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Default Banning Religious Clothing - 09-15-2010, 12:33 AM

Its been a growing movement in Europe to ban religious clothing. France banned the wearing of skullcaps, large crosses, and headscarves in public schools and several countries have instituted restrictions in government buildings. The focus though isn't usually that broad though, with laws specifically targetting headscarves, most often full headscarves (Hijabs) and burqas, as well as variations of them that cover the face and body. It has become widespread in Europe to ban this clothing, with many countries now debating or implementing not just school bans, but public bans as well, completely preventing the wearing of these clothes at all.

Supporters of these laws argue that women are being forced into wearing these clothes, so outlawing them entirely actually allows them to break free of the men and conventions of that are holding them back. Its also said that when women cover their faces, it makes them a security risk because they cannot be easily identified. The fact that they can't be identified leads to discrimination of those women who do wear headscarves and makes prosecution of crimes difficult because identity is harder to establish based on eye witnesses. Third, they argue that this will decrease discrimination because they can't be as easily targeted, reducing the alienation of Muslims and the friction that has been occuring between native populations and the Muslims population. Finally, supporters point to the Quran and say it doesn't even require full heading coverings, saying that it doesn't infringe upon religious freedom at all.

Opponents argue though that outlawing burqas and full head scarves not only limits freedom of expression and freedom of religion, but is an outright discriminatory move meant to specifically target Muslim populations. Its just another move by European countries to drive out Muslims, just like the limiting of Mosques and the overt violence and targeting of them by the law already. Its also said that the headscarves are actually liberating for these women, who would be left in their homes without them in an effort to keep themselves from non-family male eyes, allowing them to not only be in public, but to work and participate in society as a whole. Opponents say bans only encourage the anti-Muslim attitude of these countries, adding more fuel to the flames while simultaneously alienating all Muslims through this overt discrimination. Its also pointed out that the people targeted by these laws are only a small proportion of Muslims and that the clothing is not only religious, but cultural as well. Its argued that these bans will encourage more lawlessness as women defy them, choosing to face fines rather than expose themselves in public.

So, I pose to you all these questions, take this as far as you want though:
Is it alright to ban religious items in schools and government buildings?
Should religious clothing be banned altogether in public settings?
Are burqas and hijabs specifically a security risk? Do you believe they limit or free these women?

For those who don't know what this clothing is:
Hijab - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Burqa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Edit: and yes, this is a debate. Shock. Lets seeing some good debating, so be polite to each other and use legitimate arguments. Don't be afraid to disagree with the majority.


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Default 09-15-2010, 02:55 AM

I don't know. It sounds like a good idea, because it would act to slightly burn down discrimination if Muslims/other religions can't be easily identified. At the same time, if someone is proud of their faith and wants to wear it publically in the form of a crucifix or some sort of headscarf, then more power to them- public expression of one's beliefs should not be banned. Ever.

Also, I'd like to note that many modern, first world Muslim women don't wear headscarves, anyway.

In short? Stuff it, Europe. -_-


“I mean a weapon you hold. You have a gun, Tanith has a sword... I want a stick.” ~ Valkyrie Cain
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Default 09-15-2010, 03:25 AM

I have to ask the following, by banning such things aren't they taking away people's chocie instead of giving freedom of choice to them? By telling people they simply cannot wear an item of clothing because it is viewed as religious they aren't just restricting people's choices bu are also in some ways offending the people and faith that someone wants to show they are part of...

...

I was always such a bad debater xD


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Default 09-15-2010, 09:48 AM

I think that burqas should be banned. Even taking away the fact that they are discriminating towards women and are not even religious clothing at all (the Koran makes NO mention of covering women's faces; just says for them to wear modest clothing and cover their hair) but covering a person's face in society is both unsafe and could lead to dangerous situations.

Women are made to cover themselves in this way due to the sexist idea that a woman is responsible for her own rape cuz she shows off her body. So, the idea goes, the woman should cover her face and body so as not to inflame men's desires. This is a disgusting view and should not be tolerated in modern society.

