The Netherlands has banned the wearing of the burqa in some public spaces and many on the right are applauding this as a great victory. But is it really?
Think about it. Is it really a terrific idea to give the government the power to arrest people for expressing their religious faith publicly? Do we really believe that such a power will never be turned against other religions? Such as, for example, Christianity. Because let’s be quite clear – if it’s OK for the government to arrest a woman for wearing a burqa then it must also be OK for the government to arrest someone for wearing a crucifix. And if you don’t think this power will ever be used against Christians then you must have been asleep for the last fifty years.
The burqa ban is in fact a great victory for the forces of secularism. The aim of the secularists has been to marginalise religion, to make religion something that can only be practised furtively and in private. They have been waging war on religion and the burqa ban is a significant win for them. They have established that nobody has the right to profess their religious faith in public. They have established that religion is something that should be subject to government control and regulation.
My feeling is that many on the right are so blinded by their hatred of Islam that they are not seeing the real picture. Religion is under attack by the forces of secular liberalism. All religions are under attack. This is a war to the death. The secular liberals intend to create a world in which religion will be banned.
The Dutch Interior Minister Kajsa Ollongren claims that the ban does not violate fundamental rights, because it will enable Muslim women “to have access to a wider social life” because if they do not cover the face “they will have more possibilities for contact, communication and opportunities to enter the job market.”
This is quite sinister if you think about it. In fact it’s extremely sinister. What she’s saying in effect is that Muslim women should not be allowed to live their lives according to their religion. Instead they are to be pushed into adopting secular western lifestyles. Because naturally the government has the right to tell people how to live their lives, even to the extent of telling us that religion will no longer be a permitted part of our lives. Some of these Muslim women are evidently putting their families first instead of concentrating on their careers. But don’t worry, the government will not allow that to continue.
This has nothing whatsoever to do with immigration. You can be vehemently and passionately anti-immigration (as I am) and still think that the burqa ban is a very very bad idea. It’s another step on the road to feminist totalitarianism.