslim men become inflamed by their exposed flesh and be led into wrongdoing. First of all, this presumes that all Muslim men have such inadequate impulse control that they will commit sexual assault at the slightest temptation. To likewise map such moral weakness onto Muslim women who are subject to far greater behavioral constraints is a serious instance of projection.
Finally, there is a significant question that arises from Muslim women who wear the niqab or burqa in Western countries. The wearing of such garb is a tacit, yet overt, protest to other women going about uncovered. If Muslims find skimpy attire so objectionable, why on earth have they come to a place where it is so widespread? Likewise with so many other common Western practices like public displays of affection or coed swimming, dancing and education. What is the meaning of taking up residence where a vast majority of the local population will be one endless source of affront?
The only context in which this makes any sense is the same one that explains why Muslims come to countries where they have absolutely no intention of integrating into the surrounding society. People who settle in foreign countries and yet adamantly refuse to assimilate into that nation’s culture are not immigrants, they are colonists.
That is what lies behind the burqa.
Muslims in the West who insist upon wearing body coverings are making an unmistakable statement that they are here to supplant our dominant culture. Out of respect for our own hard won heritage and traditions, such people should not be allowed to set foot on Western soil.