Right, due to a rather, erm… vociferous exchange of email regarding my piece the other day, Arguments From Motorcycle Helmets, I'd like to make something very clear.
I do not, and never will support a blanket-ban on any form of clothing, whether it obscures the face or not, and whether religious in nature or not. Not even in public buildings. I do, however, contend that in situations where it is considered normal practice for non-religious clothing which obscures the face, such as motorcycle helmets, to be removed, or where one might reasonably be expected to comply with a request to remove such clothing, then face-covering clothing worn for religious reasons should be subject to the same practices and expectations.
"One law for all" means no special privileges for religion, but also no extra restrictions on religion. And, quite frankly I said that pretty clearly the first time. Obviously I reckoned without privilege-seeking morons.
As to any objections on the grounds that this would end with women not being able to go to banks or the like, there are two possibilities here. If the woman in question is genuinely wearing face-covering clothing through her own desire to do so, then hard luck. I genuinely feel the need to wear two scarves and a skid-lid. If she's being forced to wear it by a husband, father, whoever, then it's about time we made sure that such women are helped out of an obviously abusive situation. The laws are there. Help her to recognise that they're there for her. Help her to use them. Help her—and this is often the saddest part—to realise that the situation she is in is abusive.
Oh, and to my correspondent: next time, use the comment box below, and have the guts to do your whining in public. Or are you afraid your male+religious privilege-begging might not stand the scrutiny?
—Daz, currently bloody furious.
- National domestic violence helpline (UK):
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