Monday, 16 September 2013

Things I never thought I would write (1)

Yasmin Alibhai Brown wades in to the argument about full-face coverings and backs up the Tory MP Dr Sarah Wollaston who has objected to the control over British public life which it symbolizes.

It is important to read her because she is going to be slated by her own kind for her robust stance. So just this once, let's hear it for Yazzer:
when Muslims wilfully create problems and build barriers, anti-racists and egalitarians have an absolute duty to engage with them critically and in good faith. I know frank engagement is avoided because it gives succour to the EDL, BNP, neocons and manic anti-Muslim atheists. I, too, have to think hard before penning columns like this one. In the end though, I don’t think we should abdicate these grave responsibilities because so much is at stake.
Brave women.


JuliaM said...

Sorry to say, but she's going to get a slating from me too...

Anonymous said...

So, YAB believes that all women should be allowed to do what they want to do - but only as long as what they want to do is what YAB believes they should want to do. Should any woman want to do what YAB does not want them to do, then that choice should be removed from them.

That makes sense, Yasmin.

Radical Rodent

Woman on a Raft said...

Progress of a sort though. Agree with her or not, the last time someone - from UKIP I think - tried to raise the issue of face coverings in British life, they plunged straight in to the hefferlump trap of saying that nobody could wear it, ever.

Alibhai-Brown's position is more thought-out than that; there are situations where custom and practice in Britain require everyone to work face-to-face unless they are recovering from facial surgery or making a political point in a highly specific context.

The good part is that this morning there is a high profile columnist, an MP and at least a couple of others all saying "Hang about - it wasn't supposed to be like this".

Max Biaggi said...

Never, ever have I agreed with anything Dear Yasmin has said before, but she is right on the money in this piece.

lilith said...

We Muslims are already unfairly thought of as the enemy within. Niqabs make us appear more alien, more dangerous and suspicious. If it is a provocation for Ku Klux Klan to cover up so they can’t be recognised, it is for Muslims too.

She's right about that. It gives Islam a bad name. To me it says women of all ages are so darned hot 'n sexy, and their menfolk so darn bestial that covering up totally is the only way to keep society together. It says "I am an inferior being whose function is to breed and submit to my male counterparts" I wish it said simply "I really don't like getting sand in my hair and embedded in my make up" but that's not really applicable in this country.

Electro-Kevin said...

That's a good explanation, Lilith.

Prohibiting the consumption of pork in desert climates has a practical function too in that pigs require a lot of fresh water where water is scarce.

MTG said...

Yasmin displayed courage to the extent of foolhardiness. Western cultures readily underestimate the influence exerted by women inside Muslim 'power behind the throne'. I make no judgement on that position in pointing out this very significant cultural difference.

Thus a brave journalist was well aware of the likelihood of her published views attracting barbarous reprisals from fanatics.