Thursday, February 28, 2013

Impressions of wearing niqab (the muslim face-veil)

From I Eat Sacred Cows:

“Because you hang your bum out, it doesn’t mean you want someone to stick something in it. And it doesn’t mean you want anyone to touch it – I don’t mind people looking but don’t touch. It’s like saying every woman that wears a miniskirt is asking to be raped.” – Pete Burns
Monday, April 11, 2011, was the day France banned the burqa or niqab, the Muslim woman’s face-veil. I decided to try wearing it for myself. Here is what I discovered:
It’s like a steam bath. I cannot “get used” to breathing with it no matter how long I wear it, although georgette and chiffon are said to be “breathable” fabrics. The most favorite reply to the question<”But aren’t you hot wearing that?” by Muslimas is,”Hellfire is hotter.” but I really don’t see how unnecessary suffering and inconvenience is a virtue.
Obviously, its wear restricts the woman to a low level of outside activity, since she not only cannot breathe well nor feel comfortable in the heat, but cannot do things like exercise and swim as her hijabi sisters would with a sports hijab or burqini.
It is akin to peeking out of a hole but not really being “in” the world, and less able to connect to people. We communicate with body languages, gestures and facial expressions that are subtle but powerful nuances of emotions and emphasis, that give color and character to our communication. It is creepy to be with someone whose face you cannot see; a covered face is suspicious, and the natural reaction is to be alarmed.

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