March 21, 2007

It looks like English schools will be allowed to ban full-face veils. This debate has been going on for a while now here in the UK, but I’d almost forgotten about it until I spotted this news story.

It’s good to see some common sense coming into play here. Clearly, somebody finally had the balls to not be 110% PC on this. Schools, educational establishments, exist to serve; schools should be available to all, and all should receive the same treatment while at school. This is the ideal, of course, but this new ruling takes things a step closer to that ideal.

The only place religious artefacts belong in a school is in a class on religious education. A fair and balanced, modern, religious education — not the readings from the Bible with cursory glances toward other religions I got. I would have loved to have been taught about various religions — the fact that I’m a non-believer is beside the point. School should be neutral, just like Government should be neutral, when it comes to religious influence.

Of course, outside of the classroom people may do what they choose, wear what they choose. They might choose to follow certain religions or wear certain items of clothing. But School is largely about communication, and covering even part of the face hinders the ability to communicate.


2 Responses to “Veil.”

  1. Queen Minx said

    I read your post yesterday … I heard about the hijab-ban on the news the day before.

    I am not a fan of religion … but I don’t believe this is a good thing, and I sincerely hope that most sensible Head Teachers take it for the political nonsense it is.

    I don’t care if some kid wears a hijab in class … it makes no difference to me or to my daughter … all that’s going to happen here is the creation of more and more negative attitudes towards Muslims … it reminds me of a witch-hunt … I think it’s ugly and unnecessary.

    I wonder if this would’ve been a problem if the terrorist attacks in Britain and the US hadn’t taken place. I have a mind to think not.

    Wearing a hijab doesn’t stop a kid from communicating or being educated … and all that’s going to happen is that a section of our communities are going to feel persecuted and marginalised. I want to go forwards towards a multi-cultural Britain … not backwards to the one we had in the 70’s when the IRA was bombing Britain and every Irish Catholic was a terrorist.

    Let the child wear a hijab … why is it so damn important an issue … all that’s going to be highlighted is the government’s, and any school who introduces the ban, attitudes of religious intolerance … I am proud of my country, but when it starts behaving like an ignoramus and making crap excuses for it’s bullying behaviour, then I am ashamed.

    Wearing hijab’s haven’t been a problem in the past, it shouldn’t be one now … it doesn’t take a genius to work out that this isn’t about education, it’s about using the classroom as a political arena … it’s about Islam.

    What a load of cack.

    If the school my daughter goes to, and there are plenty of kids who wear hijabs, bans them from the classroom … then I will vigorously protest. If it means Muslim families feel they have to take their children out of school because of it, then my child is going too. That’s how strongly I feel about it.

    This shouldn’t be an issue … the fact that it is … just makes me want to puke.

    Sorry ontheout … I am not attacking you … I wanted to post about it myself. Do you mind me directing bloggers to your site so we can comment on this??


  2. Please do.

    In my mind, this merely stems back to anything else where there is a prescribed uniform that should be adhered to. Schools have uniforms, just like security guards, postmen, army officers, hospital workers, and all sorts of other areas.

    In each of these, minor (and sometimes major) variation is allowed from the uniform depending on the type of work, etc. Generally, though, alterations are approved after discussion with management. Why should schools be different? This news simply gives the schools power to enforce their uniform. It might be a bad thing in future if schools take it too far the wrong way, but we’ll see.

    It’s not about religion, as such. They can, and should, teach as responsibly as they can about religion in a modern, multicultural Britain.

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