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German school suspends burka-clad students

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,...985601,00.html This case has caused a lot of discussion here in Germany this week. The girls in question are of Turkish extraction; burkas or chadors are not worn in Turkey, and head scarves are not permitted in Turkish schools or universities. In Germany, students are permitted to wear head scarves. Most German states don't allow teachers to wear them in class. A teacher who covers her head with a cap, wig, turban, etc., meaning anything but a scarf tied or wrapped under her chin, can get away with it. Mainstream Muslim groups here, primarily Turkish, criticize the wearing of head scarves as a means of making a political statement.

My question is, how do you distinguish between religious sensibilities and deliberate provocation?
post #2 of 20
The article made it seem like before the easter break they weren't wearing them, but that after they came back they had started wearing the burka. Did I read that right? How odd. It sounds like deliberate provocation to me.
post #3 of 20
Erinandseamus- You're right.
It also seems deliberate to me. There was an article in our student magazine here by a woman who spent several months in Afghanistan who spoke to many women who seemed to wish they didn't have to wear a burka. It is a symbol of the oppression of women, not of a religion.
That said, if these girls had worn burkas ever since they were of the age where you decide whether or not you want to wear a hijab, I would support them being allowed to wear it. I don't know if its deliberate provocation or not, or even if that would be a bad thing. But I don't think they can claim freedom of religion here. Freedom of expression, yes, speech, yes, but not religion.
Things are also very different in Europe, especially in France where they banned hijabs outright and then there were interviews with girls wearing cross necklaces, a clear violation of the policy the hojabs were supposedly against.
I wonder if these girls will grow up and look back on this the same way I look back on some of the misguided protests I did in high school?
post #4 of 20
I have to admit i have a problem with these people wearing these "burkas" around the face.
Its okay if they wear it on their head but not COMPLETELY cover their face.

These women shoudl show off how beautiful their hair is!
post #5 of 20
I hijab and a burka are totally different things. A hijab is meant to hide the hair and neck, an expression of modesty, which is very religiously important for some Islamic women. To many women, not being able to wear one is like being naked, even though in our Western traditin it seems extreme.
A burka hides your entire body, head to toe, and even your eyes are covered by a sort of mesh thing. It is the same thing- modesty, but often imposed by governments such as the Taliban and not worn by free choice, usually.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
And sometimes the burka, hijab, or headscarf is imposed by the family patriarch. That's the argument I hear from my Turkish relatives (who live in the U.S.), and Muslim students and acquaintances here: Such dress is not prescribed by the Koran, but by tradition. Headscarves are actually far more common in urban areas of Germany, and other parts of Western Europe, where "guest workers" have clung to old traditions for two or three generations, than they are in Turkey, which stresses secularism.
Although the school I teach at (junior college) has (had) a great many female Muslim students, none of them have "covered up". I do some substitute teaching at our local Middle School, and there are some girls who wear headscarves. Several of them seem to arrive early, disappear into the girls' lavatory for 15 minutes or so, and emerge without the headscarves and concealing clothing, and fully made-up. The process is reversed after school, so I really have to question how "voluntary" it is.
I'm against France's prohibition of the hijab for students, actually, but, as a teacher, and somebody who grew up in the U.S., with its separation of church and state, don't believe that teachers should openly manifest their religious beliefs, as that can be interpreted as exercising "undue influence".
Turkish students insisting on wearing a burka just seems absurd; it would be a different matter if they had been raised in Afghanistan.
post #7 of 20
I didn't say they should wear it, only that if they want to they shouldn't be judged for not showing their pretty hair.
Of course some girls would come to middle school wearing it, take it off, and put it back on again before they went home. Some middle school girls disappear into the bathroom, come back out wearing tiny shirts and short shorts, and change again before going home. Nobody wants to be different or be made fun of.
At this university, there are several women whose families are thousands of miles away, and none of whose friends chose to wear one, who wear one, so they must want to.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
There are definitely some women who wear it by choice, and probably a lot of minors. The problem that I have with it is that there can be severe sanctions for disobeying the family patriarch (and brothers) in matters of dress, social contacts, marriage, and so on. "Honor murders" are a common occurrence, for example - a girl or woman who escapes an "arranged marriage" (often forced) is killed by members of her own family, as her escape "besmirches" the family honor. Just going by what people who are well-versed in the Koran have told me, that's not in the Koran, but is imposed on females by the patriarchal tradition that continues to exist in many Muslim countries (and not just there) There have been several reports of teenagers being abducted in Iraq, and sold to the highest bidder, often from other Arab countries, Should the girl manage to escape, or be liberated by the police, she may very well be killed by her own family, as the "shame" "she" brings to the family is too much to bear.
Familial and societal approbation of "inappropriate behavior" is something that females in both Occidental and Oriental cultures have to deal with, but for many women, it's literally a question of toeing the line, or being maimed or murdered. So, to what extent does "choice" play a role? It really can boil down to "obey, or die", as I've unfortunately witnessed a few too many times. (For anyone who is curious, do a search of the Lounge using "Rascha", or "Rosa e.V.").
How can governments, or societies, decide what is politically correct, i.e., respectful of religious and cultural beliefs or traditions, while still managing to protect the "underdogs"?
An apology in advance - I've more or less reached the boiling point on this subject. I think that purported religious beliefs are being exploited to "further" simple male chauvinism. "Keep them barefoot and pregnant",
post #9 of 20
I think the problem is more the underlying issue than the physical maifestations of it. Any group of people who subjugates women, treats them like anything other than equals, is totally and thoroughly wrong. However, making it so that girls don't wear headscarves will only make that problem worse, because to the people who are making them wear it-- if it is not their choice-- will simply see that as the state wanting to own the women instead of them.
post #10 of 20
Great post jcat. Very sad
post #11 of 20
Quote:
It is a symbol of the oppression of women, not of a religion
That is completely wrong, sorry.

