The Netherlands may pass a law that makes it illegal to wear a burqa in public.
I rank this up there with anti-flag-burning laws, which makes the Libertarian side of me want to rush right out and burn a flag. If I lived in The Netherlands, I’d want to rush right out and wear a burqa. Sure, I’m a man, but who would know?
I have a feeling that this is one of those laws whose stated purpose is not the de facto purpose. I assume that the sight of a burqa-clad female is shocking to some because it represents one of the things about Islam that we don’t like: the oppression of women. Frankly, that’s what I think the moment I see a burqa, and I feel sorry for the woman. Does she feel bad about wearing it, though? Maybe or maybe not. Is this law some covert attempt to rescue these women from their oppression? If so, the Dutch aren’t as smart as I thought they were. If burqas were made illegal in public, then Islamic fundamentalists simply won’t allow their women in public. Case closed, the women they are trying to help are hurt more.
But a burqa is just a thing. While we associate a burqa with oppression, it is not, in and of itself, oppression. Just like burning a flag does not hurt America–people only think it does. We could also outlaw turbans and tunics while we’re at it, but that won’t exactly help us win the war on terror. Might as well outlaw beards too.
Outlawing burqas is a desperate move by a Government who can show no tangible progress in their war against terror. The Dutch are claiming burqas are a security risk. Are militant Islamics using burqa-clad women to act as covert agents for terrorism? Maybe they should also carry a sign that says “Surveil me.” If they are trying to single these people out, why not KEEP them in burqas? They’re much easier to spot that way.