The Speaker speaks and the whole country is rocked.

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Bishop burquaWow, The Speaker speaks and the whole country is rocked. Well, MSM at least has something to earn that pay cheque with. I suppose this is all we will hear about for the next few days, or at least until the next main attraction comes along.

I write this post now with the intention of not upsetting anyone but in the hope of getting a true understanding of the issues surrounding the burqa debate.

In the words of Dr Judy Wood “I know that I know what I know”.

I am a 52 year old British born Kiwi who has been a citizen of Australia for 20 years.   I am totally western.  What I have been socially indoctrinated to over the course of my life is what I know.

Is what I know the truth?  Sadly, I don’t know the answer to that any more.

So without offending anyone I will tell you what I knew before today.

Before today I knew that women in middle eastern countries are second rate citizens.  I knew that these women are forced to cover themselves.  I knew that if I went to their country I would have to cover my face.

I knew these things were true because I have been taught this all my life. There have been Storys coming out for many years telling of the terrible lives these middle eastern women have endured. For years our TVs have presented documentaries and news items showing us how hard it is for women in these regions.

Before today the burqa screamed to me  “I am persecuted within my culture”, “I am a second rate citizen within my culture”.

As a western woman, who is equal in every way to her western man, I would only ever walk behind my man to watch his back. Not because that is my place in society.

As a western woman I am affronted that a culture that persecutes its women is tolerated in a society where women are equal.

As a western woman I am frightened by the sight of the full burqa.  I would rather die than be forced to wear one.  As I sit here writing this I realize this is root of my problem with the burqa. It frightens me.  It frightens me more than anything else.  To me it represents a living hell.  A hell where I am subjugated and violated.

Today when I turned on the ABC News I was confronted by The Burqa Debate – again.

Will it blow over?  Probably if the MSM left it alone.  Should it blow over?  I don’t think so.

I have this website because I do not think the MSM presents an unbiased opinion on anything.  They do not connect the dots.  They present ‘stories’ in a timed manner to direct the nations attention.  They bombard us with their opinion and they savage publicly anyone who disagrees with them. They desensitize us by showing the same disturbing pictures again and again and they sway our opinions by presenting us with their experts.  I have learnt over the years that the other side of the story or at least the parts the MSM leave out are usually pretty interesting and can change the entire perspective being presented.

I see this is an opportunity to learn a different truth.  Only then can I make an informed decision.

I have done a lot of reading today.  I have read a lot of the comments on various articles out there and I have tried to formulate my own opinion in a way that encourages conversation not confrontation.

I live in the burbs.  Our Muslim community is growing.  I do not hesitate to go to the shops.  The reality of possible terror attacks really hasn’t sunk in yet.  I hope it never will.  I see all manner of people going about their business.  I do not find them confronting.  I see lots of women wearing quite beautiful scarfs.  I learnt today that some of them are called Hijab.   The point I’m making is I’m not afraid.  In this day and age of leaving nothing to the imagination it is quite refreshing to see ladies who are dressed more modestly.  Some of the Indian sari I see are exquisite.  Are they a cultural or a religious garb? Why don’t we find them confronting?   Is it because they are pretty?  I don’t know.

I do know that  on the very rare occasion when I see a woman dressed in a burqa my alarm bells start screaming.  Why is that?

I thought that many of our middle eastern citizens came to our free and equal society to escape the oppressive regimes they were living under.  If I am correct in this thinking then I do not understand why we are now being expected to accept those very tenets that gave cause to the migration.

Is the burqa worn for cultural or a religious reasons?

Paul Zanetti at The Pickering Post writes that the burqa’s true origin is cultural. It stems from the Bedouin desert tribes and was used to protect them from the harsh desert sun and sandstorms.  The burqa is not required by the Islamic faith therefore as far as the Constitution goes, there’s no legal impediment to banning the burqa.  And there’s a reasonable argument for its banning on security grounds.

Well the cultural origin makes perfect sense to me – maybe a time will come when we will all be wearing such garb for the same reason.  But this doesn’t really answer the question.

The Drum article The ‘burqa ban’ call only creates division has a few really good comments:

Roger writes: During the 1920s and 1930s Muslim feminists campaigned successfully for open faces in public. They were successful in Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Turkey, Pakistan, and Iran, to name but a few Islamic countries. Their governments provided protection for women to ensure the success of this policy. Turkey banned the Islamic face veil and turban in 1934. Since 1981, women in Tunisia have been prohibited from wearing Islamic dress, including headscarves, in schools or government offices. Public servants in Malaysia are prohibited from wearing the niqab. A number of European countries, such as France, ban the burqa because it is a symbol of female oppression. Many Islamic women wear it only on threat of death or disfigurement. So how is it that so many western feminists and those of the left support it?

I think that is an excellent question Roger.

There are also some very ugly comments from both sides of the debate on many of the sites I visited.  Why people feel the need to express themselves with such vulgarity and complete disregard for other people is beyond me.  They only belittle themselves.    Some would offer that they are shills who are paid to disrupt conversations that flow against the agenda.  Maybe this is the case for some.  Personally I think it is just another aspect of a society that has very few boundary’s left to push.

I suppose the underlying question for me is Do the Muslim women living in our free society wear these full body veils by choice?  And when they answer yes, are they being coerced?  There is no public influence behind closed doors as the high rate of domestic violence in this country will attest to.

If the answer is Yes / No then hopefully the next time I see a burqa clad woman I will not feel so threatened.

Before closing I would like to touch very briefly on the security side of this debate.

A bomb can be concealed under a burqa or a thick jacket,  in a backpack or even, heaven forbid, in a baby’s pram.  Does that mean that we ban all these thing?  If we do then ‘the terrorists’ win because now we are living in fear.

On many sites it has been stated today that the Muslim women who wear these veils DO uncover themselves for security identification purposes.  So that argument is nullified.

I offer this post as a platform for constructive and enlightening conversation.

Peace for All

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