Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ the burkini

Today’s Jesus and Mo strip is a good one, particularly timely, and speaks directly to the notion of the degree to which Muslim women “choose” to be covered. When a Western Muslimah (not one in Iran or Saudi) declares that she wears the hijab “by choice,” I never accept that claim at face value. Was she brought up wearing one? Did she go to school where other girls wore them? Are her friends mostly hijabis? This whole notion of “choice” in Islamic dress needs to be examined, yet I haven’t seen a single article on it. It’s the rhino in the room.

But I digress (well, not really, since this strip makes the same point):

2016-08-24

28 Comments

  1. vinovian
    Posted August 24, 2016 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    It would be “by choice” if some Muslim women chose to wear a bikini “by choice”.

    • Posted September 7, 2016 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      How do you know you’ve not already seen many Muslim women in a bikini (worn “by choice”) except that you didn’t realise they were Muslim women because they didn’t fit the burkini stereotype?

  2. Charles Jefford
    Posted August 24, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Professor Dr C.W. Jefford
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    5 chemin du Milieu
    CH-1279 Bogis Bossey

    Tel: +41-22-776-3693
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    Mob: +41-79-263-7905
    Skypename: cwjefford

  3. Nicholas Arand
    Posted August 24, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I have already said this in an other post comment, but it fits very well here:

    I think that banning burkini is senseless. It’s like trying to fight domestic violence by forbidding women from walking around with a black eye.

    • Posted August 24, 2016 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      An Arab woman, supporting the ban, claims that female-covering attire is a tool of the Muslim rape culture:

      “The clothes worn by Muslim fundamentalist women are based on seventh century beliefs. They say that a woman’s honor is directly tied to her clothes and a man is not responsible for his actions if he is tempted by a woman. This is an ideology that absolves men from any responsibility of committing the crime of rape and blames the victim for not protecting her honor by covering up. This old ideology was revived in the early 1980s by the introduction of hijab, a seemingly innocuous piece of cloth, under the guise of modesty and piety… The hijab ideology is why young Muslims today think they have the right to sexually assault uncovered women.”

      http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/civil-rights/292335-burkini-toxic-ideology-not-a-dress-choice

      • Nicholas Arand
        Posted August 24, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        I don’t disagree with that. We have to fight this toxic-non-sense ideology, but not by forcing women who are already oppressed by their family, or by their own ideology, away from our street and beaches.

        The parallel I make with domestic violence is not even a parallel. This is in fact a sort of domestic/cultural violence/oppression. Banning it’s public manifestation will not target the problem, it may even hide it. We have to find way of supporting the few people (women or men) how wants out. This king of bans may be forcing them in.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted August 24, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

          +1

        • Posted August 24, 2016 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

          Another +1

          The ban may indeed be a senseless, even bad idea. But I’m left scratching my head at those who’ve attacked the ban by defending the burkini (and by extension the burqa), claiming it is not a symbol of oppression, and that it is no different from jackets or long sleeve shirts or floppy hats.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted August 24, 2016 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        This is an ideology that absolves men from any responsibility of committing the crime of rape and blames the victim for not protecting her honor by covering up.

        As I’ve said before (and deliberately, to prompt people to USE THE BLASPHEMING Tee-Shirt (other formats are available), the “two Burkas” design kicks this idea in the nuts, then stamps on its face in a very appropriate manner.
        There are times, uncommon, when a kick in the nuts and a stamp in the face is an appropriate contribution to debate. Not as often as La Trumpette thinks, but some …
        Did anyone note that the slogan on the design is “Thank you for not provoking my uncontrollable lust”.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted August 24, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          I’d hesitate to suggest a “burkini parade” of ….
          No, why not?
          A parade of “WEIT-JnM” fans sporting an “uncontrollable lust” tee (other formats are available) in the most (or least) inappropriate positioning to ….
          I haven’t plumbed the depths for criteria. The line is still descending. But something to both preserve the (facial?) modesty of the be-teed uncontrollable masses and sear the eyeballs of the viewer.
          Who was the “Pink Flamingos” guy. Go downhill.

          I’m going to regret this. Not least because my “uncontrollable” tee is at the other end of the country in storage.

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 24, 2016 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. Abraham Lincoln

    • mordacious1
      Posted August 24, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Does that pertain to gun ownership too?

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted August 24, 2016 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        No, they just deserve to reap what they sow. In high-velocity lead.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted August 24, 2016 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        freedom is a different word than rights. Your reference to gun ownership is an argument for rights, not freedom. I could say you have the right to join the military and go fight for freedom. Another example – driving a car. That is a right, not a freedom thing.

