The Corner

Banning the Burqa

France’s recent step closer to a ban on the burqa, the subject of today’s NRO symposium, does not refer to the “Islamic” veil, only to a religion- and ethnicity-neutral “face veil.” Nor is the ban guaranteed to become law; there are several hurdles, including the skeptical European Court of Human Rights, still to be cleared.

France is not the only European country mulling such a ban; Spain, Belgium, parts of Germany, and Italy are also wrestling with this issue.

But prithee pause: On Sunday, Syria banned the Islamic face veil in universities.

Arab and Muslim countries with hard-won secular identities are also under attack by Islamists who want women to wear face veils. Jordan discourages it as something thieves wear; Turkey has banned headscarves in their universities; Tunisia has banned headscarves in government offices; Algeria has banned it for passport photos; at the University of Cairo, face veils are banned. Contrast this with Saudi and Afghan women, who are forced to shroud, and with Iranian women, who must wear chadors.

In the West, burqas are flags of jihad; in the East, they signify the rising power of political Islam. It is time for America to begin a national conversation about the burqa, here and now, before it is too late.

– Phyllis Chesler is the author of 13 books, including Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman and The New Anti-Semitism. She blogs at Pajamas Media and Newsrealblog.

Most Popular

Elections

The Media’s Bernie Sanders Makeover Begins

Just you watch: By the time Election Day rolls around in November, liberal columnists will be telling us that Bernie Sanders is the “real conservative” in the presidential race. Many among the center–left commentariat are struggling to come to terms with the likelihood that the Democratic Party will ... Read More
Elections

The Media’s Bernie Sanders Makeover Begins

Just you watch: By the time Election Day rolls around in November, liberal columnists will be telling us that Bernie Sanders is the “real conservative” in the presidential race. Many among the center–left commentariat are struggling to come to terms with the likelihood that the Democratic Party will ... Read More

Socialism . . . But?

For once, conservatives were ahead of the curve. American conservatism functioned as a political mass movement in the postwar era not because of the rhetorical gifts of its chief expositors (William F. Buckley Jr. et al.) nor because of the intellectual prowess of its best and most creative minds (ask George ... Read More

Socialism . . . But?

For once, conservatives were ahead of the curve. American conservatism functioned as a political mass movement in the postwar era not because of the rhetorical gifts of its chief expositors (William F. Buckley Jr. et al.) nor because of the intellectual prowess of its best and most creative minds (ask George ... Read More
Religion

Getting Real About Christianity

Charlotte, N.C. -- There were women weeping in a chapel here. One woman named Veronica was nearly inconsolable. She was talking about the crucifixion of Christ as if it was happening right then and there. She was feeling it. She was seeing it as the consequences of her sins. She was overwhelmed by the love of a ... Read More
Religion

Getting Real About Christianity

Charlotte, N.C. -- There were women weeping in a chapel here. One woman named Veronica was nearly inconsolable. She was talking about the crucifixion of Christ as if it was happening right then and there. She was feeling it. She was seeing it as the consequences of her sins. She was overwhelmed by the love of a ... Read More
NR Webathon

This Is Not a Drill

We may be months away from the most radical major-party nominee in American history. Bernie Sanders doesn’t belong on the Burlington City Council, let alone on the cusp of the American presidency, but that’s where the Democratic nomination would bring him. NR has jousted with socialists over the years ... Read More
NR Webathon

This Is Not a Drill

We may be months away from the most radical major-party nominee in American history. Bernie Sanders doesn’t belong on the Burlington City Council, let alone on the cusp of the American presidency, but that’s where the Democratic nomination would bring him. NR has jousted with socialists over the years ... Read More