Sunday, July 24, 2011

Burka Ban Begins in Belgium

BELGIUM--A law has come into force in Belgium banning women from wearing the full Islamic veil in public.

The country is the second European Union nation after France to enforce such a ban. Offenders face a fine of 137.5 euros (£121; $197) and up to seven days in jail.

Two women who wear full veils launched an immediate court challenge, saying the law is discriminatory.

France, home to Europe's biggest Muslim population, enforced its ban in April.

Belgium's law bans any clothing that obscures the identity of the wearer in places like parks and on the street.

It was passed almost unanimously by the lower house of parliament in April 2010.

MPs voted with only two abstentions to back the legislation on the grounds of security, to allow police to identify people.

Other MPs said that full face veils such as the burka or the niqab were a symbol of the oppression of women.

But critics of the law say it could end up excluding women, leaving those who do wear the full veil trapped in their homes.

And they say the measures are over the top - estimates suggest only a few dozen women wear this kind of veil in Belgium, out of a Muslim population of about half a million.

"We consider the law a disproportionate intrusion into fundamental rights such as the freedom of religion and expression," Ines Wouters, the lawyer representing the two women challenging the ban, told the newspaper La Libre.

She has taken their case to Belgium's constitutional court, where she will request a suspension of the law, AFP news agency reported. (Source)

27 comments:

Tizita said...

Good for you Belgium. Now while ur at it also ban the Hijab, Niqab, and Mosques! Irrational! you say? I think not :D

Leah said...

Plenty of room and space in Islamic countries if that is how they want to live. Europe needs to keep its cultural identity or lose it to Islam.

Joe Bradley said...

The government has a security interest in visually identifying people in public places. There was a recent case in Florida in which the State refused to issue a Driver's License to a Muslim woman who refused to take the picture without her Burka. CAIR (of course) filed a lawsuit and lost. The courts ruled that her face had to be visible as a means of identification.

Truth said...

Great. THANKS to Belgium.

Yusuf Alamo said...

Peace be unto you, Tizita.

Ironic. In Belgium, women are allowed to walk around topless, yet they aren't allowed to cover their face?

Yeah, that is irrational.

Yusuf Alamo said...

In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.

Peace be unto you, Leah.

I Peacefully pray that (Allah Willing) all of the people of Europe become servants in Peaceful surrender (i.e. Muslims) to Allah the Lord of all the Worlds, ameen.

What do you think should be done when people willingly accept Islam in Europe if such a thing is outlawed there? What if they refuse to deny Islam then? Would you lock them up in prison? Men? Women? Children? Is that what you would prefer?

My Two Sense said...

Yusef says. "In Belgium, women are allowed to walk around topless, yet they aren't allowed to cover their face?"

I fail to see the irony in your statement except of course the broad overgeneralization of your argument.

I'm sure that women are not allowed to brazenly walk around the country topless whenever they want in Belgium or in any democratic western country. Surely this is limited to topless beaches for example. What I'm saying is there is a rule or law and a social norm dictating when and where this is acceptable behavior.

The same can be said for the issue of the burka. In democratic countries where ID cards are required, a picture of the face is also required for identity purposes. If a woman refuses to take off her burka, then she is refused an identity card. Plain and simple.

The beauty of Democracy is that women have the option to go to a topless beach or wear a hijab if they want to. Could they have such choices in any Muslim majority country? Could a Muslim (or non Muslim) woman NOT wear a hijab or burka in such countries and INSIST NOT TO WEAR ONE based on their religion?

Leah said...

If I walk around with a white pillow-case over my head daily in public with 2 small holes for seeing in Belgium and say I am a peaceful member of the KKK, I should expect to get a ticket citation also. Especially if many people are coming into Belgium just like me, making KKK temples and making KKK schools and we hate people from Belgium who are not in the KKK.

Truth said...

I support what "My Two Sense" said. And yusuf, first of all your boss Allah is neither the Most Compassionate, nor the Most Merciful. And you are not allah's child. u r his slave.

