13 November, 2018

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France’s Burqa Ban Upheld By Human Rights Court

Today’s European Court of Human Rights judgment upholding a general ban on wearing full-face veils in public is deeply damaging, warned Amnesty International. It represents a profound retreat for the right to freedom of expression and religion and sends a message that women are not free to express their religious beliefs in public.

BurkaThe case was brought before the Strasbourg-based court by S.A.S, a 24-year-old French woman who finds the general ban enacted in France in 2011 to be in violation of her freedom of expression and a range of other rights. Women in France face fines and/or citizenship training for violating the law.

“The court recognised that arguments based on security and gender equality were specious. But it accepted the argument that wearing full-face veils runs counter to established social norms that are necessary for ‘living together’. This reasoning should be deeply disturbing to all those who value the freedom of expression,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International.

“If one strips the court’s ruling to its barest essence, it is saying you cannot wear full-face veils because it makes people feel uncomfortable. This is not grounds to ban behaviour or a form of expression – religious or otherwise – that in itself does no harm to others.

“As the European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly insisted, discomfort and shock are the price democratic societies must pay precisely to enable ‘living together’. The reality is that in forcing people to “live together”, this ruling will end up forcing a small minority to live apart, as it effectively obliges women to choose between the expressing their religious beliefs and being in public,” said John Dalhuisen.

The judgment was handed down by the European Court’s Grand Chamber, meaning it cannot be appealed.

S.A.S. argued before the European Court that the law is discriminatory on the basis of her gender and religion, violates her rights to freedom of expression, religion or belief and private life, and amounts to degrading treatment.

She told the Court that she does not wear the full-face veil all the time and is willing to take it off in the context of identity checks, at the airport, in banks or in other situations as required.

Although some restrictions of freedom of expression and religion can be justified in specific contexts, Amnesty International believes that the general restrictions imposed by the French legislation are neither proportionate nor necessary.

There is already national legislation in France ensuring that identity checks can be performed by law enforcement agents when necessary and aimed at combating violence against women.

“It is stereotypical to assume that all women who wear traditional or religious symbols or dress are coerced to do so, and no country should legislate away their rights, never mind punish them, based on such a crude generalization,” said John Dalhuisen.

Besides the French ban enacted in 2011, only one other European state and one region have put in place similar prohibitions on the use of full-face veils in public. This includes Belgium in 2011 and in the Swiss Canton Ticino in 2013. Local prohibitions remain enforced in many municipalities in the Catalunya region of Spain. France is thus out of line with the rest of Europe in guaranteeing freedom of expression and religion.

Amnesty International is calling on all relevant authorities to overturn such discriminatory bans.

Background

In today’s final Grand Chamber judgment in the case of S.A.S. v. France (application no. 43835/11) the European Court of Human Rights held that there had been no violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), Article 9 (right to respect for freedom of thought, conscience and religion) or Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The French legislation entered into force on 11 April 2011 (Law 2010-192)265 and prohibits any form of dress aimed at concealing the face in public. The material scope of the ban is wide as it applies to all public spaces; full-face veils can only be worn at home, in private cars or in places of worship. Some other exceptions to the general ban include situations where the face is covered on the basis of existing safety and health regulations or for public festivities. Whoever contravenes the legislation can be punished with a fine and/or a citizenship training; courts are responsible for deciding on the punishment, on a case by case basis. This law introduces in the Penal Code a provision aimed at punishing persons found to be coercing women to cover their face.

According to France’s Ministry of Interior, in 2010 there were 1,900 women wearing full-face veils in the country.

There is no evidence at all that women who wear full-face veils are forced or coerced. Research undertaken by Amnesty International and other organizations including the Open Society Institute in France found that the wearing of full-face veils is not a homogenous practice; some women wear it part-time, others only for a limited period of time. The research also found that, contrary to common belief, women who wear full-face veils do not necessarily segregate themselves or feel rejection against French society.

According to the BVA survey published in the 2014 report of the Human Rights National Committee, French society’s perceptions of Islam and Muslims are becoming less and less tolerant. Ninety-four and 80 per cent of French people, respectively, think that wearing a full-face veil or a headscarf constitutes a problem. Pupils are not allowed to wear headscarves or other religious symbols in any public French school (they can in universities).

The CCIF (collectif contre l’Islamophobie en France) collected 482 cases of discrimination and 27 cases of physical attacks against Muslims in 2013.

*Amnesty International

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  • 5
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    “Today’s European Court of Human Rights judgment upholding a general ban on wearing full-face veils in public is deeply damaging, warned Amnesty International. It represents a profound retreat for the right to freedom of expression and religion and sends a message that women are not free to express their religious beliefs in public.”

    “If one strips the court’s ruling to its barest essence, it is saying you cannot wear full-face veils because it makes people feel uncomfortable. This is not grounds to ban behaviour or a form of expression – religious or otherwise – that in itself does no harm to others.”

    Very true, unless a security issue is involved.

    Anyway,there is a mild Islamophobia here.

