The veil is a symbol of oppression
Denmark’s new ban on face veils upholds the rights of women—rights that are now under threat around the world, said Kathrine Lilleor. The ban, which went into effect last week, imposes fines of $150 to $1,500 on those who appear in public with their faces covered. It effectively outlaws the niqab (the head wrap that leaves the eyes exposed) and the burqa (the full-body sheath that has a mesh screen over the eyes) worn by a few Muslim women. These are not religious symbols, such as Christian crosses, Jewish stars of David, or Islamic crescents; nothing in Islam requires veiling. They are cultural symbols, and the culture is one that oppresses women. These garments are similar to the chastity belts that Crusaders forced on their wives before they “went to kill in the name of Christ.” I used to think such face-covering clothes would be shed once immigrants were exposed to our Western culture, but now, after numerous terrorist attacks in Europe, I realize that “not everyone shares our ideals of freedom.” Some Western societies are going backward, like the U.S., where the right to an abortion could soon be overturned by the Supreme Court. We can’t be so “hypocritically multicultural” that we tolerate having the abuse of women right around us.