Now that burkas are so widely discussed in old Europe, you can’t see any veiled figure without the association machinery in the head running wild. It’s a significant discussion, and especially shameful for the self-acclaimed home of liberté, égalité and fraternité. Thinking aloud about a ban of a certain clothing for nothing but populistic reasons is so outright stupid and serves nothing but the lowest-level xenophobic instincts that it is really hard to believe that politicians, even a prime minister, can sink so low.

Afghanistan? (2) Other than that, a veil can look magic, sometimes beautiful. I wish there would be a time where I could think more about artistic value than about political/intellectual implications. Oh yes, the image to the right shows the original situation, found in a shop window decorated for winter sale.

Afghanistan?

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6 thoughts

  1. “Oh yes, the image to the right shows the original situation, found in a shop window decorated for winter sale.”

    What were they selling?

    1. Carl, this is kind of a department store trying to raise curiosity for the fashion they are going to put on sale.

  2. It’s certainly a difficult time. I worry how the acts of a few in promoting terrorism is changing society and the living conditions for the many. There is much of what we call “knee-jerk” or over-reaction taking place in regards to this. I only hope we don’t lose more then we gain.

    I personally don’t like the second class citizenship that’s often forced upon women who wear the burka but I also believe in respect for other cultures — it’s a conflict.

    1. Earl, this definitely is a conflict, a really difficult one. To start with a ban of burkas: That I think is the completely wrong signal. Changes inside a religion and society are brought by their members opening up for change. This will happen through discourse, understanding (starting with the language) and, very often, growing welfare. Pressure from outside is contraproductive here.
      Regarding the suppression especially of women in some islamic groups and states, this has to be seen with a lot of differentiation. Again I think the burka is only a visible symbol, but not the suppression itself. And think about the reaction a ban of the burka would produce: then some muslim women might not be allowed to leave the house anymore. So the consequences are more bitter then the status quo.
      Islam as a religion is difficult to deal with. During my project work I cooperated closely and productively with many muslim men and women of different strictness in following what they regarded as requirements of their religion.
      The islam itself is probably as varied in the implementations as christianity is, especially in the U.S., where you have ultra-conservative groups up to very liberal congregations. A difficult field, that definitely is. But I strongly believe in discourse and openness in discussion.
      How difficult it is even in the same culture group is blatantly illustrated by the case of the german family that this week got asylum in the U.S. – because they are home-schoolers and don’t want their kids to be exposed to the ‘un-christian’ influences of ordinary german schools.

      1. I appreciate you using you’re photography to raise these difficult questions and issues. There’s a need for more openness and discussion, for certain. I believe you and I are of near the same opinions on this.

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