Unveiled: Burqa Rights By: Frank Kollar

Imagine being considered a threat by the nation you are loyal to. This is the daily struggle of many Muslims who wear Burqas in order to practice their religion to the extent they feel is acceptable. Recently, many European nations have introduced legislation that calls for a complete ban of Burqas. Women wear Burqas because in the Koran (Islamic holy book) it says, “Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them…” (Koran). These devout religious members are being denied simple religious rights that the Christians fought for in 250 A.D., the Pilgrims fought for in 1620, and the Irish fought for in 1641.

A Burqa is, “A veil that covers the entire body and face, with a medd window or grille across the eyes for a woman to see out of.” (Vyer).
A mural painted in favor of the banning of burqa

These devout religious members are being denied simple religious rights that the Christians fought for in 250 A.D., the Pilgrims fought for in 1620, and the Irish fought for in 1641.

The banning of Burqas in European nations is similar to the Civil Rights movement and reconstruction because for both, people are making assumptions about other people based strictly around physical appearance. These predispositions are negative in both circumstances. For black people during the Civil Rights, the assumption was that they were dirty and uneducated. Correspondingly, the assumption for Muslim women wearing Burkas is that they are terrorists.

One Muslim woman wearing a Burqa was harassed on her college campus and a man in a car screamed at her, “Is that a bomb in your pocket?!” (Ibrahim).

Clearly, many Americans and Europeans are worried that these faithful muslims are actually terrorist and found that the next logical solution is to suspend their religious freedoms, even though it is contrast to the EU guidelines and is morally unjust. These muslims are fighting for their inalienable rights just as blacks did during the Civil Rights Period. Activists and protesters risked their lives and, “They risked—and sometimes lost—their lives in the name of freedom and equality.” (History.com). These protesters were fighting for a society where judges ruled based only on the case itself, and not if the prosecutors or defendants were colored. These protesters were fighting for a society where police officers were truly friends of the city instead of its number one enemy. Overall, it is obvious that the two issues are similar because they both are dealing with the predispositions and assumptions that someone makes off of appearance, whether it be a burqa or skin color. These issues were very similar, but a few defining differences split them.

The banning of Burqas, alternatively, is not similar to the Civil Rights because the two issues affects different amounts of people. The Banning of burqas in Europe only affects a thousand people at most while the Civil Rights Movement affected millions of people and continues to change people’s lives today.

For example, “France has about five million Muslims - the largest Muslim minority in Western Europe - but it is thought only about 2,000 women wear full veils.” (BBC).

This banning still strips the religious rights and freedoms that are guaranteed by the EU, US Constitution, and human decency, but it does not affect as many people as were affected and still are affected by the Civil Rights movement. The Census Bureau showed that the population in 1950-1960 of African Americans was 10.0-10.4 million people (CENSUS). This is obviously a significantly more than the amount of people affected by the banning of the burqa and therefore this is a key difference that separates the two.

Everyday people can help protect the religious rights of muslim women who chose to wear a burqa by donating or getting involved with schedule protests, such as the one every February 1st (World Hijab/Burqa Day). In addition some organizations are based around protecting muslim woman from having to stop wearing a burqa for other people's discomfort.

The NFAW (National Foundation for Australian Women) recently invited a group of Muslim women in order to speak out against the Burqa Ban.

For further reading: http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/19/europe/burqa-burkini-bans/
Works Cited ^

Credits:

Created with images by mufidpwt - "moslem people koran muslim" • M1key.me - "Bui Bui" • Cea. - "V2 Test_Lab: Intimate Interfaces : Tele_Trust" • jessica mullen - "Kelly Cree" • Cea. - "V2 Test_Lab: Intimate Interfaces: Tele_Trust" • dalbera - "Burqa ( V&A Museum)" • Free Quran Pictures 4K - "قرآن/koran" • BeauGiles - "Ban the Burqa" • Moyan_Brenn - "Mosque" • Camera Eye - "Holly Ka'ba" • GLady - "mecca mina buildings" • Edgardo W. Olivera - "Mujer musulmana en Pamukkale, Turquía" • Brian ⚓ Hillegas - "woman in the street" • andreas160578 - "muslima muslim woman eyes" • Cea. - "V2 Test_Lab: Intimate Interfaces : Tele_Trust" • Newtown grafitti - "Poor Sergio"

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