This article by Sarah Hoenig spells out why it is in women’s interests that Islamic headdress be outlawed in the public sphere. The burka, niqub and hijab are symbols of male dominance over women in society. If we are as a society truly committed to women’s rights and sexual equality then this aspect of cultural barbarism must be broken. It starts with the law because the law is there to protect the invididual against pressures to which they have no other recourse.
“They got me. They caught up with me,” she intoned with a wry, wan smile.
At the beginning her husband was taunted about letting his wife parade about “promiscuously, like a Jewess.”
Then they called her a whore each time she walked down the main drag. She was harassed on the bus. Both she and her husband were threatened with physical violence. The straw that broke their backs were escalating jeers, sneers and bullying suffered by her nieces and nephews in school and even by her tiny children in kindergarten and at the playground.
“I was marked as a fallen woman. Even if I wanted to fight, I couldn’t bring shame on my whole family. My parents’ business was sinking into ruin because of me. So I gave in. I’m suffocated by the hijab, while my husband, father and brothers breathe free and stay cool… I hate this but I am scared,” she confessed.
“I can’t believe this is Israel, where women live like women do in the West. I used to take the hijab off out of town, but my neighbors come here too. They’re all over the place. People see me. Tongues wag.”