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?