The Instigator
Pro (for)
2 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Muslim women should be able to wear hijabs/headscarves wherever and whenever they want

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/11/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,317 times Debate No: 63088
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




My position: I SUPPORT a Muslim woman's right to cover up. I am AGAINST banning hijabs/headscarves in any way, shape, or form.

I'm gonna skip all the formalities for now. My stance is clear, now let's hear the opponent's argument!


Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to this debate. I represent the side that would allow some nations to ban the scarf that covers the head and neck of a female individual of the Muslim faith.

Clarification of the Burden of Proof

I, Con, must assert that there exist situations where wearing a Hijab should be against the rules. Nonetheless, Pro has to actually prove that absolutely no rule, of any kind banning the wearing of a Hijab in a location (or within a set time at that location).

My Contentions

1. Any privately-owned organization, or house, should be permitted to dictate the dress-code of that facility.
2. Islamic legally forces non-Muslim women to wear the Hijab and thus should expect equal force pressed upon their people in nations founded on other faiths.
3. Knives, and a variety of other weapons, can be concealed beneath the Hijab.
4. There is no more likelihood of Islam being correct than most other religions.

I shall now proceed to provide reasoning and proof for each contention.

Contention 1

This is based on the fact that there are no laws prohibiting a private organization from dictating what the individuals within its premises wear (as long as they are not demanding them to be naked with minors present, although many nudist families ignore this law and raise happy children into healthy adults). The fact is that if you own a building, those wishing to enter your premises are either trespassing [] which is not necessarily going to end you up in prison but, in many nations would allow the owner of the property to quite literally do anything short of killing you and win the lawsuit.

On top of this, if one works as an employee in the private organization, the employer literally has zero restrictions on what severity of uniform they wish to go to in order to have the employee fired on grounds of disobeying them. []

What Pro is saying is that in all the situations where the laws of the majority of non-Muslim nations would fully allow a private organization, or property of some kind, to set a policy whereby the Hijab were not allowed be worn, the Muslim women entering that premise should magically have the supreme privilege to wear their Hijab "whenever and wherever they please". This is not only unjustifiable form a legal standpoint but morally unjustifiable to the hard-working owner's of the private property who are being forced, against their consent, to submit to the whims of these Muslim women.

Here is an example of a teacher in the UK being forced out of the school due to her refusing to wear the Hijab []. This was a state-funded school in Britain. It was not even a privately funded one. This indicates that Muslims are clearly aware of the freedom of an organization to have its own clothing policies.

Contention 2

Saudi Arabia actually forces most regions to have the entire face-covering Niqab but what is a concrete rule in the society is that if a female isn't wearing a minimum of Hijab, they can literally be lashed and thrown in prison (which, in Saudi Arabia, is not very Human-Rights oriented).

A Sudanese woman put on trial to possibly face public flogging. []. Worse things probably happened in Saudi Arabia but they do not have free press whatsoever so we can never know for sure.

Aside from this, any employees in any workplaces in Islamic nations generally are forced to wear the Islamic dress code. If a Christian woman wishes to show her cross then she'd better hide it under the veil. If this sort of mentality is taken in Islamic nations to the dress-code of non-Muslim faiths then why should it be unforeseeable that the reverse harshness should be allowed?

Contention 3

This is simple logic.

If there are turban bombs [], women literally killing husbands with burqa-concealed knives [] posing such a severe threat that any women wearing the Niqab or Burqa are being seriously considered (very recently) to be forced to sit in a separate enclosure during parliamentary conferences in Australia [] then the next step to bypass security would be knives and smaller weapons concealed in Hijabs (it just hasn't been done yet because Niqab and Burqa bans haven't been effectively enforced outside of France).

Contention 4

Unless Pro can provide proof of Islam being more probable than other religions, there is no reason for nations founded on Christianity or Buddhism to permit the Islamic way of life if Muslims have no respect for the non-Muslim dress code in their own nations.

Debate Round No. 1


1. I agree, a business has the right to refuse service. But that doesn't mean I think banning the hijab is just. A business can ban the hijab, but they will face social consequences later on (moral outcry, loss in customers, etc.)

2. And yet, Saudi Arabia is one of our strongest allies. Ahh...but that's another can of worms. Anyways, you spoke about the penalties for not covering up in Saudi Arabia. I agree, the situation over there is dire. But I don't understand how that is relevant in the context of this debate. A Saudi or Sudanese woman being punished for resisting Islamic code, though tragic, has very little to do with an American woman expressing her right to wear a hijab. I see you attempted to draw the connection, but your point was lost. "Reverse harshness" does not make sense to me.

