Claire Berlinksi makes an argument
in favor. Her argument: the burqa
and the niqab
are intimately connected with a vicious form of tyranny, emanating from both the private-sector and (in parts of the Islamic world) the public sector. What kind of tyranny? Read the article.
Naturally, most would play the free-exercise-of-religion card. Free exercise is not an absolute. We make an exception where coercion is concerned (churches and everyone else may not engage in racketeering), and over safety issues over which government jurisdiction is recognized (drug laws, building codes).
By that standard, a burqa/niqab ban would be legal only in such cases where physical safety is at issue. Driving is an obvious example.
Berlinksi notes that the government isn't capable of determining which burqa/niqab wearers do so voluntarily and which do so under coercion. But she doesn't point out one problem with anti-veiling laws: they would penalized the victims, not the victimizers. Veiling bans won't change the victimizers. They won't make a single dent in an ideology that humiliates women worse than the worst of Western male chauvinism.
Labels: Culture, Religion