A Burqa is a tool for dehumanizing the wearer. For making it difficult for them to have any individual interaction outside the home. This is not a bug, this is a feature. It depersonalizes women who wear it. It makes it difficult for them to work outside the home, to have a conversation with a stranger or to even be seen as an individual. And again, that is the entire point. Burqas are the product of a culture and religion in which women are not supposed to have any function outside the home. In which they are supposed to remain in Purdah, walled off inside the home.
Purdah is the Persian word for the physical imprisonment of the woman in the home behind her curtain. Think of an individual ghetto for the women of every family. That is the essential idea here. Purdah is also the Persian word for the face veil that covers a woman's face while wearing a Burqa. The word Purdah means curtain. When a woman walks out of the house wearing a Burqa, she is wearing a portable Purdah around herself. She carries the enforced social isolation of it with her.
We use the word "faceless" to describe a condition of enforced anonymity. That is exactly what the Burqa does. It renders an entire gender anonymous. Faceless. And we also connect facelessness to a lack of personal autonomy. Because autonomy is connected to identity. Someone without a face has no identity. Which again is the whole point of creating a mobile Purdah for women using the Burqa. It deprives women of individual social and legal identities, and instead assigns those powers to their male guardians. And since people have to be dehumanized before they can be deprived of their social and legal rights, that is what the Burqa is for.
Islamic cultures that mandate the Burqa also assign a woman's legal rights to her male guardian. She may only travel or conduct serious financial transactions through her male guardian. Marriages, divorces and sometimes even driving a car-- requires a male guardian. This however is not the state of affairs just in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, but also in the heart of Europe and the United States. We simply have not implemented laws enforcing this, which is another reason why the Islamists are pushing the Burqa, to do it for them. The Burqa here once again serves its purpose as mobile Purdah, removing a woman from society even while she still has the law on her side.
What is really behind all this madness? The answer is fairly simple, and it's the same answer to much of the problems in the Muslim world. Tribalism. People are not individuals, they are the means of perpetuating the family. Controlling the reproduction of the family requires tightly controlling its women, as this is culturally linked to the purity of the family. Since inbreeding is common, the daughters of a family are likely to be bred back into the family to a cousin or an uncle. And if not they are used as "coin" to buy access to good brides for the sons of the family or even additional wives for the patriarch. And if not, their marriages are still linked to the honor and status of the family. Which means that either way women are a commodity whose key value is in their purity, which is attained through Purdah or isolation from men.
While these ideas certainly did not begin with Islam, the Islamic world follows disjointed religious teachings which mix bits of stolen Christianity and Judaism, with large heapings of tribal customs. The Mohammed of the Koran already firmly relegated women to a second place status, but the Mohammed of the Hadiths made him seem benevolent by comparison. And the Islamists selectively use those Hadiths which fit their agenda of completely disempowering women, which is part of the Saudi funded process of radicalizing Muslims for the global Jihad. Because they view Muslim women as tools in their conquest of the free world.
Islamists will blame tribalism for the state of Muslim women, even as they themselves embrace tribalism in order to segregate and control their own populations. They create their own ghettos and implement purdahs in order to build an army for the conquest of the West. Their leaders see Western individualism as a weakness, but also as a seductive threat to their own people. And the pattern of tribalism remains tattooed on their throbbing brains, which insists that their honor is linked to their ability to control their own women. While of course humiliating Westerners by assaulting and degrading theirs. This is a familiar tribal pattern incorporated into Islam. To dishonor the family of the outsider, while protecting the honor of your own family. To rape foreign women, while clothing your own in Burqas.
This idea goes back to Mohammed and the Koran itself.
O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies that they may thus be distinguished and not molested. (33:59)
The obvious implication is that a woman who wasn't completely cloaked, would be molested. While a cloaked woman would set herself apart as belonging to a Muslim man, and would therefore not be molested.
The Hadith of Sahih Bukhari makes it clear that the problem was that even high ranking Muslim leaders, such as Umar, a companion of Mohammed and the second Caliph, had trouble leaving women alone... even when those women were Mohammed's own wives.
