Monday, July 19, 2010
The Demise of the Muslim Veil, in Syria?
19 July, 2010
Syria is about 85% Muslim. So it comes as something of a surprise to learn that the secularist Syrian government recently banned the wearing of the traditional Muslim veil by women students in universities. The ban is even more surprising in light of the widespread movement in West European nations, led by France and Germany to ban or place restrictions on the use of traditional Muslim garb by women.
Western women find the burqa and the veil to be manifestations of the oppression of women. More practical arguments claim that the bulky apparel is an impediment to learning, while others argue that the veil conceals a person who may have the intent to commit a crime or as a means of hiding from public authority. Police can't go around lifting Muslim women's veils to search for a criminal.
In the view of this blog's editor, the burqa and veil are throwbacks to a repressive religious control of women by Muslim clerics who seek to prevent the incursion of Western values and practices, which inevitably will diminish their power and control of political and social values in Muslim dominated cultures.