Thursday, December 21, 2006

Putting on the veil

Brendan O'Neill writes about the hijab on Comment is Free and gets it right:
When a woman donned the burka in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan she became just another blue sheet drifting through the streets, indistinguishable from all the other women; a nobody, a non-person, just as the Taliban desired it. But when a woman in Britain puts on the hijab or niqab or burka, she immediately stands out from the crowd and turns heads.

It is the Islamist equivalent of becoming a goth and going out in public with jet black hair and garish black make-up: you know people will gawp at you and wonder about you. That is partly why you do it. Those who claim that young British Muslims' penchant for putting on the veil shows the rising influence of radical Islamism, of outdated, archaic beliefs, are missing the point. The fashion for the veil is very contemporary indeed.

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