The Instigator
salam.morcos
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
TheHitchslap
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points

The hijab and/or niqab should be banned

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
TheHitchslap
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/20/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,882 times Debate No: 76705
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (62)
Votes (4)

 

salam.morcos

Con

This debate is impossible to accept. If you somehow manage to accept, you will have to forfeit or it will be considered a loss.

TheHitchslap and I agreed to focus this debate to the niqab only.

The proposition of this debate: "The niqab should be banned in public places (specifically outdoors, in the streets of London for example)". I am a Christian, a liberal and a secular (beat that :) !)

I will argue against a ban for the niqab. Pro would argue for the ban.

Please note that I am not referring to certain exceptions, such as passing through an airport, or when the woman has to ID herself.

If you have questions regarding the debate, please ask in the comments. I am looking for a serious debater.

Rules
4 rounds, 72 hours, 10,000 characters, Voting: 2,500 Elo

For the sake of the reader, the format will be:

Round 1 Con: Resolution and rules.
Round 1 Pro: Pro's arguments.

Round 2 Con: Con's arguments.
Round 2 Pro: Rebuttal only (No new arguments)

Round 3 Con: Rebuttal only (No new arguments)
Round 3 Pro: Defense of contentions (No rebuttals) and a conclusion

Round 4 Con: Defense of contentions (No rebuttals) and a conclusion
Round 4 Pro: Pro must waive the final round by typing "Round waived".

1. No forfeits.
2. All arguments must be visible inside this debate. Sources may be within the debate or in comments.
3. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere.
4. No trolling.
5. No "kritiks" of the topic (i.e. arguments that challenge an assumption in the resolution).
6. No deconstructional semantics.
7. Burden of Proof (BoP) is shared
8. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed without asking in the comments before you post your round 1 argument. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed in the middle of the debate.

I look forward for an exciting debate.
TheHitchslap

Pro

Thank you to my opponent for challenging me to this debate!

Let's have some fun!

R1: The Niqab Promotes Sexualization

The first and foremost concern I have with the niqab, is the sexualization component of the veil. Quite literally, the Qu'ran forces women to wear this to look “modest” as it assumes that women have a responsibility to prevent themselves from being sexually assaulted, and that men are overly sexual in the first place.

Only that it is simply not true, and highly dangerous. It plays into social stereotypes that are unfair to each gender. Women do not have a responsibility to not be sexually assaulted, that responsibility is on the perpetrator of the one doing the sexual assaulting who needs to cease. The idea that men want to bang everything that walks is also unfair. As such, the niqab furthers dangerous thinking that should be shunned, not perpetrated within a free and democratic society.

It also means that women are no longer women. They become nothing more than sex objects by virtue of the sexualization in the first place.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org...

http://www.al-islam.org...

This dehumanizing promotion is correlated with increases in sexual assaults, rapes, depression rates increasing, eating disorders being enhanced, et cetera. Clearly, we do not want to further sexualize anyone.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org...

R2: If the Niqab was banned, its generally cool with Muslims

Its important to remember that the Quran and Hedith (the two most important texts within Islam) only make hijabs compulsory. If the niqab was banned, that would be fine and not clash with anyone’s belief.

The fact of the matter is the Quran gives exception to the wearer of the veil in circumstances beyond the wearers control. In fact, if one goes to Mecca, which each muslim is to attempt to go once within their lives, no one is allowed a face veil of any kind. Several Islamic countries themselves have also banned the veil, as the actual wearing of the Niqab is still heavily in debate among one another in the actual religion themselves. As such, if the Niqab is banned, what's the muslim suppose to do? They would be perfectly fine as this kind of requirement is normal within their own societies.

We also would not be the first country to ban any sort of headgear. Turkey has banned them all for instance, and Trukey is Islamic. If they're able to do it, why not us as well?

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org...

https://en.wikipedia.org...

R3: Public Policy Isn't Always Rational, Sometimes it is Purely a Values Policy

I hold too that as a Western Society we value equality. As such, the niqab does not agree with a Western Democracies values. As such, because public policy decisions are sometimes made on the basis of values, instead of actual impacts, the Niqab ought to be banned. Western societies do not see women as second class citizens anymore, we have given womens suffrage and equality with the recognition of person-hood as a result. The Niqab, however, clearly does delegate the person to being a second class citizen by very nature of the dress. It not only erodes personal identity, but says that the identity beneath the clothing is sexual only. Something that western societies do not agree with

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org..., http://fordschool.umich.edu...

R4: Illusion of Choice

One council of muslim women claim that they wear the niqab out of religious obligation, and identity, however, they claim to not be pressured into wearing the clothing.

Source: http://www.thestar.com...

The problem here is the fact that a Muslim women will never actually admit to wanting to not wear the niqab. While every situation is different, there is in fact clear pressure to wear the niqab anyways, despite it actually not being obligatory if the law were to prevent it. In fact, in the same report it claims that some women were “encouraged” to wear the niqab...let's see what encouragement can look like...

