Veil = freedom?

Minister Peijs, Dutch minister of Transport, doesn’t see the Islamic veil as a sign of oppression anymore. The veil “gives women freedom”. She changed her mind after a visit to a “women as world leaders” conference in Abu Dhabi. “Wearing a veil is naturally culturally specific. And the women feel that as well, because they believe in their religion. Besides, a veil offers fair opportunities for women in some Muslim countries that without a veil cannot leave the house.”
Peijs doesn’t think a minister with a veil in the next cabinet would be such a bad idea. “It would certainly increase the cabinet’s recognizability. It would have to be somebody chosen for her abilities."

Hirsi Ali: "The minister is correct that the veil contributes to freedom of women in some Arab countries. They can go outside only if they’re veiled. That’s because a woman is considered there as an object of lust, that can show herself to men only in the family circle. But here in the Netherlands a woman is fully accepted. I therefore don’t see how a veil contributes to freedom of women in the Netherlands.”

Hirsi Ali doesn’t think a minister with a veil is a good idea. It would give a false signal to copy the sexual moral from Arabic lands to the Netherlands. “If you extend the logic behind the veil you would then have to conclude that the male cabinet members wouldn’t be able to control themselves in the presence of this minister. A minister with a veil is not the way to win immigrant votes because it’s a promise that you can’t keep. We should then all go back in time.”

(I was not able to find the original interview).

Source: NRC Handelsblad (Dutch)


temp said...


Why is headscarf ( hoofddoek ) veil ( sluier ) now? It is about something
covering the head, not the face.

Esther said...

When I say a veil I mean a piece of cloth that you wound round the head. If I'm not mistaken, that the word used by English speaking Muslims as well. I'm not sure 'headscarf' really means the same thing, since that usually only covers the hair. I did not, until now, really diffrentiate between the different ways of putting the scarf/veil on.

temp said...

In the book "Inside the Kingdom" I found on page 97 opaque black face veil. But on page 55 a silk abaya is also called veil.