The Lava Trolley: How far is too far?

The Lava Trolley

Or is it the lavatory???

...Either case, this little nook on blogasphere is the natural dumping ground for the sort of crap that erupts
when you find a wee Chink in the Britworks...

But hey, I promise you this is steamingly hot shit...which is probably why it's all looking a bit brown!


15 June 2005

How far is too far?


It is not my intention here to make a statement the way Hussein Chalayan did in his Spring/Summer 1998 show...


...nor do I want to launch into a debate regarding the ethics of veiling oneself from the world, or deliberate on whether the Chador is a symbol of eroticism.


No, my reservations regarding Burqa-wearing are a little more pragmatic.

I'd just like to point out that I have no argument against Muslim attire per se, and neither am I accusing every woman shrouded from head to toe of being a terrorist...The UK is a democracy after all (or rather, it claims to be), so we are all entitled to wear whatever we want, and to believe in whatever faith we so choose...within reason.

However, it seems to me that we can't have different rules for everyone.

I doubt I would be welcome in any public place (particularly banks, shops etc etc) if I walked around wearing a balaclava. Correct me if I'm wrong, but unless I'm sadly mistaken, the wearing of helmets is not allowed in petrol stations as it creates all sorts of problems security-wise. In times when identity has become such a big issue, and CCTV cameras are all over the place, is it wise that we allow religious conviction to manifest in such extremes?


With all due respect, Islam is not the dominant way of life in the UK. I do sympathise very much with Muslim women who encounter difficulties (of which there must be numerous) that alienate them from the rest of society, but it is hardly fair that the minority should have the last say in such matters.

Since the decision to reside in Britain (where they are, to put it quite bluntly, out-voted) belongs to these Muslims, it would be in their best interests to achieve some sort of compromise. They should be allowed to attire themselves in any religious garment on the proviso that facial features remain uncovered. That appears to be a reasonable concession. I fail to see how exposing eyes, nose and mouth could jeapordise one's virtue and chastity...let alone incite uncontrollable lust. Besides, as already explained, there are practicalities involved. In the real world, where so many cultures have to live together, it is just not possible to please everyone. At some point, one needs to draw the line.

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  • At 20/6/05 14:52, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If women must cover from head to toe and must not be seen with a lil bit of meat, these women are treated worse than animals, they dun cover up animals, right...women might as well be dead cuz they are non-existent in their eyes...


  • At 20/6/05 19:23, Blogger Charme said…

    Not necessarily...I believe this is a personal choice for some women who do it voluntarily, so who can argue if it is what makes them happy?

  • At 11/5/07 18:06, Anonymous Stacey said…

    I would appreciate it if people would talk wo a devout Muslim before making such assertions. This is not something new - just as there are slight (and sometimes not-so-slight) differences not only between various sects of christianity but even within the same sect - there are such differences among Muslims. There are 2 main opinions and they are that a woman should cover the face and the other that she doesn't have to. It is not looked down on by the devout Muslims to cover your face as those who do not find it obligatory regard it as mustahab (it's like something beyond obligation which you may do.) Long story short most of those who wear the face veil consider it an obligation and it is not up to someone else to decide for them if it is or is not one especially someone who is not Muslim themselves and/or is not aware of the reasoning behind things. It would be like me forcing hardcore protestants to hang figures and insist that they should disregard the 10 commandments and the story of the golden calf simply because I am catholic and my own belief is different. This is just an example -I am not catholic though I grew up so. I could make a number of such statements within the sects of christianity or between any 2 religions. You cannot assess without any study what a thing means to another. It is not for you to choose what works for other people and what God would accept of them and totally disregard their own ideas. I am glad you were good enough not to try and make it seem like an oppression of women to cover as every one Ive ever met including myself covers by their own choice and will. (I don't wear niqaab (face veil)personally but I find nothing wrong with it.)

  • At 21/5/07 22:26, Blogger Charme said…

    I do wish people would ask me if I've spoken to a devout Muslim before making the assertion that I haven't. Having grown up with them, I happen to count quite a few Muslims as friends.

    Since you've completely missed the point, I suspect you didn't bother reading the entire entry before going off on one. It was never my intention to turn this into a theological debate. The issue is more political / social rather than religious.

    I'm glad you brought up the subject of choices...As you have pointed out yourself, this is an argument that most defenders of religious freedom frequently fall back on...The term 'obligation' implies that somewhere along the line, a commitment was made...and in the process, coming to some sort of decision would have been unavoidable. Still, how a muslim woman chooses to interprete Islamic doctrine is of no consequence in this matter.

    This isn't about a woman's choice to take up the veil, but her choice to do so in a community that is unwilling to accept it. I doubt Islamic states are all that accommodating of dress codes which deviate from their customs, an individual's faith notwithstanding. (I think I might have already elaborated on this in another post.)

    My personal opinion is that it is very naive and irresponsible of anyone to believe he or she should be given full rein when it comes to religious practices, particularly when the lives of those around would be affected. Sadly, for a devout Muslim woman, her only other alternative is to walk out the door. In an ideal world, we would be able to please everyone. But this isn't a Utopian society...This is the UK.

  • At 28/7/07 17:07, Blogger Brunello said…


    I was looking for information on the topic when I came across your blog entry. However, when I click any of the pictures, I get a 'no go' from Flickr. Could you make larger versions of the pictures available?

    Best regards


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