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Friday, October 30, 2015

Donald Trump’s Burqa comments

“Women like Burqas as they don't need to wear makeup.” Trump – Times of India. The response will be in Indian context.  

Burqa is a cultural wear and not a religious garment, over a period of time; culture and religion have blended and have become inseparable. It is cultural as it varies from country to country and even within India – not all Muslim women wear Burqa and many wear a simple scarf to wrap around scarf to shuttle cock covering. 

Burqa to no Burqa
Mike Ghouse, July 4, 2007

Some times,  the attachment to culture is much deeper than the religion; culture is a way of life practiced among your families and friends. 

Whether you go to Jain Temple, Hindu Temple, Gurdwara or a Mosque – men and women sit separately, it is cultural and not a religious thing.  When devotional songs are being played, or prayers beging all these women cover their head with aanchal (extended garment to cover hair) – very few of them don’t. Indeed, Catholic women also cover their head and Jewish women do it in their own way, at one time they wore wigs.

Except the Dilli and Mumbai waliyan, most Indian women will not wear a mini-skirt when they are here in America, you cannot get them to wear it either, and that is is their comfort zone. 

Women have been wearing different forms of head coverings among Muslims, a woman who covers her full face will not take it off – and that is her comfort zone.

My daughter, who grew up in completely western environment, still will not wear a mini-skirt, and that is her comfort zone.


I took my kids to every place of worship so they can grow up to be accepting of the others and be familiar with different forms of worship. When I went to the Baptist Church with my wife I wore casual clothes and my Jeans had a hole on the back pocket, I was comfortable but she was not, so disappears my favorite Jeans!. Culture is conformity with others in a given situation.

Our mothers (other than some professionals) will not cut their hair short, no matter where they are – in urban India or New York.

Every woman has her own comfort zone.  Most of us men from the Subcontinent will not walk around naked in our homes, a few may do, but most of us don’t and that is our comfort zone. Muslim men will not take their shirts off in presence of female members of the family nor will they wear half pants in their homes, and that is their comfort zone.

Once the late illustrious Khushwant Singh wrote that Muslims need to get modern and get out and drink alcohol and be with friends, and I wrote back to him, modernity is not defined by drinking alcohol, or dressing less… it is defined by how open you are in accommodating the differences of people, and added, it is funny that you wear the traditional turban, do not shave your facial hair and yet you call on others to get modern?

Personally, I am not in favor of Burqa, but several years ago, my late wife Najma had given me a panic attack. She never wore any kind of Hijab other than covering her head during the prayers, which all Desi women do. One day, she announced that she will start wearing the Burqa… and I was dumbfounded, and acted like a snake has bitten me. I had to arrest myself from speaking… am I a brute to tell her not to wear? Can I compel her not to wear? Will I go out with her in that Burqa? It was quite a mental exercise for me, and I am glad I was put to the test and finally said, “Najma, that is your choice”. She was probably testing me to see if the man who believes in equality will act his words.

Women should not be a play for men – they should have the freedom to wear what gives them comfort. No man should tell her to wear or not to wear the Burqa. Neither the Turks nor French have a right when they compel women not to wear.

When we understand true freedom, we will learn to respect the otherness of others and accept the uniqueness of each individual. We all need to grow up and shed our biases towards any one and any culture.

We ought to take the steps to prevent anyone from forcing their values onto others. Remember, most men are civil, and only a few are bad guys. It has nothing to do with religion, culture, income level; it has to do with how they were raised.

 It is utterly wrong to conclude that Muslim, Sikh, Hindu or Christian men treat their women badly… no, that is not the truth, you will find a similar percent of men in all groups treating women badly. It has got to go.

What is it to you if a woman wears Burqa or not, what is your gain or loss?

Thank you,

Mike Ghouse

Women like Burqas as they don't need to wear makeup: Donald Trump


US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the crowd during a campaign. (Reuters photo)

Courtesy of Times of India -http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Women-like-burqas-as-they-dont-need-to-wear-makeup-Donald-Trump/articleshow/49555522.cms
NEW YORK: In yet another controversial jibe, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has said women in the Islamic world like wearing burqas because it is easier as they do not have to wear makeup.

During a New Hampshire rally, Trump briefly spoke about his belief that the United States imposes its own version of Western democracy upon cultures that do not necessarily want it.

Citing failed interventions in Libya and Iraq, Trump suggested it has been futile to try to export "freedom" to Muslim countries.

READ ALSO: The rise and rise of Donald Trump

"I saw somebody say 'We want it over there where the women don't have to wear the you-know-what,'" Trump told the crowd, wiping his hand in front of his face to mimic the look of a burqa.

"And then I saw women interviewed. They said, 'We want to wear them, we've worn them for thousands of years. Why would anyone tell us not to?' They want to!" he was quoted as saying by CNN.

"Fact is, it's easier. You don't have to put on makeup. Look how beautiful everyone looks. Wouldn't it be easier? Right? Wouldn't that be easy?" the real-estate mogul joked.

"I tell ya, if I was a woman, I don't want to. I'd be like, bwah (gesturing the burqa), 'I'm ready, darling, let's go.' It's true!" he said.


Trump has a history of making controversial remarks about immigrants and other groups.

Top Comment

THIS BLOKE TRUMP IS GOING BERSERK. HE HAD TAKEN LEAVE of his senses. such bizarre statements are meaningless and insulting to Muslim women. Rajesh Vyas

Earlier on in his campaign, Trump had made controversial statements about Mexican immigrants and did not dispute a man's assertion that US President Barack Obama was a Muslim.


READ ALSO:World would be better place if Saddam, Gaddafi still in power, Donald Trump says

Last week Trump said the world would be a better place if dictators such as Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi were still in power.

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