Accusations of racism are dishonest and slanderous.
Face-Coverings in general impede identification, communication and security. Islamic full veils are even worse, expressing extreme misogyny and religious fanaticism. The newly approved Swiss ban on face-coverings in public is a progressive step to deter such fanaticism.
Sommaire en français Les couvre-visage en général empêchent l’identification, la communication et la sécurité. Les voiles intégraux islamiques sont encore pires, exprimant une misogynie extrême et un fanatisme religieux. L’interdiction suisse nouvellement approuvée de se couvrir le visage en public est une mesure progressiste pour freiner ce fanatisme.
Recently, Swiss voters approved, by referendum, a ban on face-coverings in public, including (but not limited to) the Islamic full veil. To the surprise of no-one at all, this event was met with the boisterous whining of those who systematically oppose restrictions on religious practice, as if freedom of religion should be absolute (especially if that religion is Islam), regularly trumping the rights and freedoms of others.
The Swiss referendum result is good news, although the narrow majority by which the ban passed is disconcerting. Face-coverings cause problems for identification, communication and security. However, Islamic (or should I say Islamist) face-coverings, i.e. full veils such as the niqab and burqa, are particularly egregious and problematic. They are an expression of the most extreme misogyny of fundamentalist, radical, political Islam. They should not be tolerated.
The argument that few women currently wear the niqab or burqa in Switzerland is irrelevant. If Switzerland passed a law against slavery, who would complain that it is unnecessary because there are currently no slaves in that country? And yes, I am saying that the Islamic full veil is on a par with slavery. Both are barbaric practices.
The face-covering ban is a preventative measure. If nothing is done, the number of veiled women will continue to increase in future years. Islamists will continue to claim territory by promoting the veil (both hijab and full veil) anywhere and everywhere, asserting that any Muslim woman who does not wear it will go to hell. The veil is a choice, you say? Sure, a choice between wearing one and going to heaven or not wearing one and going to hell. Islamists use the veil in the same way that dogs use their urine: to mark their territory.
One of the leaders of the Swiss campaign to ban face-coverings is Mohamed Hamdaoui, a secular Muslim. Apologists for fundamentalist Islam almost never talk about secular Muslims or ex-Muslims. They only talk about pious Muslims who promote the veil, presenting them as victims of persecution, but who are, in reality, religious fanatics. As for women who wear the veil in non-Muslim countries, some are religious fanatics too, but some are forced by pressure from family or community. Face-coverings, including the full Islamic veil, are banned in numerous countries of Europe and Africa, including several Muslim-majority countries.
The assertion that the ban “tells women what to wear” is dishonest. The ban, where it applies to the niqab and burqa, bans a symbol of Islamism which is arguably the most extreme-right-wing movement on the planet. The ban tells no-one “what to wear.” It bans the most atrocious symbol of Islamism in order to prevent its use for politico-religious proselytizing.
The organization Amnesty International has shown itself to be especially unprincipled and cowardly by opposing the Swiss ban, just as it has taken a cowardly position against Quebec Bill 21 (which by the way, does not ban the full veil in public, but only in civil services).
One particularly dishonest ploy frequently used by opponents of bans on religious symbols is the false equivalence between racial identity and religious affiliation. They claim that such bans are “racist.” This is a blatant lie. Restrictions on religious practices such as the Islamic full veil have nothing to do with race. A Muslim (or an Islamist for that matter) can be Arab, black, white, Indonesian, French, American, Apache or any other “race,” ethnic group or nationality. To conflate “race” with religion is standard Islamist propaganda.
The ban on the full veil is largely motivated by fear of Islamism, and that fear is legitimate. I repeat: it is reasonable to fear Islamism, especially in Europe (although even moreso in Muslim-majority countries). Invoking “racism” in opposition to the ban is also based on fear—fear of racism—and that fear is irrational because Islam is not a race.
Although Islamists do sometimes engage in spectacular physical violence such as terrorism, they do so only occasionally, because it is easier and much less costly to use disinformation. They do not even have to spread such disinformation themselves. They can rely on unscrupulous fools to spread it for them, fools like those who make accusations of “racism.”
It’s about religion, stupid.
It’s about religion, not race. Even if all Muslims in Switzerland were black or brown and all non-Muslims white, that does not change the fact that the issue here is fundamentalist religion and everyone knows that. The dishonest conflation of race with religion greatly confuses the issue and slanders those who support reasonable measures such as this face-covering ban. To those who oppose the ban, I suggest they try to come up with rational arguments for their position, if they have any, rather than indulging in slander.
Anyone who conflates race with religion is incompetent to deal with either. Anyone who conflates them deliberately is lying in order to promote a political agenda.
The wearing of the full veil such as the niqab and burqa is an extremely retrograde practice, an implementation of the subjugation of women. Banning full face-coverings in public is one small and reasonable step that can help to put a break on the advance of radical Islam in Europe. Banning the wearing of all religious symbols for civil servants and schoolteachers while on the job (but not everywhere in public) is also a good measure.
Balancing Conflicting Freedoms
Restrictions on religious symbols do not interfere with freedom of belief but only with freedom of religious practice, because that practice, when done in public, can and does sometimes compromise the freedom of conscience of others. Freedoms are not absolute. The challenge is to find an equilibrium between freedom of religion and freedom from religion, an equilibrium between the freedoms of some and the freedoms of others.
- FATAH: The Swiss have banned the burka — when will Canada follow?, Tarek Fatah, Toronto Sun, 2021-03-10.
Next blog: The “White Supremacism” Scam