In trying to figure out whether the women depicted in the video are cool or whether cool is degrading/objectifying the Muslim female identity, we're clearly in a spin this week.
t's interesting to see the rise in male and female journalists indulging in burka cosplay as part of investigative journalism, which brings a new meaning to the term undercover journalism. At the risk of being accused of paralipsis, I don't want to enter the currently framed niqab debates fully - one key reason being that I believe males should tread carefully when commenting on female issues. But I do want to use the niqab to open up discussions that consider a wider phenomenon, which is driving the quest for cultural authenticity.
Instead of talking about or for Muslim women, our research puts the voices of Muslim women front and centre: to give voice to their silent and overlooked stories of discrimination, bigotry and hate, stories that for many are far too real aspects of their everyday lives. More real that is than the newspaper headlines asking whether to ban or not ban the 'burqa'.
The news that a terror suspect, Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed, had slipped past surveillance because he was wearing a burka has continued to make headline news. The media clearly has a love-hate relationship with the burka which some people would argue is based more on hate and is evident in the manner in which this story was reported.
As a white University Lecturer, I must admit that when Burquared students first started appearing in the lecture theatre, I was alarmed. How, I wondered, could I teach students whose faces were not visible?... A couple years on, I can now safely say that you get used to students whose faces are obscured.
I am definitely against the niqab for a variety of reasons: Many people see it as a visual proof of subordination of females. People in the United Kingdom see it as a rejection of British culture and refusal to integrate. One is tempted to ask why they don't choose to live in an Islamic country and enjoy their Hijabs and Niqabs unhindered and unnoticed.
Just a few weeks after the public outcry about Miley Cyrus 'twerking' in a 'nude' bikini at the MTV Video Awards the last two weeks have seen a similar public outcry gaining apace about the wearing - or more precisely the banning - of the face veil worn by Muslim women... In both settings it is interesting how gender has been played out, in particular the role of men within them.
Liberal Democrat Jeremy Browne's call for a national debate into banning the veil is yet another show of religious intolerance and disrespect for freedom of choice. Taking away the right for a Muslim woman who chooses to wear the face veil on her own accord is not giving anyone the freedom to choose how they practice their faith.