Socialist Worker

Racism against Muslims is unveiled

Issue No. 2211

Recent attacks on Muslim women wearing face coverings are simple Islamophobia.

How can this be a question of “women’s rights” when it begins from denying women the right to choose what they wear?

Attacks on the veil are about sustaining the fear of the “enemy within” during a time of war abroad.

Several European countries are discussing banning the veil or other Muslim dress.

In Britain Tory MP Philip Hollobone has launched a private members’ bill to ban women from wearing the burqa.

He has said he will refuse to hold meetings with constituents wearing a face veil.

But there are powerful forces against such moves.

The huge anti-war movement here has meant that the traditional left is used to fighting alongside Muslims, and defending their rights to religion and expression.

These “debates” do not just exist inside a vacuum. The right wing media and, in turn, racists on the street get confidence from this outpouring of ruling class bigotry.

More Muslim women will be attacked as a result.

We want a world where women are free to choose what to wear, without fear of persecution by the state or anyone else.

The left should never buy into arguments that one religion or another plays a special role in oppressing women.

We have to identify such propaganda for what it is – anti-Muslim racism and an attack on us all.

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What We Think
Tue 20 Jul 2010, 18:40 BST
Issue No. 2211
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