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Every Little Helps

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Difficult Decision


The link may not load, because of the Drudge traffic, but seventeen women have been arrested for insisting on veiling themselves despite a law against it.

While, on the surface, this looks as objectionable and intolerant as the French ban on scarves that cover the hair only, there is a lot more to this story. In Mogadishu, there have been problems with men disguising themselves as women in order to look innocent and have a place to hide weapons en route to an attack. There have been similar problems in Israel; also, if Hindi movies are anything to go by, the idea of a man dressing as a full-covering Muslim woman to get free access to women is not entirely unknown in India.

In other words, while I still think that banning full veils, just like banning stereotypical gangster clothing, is a bad idea and will have little effect, there are good reasons behind the ban. Unlike the French.

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