Ban that Burka! Germany follows French lead in policing Muslim fashions

Catherine Shakdam
Catherine Shakdam is a political analyst, writer and commentator for the Middle East with a special focus on radical movements and Yemen. A regular pundit on RT and other networks her work has appeared in major publications: MintPress, the Foreign Policy Journal, Mehr News and many others.Director of Programs at the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies, Catherine is also the co-founder of Veritas Consulting. She is the author of Arabia’s Rising - Under The Banner Of The First Imam
© Khaled Abdullah
Brace yourself ladies and gentlemen for Germany can now cure radicalism. In one swift swoop, Berlin has offered to both eradicate radicalism and free women from the diktat of their modesty. Aren’t you glad you live in a democracy?

Lost in the throes of a grand debate over its immigration policy and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s insistence that refugees should come in their uncontrolled droves, come what may, all in the name of righteous “tolerance”, German officials are now actively considering legislating over fashion to address “integration” and radicalization.

Rather than actually formulate, or even legislate against the source of radicalism: unfettered Salafism, or as we should really call it, Wahhabism, Germany, like France, has chosen to focus on the one element it feels comfortable tackling: women fashion, singling out the burka as the manifestation of latent terrorism.

This is how Germany’s brave Interior Minister, Thomas de Maiziere introduced Berlin’s ground-breaking campaign against radicalism: wearing a full veil in Germany “has no place in our country and… does not comply with our understanding of the role of women … We want to show our faces to each other and that is why we agree that we reject this. The question is how we put this into law.”

As for Chancellor Merkel, the grand patron of cultural Marxism, by way of force-fed immigration, “a completely covered woman has almost no chance of integrating herself in Germany.”

Consider yourself warned!

All sarcasm aside - not that I am not having fun poking at the ridiculousness of the situation, this sudden burka-burkini craze is turning into something too sinister for us to casually ignore.

Before you start arguing that as a Muslim woman I have no business commenting on Islamic fashion, let me remind you that as a human being I was blessed with a mind, a mouth, and ten fingers to hit that keyboard of mine! And no, my hijab does not prevent oxygen to flow to my brain! Shocker I know!

In all fairness I understand exactly where Germany, France and all Western folks are coming from as far as the burka is concerned. For all the many garments and accessories women have adorned throughout the centuries this full-body armour/veil is not the most inviting of fashion inventions. But then again the whole point of the burka is to keep everyone away… your own sense of self included.

Yes, the burka is a difficult one to defend! And yes from where I’m standing the burka looks more like a tool of oppression than the affirmation of a woman’s modesty, let alone dignity. But it does not mean that my opinion, or even your opinions should matter. What matter is the right of individuals to choose for themselves what fashion they wish to follow, and what cultural or religious markers they want to conform to.

Let us remember as well that “modernity” is a very subjective term, which cannot be defined or contained according to a pre-determined set of rules. Fashion should not become the next frontier to be legislated over. Has society become so monochrome that we can’t tolerate diversity anymore? How small do you want your box to be? How much more power are we going to surrender to state officials before we realize that our desire to cast out differences will be the death of all our individuality?

Let me tell you what really bothers you here because it’s not the burka, but rather what it represents – actually not even that; what you think it represents. You hate the burka for it speaks of a faith and a culture you deem both as foreign and uncivilized. You hate the burka for it upsets your ethno-centrism and your own self-righteous sense of nationalism.

This is not a criticism! Nationalism is not an ugly word, quite the contrary. Intolerance, however, I am not a fan of.

Islam, contrary to general belief, is not a foreign religion… unless of course you accept the fact that Judaism and Christianity are too. Islam, however, is a religion you do not identify with, hence your sense of dread. Islam, as it happens, you do not even understand since all you’ve experienced so far is the diseased interpretation of Wahhabism.

The burka by the way is Wahhabism’s own dogmatic child. The burka I will have you know is NOT an Islamic requirement.

Now that we cleared that up let me get back to this idiotic criminalization of fashion. I have one question for officials: how will a ban on the burka achieve anything by way of countering radicalization?

How incredibly arrogant of Germany (and France) to assume they can forcibly modernize Muslim women by making them conform to their idea of what is socially acceptable. As they say: Out of the fire and into the frying pan.

Women are not commodities governments or Society can dress and undress according to their whims. Berlin is enacting on women the same diktat it is reproaching Wahhabi radicals. Can we stop the crazy train already?

Can all Western governments back off of women for one second and concentrate on solving real problems? It’s not like we don’t have any. Here is one: what about we solve the refugee crisis? How about eradicating Terror by facing up to the fact that irresponsible foreign policies and neo-imperialism have brought death and unrest across the globe?

But here’s where the joke really turns tragic: we are being distracted away from the real problem.
A ban on the burka and/or the burkini will not solve anything. I would actually argue that it will only serve to fan further tensions in between communities and anchor the belief that Islam is THE enemy to be cast out.

It is radicalism which needs to be cast out. It is intolerance, misogyny, xenophobia and sectarianism which need to be taken out, not skirts, veil or bathing suits.

By the way what does a modern woman wear? How much is just enough? Or is it just that Society is deeply resentful of women’s right to be their own person outside a male influence?

One more thing before I go – Islam celebrates women! Islam speaks of empowerment and liberation. Don’t believe me? Look up Mary, mother of Jesus, an entire chapter of the Quran is dedicated to her glory. When it comes to bravery, fortitude and grace in the face of monstrous bigots I believe Mary bears no equal… but then again what do I know.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.