Letters //

Dear ‘Ban the Burqa’ Advocates

By Shayma Taweel.

Many of you have expressed concern about the oppression of Muslim women. I would just like to clarify a few things –

Have you considered that the burqa represents a different way of occupying public space that subverts consumerism and judgements based on physical appearance?

Are you the same people who verbally and physically abuse the Muslim women you do encounter?

1. Does your concern for the well-being of Muslim women encompass the destruction of so many lives resulting from the aerial bombing campaigns subjected upon Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Palestine, and now Syria? Do you care when the infrastructures of these countries are so devastated that the Muslim women who live there will likely live in poverty and destitution for decades to come?

2. Do you care that American, European, and Australian governments have so often sponsored the politically repressive regimes that have made life in the Middle East so difficult for several decades?

3. Do you care about the human rights of the Muslim women who try to reach Australia’s shores by boat in order to rebuild their lives after experiencing so much destruction?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of the above, please accept my rejection of your concern and refrain from false feminist rhetoric in the future.

Yours sincerely,

A Muslim woman.

Shayma Taweel

Arts III

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