Also, I don't think that anyone should be allowed to walk around with their face covered. I'm not allowed to walk into a bank or petrol station wearing my crash helmet; why should a burqa clad woman be allowed to cover her face? A teenager isn't allowed to go to Bluewater wearing a hoodie that obscures his or her face. Anyone who walked into a bank wearing a scarf around their face would cause alarm. So why have one rule for them, and one for us? If they don't like our rules, then they don't have to live here.


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Default 09-15-2010, 10:07 AM

But what of a headscarf that doesn't obscure the face at all? There was a girl who went to my middle school who wore one of those, and she was by no means being suppressed by anyone; her parents were nice people, and let her pick what she wanted to do.

Religious clothing is a touchy subject. I do agree that items like burqas shouldn't be allowed, or things that completely obscure the face, but some lesser headware and things like cross necklaces or rings should certainly be allowed. I think that, in their efforts to be "neutral", a lot of those governments are actually just overpowering the rights of the people. They can reasonably demand that people don't obscure their faces, but banning other, fairly harmless shows of religion just seems to be a bit much to me.


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Default 09-15-2010, 10:26 AM

A headscarf is no problem; old ladies wear them too, and I don't see anyone complaining about an old lady wearing a headscarf. My problem is with clothing that obscures the face. There was controversy at one time about these women wanting to have photo ID and refusing to remove their burqas. Pardon me, but I don't see the point of a photo ID that doesn't show your face. That kind of defeats the object.


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Default 09-16-2010, 12:21 AM

They need to stop this.
People are being culturally biased. They don't think, do they...

Despite the fact that no, you don't like this, omg it's so stupid that people must wear headwraps and omg it's against the law

They were born that way, raised that way

It's because we're idiots and think Omg everyone is the way we are.

Now, the other day people were pressing charges against some branch of my friend's family. It was for "Child cruelty": Word had gotten out that she was being spanked with a bamboo stick.

Dear, go to freaking China or Thailand, before you get all messed up.

This is how people live. By doing this, you're basically slapping them and saying If you don't wanna live the way we do, then go back to your own da.mn country.

...Oh, wait, we're trying to mess around with cultures within other countries, too.

-___- Now do you see why the Middle East wants to kill us all off?
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Default 09-16-2010, 10:16 AM

It's true, tho; if you or me went to the middle East, we would have to wear headscarves and cover up our arms. We'd be compelled to respect their culture. So just what is so wrong about them respecting OURS? Why is it so different; especially since they come here and reap the rewards of our culture, such as welfare, education and (for the UK) a free health service?

Also, there's also the fact that it's bad security wise to allow people to go around with their faces covered. That's why banks won't allow motorcyclists to wear their crash helmets. Not to mention the fact that a terrorist attack was carried out by men wearing burqas purely for the reason of disguising their faces.


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Default 09-16-2010, 10:26 AM

'Course, here in the states, you don't see a lot of people on bikes bothering to wear their helmets at all. -...-

I think that things like burqas can be banned.

As for the cultures punishments, I have cousins who live in Singapore, where they still do caning. If you don't know what caning is, go look it up; you'll likely find some nice, graphic pictures to go with it. Caning is guarenteed to leave nasty scars, and even children are subject to it if the break rules. In fact, a more severe punishment for a student is to be publicly caned in front of the entire student body.

Would you suggest that this be accepted in the West? No. The idea of proposing it to any European or North American country is ludicrous.

My point is that some of the more extreme cases of things accepted in other places can't be accepted here. Burqas actually can make the wearer trip, and eliminate peripheal vision.

Granted, banning things like crosses and smaller, harmless headgear is going a little far, but banning the more extreme things seems within reason to me


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Default 09-16-2010, 11:16 AM

I'll go further than the example of caning; in some countries, the punishment of theft is cutting the hands off. That can't be allowed here, cuz it's too extreme.

I'd also say that if you went to Singapore and broke their rules, you'd be expected to take the punishment and pay the price for not respecting their culture. I still don't understand why this attitude seems to be a one way street for some people. Come to the UK; respect OUR culture, a part of which is NOT covering up your face.


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