    • 9
      1

      In the UK Christians cannot express their faith with crosses etc when at work so why the special privilege to muslims?? Their men are aggressive so the gown but in the EU that behavior is not tolerated.If the women are made to change with the legal protection then the men are bound to change. In the west they expect to see eye to eye for discussions unlike the Arabs who sit sideways and look on the sly. Why France is doing it is because these women play on the system using the gown and other times they are just the head scarf. On top of it Pakistani women say after marriage no work and live in the west creating an integration issue. its not just anti Muslim but helping the helpless woman to come out of a shell.
      Classic example – the Bangladeshi folk wear sari and aren’t that religious but when they get to UK they quickly receive the full black gown from UAE,Saudi charities and cash (black money over the dole etc) to wear it. the 7/7 bombers were not Brazilian but born in the UK Bangladeshis. Which nation is not an opportunist Buddhist japan, Islamic UAE ??

      I think it the right thing with women changing to trousers etc but not nudity because we see the most inappropriate in the skimpiest and tightest by
      unproportionate folk- disgusting, disturbing.

  • 8
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    Well done France and EU.

    SL must follow.

    Most Singhala people are like frogs in a well. They don’t know WHO is at fault in Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe, USA, etc. and SL. It is the same group that is at fault everywhere.

    Some of them think BBS is killing people in Iraq!

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      “Most Singhala people are like frogs in a well.”

      Most Singhala and Tamil people in Lanka, the Land of Native Veddah are called paras . are like frogs in a well and do not even know that they are Paras from South India ,. The carry the evidence in their bodoies, as DNA,

      Test it, and it will prove again and again and again.

  • 3
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    France’s Burqa Ban Upheld By Human Rights Court

    Amnest International set up to fight for the human rights of people all around the world, sadly now there charter is to speak for ISLAM, Islamic terrorists and Moslem well being. Amnesty has never condemned the abduction of those Jesih boys who were subsequently murdered by the HAMAS terrorists but chastises the Israel Government for trying to reign in terror. Are they mad?

    AI was set up in the UK but now UK has been swarmed by Moslem extermists and terrorists and they are busy in looking after their welfare.

    What part did they play in the Ukrainian crisis or for that matter Boko Haram’s abduction of 200 children? It is nonsense. Thay are rubbish not to be taken note of.

  • 4
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    Crusade in disguise has begun.

    Moderate Muslims have stopped putting up a fight anti-muslims because of the crazies with AK 47s and suic ide vests.

    Is there any point in excessive covering up, especially in a hot and humid country like Sri Lanka?

  • 5
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    If I go naked, will Amnesty International back me?

    • 5
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      No, but Mangala might!

      • 0
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        Mangala [Edited out]

  • 3
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    “right to respect for freedom of thought, conscience and religion”. Who can stop the freedom of thoughts, other than some extremist religions impose their beliefs on children and brain wash them. Nobody in this wold can limit my freedom of thoughts. Not even my wife.
    In Sydney, a couple of months ago, a woman wearing the full face veil refused to pull it down when a policeman stopped the car and she complained against the policeman for forcing her to do it.Policeman had to identify the driver. Incidentally Last June when I visited America, I had to remove my glasses and pause for a photo, give finger prints of all my fingers just to get a holiday VISA.Amnesty international is speaking about freedom. It is the very freedom that women in Iran lost after the revolution which chased King Shar, who gave lots of freedom to Iranians.My religion only tell you what is bad and what is good. We don’t even try to convert. “Ahi Passiko” means come and see for your-self.One day Amnesty international and Human rights will regret when others lose all their freedoms, starting from Iraq and spread through Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand all the way to Australia and then USA.

  • 1
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    We should be goni billas too

    Abhaya

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    Niqab (Women covering all of their faces) is not Mandatory in Islam!
    By: Abdul Haleem

    Two leading Saudi Scholars, Shaikhs Ibn Uthaimin and Ibn Jibreen, have issued “ruling” proclaiming it is MANDATORY for women to wear niqab (face-veils)!

    “The Islamic hijab is for the women to cover everything that is forbidden for her to expose. That is, she covers everything that she must cover. THE FIRST OF THOSE BODILY PARTS THAT SHE MUST COVER IS HER FACE. It is the source of temptation and the source of people desiring her. THEREFORE, THE WOMAN MUST COVER HER FACE IN FRONT OF THOSE MEN THAT ARE NOT MAHRAM. As for those who claim that the Islamic hijab is to cover the head, shoulder, back, feet, shin and forearms while allowing her to uncover her face and hands, this is a very amazing claim. This is because it is well-known that the source of temptation and looking is the face. How can one say that the Shariah does not allow the exposure of the foot of the woman while it allows her to uncover her face? It not possible that there could be in the Esteemed, Wise and Noble Shariah a contradiction. Yet everyone knows that the temptation from uncovering the face is much greater than the temptation than results from the uncovering of the feet. Everyone also knows that the most sought after aspect of the woman for men is the face. If you told a prospective groom that a woman’s face is ugly but her feet are beautiful, he would not propose to such a woman. However, if you told him that her face was beautiful but her hands, palms, or shins were less than beautiful, he would still propose to her. From this one can conclude that the face is the first thing that must be covered. There are also evidences from the Book of Allah and the sunnah of our Prophet. There are also statements from the Companions, the leading Imams and the great scholars of Islam that indicate that it is obligatory for the woman to cover all of her body in the presence of non-mahram men. This obviously indicates that IT IS OBLIGATORY UPON THE WOMAN TO COVER HER FACE IN FRONT OF SUCH MEN. However, this is not the place to quote all those authorities. And Allah knows best.”