In one case, a husband actually threatened to divorce his wife over not wearing the niqab alone. Divorce in Islam heavily favors the men, so this is a huge type of economic coercion, and uses psychological threats to leverage his position in an unfair manner.

Source: http://islamqa.info...

Clearly, some women have no choice, which is why the law banning it makes more sense. At least that way no one is forced to wear it, and furthermore the practicers of Islam are not in trouble for failing to wear it, because the choice was beyond theirs to make.

R5: Slippery Slopes, Slippery Slopes EVERYWHERE!

My final argument is the consequences of not banning the Niqab. The problem is the race to fully conceal oneself will begin. If someone is wearing the niqab, and someone is wearing a hijab, should the two be compared? It happens in Muslim communities all the time, meaning that because someone is “less” covered, they are somehow “less” pure.

It means that slippery slopes to imposing one value on one person begins to start values being imposed on all people. Something we don't believe in if freedom of choice is a value. For every story of someone dawning the niqab for personal preference, another comes out of coercion and beatings for taking it off. Some even have chemicals tossed in their faces for it as well.

As much as this is a “slippery slope” the problem is it has happened, in Madani Free school in Derby, all women, not just Muslim women, must wear the veil.

Source: http://freethoughtblogs.com...

http://www.jihadwatch.org...



Over to my opponent!

Debate Round No. 1
salam.morcos

Con

I thank my opponent for engaging with me on this debate. As agreed with Pro, the focus of this debate will be on the niqab.

Contention 1: Infringes on Human Rights and Freedom of Religion

In a democracy, everyone is considered equal in front of the law regardless of their ethnicity, race, belief or opinion. The constitutions of all developed nations are very clear about this [1][2][3]. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18 states:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."

Banning the niqab is clearly an infringement on the human rights of those who willingly choose and want to wear the niqab.

In Canada, the government banned the niqab during oath at citizenship ceremonies. Ishaq, who was banned from wearing the niqab, decided not to take the oath and sued the government over it [4]. She explains "I came to the conclusion that the niqab is mandatory to my faith." While many Muslims disagree with her, it's irrelevant whether she's right or wrong. This is what she believes, and she's entitled to that belief regardless if you like it or not. And this incident clearly shows that she wants to wear the niqab to the point that she's willing to fight the government for it.

Therefore, the ban on the niqab is unconstitutional, infringes on human rights and limits freedom of religion and expression..


Contention 2: Harm principle

The Harm principle is a "very simple" principle [5] where:

[T] he only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others […] The only part of the conduct of anyone for which he is amenable to society is that which concerns others. […] Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.

In the case of wearing the niqab, there is clearly no harm to others, and therefore it ought not to be banned.

Also, the rationale for banning the niqab would be based on the moral values of some citizens, who believe that these actions are harmful to those who are wearing them. But that subjective opinion is merely subjective. Those who wear the niqab hold a different opinion and claim that it makes them feel liberated [6]. A democratic government ought to respect the opinions of all of its citizens and must work tirelessly to ensure that their liberties and freedoms are secured.

Contention 3: Discriminates against Muslims and Adverse effects

This ban clearly discriminates against Muslims. Human Rights Watch states that "bans of this nature – whether formulated in neutral terms or explicitly targeting the Muslim veil – have a disproportionate impact on Muslim women, and thereby violate the right to not be discriminated against on the basis of religion and gender" [7].

For example, France's ban on headscarves had more adverse effects than benefits. The ban has "isolated and stigmatized Muslim women" [8]. There's also no evidence that the French ban (since 2004) had any positive outcomes.

To avoid being labeled discriminatory, France banned all religious symbols altogether. This impacted others such as Sikhs who were banned from wearing the turban, and Christians who were banned from wearing crosses [9]. I personally wear two crosses, how is that harmful to anyone? How can the government dare tell me what I ought to wear or not to wear? If the ban is exclusive to the niqab, then why should I be able to express my belief freely, while Muslims can't? Am I more privileged because of my belief? That's the very definition of discrimination.

I demonstrated that banning the niqab is unconstitutional, infringes on human rights, limits freedom of religion and expression, discriminates against Muslim and stigmatizes them. Therefore I urge the reader to stand against such a ban.

[1] US constitution, Article 1
[2] Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Article 2
[3] European Convention on Human Rights, Article 9
[4] http://www.theglobeandmail.com...
[5] John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, pp. 68-69
[6] http://www.theguardian.com...
[7] http://www.hrw.org...
[8] http://www.nytimes.com...
[9] http://www.theguardian.com...

TheHitchslap

Pro

Thank you to my opponent for his arguments, I shall rebuttal. Good luck!

R1: Human Rights and Freedoms

Rights are not absolute. They can also be conflicting in their own right. The claim that the ban would infringe on the freedom of religion is true in its most literal form. However, as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms points out in Article 1: “The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

Source: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca...

The same is actually true for the US constitution, and the European Convention of Human Rights. All constitutions allow for certain freedoms to be reduced in light of a given situation having bad consequences or in the case of conflicting articles. When one also considers that the UN and its constitution are purely voluntarist, and the UN General Assembly can only make recommendations, my opponents case seems dead on arrival.