        • mordacious1
          Posted August 24, 2016 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

          No, I have to disagree*. If you’re using “freedom” to pertain to choosing whether to wear a burka or not, then it should also pertain to choosing whether to own a gun or not. I may feel that I have the freedom to own a gun, but I also have a right to own that gun because of the 2nd Amendment.

          *If we’re defining freedom as: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.

      • Posted August 24, 2016 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        Since when have we ever enjoyed completely carte blanche freedom? Am I free to murder my neighbor?

  5. Dominic
    Posted August 24, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Everybody should also have the right to be naked in public, as we were born, but unreasonable states – without exception? – take a dim view of this. Why, I cannot fathom!

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted August 25, 2016 at 3:52 am | Permalink

      Agreed.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 24, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    “I never accept that claim at face value.”

    Really? I think that should be our starting point — our default position, as it were, until there’s sufficient evidence in a particular instance to reject it (same as we accept at face value ISIS’s claim to be Islamic).

    (BTW, nice alliterative elegant variation in the last sentence of your first paragraph, regarding the pachyderm in the chamber. 🙂 )

  7. rickflick
    Posted August 24, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I was just at a wedding last week where the biblical reading said “wives should obey their husbands”. It felt weird and archaic knowing almost everyone present had no such disillusion, most likely including the pastor.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted August 24, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      I hope I would have got up and walked out on hearing that. (An advantage of being single is not having to worry about embarrassing your partner.) It’s pretty offensive to include that in a reading if even the pastor knows it’s not reality for the people there. The Bible does have some good bits that could have been used about things like love and friendship and cooperation.

  8. Kevin
    Posted August 24, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    The attire is good for humanity in the short run. I cannot eliminate religion, but diversity helps eliminate it (*).

    As caustic and undermining as burkinis are they help Christians recognize that their beliefs are not shared by others. The reminder underscores the integrity and solidarity of faith.

    Where crosses meet burkas is where faiths finds challenges it cannot stand up to.

    (*) http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/religious-diversity-may-be-making-america-less-religious/

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted August 24, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      I agree.

      A burkini is a step towards bringing Islam into the 21st century.

      All progress is made in a series of small steps, and the burkini is one.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 24, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      As caustic and undermining as burkinis are they help Christians recognize that their beliefs are not shared by others.

      So … Burkinis are acceptable until thee 50%+1th person in $COUNTRY$ ceases to be a Christian, at which point the prisons and stoning-pits full of burkini-deniers will be released and will bound away joyfully across the scenery.
      When – if ever – will Christians become a majority in Indonesia (currently TTBOMK the most populous Muslim nation in the world), and how will Canadian (for a change) touristesses who are thrown into the scorpion pits survive until Indonesian Christians become a majority?
      The problem is religions which differ, not particular (equally contemptible) religions.

  9. Stonyground
    Posted August 24, 2016 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    The link about religious diversity is interesting. Speaking for myself, I was brought up as a Methodist, I started out as a Christian unaware that there were any other religions but Christianity. As soon as I became aware that other religions existed the game was up. To me it was absurd to claim that the religion that you were brought up to believe was true while the ones that other people were brought up to believe were false.

  10. Billy Bl.
    Posted August 24, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Female Muslim Mounties can now wear hijabs on the job. I’m OK with that despite believing that all religion and thus religious garb are stupid. Male Sikh Mounties have been wearing turbans (I don’t know the proper term) for years.

  11. keith cook +/-
    Posted August 24, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    … and then we get the French police walking around telling burkini clad women, what? your not showing enough skin, take off that burkini!
    This is not unlike the religious police on the streets of certain places telling women to cover up, with a beating for good measure.
    Meanwhile in France, but sir! Mr police I cover up as a sun shield I have sensitive skin and I don’t want to expose myself to melanoma… alright then, just lift the covering around your ankles, now your a legal swimmer.
    Jo and Mo above have shown the absurdity, I am in agreement, but are we not just adding more to the this farce?
    They may not have the ‘choice’ but they certainly should be entitled to a day out at the beach, preferably in what they feel comfortable in, if that means a burkini for now. so be it.

  12. Posted September 7, 2016 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    “When a Western Muslimah (not one in Iran or Saudi) declares that she wears the hijab “by choice,” I never accept that claim at face value.

    Was she brought up wearing one? – I started wearing mine aged 25
    Did she go to school where other girls wore them? – I don’t remember seeing a single headscarf in my entire 12 years of school.
    Are her friends mostly hijabis? – Nope. I often go weeks at a time without seeing or speaking to another woman in hijab.

    I’m not trying to ram my hijab down your throat or anything; I just stumbled upon this post and wanted to offer my perspective. I have a post about why I wear hijab if you’d like to read it https://muslimahmisunderstood.com/2016/09/01/what-hijab-means-to-me-my-explanation-to-non-muslim-family/


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