23 June 2009

Get your terms right!

I've had a post/essay brewing for months, and I may never actually get it finished, but I'll let you in on a little secret: I have a collection of face veils that I've worn only in the house and while LARPing. I'm all for covering my hair, but I'm not really moved to cover my face for modesty's sake, or for religious purposes. Ironically, in the essay that I can't seem to write, I wanted to talk about how my Vampire LARP character is actually moved to, but quite conflicted about face-veiling. Maybe it's a self-identity vampire thing. I digress.

Anyway, to each her own, and masha'Allah when a Muslimah chooses to wear the niqaab. Go back and read that sentence carefully, even if you don't know what "masha'Allah" means. Okay, did you get it, that word in italic? There is no compulsion in Islam. Says so in the Qu'ran, Chapter 2 (al-Baqarah), verse 256.

Did you hear that, Mr. Sarkozy, Taiban, et al. who want to decide for others what we do to express our faith?

Speaking of France, and their hijab-banning practices, if Sarkozy wants to ban the "burka", then sure, why not? It's not really an Islamic item of clothing. But if you look at the photo in the preceding link, the veiled sister is wearing a niqaab. So what the heck does Sarkozy want to ban? Methinks he means the face veil--the niqaab. Well, we have a problem then. Pixie at "I Love Hishma" just wrote a very compelling essay on said problem here. If you ban the niqaab, why not ban wearing crucifixes, bandanas, thigh high boots, long skirts, gas masks, surgical masks and scrubs in general, bathrobes, earmuffs...I apologize for taking that down a road of absurdity.

On the other hand, I, too, am left to wonder if Sarkozy intends to ban public nudity, too. I doubt it, (and I'm being mean and catty and snarky here), but I bet his wife would protest that. Some of us like to be naked in the privacy of our own homes, and reserve showing our bodies to people who really matter, and that's our choice. There's that word again. Is it a symptom of power-drunkeness that one must make decisions for others? That's a dumb question, isn't it?

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