Running with Scissors in Islam

ball and chain
The old ball and chain
Flickr-User: Octoferret.

Imagine for a moment you are a mere child and your mother tells you it's OK to run with scissors. When asked why, she replies that she wants you to have more freedom, less restrictions on your behaviour.

"But Mom," you ask, "isn't that more dangerous for me?"

And so it is. Last February, Turkey's parliament approved constitutional amendments removing the restrictions on female students wearing the Muslim headscarf (1). While this was presented as a step forward, as an issue of human rights, of the freedom to self-expression and to study without restrictions, it is in fact a step backward.

Suppose David Duke, while he was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, had introduced legislation "allowing" blacks to wear a ball and chain, would this be viewed as an issue of human rights, of the freedom to self-expression? Would this be a step forward for blacks?

Almost a century ago, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk recognized that Political Islam was incompatible with modern civilization and initiated reforms to transform the young Republic of Turkey into a modern, democratic and secular nation-state. In this regard, Turkey was singularly successful. In the past, whenever there was a movement to repeal some of those reforms, the military would step in to prevent it (2). Unfortunately, the military no longer occupies a significant number of professional job positions today as it once did and so we see the lifting of bans on Islamic dress without their intervention.

Leftists throughout Europe hailed the new law as a positive development that would now allow young women to pursue a University education denied to them because of the headscarf ban. But is this true?,
9 Feb 2008,
The Islamic headscarf passes, as a "right to study"

With extreme clarity and courage, the newspaper Hurriyet seeks to unmask the "lies" used to manipulate emotions. "They say that many 'poor' young women, because of the headscarf, are prohibited from going to school", writes Ertugrul Ozkok. "A study has been carried out on the reasons for their failure to participate in studies, and the result is that only 1.1% fail to attend because of the headscarf. 30 percent do not go because they have not passed the entrance exam; 14.6% have passed the exam, but then got married and quit their studies; 4% did not even attempt the exam and instead went to work; 9.8% don't like to study; and finally, but very importantly, 10.5% have not obtained permission from their families to continue their studies ".

So this excuse, that religious girls were prevented from getting an education because they could not attend university with a veil is just one big smokescreen.

Sadly, allowing women to wear a Muslim headscarf at university will eventually undermine the foundations of the Turkish secular state. Of course, they will, in the end, be forced to cover themselves completely. This is the incontrovertible experience in all Islamic countries. And the lie that Muslim women love to wear the veil? Just substitute "we love to cover ourselves from head to toe" with blacks singing "we love dragging that old ball and chain, massa." Yeah, I buy that.

There were also some other lies about Turkey needing to remove the ban as part of democratic reforms aimed at European Union accession (3). But does this hold water when France as well as some colleges in the Netherlands ban headscarves? If they can ban headscarves and still be part of the EU, why can't Turkey?

During the 'World Championship World Statues' in Arnhem I look to another direction and I saw her...
Burka (Burqa) Statues
Flickr-User: zjootsuite.

Turkey removes head scarf ban. [blog open to invited readers only]

The female head scarf is an abomination. It signifies nothing more than sexual slavery and submission to the man, as well as to the male Muslim moon cult [ie. Islam]. It also perversely gives some women a sense of false grandeur and status, as if wearing a bed sheet wrapped around their head signifies a sort of moral superiority over others. It is nonetheless an anti-social and anti-modern piece of neolithic bondage better confined to an era of ignorance and superstition. In the modern age it should be gotten rid of.

But so it goes with the Muslim Turks. The Turks desire a great say in the affairs of the middle east and central asia. Asserting their 'Muslimness' is an obvious effort at accreting more regional power. This country is no more a Western ally than the Gulf States or Libya. These are the people who allied themselves with Hussein; murder Kurdish innocents; bomb northern Iraq; deny NATO use of their bases; jail and beat 'dissident' authors; invade and murder innocent Greek Cypriots.......

Some ally.

