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The veil or the hijab should be banned from school and the work place?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/17/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,256 times Debate No: 12361
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)




This is my first debate. So here i go!!!
I believe that the hijab and/or veil shouldn't be banned from schools or workplace because it is violating the law of freedom.

The first round doesn't count.
2-state what you believe
3-rebuttal + evidence and support of view
4- opinions + real world examples supporting choice
5-closing statement on why you should win


I thank my opponent for starting this debate and welcome her to her first debate. I am also new to and have much to learn. I believe that the veil/hijab should be banned from schools and the workplace for - amongst many other reasons/beliefs - the same reason my opponent believe it should not be banned. As requested I will state my beliefs in round two.
Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1


Firstly, I would like to thank my opponent for accepting my debate.
I believe in freedom of religion, that one can practice and express their religion through their actions and appearance. E has a right to wear what they please, then why should a ban be placed to prevent expression of one culture and religion. Wearing a hijab does no harm, it doesn't offend anyone. In fact, it is a great way of respecting others, dressing in modest way and have a less provoking appearance. I, myself wear a hijab on a daily basis, it is like a barricade, protecting me from danger, keeping me from making mistakes and things that i would regret later in life. This is the main job for the hijab, it's to keep a women true to herself, taking care of herself, her knowledge rather then her looks and appearance. As for the veil, it is the same thing, protects a women and acts as a barricade. The veil is not a must , one must dress modestly and keep her gaze lowered, people who chose to where the veil do it, because they want to. Just, how i chose the headscarf.


My opponent asked me to state what I believe. I would however first like to clear up the definition of hijab as to prevent any confusion.

Freedictionary defines hijab as follows:
1. The headscarf worn by Muslim women, sometimes including a veil that covers the face except for the eyes.
2. The veiling or seclusion of women in some Islamic societies, customarily practiced in order to maintain standards of modesty.

Wikipedia gives the following definition:
A hijab is both the head covering traditionally worn by Muslim men and women and modest Muslim styles of dress in general. The Arabic word literally means curtain or cover (noun). Most Islamic legal systems define this type of modest dressing as covering everything except the face and hands in public.[1][2] According to Islamic scholarship, hijab is given the wider meaning of modesty, privacy, and morality;[3] the word for a headscarf or veil used in the Qur'an is khimār and not hijab. Still another definition is metaphysical, where al-hijab refers to "the veil which separates man or the world from God."

The understanding amongst the general public seem to be that niqaab=veil and hijab=scarf.

Mentioning the veil/hijab in my arguments will refer to the first definition as given by Freedictionary: : "The headscarf worn by Muslim women, sometimes including a veil that covers the face except for the eyes."

My beliefs:
I believe in religious freedom (in the sense that people have the right to choose any religion to belong to or to choose not to belong to any religion). I believe that the right to wear the veil/hijab does not necessarily mean religious freedom but can instead be seen as a sign of religious bondage for instance in cases where little girls as early as five years old are expected to wear the veil/hijab. In Saudi Arabia children of Saudi parents are considered Muslim and must dress accordingly, regardless of the country or the religious tradition in which they may have been raised. This point goes hand in hand with my believe in freedom of choice and that the wearing of the veil/jihab, in many cases, takes away that freedom.

I believe religious freedom (meaning here the right to practise the religion of one's choice) should have some limits for safety reasons including emotional safety. I belief wearing of the veil/hijab can scar a women and especially young girls emotionally as it can give way to alienation, division and bullying amongst others.

It does not seem to be compulsory, according the Quran, for woman and girls to wear the veil/hijab. Michael Young argues that the majority of Muslims do not consider veiling compulsory either. He wrote: "Most contend that face veiling was, in fact, exclusively the preserve of the wives of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) who, we are told in the Quran 33:33, "are not like other women" in order to give them privacy and protection in Madinah where they lived at the main mosque, not in private compounds."

I believe that veiling can push potential converts away rather than attract them. Anisah Liliou said the following: "I remember when I used to be excited and ready to convert to Islam; then I would see a woman in the street wearing the face veil, and I would come back home in deep thoughts - thoughts of negativity and discomfort about the religion that some hours ago I admired 100%."

