We’re all familiar with the concept of burqa-wearing as a human right. Those who interfere with women who wear the burqa — for example, the French government — are accused of hatred and discrimination against Muslims and women, a PC twofer. They are also called “racists”, “xenophobes”, “Islamophobes”, etc.
Funnily enough, although Bangladesh is overwhelmingly Muslim (at least 88%), a hospital in Dhaka has just cracked down on burqa-wearing. Like the German postal clerk who refused to serve a customer wearing a niqab, the hospital’s administrators consider the complete covering of the face and body to be a security issue.
Does this mean that Bangladeshis are Islamophobes?
According to The Arab Times:
Bangladesh Hospital Bans Burqa to Prevent Theft
DHAKA, March 22, 2010 (AFP) — Bangladesh’s largest state-run hospital has banned staff from wearing full-face burqas after an increase in thefts of mobile phones and wallets from wards, a hospital chief said Monday.
Female staff have been ordered to wear standard uniforms, which do not cover either the hair or face, while on duty at the Bangabandhu Medical University Hospital in Dhaka, senior administrator Abdul Majid Bhuiyan told AFP.
“We decided to enforce our uniform regulations after discovering instances of stealing by veiled staff,” he said, adding some burqa-wearing staff had also been secretly sending unqualified “proxy workers” to cover shifts for them.
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Only a small number of women working at the hospital wear the full-face veil, he said.
“Doctors have also said burqa-clad women who travel to work on crowded public buses then do not change into regulation uniform could carry diseases into the hospital,” he said.
Bangladesh has the world’s fourth-largest Muslim population. Islam is the state religion although only a small minority of women wear the burqa.
Hat tip: Bolleke.