    Shaikh ibn Uthaimin, “Islamic Fatawa Regarding Women” (Darussalam Publishers, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1996), pp. 289-290, emphasis partially in original.

    “A WOMAN IS NOT TO UNCOVER HER FACE IN FRONT OF NON-MAHRAM MEN. In fact, that is forbidden. HER HIJAB IS NOT COMPLETE WITHOUT HER COVERING HER FACE. That is her most attractive aspect. The evidence is in Allah’s statement,

    ‘[Tell the believing women) to draw their veils over their necks and bosoms’ (al-Nur [24:] 31).

    Allah has ordered them to lower their headcovering from their heads over the opening in the front of chest. If it comes down from the head, it covers both the face and the neck and front chest area. Allah also says,

    ‘[Tell the believing women] not to reveal their adornments except to their husbands, their fathers…’ (al-Nur [24:] 31).

    Therefore, it is forbidden for her to expose her adornments save in front of her husband and other mahram men.”

    Shaikh ibn Jibreen, “Islamic Fatawa Regarding Women” (Darussalam Publishers, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1996), p. 295, emphasis partially in original.

    These two Saudi opinions are noteworthy for the paucity of Quranic and hadith citations in their support.

    There is a good reason why the learned shaikhs don’t quote the Quran: IT DOESN’T SUPPORT THEIR POSITION!

    The so-called “revelation” of hijab appears in Surah 24. The following is the Yusef Ali translation of the relevant verses [all emphases in passages from the Quran or ahadith are added by me]:

    024.030

    SAY TO THE BELIEVING MEN THAT THEY SHOULD LOWER THEIR GAZE AND GUARD THEIR MODESTY: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.

    024.031

    AND SAY TO THE BELIEVING WOMEN THAT THEY SHOULD LOWER THEIR GAZE AND GUARD THEIR MODESTY; THAT THEY SHOULD NOT DISPLAY THEIR BEAUTY AND ORNAMENTS EXCEPT WHAT (MUST ORDINARILY) APPEAR THEREOF; that THEY SHOULD DRAW THEIR VEILS OVER THEIR BOSOMS and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss.

    Here are two other translations of Quran 24:31:

    PICKTHAL: And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, AND TO DRAW THEIR VEILS OVER THEIR BOSOMS, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed.

    SHAKIR: And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and LET THEM WEAR THEIR HEAD-COVERINGS OVER THEIR BOSOMS, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known; and turn to Allah all of you, O believers! so that you may be successful.

    Two things are noteworthy about Quran 24:30 and 31.

    (1) In Quran 24:30, MEN are directed to “lower their gaze”! If face veils for women were MANDATORY why would this direction even be necessary?

    (2) Quran 24:31 only tells women to cover “their BOSOMS.” Nothing whatever is said about the HEAD – let alone the FACE!

    Similar comments can be made concerning Quran 33:59 – often cited as an alternative authority for mandatory veiling:

    033.059

    YUSUFALI: O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that THEY SHOULD CAST THEIR OUTER GARMENTS OVER THEIR PERSONS (WHEN ABROAD): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

    PICKTHAL: O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to DRAW THEIR CLOAKS CLOSE ROUND THEM (WHEN THEY GO ABROAD). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.

    SHAKIR: O Prophet! say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they LET DOWN UPON THEM THEIR OVER-GARMENTS; this will be more proper, that they may be known, and thus they will not be given trouble; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

    This passage says nothing about covering the FACE – or even the HAIR! Moreover,
    Yusef Ali and Pickthall translations talk only about women wearing heavier “outer garments” when they “go abroad.” And the Shakir translation merely suggests LENGTHENING women’s garments – not face or head veils!

    While the Quran provides NO SUPPORT for mandatory niqab, the hadith literature is
    CONTRADICTORY on this subject.

    COMPARE:

    Abu Dawood, Book 32, Number 4090:

    Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu’minin:

    When the verse “That they should cast their outer garments over their persons” was revealed, THE WOMEN OF ANSAR CAME OUT AS IF THEY HAD CROWS OVER THEIR HEADS BY WEARING OUTER GARMENTS.

    Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 282:

    Narrated Safiya bint Shaiba:

    ‘Aisha used to say: “When (the Verse): “They should draw their veils over their necks and bosoms,” was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and COVERED THEIR FACES WITH THE CUT PIECES.”

