Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Niqab Ban Furore, Miley Cyrus and the Silence of Feminism

“One of the major arguments being lobbed around this week as to why Muslim women shouldn’t be wearing veils in public is because they are a symbol of male dominance in society. As if knicker skimming dresses aren’t? ... On the streets of our cities every night of the year there are girls in outfits created purely for the pleasure of men.”                                           
 Alison Phillips Journalist

A woman’s right to choose is at the heart of feminism; also endorsed by the liberal ideology of ‘freedom’. So, they argue that Hijab or the Niqab should not be enforced in society, and it should be left to the prerogative of the individuals. But surely, the notion of choice also implies that women should not be forced to remove it either.  Accordingly, I was expecting to hear feminist voices coming to the defence of the right to wear the Niqab, along with the bare-breasted women from ‘Femen’ running through the streets of London, waving their fists, demanding the same. A disclaimer, I used the term bare-breasted as an adjective, and this should not be taken as my personal desire to see these semi-nude women behaving like cavewomen; it’s not dignified for any woman or man to behave in this way, in my book.

Would the feminist and the liberal camp have remained silent, if the situation was reverse, say a group of women in Iran or Saudi wanted to parade in their miniskirts or bikinis? I know it’s not as raunchy as Miley Cyrus, nevertheless, raunchy enough for a conservative Muslim society. You can bet on them coming out of their holes, waging a campaign to ‘save’ the Muslim women again, and the current fad of Zionist inspired Islamophobia would guarantee favourable and ample media coverage.