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Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Should the UK ban the Muslim face veil?‏

Yikes. Tough one. I personally am in favour of people being free to wear what they wish, and I'm against going round banning stuff. I'm also a moral liberal, and looking back on the repressed times from Britain's past makes me uneasy. I'm reading Love and Mr Lewisham by H.G. Wells at the moment and a man talking to a woman is so scandalous that the man looses his job. I don't like that, and the full veil is, to some extent, an extension of that. But no one should be forced to wear, or not wear, anything they don't want to. The example was given on radio when discussing this that it may be legal to be naked, or very close (see most adverts) but illegal to be fully clothed.

Now I'm not sure how far the practical concerns go. Is there any evidence that there is a security issue? If so then that is important. The problem will be loudmouthed wind-up merchants on both sides, meaning that a sensible, rational discussion is impossible. Both sides that is.
Communication - it doesn't make me very comfortable to speak through the letter box slit as so much of human communication is non-verbal and thus suppressed. But that's not a good enough reason to ban something.

One thing the mrs always says, and I agree, is that the woman should not be seen as the evil sexual temptress. I see women looking lovely, but I am responsible for my actions based on that, they are not.

The issue is also force. Is the woman forced to wear the veil? If she is, there is a problem. If anyone is forced to wear something that is a big problem


"Writing in the Independent, journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, who chairs the group British Muslims for Secular Democracy, said she supported restrictions on wearing the face veil in key public spaces."This covering makes women invisible, invalidates their participatory rights and confirms them as evil temptresses. "I would be more inclined to agree. However, I don't see many white converts in the full veil where I come from, they are usually small, black and very quiet.

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