The Cultures behind the Burqa

Not quite penguins, but huddled

Apropos of my first blog entry on the Burqa and what I thought of the banning or otherwise of its use in Western Society, I decided to have a look further at the genesis of its appearance in society.

I postulated its beginnings in the desert trade routes and realised that it pre-dated any religite holy book, dictates or whatever.

In the Wikipedia article there is mention of the concept of Namus which I touched on briefly in the earlier blog.

Anyway I looked up this word ‘namus’. Talk about bizarre. It is an ethical category, a virtue, of Middle Eastern patriarchal character and has, of recent times, come to be strongly gender-specific; surprise, surprise.

Talk about an idiotic concept that is used (sorry, nearly said abused) as a cover-all for anything to do with the male head of the family – sometimes extended out to the titular head of a tribe; patriarchy again and in spades. What is wrong with these people?

Namus represents obedience, faithfulness, modesty (in behaviour and in dress), ‘appropriateness’ – for the women of course. It can be translated as ‘virtue’ or ‘honour’.

Therein lies the raison d’etre for barbaric murders, suicides, infanticides, forced abortion, and other yucks that have come to be associated with these societies that also practice some form of Islam. These barbarous practices are called overall the ‘restoration of namus’.

The ‘violations of namus’ are numerous, including – wait for it! – giving birth to a daughter instead of a son. In some cases it includes encroachment on a man’s plot of land.

It should be pointed out that support for namus does not exist in any of the holy scriptures. Apart from the fact that all holy scriptures are man-made fairy tales embodying wish fulfilment, eternity and ultimate acceptance, namus is a man–made construct of the vilest nature.

In the middle of the high flown and fly blown words describing heavenly perfection as seen by man, we find a culturally driven, religiously sanctioned concept that allows, nay encourages murder, mayhem, destruction all in the name if  ‘honour’!

In this context, I am reminded of George Carlin who described Christianity as the best bullshit story ever told.

So here is a list of countries where namus manifests as honour killings. This is often (usually) done by throwing stones at the head of the victim who is buried in a public place – often a sporting field – and unable to escape. The male members of a female victim’s family are offered the first throws.

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Great Britain, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Morocco, Sweden, Turkey, and Uganda are countries in which “honour killings” occur amongst the Muslim population.

This is because among adherents to this barbarism, men are supposed to control the women in his family.

The other interesting point to make is that is the namus of the whole family that is violated if a female of the household is raped. Wiki states that an estimated 5,000 victims are killed or forced to commit suicide and that number is on the rise worldwide.

It sounds like a sick form of losing ‘face’; very sick.

Wikipedia also states that namus is still an active force in rural societies.

Well yes, I guess those rural societies mentioned are the sort that we would refer to red-neck societies. You know – those communities that don’t really interact with the outside world and as a consequence stay stuck in the religious and social mire through which their leaders wield despotic power. And woe betide anyone who wants to leave; or transgresses the “RULES”.

But it isn’t just rural societies. Here is an excerpt from a page about a young, brave woman in Sweden of all places:

Fadime Sahindal

Birth: 1975
Death: 2002
Social Reformer, Murder Victim. She made her name in her struggle for women’s liberation and integration, from an ethnic point of view. Being a Kurdish immigrant to Sweden, she fought for young women’s acclimatisation into western society, often in opposition with old tradition. She delivered a speech on the subject to the Swedish Parliament and gave those issues a public face. Fadime had a Swedish boyfriend, something that meant ”disgrace” to some of her relatives. She was brutally killed on the 21st of January 2002 by her own father; a so-called ”honour killing.” Her funeral became a manifestation, broadcasted on Swedish TV. It was attended by many officials, as well as members from the Swedish government.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Then there is Ayaan Hirsi Ali from Somalia who lays bare the tyranny of Islam and the thrall in which Muslims are held. Her recollections in her book Infidel are quite horrific.

So, at the end of all this, I can only come down on the side of France, Syria, The Netherlands, Belgium and Egypt and anywhere else that is trying to ban the burqa. I would do away with all religiously motivated clap trap, apologetics and raison d’etre for piss poor behaviour; especially that which results in death or mental and physical abuse, disfigurement and other mutilations.

The symbolism of the burqa as the really observable face of female subjugation and religious tyranny means its days must be numbered; by legislation and policing. Everywhere; and disenfranchised women must be able to call on, expect and be given full support by the law.

I am no longer interested in being politically correct about this barbaric, backward and stifling religion. This is Islam, it is practised in this manner by a seemingly increasing number of adherents.


10 comments on “The Cultures behind the Burqa

  1. Michelle B says:

    ‘The burqa is just a piece of clothing’ crowd are silly.

    Though the burqa can be eliminated on the basis that in western societies, face coverings are not the way to go for security and communication reasons, it needs also not to be permitted because it is a tribal custom co-opted by Islam to maintain and encourage the lack of equality between the genders by teaching and showing both genders that it is the fault of the women that the men can’t confront, cope, and handle their sexual desires.

    It demonstrates that men and their control/power is all that matters, and that women are second-class citizens. The burqa is not just a piece of clothing–it is a way to maintain the status-quo of oppressing women through fear, guilt, and ignorance and coddling immature, blinkered, and spoiled men.

