Wednesday, February 08, 2006

By gum, Begum!

Right For Scotland has a good post up about Shabina Begum and the origins of the jilbab.
For starters no one knows quite what a jilbab is. You see the Koran describes it as a dress to cover the dirty women who are menstruating during Eid but there are no corroborative artefacts from the 7th century to back this up.

The dress that Begum’s brother wants her to wear is simply a “best guess” by a certain sect of Muslims designed in the ancient year of – 1970. No one is quite sure if between the 7th century and 1970 Muslim women wore anything like this at all. We cannot even remember if the well dressed oppressed lady in 1969 wore anything described in the Koran.

But it gets better. Not only does this modern version of a dress no one ever remembers hail from the decade that style forgot, but that this was introduced by the sect called the “Muslim Brotherhood”.

Yup, the same sect that fought alongside the Palestinians against Israel. The same sect that is banned in Egypt because if its stated aim of imposing Sharia law. The same sect that attempted to assassinate Nasser in 1954. The same sect that gave birth (to among others) al-Jihad and Hamas. That is – a sect that is as fundamentalist as you can get.

He also, correctly, highlights the fact that the whole case has been initiated by Begum's brother, who feels that the school dress, itself a compromise between the dresses of three other religions, in not "modest" enough.

RFS also highlights the fact that Cherie Blair, apart from being the closest thing that we have to a human pillarbox, is also a filthy, money-grubbing hypocrite with morals slightly more grubby than that of the proverbial alley-cat. No, it's not news, just more evidence..,
Yet we find the Victimhood Pyramid® in full effect here. We have a girl who is being oppressed by a male member of the family yet that most famous of Her Majesties Counsel Miss Cherie “Blair” Booth is not concerned with the civil rights of a vulnerable girl but of those of her brother who happens to be a member of the favourite victim group. Booth represents the girl (on the orders of her brother) to get the jilbab accepted as part of the uniform yet speaks in a personal capacity on her years of fighting the feminist cause. As we must assume that she was instructed in the case and that she chose to take it on for the money it is highlighting yet another hypocrite on the Left.

So, quite rightly, RFS has a nice little pop at feminists in general.
Feminists have been remarkably quite over the abhorrent treatment of women in Islamic society. They are constantly whining about glass ceilings and maternity pay yet have yet to say anything of any note on how half a billion men in the world treat their women on instructions from their holy book.

It's because they are too busy money-grubbing, RFS. Feminism was always an "it's about me" religion anyway, related to socialism in that it is a "I want what that person's got" movement*. Given the stark choice between campaigning for more of the filthy lucre and campaigning against the filthy Islamofascist religious practices, naturally they will go for the one which provides a return on the effort expended.

Besides, it's so difficult for oppressed groups to fight against other oppressed groups, especally if the latter are a minority: look at Tatchell's inability to understand Sir Sick-ball Sacranie's pronouncements on gays.
Mr Tatchell, the founder of OutRage!, added: "Both the Muslim and gay communities suffer prejudice and discrimination. We should stand together to fight Islamophobia and homophobia."

Anyway, finally RFS lays out the bare facts.
Meanwhile a girl is fighting to wear the religious garb of a fascist organisation in a public building.

Which cause should right-thinking liberals be throwing their weight behind?

Which side indeed?

* Braces himself for attack by many thousands of handbags...


Katy Newton said...

Bit harsh on the feminists there, DK. I'm a feminist because I believe in equal rights for men and women and that includes equal pay for equal work. I didn't realise that was controversial.

Women's magazines - when they aren't trying to teach their fifteen-year-old readership how to give the perfect blow job - do still try to publicise abuse of women in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Take a look at Marie Claire, for example, it reports on a different women's issue abroad each month. Issues like forced marriages and failure to educate women in those countries are often reported on in the context of countries under Islamic law too. I assume that these issues are not reported more widely either because people as a whole aren't that interested or because the press is afraid of the articles being interpreted as Islamophobic. Or whatever-phobic.

Andrew Field said...

oh come on DK, I want what they got? What, like the right to earn the same amount for doing the same job as a man?

Of course it's an I want what they got movement, just like those I-want-what-they-got blacks and their demands for freedom back in the good ol' days, eh?

Handbags deservedly a the ready.

Anonymous said...

DK, I read the case in the Court of Appeal last year.

