Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
Banning religious garb is all the rage these days. The secular order must be maintained at all times.
The banning of Burqas and full face veils has become so popular, in fact, that even some countries you wouldn’t expect are getting in to the act. Recently, another country has banned the niqab, the full Islamic veil that reveals only a woman’s eyes, at all universities. Has Islamophobia taken over? Not quite.
Let the outrage commence! Oh yeah… Nevermind.
Let me go on record stating that while I do not care for the niqab, I do not support any government action to ban any kind of religious garb. Whether it is in France or Syria. That said, I do not expect to find outrage over the banning similar to what we have seen on European countries. Standards are so awesome, why not have double?
Further, I find that there is a refreshing honesty on display by Syria in issuing the ban. Countries around Europe have taken to banning or at least considering banning the niqab on the pretense that the garb is degrading to women. The list of countries promoting this lie includes France, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands. Yes the Netherlands, where young women are legally exploited every day in the oldest profession in the world, is worried that too much clothing is degrading to women.
Syria, as wrongheaded as they are, at least has the courage of its ungodly convictions. They come right out and say that the ban is intended “protect Syria’s secular identity.”
This is equally true in European countries. The niqab is an offense against secularism.
So too the crucifix. European courts, at the behest of secularists, have ruled that crucifixes may not be displayed in the classrooms of traditionally Catholic countries. This time Europeans do not pretend to be protecting women, but rather the delicate sensibilities of non-Christians.
Different excuse, same offense: Unacceptable public display of religious belief.
The only blasphemy left in Europe is secular blasphemy.