And you are talking about topless girls ?? allah himself is so pervert that he always look at topless girls and enjoys 72 prostitutes in paradise.

when alla has a prostitute quarter in heaven and he enjoys neked topless beauty, then why do u have a problem with that.

when your boss has no problem with that, how can u the slave have a problem ?

we Christians can have problem. Because Jesus taught us modesty - MATT 5:27,28 etc.

but how can u, as a muslim, have a problem ?

Radical Moderate said...

While I am against banning Mosqs and Minerettes, when it comes to the burka or naqib, it is just common sense that people need to submit themselves for identification.

Remember that woman in OZ, she filed a false police complaint about a police officer and then said it wasnt here becasue she was wearing the niqab.

CristoTeAma said...

Yusuf Alamo said...
"Peace be unto you, Tizita.

Ironic. In Belgium, women are allowed to walk around topless, yet they aren't allowed to cover their face?

Yeah, that is irrational"


Sometimes Muslims seems to be either ignorant or they just want to appear so.. In no western country u can walk on the normal street topless, it's only in the beach(some of them) but it isn't even about that, it's about SECURITY, if u go topeless you are giving more info than we need hehe, but if you go with the islamic clothes, you are hiding info (FACE) that is needed for the SECURITY,so it hilarous the way you analize this matter, and also you add "In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful." is merciful to make a women wear clothes which can't let them integrate to the country they moved to? NO WAY! It only works in Islam since you don't even try to integrate, that's why right wings are comming very fast, it seems you asked for it.

betwixt said...

Yusuf: What do you think should be done when people willingly accept Islam in Europe if such a thing is outlawed there? What if they refuse to deny Islam then? Would you lock them up in prison? Men? Women? Children? Is that what you would prefer?

Yusuf, are you equating the wearing of the burqa to Islam? Is it your clothing that makes you a Muslim?

As for banning mosques, I don't agree with it, but again, is the mosque the only place where you can be a Muslim, where you can worship Allah?

You are willfully ignoring the fact that Muslim women have been allowed to wear the burqa in Belgium and France before security concerns became a priority for those countries. Terrorism by Muslims is a reality in these times and in these countries. Surely, you cannot blame France and Belgium for wanting to protect themselves.

As far as I know, no ban has been issued to prevent Muslim women from moving to a country where they can freely wear a burqa in peace. The thing is, when one immigrates to another country, it is only right for that immigrant to abide by the laws of their host country. Respect is a two-way street.

My Two Sense said...

I am reminded of a joke Stephen Colbert did on his show awhile back where he was promoting the "reverse burka"... and showed a picture of a naked smiling woman with a blindfold.

Radical Moderate said...

Yousef said...

"Ironic. In Belgium, women are allowed to walk around topless, yet they aren't allowed to cover their face"

I want to know where these Muslims hang out at. You got Osma Abdullah picking up cheep mexican hookers, Yousef seeing topless half naked woman.

I mean really they Must hang out in some bizar places when they come to the west.

Radical Moderate said...

I guess Yousef is hanging out in those Hala Strip clubs we keep hearing about.

Yousef seriously man, dont waist your money, cause as soon as you run out that girl is gone on to the next fool.

Yusuf Alamo said...

In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.

Peace be unto you all.

MTS, while not in every western country, there are some places in western countries where women are allowed to walk around brazenly topless. New York and Paris are two examples where it is absolutely allowed according to the law. Not that most women actually do it, but they do have the right according to the law. I won't bother looking up the information for you. I think you can do that for yourself. Part of the reason why I know is because I have been in both places.

"The beauty of Democracy is that women have the option to go to a topless beach"

The part where you find that this is 'beautiful' is where you and I can respectfully agree to disagree.

"Could they have such choices in any Muslim majority country?"

I hope not. Lewdness, sexual exhibitionism, and the overall exploitation of mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives are detrimental to any society throughout the world, Muslim or not.

