Socialists, feminists, Muslims and the parable of the Sun and the Wind:

I hate the Burqa. That explains why I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing one. However, to those who are telling others how they should dress, you should think of how we respond to homophobes who are against gay marriage: if you don’t like gay marriage, don’t marry a gay.

Why does someone like me who hates the Burqa support the right of women to wear them?

Firstly, we need to be clear that no one supports forcing women to wear it if they don’t want to. We don’t support that anymore than we demand that men prove they are not homophobes by having sex with men. Or that women prove they support a woman’s right to have an abortion by being forced to abort one of their own. It is all about choice, comrades. It’s all about live and let live.

Muslims are oppressed in Britain and other western nations. Almost without exception. This oppression actually encourages young Muslims to rebel just like I rebelled when I was young, sometimes against things that I now regret. These mistakes are part of growing up.

Tell youth what they can’t do and you increase the chances they will do it just to irritate the hell out of authoritarians, even when they are right.

If we genuinely want to discourage women from wearing clothes that identify them with Islam, remember the fable of the SUN and the WIND. These personifications of natural forces had a bet on who was the more powerful. They would prove who it was by getting a random man in an overcoat to disrobe.

The more the WIND blew, the more the man with the overcoat clung to it. All his efforts proved counterproductive.

However, as the SUN shone rays of heat and light, the coat was removed. The moral of this story for socialists today is that if we tell Muslims we support their freely made decisions, we increase the prospects of them defying irrational prejudices, and not wearing clothes have have negative connotations for women’s rights to wear what they want, regardless of what men think.

This tolerance of all religious rituals is how we increase the chances of people outgrowing them. Religion is not just the opium of the people; it is also the ‘heart in a heartless world’, and the ‘sigh of the oppressed’.

Fight against that oppression faced by Muslims in societies like Britain today and they have no need for it. Make the world one that welcomes Muslims – idiosyncrasies and all – and we undermine the hold of the Imams. Everyone’s a winner. Right?

This entry was posted in politics, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Socialists, feminists, Muslims and the parable of the Sun and the Wind:

  1. acoustamatix says:

    If I declared that I felt the overwhelming need to be seated at all times in order to commune more completely with my chosen deity, I’m afraid that a British Judge would tell me that regardless of such religious urges I would be required to be upstanding at certain times if I should ever find myself under his jurisdiction. There are also times during such an occasion which would require me to remove any garments which might be obscuring my face. Unfortunately, in modern society there is no such thing as complete freedom: in order for humans to live side by side in relative security and harmony, the individual must welcome certain forms of compromise and curb certain behaviours which one might hold dear, in order to preserve the greater good. Unlike many middle-eastern countries where certain stifling headgear actually originates, folk in the UK are free to engage in most weird and wonderful behaviours, dressed in full burka and niqab or just a bikini/mankini, in the privacy of their own homes and in most social settings. Modern freedom doesn’t mean the ability to do whatever one wishes, it means the obligation to respect the society one shares and abide by its rules in order to preserve the greater good.


    • TomDelargy says:

      You jump to conclusions about what I believe, and you get it wrong. As a woman wearing the veil said on the telly today, she is not opposed to a jury seeing her face. She agrees with the judge in this instance. And so do I.
      You raise the right of people to demand rights no one could advocates, nor are defended by any religion on the planet. So that is a straw man argument. Throwing mud in our eyes in this way suggests an agenda: some kind of racism?
      You tell me what is for the good of society. Why should I accept your rules? I don’t. I am not in favor of people having rights that infringe other people’s right. But women who want to stop me seeing their face have the right to do that, just as other women have the right to cover up other parts of their bodies that they feel I have no right to see, just as they have the same right to stop you seeing these body parts. Different cultures have different attitudes to these things, and they change over time. And different parts of these cultures move apart at different rates, leading to religious schisms, or just different attitudes towards fashion. So long as those wearing the veil or other clothes don’t infringe other people’s rights, what is the problem?
      Those who are oppressed (and Muslims in contemporary Britain ARE oppressed) need to be respected. They need to be given adequate space regardless of how much we individually find why they want some of these rights inexplicable. That was the point of my blog post.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s