Sunday, July 22, 2012

Jilbab, Burqa, and Niqab

Okay, the holy month of Ramadhan as arrived, I think I need to write something about Islam.

There are some controversies regarding the headscarf of the Moslem women. At least there are 3 types of them: Jilbab, Niqab, and Burqa. All of them caused some uproar in non-Moslem countries. Some of them prohibit all 3 of them.

NOT a jilbab
I have no problem with jilbab. Really. I think it is only a fashion. Just Compare these 2 pictures. What's the difference? It is so similar! The only different is, jilbab definitely has to cover the hair of its wearer, while other headscarf don't have to.

That means if you prohibit jilbab, you treat the Moslems unjustly. Accept if you want to prohibit all kind of headscarf, which means you already try to control fashion. Not practical, not just, and too intrusive. I know, I know, many people said that jilbab differentiate Moslem woman from non-Moslem, segregating them etc., but we live in an imperfect world, why spend so much energy in controlling fashion?

Suggestion to countries that prohibit jilbab: stop being a dick and let the Moslem women wear their jilbab. You don't like it? Tough luck, you are not entitled to force your taste to others.

On the other hand ... burqa and niqab is totally another matter.

Burqa & Niqab
Both of them covered the face of the wearer totally. It is practically like wearing balaclava, nobody can recognize the face of the wearer. Not only the face, we never can't determine the gender, what they carry inside their clothing, etc.

Niqab. From wikipedia
Burqa. From wikipedia
Some people, like this video for example, argue that burqa is a political uniform. Nah, I don't want to ban burqa based on that kind of cultural argument.

My argument is, since you MAY NOT wear a balaclava into a bank or many other public place, it is reasonable to ban burqa and niqab from public space. Yes, you read it correctly, it is a practical-security reason, NOT cultural. Culture is very subjective. Security on the other hand, is very objective. The need to identify people in public spaces even become greater since we never short of supply of psychopaths, terrorists, and criminals. You can help the state and the society in preventing and capturing those evil people by NOT making a fashion that totally obstruct identification.

What? This is not a common sense for you? Okay then, we need a law to really make it illegal to wear those 2. Don't like it? You can go to another place where people don't care about identification obstruction. Place like ... Saudi Arabia, Somalia, etc. Nice places right?

All of that had been said, I still dislike the reason why Moslem women wear them. Let me close this article with the following cartoon that picture the mentality behind all of these head-covering, jilbab included. Hopefully, Moslem women wear jilbab because of fashion, not because of the following reason:

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