Source: http://www.un.org..., https://en.wikipedia.org...(action)

The EU actually justifies Frances ban within their constitution as well actually: http://www.bbc.com...

Allow me to provide you with an example, my fellow DDO'ians. The Torah, Bible, and Qu'ran all justify slavery, yet we in a Western Democratic society do not adhere to slavery anymore. As a result, this freedom to own slaves on the basis of religion has effectively been nullified. Does this infringe on the Freedom of Religion? Absolutely, but it is a justified infringement. Justified on the basis that the slave themselves were working in a nasty industry, consistently be beaten, and although treatment varies from slave owner to slave owner, some slaves actually would sell themselves into slavery due to economic concerns.

Sources: http://www.chabad.org..., http://rationalwiki.org..., http://skepticsannotatedbible.com...

The same can be said of the Niqab specifically. As I pointed out earlier, the permission to wear the niqab starts a race to become most pure: comparing one wearing a hijab and one wearing a niqab forces a coercion to be more “pure” and thus cover up more. Further, what happens if one does not wear it? Some actually have acid thrown in their faces.

Source: http://www.jihadwatch.org...

I actually think forcing someone to wear the Niqab or face acid in the face, is a human rights violation, don't you? On this basis, banning the Niqab is justified. Algerian sociologist Marieme Helie Lucas says: “The ‘right’ to veil is always followed with the right to beat up women who do not.”

R2: Do No Harm Principal

I agree with the do no harm principal, however the Niqab is harmful in several ways.

When one considers my previous argument on sexualization, then we have a serious issue. It harms all women in society by demeaning them to sexual objectification, the kind of which causing serious issues (see round 1 R1). Furthermore, the essay that Mill writes the harm principal also stated “that for such actions as are prejudicial to the interests of others, the individual is accountable, and may be subjected either to social or to legal punishments”. Which means that my sexualization argument is in fact a form of harm within the realm of the harm principal, and justified to legal restraint.

Source: http://www.ucl.ac.uk...

Secondly, because in Islam, this is a unique situation. The text itself requires head dress to look “modest” (read sexualization in actual justification) however if the law makes the head dress illegal, Islam does allow for enough flexibility to allow the user to not wear the head-dress and not face eternal damnation as a result.

Source: http://www.onislam.net...

http://www.al-islam.org...

And finally, because of social pressure to actually wear the niqab in the first place (Round 2 R1, and Round 1 R4) it does not mean that the user actually always has a choice. This is dangerous enough as is.

Clearly, the Niqab is dangerous, and the Do No Harm Principal would actually justify, not nullify, banning the Niqab all together.

R3: Discrimination

I actually believe I answered this earlier (R1), it is discriminative to Muslims, but the question is if the discrimination is justified or not. On the basis that I have made my case, I believe it is.

On the question of France, to fix the unintended consequences, France actually did allow for religious symbols to be permitted, and instead fixed the ban to concealing the face specifically only. So turbans and crosses are allowed, same as wearing a helmet while motorbiking. Only the veil itself is banned.

Source: http://www.bbc.com...

I have space to continue, I shall not add any new arguments here, but instead seeing as my opponent is going to rebuttal, I shall ask him some questions from my previous contentions.

C1: Sexualization

The fact is, the very purpose of the veil is to look modest and cease sexual appetite. The Quran and textual scholars agree on this. This is by definition, reducing women to nothing more than sexual objects of desire. It claims that men want to bang everything, and women are of use to be sexual in the first place. How is the Niqab not sexualizing?

C2: Impacts

You stated earlier that France banned the veil and there is no evidence that it has had positive impacts. I checked the source, and it is nothing more than an opinion piece. It doesn't actually show any statistical data, or sources to back up its claims. It rests on a bare assertion.

Suppose that you are correct though, it has no good impacts (which I contest due to sexualization nullification), public policy isn't always about what impacts come as a result of a policy choice, sometimes it is about extending the values of a society into law. How would not banning the Niqab represent equity, when by virtue of wearing it in the first place women are noted second-class citizens already? In other words, how is wearing it in the first place not discrimination, as men in the religion do not have to wear it? Wouldn't a truly equal society not do that in the first place

C3: Division Among Muslims

You also claim it can be a choice. But how is this truly a free choice given the cultural relativism within Islamic societies towards the scarf? How about those coerced into wearing the veil?
Worse yet, not all Muslims themselves actually agree with the head dress. And with good reason, no one is allowed to wear it when in Mecca. Doesn't this mean that Islam provides enough justification for one to not wear the veil on the basis of a law? Because that law is nothing more than something beyond the wearers circumstances, why would this be an issue if the wearer is already not allowed to wear it in certain “special” situations? Wouldn't a law in a country banning it be a “special situation” too?

Also, Turkey is predominantly Islamic. How come they can ban the niqab entirely, but we cannot? If Turkey says it is okay, then ... isn't it okay? If all these islamic countries are banning the Niqab, why can't we? (Several others other than Turkey have done the same).

