Shim Jae Hoon at PostGlobal

Shim Jae Hoon

South Korea

Shim Jae Hoon is a Seoul-based journalist and commentator writing for a variety of international publications including YaleGlobal Online, The Straits Times of Singapore, The Taipei Times and Korea Herald. He was a correspondent for Far Eastern Economic Review in Seoul, Taipei and Jakarta. Close.

Shim Jae Hoon

South Korea

Shim Jae Hoon is a Seoul-based journalist and commentator writing for a variety of international publications including YaleGlobal Online, The Straits Times of Singapore, The Taipei Times and Korea Herald. more »

Main Page | Shim Jae Hoon Archives | PostGlobal Archives


Citizens Must Accept Cultural Norms

Burqas are not suitable for a free, open society.Wearing a burqa, however, is a different matter. As a religious practice, it represents an extreme form of discrimination against women, even a hint of sexual bondage, as a burqa is mainly intended to keep its wearers from the gaze of males. It's more than a simple matter of religious practice or ethnic custom. In Malaysia once, I was startled by the sight of an Arab woman whose black figure in a burqa dispelled many people. Some Muslim friends told me a woman in a burqa would be the best way to keep their own women from accepting the fundamentalist form of Islam. Cultural diversity is today taken for granted in many countries, but fundamentalist Islam in the form of burqas -- we have seen what it did in Afghanistan under the Taliban -- is a sign of cultural exclusivity, not accommodation. If an Arab woman insists on wearing it in France, she should not seek its citizenship. What would happen when circumstances arise for her to remove her burqa in an accident or in hospital? Would her irate husband attack the policemen or doctors? No, she and her family should move back to Morocco and live there, not in France. Burqas repel, rather than invite acceptance. Accommodation is limited to the woman’s family. We've seen women wear them in the diplomatic community, in official status, but not as de jure members of our society because burqas set them apart. They are not suitable for a free, open society.

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All Comments (9)

terence sommer:

A good, short peice of writing. I totally concur.

Anonymous:

Re: What people esp women wear is none of the state's business

"...your South Korean Army killed thousands of your own women and children during the Korean war."

I am not sure about this. Where did you get this idea?

What people esp women wear is none of the state's business:

What people esp women wear is none of the state's business. If some women decide to wear is nobody's business except the women wearing it. Why is this south korean moran so worried about what a women wears in france?

Nobody's is telling him what to wear? So why do people want to tell women what to wear? It is nobody's business except the women. You dip Shim Jae Hoon go write up how your South Korean Army killed thousands of your own women and children during the Korean war.

premier:

This is a shameful article questioning the intelligence of the author.

French Government abandoned its democratic values by imposing its totalitarian, monolithic cultural norms. It is also discriminatory against different cultures.

It is Sarkozy's myopic worldview that is not suitable for a free, open society.

The global leaders have to embrace the fact that the world is changing. It is time to learn what global visions means to yourself, your nation, and the world--the "community" in which you live.

Stephen Wynne:

I have no problem with women who wear the hijab as a show of faith. But the burqa is less about God, and more about women as second class citizens. I do happen to agree with the the court, the burqa is not compatible with an open, free society.

PC:

Maybe she should tell the gestapo that she is on her way to a masquerade party. The French Luuvvve parties.

Hopefully she will not be booted for ordering a Big Mac at the local chez McDo (What IS a McDO? - sounds nasty).

Why is this an issue? Why her insistence in breaking social norms? Why do we care?

Perhaps next year the burqa will be all the rage at the fashion shows - who knows?

Can't we all just get along?

Assimilate - Resistance is Futile

Burka:

Poor Mr. Hoon! Where is the beef?

Anonymous:

It was very funny to see those "islam ninjas". because you are never sure who is behind this durka. men or women. in Europe to hide your face means you are going to make bad things or even worse. Why should french people acsept muslims who are hiding their face?

aouita:

I think that she should move and live with the Taliban. I am Moroccan and Moroccan women do not wear burkas.
I think that it is disgusting. I have no problems with veils, some veils are actually sexy.
Islam has nothing to do with burkas, does not wearing a burka mean that every woman who do not wear it is bad women and she will end up in hell.
I am wondering is the US would take similar action as France?

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