Thursday, February 4, 2010

Freedom of religion?

This week it took me a while to figure out what I will write about. I toyed with this and that idea but nothing substantial would materialize. Then I saw something on the news that caught my attention. It was a story on the burqa ban in France. The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, states that the “burqa is not a religious problem, it is a problem of the dignity of women. It is a symbol of subservience, of submission.” Let me explain to you what a burqa is. The Burqa is the traditional dress for a Muslim woman that covers her body completely. There is see-through mesh that goes over the eyes so the wearer is able to see. The ban raised a question in my mind, do the French have a right to ban burqas or let women wear them?

Are all Muslim women who wear burqas forced to do so or do some of them do it for their own religious reasons? I have a lot of Muslim friends here and not all of them wear burqas. In fact, only one does. Why? Several years ago she was really ill and almost died. During that time she prayed a lot and was healed. She believes that Allah saved her. She believes that by wearing a burqa she is showing her faith and submission to God. Would it be fair to her if the Malawi government all of a sudden decided to ban it?

At the same time burqas can pose a threat. Various crimes and bank robberies around the world have been committed with people hiding their identity behind this Muslim dress. Terrorists have been able to hide loads of explosives under that same dress. And on a lighter note, I heard of an incident of a woman’s lover coming to her house dressed in burqa to hide his identity from the woman’s husband! Some of the purposes that the burqa has been used for are terrifying and some are downright hilarious, but the fact is still the same, how can we be sure what is under the dress?

I believe in freedom of religion. After all, it is one of the principles on which America was founded upon! No one is telling me not to wear my cross! Why should they have to give up their religious dress? But at the same time I get nervous at the airport when I see a “person” pass me by covered head to toe. In today’s day and age some sacrifices should be made. Who’s to know that a person under the burqa is who she claims to be and not a terrorist man with a bomb strapped around his waist? Can these women show their faith by simply covering their head with a scarf and leaving their faces visible? I guess it is for the Muslims to decide for themselves. But if I were to move to a country that dictates strict dress codes, I would abide by the law of the land!


  1. Indeed I can agree with the idea of freedom of religion and freedom of dress. I actually heard a story from a muslim women who said she covered herself completely to deter the lust of men. She said, "I don't want to be viewed as a piece of meat." I can completely agree, because being a man I know how men's minds work. Sometimes, I wish some Christian women would choose to be as modest. Though, the issue with bombers is pretty serious. However, thinking about the guy with the bomb in his underpants, I don't think a dress code is going to help too much in respect to terrorism. Then again, it could go a long way. I guess only the future will tell.

    Go in love.

  2. I tend to agree with you on these issues. I believe that all women should have the confidence to dress the way that they want and practice whatever religion that they want to practice. However, I don't feel that a woman from another country and culture should have to follow another country's dress code.

  3. I hope France is able to endure the backlash that will come from this. It seems a little unrealistic to enforce this kind of ban, in my opinion. Women shouldn't be forced to wear one, but they should have the option to practice their religion in any way they see fit.

  4. I think it is the individual's decision what they do and do not decide to do in this matter, or any matter. I think that although we are supposed to have Freedom of Religion, often times it really isn't free. I do not think that people should be judged on their religious views, practices, or orientation. But only on their character and actions. I HATE that we are a nation that proffesses Freedom of Religion, yet most won't vote for a political candidate if they do not like their particular religion. Do unto others, to each his own, whatever let people live their lives!!!!