I believe in unity and believe that the wearing of the veil/hijab can harm unity.

I belief in gender equity and believe that the wearing of the veil/hijab violates that equality and believe that it symbolizes the oppression of women.

I believe the wearing of the veil/hijab turns women into sex objects and further give the false impression that men can't contain their sexual impulses.

I believe women can dress modestly without having to veil. I believe wearing the veil/hijab can make a woman more conscious of her appearance which is in contrast with one of the justifications for wearing the hijab that it makes women less preoccupied with their looks.

I believe that the wearing of the veil/jihab provides some practical difficulties such as face recognition; women or girls cannot drink or eat in public places without discomfort' and will not be able to pray in public, because if she keeps wearing the veil, the salah will not be accepted so she will need a private room for herself.

I believe one should respect the philosophy of the institution one wishes to join, if not possible then one should consider not joining that institution.

Holding to above beliefs and statements I believe that the veil/hijab should be banned from schools and the work place.

Debate Round No. 2


imjustadreamer forfeited this round.


Although my opponent has forfeited this round I will post my argument:

My opponent stated: "I believe in freedom of religion" That is commendable and in the ideal world would be even achievable. However, we are not living in the ideal world.
Two points I wish to touch on regarding this issue:
1. It is interesting to note that in predominant Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia religious freedom is non-existent. Wikipedia states the following: "Religious freedom is virtually non-existent. The Government [Saudi Arabia] does not provide legal recognition or protection for freedom of religion, and it is severely restricted in practice. As a matter of policy, the Government guarantees and protects the right to private worship for all, including non-Muslims who gather in homes for religious practice; however, this right is not always respected in practice and is not defined in law.[2] Moreover, the preaching and public practice of non-Muslim religions is prohibited.[3] The Saudi Mutaween, or Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (i.e., the religious police) enforces the prohibition on the public practice of non-Muslim religions. However, Sharia Law applies to all people inside Saudi Arabia, regardless of religion." If you choose to walk a different path, you place yourself at risk.
2. Religious freedom should have limits when religious practices proved to be harmful to individuals or communities. Religious death-by-stoning for instance is not protected in western countries and most other countries under the umbrella of religious freedom even though The Saudi Ambassador to London (ex-ambassador?), Ghazi al-Qusaibi, said that "stoning may seem irrational to the western mind, but it is "at the core of the Islamic faith." He also said that Westerners should respect Muslin culture on the matter of stoning. Can the wearing of the hijab/veil be harmful?

My opponent stated: Wearing a hijab does no harm, it doesn't offend anyone. First of all: how do you know it does not offend anyone? If wearing the hijab/veil did not offend anyone there would not have been an issue, yet we are having this debate and countries all over the world were/are having this debate. Why? Because somewhere along the line someone or some groups was offended by it. Lets quickly take a look at the 'harm' part.
What is the definition of harm? Harm as defined by the freedictionary means physical or psychological injury or damage. There have been numerous reports about young Muslim girls being the target of bullying and teasing at schools as well as being the target of discriminatory acts. The veil can impair the girl's social skills and development as it acts as a barrier to normal relations between veiled Muslim and non-Muslim girls. It can restrict these girls to partake in activities such as swimming and some other physical education activities at school. All of these can cause emotional harm.
Siti Nurlaila said the following: "In Indonesia, the general public see people who wear the niqab as strange and people often tell their children to avoid us, or even say that we are criminals,"
Ala abbas, another Muslim women had the following to say: "Of course, there is nothing wrong with being different, but visually segregating your child from their peers for arcane religious ideas is not something I'm going to advocate". She and her sister had been teased in school and were asked all sorts of inappropriate questions.

