Have you ever wondered why muslim women wear burqas? Don’t they feel hot in all that black? Some may say that it is forced upon them or some may say it is by choice. I have asked this question to lot of women, whenever possible and the reply is usually “Our buzurgs (elders) have decreed that we wear the burqa. Whatever their reasons our buzurgs must be right.” And in case of a snappy one, it is further extended to “we don’t question them (the elders). And you have no right to question us!”
Even if they had not understood it themselves, they _the muslim women _ were the custodians of male morality and so they had to cover themselves up to stop the men from getting lascivious. I am inclined to agree with French President Sarkozy when he said that burqa is not a sign of religion but a sign of subservience (with no offence to readers who may feel otherwise).
Women who were made to cover up were compelled to do so to safeguard male morality. If that is not case then why were women were stoned when they were the ones who were raped and more often than not the offending man tried to seek an excuse like, “She provoked me; she had uncovered hair; she was wearing revealing clothes, etc to justify essentially what was his own lack of character?
Similar thoughts were brought forth in a 2006 write up (which is still relevant to what is happening today) which supported then British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s call to Muslim women to refrain from covering their full faces while in public places. This is how I would have felt if I had been compelled to don a burqa or any other covering that went against my own sense of pride in myself and my self-esteem.
Burqa, purdah, ghunghat, and to some extent dupatta — these are nothing but signs of considering women not to be mature enough to live as they are, be as they are, and rather exist as means to ensure that our men remain men and not turn into beast.
In such a society, we should call for nothing but women-centric laws. After all, it is they who need protection, and that too from men.