Burka. With or against
People recognise one another not by looking at each other hands or backs but by looking at each other faces. There is something deeply disturbing and inhuman in forcing somebody to cover it and live behind the veil.
Nevertheless, given the opportunity I would not vote to ban burka. Mainly because the consequences of doing so could be quite opposite to desired ones. If somebody is able to force their wife, sisters or daughters to completely cover their bodies, is probably also capable of not letting them leave their houses at all if not behind the veil or with their company, and already isolated women would be even more secluded from society. Moreover all the opponents of burka tend to point their finger at Muslim men accusing them for all the evil which happens to their women, at the same time forgetting that also many Muslim women are conservative themselves and share the same views about women’s modesty and their role in society. Therefore are they really forced to wear veils? Definitely not, by any law in the world. Even Iran and Saudi Arabia, the only two countries following sharia law do not require women to do so. Both oblige them to wear head scarfs, not the veils. Although in Saudi Arabia, where vast majority of women wear burkas some cases of women being arrested after they uncovered their faces were reported. And as long as it is accepted and preferred by the respective societies there is nothing we can or even should try to do about. It seems that they are not quite ready yet for such an enormous change. Also even if we ban it the question is how the new law would be implemented? Would police officers be instructed to rip the veils off women’s faces? Or maybe those disobedient would not be allowed in public places? It’s really easy to change the law, but not so much to change customs and social norms of people from different cultural background. It requires education and takes generations.
Women’s rights activists think that they know better than the women themselves what is good for poor and oppressed Muslim girls. Myself, I would rather advice us all to stop telling people what should they wear and how should they live. It’s time to listen instead.