Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Lady and The Burqa

On a hot day recently I saw a woman covered head to toe in a burqa. Only her hands and eyes were visible. I couldn't help but think what a terribly inconvenient way to dress. It must be rather uncomfortable and no doubt leads to social isolation in countries where Western dress is more common.

So why did she dress this way? I suspect that at some point in her life, someone taught her that this was pleasing to God.

I wanted to reach out to her and tell her that she didn't have to dress this way. Whoever told her that dressing in this "fashion" was pleasing to God was just promoting one more untestable theory about religion.

But I remained silent. Social convention told me it would be rude to speak to her and that I needed to be tolerant of other people's beliefs.

I wish I had spoken to her though. I wish I had told her that many woman love God, yet dress in a much more comfortable way. I wish I had encouraged her to think for herself and decide if she really believed God wanted her to dress this way, or if she was just doing this because somebody had told her she should.

As thinkers and decision-makers, it seems that we should carefully examine all of our beliefs, especially those that are almost inordinately inconvenient to comply with those who cause great suffering. More on this in the next blog post.
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posted by Bob Fischer at

2 Comments:

Anonymous Joan Matanic said...

Recently saw Wadja which was an uplifting story about a spunky little girl who is determined to purchase a bicycle. What was depressing though was that girls are brought up to accept opression as a matter of life. And it's not just the men who are the opressors - but women too, the teachers, mothers and peers reinforce the oppression on each other.

November 1, 2013 at 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Maryam said...

As Middle eastern female, lived in the society that having wisdom and Thinking was forbidden(in last 30 years not in culture though), yet grew up in a family that was mainly based on wisdom and Thinking and making decision accordingly,and have been taught to be brave and express my idea and stand by that and accept the consequences as well ,can not relate to the woman with Burqua much, however, there are lots of women living in that area, even if they disagree with that idea but don't have choice of saying it out laud... and having Burqua on ,may not just be for Pleasing God, rather pleasing and being obedient the dominant males in their society and avoiding the harsh and cruel consequences.
Perhaps she was praying to get rid of that outfit in her dream though, and not have that courage to disagree with her culture (not necessarily religion) to Think in Silence and not out loud ...

Perhaps, we may look at the root of this subject (burqua and specially in hot weather)from cultural perspective as well rather purely religious.

May Human being transformed with wisdom and Kherad (in ancient Farsi means wisdom)

December 29, 2013 at 11:50 PM  

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