Before I start, I should mention that I am a full bred and raised Muslim girl, who happened to be bought up in a Western country. I will also add, that being raised my entire life in a western country does not affect my opinion on this matter. My parents who are also full bred Muslims, and raised in an Arabic country, also the same view on burkas as myself.
A lot of westerners express how shocked they are when I tell them that the burka is a matter of culture, which is a also matter of tradition. In the Quran (the Muslim holy book), there is nothing that mentions the burka. The Quran states that once a girl reaches puberty, she must cover her hair. Not her hands, not her face, nothing of that sort. Just her face and neck.
So then where did the burka come from you may ask. Well, according to my mother, during the prophet’s time, they all lived and migrated into the desert. This meant that the women covered their faces to protect themselves from the sand and other sorts of things.. But please understand that religion does not state one must cover their face!
Reasons why I feel uncomfortable: communication. When I communicate with someone, I look at their face, the wrinkles on their face. The way their eyes light up. The way they frown. Emotions. How can I see emotions behind a burka? How can I know a persons identity? When I communicate with a lady who is wearing a burka, I feel like we are worlds apart. Yes it’s just a cloth. But oh how that cloth creates oceans between us.
Now, yes I understand we live in a democratic world, and people have the right to do what they want and if a woman wants to cover her face, then she should. But identity is important. And this is something that cancels out all identity.
At the end of the day, the fundamental issue is identity and communication. And with a burka, both are not possible.