France recently passed a law banning the wearing of burkas in public, which has been deriding by some as impeding religious freedom.
On Real Time last night, Bill Maher said that, after weighing the issue, decided to come down on the side of being against the ban.
“As much as I hate what is behind making women wear that, whether it’s overt, like ‘I’m gonna kill you bitch if you wear that,’ or its just brainwashing them, its still a thought crime. And you still cannot make people… people in this country wear crazy shit in public. I don’t think you can tell people in a free country what they can wear. I just don’t. And this is somebody who is not soft on the Muslims.”
His guest, Irshad Manji, director of the Moral Courage Project, did not agree with Maher’s take.
“Listen, Bill, for any civil libertarian, and I’m one of them as well, this is, this is a dilemma. On the one hand, as a proponent of individual liberty, I want to be able to defend Muslim women who say that they freely, and voluntarily, choose to wear the veil. I’m pro-choice. I get that. Here’s the problem for me, at least. That the veil represents a wider culture. A tribal, a parochial, a patriarchal culture that winds up actually taking more choices away from women, and men, than it gives. And so I have to ask myself, what is the greater good for the greater number, OK? And, in this case, I have to say, I think it is banning the veil in public spaces.”
Talked then turned to what happens when you “put off limits normal sex.” Said Maher:
“I’ve said it many times that if Muslim men could get laid more, we wouldn’t have this problem. That probably no suicide bomber, after he died, people said, ‘You know, that guy, he blew everybody up, but boy – he got laid a lot.'”
Manji also talked about what making women wear veils does to Muslim men.
“Men in these societies are, therefore, turned into children. They’re basically let off the hook for their choices, you see? S o that there’s not even any pressure in many, if not most, Muslim households on men to actually follow what the Koran guides them to do. That if your hormones are going to swing out of control at the sight of a woman, actually lower your gaze. Take personal responsibility and look down, and keep looking down, until it comes down.”