Monday, April 23, 2012

Tunisian Group's Anti-Niqab Video Causes A Ruckus

Although there are some subservient fools who believe that the niqab (full Islamic face veil with just a slit for the eyes) makes them more pious, there are others who are rallying to make sure it doesn't become the norm in their country.  Some women with an organization called Egalité et Parité  (Equality and Parity) in Tunisia, a country that is battling to ensure Salafists don't impose their ultra conservative ways on what once was a secular nation, produced an anti-niqab video (see below) which is, naturally, causing a ruckus.

In their campaign, Equality and Parity used niqab-shaped stickers and put them in bathroom stalls, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, and dressing rooms in malls. They filmed the reaction of women to the niqab stickers on the mirror, and turned them into a short film that is making its rounds on the internet.

Equality and Parity hopes that through this sticker campaign they can educate women and Tunisians in general on the severity of being forced to wear a niqab.

Ousted dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali banned the niqab when he was in power, and since his departure there have been protests, including one at Manouba University, advocating for the niqab.

Ben Ali treated those who were outwardly religious with extreme suspicion. During his time in power, it was not uncommon for police to stop women in the street and order them to unveil. The niqab has found itself at the epicenter in the Salafi-secularist debate.

Suspicious with good reason, considering the ultra religious want to establish Sharia law and force everyone to become as religious as they are.

Members of Equality and Parity stated in a press release that:

“We are fighting with and for all Tunisians from all regions, including those living abroad, who are also involved in our cause. We commit to define each of our goals based on a preliminary analysis of the current sociopolitical situation, which seems to exclude Tunisian women, especially in decision-making bodies, means of mass communication and the public space,”
They also stated that they will not hesitate to protest or plan sit-ins if women's rights are violated. Their mission statement on their Facebook Page says they will:

Fight to combat the weak representation of women in decision making bodies, be they political, social, economic or cultural.

Take action
to establish full citizenship (for women),
to eradicate all discrimination,
to ensure equality between men and women,
to make sure Tunisia joins all International Conventions favoring human rights, and in particular the lifting of reservations on the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW).

Not suprisingly, the usual suspects (both the religious Muslims and liberals) have been highly critical of the video.

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