A Saudi Arabian cleric raised eyebrows over his WTF suggestion on a TV program six months ago that baby girls should be covered head-to-toe in burqas to protect them from sexual assault. It is one thing to suggest, however ludicrously, that veiled women prevent men from being tempted to rape (because we know men are all rapists and must be thwarted at every turn, amirite?), though I obviously don’t agree with forcing or coercing women to wear the burqa. But the mere suggestion that little baby girls might be lascivious if they’re not completely covered? Now, that’s just disgusting. Sheikh Abdullah Daoud’s “burqas for babies” idea has been criticized by other Saudis, who say he is making the Islamic faith look bad. I’m inclined to agree! [Daily Mail UK]
Your daily reminder that as screwed up as our government’s attempts to control women’s bodies is sometimes, it could be worse: female TV presenters in Afghanistan have been warned by the government to lay off the makeup and wear veils more frequently. The Information & Cultural Ministry asked TV networks to require women to wear a veil and forgo “dense makeup” in respect to “Islamic and Afghan values.” The ministry was reportedly pressured to make this advisement by a council of Islamic religious scholars. The continued policing and controlling of women’s bodies is just another example of how misogyny is still very much afoot in Afghanistan. [AFP]
France‘s ban on face-covering Muslim veils, like the niqab and the burqa, took effect yesterday. French citizens and tourists alike will be fined $215 for covering their faces in public or they must attend a class on French citizenship. Anyone who forced a woman to wear a veil in public faces a year in prison and a $43,000 fine — and fines are steeper if the person being forced to wear a veil is a minor. Muslim students are already banned from wearing headscarves in classrooms.
At least two women were taken in by police yesterday for daring to cover their faces with Islamic veils in public and a 27-year-old woman received the country’s first-ever fine for wearing a veil. Keep reading »
“Burqa rage.” Never heard of it before? Me neither. Women being forced to wear burqas does makes me upset. But a 63-year-old French woman, known only as Marlene, took things too far when she attacked a woman who chose to wear a body-covering veil while furniture shopping in a Paris suburb. When Marlene saw the victim, known only as Shaika, 26, perusing a department store in a burqa, she asked the Muslim woman to disrobe. “I told her to take off the veil she had on her face,” she said. “I grabbed and pulled it.” Shaika refused to remove her burqa and Marlene allegedly began hitting her, successfully pulling off the veil and biting Shaika’s hand in the process. “Now I can see your face,” she allegedly shouted. Keep reading »