The full force of the French state arresting women in order to liberate them!
With bombs and bans both being used to enforce freedom around the globe, liberalism has become the Cause célèbre of the Western world.
Today Monday 11th April 2011 marked a very important date in the history of ‘freedom’ for the world. From this day any woman in France caught wearing a Burqa (face veil) in any public place will be fined and put on a citizenship course. Any person who is accused of forcing a woman to wear the Burqa can face up to 2 years in prison. Of course women aren’t allowed to re-adorn the face veil if it is found that there are no oppressive Muslim men pulling their strings because the French liberal state knows what is best for Muslim women. Liberty it seems must be implemented at all costs, even if it means through the sanctioning of draconian laws.
France has for the last few weeks been at the forefront of delivering freedom of a different kind hundreds of miles away in Libya. This time not through bans but bombs under the pretext of liberating the oppressed subjects of Gaddafi’s rule.
As is often the case the Western world hides behind terms such as liberty and freedom, veiling the true ideological reasons for its actions. Just as the ban on building minarets in Switzerland was never about architecture, and the Danish cartoons were never about a free media, the Burqa ban in France isn’t about dress code.
The real reasons are about assimilation and control. A Muslim woman wearing a Burqa in the streets of France is making a statement. “I am Muslim, these are my values and I reject anything that goes against those values”. This statement was made by Kenza Drider a 32 year-old who travelled to Paris from Provence to show the world what she thought about laws which force her to abandon her Islamic values, she was of course promptly arrested. The official reason given for her arrest and that of others was unsanctioned protest and not the wearing of a Burqa, make of that what you will.
It is this very overt expression of an Islamic identity which is not secular and liberal that the French, the Swiss and the rest of Europe have an aversion to. For the militant secularists of the world it is nothing less than a slap in the face of liberalism.
Just as the Muslims in Libya don’t need the bombs of the West to express their opposition to Gaddafi, the Muslim women of this world don’t need to be de-veiled to have a voice. Kenza Drider is not unique in wearing the Burqa and expressing her opinions, the Muslim uprisings in the Middle East are full of women wearing the Hijab and Burqa. However when it fits the Western agenda, a woman in a Burqa protesting in Bahrain, Egypt or Yemen is an apparent voice for the very secular democracy that then forces her to accept liberalism.
The actions of the French are a clear acceptance that they have failed to convince Muslim men and women of secular liberalism and now they are willing to go to any lengths to enforce them. This is not a victory for the French by any means but an acceptance of defeat.
And how striking is this defeat: The full force of the French state apparatus man-handling and arresting women in effect ripping off their face veil while crying “but we’re preventing Muslim men from oppressing their women”. Who’s the oppressor? Take a look in the mirror, France!