Source: siawi.org, September 2, 2010
On August 31, 2010, A.I. issued a press release opposing the proposed ban of burqa in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
One could think that it is just following up on its previous appeals not to ban burqa in France, Belgium, etc… But it is not the case.
For the first time A.I. is not just justifying its position through religious rights, as it has done so far. Please note in passing that albeit several Muslim theologians have gone public in Europe to say that covering is NOT a religious duty, AI has repeatedly chosen to ignore their voices ( on what grounds ?) and given the floor to conservative and obscurantist voices instead.
But it is the first time that AI supports ‘ the right to veil’ as the expression of a political stand:
… ‘such a law would violate the human rights of women who choose to wear a full face veil as an expression of their religious, cultural, political or personal identity or beliefs’.
Hence AI for the first time admits to the fact that veiling in the heart of Europe in these days and times is a political stand. Isn’t it what we have been saying for many years? The veil under all its various forms, as a recent introduction in western life, is indeed the political flag of fundamentalist groups.
If one recalls the situation in Bosnia over the past few years, where strong intervention of fundamentalist armed groups into people’s life has been steadily growing ( for example: chasing young couples, or forbidding sexes to swimming together, etc… most of the time at gun point), supported by the visible presence, heavier by the day, of Saudi sponsored salafists, one knows that secularists and anti fundamentalist Muslims alike are more and more in danger there. But we are yet to hear AI loudly protesting this kind of abuses and attempting to protect secular people’s rights to chose their way of life.
Once more, under the pretext of defending human rights ‘for all’, AI picks and chooses whose right to free expression it will defend and whose rights will be ignored. This is no surprise to us as we witnessed AI’s persistently discriminating among victims for more than three decades now.
marieme helie lucas