Islam and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Since I’ve been in country, that scene more than any other is universal. A guy with his lady hitting the road on a bike. She might be his sister. His wife. On the rare occasion, she may even be a girlfriend. It’s quite an odd scene. A burqa just doesn’t seem to fit in with the easygoing reputation of motorcyclists. Guys [and gals] on motorcycles are supposed to be rebels. Mavericks. That doesn’t seem to fit with the uptight, dogmatism of which the burqa is symbolic. The Burqa is for the woman anonymity and for the man it is honor. No man should look upon the face of his wife without his permission or it is a stain upon his honor. If the wife looks upon the face of another, that small act dishonors both the man and the wife. Strange thought process, that is. Thankfully, it’s one that is losing favor with the younger generation. Of course, this transformation occurs mostly in the cities. The countryside is still conservative.

Qandahar. Herat. Kabul. Bagram. This blue burqa is ubiquitous throughout the Big A. The first time I saw a burqa on a motorcycle I was a bit taken aback. LIke I said above, it just does not fit. They should all read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It’s a good book and they could use some Zen in Afghanistan to go with their motorcycles.

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