Thursday, 13 August 2009


The Oz `burqini` creating controversy in Paris is only the latest ridiculous idea about how Muslim women should dress.

In the first century of Islam, Muslims were relaxed about what women wore.

The hijab is mentioned in the Qur`an only in the concept of a barrier - like a Victorian screen- to shield wives from male visitors to the house. Khadija, the wealthy, independent wife of the Prophet, did not herself veil.

Unfortunately over the years, a pseudo-religious concept of the burqa arose in some Muslim countries, requiring women cover themselves from view.

But in western societies, the burqa and the downright anti-social niqab, is merely power play by women of whom many are Muslim converts. That they adopt this attire does no favours to women FORCED to wear purdah by dominant men, emphatically in the Pathan tribal areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. And also in Saudi Arabia.

I agree that this `Carole` (now petulantly threatening to leave France) should not be allowed to wear the `burqini` in a public pool. And comments by many Muslims indicate their agreement.

The Lebanese-Australian who designed the `burqini` for Sydney`s beaches claims it fosters integration, but it does the opposite because the wearer stands out as being Muslim.

Better to build a `women only` swimming pool, or to allocate a beach (not only for Muslims, but for all modest women) like those which exist in Alexandria and on the Caspian Sea in Iran.

Women only bathing beaches would also be a good idea in the GCC states where Arab women swim in their black abayas which float around them like an oil slick.

c.Christine Osborne.
Image: Pathan women on a carriage outing in N.W.Pakistan.

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