Allah be Praised and Glorified, I don't only feel opposed to the rape and sexual exploitation of women in non-Muslim countries. I feel just as strongly opposed to the rape and sexual exploitation of women caused by Muslims (especially in Muslim majority countries) where many of them are treated unjustly and with little respect.

Put simply, I am opposed to the exploitation of women, men, or children anywhere.

Allah willing, I have every sincere intention of making sure my sons and daughters receive the very best education, upbringing, and protection from such ill-treatment anywhere in the world, Muslim country or not.

Allah willing, I sincerely want my sons and daughters to feel a sense of self-respect and self-worth when they go out into the world.

Allah willing, I sincerely don't want my sons and daughters being judged by their physical looks (i.e. their hidden ornaments). Allah willing, I would sincerely prefer people to measure my sons and daughters according to the nobility of their actions, the integrity of their Muslim character, and the strength of their intelligence.

Truth, I am proud to be Allah's slave. Praise be to Allah; the Lord of all the Worlds.

Yusuf Alamo said...

"Yusuf, are you equating the wearing of the burqa to Islam?"

No, I'm not.

"Is it your clothing that makes you a Muslim?"

No, but the clothing is part of what identifies and distinguishes the Muslim from the non-Muslim. Just as the Orthodox or Hasidic Jews identify and distinguish themselves from non-Jews by way of their appearance (or dress) as well as throughout their daily lives, (ex; Salafi or Sunni) Muslims may wish to identify themselves as Muslims by way of their appearance (or dress) as well as throughout their daily lives.

In Brooklyn, I can usually recognize my Hasidic Jewish neighbors due to their curled ear locks, black trench coats, white button-down shirts, black vests, black top hats, white tassels, yarmulkes, beards, long mustaches, etc.

In Brooklyn, I can also usually recognize my fellow Muslim brothers due to their uncut beards, short mustaches, knee-length robes, high-water pants, khufis, kafiyyahs, etc.

(*For the Muslim sisters; Hijabs, Jilbabs, Khimars, Abayahs, Niqabs, etc.)

"Surely, you cannot blame France and Belgium for wanting to protect themselves."

I want France and Belgium to be protected as well. There are people in France that I care about whom I've known for even more years than I've been a Muslim.

"As for banning mosques, I don't agree with it, but again, is the mosque the only place where you can be a Muslim, where you can worship Allah?"

Muslims are only allowed to pray in clean places where worship is devoted to Allah alone.

Christian churches, Jewish synagogues, Buddhist and Hindu temples, etc., are prohibited places of worship for Muslims.

Just as Christians, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists seek to congregate in buildings devoted to worship, so do Muslims.

In the case of Christians and Muslims, each group naturally seeks to increase the number of their brethren and the spread of their ideology throughout the world.

"The thing is, when one immigrates to another country, it is only right for that immigrant to abide by the laws of their host country. Respect is a two-way street."

On this, we absolutely agree.

Yusuf Alamo said...

"I guess Yousef is hanging out in those Hala Strip clubs we keep hearing about. Yousef seriously man, dont waist your money, cause as soon as you run out that girl is gone on to the next fool."

Needless to say, the personal insults towards me is completely unwarranted and disrespectful.

I do not attend 'strip clubs' as it is morally wrong as well as being completely impermissible in Islam for me to look at the hidden ornaments of a woman whom I am not married to.

I've never joked or said anything of such a vulgar nature about anyone on this blog ever.

Including you.

Allah willing, I will continue to strive to treat others with human compassion, respect, and dignity.

Allah willing, this will include you as well despite your ill-treatment of me.

May Allah guide you (and all of us) towards clean speech and mutual respect, ameen.

Radical Moderate said...

Yousef Alamo

So you don't go to Hala Strip clubs, then where do you see these naked Belgium woman?

Radical Moderate said...

@David Wood

Yousef Alamo said...

"MTS, while not in every western country, there are some places in western countries where women are allowed to walk around brazenly topless. New York and Paris are two examples where it is absolutely allowed according to the law."

As a New Yorker yourself is that true, that woman in New York city can walk topless?

