French Niqab Ban: A Clash of Civilisations

French Niqab Ban: A Clash of Civilisations
hijab-franceوَلَن تَرْضَى عَنكَ الْيَهُودُ وَلاَ النَّصَارَى حَتَّى تَتَّبِعَ مِلَّتَهُمْ
“And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion.” [Al-Baqarah, 2:120]

A parliamentary committee in France has recommended a ban on the Burqa – the full-face veil. The committee’s 200-page report has proposed a ban in hospitals, schools, government offices and on public transport i.e. a ban in public places. According to French domestic intelligence services in a report in July 2009, they concluded that only 367 women in France wore the Burqa! But that’s too many for the French President Nicolas Sarkozy. He says the veils are unwelcome in France. France has been battling with the Muslim dress for the last decade.
In 2004 The Stasi commission proposed the banning of all religious symbols in public education establishments. The Commission was set up by then president Jacques Chirac to look at the application and strength of secularism in France. The banning of the Hijab in schools proved to Muslims and non-Muslims that France had a problem with Islam.
Why does France have a problem with a piece of cloth? Why is France considering legislating against what in reality is a personal decision by Muslim women to cover themselves? Across Europe anti-Muslim sentiment is running very high with nations such as Switzerland – the most insular country in the world banning the construction of Islamic symbols. There are a number of issues that need to be understood in order to comprehend the reasons why Europe is going to such extreme lengths against the Ummah.
– Capitalism has evolved into what it is today after a centuries long struggle to remove the authority of the church. Many thinkers, philosophers and writers lost their lives in the struggle to remove the arbitrary nature of the Christian Church in order to be free. The dogma of the church resulted in many of its adoptions that contradicted reality to be enforced upon the masses; any deviation from this was considered blasphemy, punishable by being burnt at the stake. This intense struggle eventually led to an intellectual revolution in Europe. European philosophers, writers and intellectuals made considerable efforts for comprehensive change in European ideas with the aim of uniting Europeans under secular liberal democratic thought i.e. Capitalism. Many movements were established and played a great part in the emergence of new opinions about life. One of the most significant events that occurred was the change of the political and legislative systems to the nation state. The spectre of a despotic monarchy gradually disappeared to be replaced by republican systems based on representative rule and national sovereignty. Hence Europeans go to great lengths to explain the ‘hard fought for’ values and that any compromise with Freedom, democracy and equality is a betrayal of European history.
– The first attempt to undermine Capitalism was by the Soviet Union who emerged as a powerful nation after WW2. The Soviet Union represented an alternative way of life, with an alternative set of values and at the centre of its belief system was: communism cannot coexist with any ideology. From the moment the Cold War began, Western governments attempted to subvert Communism to create a climate of fear within their own populations, which would allow regime change and military deployments alongside the diversion of massive funds towards military industry rather than domestic industry. The possibility of a nuclear attack by the red menace was used as a basis for an aggressive attitude towards the Communist Bloc. This was exemplified by the American hysteria through McCarthyism in the early 1950’s and it’s obsession vis-a-vis Vietnam and Cuba in the early 1960’s. The West defended Capitalism though creating a number of false images of the Communist bloc. Whilst the outcome of this struggle is history, the methods used by the West are critical to understand and was encapsulated by Elaine Sciolino on the 21st January 1996, in the New York Times: ‘The Red Menace is Gone. But Here’s Islam. the Green Menace.’
– After World War II Britain needed a pool of new labour and began advertising for jobs in its colonies. As the European continent needed reconstruction a number of other European nations imported migrants from their colonies. As a result of such migration European nations today face a catch 22 situation. On the one hand, they need more immigrants from the developing world to guarantee the sustainability of their economic systems due to their ageing populations. On the other hand, every additional immigrant in Europe is turning the average European into a more nationalist and less tolerant person. As noted in a 2004 report by the RAND corporation: “the sheer number of immigrants required to offset population aging in the EU and its member states would be unacceptable in Europe’s current socio-political climate.”
– The 1990’s witnessed a number of landmark events that contributed to the politicisation of the Ummah in Europe. Events such as the reaction to the publication of the Satanic Verses in the UK, the first Gulf war and Bosnia. Other conflicts such as those in Algeria, Chechnya, Dagestan, Kashmir and Gujarat increased activism while stoking tension. Then came the attacks on New York and Washington where Muslims found themselves unwittingly the minority group at the very centre of European politics. The bombings in Madrid and Britain turned the Ummah in Europe into Islamic extremists. This was epitomised by hostility towards, and suspicion of, Muslims. When Muslims with European passports were found to be fighting with the Taliban against European forces a debate began on the loyalty of Muslims in Europe to their host countries. Muslim European citizens were now seen as a people apart with a vision very different to what Europe had. 9/11 brought Muslim identity, values and loyalty into question and Muslim minorities all over Europe found themselves bearing the brunt of violence and victimisation as suspicion of them rose to disproportionate levels.
– The post 9/11 climate heralded the end of multiculturalism as a model to absorb minorities, integration into Europe’s values and beliefs became essential. The climate created by the West included open attacks on Islam, such as the women’s dress, Shari’ah, Ummah and Khilafah. Journalists, writers and government ministers justified the attacks on Islam through the use of freedom of speech. When Jyllands-Posten published pictures of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW,) Flemming Rose editor of Jyllands-Posten commented: “The modern, secular society is rejected by some Muslims. They demand a special position, insisting on special consideration of their own religious feelings. It is incompatible with contemporary democracy and freedom of speech, where one must be ready to put up with insults…..” André Gerin, the Communist Party legislator and mayor of Vénissieux, a Lyon suburb who initiated the motion to outlaw the wearing of the Burqa in France made it very clear what his issue is with the Ummah, which resonates across Europe, he said “The burqa is the tip of the iceberg, Islamism really threatens us.” Islam is the problem in Europe; all the various attempts at attacking Islam and banning symbols of Islam are in reality the West’s attempts at defending Capitalism. The Hijab, Niqaab and Burqa for the West represents Islam, hence wearing them is not just a mark of separation, but for many liberals, an open challenge to Capitalism – hence the hostility towards them. The French parliamentary report that recommended the Niqab ban makes this point very clear: “The wearing of the full veil is a challenge to our republic. This is unacceptable. We must condemn this excess,” the report said. The commission called on parliament to adopt a formal resolution stating that the face veil was “contrary to the values of the republic” and proclaimed that “all of France is saying ‘no’ to the full veil”.
