Tuesday, 5 July 2011

BURQAS ON BUSES


New Zealanders don’t know a burqa from niqab and hijab. A burqa covers the whole body, Afghani style. Niqab is the eye slit jobby and hijab covers only the hair and neck. I have worn hijab myself along with jeans and an ordinary shirt. It’s no different than a light hat and scarf. Young Palestinian girls dressed me up in it for a bit of fun and I wanted to know what it felt like. I wore it round for half a day in the refugee camp where I was staying. It certainly blended you into the crowd and it was not uncomfortable. I went jogging first, then walked down to the beach and visited the graveyard near the beach. Nobody took a blind bit of notice of me. That had not been the case the day before, when I wandered around the camp without Hijab. The camp has a population of around 30,000. You can’t get in without a permit. The Lebanese army guard the entrance at an initial checkpoint. The PLA guard a secondary checkpoint. Everyone knows everyone, at least by sight. Without Hijab I was a stranger and was immediately recognised as such. Hijab gave me anonymity. It can look very pretty. I attended a wedding near Tripoli in Northern Lebanon – not Tripoli in Libya. The women looked fabulous. Palestinians take wedding cakes very seriously – see the photo. I was told the Quran directs that men and women dress modestly. They told me there was nothing in the Quran that dictated burqa or niqab. And, I never saw anyone in Lebanon wearing niqab or burqa. We do not ordinarily allow people here to enter banks, courts and various other forums with their faces covered, and quite rightly too. If I went to Saudi Arabia (friend of the US) or Iran (enemy of the US) I would have to wear what their law directs on pain of serious punishment. I recommend that Muslim women here respect our law and our culture. Hijab is quite enough. It identifies you as Muslim, it is modest and it adequately fulfils any constraints that might be inferred from the direction of the Quran.

6 comments:

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Jolly good post, Lambcut.

bustedblonde said...

you should have been a guest onh both Campbell live and Close Up 2nite - superb post!

Otagodave said...

we live in a narrow world i think its easy talk with out thinking, good post

Rat said...

I think in some cases, the Burka should be compulsory.

Lambcut said...

My esteemed husband Duke Nukem agrees with you Rat.

Anonymous said...

A burka for the Clarkinista would be an improvement