Belgium’s lower house of the parliament has voted for a law which bans women from wearing the full Islamic face veil in public. This has generated a host of reactions by the partisan, the liberal and the bigots- from both the sides.
The Vice President of the Muslim Executive of Belgium, Ms.Isabelle Praile has said something very poignant: “I think they are trying to wind us up”
In India every religious practice has been sieved in the principle of ESSENTIAL PRACTICE and then ascertained whether the practice falls within the realm of unassailable religious prescription. If the practice does not fall within the essential practice, the courts could interfere and allow change of such practices.
THE FACE IS NOT ONLY THE INDEX OF THE MIND, BUT FOR ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES THE REGISTRATION NUMBER PLATE OF EVERY HUMAN BEING. In this age of TERRORISM it is not merely essential to identify the faces of each person with the help and aid of the CC TVs, but also important for other human beings to recognize & identify suspects during the course of evidence, in courts of Law. The face is the most eminently identifiable image in HUMAN memory.
There is also a distinct possibility of men wearing burqua and indulging in nefarious activities to escape notice. Some mischief makers might also wear burqua and do criminal acts to bring disrepute to the Islamic community.
In view of the above reasons, Isabelle’s musings seem unfounded and paranoid.
Further, in certain Islamic countries if non-Islamic women are forced to wear clothes which are in tune with the Islamic interpretation on clothes than “liberated clothes”, why should not Belgium impose a condition on Islamic women to wear clothes which are in tune with Belgian norms? The local laws in such matters cannot and should not be viewed in the light of religious tenets BUT should be viewed in the light of security and equity.
MOST OF ALL, IF YOU HAVE THE LIBERTY TO SEE MY FACE (after all burqua wearing women don’t blindfold themselves), THEN I SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO SEE YOURS!!