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Der Tagesspiegel - Germany | Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Defending the West with a burqa ban

The Belgian MPs have approved a burqa ban and in retaliation the chief of police in Tehran is reported to have announced that a harsh line will be taken against women with suntans in future. In both cases women's well-being is being used as an argument but that's not what it's really about, writes the left-liberal daily Der Tagesspiegel: "If the politicians in Belgium and other Western European countries were really concerned about women's welfare they would adopt a totally different course of action. They could empower women to make their own decisions by giving them education, jobs and adequate possibilities for escape. ... The problem is: such a model would be complicated, expensive and time-consuming. The solution requires empathy and patience. And commitment to women's rights would mean society finally accepting it when a woman chooses to veil herself, even if the majority doesn't like it. A vote in parliament in which they can all cast themselves as defenders of the West against Islam is the soft option."

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