A Canadian Muslim, Tarek Fatah, agrees with the banning of burkas in Quebec government offices, schools, and other publicly funded institutions. He cites numerous reasons; this is among them:
I have no reservation in stating categorically that the burka is not just a piece of clothing, but is a symbol of Islamofacism and a rejection of the West as well as our cherished value of gender equality. The cruel reality is the burka castigates women as a source of evil (A’wra), condemning them to a life of isolation away from the gaze of men. Once veiled, they are marginalized, denied equality and made subservient to men. This leads to economic dependency, intimidation, violence and emotional abuse. Under the veil, the woman has no civic or secular identity. Her rights to make civic and political decisions are controlled and usurped by men, and by extension the hierarchy of the organized groups.
None of this deters Anglican Bishop of Montreal Barry Clarke though, who, after plumbing the depths of his Islamic savoir-faire, announced support for the burka:
MONTREAL – A bill that would bar a woman wearing a face veil from receiving government services is an attack on women’s rights in the guise of defending equality of the sexes, say the Anglican diocese of Montreal and the Simone de Beauvoir Institute.
In a statement approved Monday night by local clergy and Bishop Barry Clarke, the diocese said the bill erodes freedom of religion guaranteed under the Quebec and Canadian human-rights charters.
The local church body added that Bill 94 also unfairly targets women, since there are no men who wear the niqab, a veil with slits for the eyes worn by a small minority of Muslim women in Quebec.
“Obliging women to choose between the free exercise of their Charter right to freedom of religion, and the exercise of their rights to participate in society is odious,” the diocese said.
Also undeterred was the Simone de Beauvoir institute which has as its mission:
The Institute strives to stimulate the investigation, understanding and communication of the historical and contemporary roles of women in society, and to encourage women to develop their full creative potential.
There’s nothing that develops a woman’s creative potential quite as effectively as wearing a burka.