Yasmin Alibhai-Brown Says It

Anybody get the Evening Standard? Still got yesterday’s? Hang on to it (and if you feel so inclined, scan an article in it and send it to me). A commenter at Harry’s Place says Yasmin Alibhai-Brown wrote a searing article yesterday.

She relates how a woman in a burqa recognised her…and having followed her home last week, begged for help. She took off her burqa to reveal horrific injuries to her face and body which were inflicted by her father and brothers in their bid to control her desire for independence (She is a chemistry graduate from Bolton). She claimed that the burqa is being forcibly used to cover the injuries of many women she knows, and that her friend had been killed. “She took off her burqa to reveal a sight I shall never forget. There before me was a woman so badly battered and beaten that she looke painted, in deep blue, purple and livid pink, The sides of her mouth were torn – “He put his fist in my mouth because i was screaming” she explained.” Brown now has 12 letters from young British Muslim women with such allegations. She comments: “The pernicious ideology is propogated by misguided Muslim women who claim the burqa is an equaliser and a liberator.” She made a film for Channel 4 and met an entire class at a Muslim school in Leicester who told her that negating their physical selves in public made them feel great. Last week in Southall, Brown watched a woman in a burqa sit while her family ate – she of course couldn’t put food in her mouth. Brown rails against politicians who dare not speak out against this attack on autonomy and equality, and she finds even more baffling the “meek acceptance of the burqa by British feminists who must be repelled by the garment and its meanings. “What are they afraid of? Afghan and Iranian women fight daily against the shroud and there is nothing “colonial” about raising ethical objections to this obvious symbol of oppression..The banning of the headscarf in France was divisive.but it was also supported by many Muslims. The state was too arrogant and confrontational, but the policy was right.” She concludes: “Thousands of liberal Muslims would dearly like the state to take a stand on their behalf. If it doesn’t, it will betray vulnerable British citizens and the nation’s most cherished principles and encourage Islam to move back even faster into the dark ages, when we all need to face the future together.”

Thousands – I should think that’s a conservative number. More like hundreds of thousands of people who don’t like being brutalized, I should think.

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