C4: Slippery Slopes

If the Niqab is not banned, then how do you propose preventing a sort of Islamic cultural imperialism from inadvertently happening? In other words, if not the Niqab, then when does it stop exactly? Doesn't this put inadvertent pressure on women to cover up more for fear of being “less pure” if they're just wearing a hijab? How is this equality exactly?


Thank you! Over to my opponent! I await his answers eagerly!

Debate Round No. 2
salam.morcos

Con

Rule Violation
Pro extended his arguments in Round 2. This is against the rules set forth in the debate. Pro was supposed to rebut only and therefore this should be deemed as misconduct. But because I like TheHitchslap and his arguments, and this could be my last debate in DDO, I will continue the debate. However, I ask the reader to ignore Pro's extended arguments, as I may not be able to respond to them.

R1: The Niqab Promotes Sexualization

First of all, Pro makes a false claim that the Quran commands wearing the veil to prevent themselves from being sexually assaulted. This is completely false [1]. Also, it's completely irrelevant because I'm not a Muslim. I'm not here to argue for or against Islam. I'm arguing whether it ought to be legalized or not. This comment is irrelevant.

Pro then continues that "Women do not have a responsibility to not be sexually assaulted, that responsibility is on the perpetrator of the one doing the sexual assaulting who needs to cease." This is a red herring. I actually agree with Pro. But this has absolutely nothing to do with the niqab. The comment above is true whether the niqab or hijab is legalized or not. Pro amuses me when he says "The idea that men want to bang everything that walks is also unfair". This is another red herring, and to blame the niqab for it is outright ridiculous. Pro then says that the "niqab furthers dangerous thinking that should be shunned, not perpetrated within a free and democratic society". This is a bare assertion. Pro doesn't show that the hijab is the cause of sexualization or that it promotes it (or promotes dangerous thinking). The sources he provided are completely irrelevant. One talks about sexualization, and one about the hijab, but neither relate the two. So it's simply a bare assertion from Pro.

Pro then continues that "It also means that women are no longer women. They become nothing more than sex objects by virtue of the sexualization in the first place." What? Where does Pro come up with these ideas? Did he ask a woman wearing the niqab? Semaa Abdulwali writes: "The niqab makes me feel liberated, and no law will stop me from wearing it" [2]. To argue that Semaa has become nothing more than a sex object is absurd.

To turn this argument against Pro, some argue that pop videos [3] and female video characters [4] promote sexualization. Does that mean the government should ban them? That's absurd and therefore Pro's claim is invalid.

Pro then argues that "dehumanizing promotion is correlated with increases in sexual assaults, rapes, depression rates increasing, eating disorders being enhanced, et cetera." (Poor source again). I don't disagree with Pro. But Pro needs to understand that correlation is not causation [5]. Even though that Pro didn't provide any data, let's assume for the sake of the argument, that hijab is correlated with increased sexual assaults. I repeat: Pro didn't present such evidence, but even if there was such correlation, it doesn't mean that the niqab caused this sexualization. And therefore, there is no evidence that banning the niqab leads to any reduction to sexualization!

R2: If the Niqab was banned, its generally cool with Muslims

This is not a contention. It's irrelevant. Who cares if they're cool with it or not? It's the women who are impacted that should be taken into account. Clearly many women weren't cool with it being banned [2][6][7][8][9][10], so this point goes against Pro. They also explain that they did so out of personal choice, and not under pressure by family.

R3: Public Policy Isn't Always Rational, Sometimes it is Purely a Values Policy

What? Is Pro serious? What does Pro mean that we ought not to be rational in our public policy! That's outlandish. We have to be very rational, and we must respect equality. Pro actually states that "I [Pro] hold too that as a Western Society we value equality". So if Pro values equality, then why should those women who want to wear the niqab are not treated and respected equally? You're entitled to wear what you like to wear, but they don't have the same right? How is that "equal"!? This is insane...

Pro continues with bare assertions that "the Niqab, however, clearly does delegate the person to being a second class citizen by very nature of the dress". According to whom? That's Pro's opinion. But what about the women who wear the dress who feel liberated as I've shown? Shouldn't we respect their opinions?

Should the government ban BDSM which are erotic practices that involve dominance and submission [11]? One could argue that it's demeaning to the person (the Masochists). I personally find BDSM very disgusting to be honest, but that still doesn’t warrant making it illegal.

I ask Con a very important question. What values are these that he's referring to? These values are highly subjective, and they defer within the country and between different cultures and religions. Evangelists argue that abortion and same-sex marriage are gainst their values, and some atheists argue that teaching the Bible in school is against their values. Amish people argue that living in luxury is against their values, and Muslims argue that insulting their religion is against their values. Do you get my point? There's no "objective" value reservoir that all people should adhere to, and therefore the government ought not penalize a certain group of people based on the values of others. Also these values are not static, they change. Hundreds of years ago, slavery wasn't against the values of many Americans, but that doesn't make it right and not ought to be banned.

