French Ban on Women Wearing Headscarves Discussion

339 words | 2 page(s)

Student A
This student expressed the opinion that it is wrong to regulate aspects of individuals’ lives that are related to their systems of belief. Parallels are drawn between the way in which the banning of the headscarf goes against some Muslims’ beliefs and the way in which the enforcement of strict, traditional laws in Afghanistan goes against the beliefs of younger, more modern citizens who live in cities. This is an interesting point but raises the question of whether it is ever possible to enforce any law that does not go against somebody’s beliefs. Laws are put in place to govern morality and it could be argued that each individual’s system of morality is different. Philosophers like Nietzsche have put forward the view that morality is entirely subjective. However there are still ethical values that most people agree on so I believe that the law should only govern these acts and should not dictate minor issues such as which items of clothing people should or should not wear.

Student B
Student B points out that the ban on the veil might be unsuccessful because those who wish to cover their faces will still be likely to do so. However there are many laws in existence that people regularly willfully disobey, for example the drug legislation, so I do not view this as a reason for avoiding the ban. The view was also expressed that some people feel that the veil is not in line with the values of contemporary society. There is some truth in this opinion, as the modern emphasis is placed upon gender equality, but there are large numbers of Muslims in modern day France who still wish to wear veils, which is contradictory to this point.

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The student compared the situation in France to the banning of ritual slaughter in Poland. However they are two entirely separate issues. The wearing of the veil does not cause physical harm to another being. Therefore it is arguable that it is more worthy of legislating against.

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