Comments from MELANIE PHILLIPS on The Corner at NRO:
The French banning of the burqa has provoked near-hysteria in Britain, where government ministers have rushed to say that banning it would be “un-British” and even that it is a “woman’s right” to wear it. But the issue here is not the rights or feelings of the woman beneath it. The point is the threat it represents to everyone else.
Wearing the burqa is not a religious right: Islam merely requires women to be modestly covered. The burqa is an act of religious war. It is a political symbol, designed to intimidate others by sending the most visible signal possible of the presence of those who want to replace secular rule with theocratic Islam.
It is also an act of hostility towards human society. We cannot see the face, expression, and identity of the individual concealed beneath it, whereas she can see everything about us. It thus creates a radical imbalance of power and destroys the basis of equality on which human beings deal with each other.
Countries that have banned the burqa understand that the threat it poses is not just to the women it enslaves but to themselves.
— Melanie Phillips is author of The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power.