This is a very important and I ask Pro to seriously consider my comments above. I mean this sincerely.

R4: Illusion of Choice

Pro is really interesting here. He brings a source showing that women want to wear the hijab, but he simply dismisses that claim as an illusion. Based on what is Pro making this claim? None. It's a bare assertion. To argue that all the women I listed above are living some kind of illusion is implausible. Pro's claim ought to be dismissed.

But let me make this clear, even if it is an illusion, they have the right to have the illusion. By denying them "what they think" is right, you would be oppressing them.

And let's say that a woman was forced or coerced to wear the niqab, it doesn't follow that we should ban the niqab. Let me explain. A boyfriend pressured a woman to drink, does it follow that we ban drinking [12]. And when a man pressures a woman to have breast implants, is that a pretext to ban breast implantation [13]? And many men force their wives to cover their cleavage and not to wear revealing clothes, does that mean we should ban any clothes that are not revealing? If there's an argument to be made, is an argument against the cause (the person who forces). The niqab is not the cause and therefore it doesn't follow that it should be banned.

R5: Slippery Slopes, Slippery Slopes EVERYWHERE!

I really dislike Pro's argument here because it's invalid. So I'll explain the Slippery slope fallacy (Also called the Camel's nose fallacy) [14]. An example of this fallacy is: "You can never give anyone a break. If you do, they'll walk all over you."

Pro argues that if one wears the niqab, then the one wearing the hijab would be considered less covered (and therefore less pure). How does it follow that it ought to be banned? What kind of non sense is that!! If we use Pro's analogy then the hijab ought to be banned, because a woman wearing the hijab would be less covered and less pure. And why cover the sleeves? Maybe we should ban them too because women would be considered less covered otherwise. By the end of it, all women ought to be naked, so no woman would be labeled "less pure" than another. What nonsense!

It's none of your business or mine to decide what someone ought to think, and how someone ought to consider something as pure or not. If one considers a woman not wearing the niqab to not be pure, then he's an idiot, but that's his prerogative and opinion. It's none of the government's business to ban something just because some weirdo's think in a certain way.

As I stated earlier, I will not be able to answer Pro's extended arguments in the second rounds as I ran out of space. That was in violation of the rules.


[1] http://www.irfi.org...
[2] http://www.theguardian.com...
[3] http://www.ibtimes.co.uk...
[4] http://www.academia.edu...
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[6] http://www.thestar.com...
[7] http://www.cbc.ca...
[8] http://ipolitics.ca...
[9] http://niqablovers.blogspot.ca...
[10] https://medium.com...
[11] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[12] http://www.dearcupid.org...
[13] http://isitnormal.com...
[14] http://www.nizkor.org...

TheHitchslap

Pro

Thanks Con!

Rule Violation

I'm flattered by my opponents compliments, I like him too. However, I clearly stated in the earlier round that I didn't add to the argument. I simply had some questions for my opponent. Questions in which he would have had to answer regardless in his rebuttals.

Either way, up to you voters. If you've found I've violated conduct, please feel free to give them to my opponent. However, I contend that I didn't. In substance of my argument, they were never anything new. What would have been new is if I had rebuttal last round with “at least the hijab would still be legal within our framework”, an argument that I missed in the first round and have not brought up (just as an example though).

Rebuttals: Voters please remember as per the rules here, I am not allowed to rebuttal, but simply defend my contentions with a conclusion.

D1: Niqab Promotes Sexualization

Recall what sexualization is: 1) to be sexually aware, or 2) sexual associations

Source: http://www.collinsdictionary.com...

The fact is, the Qu'ran does demand looking modest in front of other Muslim men by wearing a cover. In the Quran its self it clearly states it alone. Source: [Qur'an 24:30].

The text does not leave any room for interpretation, at all. This is sexualization in its purest form, the epitome of it. Again, it is the claim that Men are horn-dogs wanting to sleep with every woman, and that women to men are objects of desire. Regardless of if this is true or not, this is sexualization. And it has some nasty adverse consequences as I have pointed out earlier.

Even worse, its admitted by several followers with their own blogs on the question. It is done to try and prevent sexual contact, wanted or unwanted in any capacity. It is to look pure, and untempting, even by the texts own concepts and admissions. The epitome of sexualization.

Sources: http://www.islamicinsights.com..., http://www.al-islam.org...

https://en.wikipedia.org..., https://en.wikipedia.org...

What also becomes tricky here is cultural relativism as I have pointed out before. Some Muslim women will claim it is a choice, but really, it isn't. It is the illusion of choice, and the choice not to wear it is almost followed with coercion as I have pointed out before.

The APA has produced ample reports showing the adverse consequences of Sexualization. And because the Islamic texts admit to sexualizing women in the first place, these are the simpel repercussions of it.

Source: http://www.apa.org...