What was not realised by the vast majority of people commenting on it at the time was that the Court did not rule that Begum should have been permitted to wear the jilbab. Indeed, the Court envisaged circumstances where the school could legitimately refuse to admit her, were she to wear it.

The problem for the Court was that the school did not follow a chain of reasoning which it believed was required by the blessed Human Rights Act. And no surprise.

The questions which the school authorities "should" have asked, in order to be HRA compliant, were as follows:-

1) Has Begum established that she has a relevant [European] Convention right which qualifies for protection under Article 9(1)?

2) Subject to any justification that is established under Article 9(2), has that Convention right been violated?

3) Was the interference with her Convention right prescribed by law in the Convention sense of that expression?

4) Did the interference have a legitimate aim?

5) What are the considerations that need to be balanced against each other when determining whether the interference was necessary in a democratic society for the purpose of achieving that aim?

6) Was the interference justified under Article 9(2)?

As the Court concluded, "The School did not approach the matter in this way at all."

Well, what do they expect? Would you, as an ordinary school govenor or head teacher, have known that you had to go through that load of old gobbledegook?

The real scandal in all this (or at least, one of the real scandals) is the complete mockery that New Labour's Human Rights Act is making of the traditions of common sense, fair play and England's common law which have underpinned this country's legal and civic order for centuries.

Damn the lot of it.

But will DC have the balls to rip the whole thing up? Sadly, I'm not holding my breath...

Devil's Kitchen said...

JT: no, he has no balls; El Gordo has 'em.

Katy and Judas: well, Andy, you should know me well enough that I was stirring; what can I say? I was in a mischievious mood this morning... On a more serious note, however:

KN: "I'm a feminist because I believe in equal rights for men and women and that includes equal pay for equal work."
TJ: "What, like the right to earn the same amount for doing the same job as a man?"

No, sorry. I have discussed this before, but people are employed on a current and future earnings basis. They are also paid on the basis of future liability. Now, I don't know how many women don't have children, but I would guess that it is a minority and, I'm afraid, maternity leave / pay, etc. is a possible future liability. The higher the probability of women having children, then obviously the higher the liability. This liability is reflected in the lower pay.

If women had something unique that they could bring to the workplace that would make them indispensable, then this pay difference might be remedied; unfortunately, they don't and so it won't be. I'm sorry, but once again it comes down to biology; until men are as likely to give birth and as likely to stay home and look after the kid (a situation difficult to see when the government is pushing the breast-feeding agenda so hard) then women's salaries will stay lower. As I have stated before, I myself would (unless the company takes a severe upturn) never employ a woman who was of child-bearing age / inclination as, were she to become pregnant, it would bankrupt us. Most small businesses are in similar positions.

Theefore the gender gap exists for pay, and will continue to do so until the government sets the pay levels in every business in the country. And that's the day that I go postal.


Katy Newton said...


can I email you about the pay gap thing? I'm interested in why you think the way you do but am vaguely conscious that it's a side issue.

On the jilbab issue, I'm baffled by it. It definitely isn't a long-standing Muslim custom, at least not in this country. There were lots of Muslim girls both at my secondary school and at university - I reckon about a quarter of my school was Muslim. I left secondary school after sixth form in 1994 and as I recall not one Muslim girl wore a headscarf there in that time - and most of them came from very religious families. At university there were only a few girls who wore headscarves and they tended to be overseas students from the Middle East. Odd, innit?

Devil's Kitchen said...


Of course, feel free to email me (or Skype me at chris.mounsey!) and i would be happy to discuss it...


Katy Newton said...

I fear Skype. I choose email.

Anonymous said...

Shabina was on Jeremy Vine's show this afternoon. I had to switch off. I can only take so much self-centred, attention seeking stupidity. If I'd listened any longer, a damn fine Panasonic stereo would have suffered unduly...

Anonymous said...

It is just plain wrong to say that feminists have been quiet about the oppression of women in the Middle East. I suspect perhaps though that you and "Right for Scotland" have just not been listening in the right places to hear them.

Devil's Kitchen said...


Or maybe, feminists being the most self-obsessed of an utterly self-absorbed gender, I've tried strenuously to avoid them...


Anonymous said...

why do you assume feminists are of a particular gender? Bookdrunk is a "happy feminist".......

Devil's Kitchen said...

Indeed he is: and a lovely chap he is too. I would suspect that he is in the minority; especially amongst men who, if they even espouse feminism, actually pay mere lip service to it.

It doesn't terribly matter; 'twas a shit-stirring post anyway...


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