Posted in Columns and Letters

Our noble scholars have clarified that the face veil, or niqab, is not obligatory for Muslim women to wear in public. But we’re not going to discuss the niqab or its standing in Islamic jurisprudence; rather, we would like to point out the reasons why Muslims consider such legislation as an attack on Islam full-stop.

It’s as simple as this: the niqab is only worn by a few Muslim women, so it is identified as an Islamic practice. Therefore, its banning is considered as an attack on Islam.

However, we are told the real reason for this ban is ‘security’. Search online for the worlds ‘burqa’ and ‘robbery’ together and viola! You will find reports of robberies committed by men wearing the burqa as a disguise! We started to doubt our opposition to the ban. How irresponsible of us to support such protests!

It’s obviously irrelevant that fewer than 30 women wear the burqa in Belgium, a country with a population of over 10 million. We suddenly realised that the west is not at war with Islam. Quite the contrary, the west is very fond of Islam and Muslims. Indeed, the war in Iraq was really about weapons of mass destruction and bringing food and medicine to the Iraqi people – those hundreds and thousands of Muslims killed in the US/British invasion were all terrorists.

Similarly, the war in Afghanistan has nothing to do with a puppet president and a pseudo- democracy – it’s the west sacrificing its brave and noble soldiers for the good of the Afghan people. Tony Blair and George Bush and his fellow neo-cons like Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz are not war criminals. No, they deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for their work in making the world a more safe and peaceful place!

But there is a catch to all of this. We declare that we will support the banning of the niqab, but only if Belgium concedes to the banning of some other items, such as ski masks, Hallowe’en masks, President Nixon masks, Jason Voorhees masks, gorilla masks, stockings, paper bags, handkerchiefs – pretty much anything robbers have ever used to cover their faces.

At the same time, if France is so keen on banning all religious symbols from public life, then they should go all the way and ban croissants! Of course we would certainly protest a ban on croissants here in Ireland, because we like our croissants.

But on a serious note, we’d like our Muslim readers to consider this carefully: have you wondered where our so-called ‘Islamic’ countries are in all of this? We have seen our Messenger insulted again and again in the western media; we have all seen what happened to Iraq; and now we are seeing this ridiculous legislation specially designed for a handful of Muslim women in Belgium. Yet none of our ‘Islamic’ countries have done anything meaningful about these issues. We know why that is, but do you?

And what about the nerve-shattering silence from the west’s so-called liberal intellectuals who cry ‘freedom of expression’ when they defend the cheap and disgusting ‘art’ directed at insulting Islam, yet for some reason don’t find it appropriate to attack this banning with the same ferocity. Does anyone need further proof that the west is full of bigotry, hypocrisy and bias against Muslims?

As for the real intellectuals and decent influentials in the west, they need to hear our warnings about Europe slipping once more towards fascism with each passing day. Politicians and the media have created a culture in which far-right firebrands like Geert Wilders and Nick Griffin flourish and become popular with the masses. The niqab ban and the way it’s dividing communities against each other proves our point.

But this ban is also a distraction. Western governments can’t sort out the mess they’ve made of their economies, can’t create new jobs for the millions unemployed, can’t sort out the massive drug and crime problems that are endemic in their societies – but they can certainly ban the niqab.

Enough is enough! Get a life and leave us Muslims alone.