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Sunday, August 28, 2016
Firstly, it is human nature to move from country to country. We have always done that and we will always do so. One benefit is that we spread culture and we learn from our travels, much like the pollination of bees and birds.
Secondly, when we travel we take with us what we know best: our own customs and culture. This is not always a good thing, but on balance it does work. One example where it does not work is the full cover, including the face burqa. In those native lands where it is the custom for the woman to completely cover up that is the way it is. However, in countries outside of that small circle it is not acceptable and it should be banned and enforced. This is mostly a security measure which requires that the population, without exception must show their faces.
Now we move to modesty. In the Arab world it is the custom that women cover themselves, either totally or 99%. I believe this is done for the purpose of promoting a society free from the temptation of the flesh. In Western societies women have the right to wear whatsoever they wish, within the norms of decency. That allows a very wide latitude of choice for women and in the process has the very opposite effect in that a man's attention is fixed on things sexual.
From the Western world we look at the Arabic customs and all that we see is oppression of women. However, when we talk to the women we find that they are comfortable in covering themselves to hold their beauty only for their husbands. Certainly their customs do seem unnecessarily draconian on women, but then their society is not plagued by so many of our own problems.
Enter Summertime at the beach. We have been living with Arabic women entering the sea fully clothed in their street wear. We have tutted and said how ridiculous but they were left alone to bathe in public as they saw fit. Now someone has designed a very beautiful and charming garment that adheres to all of the criteria of Islamic dress, but it is a bathing suit. It is only marginally more conservative than bathing suits of yesterday that protected the modesty of white women.
The mayors of 31 French seaside towns have decided, in their lack of common sense to ban the Birkini. They are in fact telling women they must take off more of their clothes to swim from their beaches. Not surprisingly the Supreme Court of France has struck down these banns, probably because they are unconstitutional, but really because they are stupid and provocative.
I don't want to be too hard on France as they have had a lot of problems as a result of hardline Muslims and a lot of people have lost their lives. However, this is making problems where none exists. Muslim women want to at least cover their hair, and at the extreme they want to completely disappear behind the cloth. Except for uncovering their face they should be left in peace to wear whatever they want, as are all other women in France.
At one time or another Frenchmen have invaded so many countries that belonged to other people. They carried with them their own customs and culture, somethings have been retained by the locals, and some other parts the locals found to be disgusting and insulting and have been rejected. The Birkini is simply a statement of the Muslim woman's modesty and conservatism. Intelligent people would celebrate that and stand with the woman and defend it as her right.
It's not broke so it does not need to be fixed!
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