Thursday, November 23, 2006

Tunisia - The War over the Veil in Tunisia

Some people think there's some hypocrisy surrounding the calls for banning the burqa while defending the wearing of the cross. The difference is that the cross is a religious symbol while the burqa is a radical Islamic political statement and not a religious symbol. What's more, the burqa is banned in several Muslim countries and most Muslim scholars say it has no place in Islam.

However, the most divisive controversy erupted not in Europe, but in Tunisia, where the government launched a campaign to implement "Decree 108," first issued in 1981, which forbids not only the full veil (niqab) in public places, but also the less restrictive head covering (hijab).

The controversy began with the state-controlled Tunisian media reporting statements by President Zin Al-'Abidin Ben 'Ali and his ministers against the head covering, in which they called it an "imported form of sectarian dress" - a reference to the growing influence of Saudi-style Wahhabism in North Africa.

Those on the left who try and defend the burqa are playing into the hands of radical Islam.

Here's what Muslim scholars have to say.

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