Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The practical challenges of fully covering your face...

So, I was reading an editorial in the Jordan Times about Turkey's Supreme Court calling an amendment to allow the hijab to be worn in Universities unconstitutional. I have no actual feelings on that topic (except that I can't see why it matters so much. If ladies want to wear hijab, why shouldn't they?), but it did make me think about the practicality of it. In fact, practicality is the only objection I can see to wearing hijab. And not the typical hijab that covers the hair. I can honestly see no objection at all to that. But for the one that fully covers the face, here I can see issues.

And, these issues extend not only to university (and other school) settings, but also driving, voting, etc. The reality is that there are situation where you must be able to establish your identity. Taking a test would be an example. Getting stopped while driving would be another... But, rather than outlaw someone's practice of their faith, shouldn't we come up with a better solution? For instance, perhaps you do a fingerprint match on all women who choose to fully veil. When they come in for the test (and if they must leave and return), you check and ensure that their fingerprint is the one on file. The same practice makes logical sense for voting. If you are stopped by a police officer and you fully veil, your license should include your fingerprint. Then, the officer could take your print and verify your identity. This would alleviate concerns about who it is, exactly, under the covering.

I guess generally, I think we should use technology to help make everyone free to practice their faith. If they object to using fingerprints, then perhaps they've failed to recognize that you can't be asked to be treated specially and then demand to be treated just like everyone else. What's that old saying about having your cake and eating it too? Anyone else have thoughts about ways that technology could help overcome this challenge? What can we do to bring freedom of worship into the 21st century?

Happy printing!


At 5:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Turkey has banned the niqab, and no one is trying to change that, it is the headscarf ban that they tried to overturn. (just to clarify).

I agree, there are no practical objections to the scarf if ur sensible. So if you're working as a mechanic (it happens) stick with the t-shirt scarf with no dangly bits for health and safety. But you dont need fancy technological gizmos to live with the scarf, it is inherently practical.

At 11:28 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you for being logical about this. Technology can be a tool to free us all from the 'opinions' of the elite or the power/govt source. If there is a will there is a way.

At 12:18 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Loolt, I'm even wondering what the issue is with the niqab. Personally, a a Western Christian, I don't subscribe to any headscarf, but I can't really see the issue if you do (other practical ones which should be overcomable).

Nicole, yeah. I think practical and logical is one of the best ways to ensure that people are able to express themselves fully. But, then again as a world we suffer from too little logic and practicality, I'm afraid.


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