Jewish Burqa-Wearers

The Daily Telegraph tells us about a small, woman-led trend amongst certain ultra-orthodox Jewish communities: burqas.

Some Israeli Jewish women have decided to wear burqas as a way to fulfill their commitment to modest dress. And the men do not like it. As a matter of fact,

At the insistence of the husbands of some burka-wearing women, a leading rabbinical authority is to issue an edict declaring burka wearing a sexual fetish that is as promiscuous as wearing too little.

A small group of ultra-orthodox Jews in the town of Beit Shemesh chose to don the burka, usually associated with women in repressive Islamist regimes, three years ago in a bid to protect their modesty.

Yes, that’s right. Shlomo Pappenheim, one of the edict-writers, believes that the burqa is promiscuous. What the hell?

Also, what’s with the term “repressive Islamist regimes”? WTF is that supposed to mean? Hasn’t the latest burqa kerfuffle centered on France? Arg.

I hope that news of this incident will awaken people to the nuances of burqa-wearing, because I cannot bear one more ignorant comment from a white person about how “Islam oppresses women”. Attempts to control what women wear are oppressive and ridiculous no matter whether people are trying to force them to wear more or less. Full stop.

Forcing a woman not to wear a burqa is just as bad as forcing her to wear a burqa.

2 thoughts on “Jewish Burqa-Wearers

  1. Wait, when you say “burqa” here do you actually mean the burqa, which is worn in Afghanistan, often blue and covers the entire body and face and has a grate to see out of? Or do you mean niqab, which is often mistakenly called a burqa? The niqab, often black, covers the nose and mouth and leaves the eyes bare. From the picture provided in the article it’s not clear (though many times photos don’t even match the topic, particularly when the editors choose stock photos), although I imagine they mean the niqab, since it’s both more common than the burqa and the one that’s actually associated with Arabs.

  2. Good question. I went back to the source article to see what word the women themselves were using, and I couldn’t find a direct quote from a woman naming her garment. When I wrote this I went with the term used in the article, however this being the Daily Mail, I am not certain it is accurate.

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