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Argument: Wearing head scarves is unlike religious extremes such as stonings

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Supporting quotations

Christina Duval. "Banning the hijab. Against the ban, for secularism." Workers Power. Feb 2004 - "Rumy supports the right to religious freedom, but with two caveats: that this freedom does not entail oppression; and that it does not breach the principle of secular education. In justifying the former, he makes the error of rolling together the headscarf issue with religious practices that socialists unequivocally call for the banning of: such as death by stoning for sex outside marriage or clitoridectomy.

Such practices are clearly examples of savage and cruel religious oppression and are imposed on the women involved. Socialists think donning the headscarf is wrong, since it is a symbol of Islam's oppression of women, but adopting the symbols and practices of oppression (even if due to family and cultural pressure) is clearly not in the same category as being physically damaged or attacked in the name of religion. Indeed, all religious practices, insofar as they prostrate humanity in front of a higher, external authority, rendering people the object, not the subject of history, are oppressive. Rumy's caveats, if applied as sweepingly as he applies them, rule out any religious expression.

If Rumy really thinks wearing the veil is no different from these other savagely oppressive practices then he should support a blanket state ban on the veil and not just confine it to the school."

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