My Two Sense said...

Yusef

"The part where you find that this is 'beautiful' is where you and I can respectfully agree to disagree."

OK. No problem. Though I want to point out that the part that I was saying was "beautiful" was that women have choices in a democracy. I wasn't necessarily advocating topless beaches or objectifying women. If you don't like it or you think it's lewd... don't look.


"Allah willing, I sincerely don't want my sons and daughters being judged by their physical looks"


As an artist I have taken many life drawing classes where there are live nude models. Nudity is not lewd or exploitation in all cases. The human body is a wonderful natural machine to be celebrated not shamed. As an artist I don't think "sensuality" is wrong and I don't think it demeans women. If you disagree with me... fine.

"Allah willing, I have every sincere intention of making sure my sons and daughters receive the very best education, upbringing, and protection from such ill-treatment anywhere in the world, Muslim country or not. "

Well then you have my respect sir.

simple_truth said...

Yusuf Alamo said...

"...I do not attend 'strip clubs' as it is morally wrong as well as being completely impermissible in Islam for me to look at the hidden ornaments of a woman whom I am not married to."

But your religion makes it easy to divorce one of your wives and then marry another one in her place so that you can then look at her and have sex with her. So, if you want to look, just marry her and the problem is solved. I am oversimplifying things; but, you get the idea behind it.

"Allah willing, I will continue to strive to treat others with human compassion, respect, and dignity."

Well, that is something that Mohammad didn't have, especially toward non Muslims. Mercy compassion, love, etc. are more relativistic concepts in Islam; for, they don't hold equally to everyone. Muslims normally are the only recipients of such positive concepts. Mohammad didn't speak highly or equally of non Muslims and didn't give them the kind of compassion, respect, mercy, etc. that you are aspiring to give. That should be problematic for you that you are striving to be a better person than your prophet who is supposed to be the best example.

"Allah willing, this will include you as well despite your ill-treatment of me."

I am definitely not for someone mistreating you, if in fact, that is what has happened.

"May Allah guide you (and all of us) towards clean speech and mutual respect, ameen."

I hope that all of us strive for that too; but, you must admit that your prophet didn't treat non Muslims that good. You may say that they had it coming to them for their disbelief, or denial of your prophet; but, Jesus surely didn't treat people that way. If your prophet was truly one of the line of the Biblical prophets, he should have at least adhered to Jesus' teachings since his example is far superior to anything that Mohammad ever gave.

Yusuf Alamo said...

"...is that true, that woman in New York city can walk topless?"

Sadly, New York City recently had a 'Topless Day' earlier this year. On that day, there were men and women in the east village walking around completely nude {from the waist up} passing out hats, flyers, and balloons. I couldn't believe it either when it happened.

Yusuf Alamo said...

"Though I want to point out that the part that I was saying was "beautiful" was that women have choices in a democracy."

The display of public nudity that our democratic society offers as a 'choice' is an evil choice made legal by our democratic system.

While you may not agree with me that public nudity is evil, perhaps you feel that plural marriage is.

Perhaps you may feel that this is an evil choice made legal in Islam.

In either case, we both live in a society where we can peacefully disagree with one another on what we perceive to be 'good' or 'evil'.

"I wasn't necessarily advocating topless beaches or objectifying women."

I respectfully disagree.

While I sincerely don't believe that your intention is to objectify women, you are advocating topless beaches if you support the democratic legalization of public nudity so that women have the 'choice' to go topless publicly.

"If you don't like it or you think it's lewd... don't look."

I think it's obvious that I personally don't have any intention on looking at such things (i.e. open lewdness) but I can't wear blinders when I'm on my way to work.

Sometimes I'm in a rush and things are directly in my path when I least expect it. I try my best to always maintain awareness and see wear I'm going. Especially in crowded places like midtown.

"Nudity is not lewd or exploitation in all cases."

I absolutely agree.

In the case of doctors or medical students, there are times when seeing nudity may be required to treat sick or injured patients.

"The human body is a wonderful natural machine to be celebrated not shamed."