Kemal Gürüz is the former President of the Turkish Council of Higher Education, a cabinet-level post to which he was appointed by Turkish President Süleyman Demirel in 1995 and in which he served until 2003. Dr. Gürüz spent 2004-05 as a fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. Dr. Gürüz also served as president of the Turkish Scientific and Technical Research Council.

The Transformation of Public Universities,
18 Oct 2006,
Removing the Veils: A Conversation with Kemal Gürüz on the Realities of Turkish Higher Education

Thanks to Atatürk's legacy, Turkey is a member of all of the supra-national institutions of the West, Turkish institutions of higher education are recognized all over the world, and she is a major player in international student mobility. Islam is no more or no less incompatible with globalism than any other religion. But Islamism and, for that matter, any religion to which the suffix "-ism" is attached is incompatible not just with globalism, but also with civilization.

Education, in the sense that we understand it, can serve humanity and contribute to civilization only when it is provided in a completely secular atmosphere where human intelligence reigns supreme. Otherwise, it is not education, but indoctrination of the most pernicious kind. Unfortunately, that is the case in many institutions in "Muslim countries." For this reason, their degrees are not recognized in Turkey.

headscarves in Europe

Headscarves in Europe:

  • At least four German states have gone on to ban teachers from wearing headscarves (in the state of Hesse the ban applies to all civil servants, as well).

  • Women in burqa or chador are forbidden to drive motor vehicles.



  • In September 2004 local politicians in the north of Italy resurrected old laws against the wearing of masks, to ban women from wearing the all-over burqa.

  • In July 05 the Italian parliament approved anti-terrorist laws which make hiding one's features from the public - including through wearing the burqa - an offence.

Belgium: The city of Maaseik, on the Dutch border, has banned the niqab, which covers the whole body except for the eyes.

France: Has a law banning religious symbols, including Muslim headscarves, from schools.

See also Islamic dress controversy in Europe.

But to show that I am fair, here is a gallery of veiled women that I do find attractive, but warning - NSFW.

An interesting aside, one of the problems with allowing women to be covered from head-to-toe is that you never quite know whether that is really a woman or a man under all those sheets, as Sabra over at Stilettos in the Sand wonders whenever she goes shopping.



Gulf News, 9 Feb 2008, Turkey votes to lift headscarf ban

Ankara: Turkey's parliament voted on Saturday to lift a ban on female students wearing the Muslim headscarf at university, a landmark decision that some Turks say will undermine the foundations of the secular state.

Parliament, where the ruling centre-right AK Party has a big majority, approved the constitutional amendments.

"I hope this will be for the best for Turkey and hope it is done in a spirit of tolerance and reconciliation," parliamentary speaker Koksal Toptan told lawmakers after the vote.

But underlining the powerful emotions the headscarf evokes, tens of thousands of people waving Turkish flags and chanting secularist slogans staged a protest rally against the changes just a few kilometres from the parliament in central Ankara.

The main opposition CHP opposed the changes, saying they presage a slow slide towards an Islamic state.


Gulf News, Army reiterates headscarf stance

Turkey's top general yesterday tacitly reiterated the army's opposition to women wearing the Muslim headscarf at university, a day after the religiously oriented government proposed easing a ban on the attire.

"All segments of Turkish society know what the military thinks about the headscarf issue. I do not want to speak on this matter," General Yasar Buyukanit told reporters in his first public comments since the government announced its plans.

The army views itself as the guarantor of Turkey's secular order and has often warned of what it says is creeping Islamisation under Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's religiously oriented government.


Reuters, 2 Feb 2008, Turkey must lift headscarf ban for EU

Turkey must lift a ban on headscarves at university as part of democratic reforms aimed at European Union accession, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said on Saturday.

Turkey's parliament is expected to approve a constitutional amendment next week sponsored by the ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party aimed at easing the ban for university students.

The headscarf debate is central to Turkey's complex identity, as the young democracy struggles to meet the demands of both a pious Muslim population and also a secular, pro-Western elite that sees Islam as backwards.

The EU has pressed Turkey to boost freedom of expression and minority rights but has no position on the headscarf issue.

### End of my article ###

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