A British/Iranian woman writes the most sensible of the millions of words already written about Boris Johnson having compared women in burqas to letter boxes and bank robbers. UD made the same point she’s making – about the greater wisdom of ignoring his words – in this post.

Shappi Khorsandi writes:

Every part of the burqa/letterbox furore is about political warfare. Johnson knew exactly how to rattle the left and it’s working. Now we are calling Rowan Atkinson a “racist”…

The comedian is now denounced as racist because he pointed out that Johnson was attempting to be funny. And, yes, attempting to be offensive. Atkinson: “All jokes about religion cause offence, so it’s pointless apologising for them.” And remember: All of this was in the context of Johnson agreeing with people on the left that there should be no burqa ban.

As the denunciations and investigations and apology-demands escalate, sensible and humane people, like Khorsandi, will direct us to what we should be thinking about:

Today, in Iran, women are risking their liberty by publicly taking off their hijabs in protests against the forced covering. Shaparak Shajarizadeh was handed a two-year sentence for protesting in Iran against the hijab. She was released on bail in April and has now apparently left the country as exile is preferable to living in a country where speaking your mind leads to arrest.

I wish those who are now calling Rowan Atkinson a “racist” left and right on social media would show more solidarity and generate more publicity for women like Shaparak.

Let the ridiculous Boris Johnson dustup have the effect of directing our attention where it belongs: To the millions of women in countries all over the world suffocating under the veil.

*************

In other words: These are the words that deserve our attention — written by the late great Christopher Hitchens.

[W]e have no assurance that Muslim women put on the burqa or don the veil as a matter of their own choice. A huge amount of evidence goes the other way. Mothers, wives, and daughters have been threatened with acid in the face, or honor-killing, or vicious beating, if they do not adopt the humiliating outer clothing that is mandated by their menfolk. This is why, in many Muslim societies, such as Tunisia and Turkey, the shrouded look is illegal in government buildings, schools, and universities. Why should Europeans and Americans, seeking perhaps to accommodate Muslim immigrants, adopt the standard only of the most backward and primitive Muslim states? The burqa and the veil, surely, are the most aggressive sign of a refusal to integrate or accommodate.

Trackback URL for this post:
http://www.margaretsoltan.com/wp-trackback.php?p=58803

Comment on this Entry

Latest UD posts at IHE

Archives

Categories