Banning The Burka

On Friday, the U.K. Daily Mail reported that Denmark is preparing to ban the burka.

The article reports:

Full and partial face veils such as burqas and niqabs divide opinion across Europe, setting advocates of religious freedom against secularists and those who argue that such garments are culturally alien or a symbol of the oppression of women.

The niqab covers everything but the eyes, while the burqa also covers the eyes with a transparent veil.

France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and the German state of Bavaria have all imposed some restrictions on the wearing of full-face veils in public places.

‘This is not a ban on religious clothing, this is a ban on masking,’ Jacob Ellemann-Jensen, spokesman for the Liberal Party, told reporters on Friday after his party, the largest in the coalition government, decided to back a ban.

This would effectively mean a ban on the niqab and the burqa, he added. Around 200 women in Denmark wear such garments, according to researchers.

I will admit to having mixed emotions on this. I can see the need to ban face coverings for security reasons–terrorism is made easier by people being able to cover their faces and their bodies. It is difficult to distinguish a man from a woman in a burka, and burkas have been used by terrorists to escape. For security reasons, a ban on the burka makes sense. However, I hate to see any religious attire banned, regardless of the problems with it.

Considering the influx of Muslims into Europe in recent years, banning the burka is probably a good idea for security reasons.


This is irony at its best–it’s sad, but it is irony at its best.

Daniel Pipes is the president of The Middle East Forum. He is an affiliate professor at the University of Haifa. His bi-weekly column appears regularly in the Washington Times and in newspapers around the globe, including the Israel Hayom (Israel), La Razón (Spain), L’Opinione (Italy), and the Australian. His special interests include the role of Islam in public life, Turkey, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and U.S. foreign policy.

Mr. Pipes posted an article today on his blog that is totally ironic.

The article reports:

A local source in the Iraqi province of Nineveh announced on Friday, September 2, that the [ISIS] terrorist group has released an order, based on which no woman is allowed to be wearing niqab or burqa when entering the security and military centres. The decision, according to the source, came after some fully veiled women killed a number of ISIS commanders and members in the past months.

The article notes the irony:

(1) First irony: The ISIS rulers first require the burqa and then, realizing what a perfect cover it provides to attack themselves, ban it from sensitive areas. Should attacks on them continue, perhaps ISIS will have to ban the burqa from all public places, which would be quite a change.

2) Second irony: The most retrograde, extreme, and morbid Islamist regime on earth recognizes burqas as a danger to public security while the modern, moderate, and democratic states in the West remain clueless.

(3) Despite my frustration on this issue, I do believe it’s just a matter of more assaults and more time before Westerners wake up to this problem. But how many more must be gratuitously robbed, raped, and killed before that happens? (September 6, 2016)

It is time for the west to wake up to the danger the burqa represents. Even partially covering your face in your driver’s license picture represents a security risk. It’s time to put the safety of Americans before someone else’s dress code.