Pather’s Point: The Burkini Is A Feminist Bomb

From Syria to France, thousands of Muslim women rebel by unveiling their faces and bodies as the love of a religions has been tainted by the factions of terror on the basis of man made religious obligation.

The burkini, an obscure garment of interest only to a subset of Muslim women, has become the object of intense legal, cultural, and philosophical debate in France—and, by way of social media, around the world.

The Syrian town of Manbij have women that are taking to the streets to burn burqas which have become a symbol of fear and terrorist intent across the world.

The burqa has had its legacy degraded from a bastion of modesty and religious identity to a flag of radical political view, not only in the West but also in the corridors of Islam, the clothes that covets a women are now costumes that represent a female form as being shameful to be a woman and subservient to chauvinist and orthodox Islamic male persona.

Meanwhile, in France, Muslim women are removing their new fashion beach apparel, the “burkini” (the swim wear version of burqa). But this is not out of happiness for obtaining freedom, but by order of law. Three cities in France have recently banned full body swimsuits worn by some Muslim women on public beaches in Cannes, Villeneuve-Loubet and a Corsican resort, Sisco.

Here’s Gitanjali Pather’s view and as always she has a point…Pather’s Point

burkini ban

The French government’s decision to ban the “Burkini” which is a ridiculous label to begin with is really a message of hate and chauvinism. Their puerile defense of this ban is that the full cover costume is an infringement of the rights of Muslim women. Actually the ban is an example of hate, hate of the other, a demonization of Islam and a thinly disguised strategy to wipe out any overt assertion of being Muslim.

Muslim Women who choose to cover up on the beach … Are already asserting their rights to be in a public place, enjoy the sea while retaining their own value system. Many non-Muslim women wear full-length bathing suits for different reasons.

This ban stinks of an imperialist mindset that believes its way of life is better, more cultured, and more progressive. In the 21st century, what it actually demonstrates is a deep-seated intolerance, a complete disregard for difference and a colonial mentality. Donald Trump could be French.

Most amazing is the lack of any response (that I have heard) from the country’s social activists and feminists who are NOT Muslim.

Assimilation of the other is a sign of backwardness … An intellectual and moral shallowness that finds its strength in a superficial notion of “nationhood”. To be French is what??? Eating stinky cheese, sucking up snails, and topless bathing??? That kind of simplistic reductionism is at the heart of this ban. Makes me want to give up my taste for stinky cheese and escargots and Clarins.

The French pride themselves on their sophisticated palates, their culture and language. Nothing but a veneer. This ban emanates from the same crude and ugly fundamentalism that motivates suicide bombers.

I would be advocating protests outside French embassies all over the world if the ban were not so stupid and transparent in its racism. It would be like trying to engage Donald Trump or his supporters in a seasoned rational debate. Impossible.

 


About Gita Pather

Gitanjali Pather is the Director of the Wits Theatre at the University of Witwatersrand.

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