Islamophobia alert: America, Germany and ... EGPyt?
Remember that this is a government trying to curb such groups as the Muslim Brotherhood which are pushing orthodox Islam which will lead to the collapse of Egypt as we now know it and which the population themselves rejected via the Army led coup that removed Morsi a couple of years ago. The Muslim Brotherhood was designated a terrorist organisation two years ago by the United Arab Emirates. Unless we are going to argue that the UAE are just a bunch of Islamophobes - which is what the British government seem to think - we had better admit that the al-Ikhwān al-Muslimūn and its teachings are a real problem.
The Egyptian government also argued against face coverings on the grounds of security and want a ban in public places and government buildings. Additionally the Express reports: "Member of Parliament Amna Nosseir, also a member of Egypt's Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, revealed the niqab is instead a Jewish tradition. She insisted "the niqab is not an Islamic duty" and instead was "a part of Judaism". And as we have seen, if there is one time-honoured way of turning a Muslim population against something it is to attribute it to the Jews, so it is probably not merely coincidental of her to reference them.
"She has argued that it is a tradition which appeared in the Arabian Peninsula prior to Islam and that a variety of Koran passages contradict its use.
Dr Nosseir added that while the Koran calls for modest clothing and for women to cover their hair, the holy book does not ask for women to cover their faces.
She said: “We seek to spread moderate Islam. Wearing the niqab in public has raised concerns in the Egyptian streets in view of the hard circumstances the country is undergoing.”
Parliamentarians in the Egypt Support Coalition, loyal to President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi, said the push for a ban is also based on religious and security grounds.
Concerns over security have followed a rise in militant attacks from Islamic extremists in recent months.
Alaa Abdul Moneim, a spokesman for the Egypt Support Coalition, defended the alliance’s anti-niqab move.
He said: "We are seeking to prohibit the appearance of masked faces in public."
The latest legislation follows a ban at Egypt's premier public university, Cairo University on academic staff from wearing the niqab in classrooms in response to complaints it was too difficult to communicate with students.
In January this year a court upheld the university’s ban.
The University also banned nurses and doctors from wearing it in medical schools and in teaching hospitals, arguing the ban would “protect patients’ rights and interests.”
During the national election in October last year, women wearing niqab were told they needed to remove the full veil if they wished to vote, in order to be identified.
So if the Muslims in the Egyptian government who say that they seek to spread Moderate Islam, can propose such a ban, how can it be that the German government should be criticised for bigotry for proposing a similar ban?
From the Guardian. German minister to propose ban on full face veils in wake of attacks
Germany’s interior minister will propose a number of security measures, including a ban on the full face veil for women, in reaction to growing concerns about violent attacks in the country.
A ban on full face veils worn by some Muslim women, similar to the “ban on face covering” passed in France, was recently proposed by Jens Spahn, one of the up-and-coming figures on the right wing of Angela Merkel’s party.
“A ban on the full veil, ie the niqab and the burqa, is overdue and would be a signal to the world,” the CDU politician told Die Welt newspaper at the end of July. “I don’t want to encounter a burqa in this country. In that sense I am burqaphobic.”
His position has been supported by the CDU candidate for the forthcoming Berlin state elections, Frank Henkel, who told the local Tagesspiegel newspaper: “I consider a ban on the burqa absolutely desirable.”
The ban on the full veil as well as the revoking of laws around dual nationality are likely to prove highly controversial and could run into legal difficulty.
Frank Tempel, of leftwing party Die Linke who is a deputy chair of the federal committee for internal affairs, said in particular the proposal to ban the burqa was “pandering to the pub room chatter of the far-right Alternative für Deutschland”.
"We’re a year away from a federal election and the AfD is of course taking lots of votes away from the conservative camp. It has nothing to do with traditional religious freedom, it has nothing to do with many principles that have long been argued over … But that does not have anything to do with the fight against terror or with … fighting extremism.”
Ah yes, those terrible right-wing Nativists. Just like the Egyptian Muslims. What terrible people.
Meanwhile in America we have the spectacle of a young Muslim woman who is making a stand for her Rights, by golly, and claims discrimination because she wasn't allowed to wear her Hijab at the dentistry practice where she was recently employed:~
“I was devastated. The owner told me to take my hijab off and he gave me an ultimatum. I could continue to wear my headscarf and no longer work there. Or I could continue to work there without my headscarf. And when I said I would not compromise my religion for that, he held the door for me and I walked out.”
The poor employer has a quite different story: “She didn’t wear the hijab at her interview or on the first two days of employment. On her third day, she chose to wear it because she felt that she would stay at the job and wearing it was part of her spiritual journey.” He was happy for her to wear the Hijab at work, it just had to be one that she left at work and used for work alone for hygiene reasons. Sounds like a nice man making a perfectly reasonable request.
As Robert Spencer observes:~
This is clearly yet another case of manufactured “Islamophobia,” designed to reinforce the idea that Muslims are victims, deflect attention away from jihad terror, and to compel non-Muslims to change their practices in order to accommodate Muslim sensibilities, thus reinforcing the principle that wherever Islamic practices conflict with non-Muslim ones, it is non-Muslim practices that must give way.
So where do practical considerations & genuine concerns end and hate & bigotry begin? Depends who you listen to.