    WITH:

    Abu Dawood, Book 32, Number 4092:

    Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin:
    Asma, daughter of AbuBakr, entered upon the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) wearing thin clothes. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) turned his attention from her. He said: O Asma’, WHEN A WOMAN REACHES THE AGE OF MENSTRUATION, IT DOES NOT SUIT HER THAT SHE DISPLAYS HER PARTS OF BODY EXCEPT THIS AND THIS, AND HE POINTED TO HER FACE AND HANDS.

    This contradiction is echoed in a further contradiction as to whether niqab is even permitted during hajj:

    COMPARE:

    Malik’s Muwatta, Book 20, Number 20.5.15:

    Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi that Abdullah ibn Umar used to say that A WOMAN IN IHRAM SHOULD WEAR NEITHER A VEIL NOR GLOVES.

    WITH:

    Malik’s Muwatta, Book 20, Number 20.5.16:

    Yahya related to me from Malik from Hisham ibn Urwa that Fatima bint al-Mundhir said, “WE USED TO VEIL OUR FACES WHEN WE WERE IN IHRAM in the company of Asma bint Abi Bakr as-Siddiq.”

    Surprisingly, Shaikh ibn Jibreen, author of one of the two Saudi opinions declaring niqab mandatory, agrees with the position that women may NOT wear niqab during hajj:

    “A burqa’ is a type of face veil that opens for the eyes to look out from. This is allowed and there is nothing wrong with it except when one is in the state of ihram [for Hajj or Umra]. The Prophet said,

    ‘Women are not to wear the face veil (niqaab).’

    “This refers to the one performing the pilgrimage. She is not to wear face veil (niqaab) which is the same as a burqa’.”

    Shaikh ibn Jibreen, “Islamic Fatawa Regarding Women” (Darussalam Publishers, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1996), p. 281, emphasis partially in original.

    There is a glaring illogic in Shaikh ibn Jibreen’s position: Pilgrimage is the MOST HOLY OF OCCASIONS in Islam and precisely the time when the arguments IN FAVOR OF FACE VEILS ON WOMEN to prevent distraction of MEN from their religious duties would seem STRONGEST. Yet ibn Jibreen says this is when UNVEILING is MANDATORY!

    The truth is the niqab is NOT an Islamic institution, but an innovation borrowed from
    paganism and Judaism! This was the opinion of Quran translator Marmduke Pickthall:

    “THE VEILING OF THE FACE BY WOMEN WAS NOT ORIGINALLY AN ISLAMIC CUSTOM. It was prevalent in many cities of the East before the coming of Islam, but not in the cities of Arabia. The purdah system, as it now exists in India, was quite undreamt of by the Muslims in the early centuries, who had adopted the face-veil and some other fashions for their women when they entered the cities of Syria, Mesopotamia, Persia and Egypt. It was once a concession to the prevailing custom and was a protection to their women from misunderstanding by peoples accustomed to associate unveiled faces with loose character. Later on it was adopted even in the cities of Arabia as a mark of [tamaddun] a word generally translated as ‘civilization’, but which in Arabic still retains a stronger flavour of its root meaning ‘townsmanship’ that is carried by the English word. IT HAS NEVER BEEN A UNIVERSAL CUSTOM FOR MUSLIM WOMEN, the great majority of whom have never used it, since the majority of the Muslim women in the world are peasants who work with their husbands and brothers in the fields. For them the face-veil would be an absurd encumbrance. . . .

    “The Egyptian, Syrian, Turkish or Arabian peasant woman veiled her face only when she had to go in to town, and then it was often only a half-veil that she wore. On the other hand, when the town ladies went to their country houses, they discarded the face-veil, and with it nearly all the ceremonies which enclosed their life in towns. . . .Not everywhere did wealthy adopt those customs. Umarah tells us that among the Arabs of Al-Yaman, in the fifth Islamic century, the great independent chiefs made it a point of pride and honour never to veil the faces of the ladies of their families, because they held themselves too high and powerful for common folk to dare to look upon their women with desiring eyes. It was only the dynasty which ruled in Zabid, and represented the Khilafat of Bani’l-Abbas in Yaman which observed the haram system with some strictness, no doubt in imitation of the Persianised court of Baghdad.

    “THUS THE PURDAH SYSTEM IS NEITHER OF ISLAMIC NOR ARABIAN ORIGIN. IT IS OF ZOROASTRIAN PERSIAN, AND CHRISTIAN BYZANTINE ORIGIN. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE RELIGION OF ISLAM, and, for practical reasons, it has never been adopted by the great majority of Muslim women.”