    • Veronique says:

      The problem is that the women who are subjected to this indignity suffer from the Stockholm syndrome. That’s why it is so hard to get any consensus that women are being oppressed by their menfolk and the imams.

      More emancipated women need to utilise the internet to get their message out there.

      Without this resource, we would not know nearly as much as we do about Islam and the practices enforced on its women.

  2. TheNonWoo says:

    Unlike bears, we humans have many facial muscles which are used to communicate even when the spoken word is not understood, this characteristic can be seen in all our primate cousins.

    The burqa renders a woman as a kind of non-human creature the average person would have no desire to communicate with. If the intent of the burqa is to stifle communication, it works, in all other aspects it’s simply fucking stupid!

    • Veronique says:

      Apart from the inappropriateness of such ridiculous garb, my worry is the fact that it is growing as yet another extreme arm of this so-called religion.

      You can’t tell me that women brought up within a society like the UK’s want and actively grab burqas so they can hide behind them. It is the imams extending their power and the hoi poloi that follow these edicts from fear of punishment (and that seems fairly common as well).

      I agree with you that I (an average person) have no desire whatsoever to communicate with someone whose face I can’t see and who wants to hide away from me anyway. Sod that!

  3. NigatsuBebe says:

    Don’t forget to add America to that list. Yes, honour killings happen here. They just don’t often get classified as honour killings- only murder, or death by undiscovered causes.

  4. Veronique says:

    Good grief, NigatsuBebe!!! I clicked on your link and read that whole horrific story of Noor and her family.

    I know that statistically, in the US as in the UK, as in Australia and other places, a proportion of the immigrant population must be included in these so-called honour killings.

    It is always mind numbing to read of a single killing and to resist being numbed to the extent of not being able to act at all.

    These poor girls and what happens to them break my heart. Then I listen to Wafa Sultan and I have some hope. She is as strident and unafraid a person as anyone could possibly hope for.

    Thank you for your comment. Yes, it is easy to hide these killings behind the veil of domestic violence and undiscovered causes.

  5. Veronique says:

    Oh and NigatsuBebe – I read this today:

    about the similarities between Islam and Christianity. It will be interesting to see what comes of this. I will attempt to link it in

  6. NigatsuBebe says:

    Of course there are many similarities between Christianity and Islam. Christianity came out of Judaism, Islam out of parts of Judaism, Christianity, and the assortment of local religions across the Middle East approximately 1400 years ago. They are all considered Abrahamic religions because they supposedly all stem from the same origins. In fact, if anyone ACTUALLY picked up their Bibles and READ THEM, they’d find some pretty horrifying things- like in Corinthians, which says that a womans’ body belongs to her husband and is not her own, or how women are the keepers of mens’ thoughts and thus are responsible for any sins they commit.

    And don’t even get me started on the parts that say that slaves are not people, so they get no rights or salvation and that they should be grateful* to their masters for treating them so badly, or the part in Leviticus where it’s OK to rape women, so long as the rapist pays the girls’ father 25 pieces of silver- and the girl has to marry him or face being stoned to death. There is also evidence that early Christians (Jews) practiced human sacrifice as repentance for perceived sins before switching to animal sacrifices.

    There are many, many similarities between the two religions. Most people just don’t feel comfortable acknowledging that, so they blank it out and say that the religion only says other stuff and to ignore the rest. Except “the rest” is left up to interpretation, now isn’t it? That’s the trouble with theocracy, no matter what religion one practices. It’s especially troubling when we ignore laws or lawlessness based on theocracy in this country and let horrible things happen to people like Noor, who pay the ultimate price.

    • Veronique says:

      Well, I have no love for religion of any kind and I have always thought the mono theisms (All 3 of Abrahamic religions) are very dangerous because of the hold they have over people’s minds and emotions. And that they rely utterly on outrageous superstition to manipulate their adherents. They are all as bad as eachother and yes, they are alike because of their roots and the myths and animism that they stemmed from and hijacked as their own.

      Actually your saying: ‘how women are the keepers of mens’ thoughts and thus are responsible for any sins they commit.’ makes a lot more sense of the appalling treatment of women and that men get away with literally murder.

      If you go back through my entries you will see how anti-religion I am and I have to admit to becoming more activist as I get older. There is a fear that currently secular countries and governments will allow theocratic laws to infiltrate the laws of the land. This, of course, happened in the drawing up of laws from time immemorial, but to deliberately canvas the possibility of adding more (as did the Archbishop of Canterbury last year here in the UK) is the most irresponsible public comment to make in this the 21st Century.

      Cherry picking religious texts for the warm and fluffy bits is particularly dishonest. Of course, you are right – people prefer to do that and decry that the horrendous passages have anything to do with ‘modern’ religion.

      The ‘born agains’ are the ones who devised the plan to dismiss the Old Testament and can only talk about their ‘personal’ relationship with Jebus.
      And yet, none of them can articulate what they mean except by admitting that they are schizophrenic in some way. Hah!!!

      So now, I have got going!! Sorry:-)

  7. shafiq says:

    To who have Iman, they wont even argue.

    iman just like a sugar, u cant tell people with words. how to describe the taste of sugar….
    you have to try the sweet with your own tongue.

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