The government is currently talking about a masking ban with the purpose of preventing muslim women from wearing niqab and burqa. According to the politicians it is in order to protect these women from the oppression of covering up women’s bodies. But in Agita we cannot see how muslim women can be protected through discrimination. We cannot see how equality and forced undressing of women is related. We think that the masking ban is actually disguised racism, trying to make it look like an attempt to create equality.
We do not see the politicians “concern” for muslim women as actual concern for women – we see it as a way of passing on an imperialistic tradition. Laws like these are a method of undermining muslim traditions and value systems so that the West can take over and dominate. The burqa ban is a expression of Western ideas that Western culture is better and more free than Islam and that it is the duty of Western citizens to teach the rest of the world the “right” values – whether it’s by war, sanctions or laws of religious attire.
It’s important that we recognize islamophobia masked as feminism. Imperialistic rhetorics describe the West as a gender equal society and then Islam as completely oppressive of women. This is not the truth. This law is build on heavy stereotyping and generalization of muslim women and traditions. It supports the idea that muslim women needs to be saved from muslim men and that there is only one recipe for feminist emancipation – and that this has to be found with the Western women. Both of these ideas are antifeminist! It is antifeminist to see a group of women as passive beings who cannot think and act for themselves and therefore needs “saving” and it’s antifeminist to see “women” as a homogenous group of people who are fighting the same battles and have a need for the same solutions. Muslim women do not need saving and it is not Western women who have the universal feminist solution.
In Agita we think that it is up to people themselves if they wish to cover up or not! To call it equality or feminist to make laws about how women dress is a paradox. The masking ban is itself a masking of the government’s imperialistic, racist and sexist politics. Fuck the masking ban! The only masking that needs to stop is the masking of islamophobia as equality.