Of Swastikas and Burqas

Swiss fundamental Islamist Nora Illi says that there is nothing wrong with wearing a Burqa.

Technically, that is perhaps correct. Just like, technically, there is nothing wrong with wearing a Swastika, a more than 6000 years old symbol that represents a wide variety of meanings.

In the western world, however, the Swastika has become synonymous with Nazi Germany and the atrocities committed by Hitler and his henchmen.

Although I have never heard about them, the Burqa may have some real, practical advantages over other forms of clothing. Still, it is used for but one purpose: to convert women into property, to curtail their freedom, and to remove all individuality. The Burqa (and Niqab and – to a lesser extent – Hijab) are irrevocably linked to the institutionalized, systematic subjugation of women. It has come to represent misogyny as much as the Swastika has become a symbol for racism.

That is why it is not smart to openly defend women wearing that kind of garment. Supporting the Burqa as as viable clothing for women is about as smart as advocating wearing swastikas in Europe.

Context matters.