Islamist’s Campaign for Veiling and “freedom,”

the Ultimate Hypocrisy

 By Mahmood Ketabchi

mekchi@msn.com

January 14, 2004

 

 

          The French government’s decision to ban religious insignia from the public schools has the Islamists scurrying to mount an international campaign to oppose secular and progressive rules.  The Islamists are running this campaign under the rubric of “personal freedom, secularism, and protection of people’s privacy.”  But, they are lying for they never stood for these principles when Islamic atrocities occur on a daily basis in Islamic stricken countries both where the Islamists are in power or in opposition. This campaign is founded on sheer lies and demagogy.

 

          When was the last time that these hypocrites supported even the basic and rudimentary rights of women and children in Islamic imposed countries? When did they ever condemn misogyny, woman hating, and gender apartheid which their co-religious brothers in “Islamic countries” imposed on the society with guns, knives, machetes, whips, imprisonment, and stoning? Can they tell us when did they come to the street to oppose their beloved Talibanite brothers when they turned Afghanistan into a mediaeval, inhumane, and barbarian society?   Where did they demonstrate when thousands of women in Iran under Islamic rules perished under the barbaric punishment of stoning just because they had an extramarital affair?

 

          If dressing is a private and personal matter as the Islamists assert, why is it that it only applies to “Moslem women” who want to wear hejab? What about women who do not want to?  Can they wear what they like?  If yes, why didn’t they ever raise their voice against forced veiling in Islamic stricken countries, such as, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait….?  Can they prove to us that they have exposed and protested against Islamic gangs who beat women or pour acid in their face just because they do not observe “proper” Islamic dressing codes, just because they put on a lot of make up, speak loudly, laugh and smile in public or even shake hands with men?

 

          Let them show to the world when and where they opposed child raping and molestation.  Where is their outrage about Islamic marriage laws in countries such as Iran which sanctions the marriage and the rape of children and young girls?   Let them give us proof that they oppose the beating, harassing, and murdering of gay men, lesbians and transgendered people and that they are willing to protect their personal right to privacy. These are just a few questions out of hundreds that I have for the Islamists.

 

          The organizers of the campaign against the banning of hejab in public schools in France are the same people who have erected the machinery of gender apartheid, barbarism, and savagery in Islamic imposed societies.  Every conscientious person, freedom-loving individual, and progressive organization, who hears the Islamists talk about “secularism, freedom, and the right to privacy, should confront them with the above questions.  We must demand an answer.   Let them show us where they truly stand.     

         

          The kinds of lies they are telling us are familiar ones.  We should not forget the religious Right and the Operation Rescue gangs who attacked and bombed abortion clinics and assassinated physicians who performed abortions under the guise of protecting the life of the child.   Don’t anti abortionists claim they are staunchly pro-life?  Don’t we know how Christian religious gangs want to push prayers into the public school by claiming that they want to practice their religious rights?  Don’t we know how Jerry Farwell, Pat Robertson and other religious goons around Bush incessantly push religion into our lives under the rubric of religious freedom and personal rights?   We cannot stand by and let Islamic demagogues expand Islamic barbarism to our lives here or anywhere in the world.  

 

          Banning hejab and other religious insignia in public schools has nothing to do with banning hejab in the society or limiting freedom of religion.   Religious manifestations in schools, whether imposed by the government or religious industry, must be prohibited in order to create a free, creative, healthy, and lively learning environment.   Moreover, it is an important step toward protecting children from religious proselytizing and coercion, ideological conditioning and manipulation by religious industries and institutions.  

 

          Religious clothing for children is a clear violation of their rights.  Religious recruitment, teaching, and clothing for children must be banned altogether, not only in public, but also in private school and the society as a whole.  Children are not the property of their parents. They are human beings who have certain rights that must not be violated, including the right to live free of religious manipulation imposed on them by the parents and the religious sect their parents are associated with.  A humane and progressive society must provide children under legal age with such protection against religious and ideological indoctrination.

 

          Religion and god must be separated from the state completely and unequivocally, and public officials should be prohibited from symbolizing any religion at work and in government buildings and offices.  Freedom of clothing for private adult individuals must be protected as long as it does not hamper or impede their mobility and safety as well as the well-being of others in workplace and other public spaces.  Religion must become strictly and totally a private affair of the individual.   

 

          The Islamist campaign against the French Government’s decision to ban veiling and other religious insignia from public schools is an open and flagrant attack on freedom, women’s rights, children’s well-being, and secularism.  It has nothing to do with defending freedom. The Islamists, with the help of the Islamic and reactionary governments in the Middle East are seeking to expand and spread their inhumane influence and medieval political power in the west.  They want a share of political power in Europe.  The Islamists’ audacity to mount an offensive campaign has only become possible because of western bourgeoisie governments’ policy of appeasement, reactionary theories of cultural relativism and post-modernism that justifies Islamic brutalities and atrocities under the guise of respecting “diversity” and the “cultural heritage” of “Third World” people including “Islamic Nations.”

 

            The Islamists are mounting an attack against civilized humanity.  Today, they want hejab in schools; tomorrow they will demand Islamic courts as they are already campaigning for in Canada.   Later, they will insist on marrying four wives, turn women into subhuman beings barred from certain jobs, entitled to half of the inheritance their brothers receive, and considered unfit to testify in the court.  Maybe in the distant future they will want us to give them the right to stone their wives and daughters.  All these under the guise of the right to “religious freedom.”    

 

          Progressive humanity must stand up to Islamists who epitomize barbarism, misogynism, gender apartheid, the raping and molesting of children, and the complete rightlessness of people.  These reactionary dangerous gangs must be stopped now.  Tomorrow or the day after might be too late.  We should not allow them to manipulate and falsify the ideas of freedom, personal privacy, and human rights.  Such a travesty must never occur.