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      Syria Bans Face-Coverings in Universities

      Syria has banned Islamic face-coverings for university women. Middle East expert Dr. David Bukai says Israel should do the same.
      By Hillel Fendel
      First Publish: 7/22/2010, 1:16 PM / Last Update: 7/22/2010, 1:19 PM

      Syria has banned Islamic face-coverings for university women. Middle East expert Dr. David Bukai says Israel should do the same.

      “It’s not surprising that Syria has taken this step,” Bukai explained to Arutz-7’s Hebrew newsmagazine, “because it is run by a secular Baath regime. [President-Dictator Bashar] Assad, like other Arab leaders, feels threatened by increasing Islamicization, and this is one way to stop it. You’ll note that the ban is only in universities, where there is a danger of political unrest. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the ban soon reaches other public places as well...”

      Interviewer Benny Tucker asked, “How will this measure strengthen the stability of the regime?”

      Bukai answered, “The Islamic extremists are a danger to many Arab regimes; Bin-Laden wants to take over Saudi Arabia, and his deputy wants to control Egypt. Syria is threatened as well. By stopping the burkas, the government has more supervision and control over the extremists.”

      Pressed to explain further, Bukai said, “It has to be understood: The Islamic successes in recent years have come not from military jihad, but from propaganda and symbols, known as Dawa. There are more mosques, and more burkas, and a mosque at Ground Zero [the site of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks] – which is a symbol of a clear Islamic victory there – and other outward symbols such as dress, and all of this brings more followers. It is this that Syria is trying to put a stop to.”

      “In Israel, too, it should be banned,” Bukai said. “At present, the Syrian ban does not cover the head-scarves, but only those that completely cover the face except for a small slit for eyes. Here in Israel, we don’t see those face-coverings – yet. But in our universities there are many more hijabs (scarves) than before. We must ban them just like Syria did – first of all because of the security dangers, but also because of the Dawa dangers, the symbolic boost that it gives Moslem extremism.”

      “When the IDF forces arrest terrorist cells, that is very good,” Bukai said, “but our real danger from Islam is not from them - but from the Dawa. Islamicization is getting stronger, there is more praying and more fasting, and this leads to more extremism. Turkey is a perfect example. Turkey was always a Moslem, democratic state, with a separation of church and state - but when extremist Islam became stronger there, look what happened. The same in Iran, Sudan, and elsewhere.”

      Ten Years of Democratic Education Down the Drain in One Evening
      “In Israel as well," Bukai continued. "Israel can send its Arab pupils to public schools, and invest ten years of education towards democracy – but it will all go down the drain in one dramatic event at the Temple Mount, which the Islamic Movement does for all the graduating classes, where the students take a vow to protect Jerusalem in the name of Islam. Such events have a bigger influence upon them than all the preceding years of education to democracy.”