– The West defeated Communism through subversion by creating a variety of lies against it with their own populations that would justify actions which would otherwise be considered unpalatable. They then exhausted the USSR through a long arms and space race which destroyed its economy. The West presented their economic system as the ideal system to allocate resources and won many communists to this concept, even though wealth inequity could be seen across the West. In this same vain the West is attempting to protect its ideology through subverting Islam. The West has successfully presented the Khilafah as inherently violent and linked the call for Khilafah with violence amongst its own population. It continues to propagate many of the Islamic rules as outdated and oppressive, such as the women’s dress. In this way the debate is restricted to Islam and for Muslims to explain Islam; this ensures no discussion takes place about Capitalism’s validity, just as the strategy was with communism.
– The French established a strong state in the centre of Europe through the French revolution. The Enlightenment began in France and as a result new ideas on the role of the king and the powers of the state emerged. Many French philosophers and intellectuals gained social, political and philosophical influence on a global scale, including Voltaire, Denis Diderot and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whose essay The Social Contract, Or Principles of Political Right and Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu described the separation of powers and were all a catalyst for government and societal reform throughout Europe. However today many consider French culture to be dead. Whilst France at the dawn of Capitalism was leading change in Europe, today most thinkers, new ideas and philosophers come from the US, this has created a very insecure France who has become very pessimistic about the future of the nation. This was the very reason the Stasi commission was created, to look at what has gone wrong with France.
– The French like much of Europe feel their way of life, which they already believe is in decline is being challenged by Islam through the wearing of Islamic symbols and through remaining loyal to the Ummah over France. In defending their ideology France has resorted to legislating against Islam rather than have anything in the way of an intellectual debate with Islam. The same can be seen across the Western world, the hatred of Islam can be seen by the constant attacks on aspects of Islam and lack much intellectual depth. Europe is going to extreme lengths to halt the wave of Islam in Europe through banning aspects of Islam, through forcing some to sign up to a code of values as in Germany in order to gain citizenship or as in the UK the need to swear allegiance to the queen to gain British citizenship.
– The attacks on Islam should be seen in a positive light by the Ummah across the world. The West is attempting to defend its deen of capitalism when a coordinated attack has not even been launched by the Ummah. Their attempts at defending capitalism rest on attacking, lying and subverting Islam in the hope of halting the wave of Islamasation that is sweeping across the Muslim world. The politasation of the Ummah will eventually lead to the Khilafah because political ideas always end with a revolution and government – this was the experience of the West. The emergence of the Khilafah is their worst nightmare, this is why the more Islamic the Ummah responds to global issues, the more intense their defence of their ideology takes place.
– The Ummah needs to stand for Islam, for all the lies the west label upon Islam they conveniently overlook the crisis they find themselves in. In the US one person is murdered every 31 minutes, raped every 1.9 minutes, assaulted every 36.9 seconds and one home is burglarised every 18 seconds. Both the US and the UK have the world’s highest rate of teenage pregnancies. 2 out of every 5 people are considered obese in Europe. Whilst Sarkozy attempts to protect Muslim women in France 3.2 million French citizens officially suffer from depression, 25,000 women in France are victims of rape every year, 400 women die every year in France due to violence, men are paid 11% more than women for the same jobs and 5400 women commit suicide every year in France. After over 200 years of capitalism Western societies are drowning in a sea of debt and social breakdown. Capitalism needs to explain why the world should adopt it, it currently has a very weak case considering its problems in convincing the Ummah to abandon Islam, this is why its defence of Capitalism is not through elaborating on its details but by debating the apparent floors in the alternative.
– The West has been able to enlist some Muslim in their attempt to undermine Islam, who unfortunately due to a variety of reasons aid the west in their campaign to demonise Islam. In January 2009 the grand Mufti of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Tantawi, said he would seek an official ban for the face veil in schools. It should be clear that the niqaab is one opinion in Islam with regard the women’s dress in public life. Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in the qur’an:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاء الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا
“Oh Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the woman of the believers to draw their cloaks all over their bodies. That will be better, that they should be known so as not to be annoyed.” [Al- Ahzab: 59]
Whilst there are a number of different interpretations of this ayah, when reconciled with other evidences the Burqa is one opinion, it is therefore an Islamic opinion. However this is not the argument of France or the West. Their argument is that the Niqab represents Islam and therefore is a challenge to those who believe in western values. Responding by denying the Burqa doesn’t just aid the West but is a betrayal to Allah سبحانه وتعالى when the West is clearly in a battle with Islam.
Various surveys, think tank reports and policy makers have all accepted that Muslims globally have rejected western values. A Gallup survey in 2006 concluded Muslim women tended to regard Western culture as morally corrupt and obsessed with sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. This represents a glaring failure on the part of the West who has faced no challenge to its global supremacy since the fall of Communism. This means the battle for hearts and minds and physical occupation represents a last ditch effort to salvage the emergence of an alternative system of governance. Thus defending Islam should always be undertaken from the perspective of a position of strength rather than a position of weakness.
It is in this context France is attempting to ban parts of Islam.



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