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Burqa to no Burqa

Mike Ghouse, July 4, 2007



We need to be pro-choice, i.e., respecting the right of woman to make that choice and not impose on them or ban them for wearing. Who are we do that? We must honor every one's freedom to wear what they want to wear, as long as it is not obstructive to some elseísfunctioning. - Mike Ghouse

When the President of the United States abuses the authority given to him and violates the constitution and trust of the people (low approval ratings); when the Pope abuses his authority and utters words that create gratuitous chaos; when the Mufti of Saudi Arabia abuses by pre-empting Godís authority and issues a fatwa declaring another Muslim as a non-Muslim; and when people in power abuse their authority; the people in power over their family also abuse the imposition of Burqa as an instrument of control. However, not all the Presidents, not all the Popeís, not all the Clerics and not all the people abuse the privileges, some do and I estimate that to be no more than 1/10th of 1% . However a majority of people silently practice freedom and co-existence.


A majority of Muslim women wear the Burqa out of their own volition, there is no doubt that there are a few men who compel them to wear, and it is certainly an oppressive situation. When you take a principled stand, women are indeed oppressed by all societies, The insecure men; whether it is a Bubba, Mullah or a Prince, be it in China, United States, India, Brazil or Saudi Arabia, they all behave the same, take it out on their women and always prey on the weak or the dependent. They are the oneís that need education and not the Burqa elimination.

We need to be pro-freedom and pro-choice, i.e., respecting the right of woman to make that choice.†††

Burqa is used from the Shuttle-Cock format in Afghanistan to the Hijab format (a bare scarf in the United States , Canada , India , Turkey , Bangladesh , Pakistan and some other nations. The Original Islamic idea was for a woman to be modest in public places, hold on from jumping to conclusions, it is not only women, it is men as well. Men in most Muslim societies do not wear shorts, they wear full length pants, they do not go bare chested even in their homes. That is range of modesty in practice. For an average American to understand this concept of modesty, all they have to do is compare the society of a higher threshold where, some families walk around the house with barely any clothes on, but most American families have modesty, what they wear in front of their children, especially of the opposite gender, when their sister, daughters or cousins are around is not the same.


If some woman wants to drop the Hijab, she can, but she has to feel comfortable with it. It would be hypocritical of us to impose our values onto others, let alone our own relatives.

We have an obligation to maintain a balance in the society and it is our duty to keep law and order and faithfully guard the safety of every citizen. If we can learn to accept and respect the God given uniqueness of each individual, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

Prejudice against any one is one of the many sources of disrupting the peace in a society and it is our duty to track down the source of such hate and work on mitigating it. if we let hate mongers, hate sermons and hate lectures creep in our societies, we lose that desired balance in the society.


First, we have to believe that the societal balance begins with each one of us; we see goodness around if we upload good values in ourselves. It is in our interest to treat the world as one nation under God, one family and one people with liberty and justice for all. We are on the bus.

Another column on the topic in Feb:


Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of the Foundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio, discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He founded the World Muslim Congress with a simple theme: "good for Muslims and good for the world." His personal Website is and his articles can be found on the Websites mentioned above and in his Blogs: and .


He can be reached at .


Mike lives in Carrollton with his family and has been a Dallasite since 1980


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