Shikha Dalmia, an atheist raised Hindu in India, smacks Hitchens around:
Despite years of sectarian bloodletting [between Muslims and Hindus], if Indians...take a benign view of the burqa, it is hardly because they are inherently more rational. It is because their secularism has been shaped by India's dominant religion--Hinduism--whose non-monotheistic ethos allows the space for multiple faiths. In this sense, Hinduism is perhaps more profoundly in sync with liberal tolerance than monotheistic faiths.
More crucially, however, there is nothing in Hinduism that makes an individual's spiritual salvation anyone's business except the individual herself. By contrast, Hitchens, et al, who have been raised in the cradle of a Christian civilization, have imbibed a certain comfort level with the crusading notion that people can--and ought to--be saved even against their will. Hence, it does not matter if Muslim women don't regard the burqa as oppressive. They have to be given sartorial liberation in the same way that the heathens need to be given spiritual liberation.
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