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'Ban the Burqa'

An cross examination into the worldwide call to ban the burqa.
by

Michelle Burk

on 10 June 2010

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Transcript of 'Ban the Burqa'

The following study attempts to analyze the contrasting opinions for the international call to ban the wearing of the burqa. It is through such cross-examination do I hope to inform the audience, leaving the ethical decision of what is right and what is wrong to the respondent and not the informer.
Introduction The burqa or niqab is a traditional Islamic garment that covers the face and body of a woman.

The wearing of the burqa has recently been the subject of a contentious debate, calling for the symbolic veil to be banned.

It is common belief that the ‘scare campaign’ of the burqa began with the terrorist attack of 9/11, leading the world into an international dispute over the burqa, the “most powerful and visible Muslim symbol”.

The international debate has brought with it varying political, social and cultural opinions, further sensationalized by the world media.
'Ban the Burqa' A brief introduction, along with supporting context and causation. A brief history of the burqa. An examination into the argument FOR the banning of the burqa. An examination into the argument AGAINST the banning of the burqa. Concluding principles framing the banning. A brief history of the burqa, along with current legislative restrictions opposing Islamic culture. Whilst the burqa is reflective of Islamic faith, its history predates Islam – with the Assyrian Empire in 5000BC being the earliest known instance of veiling.

The burqa is a reflection of the Koran and its religion in calling for modesty.

Interpretations of such passages have been subject of heavy debates.

It is a mark of respectability, as well as social status and class.

The Taliban exploited its use, enforcing its wearing as law – turning a religious and cultural custom into a symbol of oppression and political affiliation.

At present the hijab (head scarf) has replaced the popularity of the burqa.
" Say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty ; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof. " [Quran : 24.31] Personal identification - primarily as a security concern, with extremists taking advantage of this.

The burqa separates one from normal interactions with society, depriving one of identity.

“Gender apartheid”

Concept of women’s rights and equality.

Increasing visibility of Islam within secular societys.
Repressive domination of men over women.

Misrepresentation of the Koran – many Islamic scholars argue that there is not a single reference in the Koran that mandates that women must be covered from public view. Islamic extremists exploit such misrepresentation.

Not consistent with secular culture and values.

Archaic. Loss of Islamic values – does it stop with the burqa?

Banning would cause an uprise of conflict.

Worldwide intolerance of differing customs.

Attack on one’s personal freedom.

Human/woman’s rights – violate the basic human right to freedom of dress, religion, thought and expression.

Constitutional validity – in the belief that the law should protect the right to practice one’s religion and its customs.

British journalist Dominic Lawson stands on the viewpoint that the banning of the burqa is similar to that of Hitler’s ideology.

Small minority.

Difficult to enforce.

Belief of a “racist push to evict Muslims” (L Chikhi, Z Abdennebi)

Is secularism more important that expressionism?
'Ban the Burqa' A cross examination of the contentious issue to ban the burqa. Rather than providing you today with my own personal opinion, it is within my aim to leave you here today with your own.

Key principles:
Key principle of human rights
Freedom of religion
Will the ban achieve its goal? What is the goal?
Would a bill that protects violence against women, in particular physiological violence – better protect women?
Is integration at the root of the problem?
The wearing of the hijab and burqa is not permitted in French and UK schools – however this is not purely restricted to Islamic culture.

Legislation within Turkey and more recently Belgium forbid the wearing of the burqa in all public areas.

Italy’s 1975 anti-terrorist laws prohibit anyone walking around in public with their face covered – as a question of public safety.

FIFA, soccer’s international ruling body, has banned the wearing of the hijab.

The construction of Islamic minarets is outlawed in Switzerland.

Draft laws are proposed in France to ban the full-face veil from public areas, with countries such as Canada, Spain and Australia further considering the ban.
AGAINST the banning of the burqa. “Freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one’s religion”
Unites States President, Barrack Obama "The burqa is not a sign of religion, it is a sign of subservience.
It will not be welcome on the territory of the French Republic"
French President, Nicola Sarkozy
FOR the banning of the burqa. Conclusion. 'Ban the Burqa' Introduction. The history behind the burqa. Current legislation opposing Islamic culture. Current legislation opposing Islamic culture.
Full transcript