The veil a choice? Hardly!
- Posted by Maryam Namazie
- On June 19, 2012
- 66 Comments
- child veiling
ENTRY UPDATED and incorrect photo replaced with a video made by Reza Moradi and a quote from Mansoor Hekmat:
For those who are in love with the veil and keep going on about how it’s a ‘right’ and ‘choice’, here’s a video just for you.
Someone definitely forgot to tell the child it was her ‘right’ and ‘choice’. But then such terms are for western public consumption.
Like foot binding, FGM, suttee, and chastity belts, the veil is a form of control over women and girls. Socially speaking and for most, it is anything but a choice and a right.
And for children, as I’ve said many a time, it is a form of child abuse.
We say that putting a veil on the heads of children and adolescents who have not come of legal age should be prohibited in law, because it is the imposition of a certain clothing on the child by the followers of a certain religious sect. It so happens that the defence of the civil rights of the child and the child’s right to choose (not an absolute in itself) require that this imposition be legally prevented. The child has no religion, tradition and prejudices. She has not joined any religious sect. She is a new human being who, by accident and irrespective of her will has been born into a family with specific religion, tradition, and prejudices. It is indeed the task of society to neutralise the negative effects of this blind lottery. Society is duty-bound to provide fair and equal living conditions for children, their growth and development, and their active participation in social life. Anybody who should try to block the normal social life of a child, exactly like those who would want to physically violate a child according to their own culture, religion, or personal or collective complexes, should be confronted with the firm barrier of the law and the serious reaction of society. No nine year old girl chooses to be married, sexually mutilated, serve as house maid and cook for the male members of the family, and be deprived of exercise, education, and play. The child grows up in the family and in society according to established customs, traditions, and regulations, and automatically learns to accept these ideas and customs as the norms of life. To speak of the choice of the Islamic veil by the child herself is a ridiculous joke. Anyone who presents the mechanism of the veiling of a kindergarten-age girl as her own ‘democratic choice’ either comes from outer space, or is a hypocrite who does not deserve to participate in the discussion about children’s rights and the fight against discrimination. The condition for defending any form of the freedom of the child to experience life, the condition for defending the child’s right to choose, is first and foremost, to prevent these automatic and common impositions.