I also agree.

The only area where we may disagree is in how human beings should conduct the celebration of the bodies Allah has loaned to us.

"I don't think "sensuality" is wrong and I don't think it demeans women."

As long as it remains shared within the boundaries of the private intimacy of marriage, I don't think sensuality is wrong either.

When outside of those boundaries, and when irresponsibly and nonchalantly exposed to the world, it becomes exploitive and demeaning to both men and women.

"...you have my respect sir."

Most importantly, you have mine.

My Two Sense said...

Yusef: "While I sincerely don't believe that your intention is to objectify women, you are advocating topless beaches if you support the democratic legalization of public nudity so that women have the 'choice' to go topless publicly."

OK. You got me. I said I wasn't necessarily advocating topless beaches, but I wasn't necessarily against them either. I almost got a job at Playboy once as a web editor. I interviewed with all women strangely enough. They asked me if nudity offended me and I am not ashamed to say that I said, "no." I worked at a casino for a few years too when I was younger, though I will say I personally abhor gambling and want nothing to do with casinos ever again. And I admit without guilt to the occasional alcoholic drink.

Look. I get your objection to "objectification". I agree wholeheartedly with your medical defense to the human body as well. As an artist though, I personally vehemently disagree with ANY dogma that states it is wrong to have representations of the human form. Aren't there some in Islam (I'm not saying all) who are against photography and drawings of the human form of any kind? Not just of the Prophet? Aren't there some in Islam (and other dogmas I'm sure) who are against music of any kind? Not just Rock & Roll or Rap? I would argue that Beethoven, Bach, Elvis, the Beatles and 2Live Crew all have something to offer culturally whether you like them or not.

If you want to be against Playboy or Maxim or Vogue that's your choice. But to be against the artistic impact of such works as Michelangelo's David or the Dying Slave, or The Venus De Milo, or Rodin's The Kiss... I just can't imagine that. If I think nudity in art is ok, then I'm not going to be against topless beaches or Playboy either. I may not like one or the other, but I can't in conscience ban one and not the other. If I like The Red Hot Chili Peppers then I can't be against Camillionaire, though I may not like his music or his lyrics. I'm not trying to change your views Yusef, I'm just offering up a counterpoint and saying I can't change mine.

Yusef "I can't wear blinders when I'm on my way to work... I try my best to always maintain awareness and see wear I'm going. Especially in crowded places like midtown."

Well Yusef. I stand by my earlier comment of if you don't like it, don't look. Respectfully, my response to you is this: good luck living in a Democracy and not being occasionally offended. I think Steve Hughes said it best here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cycXuYzmzNg

Yusef I can agree to disagree with you and I'm fine with that. Even Bush said it best when he said, "Thank God we live in a country where you get to disagree with me." Could we agree to disagree in the same way in Saudi Arabia or Iran for instance?

Finally one of my favorite quotes from Voltaire, "I don't agree with anything you say but I will defend to the end your right to say it."

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

I believe it's a matter of national security and a right to see anybodies face, muslim or not. I believe the ban should equally target certain gothic outfits.

CristoTeAma said...

Yusuf Alamo said...

"Allah willing, I sincerely don't want my sons and daughters being judged by their physical looks (i.e. their hidden ornaments). Allah willing, I would sincerely prefer people to measure my sons and daughters according to the nobility of their actions, the integrity of their Muslim character, and the strength of their intelligence."

So you must be again the Quran, because quran says the good women cover their(some says its translated as all face, only hair, all body, i heard one scholar saying that its not any of these but a rag placed on the weist) the things that must be covered. The bible might say something like it, but the difference is that we are not called to judge one another and even more to punish physically one another.

So the quran is teaching you to judge them by the way they dress, also many Muslims says Western women are.. let's say "easy women" because they use shorts, skirts, etc, so aren't they judging them because of their ornaments?

BTW as i said before, this is not about ornaments, it's about security, so all your arguments are useless when it comes to the law, in which you must show your face in public, for obvious reasons..