    “SOCIAL DEGRADATION OF WOMEN: A CRIME AND A LIBEL ON ISLAM,”
    Marmduke Pickthall, http://muslim-canada.org/pickthall.htm

    “According to Rabbi Dr. Menachem M. Brayer (Professor of Biblical Literature at Yeshiva University) in his book ‘The Jewish woman in Rabbinic literature’, it was the custom of Jewish women to go out in public with a head covering which, sometimes, even covered the whole face leaving one eye free (Psychosocial Perspective, Hoboken, N.J: Ktav Publishing House, 1986, p. 239). He quotes some famous ancient Rabbis saying, “It is not like the daughters of Israel to walk out with heads uncovered” and “Cursed be the man who lets the hair of his wife be seen….a woman who exposes her hair for self-adornment brings poverty.” Rabbinic law forbids the recitation of blessings or prayers in the presence of a bareheaded married woman since uncovering the woman’s hair is considered “nudity” (Ibid., pp. 316-317. Also see Swidler, op. cit., pp. 121-123). Dr. Brayer also mentions that “During the Tannaitic period the Jewish woman’s failure to cover her head was considered an affront to her modesty. When her head was uncovered she might be fined four hundred zuzim for this offense.” Dr. Brayer also explains that veil of the Jewish woman wasn’t always considered a sign of modesty. Sometimes, the veil symbolized a state of distinction and luxury rather than modesty. The veil personified the dignity and superiority of noble women. It, also, represented a woman’s inaccessibility as a sanctified possession of her husband (24. Ibid., p. 139). It is clear in the Old Testament that uncovering a woman’s head was a great disgrace and that’s why the priest had to uncover the suspected adulteress in her trial by ordeal (Numbers 5:16-18).

    “St. Tertullian in his famous treatise ‘On The Veiling Of Virgins’ wrote, “Young women, you wear your veils out on the streets, so you should wear them in the church, you wear them when you are among strangers, then wear them among your brothers…” Among the Canon laws of the Catholic church today, there is a law that require women to cover their heads in church (Clara M. Henning, ” Cannon Law and the Battle of the Sexes” in Rosemary R. Ruether, ed., Religion and Sexism: Images of Woman in the Jewish and Christian Traditions, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974, p. 272.).

    “Some Christian denominations, such as the Amish and the Mennonites for example, keep their women veiled to the present day. The reason for the veil, as offered by their Church leaders, is “The head covering is a symbol of woman’s subjection to the man and to God” : The same logic introduced by St. Paul in the New Testament (Donald B. Kraybill, The riddle of the Amish Culture, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989, p. 56.)

    “Russian Orthodox women are expected to wear a head covering when in the church. Most don’t outside of it in America, but many in Russia and many other eastern Orthodox women all over eastern Europe, Greece, and the middle east do wear scarves on their heads all the time when in public.”

    http://www.answering-christianity.com/women.htm

    One of the greatest advocates of mandatory headcoverings as a of mark the alleged inferiority of women was NONE OTHER than PAUL – author of the “Trinity” and other false doctrines that distort the true teachings of that MUSLIM prophet Jesus (pbuh) into something pagan. Paul said:

    “1 Imitate me, then, just as I imitate Christ. 2 I praise you because you always remember me and follow the teachings that I have handed on to you. 3 But I want you to understand that Christ is supreme over every man, the husband is supreme over his wife, and God is supreme over Christ. 4 So a man who prays or proclaims God’s message in public worship with his head covered disgraces Christ. 5 And any woman who prays or proclaims God’s message in public worship with nothing on her head disgraces her husband; there is no difference between her and a woman whose head has been shaved. 6 If the woman does not cover her head, she might as well cut her hair. And since it is a shameful thing for a woman to shave her head or cut her hair, she should cover her head. 7 A man has no need to cover his head, because he reflects the image and glory of God. But woman reflects the glory of man; 8 for man was not created from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for woman’s sake, but woman was created for man’s sake. 10 On account of the angels, then, a woman should have a covering over her head to show that she is under her husband’s authority. 11 In our life in the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman was made from man, in the same way man is born of woman; and it is God who brings everything into existence. 13 Judge for yourselves whether it is proper for a woman to pray to God in public worship with nothing on her head. 14 Why, nature itself teaches you that long hair on a man is a disgrace, 15 but on a woman it is a thing of beauty. Her long hair has been given her to serve as a covering. 16 But if anyone wants to argue about it, all I have to say is that neither we nor the churches of God have any other custom in worship.”

    1 Corinthians 11 (New English Version), emphasis added.

    As with so many other “Israeeleeat” (Jewish influences that have been absorbed into Islamic “scholarship”), mandatory niqab has become rare among the Jews and Christians, while proclaimed as a religious duty among Muslims. In this sense, it is like the prohibition on pictorial depictions of humans and mandatory beards – Jewish customs practiced more fervently among Muslims than among contemporary Jews and Christians!

    Women who wish to wear niqab for personal reasons are free to do so, but the view that wearing niqab is a religious duty is an innovation which has no Quranic basis.

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    Is Face Veil (Niqab) Compulsory in Islam?
    By: Haroon Abdullah

    The Qur’an says:

    “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those charged with authority among you. If you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger if you do believe in Allah and the Last Day: that is best and most suitable for final determination.” (Al-Qur’an 4:59)

    As mentioned in the verse quoted above, when people in authority, the rulers, leaders, imams and scholars differ amongst themselves, our Creator instructs us to look into the Qur’an and the authentic Ahadith for guidance. The legitimacy, relevance and accuracy of the reasons and evidence provided by these people should be evaluated in the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. However, it should be borne in mind that infallibility belongs to Allah alone and a scholar, being a human, can make an error of judgement.