Quote:
The problem that I have with it is that there can be severe sanctions for disobeying the family patriarch (and brothers) in matters of dress, social contacts, marriage, and so on. "Honor murders" are a common occurrence, for example - a girl or woman who escapes an "arranged marriage" (often forced) is killed by members of her own family, as her escape "besmirches" the family honor.
Just so you know, this is not permited in Islam. In Islam women have ALOT of rights. Before women here could vote or own property, In islam they were able to do this ages before. Women have a right to say yes or no to an arranged marriage, nothing is ever forced. If people dont act according to the Quran, then they will be judged, because they are being unfair to the woman.


Yes it is true, some women are forced to wear this, but it is becase their families are extrimists.(example the taliban)

The Quran does not say we HAVE to wear a hijab, just to be modest, where you are in the world makes "modesty" different. For example If I go to Afghanistan wearing Jeans, a long sleeve baggy shirt and a hijab, they will probably give me a hard time........Wearing a niqab here, is really hard. Islam is extremely flexible and understanding, all this oppresion stuff is mumbo jumbo. Of course, if YOUR family was extremist and MADE you cove up, you would (in most cases) hate it and want to take it off. But Islam clearly states it is a woman's choice. We cover to be chaste out of Respect for God, ourselves and our husbands. Its really not a big deal.

So what if the suddenly came wearing the niqab? (face viel) It could, or could NOT be a statement. I tried the Niqab for a few months, and it was all of a sudden, theres no way you can slowly start to cover your face. One day I dropped by my husbands job for lunch and my face was covered.....yes it was a big shocker, but it was MY choice. I loved it, its very private and comfortable...........but unfortunately its way too much pressure living in my area and wearing that, especially because Im hispanic....when I would try to speak spanish to someone Id get this horrified look. So I might wear it again one day if we leave the country.

Ultimately, God knows your intentions reguardless of what anyone says.....If a woman wears a niqab for the sake of God, God will know, if its to make a statement or make a hostile environment, then God will know, and she will be judged. It's not our job.


Quote:
hijab and a burka are totally different things. A hijab is meant to hide the hair and neck, an expression of modesty, which is very religiously important for some Islamic women. To many women, not being able to wear one is like being naked, even though in our Western traditin it seems extreme
Just so U know......
I agree

Just remeber it's One's choice, if a girl sneaks behind her parents back and take soff her hijab, thats her problem, given the parents wouldnt be too happy when they found out.
Even in islam, there is alot of contreversy between women, wether its is mandatory or not, wether Niqab is mandatory or this or that. But the bottom line is what IS IN the Quran. If a woman is forced to do something she doesnt want to, the person forcing her will be judged.

