Georgia Lawmaker Wants to Ban Women From Wearing Burqas in Public
BY: Adriana Murray/Contributing Writer
In wake of the results of the election, there has been a significant spike in cases of Islamophobia across the country. This increase is a result of the rhetoric used throughout the campaign season, which wrongfully held all the world’s Muslims accountable for acts of terrorism.
In the days since the election, many Muslim women have came forward expressing fear about how their lives will be affected. More specifically, they have expressed growing concern for their safety when wearing traditional head coverings in public. There have been numerous reports showing the dangerous realities Muslim women have been forced to face, including cases of harassment and physical violence towards women wearing the traditional headscarves, since President-elect Trump won the election.
In the latest case of dismantling the idea of a diverse country, Georgia State Representative Jason Spencer (R) is introducing a bill to ban burqas and other traditional Muslim veils. This most recent infringement on civil rights would prevent women from posing for a driver’s license photos while wearing a Muslim headscarf. Additionally, the law would make it a misdemeanor to wear a burqa in all public places. Spencer has stated that “this bill is simply a response to constituents that do have concerns of the rise of Islamic terrorism.”
As a public figure and leader, Spencer is responsible for advocating for and protecting the rights of his constituents. Introducing this bill is similar to the microaggressions Muslim women and men experience on a daily basis, which ostracizes and demonizes them based on religious beliefs. These hostilities go on to affect the Muslim community in every aspect of their daily lives.
Consequently, other groups rationalize this unfair treatment as a measure needed for the protection of others. Spencer’s proposal signifies a reluctance and refusal to truly accept and respect the differences of others – something that has become all too familiar for minorities in America.
Muslim women should not have to convince others that their burqas and other traditional coverings are not signs of terrorism. Constituents and representatives like Jason Spencer should respect religious freedom and expressions of cultural values as extensions of the first amendment right guaranteed by the Constitution. It is both unfair and “un-American” to strip Muslim women of something that is apart of their identities because others are uncomfortable.