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Burqa ban, Mass killings – “The scars are brutally deep and exposed for all to see.”

(Vienna, 3.10.2017) – On 1st October 2017 the heavily discussed law against full-body covering in public officially termed “Prohibition on the Covering of the Face” came into effect in Austria. The law enacts that facial features from the chin to the hairline must be immediately recognizable. Hence burqa, niqab, headscarves, veils, mouthguards, facial masks and costumes are outlawed in public if there are no weather-dependent reasons in winter, during events in carnival and in advent season, or when an exception is professionally necessary. Whoever covers his face must expect a fine of up to € 150. Similar laws already exist in Europe in France, Bulgaria, Belgium and Italy. Partly restrictions exist in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Spain.

On the African continent, states with a high rate of muslim population like Chad (53 percent) and Niger (80 percent) Cameroon (25 percent) and an overall muslim population of 36 million muslims, started banning burqa especially in urban areas after the first suicide bombings in 2015. Nigeria, Congo-Brazzaville have followed, Guinea and even Senegal (with 95 percent of Muslim population) have joined in the discussion. Meanwhile all 15 members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), except of Gambia, formally endorsed a ban on “clothing that prevents the clear identification of persons”.

In January this year, Morocco, a major Islamic country, also introduced a ban on „manufacturing, sales and distribution“ of the whole body veil, the burqa, because men can act with the burqa dressed as women. No security officer can touch a woman because a woman in Islam is considered as Haram (religiously forbidden). In addition to Saudi Arabia and Jordan, Morocco is the most important of all three monarchies in the Islamic world. The reigning king comes from the family of the Prophet Mohammed. He is higher in his Islamic legitimacy than the king of Saudi Arabia, who cannot claim a genealogy from the prophet family. The king of Jordan Abdullah, also comes from the family of the Prophet. The married women of both kings, who came from the Prophet’s family, that is, from Mohammed VI. and Abdullah II, also do not wear a headscarf. (Source: Bassam Tibi) Many credible authorities have already have proved that there is no binding rule in the Qur’an of Allah or in the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad about clothing as part of Islam. The fact however is, that female followers of groups that strive for a political Islamism by force wear the headscarf as a uniform.

Another “low point” was the massacre in Las Vegas on Monday 2nd October. It raises many questions in connection with Donald Trump’s legacy. Can the president be partially held responsible for these deaths, because he wishes to remove the gun free zones in schools, etc. He failed to call for more firearm regulation, universal background checks, permit requirements for gun ownership and bans for the most dangerous kinds of weapons and ammunition – like Obama did -, to trim the rates of gun crimes committedMass shootings like the Las Vegas shooting happen almost nowhere else in the world but the United States. Chris Murphy, a Democrat representative in Connecticut in the U.S. Senate, therefor questions the leadership of the USA and the path to this leadership, which lies according to him “in the special nature of gun violence as a political issue”. Murphy served as congressman for Newtown, Connecticut, when a gunman opened fire in an Elementary School, killing 20 children and six educators. “The parents […] will never recover from what they have endured. The scars are brutally deep and exposed for all to see. (Chris Murphy, Washington Post 2nd October 2017) 

How can we accommodate the liberty of humans and the basic ground of democracy?