3. Oh, trust me. There are plenty of other places to hide a bomb. Clothing in general gives us this opportunity. You don't propose a ban on clothing, do you? (Click on the link, those are Ll cases of bombs being hidden in places that are NOT hijabs. Eliminating the hijab would not stop terrorists from hiding bombs, period). And oh my, I just realized you didn't even mention the hijab! You're speaking of niqabs and burqas, neither of which are relevant here. This debate is focused on the hijab, and the hijab only.

4. Muslims in America should not be penalized for the regressive policies of Muslim governments overseas, governments they, being US citizens, no longer have any connection with. And in several cases, Muslim women have come here to escape persecution. Why would subjecting them to additional persecution and restriction be just?

I await your response


Let us observe what, exactly, has occurred in the Round 1-2. Who met the burden of proof, who failed to do so?

The correct answer is that Pro failed to uphold their burden of proof whilst Con undeniably did so.

I shall now show the framework of logic within this debate and explain why the Con case is rested upon far deeper foundation than the flimsy one of Pro's.

Pro literally concedes to the entirety of my first contention but adds in, as a last comment, that the aftermath of banning the Hijab would be to devastating to any private property owner to do so. This is not only irrelevant but is also incorrect in and of itself.

The Irrelevance
The irrelevance of this point is that as long as Pro concedes that any, one, private property on Earth is entitled to ban the wearing of Hijab within their premises at a given time, then he concedes that any Muslim woman present on those premises should not be allowed to wear the Hijab "whenever and wherever they want". Thus the entire debate has already been won at this point but I shall, nonetheless, endeavour to cover my bases on the other, equally futile, lines of attack.

The Severe Fallacy
Any Bar/Pub in a Neo-Nazi neighbourhood of any nation would lose customers form banning the Hijab. Instead, they'd lose very many, as well as tarnish their reputation, if they were to allow anyone to wear it (apart from Islamic nations but no Neo-Nazi gangs exist there). Now, since Muslims do not drink alcohol (generally speaking) it is still applicable to any Muslims dining at the Bar/Pub as many do offer this facility.

In actual fact, any Church on a Sunday proceeding, Hindu or Buddhist temple, Synagogue, Church of Scientology or any other place of worship than a Muslim one allowed Hijab wearing at the time of their worship would severely lose popularity and people would be willing to move to the ones in surrounding neighborhoods to avoid it. It's disrespectful to wear a hijab in another place of worship just as much as it is to flash your tits in a Mosque.

Regardless, there are literally infinite scenarios whereby an organization may end up less profitable if they allowed Hijabs than if they banned them, so this is an endless and flawless win for Con so far.

So, to counter my second point, Pro irrelevantly mentions that USA is allied to Saudi Arabia. Unless Pro can explain why this is remotely relevant, they should apologize for even raising it and let it drop. Pro agrees that the Saudi policy on not wearing Hijabs is more dire than the policy on wearing Hijabs anywhere else in the world. Not only does Pro agree to this but he furthermore asserts that my argument does not make sense to him. Pro indirectly admits that it probably does make sense but that they fail to grasp it. They were merely requesting clarification.

I will now fully clarify why if Islamic nations have no respect for other culture's fashion (especially in their workplaces and schools) then other nations should most definitely treat them the same way. The answer lies in the fact that the justification for allowing women to wear Hijab is that their religion's way of life demands it. On the other hand, their religious way of life demands no respect for ways of life other than one's own. This is furthermore supported by the fact that Iran also has compulsory Hijab wearing, meaning that the most Sunni and most Shi'a nations on Earth both force women to wear the Hijab against their will and discard their own culture's values and traditions. Even more ironic is that [1] in 1936, the ruler Reza Shah deemed the chador and hijab as incompatible with his modernizing ambitions. The police arrested women who wore the veil and forcibly removed it. Many women refused to leave the house in fear. So, tell me please why if nations of Islam resort to this sort of force to ensure their dress code must be worn, that others cannot do the same to them? Please give a reason.

[1] Abrahamian, Ervand (1982). Iran Between Two Revolutions. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. pp. 123–163. ISBN 9780691053424.

As for the third point, people can be asked to take shoes off, in fact they can be strip searched [] forcibly in many nations if there is reason to believe they are carrying such weapons. The resolution says whenever and wherever meaning that even in such an extreme situation, Pro would have Muslim women exempt from such safety precautions, putting everyone at risk. Niqabs and Burqas are very relevant since most of the Western world is coming averse to them and alerting security whenever someone wears them. Thus, the Hijab will become the next line of attack inevitably (think like a terrorist for a minute).

