Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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Saturday, November 18, 2006
 
Burqa bans. If you want my take, it's here on the comments to this Samizdata post.
The burqa is obviously bad. Where it is not oppressive it is arrogant. The situation ought to be
- you want to wear it in the street? OK, if you must.
- you want to wear it in my shopping centre? Sorry, against company policy. OR Welcome inside. Depends on the company.
- you want to wear it in an airport? Ha ha, most amusing madam. This nice gentleman will now escort you to the exit.

I very much agree with this part of what TomWright wrote: "We are no longer allowed to respond to such a perceived threat in any meaningful way. We can not refuse service if someone enters our store in such attire, due to anti-discrimination laws, nor can we verbally complain to those wearing a face covering for similar reasons. We will either be accused of being intolerant or, in the case of Britain, and the US in some places, possibly arrested and/or accused of a crime or civil rights violation. ( I may be misunderstanding recent laws, but not by much). I will cease to care about someones choice to wear a face covering when I can freely refuse service to someone that wears one, or demand they leave my property, or be able to respond to such a perceived threat in the traditional way: By a direct verbal warning, followed by an ounce or so of buckshot if they fail to heed that warning."

However I draw the opposite conclusion from his. If we admit the government's right to control people's clothes we strengthen the very forces that have stopped us using the voluntary, individual social pressures that are the best defence against creeping surrender. Where coercive institutions are strong a fanatical minority is well placed to capture them and turn them to its own purposes.

Er, when I said "I very much agree", I trust the bit about the buckshot was rhetorical.