Chesler Chronicles

"The Other Side of Jihad." Honor Killing and the Burqa

As my readers know, I often cover the “dark side” of jihad, aka the role or treatment of women. I do not agree that face-veiling women means that such women are necessarily treated as sacred or precious in a polygamous or warrior family.

The Dark Side of Jihad

In two recent articles, both published at FOX News, I write about the “other side of jihad” and raise the question of whether the West should or should not ban the burqa. While we may not be able to ban the burqa in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, we ought to be able to preserve our own culture here in the West. I am also persuaded that the burqa and niqab (face mask) are not religious duties; in an Islamist era, they have increasingly been presented to women as such. Please understand: I am not talking about the headscarf (hijab) which does not mask the face or the five senses.

I know, many people believe that Western culture is quintessentially about absorbing, embracing, accepting many other cultures. And it is. This is a beautiful concept as long as the new, immigrant cultures are not hostile towards America and the West. In the first piece, which appeared over the weekend, I discuss how Islamic gender apartheid and a culture of honor killing is part of militant, fundamentalist Islam. In the second piece, which appeared more than a week ago, I return to the question of whether America should–or should not–consider banning the burqa.

The Other Side of Jihad–Honor Killings

We usually associate jihadic warriors with fiery, anti-American and anti-Israeli sermons and with homicide bombings and airplane hijackings. We don’t think of jihadists as homebodies or in terms of their family relationships.

But we should.

Islamic fundamentalism (Islamism) is associated both with terrorism—and with Islamic gender apartheid. Thus, Islamists demand that their women shroud themselves, marry their first cousins, serve their brothers and father as domestic servants, keep quiet about routine daughter–and wife–battering, and keep away from infidel influences.

If they don’t, they risk being honor murdered.

Not all Muslims are Islamists. Many are anti-Islamists, dissidents, moderates, secular, or apostates. I know, because I work with such people.

But, show me a jihadist and I’ll show you someone who believes in polygamy, demands that his women wear the Islamic veil, keep away from “foreigners,” and remain totally obedient and subordinate to him. If not, their lives are in danger. And they are warned about this repeatedly.

Click here for the rest of the article.

Should the West Ban the Burqa?

Early in June, Iran denounced European “intolerance” vis-à-vis the burqa. But is this true?

Many Muslims have come to the West in search of freedom and modernity; others have not. Controversy is inevitable. Islamist leaders believe that the West must “tolerate” the practice of gender apartheid as a “religious” right.

Western leaders have condemned the Islamic veil as a sign of hostility to Western ways and as a refusal to integrate. Muslim and ex-Muslim feminists and secularists have condemned the veil as a violation of women’s human rights and claim that it is not a religious requirement.

Many Muslim and ex-Muslim experts on Islam insist that the Qu’ran does not command women to cover their faces, bodies or hair. Women are merely told to dress modestly. They further point out that for part or all of the 20th century, many women in Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Afghanistan, stopped wearing the veil and wore western dress. Islamists claim that the veil is a religious requirement; that bikinis are worse than burqas; that veiled Muslim women are sacred and as such, should not be exposed to corrupting Western, secular mores.

All Europe is wrestling with the issue of whether to ban the Islamic veil.

Click here for the rest of the article.