    There is no clear-cut authentic hadith to the effect of making the face veil obligatory. Those scholars, who insist that covering the face is obligatory for Muslim women, interpret ‘al-idnaa’ in the verse of the jilbaab (Al-Qur’an: 33:59) to mean, “covering the face”. This interpretation is erroneous because the basic meaning of the word in Arabic is “to come close”, as the well-known scholar, ar-Raaghib al-Asbahaanee mentions in his authoritative dictionary ‘al-Mufradaat’. Some people claim that jilbaab is “a garment which covers the face”. This too is a misinterpretation as it is contrary to the interpretation of the leading scholars of past and present as well, who define jilbaab as a garment which women drape over their head scarves (khimaar).

    Some people claim that the khimaar (headscarf) in Al-Qur’an 24:31 covers the head and the face, whereas linguistically the word only means a head covering. The Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said “Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a khimaar”. (Sunan Abu Dawood, vol. 1, hadith No. 641)

    However, no scholar insists on covering the face in Salaah for women based on the hadith quoted above, which further substantiates that khimaar does not mean covering the face. Shaykh Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee, one of the foremost scholars of recent times has clarified in detail, the errors made by these scholars who insist on the obligatory nature of the face veil in his books ar-Radd al-Mufhim & Jilbaab al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah (3rd edition, 1996, al-Maktabah al-Islaamiyyah). Likewise, other scholars like Ibn Muflih al-Hambalee, an-Nawawee, al-Qaadee ‘Iyaad are too of the opinion that covering the face is not obligatory.

    As stated earlier, that there is not a single authentic hadith that makes covering the face obligatory. On the other hand, we find several ahadith which prove that covering the face is not compulsory in Islam. For instance, once while the prophet was admonishing and preaching to a group of women after having admonished the men on the Id day, “…a woman having a dark spot on her cheek stood up…” seeking clarification on the subject the prophet was discussing. (Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, Hadith No. 1926)

    It is understood from the above-mentioned hadith that the woman having interaction with the prophet was not covering her face nor did the prophet command her to do so. It is incumbent upon every Muslim to enjoin right and forbid wrong, as Allah instructed us in the Glorious Qur’an. Thus we cannot expect the prophet, on whom the Qur’an was revealed, to let the woman keep her face uncovered after having known the obligation of covering the face. Narrated Ata bin Abi Rabah (R.A.)

    Ibn ‘Abbas said to me, “Shall I show you a woman of the people of Paradise?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “This black lady came to the Prophet and said…”

    (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7, Hadith No. 555 – Dar Al Arabia- Beirut- Lebanon & Sahih Muslim Hadith No. 6571-Darusslam- Arabic)

    The hadith quoted above proves that the ‘woman of the people of the paradise’ was not covering her face when she had visited the prophet nor was she covering it when Ibn ‘Abbas was discussing about her later. Some may argue by saying she could be recognized owing to the dark complexion of her hand and not due to the exposure of her face. However, this argument would carry no weight since she was not the only black woman at the time of the prophet. Moreover, to identify a person, the aspect of exposure of the face is of immense significance.

    The Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said, “…The Muhrima (a woman in the state of Ihram) should not cover her face, or wear gloves.” (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 1838)

    With regards to the hadith quoted above, some people say that the commandment of the prophet (pbuh) not to cover the face is specifically for the women in the state of Ihram, thus it cannot be used as an evidence because in Ihram certain rules and regulations change. However, the point to be noted here is that the things that are Mustahab (recommended) can be made Haraam (forbidden), like the cutting of nails, even the things that are Mubah (permissible) or Mustahab (recommended) can be made Fard (obligatory), e.g. wearing two pieces of white unsewn cloth is made Fard for a man, while normally it is Mubah (permissible). But anything that is Haraam in the normal course of life can never be made Fard. Hence, if exposing the face is Haraam for women, then how can it be made Fard in Ihraam?

    During the day of Nahr (10th Dhul-Hijja), when Al-Fadl bin ‘Abbas was riding behind the prophet on his she -camel, “…a beautiful woman from the tribe of Khath’am came, asking the verdict of Allah’s Apostle. Al-Fadl started looking at her as her beauty attracted him. The Prophet looked behind while Al-Fadl was looking at her; so the Prophet held out his hand backwards and caught the chin of Al-Fadl and turned his face (to the other side) in order that he should not gaze at her…” (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 8, Hadith No. 6228)

    In the above-mentioned hadith we find Al-Fadl looking at the lady because her beauty attracted him. Here too, it is understood that the face of the lady was exposed as the hadith says that the woman was beautiful. Obviously, it is the face that plays the most significant role in making a person being perceived as ugly or beautiful. In spite of this, the prophet didn’t instruct the lady to cover her face but instead turned the face of Al-Fadl in order to prevent him from staring at her, further substantiating the verse of the Qur’an from Surah An-Noor, 24:30, which says:

    “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.”

