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Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Living in a Talibanised Society

There is a news article about a British Muslim woman who feels that veil is simply a tool of oppression which is used to alienate and control women under the guise of religious freedom and is calling on the government to follow the lead of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and ban burkha in the country. She feels that the veil restricts women. It stops them achieving their full potential in all areas of their life, and it stops them from communication. It sends out a clear message: 'I do not want to be part of your society.' This reminds me of my trip to Kuwait some years ago. While in Kuwait, I saw many women in burkhas. I knew that they were fashionable from their selection of high heeled shoes and their beautiful, smooth white skin that was laced with crystal bracelets and diamond rings. The eyes that peeped through that slit also had mascara and eye make-up. The women moved in groups and I would see them in malls shopping for branded clothes. On my way back to Mumbai, I was wheeled to my seat before the other passengers. I saw many women in burkha board the aircraft. But this particular woman had left a lasting impression on me. She had approached my seat, and confirmed it to be next to mine. Before sitting, she went to cloakroom. When she came back, she had burkha under her arm. The woman who sat next to me was chirpy teenager with a sweet smile and was dressed in branded jeans and noodle-strapped blouse.

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