November 30, 2010

Veiled Identity

I am 100% for sartorial liberty. Most regular readers of this blog would vouchsafe for that. Full burqa is no exception to my position, even though I disagree with the assertion that it is a symbol of woman's empowerment, as some feminists have argued. There are, however, exceptional situations where wearing a garment that covers the entire face, barring the eye, can be dangerous. This story from Italy illustrates one such situation —

Italy: Turin official appeals to school board to ban burqa-wearing mothers - Adnkronos Security: A government official in industrial northern Italian city of Turin has asked the local school board to stop fully-veiled women from picking up their children at school because it makes it difficult to identify them as the students' true parents.

"Some mothers with children enrolled in the Albert Sabin elementary school in Turin have seen Islamic women wearing the full burqa picking up their children, and I have seen this as well," Marrone said, adding that the burqa made it impossible for teachers to "verify the identity" of those picking up minors.

I have personally witnessed an attempt to forcibly abduct a young child, and know of a brave young girl who prevented another with her presence of mind. Neither of the abductor was burqa-clad woman, but both were apprehended outside elementary schools. I shudder to think how these children' lives might have been, had these abduction attempts succeeded.

Permitting fully veiled women to pick up children is an insane idea. For obvious reasons, it endangers their own children by several orders of magnitude more. If these veiled women were caring and responsible mothers, they wouldn't insist on their religion playing with the lives of their children.

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