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Thursday, November 24, 2005

New headwear required

One British university seems to have a problem with religious dress and street wear:

"Imperial College London has issued a ban on its staff and students wearing hijabs or hoodies in its buildings as part of an effort to improve campus security."

The decision was taken in the name of security, you understand, and a desire to not allow students to obscure their faces.

It seems, however, that the university's accountant may step in sooner rather than later:

"Students also pointed out that the move could be bad for sales of the university-branded hooded tops from union shops."

16 Comments:

Blogger Shabadoo said...

A symbol of close-mindedness, primitivism, and repression like the hijab has no place in a university. Bravo! (Even if they had to hide it behind a hoodie ban).

And before you start screaming 'racist', Ataturk thought the same thing.

Thursday, November 24, 2005 11:19:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Just clueless...

Thursday, November 24, 2005 11:29:00 am  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Ataturk was clueless?

Thursday, November 24, 2005 1:05:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Ataturk lived in a rather different world.

Thursday, November 24, 2005 1:18:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Ataturk recognized that Islam was a barrier to modernity and equality, then as now.

Thursday, November 24, 2005 1:32:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

"A symbol of close-mindedness, primitivism, and repression like the TURBAN has no place in a university. Bravo!"

"A symbol of close-mindedness, primitivism, and repression like the KIPPAH has no place in a university. Bravo!"

"A symbol of close-mindedness, primitivism, and repression like the BERET has no place in a university. Bravo!"

"A symbol of close-mindedness, primitivism, and repression like the BASEBALL CAP has no place in a university. Bravo!"

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that a LAW which COMPELS a woman to wear a hijab is "repressive". And conversely, a LAW which COMPELS a woman NOT to wear one is "repressive". Choosing to wear a piece of cloth on one's head in itself could hardly be described as repressive.

Incidentally, I can imagine some Orwellian distopia where it would be useful for "security" reasons to ban a veil which covered one's face (prevents face recognition software in its tracks), but I can't see how banning the hijab (which doesn't necessarily cover the face at all) would help "security" matters one jot.

Thursday, November 24, 2005 2:22:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Shabadoo said...
"Ataturk recognized that Islam was a barrier to modernity and equality, then as now."

Atatuk is only an "authority" in your book because he agrees with you - i.e., Atatuk is just a rhetorical mouthpiece for your own views. Why not be more economical (and honest) and say: "In my opinion,...."?

Incidentally, that lovely gentleman Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, banned the hijab too. As a result, most women of that time chose to stay never go out in public because they felt like they were "naked" without their hijabs. Ironically, in this case, the banning of the hijab was MORE repressive to women than not banning it! (Of course, NOW with the younger generation of Iranian women, the opposite is true.)

Thursday, November 24, 2005 2:33:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Edward, don't confuse the issue with facts and nuance. Please, I beg you. Islam must be slammed, over and over again. It's politically correct in some circles, you see.

Thursday, November 24, 2005 2:48:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Yes Edward.

As always, your opinions are very eloquently and elegantly pieced together.

I do agree that there is just as much repression in the act of imposing blanket laws that give no choice to the individual.

Thursday, November 24, 2005 3:02:00 pm  
Blogger David Heidelberg said...

In what is being termed, Islamic Feminism
many Egyptian women are making the choice to put back on their Hijabs.

These highly educated and successful women, sick of being told not to wear the hijab by their (Americanised) government, feel that not only does the hijab express their spirituality, but also their femininity.

Thursday, November 24, 2005 3:15:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Ah, but the kippah/beret/prole-cap wearer does not have a duty of dawa to try and put everyone else in a kippah/beret/prole-cap (to use Paul Fussell's wonderful term in his wonderful romp through American society, Class).

That's the big difference, al-Eddy.

Thursday, November 24, 2005 4:27:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Shabadoo said...
"Ah, but the kippah/beret/prole-cap wearer does not have a duty of dawa to try and put everyone else in a kippah/beret/prole-cap"

I don't understand the point you're trying to make. Assuming you're referring to da'wah,* what does that have to do with banning the hijab?

____________
* Da'wah means "invitation" [to Islam]. That can (and does) take many forms. For example, explaining an Islamic idea to a curious interlocutor (be they Muslim or not) is to perform da'wah. If a Muslim seeks to learn about Christianity or Judaism, that can be to perform da'wah too. One of the least common forms of da'wah is "evangelising". When was the last time a couple of Muslims knocked on your door and wanted to talk to you about g~d? Performing da'wah is not obligatory for Muslims, but it is regarded as being a good thing as long as it doesn't annoy anyone. (N.B. Some Muslims will no doubt disagree with this, simply because, as in every religion, almost everything is debatable.)

Thursday, November 24, 2005 9:49:00 pm  
Blogger Woodge said...

Bravo Edward, AL and company. The issue, which with respect Shabadoo, is choice. Telling a grown woman what she can and can't wear in the 21st Century is ludicrious! Especially in an educational institution - conceptually that would be classed as discrimination.

Friday, November 25, 2005 11:35:00 am  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Right...because it's perfectly fine if she's being made to by her husband/brother/father, or because she's superstitious that allah is going to torment her forever if she lets a man see her hair. Yeah, that's great for an educational institution.

Friday, November 25, 2005 3:09:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Shab,

Perhaps you should take a gander at the article Al posted fromm the SMH that mentions soaring domestic violence in our utopian democracy. In the mean time, perhaps you should drop the charade about giving a damn about women in countries you were happy to see being bombed back to the stone age.

Friday, November 25, 2005 3:29:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Shabadoo said...
"Right...because it's perfectly fine if she's being made to by her husband/brother/father,"

...err, your original "argument" (so to speak) in support of the ban was weak. This one is not even that. Although you don't frame it well, your new argument here seems to be this:

Banning the hijab for all women at tertiary institutions is desirable because some women might be compelled to wear it by their relatives. So, by banning the hijab at uni, some of these women may be "liberated" (at least while they're at uni). But wouldn't women who are being compelled to wear the hijab, and don't want to, simply remove it voluntarily while they were at uni? In that case, what would be the point of the ban, except to restrict those women who do want to wear the hijab because they enjoy it?

"or because she's superstitious that allah is going to torment her forever if she lets a man see her hair."

Universities do have an important role is disabusing people of superstitions - but they do this via the transmission of ideas, arguments and by free and open debate, not by forcible removal of the outer expressions of superstitions. Forcible removal of such outer expressions doesn't disabuse people of their superstitions - it only makes them feel like they're being persecuted.

"Yeah, that's great for an educational institution."

It's neither here nor there with respect to an educational institution. Maybe you should try out an educational institution sometime. You might be surprised at how nice it is to be able openly express your own ideas and to wear whatever you like. It's quite liberating!

Friday, November 25, 2005 8:23:00 pm  

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