D2: Generally Cool with Muslims

I fail to see why Muslims would oppose banning via government policies. As I have pointed out earlier in this debate, France and Turkey have banned it. They seem to be doing fine. Furthermore, Muslims are not allowed to wear it in Mecca. Islamic law does not allow it. If these are acceptable exceptions to having the veil removed, then I do not see why the government shouldn't feel as though they can ban the Niqab and not infringe on Islamic beliefs. Clearly, their own religious beliefs permit not wearing it in special circumstances. I think governments banning it would constitute a special circumstance, and one in which Turkey has outwardly done.

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org..., https://en.wikipedia.org...,

https://en.wikipedia.org...

D3: Public Policy is not Always Rational

The fact of the matter is, sometimes a policy is carried out because of its symbolism rather than genuine impacts. Or as it is called in public policy: value rationality.

The values that a Western Democracy has is equality. It is improtant to remember on that basis, that it isn't men wearing the Niqab, but only women. If that is the case, this is clearly not equality, something that we value here. On that basis, even if the ban were to have adverse consequences (which I maintain it would not), that alone would be enough to justify a ban on the Niqab.

Now, we could have a debate on this framework as being a good one for policy evaluation or not, but that is beyond the scope of this debate. The only thing that matters here, is that the Niqab is not in line with Western Democratic values. And if laws and policies are to reaffirm eqality of both sexes, the Niqab ban is needed, for the Niqab in its very essence stands opposite to it.

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org...

http://fordschool.umich.edu...

D4: Illusion of Choice

There is in fact clear pressure to wear the niqab anyways, despite it actually not being obligatory if the law were to prevent it. It is improtant to remember that women pulling the choice card are simply adhereing to cultural relativism rather than having a genuine choice free from coercion to wear the Niqab in the first place.

In one case, a husband actually threatened to divorce his wife over not wearing the niqab alone. Divorce in Islam heavily favours the men, so this is a huge type of economic coercion, and uses psychological threats to leverage his position in an unfair manner.

Source: http://islamqa.info......

Clearly, some women have no choice, which is why the law banning it makes more sense. At least that way no one is forced to wear it, and furthermore the practices of Islam are not in trouble for failing to wear it, because the choice was beyond theirs to make. In another example, one woman who failed to wear the veil resulted in acid thrown in her face. Clearly, the claim of choice isn't one that actually is a genuine choice, there is a clear social pressure to wear it, and failure to do so results in a claim of not being “pure”, or physical retribution.

Source: https://www.opposingviews.com...

D5: Slippery Slopes

It happens in Muslim communities all the time, meaning that because someone is “less” covered, they are somehow “less” pure. This is a serious problem, as some more conservative Islamic folks will believe that it isn't good enough to wear the Hijab alone, in a bout of being most pure, one must wear the Niqab disguised as a virtue. Where does the buck stop?

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk... http://www.onislam.net...,

Something we don't believe in if freedom of choice is a value is imposing one value on one person, which in turn begins to start values being imposed on all people. For every story of someone dawning the niqab for personal preference, another comes out of coercion and beatings for taking it off. In defence of my argument, this is already happening in Western Societies, and some Islamic ones as well, being more covered, and demanding more and more.

Sources: http://www.pagef30.com...

Conclusion: I didn't break the rules, but its up to you voters. I thank my opponent for a solid debate. Just to recap one last time, Islamic countries already are banning the Niqab, laws banning it is okay with Islamic beliefs, and wearing it furthers sexualization. As such, I believe that the Niqab only ought to be banned. I do not see a reason to simply not ban it. We value equality, Islam only allows women to wear it (and thus unequal), and those who claim to wear it by choice are simply defending their religion and culture rather than making a genuine wanting choice to wear it.

Sorry to hear my opponent might be leaving DDO. I'm honored to be his last debate. I hope he'll reconsider.

Debate Round No. 3
salam.morcos

Con

I want to thank TheHitchslap for this debate. It was a pleasure.

In this final round, (as per the rules I set forth), I will defend my arguments and crystallize with a conclusion.

Rule Violation
I don't want the voters to consider Pro's valuation as misconduct. That would be petty from me to ask. My opponent did a good job on this debate and I respect his effort. I just want the voter to ignore Pro's extended arguments in Round 2 as it would put me at a disadvantage and I didn't have the space to rebut them in my rebuttal round. I think that's fair from me to ask.


Defense of Contention 1: Infringes on Human Rights and Freedom of Religion

Pro argues that "Rights are not absolute". While he agrees that "the ban would infringe on the freedom of religion", but "constitutions allow for certain freedoms to be reduced" in certain situations. Pro's justification of the ban is that the "the Niqab is not in line with Western Democratic values".

I want to explain to the reader that what Pro is proposing is extremely dangerous. Pro's explanation undermines the concept of freedoms. Let me explain with real examples. The Indonesian constitution secures the right to religious freedom and expression of opinion [1]. However, there is a law that would imprison someone for up to 5 years if they intended to convince another to leave his or her religion [2]. This clearly infringes on basic human rights, but according to Pro's analogy, Indonesia might be justified! Since these rights are not absolute, Indonesian Government may argue that it doesn't conform to "Indonesian values". When Uganda enacted laws to jail homosexuals with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment [3], did they infringe on human rights? If Pro's analogy is right, and human rights can be infringed on "based on values", then Ugandans might have not been so wrong after all because homosexuality doesn't conform to Ugandans values (or so they claim). So what Pro proposes is outright dangerous. I really hope he reconsiders.

