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.
If a woman wants to wear a niqap or a bikini – it should be up to her – not up to the government and certainly not up to you
I absolutely agree. What ever happened to freedom of expression? I wear a niqaab, it is my identity, just like piercings or mohicans or turbans are for some. I proudly wear the attire to show i am Muslim, it is MY choice.
I work 9-5 like a normal person in a normal office and i’m sure my employers would agree, i am NOT A SECURITY RISK!
I understand, and it’s certainly true that the vast majority of individuals who wear niqab, are not a threat to anyone! My point was not that women, such as yourself, are a threat to national security. Rather, the niqab itself is a potential security risk, especially as many of the women who veil their faces, would be most reluctant to uncover them – even for I.D. checks, which are clearly near impossible to perform without seeing a person’s face. The reason, a fear that Allah will not approve of them showing their faces in public; a groundless belief that does not originate in Islam. The practice of veiling the face derives from Persian and Byzantine culture, not Islam. While I agree, it’s certainly not the place of government to legislate over how people should dress, we must bear in mind that if we chose to dress in more extreme fashions, there may be consequences of doing so and accept responsibility for this. The same is just as true of dressing in Gothic style or wearing a balaclava. How would you perceive a person who wore a balaclava everywhere and never removed it in public? Please do reflect on this point, as it’s really no different to niqab…
Seeing as part of my niqab is wearing a balaclava under hijab, and I am of the Gothic subculture, you may want to rephrase that.
Neither myself, nor any other niqabi (or Goth!), is responsible for how someone else sees us. If they can’t do the research to understand, or simply come over and ask questions, they can keep their opinions to themselves. We’re all adults, let us act like it!
I belong to an all-women Sufi order, and I have taken a vow of celibacy and we all wear niqab!