    The Qur’an further says in the next verse:

    And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof… (Al-Qur’an 24:31)

    When Ibne Abbaas (RA), the leading commentator of the Qur’an was asked about the verse mentioned above as to what it meant, he replied, “it refers to the face and hands”.

    (Collected by Ibn Abee Shaybah in al-Musannaf, Vol. 3, p. 540 & 541, hadith no. 16997 & 17012 and al-Bayhaqi in Sunan al- Kubraa. Al-Albaanee ruled in Jilbaab al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, pp 59-60, that the isnaad of this statement is saheeh.)

    Some scholars argue that all the ahadith, which speak of women’s faces being seen, are of the time earlier than the revelation of the verses of Al-Qur’an 33:59 & 24:31, which make covering the face compulsory. Firstly, as discussed earlier, these Qur’anic verses do not make covering the face compulsory for women. Secondly, to prove that these verses make the covering of women’s face compulsory, they have to quote an authentic hadith for it, which they don’t. Thirdly most of the ahadith quoted above, are of the time after these Qur’anic verses were revealed.

    Thus, it can be concluded that covering the face is not obligatory for women. However, covering the face was obligatory for the Ummul Mu’mineen, the wives of the Prophet (pbuh) as was Tahajjud obligatory for the Prophet (pbuh). Although Muslims are exempted from its obligation, it is still a highly recommended Sunnah for the Muslims. The scholars unanimously agree that it is preferable for Muslim women to cover their faces. Thus it is not compulsory for Muslim Women to cover their faces but those women who cover their faces may continue to do so if they wish. And Allah knows the best.

    Source: http://www.islamicvoice.com/july.2003/religion.htm

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    covering full face in public is insulting to the people they try to engage e.g shop keeper, ticket seller etc. Hence not be allowed unless their is medical reasons. this is a way segregation as sect lead into communal disharmony

    • 5
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      silva

      “Hence not be allowed unless their is medical reasons.”

      Certainly there is a medical reason, the men who force their woman folks to wear face mask are deranged. They need treatment. Until the men are cured the women folks need to wear Burqa.

  • 4
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    This ban does not discriminate against women per se. It is just that only women wear veils covering their faces. If men were to adopt this ridiculous practice of wearing veils, then this same law would be applied against them too (the wording of the law with reference to gender may have to be amended slightly though).

    There is no gender discrimination here; no one can conceal their identity by covering the face, and that applies equally to both sexes.

    If you don’t believe me, wear a mask and go shopping tomorrow. I will come and bail you out!

    • 1
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      The sensible one.

      Lust is their(he) only lover.

      In vain without Gibran ;)

    • 0
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      There is a good reason that men don’t wear the Burqa. This ridiculous rule as decreed by Allah is a fallacy. The Quran was printed 800 years after the demise of the alleged messengers from Allah and these supposed rules were sustained only by word of mouth through several generations and we all know how words of mouth can get corrupted. In this case all of the corrupted rules favour the men for the very reason that the Quran was compiled by men as the womenfolk were kept in ignorance of everything under the sun. Even today, in many Muslim countries girls are denied an education but groomed for marriage as early as possible, with or without her consent.

  • 1
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    Q When will the burqa be banned in Sri Lanka?

    A The day a man in a burqa robs a bank at gunpoint

    Of course knowing our buggers this could easily be arranged by the Ministry of Fear.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/burqa-bandit-man-in-womans-middle-eastern-dress-robs-bank-say-md-cops/

  • 1
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    There are only two situations in which the wearing of an opaque face covering by a woman would be justified:

    1) The woman is extremely and irresistibly beautiful.
    2) The woman is extremely and repulsively ugly.

  • 2
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    Muniyandy

    1) The woman is extremely and irresistibly beautiful.

    No need for beautiful women to cover their faces if you chose to fit yourself with a men chastity belt and give the key to your partner or mother.

    2) The woman is extremely and repulsively ugly.

    If covering the face is the only way to hide ugly faces then all men born and bred in this island must be forced to wear men Burqa.

  • 2
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    “Today’s European Court of Human Rights judgment upholding a general ban on wearing full-face veils in public is deeply damaging, warned Amnesty International. It represents a profound retreat for the right to freedom of expression and religion and sends a message that women are not free to express their religious beliefs in public..”

    What a bloody joke? Covering the whole face or part of it by a rag piece, how can women express anything at all let alone religious beliefs!? AI is wrong here. This queer dress causes disharmony and fragmentation among humans hence it should be banned everywhere.

    • 2
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      Messenger

      Have you ever lived in any one of these middle east countries?

      Weather forces them to cover themselves, heat, cold, wind and dust ball.

      Men too wear Burqa in different fashion, its called Keffiyeh which protects them from heat, cold, wind and dust ball, for the same reason why women wear them.

      • 2
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        Native Vedda,

        I meant in Sri Lanka and elsewhere where similar conditions exist. In the context you mentioned I too agree with you. But when Muslims insist on this mask in schools here it smacks of racial conflicts and segregation. The Ministry of Education must abolish that particular circular allowing Muslims’ face cover in schools. If it is a Muslim school it is alright to wear it.

