Ever since the West launched its war on Islam (also known as the 'war on terrorism') there has been much said about the 'Burka' (veil) and its oppression of the Muslim woman, i.e. it symbolizing her inferior position in society, and the West has boasted of its 'unveiling of Afghanistan'. Those involved in this overt campaign include high profile political and public figures such as the US First Lady Laura Bush and the British Prime Minister's wife Cherie Blair who commented openly in a press conference; "Nothing more I think symbolizes the oppression of the woman than the Burka."" They have been joined by others in their deionization of the Muslim woman which was highlighted by the French presidential candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen's statement concerning the wearing of the Khimaar (headscarf) and Jilbaab (outer garment); "It is good, it protects us from the ugly women."".
This excoriation of the Islamic dress code for women has been matched by leading Western journalists such as Polly Toynbee in 'Behind the Burka' in the Guardian:.
"The top-to-toe Burka, with its sinister, airless little grille, is more than an instrument of persecution, it is a public tarring and feathering of female sexuality. It transforms any woman into an object of defilement too untouchably disgusting to be seen. It is a garment of lurid sexual suggestiveness.it turns them into cowering creatures demanding and expecting violence and victimisation.More moderate versions of the garb have much the same effect, inspiring the lascivious thoughts they are designed to stifle."".
These are just some examples of the recent vilification of the Khimaar and Jilbaab - the modern day 'attack on the veil'. In addition to such public statements, many Muslim women who cover in accordance with the Shari'ah face on a daily basis, a barrage of comments and criticisms regarding their Islamic attire - these range from shows of sympathy for the 'poor oppressed covered woman' to abuse and threats hurled at the woman who dares to cover in Western society.