Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Europe's Burqa Wars

August 25, 2005
[Weblog] - Daniel Pipes

Europe's Burqa Wars Nothing symbolizes the rift between radical Islam and the West so non-violently but pungently as the burqa, a full body-covering that covers even the eyes, which Westerners find especially offensive when located on their own streets. I will follow these confrontations from time to time here.

Our story begins with a news item, "City to Pay Woman's Fine for Breach of Burka Ban," a title that neatly sums up the quandary of a newly assertive Europe.

The city council in Maaseik, Belgium on December 27, 2004 approved the so-called "burka decision," criminalized the wearing of the burqa and the niqab (a face covering that covers the face up to the eyes) in its public places. Breach of the law carries a €125 fine.

Five women have been booked for this crime, one of whom, a young woman of Moroccan origin who wore a burka, has now been found guilty and charged the fine. Ironically, in all five cases, the women are receiving social security payments – and these will pay for the fines.

Comment: I would be hard pressed to find a more apt illustration of the self-contradictory nature of European policy toward its Muslim minority. (August 25, 2005)

August 30, 2005 update: The story gets more interesting. It turns out that the Maaseik woman not only refuses to pay the fine but also refuses to give her name or speak to the police or in any way cooperate with municipal authorities. And, it turns out, she is the wife of one Khalid Bouloudo, 30. A pastry chef in his civilian life, he is said to be the Belgian coordinator of the Groupe Islamique Combattant Marocain, an Islamist organization linked to both the 2003 Casablanca and 2004 Madrid bombings. In that capacity, Bouloudo just yesterday was accused in a Brussels court of aiding and abetting terrorists who carried off the Madrid attack.

Comment: In such circumstances, one can only wonder that his wife is making so much gratuitous trouble.

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