Burqa not welcome any more

If human rights existed in Muslim societies, weak women would not be conned into covering up their beauty — and do so little about it.

Few garments in history have touched a raw nerve like the burqa. The Islamic head-to-toe dress has become such a contentious topic in the Free World that international governments have moved to ban it, with Belgium leading the charge. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that he would forbid visitors, as well as residents, from wearing the burqa in public because he found it “…contrary to the dignity of women.”

Modesty has never been exclusive to Islam. Jewish women shave their heads and wear a wig, while Christian women don hats as a sign of grace. But, the Orthodox Muslim female garb has transcended its own prudery.

Whether hijab the headscarf, al-amira the two-piece mask, khimar the cape-like veil, chador the cloak, niqab or purdah the face curtains or the head-to-toe burqa, the coverings evoke an array of emotions because they are the face of fundamentalist Islam — and a pebble-toss away from the extremism which inspires random acts of terror around the world.

To those familiar with Muslim society, the burqa is more than clothing. It is a public declaration of the yoke a woman must bear in a male-dominated society which treats her like a third-rate citizen. In the birthplace of Islam, Saudi Arabia, Amnesty International records that “…women face discrimination in virtually all aspects of their lives.”

Western societies are waking up and smelling the propane: Last week, Australian Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi called the burqa the “disguise of bandits and ne’er-do-wells” after an armed criminal wore one to commit a robbery. And, last month, Quebec Immigration Minister Yolande James stated, “If you want to integrate into Quebec society, here are our values. We want to see your face.” The blunt warning addressed a lawsuit filed by an Egyptian immigrant who was banned from her French integration class because her teacher felt that her cloaked mouth hampered the woman’s pronunciation.

Before 9-11, the burqa was ignored or romanticized but never reviled despite a succession of terror acts against the west from Islam’s nut jobs — including the 1972 Summer Olympics Munich Massacre, the 1985 drowning of disabled American cruise passenger Leon Klinghoffer, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 2000 suicide attack against the US Navy destroyer USS Cole.

That sunny Tuesday, though, blew the veil off a race and religion whose people were content to promote submission over freedom, and death over life.

Words such as “Islamophobia” and “jihad” became household slang and made us quietly inspect the women who looked like Darth Vaders as they trudged the streets in suffocating black shrouds; sometimes on a sizzling summer day while their male companions sported shorts and T-shirts.

The Koran does not mention the burqa, much less dictate it. That credit goes to twisted Muslim men who clearly cannot control their lust unless their better halves are kept hidden behind sinister masks and grim tents — a social policy which makes them mankind’s greatest oppressors of women, ever.