As Lara Prendergrast, writing in the [U.K.] Spectator, notesthat the burqua "tests two liberal values:" the value that people should be able to wear what they want, and the value that men and women are equal. Prendergrast is against banning the burqa, a practice that interferes with religious liberty. However, she was fascinated by the spectacle women in Syria burning their burquas, which had been forced upon them by ISIS:
That said, I was intrigued to see photos which have emerged of women in the liberated Syrian city of Manbij burning the sombre outfits, including what appears to be a burqa, which they had been forced to wear under Isis control.
Some of the women smoke cigarettes, and the photos show men cutting off their beards. It is a potent symbol of their freedom. In our soft, liberal country, we see the burqa as an indicator of how diverse a country Britain has become.
These photos are a reminder that strict Islamic dress can be used as a tool of oppression. Given the chance, I wonder how many British women would also like to burn their burqas?
Fixated on the shortcomings of our culture, multiculturalism has a hard time dealing with illiberal aspects of other cultures. That is why this small vignette is so interesting.
These women's decision to burn genuine articles of repression makes quite a contrast with some of the highly unserious antics of early feminism in the U.S., doesn't it?