Segregated or integrated
Dear Editor: We all have a political/cultural bias; it defines our culture as distinct from others. Whether it is a rational discerning bias with reference to a moral compass, or one of emotional blind faith extremism, is an enduring concern. Extremism promotes prejudice and divisiveness, where the end justifies the means; you are either for or against; bully pressure determines right. However, as with banal aggression, it may be justified as “self-defence” to escape recognition.
We clearly see the emotional blindness of the ultra-right and the “Trump Dynasty”, a blindness that says “ugly is beautiful” and “truth is fake news” and that sells lies as truth.
On the other hand, time for some self-reflection.
Our “holier-than-thou” attitude has led to strangely favourable views of ultra-left extremism; as if “two-wrongs-make-a-right”.
The Quebec ban on the niqab brings this concern to the forefront; legislation seeks to require full facial disclosure when seeking public services, court attendances, voting, etc.
Now we have the ultra left extremists colouring this as “racism”. Is it really?
Before deciding let us carefully consider the facts;
1. We are a society built upon face-to-face contact in social/business/government. Much of the sincerity of communication is measured by identification of person, purpose and attitude, with eye contact and a confirming handshake.
2. The niqab involves a full cover of a woman’s face, except for an eye slit. It is a foreign custom, part of the ultra-conservative doctrine of Sharia law, where women have long been regarded as property.
3. Sharia law is not recognized in any Western democratic societies because of its draconian disregard and oppression of women’s rights.
4. A dozen or more countries, including Norway, France and Germany, have adopted similar bans as that proposed by Quebec.
5. Many Muslim women are sounding warning (Globe & Mail, Oct. 24)
To quote The Globe article: “Recently I talked with (R.N.), a Muslim from Bangladesh, who describes the growing embrace of the niqab in Quebec and elsewhere as an enormously regressive trend.”
“It fights integration,” she says. She argues that guilt ridden feminists just don’t get it. They do not know what the niqab means and they should not be fighting for the right of women to self-oppress. And make no mistake: ‘the niqab means that men should not hear your voice.’”
6. Just because the law affects one group more than others, does not make it religiously oppressive; witness our civic holidays, and our Friday, Saturday and Sunday shopping laws.
You decide. Do we want a segregated or an integrated society? Ian Royce Sisett