        • 4
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          Messenger

          “If it is a Muslim school it is alright to wear it.”

          What would you do if you saw a child in burqua outside the school?

          My problem with burqua wearing women is that while I am denied the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of their faces the women folks are allowed to admire my face. I feel the burqua wearing women are placed at undue advantage. This I believe is an infringement of my human rights.

          Face covering is part of Arabisation of Muslims through back door.

          A highly qualified Muslim friend left the shores of this island due to peer pressure. He couldn’t stand those supporters of khalifah (the civil and religious leader of a Muslim state considered to be a representative of Allah on earth; “many radical Muslims believe a Khalifah will unite all Islamic lands and people and subjugate the rest of the world) kingdom.

          • 0
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            “What would you do if you saw a child in burqua outside the school? “

            Who cares?

            • 2
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              Messenger

              “Who cares?”

              Then why are you wasting your time typing nonsense as you have done above to quote you “What a bloody joke? Covering the whole face or part of it by a rag piece, how can women express anything at all let alone religious beliefs!”?

              Think before you type, type after thinking.

              Aren’t you expressing your bigoted views here.

  • 4
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    Muslims use every country’s system to expand their religious presence. After that, when they are the majority, they introduce their system in full while forcing others to accept it.

    world has to understand it.

  • 2
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    JimSofty

    “they introduce their system in full while forcing others to accept it.”

    Could you name one country where Muslims have introduced their system and forced others to accept it.

    To make life easier for you I list some countries here:

    In Americas, USA, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, ……..

    In Europe, UK, France,Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Germany ………..

    India remains secular.

    This island is being transformed into a moronic, fascistic Sinhala Theravada Buddhistice theocracy.

    What the hell are you talking about?

    • 1
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      “What the hell are you talking about?”

      Two examples of the hell JimSoftly is talking about are Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_conquest_of_Afghanistan
      http://www.historyofjihad.org/india.html

      • 2
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        paul

        “Two examples of the hell JimSoftly is talking about are Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

        Please reread Dimwit’s comment

        Muslims use every country’s system to expand their religious presence. After that, when they are the majority, they introduce their system in full while forcing others to accept it.

  • 1
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    Indonesia and Malaysia are two other examples. Thailand just escaped thanks to Portuguese and Dutch.

  • 0
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    Dear Amnesty International,

    Amnesty International was a third party Intervenient in this case. Your arguments failed to sway the Highest court on Human Rights in Europe against the Burka ban.

    Your criticism here, after your arguments failed in Europe’s Highest Court for Human Rights is disingenuous. You seem to think that any court that does not agree with your views has failed to uphold justice.

    The European Court of Human Rights sitting as a Grand Chamber says
    “Where these “rights and freedoms of others” are themselves among those guaranteed by the Convention or the Protocols thereto, it must be accepted that the need to protect them may lead States to restrict other rights or freedoms likewise set forth in the Convention”

    That statement is similar to this statement from the Indian Supreme Court “It has to be remembered that Article 25(1) guarantees A freedom of conscious to every citizen, and not merely to the followers of one particular religion and that, in turn, postulates that there is no fundamental right to convert another person to one’s own religion because if a person purposely undertakes the conversion of another person to his religion, as distinguished from his effort to transmit or spread the tenets of his religion, that would impinge on the “freedom of conscience” guaranteed to all the citizens of the country alike”

    What now AI?
    Will you take it up with the UN HRC?

    The Full decision with arguments for and against the ban is available here http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-145466#{%22itemid%22:[%22001-145466%22]}

    Kind Regards,
    OTC

  • 0
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    The full covering of a woman is central to Arabs over fifty years ago. The reason for this covering is the environment they lived, which is heat in summer and the cold in winter. Added to this is the common sand and dust storms which at times are so severe it blankets the whole area with visibility at just a few meters. Why the womenfolk wear black and the menfolk wear white is a subject to debate but I presume it is for identity purposes.

    other reasons could be:
    That men were generally unkempt due to lack of water and often let the women and children have a greater share of the commodity.

    Women were also in danger from marauding tribesmen mainly looking for women to be sold at slave auctions and as is usual the highest bidder gets the best.

    Women in general, irrespective of their looks have always been the object in the eyes of men since time immemorial and men connected to the women,specially husbands preferred their wives to be fully covered to avoid the gazing eyes of other men.

    Like the women the men too are covered fully most times for the same reason the women cover themselves. This has nothing to do with religion but is a regional issue.

    Times have changed and modernity has given ample ways to protect ones self from the harsh Arabian climate. Nowadays the Arabs are common visitors to far
    away destination from their harsh environments and are often seen in regular western clothes when they are holidaying or visiting other countries for business or pleasure or for both.

    Beauty is universal and like a flower blooms just once. Beauty is incomparable
    and is appreciated mostly by men. Decent clothing is what women need.
    If they feel that they must be fully covered then should take residence in the desert regions of the world. Europe has a different culture and one must adopt
    themselves to that culture, not to change their adopted culture with their own
    countries of origin.

    The decision taken by France is therefore justified.

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