And the madness continues. In addition to the increased hate crimes against Muslims and minorities here in the US, one Georgia State Representative went the next step and proposed legislation that would have banned Muslim women from wearing a burqa, niqab or face-covering veil. We have seen similar bans in other countries around the world – including France – but never expected it here in the “Land of the Free.” What is happening in this country? The State Representative, Republican Jason Spencer, claimed that this bill would only help to better enforce the anti-masking laws already in place in Georgia and further prevent terrorism. This is absurd. At the end of the day, this is yet another way for Islamophobia to sneak into common state laws, and simply maintain and increase fear and racism against Muslims.
Muslim women traditionally wear the hijab, niqab, burqa, etc out of modesty and religious devotion. Banning something religious only reiterates the pure hatred of the “other” and those that are different from the American white, male Christian stereotype. Understandably, and completely justified, this was not taken lightly by the Muslim community. This treatment of Muslims is unacceptable, especially in the United States, and can not be left alone to spread across the country.
After a strong outcry from the community, the bill was pulled and will not be voted on or put into action. What another wonderful example of how activism can truly make a difference and that, sometimes, our voices and pleas are heard! It is so important, now more than ever, to take a stand and speak out! The bill won’t be passing, for now, but we must ensure that we prevent this type of scenario from happening in the future!
Here is a Washington Post article outlining the situation: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/11/18/after-outcry-georgia-lawmaker-abandons-bill-that-would-have-banned-muslims-from-wearing-veils/