Saturday, November 18, 2006

Islamic Veil Continues To Spark Political Controversy

Wearing of veils and burqas by Islamic women continues to be a hot button political issue around the world. In the Netherlands on Friday, five days before national elections, Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk announced that the government plans to introduce legislation to ban the burqa and similar garments in public places. The New York Times reports the Dutch government is concerned that a terrorist might use such garments to get beyond security checkpoints.

Meanwhile, AFP reported today that in Egypt the powerful Islamic Brotherhood has called for Parliament to dismiss Culture Minister Faruq Hosni because of remarks he made critical of Islamization. In an interview published on Thursday, the Culture Minister criticized the growing number of women in Egypt who are wearing the veil. He said, "There was an age when our mothers went to university and worked without the veil. It is in that spirit that we grew up. So why this regression?"

The Montreal Gazette yesterday published an AP story, surveying the debate in the Muslim world, titled Veil or Not to Veil?.