In regards to the USA argument. This debate is not about American law, it is about laws of any nation anywhere at any time that may possibly ban Hijab for any given reason not being allowed because Pro asserts that Muslim women should be permitted to wear Hijabs when and where they please. Technically speaking there would be no persecution if they were forced to dress like the rest of the people around them, it would actually eradicate the possibility of persecution altogether. So, the argument falls flat. This isn't about persecution, it is about the right to enforce your culture's dress code on your citizens being wrong to do to a Muslim while it's fully accessible in their culture to do to non-Muslims.
Debate Round No. 2


So basically, my opponent is arguing that I have contradicted myself. This is mainly referring to my first statement in round 2. What I said was "a business has the right to refuse service." I may not support HOW the establishment exercises this right to refuse (i.e. banning the hijab), but I still support the right itself...if that makes sense.

To further clarify this, I'll give an example. A Muslim woman, wearing a hijab, enters a coffee shop in Chicago. When the woman approaches the counter to order, the shop owner refuses to serve her, citing her hijab as a reason. Although the shop owner is being bigoted and unfair (in my opinion), it is still within their rights to refuse service to the woman. I believe the woman SHOULD be able to wear her hijab wherever she pleases, but that doesn't mean I want to restrict businesses either.

In conclusion, I have explained my pro-business/pro-hijab stance to many of my peers and acquaintances. All of them have grasped the concept, some even agreed with it. All except you. So hopefully this explanation helped clarify things.

I don't understand the point of you bringing up neo-Nazis. Yes, a neo-Nazi establishment most likely would not allow hijabs. What exactly are you getting at? A neo-Nazi store owner banning hijabs might win approval from his comrades, but you can bet the wider, mainstream community would be whipped into a frenzy. You're saying that banning hijabs is usually more profitable. But you aren't thinking realistically. You know the politically correct times we're living in. A ban on hijabs would be attacked, challenged, and condemned quite viciously. A business or organization can't get away with that kind of discrimination so easily nowadays.

Yes, I mentioned our alliance with Saudi Arabia. I even acknowledged that it was irrelevant: "but that's another can of worms." It wasn't related. So, in order to repair your ego, I apologize.

In your criticism of Islamic nations, I noticed something. You were criticizing the governments, and rightly so. The Islamic GOVERNMENTS are the ones who enforced the oppression, not the victims. The victims, in this case Muslim women, had no hand in it. Let me use another example:

A Muslim woman, Jaiyana, emigrated from a nation with a strict, fundamentalist rule that forced women to wear hijabs (at the minimum). Jaiyana continues to cover up, even in her new country. Not out of fear, but out of religiousness. For some unknown reason, she enters a church. The priest commands Jaiyana to remove her hijab, due to Islamic dress code being "too strict" (the same reasoning you used).

You're saying that Muslim women, like Jaiyana, should be forced to comply to Euro-American dress codes; and only due to their former government's policies. The policies they had very little control over. Obviously, women aren't the ones who support the oppression against themselves. So why do you insist on punishing them for the crimes of someone else, in this case their ex-state?

When did I say I wanted to exempt Muslim women from security procedures? My argument is against banning the hijab, not against searching it at an airport checkpoint. However, if a Muslim woman is under suspicion, and her hijab must be searched, this should be done in a private location. My cousin is a Muslim, and to her, removing a hijab in public is the equivalent of a Western woman removing her bra. Granted, she might be an extreme case, but my point remains.

I see you say "there would be no persecution if they were forced to dress like the rest of the people around them." I find this interesting, because forcing someone to dress a certain way is LITERALLY the definition of persecution (hostility and ill-treatment due to race or religion).

I await your argument.


We now have reached the conclusion of this debate. I commend Pro for trying hard, I genuinely see an effort put into their arguments and sincere integrity in the way they carry themselves. Nonetheless, I find flaws in the logic they use and the route by which they have reached the conclusion of the resolution being proven true.

What Pro is Saying in Favor of Con

In Round 2, Pro states that "a business has the right to refuse service". This directly opposes the resolution as if a private organization, household, or business can ban someone from wearing a Hijab, it follows that on those premises at a given time, Muslim women are not able to wear the Hijab whenever and wherever they want.

In Round 3, Pro follows up on this saying that he doesn't approve how the business may carry out their right but that their right is undeniable. This is again contradicting the notion that Muslim on the premises are able to wear the Hijab whenever and wherever they please.

