Thursday, March 15, 2012

Norwegian Schools Preach the Wonders of Niqab

From Europe News:

Norwegian Schools Preach the Wonders of Niqab

FrontPage Magazine 10 January 2012
By Bruce Bawer

The news came three days before Christmas: The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has announced that the Department of Defense will now allow Muslim and Sikh students participating in Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) to wear headscarves and turbans while in uniform.

When I read this, the first thing I thought was: What?! And the second was: Since when does CAIR make announcements on behalf of the Department of Defense?

The background was as follows: a Muslim girl in Tennessee was told by her JROTC commanding officer that she could not wear her headscarf, or hijab, in a homecoming parade. She contacted CAIR, which in turn contacted Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, asking for a change in policy. And instead of informing CAIR that the Department of Defense does not take its marching orders from fronts for terrorist organizations, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army Larry Stubblefield fell right into line, writing a letter to CAIR assuring that henceforth JROTC policy would be different.

France and the Netherlands have banned the niqab, the face-covering veil, in public; the hijab is also prohibited in certain venues (such as classrooms and government offices) in a few European jurisdictions. But in most of the Western world, there are no laws against any Muslim garments. In many Western cities, there has been a visible increase in the number of women wearing these things in public. And there has also been an increase in the number of Muslims who demand their right to wear them in institutions ranging from the armed forces and police to schools and universities.

Case in point: a twenty-year-old woman named Aisha Shezadi Kausar. Kausar wears niqab. Last year her name appeared on an essay, "You, Me, and Niqab,” which was included in Utilslort (Uncovered), a collection of essays by and about Muslim women. On December 20, she was featured in a news report on Norwegian public television (NRK) about a nationwide project aimed at Norwegian children and teenagers. Kausar, NRK reported, is making personal appearances at various schools around Norway, where she presents her use of the niqab as a feminist choice. In the report, she was seen in front of an auditorium full of students, first praying, then talking about Allah, and then making her case. She’s engaged in a "struggle for freedom” and "fighting against xenophobia.” The only reasons for opposition to niqab are "prejudice” and "fear of foreigners.” At the end of her talk the students gave her a big round of applause, and the kids interviewed by NRK said all the "right” things about diversity and tolerance. Plainly they had not learned anything about Islam, the place of women in Islam, or what niqab actually represents. Their teachers had taken them away from their studies to be propagandized.

Who’s sponsoring this promotional campaign for symbols of female submission and subordination? The Muslim Students’ Association? The Norwegian Islamic Council? No: the Norwegian Non-Fiction Writers and Translators Organisation (NFF) and a group called Foreningen !les (the exclamation point and the small "l” are part of the name) whose official goal is to promote reading and literature. The premise of this sponsorship is that Kausar (the author, as far as I can determine, of exactly one essay) is an author and that they are sending her around to talk about her work.

In other words, Norwegian schools are setting aside time to allow their students to be fed pretty lies about Islam and niqab – and the country’s major organization for writers and translators is helping to foot the bill.

(If I were still an NFF member, I’d quit in protest. Alas, I already quit in protest years ago over something else.)

Who is Aisha Shezadi Kausar? Pretty much the only things I could find about her online were articles about hijab and niqab. The author of a May 2009 article on Nettavis, entitled "A hijab – is it really worth making so much of a fuss about?”, interviewed Kausar, then nineteen years old. At the time, according to the article, Kausar was not a wearer of hijab. Nettavis, which is a news website for young people, quoted Kausar: (...)

Posted January 10th, 2012 by pk

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