The veil issue again - reply to Tom

Lueko Willms Lueko.Willms at
Wed Sep 24 02:59:33 MDT 2003

in reply to:
# Subject: Re: The veil issue again - reply to Tom
# From: "Tom O'Lincoln" <suarsos at>
# Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 11:48:56 +1000

> Juriaan:
> >>In reality, I observed some socialist, leftwing, progressive and
> libertarian muslimas do cover their heads in public, others don't, 
> they just have their own style in it<<
> Exactly. I took a photo of the first Jakarta May Day rally 
> after Suharto fell, and there on the platform leading the 
> singing was a woman in a headscarf.

  I think this is the wrong approach to the question, the same wrong
approach which I found in the one discussion article from "Rouge" on
the subject. 

  It doesn't matter if wearing a scarf or veil is a sign of religious
oppression or not (and I think it is), or if contradictions exist in
the mind of a person exposing a symbol of religious belief (I always
like to remember the pictures of Irani women completely covered by a
veil, in their militia training with their Kalashnikovs, rolling over
the floor), but if the state, and a bourgeois state in this case, may
issue and impose dress regulations based on religious criteria. 

   I categorically reject such an limitation of the personal freedom,
especially of women, and of the freedom of religion. 

   I see it especially as cynical to impose a dress code on women
against their will in the name of "women's liberation". This is the
same as "liberating" Iraq by imposing a foreign rule by force on it,
complete with nightly searches, extralegal killings, and press

   Watch the news for the decision of the constitutional court of
Germany today in the case of F. Ludin, a woman born in Afghanistan
and a German citizen for many years, who was denied a job as a
teacher because she was wearing a scarf because of her religious

   In utmost cynicism, this repressive act was justified in the name
of "religious neutrality" of the state, and by many also in the name
of "women's liberation"; it was imposed by a state who imposes
religious indoctrination in the schools as compulsory subject (where,
sure, a pupil can opt out), which has religous departments on its
universities, where religion is not studied as a subject, but where
the art of religious indoctrination is teached, a state who gathers
the contributions of the believers as a tax for the churches (the
worst is, that unemployed get taxed for the churches, even if they
are not member of any church), a state who is deeply integrated with
the christian churches in many ways (while there is _christian_
religion as a standard subject in the schools, _Islam_ is not covered
the same way, even if a large part of the current childrens
generation comes from an Islamic background). 

   And it was ordered by a minister of education of the federal state
of Baden-Württemberg, who is the chairperson of the Catholic laymens

   There is no such order to take of necklaces with crosses while
teaching, and priests are not ordered to put on civilian clothes when
they teach their religion in the schools. 

   The spokesperson for the Islamic central council for Germany was
right in his interview this morning: when the constitutional court
would reject Fareshda Ludin's appeal and enforces the religious dress
code imposed by the state, this will amount to a "Berufsverbot", or
ban of islamic people from the profession as teachers. 

Lüko Willms
Frankfurt/Main, Germany 

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