In Round 3, Pro finally concedes that if the Hijab can pose a security threat (which it undeniably can), that any Muslim woman being strip searched should be forced to remove the Hijab. This directly contradicts the notion that they are able to wear it whenever and wherever they want to do so as if they happened to wish to do it in this situation, Pro supports banning them from wearing it.

In Round 3, Pro attempts to cover up the business contradiction by saying that someone can be refused service for Hijab but that the woman should be permitted to wear it. If the business, in the example Pro offered, had a policy that stated that only people purchasing coffee or some other food or beverage were permitted to stay there, then the Muslim women there would all have to remove their Hijab in order to remain in place. In addition, Pro ignores the fact that a business can dictate that its Muslim employees do not wear the Hijab as it violates uniform (something which I raised in round one and went uncontested the entire debate).

The Jaiyana Case

This has no relevance to the debate because regardless of where Jaiyana came from, if she is in a situation where snot permitted to wear the Hijab but wants to do so, Pro argues that she has some inherent ineffable privilege beyond human comprehension to wear her Hijab where and when she pleases. This is clearly not true at all. He is playing an emotional game where one's sympathy for Jaiyana somehow necessitates all Muslim women to wear the Hijab where and when they please. There is no logical progression here, it is merely a distraction from the real debate at hand.

The Persecution Issue

It is not persecution to ban a headwear for all people of all races and religions. Muslim women can wear a variety of headwear, Hijab is only one of them. Regardless of this even if they were completely banned from wearing headwear of that kind, it wouldn't be persecution. Persecution is if the treatment is directed at a race or religion.

My Round 2 argument was that is Muslim women are dressing similar to the non-Muslim women persecution becomes far more difficult and almost impossible to carry out within a nation. this makes being Muslim simply a non-visual philosophical choice as opposed to a fashion statement that people can overtly see and mock. That was my point.

The Islamic Nations Issue

Pro does not seem to understand the point I am making here. I explained how many Islamic nations force women who are not Muslim to wear their clothing (and ban clothing of other religions too). This is perfectly fine in their religion and culture and, throughout history, they have even gone through periods of banning Hijabs violently and justified it. If this is acceptable treatment to non0-Muslims, according to them, then why it is unacceptable to ban the Hijab in a non-Muslim nation of any kind? It shouldn't be and for them to oppose it on grounds of "acceptance" or "tolerance" is outrageous.

The Religion Validity Issue

In Round 1, I raised the point that most religions other than Islam are equally probable to it to be the true one. This means that any nations such as Vatican City, Kenya or Brazil (three different kinds of Christianity) should be totally entitled to ban Hijab wearing since it represents a false religion according to them and idolizing any deity other than the Christian God is not only a sin but a direct violation of one of the ten core commandments of Christianity. Thus, to suggest that such a nation would have no right to ban the Hijab while Islamic nations can enforce their fashion rules onto non-Muslims is absurd to the highest degree.

I conclude that Muslim women should be able to wear Hijabs wherever and whenever they want.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by vwv 2 years ago
Dammit i did the conclusion part wrong in last sentence i forgot to put 'not'.
Posted by benjaminimuffin 2 years ago
I thought we were speaking in terms of the US. I confirmed that in my opening statement. Apparently it didn't show up...I had to delete and re-type the entire text several times due to technical difficulties.

And I think my argument would be the same for any nation. Muslim women have a right to dress as they please (regarding the hijab. Burqas are another story)
Posted by vwv 2 years ago
I am under the understanding that the word American wasn't mentioned at all in your round one or resolution yet you suddenly bring American rights into round 2?

What about Christian nations such as south Africa or Kenya?

What about Vatican City?
Posted by benjaminimuffin 2 years ago
@rlarson RADICAL Islam is a bad thing. Islam itself is not a bad thing. Just like radical Christianity is bad, that doesn't mean Christianity is bad
Posted by rlarson 2 years ago
Islam a bad thing
Posted by Feroste 2 years ago
No objection here.
For me as long as it's not hurting anyone or detrimental to others way of life so that it can be ignored. Have fun doing whatever that thing is. (It's just like a hat basically =P)
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: con made excellent arguments, especially ones about security that proved some Muslim women possibly to be a threat, and it went unrefuted. Pro is defeated, but con concludes with .... "Muslim women should be able to wear Hijabs wherever and whenever they want." I am sure this is a typo, not a concession, but this inevitably leads to my point of S and G given to pro. Conduct also to pro because con gets one extra round to argue. Round one is usually acceptance, Mr. VWV....