The wives of the Prophet used to go to Al-Manasi, a vast open place to answer the call of nature at night. 'Umar used to say to the Prophet "Let your wives be veiled," but Allah's Apostle did not do so.
One night Sauda bint Zam'a the wife of the Prophet went out at 'Isha' time and she was a tall lady. 'Umar addressed her and said, "I have recognized you, O Sauda." He said so, as he desired eagerly that the verses of Al-Hijab (the observing of veils by the Muslim women) may be revealed. So Allah revealed the verses of "Al-Hijab" (A complete body cover excluding the eyes).
Sahih Bukhari 1.4.148
The psychology of an Umar who waited around to catch sight of women he wasn't married to and then used the phony self-righteous pretext that because he recognized a woman by her height at night, that women should all be forced to wear veils-- speaks volumes about what is still boiling away in the heads of Islamists today.
Their idea of honor is irretrievably linked to control. Control over women to protect family honor and their own self-image. Control over outsiders to maintain the status of family and faith. And a constant expansion of that control is needed to reassure them of their honor. So the Jihad moves forward in the West. Women must cover their faces. And then even one eye. And there is no end to it. Never any end to it.
It is unacceptable in the free world because it represents the dehumanization of millions who will be forced to submit to it. And many millions more yet to come. The Islamists began their campaign with the Hijab, bribing and compelling women in Europe and America to wear them. Physical violence is part of the process, particularly in France where girls who refused to wear one were, like the wives of Mohammed's followers, vulnerable to being "molested", if one may refer to the Tournade in such delicate terms. The Hijab however was only the preparation for the Burqa, which is the next step in the enforced dehumanization of women.
Nor does this only affect Muslim women. In parts of France, non-Muslim women have learned to begin wearing the Hijab to avoid being molested. As Jewish women were forced to wear veils during their exile among Muslims. Sheikh Hilali, the Grand Mufti of Australia, laid out the stakes quite well during the Sydney rape trials.
"If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats' or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred."
The women raped were non-Muslims, but as far as Hilali was concerned, it was their fault for not being in Purdah and wearing their Hijabs.
If Muslims continue to use the Hijab and then the Burqa as a distinguishing mark of women who cannot be molested, as opposed to women who can be molested-- as it was in Mohammed's time-- women in general will be intimidated into wearing the Hijab and the Burqa. As under the Taliban, Muslim and non-Muslim women will have a choice between agreeing to give up their rights or facing brutalization.
Those are the real stakes in the Burqa debate. Are women human beings or are they meant only to live in Purdah under the jurisdiction of their male guardians?
The rise of the Burqa means the end of legal rights for women. To prove this, one need only look at countries where the preponderance of women wear them. Opponents of the Burqa ban argue that individual abuse should be tackled individually, but they deny that these abuses are part of a greater problem, rather than individual acts. By denying the Islamic oppression of women, they reduce a growing danger to random acts of violence, just as they have done with Islamic terrorism.
Would the European Council be as casual about a religious movement pushing for the resumption of race based slavery? What if the masters brought forth some of their slaves to argue that being slaves is their right if they wish to be slaves. The answer to this, is that slaves cannot be citizens. If one truly wishes to be a slave, a depersonalized person, there are no shortage of countries where such things are normal. The Free World is not the place for it. It is not the place for those who wish to dehumanize women, to justify rape or murder their daughters if they violate their tribal sense of family honor. This is not freedom. It is slavery.
Banning the Burqa confronts a totalitarian ideology bent on dehumanizing women and depriving them of the rights of citizens, in order to centralize power within their own ideology along their old tribal patterns. If Europe allows this, its own women will have to live by those same tribal laws as well, sooner or later. Islam is not a passive ideology, it is expansionistic. It will spread through missionary work, but it will even more eagerly spread through violence. Islamic history makes this fact impossibly to deny. To ban the Burqa is to insist that no totalitarian ideology will impose facelessness on citizens of the nation. To fail to ban it is to abandon republican citizenship for tribal submission.