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Posted in: Islamic Gender & Religious Apartheid, Jihad & Terrorism, Hijab & Burqa

Published on Jun 30, 2009 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Pajamas Media

Al-Qaeda Threatens France Over Burqa


Today, al-Qaeda threatened France over the ostensible issue of the burqa. Tommorrow, America will be in their gun sights on this same issue.

The burqa, niqab–even hijab–are being used as pawns in the power struggle between jihadic Islam and the West. These dress codes are primarily political in nature.

For those people who really and truly believe that the burqa is a religious and not a political/jihadic issue–consider this:

According to the United States monitoring service SITE Intelligence, Al-Qaeda, has just announced that it plans to "take revenge on France for its opposition to the burka, calling on Muslims to retaliate against the country." Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, head of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said:

"Yesterday was the hijab (the Islamic headscarf long banned in French schools) and today, it is the niqab (the full veil).. We will take revenge for the honour of our daughters and sisters against France and against its interests by every means at our disposal…for us, the mujahedeen…we will not remain silent to such provocations and injustices. We call upon all Muslims to confront this hostility with greater hostility."

Does anyone really believe that Al-Qaeda is a religious group? Or that their religious pronouncements are holy and should be protected by American or European laws?

In a many months-old video, Al-Qaeda number two, al-Zawahiri, also condemned the French law (which banned hijab) saying "the decision showed the grudge the Western crusaders have against Islam." Zawahiri claimed to be speaking in Bin Laden's name.

Al-Qaeda now has an Algerian-based Salafist-oriented group which is being encouraged to attack either pro-French Algerians or Frenchmen. Or both.

Le Pauvre Algerienne. For nearly twenty years, Algerian women have been pawns in the power struggle between Islamists and the Algerian government.

According to attorney Karima Bennoune, from 1992 on, Algerian Islamist men committed a series of "terrorist atrocities" against Algerian women. Bennoune describes the "kidnapping and repeated raping of young girls as sex slaves for armed fundamentalists. The girls were also forced to cook and clean for God's warriors… one 17-year-old girl was repeatedly raped until pregnant. She was kidnapped off the street and held with other young girls, one of whom was shot in the head and killed when she tried to escape." As in Iran, "unveiled," educated, independent Algerian women were seen as "military targets" and were increasingly shot on sight. According to Bennoune, "the men of Algeria (were) arming, the women of Algeria (were) veiling themselves. As one woman said: 'Fear is stronger than our will to be free.'"

According to Bennoune: "Terrorist attacks on women [in Algeria] have had the desired effect: widespread psychosis among the women; internal exile—living in hiding, both physically and psychologically, in their own country." In Bennoune's view, "the collective psychosis" is due to the "escalation of violence" by the "soldiers of the Islamic state."

All of this–and more–was legalized by a series of fatwas (Muslim religious edicts).

According to Meredith Turshen, the Algerian Islamist goal was the implementation of Sharia law as state law. The Islamists frowned upon secular education for women and discouraged women from working outside the home. Separate beaches, transporation, administration services were part of the Islamist platform.

"A 1994 fatwa legalized the killing of girls and women not wearing the hijab (which in Algeria consists of a scarf that hides the hair and neck and a full-length robe; veil is not an accurate translation); another fatwa legalized kidnapping and temporary marriage ..Muslim women do not have the right to work outside the home, become political leaders, or participate in sports. They should not wear makeup, perfume, fitted clothes, or mingle with men in public; they should wear the hijab, "which not only establishes the distinction between masculine and feminine, but underscores the separation between public and private" …According to El Mounquid, the official FIS journal, the hijab distinguishes Muslims from non-Muslims; it is obligatory for Muslim women and not an individual decision."

I hope that the "muhajideen" are just blowing smoke-rings, rattling their swords. I fear this is not the case. Women in face masks and sheets are symbols of how jihad looks today.


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