Philadelphia’s Burqa Crisis

Source: The Conservative Papers:

N.B.: The Washington Times title is “When burqas become accessories to crime: Criminals can hide behind Islamic garb” and it contains small differences from this version

Philadelphia, the city where I live, has quietly and unassumedly become the capital of the Western world as regards female Islamic garb as an accessory to crime.

A BBC graphic shows the difference between the niqab and burqa

A BBC graphic shows the difference between the niqab and burqa

First, a tutorial on Islamic coverings, all of which tend to be called veils in English but fall into three main categories. Some (the abaya, hijab, chador, jilbab, or khimar) cover parts of the body, especially the hair, neck, and shoulders, but reveal the face and identity of the woman; some cover the face (the yashmak) but show the body shape; and some hide the whole body, including the identity and gender of the wearer. The latter – our topic here – is better described as a full-body cover than a veil: it in turn has two types, those that cover the person entirely (the chadari or burqa) or those with a slit for the eyes (the haik or niqab).

By my count, the Philadelphia region has witnessed 14 robberies (or attempted robberies) of financial institutions in the past six years in which the thieves relied on an Islamic full-body cover. They took place in January 2007, June 2007, May 2008, November 2009, October 2010 (two), February 2011, June 2011, December 2011, January 2012, March 2012 (two), and April 2012 (two). The most violent attack took place on May 3, 2008, when Police Sergeant Stephen Liczbinski was killed with an AK-47 in a shoot-out following a successful robbery using burqas; the police then killed one of the criminals.


Categories: Americas

5 replies

  1. Probably it seems to be the policy of the paper to denounce Islam what ever opportunity arise. No burqa or Hijab can be called as Islamic. One can say in Islam there are instructions to cover the conspicuous genital parts of women. How these are covered depends on local and area traditions. To call a particular veiling tradition as Islamic tantamount to provocation. Now if some criminals use any type of veil to commit crimes what fault lies with Islam or its desired veiling. Many criminals use police uniforms, military uniforms to cheat the law enforcing agencies. This does not mean police or military should get rid of the uniforms. Veiling is common in many Muslim countries and each part of the world has different style to do it. In India veiling is common even in Hindus and Sikhs as it is the area tradition and has nothing to do with religion. In Afghanistan and in tribal belt of Pakistan veiling is done differently relative to Punjab and Sindh provinces of Pakistan. Bangladesh has different style while Indonesia has entirely different customs. So please refrain from denouncing Islam for each petty thing. It is great religion and try to understand its real message contained in its holy book and very rightly interpreted and publicised by Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

  2. Face covering should not be allowed because it is way of communicating and showing other people who you are. If you cover your face you have something to hide. The veil in a sense to prevent rapes as sometimes announced by stupid imams is totally wrong. The men are to blame and not to women who dont wear a veil. I personally find veils very often attractive especially when added to some tight figurstressing dresses. Women who wear a veil are in no sense less attractive than women without a veil.

  3. @Tarkan
    You completely missed the point, sir!!
    Brother Zubair made a good point in saying that criminals use a lot of ways to hide from law, that does not mean a Muslim woman does not have the liberty of” not showing”as she pleases!

  4. If criminals dressed-up like women while burglarizing banks or wear masks of past presidents to commit crimes would socity want to ban women’s dresses or halloween costumes also?
    I’m old enough to recall that what they now call the veil used to be called a head scarf back in the 50s. During those times there were Muslim/Jewish women wearing the same modest form of dress but people related to it as a “habit” or at best phrased it as “that’s the way Jewish women dress.”
    Let’s not overlook what happen when the ninja trend hit America. We saw, not just a few people dressed in the Ninja uniform, but the park would be filled with people trying to kick and karate chop like Bruce Lee.

    Did we entertain banning the “headscarf”, nun’s habits, Mennonites’ or Jewish head bonnets, and ninja uniforms? The answer is no. Because some Conservative Americans have caught a bad case of Islamophobia they focus on the Muslim women, whose only crime is the choice of modesty, in a world where nudity is fashionable.

    Mr Pipes, I think we Americans are becoming the oppressor and that is depressing.

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