Does that mean that "Rights are absolute"? No. There are a few exceptions. The obvious one if the freedom of one would infringe on the freedom of another. It means that no one is allowed to encourage someone to kill another, or to slander someone…etc. However, the niqab clearly doesn't fall in this category. Freedom can also be limited if the freedom would undermine the very function of the government. For example, if one's faith requires the person not the pay taxes, the government may not be able to honor this freedom; or if one's religion is to cross the red light at full speed; or if one's faith is to sacrifice a child to please the gods…etc. But you'll notice that these limitations are proportionately applied to all citizens, and not intended to target a specific group. The official department of Justice in Canada explains that such limitations must be pursued in a proportional manner [4].The niqab however is targeted to a specific group, specifically Muslims. And Pro's justification that it doesn't conform to our "western values" isn't sufficient. I've also mentioned in the previous round, that values are subjective and there's no specific reservoir of values, therefore Pro's justification is inadequate.

Pro then states that "EU actually justifies Frances ban within their constitution" [sic]. This argument is irrelevant. To say that EU's decision means that the ban is justified is begging the question. Should I appeal to the Spanish Supreme Court's decision to strike down a Burqa ban as support for my argument [5]?

Pro also challenges my reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by stating that they are purely "voluntarist". This is a straw man attack. I've shown that the basic rights to freedom of opinion, religion and expression are universal in almost all the constitutions in the world and provided references to the US, Canadian and EU constitutions.

Pro then brings a terrible example about slavery in abrahamic religions. I will not engage in theology, because that's irrelevant to the resolution. But basically, Pro is arguing that if someone's religion allows for slavery, a government ought not to allow it even though it might infringe on their religious freedom. But that's extremely different than the niqab. In slavery, you are infringing on the freedoms of the slaves. Oliver Wendell Holmes said: “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins.” But a woman wearing the niqab is not infringing on anyone's rights!

Pro continues that wearing the niqab "starts a race to become more pure". Again, why should anyone, not to mention a government, prevent someone's intention to be more pure according to their point of view?

Pro bring another example. "If one doesn't wear it, some actually have acid thrown on their faces". How is this related? How does this make the niqab ban necessary? Is it the woman's fault that a criminal attacked her? Should we ban schools because a criminal can attack innocents? Should we stop flying planes because a terrorist might want to blow it? Who are you targeting? The criminals or the victims?

Pro amuses me by saying that "I actually think forcing someone to wear the Niqab […] is a human right violation". Of course it's a human right violation. Forcing someone to wear a niqab is a human right violation and should be punishable. Am I pleading for such? Pro's example is as bad as this one: Forcing someone to have sex is a human right violation, therefore we ought to ban sex altogether. That's non sequitur and Pro's argument is invalid.

Defense of Contention 2: Harm Principle

Pro agrees with the harm principle, but argues that the niqab is harmful. Again, Pro is arguing that the niqab causes sexualization and therefore is harmful. Pro didn't provide any evidence that this is the case and I've explained that this analysis is fallacious. First, the niqab is not the cause for any harms. If one wore the niqab, no one else will be "harmed" as a result of that act. If another took off the niqab, no one really benefited as a result. Pro fails to explain the direct harms of wearing the niqab. Now if a woman was being sexualized and was forced to wear the niqab, then you might have a case against the person who's subjecting the woman to wear it, but you don't have a case against the niqab itself.

Regarding sexualization, I've shown that pop videos, movies can promote sexualization. So banning the niqab alone is disproportional and discriminatory.

Pro is not happy that Islam requires women to be "modest". Again, I'm not here to defend Islam, and it doesn't matter. Not to mentioned that I don't see the problem with promoting modestly. But that whole part about Islam and "eternal damnation" is irrelevant, so I'll dismiss it.

Pro then talks about social pressures to wear the niqab. Again that doesn't warrant banning the niqab. If there are social pressures to have sex in college, would that warrant banning sex? (Good luck with that one)

Defense of Contention 3: Discriminates against Muslims and Adverse effects

Pro misses my point about discrimination. So I'll extend my argument here:

"If the ban is exclusive to the niqab, then why should I be able to express my belief freely, while Muslims can't? Am I more privileged because of my belief? That's the very definition of discrimination."

What I'm trying to demonstrate here is that you and I will never accept that anyone infringes on our rights. Based on this understanding, I choose not to be a hypocrite. Why should I have this freedom, but Muslim ones can't? If I allow myself to have special privileges because of my beliefs and opinions, then I would be a discriminating hypocrite.

Pro also doesn't provide a proper response to the adverse effects of banning the niqab. I've shown in Round 2 that it has "isolated and stigmatized Muslim women". The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has also warned against the adverse effects of women being confined to their homes and excluded from educational institutions and public places [6].

