By Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
I’m not much in favour of telling people what to wear and what not to, which is in effect what a ban would do… However, isn’t that the whole issue surrounding niqab? Muslim women have been told by some extremist preachers, that God isn’t happy with them unless they dress a very particular way! I don’t approve! I’m very confident Allah is far greater than this, and will not be overly concerned with such minor issues. What about a very evil woman who dresses in niqab, or a very charitable, kind caring lady who doesn’t wear so called “Islamic” clothing at all? Will the niqab make any difference in the sight of God?
Niqab goes very much against our European culture. To wear any form of mask is seen as extremely suspicious, and quite rightly too! Aside from niqab, the only other people who usually mask their faces in our society are criminals, bank robbers, train robbers, shoplifters, assassins and their like… Is it any wonder people in most modern societies, view those wearing niqab with suspicion? I’m not suggesting women who wear the niqab are criminals, just trying to illustrate how many will perceive them and why…
Many of those campaigning for the niqab to be accepted, confuse the issue of niqab with hijab. Few people in the West really take issue with head-scarves, but masking the face is in the view of many, taking modesty a step too far. Niqab is a potential security and identity risk, as it’s difficult to know who exactly is under the veil. Head-scarves are an entirely different issue. I’m in favour of head-scarves, for those who choose to wear them.
Niqab potentially, severely restricts the options of women wearing it, in most modern societies. Employers would generally shy away from employing masked individuals, and who could blame them? Likewise, many organisations and communities would view masked women with suspicion. What should these women do? Stay in the home all day, in the 21st Century???
I do believe, how we dress should generally be our own choice, so long as this doesn’t harm others or create serious identity or security concerns. However, niqab is really inappropriate in our society and a security risk, I therefore wouldn’t be opposed to a ban in this particular case.