French journalists tries the niqab, feels the heat

Posted: April 30, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in European Union, International
Tags: , , , ,

Interesting story comes out of Al-Arabiya English website, about a French journalist Elizabeth Alexandre describes the negatives and the positives:

"I felt as if I am inside a tent. I couldn’t see my feet and when I walked the garment rolled around my legs and I had to slow down. I was terrified I was going to fall on my face."

She then went to a café where she found it very hard to drink her coffee or smoke a cigarette from under her veil.

"I had to keep lifting the veil in order to take sips from the coffee or to smoke. This was very difficult."

Going back home and taking off the veil made Alexandre breathe a sigh of relief. She felt she was free.

"I discovered how the face veil isolates the woman as it turns her into someone who cannot interact with people. I felt that after only three days of wearing it."

(Al-Arabiya)

Alexandre discovered also that the niqab made her understand she was a source of sin:

It is then that I felt I need the veil to protect me from this imminent danger. For the first time in my life, I felt I was a sex bomb and a source of sin.

frei-designs-beautiful-clothes-02I WILL NOT argue against niqab or for it. I will mention two things, however:

  1. Arguing against the niqab is problematic from lawful and religious standpoint. While the attributes are different, every religion has its own symbols. The Jews have the kippah or the skullcap, the Christians have the Cross. Many anti-Islam commentators support the anti-niqab campaign spreading through Europe, but much of the European movement isn’t about Islam and but about religion in general. Prohibiting niqab would be a slippery slope to prohibit any religious attributes in public square.
  2. It is the right of the woman to dress any way she wants. If Alexandre feels the need to wear the niqab so she won’t be perceived as a sexual object – it is her right. It is important to point out, however, that it is possible to dress well, without being dressed provocatively.
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