Tuhin Chakraborty
Aug 1, 2017

Is it really consensual?

2 comments

 

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A few days ago, I was driving through the city of Hamtramck, Michigan, which has a high Muslim population. There, on the sidewalks, I saw a group of Muslim women walking with their small children. These women were draped in thick black full-cover burqas with only slits for their eyes. The temperature that day was 97 degrees Fahrenheit. I could see that the women were in clear distress as I could hear some of them breathing heavily and limping along. Wearing a headscarf or hijab is one thing, but fully covering yourself in black on a very hot day can be life-threatening. I was convinced that nobody with any sense would wear that kind of clothing in such heat willfully, inside or outside shelter. I know that many have expressed outrage after some european countries have banned the burqa, saying it violates freedom of religion. But is wearing is really always a freedom, or is it often coerced?

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Rachna Shah
Aug 1, 2017

From my personal acquaintances and friends, wearing the hijab is not coerced, but being forced to wear a burqa when relatives are visiting, especially in the heat of summertime, is.

 

According to the Human Rights Watch, banning the burqa would be an unwise decision, simply because many women choose to wear it. I found this statement to be interesting: "Politicians like Sarkozy who claim to stand up for women's rights must look beyond what women wear. Banning the burqa will not make it go away; it will only force the women who wear it, whether by choice or under coercion, to drop out of sight."

Tuhin Chakraborty
Aug 2, 2017

How exactly will women "drop out of sight?" Forcing women to stay inside buildings is an immense inefficiency for any family or group. While some Muslims may partake in this action to protest banning the burqa, eventually they will see how much more work men have to do to compensate for this handicap and they will tone down their orthodoxy.

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