Some infor
Hijab=Head scarfe, where you show ur face
Niqab= face viel, where you show ur eyes
Burka= entire covering , even the eyes.
post #12 of 20
"That is completely wrong, sorry."
Care to elaborate? I'm basing my opinion on many conversations with Islamic women, Persian, Palestinian, Pakistani, etc. And also on taped interviews done by a reporter who spent months in Afghanistan, which I watched several hours of. Even some of the men were of this opinion. Here is the article: http://burr.kent.edu/archives/2003/fall/index.htm

There are even women who choose to dress in something similar in America, such as nuns and some types of Amish. For the same reasons, modesty and religion. For some reason, the Islamic versions of these are viewed as oppresive to women.
post #13 of 20
I think its time for some pictures to make things clear!

Hijab: http://www.thehijabshop.com/

Abbaya: You wear this: http://www.alkaramdirect.com/acatalog/Hijabs.html and this http://www.desertstore.com/abaya.html

Burrkah (which I had never heard of until the war in Afghanistan): what you see in the news!

Niqab: http://simplyislam.com/iteminfo.asp?item=54035

Also check this out:http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?im...ial_s%26sa%3DN
You might find it interesting.
post #14 of 20
The article accompanying the last picture was fascinating. Thank you! So, basically, in some places women are executed over it, and in others women choose to wear it?
I think the family with four women who all have different opinions on it seems to represent the many views there are of the matter.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
That's an excellent article, Maria - very informative. I've heard nothing more about the girls' suspension, but I assume they're back in school without the burkas, as otherwise there would have been reports.
post #16 of 20
Nice articles I shop at the desert store lol.

Unfortunately, in some extrimist areas, people try to take the role of God. They have no right to execute anyone for any reason, it is not permissible in Islam.


Like I said before even women in Islam have contradiction to what is "mandatory" and what is not. It all depends where you are from. I just wanted you to make sure that forcing and mistreatment has nothing to do with religion, it is a cultural, or personal thing.

I tell you all of this, because I am muslim, and it really hurts when people misjudge or misunderstand.


If you have any questions feel free to ask =o)

Here's a pic of me and chiclet w/ my headgear =o)

You cant really see the color of it, but its beautiful, I have soe really pretty ones but I dont wanna show too many pics of me , its embarassing.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeilaLuv
Nice articles I shop at the desert store lol.

Unfortunately, in some extrimist areas, people try to take the role of God. They have no right to execute anyone for any reason, it is not permissible in Islam.


Like I said before even women in Islam have contradiction to what is "mandatory" and what is not. It all depends where you are from. I just wanted you to make sure that forcing and mistreatment has nothing to do with religion, it is a cultural, or personal thing.

I tell you all of this, because I am muslim, and it really hurts when people misjudge or misunderstand.


If you have any questions feel free to ask =o)

Heres a pic of one of my favorite hijabs and my Budgie he he
I do understand that "local tradition" is often sold as "religious requirements". I have Turkish Muslim relatives, and a great number of Muslim students, so this is always a "hot" topic.
post #18 of 20
you bet.........its never ending. I just stick with what I know and thats all, its very frustrating to argue about this subject. Hope ya like the pic, chiclet make sme look good
post #19 of 20
Thats a lovely picture Leila!

Yes I agree that there are plenty of misinterpretations of Islam and its better to read the Quran and come up with your own conclusions. I really think of religion as a very personal part of my life and I would never dream of telling anyone how to live their lives unlike some of the "radical Muslims".
post #20 of 20
I dont see this as necessarily anti islam but it does seem a little ridiculous. Regardless, I think a country has a right to protect its customs and traditions. Many Immigrants who come to other countries really have no right to complain about things like this, they didnt have to immigrate. I wouldnt dream of emigrating to a foreign country and pushing my values and customs on others in the country. In the US we are going through great turmoil with our Immigrations policies becauase many that are illiegally and legally coming here are refusing to integrate to our society. I just think that a country has a right to protect its culture and traditions. I like the way the dutch are doing it, if you want to emigrate, you have to watch a video that many in the non-european world would find offensive. this ensures they only allow people in who will respect Dutch tradtions and customs. It is similar to Quebec passing laws to protect the French language. Countries have a right to determine who can come to their contry and how they will act once in their society.
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