The Burkini Debate: A Business Tool Adopted by a Few

The loudest uproar about the burkini ban is emanating from those Muslim countries where women are considered 2nd class citizens with severe restrictions on what they can eat, how they can dress, where they can go and how they should breath and whether they can laugh in public or not!

Burkini is nothing more than a business idea adopted by ultra conservative Muslims striving to impose their will on a liberal democracy. Burkini kills the basic idea of going to a beach, get some sunlight, make some vitamin D, let the waves feel your skin, make some splashes, let the air breeze through your hair and have a relaxed time. If you don’t want any of that, don’t go to a beach in the first place!

It is very difficult to understand the uproar caused by the French government’s decision to ban the burkini. This was a reaction to the chaos and turmoil caused by the Islamic fundamentalist sect in the Muslim world and in Europe.

The fundamentalists are the ones who reject participation in the 21st century. They prefer to isolate themselves in seventh century ideas and dress; despite that no one is denying them the right to practice their religion in private. They don’t have the right, however, to invade the public space  and impose their ideology  and belief system represented by their dress.

Any dress is a culmination of a social experience  and a representation of its core values. The fashion worn in the 21st century reflects the progress of our thoughts on equality, human rights,  and women’s rights.

It is very difficult to understand the uproar caused by the French government’s decision to ban the burkini. This was a reaction to the chaos and turmoil caused by the Islamic fundamentalist sect in the Muslim world and in Europe.

The fundamentalists are the ones who reject participation in the 21st century. They prefer to isolate themselves in seventh century ideas and dress; despite that no one is denying them the right to practice their religion in private. They don’t have the right, however, to invade the public space  and impose their ideology  and belief system represented by their dress.

Any dress is a culmination of a social experience  and a representation of its core values. The fashion worn in the 21st century reflects the progress of our thoughts on equality, human rights,  and women’s rights.

The hijab ideology is why young Muslims today think they have the right to sexually assault uncovered women. This was demonstrated by Muslim immigrants gang assaults in Cologne, Germany, last January. Similar attacks happened in March in Sweden  and other European countries that took in Muslim immigrants.

To say the burkini ban stifles cultural diversity is to focus on the superficial garment, not the rape ideology it promotes. That also ignores the deterioration in every aspect of social & political life in the Muslim world since the introduction of this extremist ideology. This isn’t a choice of dress. This is a choice of a very specific ideology that has proven harmful to society.

To say the ban limits their religious freedom is also an invalid argument. Religious freedom means practicing religion in private without fear of intimidation or reprisals. It doesn’t mean people are free to impose their religious beliefs on others. Then of course the Islamic fundamentalist claims that it is Islamophobia, an accusation that assumes that they represent all of Islam & not merely one sect with extreme behavior and ideas whose time had passed 1400 years ago.

The French government’s ban finally shines the light on the glaring contradictions between the fundamentalists’ words  and actions. “Hijab” means to cover/to hide. Yet, they want to participate in every aspect of public life  and invade every public domain. Since neither the hijab nor the burkini is an invisibility cloak, we must wonder: Do they want to hide  and cover their women or are they using religion as a tool to make unquestioned political/social gains?

If we are to take into account the experience of the past 35 years in the majority-Muslim countries, we must conclude that Islam is being used as a means to an end. If the hijab or burkini had anything to do with modesty or piety, the Islamic fundamentalists would have sought private beaches, not insisted on forcing themselves on the public. But as they did before, they want to become part of the accepted social scene  and part of the new norm of the society.

The French government’s burkini ban, unlike Iranian laws that enforce hijab, takes into account the experience in Muslim countries where the introduction of a religious element into the public sphere led to the current strife.

The ban removes an element that has proven to be a corrupting influence  and morally destructive, unlike Iran where the law is based on an untested extremist religious dogma. The ban takes into account the effect of the Islamic fundamentalist ideology on future generations.

If hijab becomes an accepted public phenomenon, a modern society cannot teach its future generations that a woman’s dress is not an excuse for rape.

Islamic fundamentalists should be allowed to worship freely. Their beliefs must be properly defined as solely theirs. The whole society  and future generations must never regard them as acceptable or allow them to become part of the shared common public scene. All groups espousing ideas that veer off the accepted norms of a society isolate themselves  and practice their beliefs in private. Nudists have private beaches. Islamic fundamentalists should not be any different.

The burkini ban is an act of a socially conscious, morally courageous and responsible government with extreme prudence  and futuristic foresight. The decision to ban burkini has now been overturned by a higher court in France.

Partial reporting from The Hill

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