The burka is a symbol for a totalitarian ideology that suppresses women, says Dr Elham Manea. (Getty Images: Aref Karimi/Stringer)
Pauline Hanson’s recent burka stunt attracted criticism from both sides of Parliament, but a Muslim scholar and human rights adviser says it’s the garment itself that’s offensive.
Associate Professor Elham Manea, a Swiss-Yemeni citizen and the author of Women and Sharia Law, argues it is naïve — even racist — to regard the wearing of a burka as a sincere act of faith.
(Religion and Ethics Report)
“The burka is not Islamic,” she told the Religion and Ethics Report.
“It’s a tradition that comes from the heart of Saudi Arabia, a region called Nejd.”
Dr Manea says the veiled garment was not worn by women outside of Nejd until Saudi Arabia’s Wahabi regime came to power in the late 1970s.
“The re-Islamisation of Saudi Arabia according to the Wahabi Salafi fundamentalist principles led to the mainstreaming of the burka,” she said.
“With Gulf money you had a promotion of this ideology and a reading of Islam that turned the burka into an ‘Islamic’ tradition.”
Criticising the burka, not the stunt
The Koran calls for both men and women to “cover and be modest”, but this reference is open…
click here to read the rest of this story