Another Islam-cartoon face-off, this time in Canada :
In the cartoon, a Muslim woman is depicted in niqab from top to toes, with the slit space for her eyes shown in jail bars and a lock.
The background to this cartoon is thus :
The controversy erupted after the Muslim woman Naima Atef Amed, a mother of three who is a new immigrant to Canada, filed a petition with the human rights commission in Quebec province for violations of her religious rights two weeks ago.
But the director of the college – CEGEP de Saint-Laurent – in Montreal said they tried to accommodate the woman’s demands by allowing her to wear the niqab, giving her the front seat and letting her make her presentations from the rear of the classroom with her back to the class so that boys male students didn’t see her.
Matters came to a head when the woman asked male students to move away from her and refused to sit with them around a U-table for conversation skill development classes.
This is “a distasteful way of showing the cartoon and of showing the lock – the woman is locking herself. Why is he (cartoonist) advancing those ideas again and claiming this would inspire debate?” said Montreal Muslim Council leader Salam Elmenyawi on the news network.
Frankly, I don’t mind if this leader stops with ranting on television. In fact, I welcome debate. But if a fatwa comes along, the cartoons (not the actual cartoons) must be reigned in.
I don’t have an issue with women wearing the burqa, as long as it is of their own volition. But I suspect that is true of all women. Given a chance, a majority of women — especially the ones in countries like Canada, United States and U.K. (even in Islamic nations, I daresay) — would prefer to do away with it. And if women are being forced, it is wrong and the law has every right to intervene.
As time passes, I believe that rational thinking will be the dominant way of life. As for religious conservativism (and individuals who are holding dearly to the most basic religious beliefs), a line from The Dark Knight sums it best : You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villian.
I came across this excellent satire.
Cartoon via CHUP.