Bitter Battle of the Burqa Breaks Out Between Authors

From AllAfrica.com. South Africa Bitter Battle of the Burqa Breaks Out Between Authors.

A battle over the burqa or Muslim veil had two award-winning women authors so enraged at a writers' conference in Durban that one of them stormed out in anger.

The "ugly" public spat between Egyptian feminist author Nawal el Saadawi and South African writer Rayda Jacobs - both panellists at the Durban International Literary Festival - ended with Jacobs leaving the room.

The row was sparked when a member of the audience at Durban's Diakonia Centre asked whether Muslim women wear the veil by choice or not.

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Veils and Modesty Movement

There is an interesting couple of editorials and comments on the modesty movement in girl's and Women's fashions at the Atlanta Journal Constitution at: http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/custom/blogs/wo man/
for Monday, April 18, 2005.

Diane Glass says: "...My concern is why religious conservatives focus on the female body.

Forget Christianity for a moment. Take a look at other religions and it is easier to see the underpinnings of the Christian “modesty movement.� Modesty is not at issue.

Hassidic women shave their hair to adorn scarves or wigs out of religious modesty. Islamic women wear headscarves for the same reason. Both of these religious practices treat their women as property. These religions prohibit women standing out in any way. Their women don’t make the laws or even study the religious practices supporting their own subordination. They are owned.

Although the Christian modesty movement is the more subtle of female controls, it is still a romanticized form of control that persuades Christian women to take small pleasure in being lifelong babysitters to feeble-minded men. Girl’s bodies are “visual minefields� for men. So girls and women who dress provocatively are the guilty ones for inciting sexual violence against them. You can see where this argument leads..."

An interesting conversation, to say the least.

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