Conclusion

Banning the niqab clearly undermines the freedom of those women who wish to wear it. While you may not like the idea of a woman wearing the niqab, it's none of your business or mine to decide what ought to be right. The niqab doesn't harm, therefore it ought to be allowed. I argue that we shouldn't allow subjective values of some people to undermine the freedom of others. The niqab ban would discriminate against Muslims and unfortunately gives some the justification to discriminate against them. I urge the reader to stand against a niqab ban as it undermines liberty, freedom and democracy.

It doesn't bother me one bit that a woman is wearing the niqab. But if it bothers you, Noam Chomsky has advice for you:

If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.” – Noam Chomsky


Good Bye?
This is officially my last debate in DDO (for now). But I'll be around if you need a vote. My two kids need me more than the laptop. Debating is amazing, but it's definitely addictive.

Pro - Don't forget to waive the next round.

Vote Con!

Sources

[1] Constitution of Indonesia, Chapter X
[2] http://www.loc.gov...
[3] http://www.independent.co.uk...
[4] http://www.justice.gc.ca...
[5] http://jurist.org...
[6] http://www.hrw.org...

TheHitchslap

Pro

TheHitchslap forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
62 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 1 year ago
RoyLatham
I didn't see this debate in time to vote on it. It's an excellent debate on a difficult subject.

Con is right is that a ban is restriction on individual freedom. The question is then whether the reduction of freedom is compensated by a benefit to society, which in this case is increasing the freedom of choice Muslim women. I think the answer depends upon whether wearing the hajib is actually a free choice of all the women who wear it, or whether it is in fact forced by the fraction of Muslims who insist upon it. that depends on the particular circumstances of the society. I think Pro made the case that it is now de facto forced. The existence of laws in Turkey making the wearing illegal is persuasive that it is forced. This is difficult question, but it does not depend upon what the majority wants, it depends upon the rights of the most seriously affected. A different society would produce a different answer.
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
Good debate. Congrats for the win.
Posted by TheHitchslap 1 year ago
TheHitchslap
Thanks for the debate Salam!
Posted by Dazz 1 year ago
Dazz
Pro was unable to justify how banning a clothing or dressing way was not subjugating freedom of choice & rights. Pro claimed that niqab or hijab creates depression or increase in rape cases but was failed to provide supportive data. Pro says Hijab is not a choice every time but can be outcome of pressurized imposition of culture but verily it's not justifying the ban when some really want to adopt it. Finally there is no practical harm of Hijab or Niqab. So Pro loses by default.
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
Lol - I wasn't being accused. I just liked her RFD.
Posted by TheHitchslap 1 year ago
TheHitchslap
Salam, its all good man.

Anyone can report a vote. So no one is accusing you.
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
!!? I didn't ask for Lee001's vote to be removed!

@Lee001 - I repeat again - thanks for the RFD.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: Lee001// Mod action: NOT Removed<

3 points to Pro (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: Comments

[*Reason for non-removal*] While the vote isn't as verbose or complete in its assessment of the debate, it is not, as this report insinuates, only addressing one argument made in the debate. The voter clearly examined several arguments in her analysis of the debate, and while it could stand to be expanded upon, this RFD does meet the standards required by the site, addressing enough of the debate to showcase that she read it completely and interpreted arguments logically.
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Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
Thanks TJ for the RFD.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
RFD (Pt. 1):

Basically, the vote comes down to:

1. Promotion of sexualization
2. Choice and superiority
3. Respect for all religions

I think harm principle is preempted by the presence of 1 and Pro's case. Con's discrimination point comes under 2, as does freedom of religion. Pro's C2 and C3 are defensive arguments, so I'm not voting on them. Pro C4 and C5 addressed under 2.

1. The basic impacts are that there is a differentiation between genders based on sexual assault. Con argues that no justification is given for the veil being related to sexual assault, so entire argument is a red herring by this. Pro responds saying "sexualization" is to "be sexually aware". The purpose of veil is modesty in front of men, which is sexualization in itself. This isn't a red herring, so argument awarded to Pro.

2. I think this is fairly defensive an argument by Pro, since it's based on "women not admitting they don't want to wear the veil," instead of an offensive "women don't want to wear the veil". As such, I see no impacts outside of preemption. But I'm addressing this anyway. Con responds saying this is a bare assertion. Pro just completely changes the course of the argument saying it leads in divorce which is bad, but I don't really see a strong impact anyway. Pro then says it isn't always a choice, but that is still defensive. I think this goes to Con. The second part of this is that wearing a hijab/niqab gives different sense of superiority between communities. But this seriously needs an established link. There isn't any link to the resolution, and it's a non-sequitur, so I wouldn't vote on it anyway. Con notes this. This clearly goes to Con as well.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
salam.morcosTheHitchslapTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
salam.morcosTheHitchslapTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Given here: http://www.debate.org/forums/society/topic/70775/
Vote Placed by Lee001 1 year ago
Lee001
salam.morcosTheHitchslapTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
salam.morcosTheHitchslapTied
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Reasons for voting decision: rfd in comments. Sorry the copy from word messed with my format...