My opponent wrote the following: "E has a right to wear what they please, then why should a ban be placed to prevent expression of one culture and religion." Is that true in every situation? Will it be advisable for a Digambar who clothes in 'the quarters of the sky' (i.e they wear no clothes at all as is required by their religion) to wear his religious 'outfit' while doing jury duty for instance? Will it be appropriate for a Muslim teacher to wear her full religious clothing while teaching in a Christian school? There are numerous instances (and countries) where people (and specifically women) are expected to conform to certain expectations regarding their dress.
"The Talmud frowns on women wearing red clothing, regarding red as provocative and attention-getting. In Jerusalem's Me'ah She'arim quarter, the home of the haredi (literally [God]-"fearing") community, where the most ultra-Orthodox live, signs are pasted up periodically stating that women may not wear red clothing. These signs also, on occasion, state that women may not wear high heels, because the noise of the heels can attract undue attention. We may mention, parenthetically, that there have even been signs in Me'ah She'arim calling for storekeepers to have separate shopping hours for men and for women, to prevent the sexes from mixing."
In Dubai beach wear have certain restrictions: T-shirts and shorts are ideal. Swimsuits are accepted as long as they are not too revealing. String bikinis may attract unwanted attention.
Some companies have a policy preventing women from wearing their niqab during work hours, such as banks for example. The rules and philosophy of school and workplace should be respected.
Do we have the right to wear whatever we want whenever we want in every situation anywhere around the world? No, we don't.

Con stated: "In fact, it is a great way of respecting others." Respect for tradition and legitimate authority is identified by Jonathan Haidt as one of five fundamental moral values shared to a greater or lesser degree by different societies and individuals. If a workplace or school have specific dress code then how is ignoring that (by wearing the veil) respecting others? As stated in the previous point, the rules and philosophy of school and workplace should be respected.

Dressing in modest way and have a less provoking appearance. That may be true but many religious denominations like the Seven day Adventists also believe in modest dressing and that can be achieved without having to wear the veil/hijab.

Con argues: "[the hijab] Protecting me from danger, keeping me from making mistakes and things that I would regret later in life." What danger and what mistakes? Chahdortt Djavann had the following to say: "...the girls are a constant threat to Islamic morals: a girl could bring about a crime, be slaughtered by her father or brothers to cleanse their sullied honor. Indeed, the honor of men is cleansed with girls' blood!"
Muslim girls wearing the hijab are still human and therefore can still make the same mistakes other girls make.

"Main job for the hijab, it's to keep a women true to herself." Wearing the veil only "points to what the veil is hiding… It hides what no one might look at if it were not hidden… The veil calls the attention and energy of men" to what it conceals. Chahdortt Djavann goes on and says "The veil may mean several things, it may mean that the woman has become the property of a man; it may also mean - in the case of young girls - that they are being marketed as sexual objects, ready to wed. She goes on to write: "When you veil a child, you put her on the sex and marriage market, making her exist only for the interest of men, for [the purpose of] sex and marriage…"
"It's ironic—though the justification for the hijab is to make women less preoccupied with their looks, I have never been more conscious about my appearance than I was in Egypt. Because I am of Arab descent, foreign eyes gazed more keenly at me—at how much skin I showed and how much makeup I wore—than they did at my white friends, although their U.S. passports were no bluer than mine." Nadia O. Gaber

Debate Round No. 3


imjustadreamer forfeited this round.


Since my opponent forfeited this round as well I see no need to continue this debate on my own. I hope all is well with my opponent.
Debate Round No. 4


imjustadreamer forfeited this round.


See above. Thanks.
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Mirza 7 years ago
It is fine.
Posted by Ancara 7 years ago
I meant: it has no reference. Sorry for error there.
Posted by Ancara 7 years ago
Hi Mirza. The fact that I have that quote of Frederick Perls in the "about me" section on my profile has reference to this debate or any other debate. That is a personal philosophy but debating topics is not always personal. With this topic i could have been con too...
Posted by Mirza 7 years ago
PRO has this as part of a quote on her profile: "I do my thing and you do yours."

It speaks for itself.
Posted by InsertNameHere 7 years ago
I can understand why the veils covering the entire face could be a problem, but banning them could bring further complications. There are some fundamentalists who probably wouldn't allow their wives to be out of the house without them. As for the hijab, under no circumstances should it be banned.
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
Well I think they are two different issues. I think there are problems presented by veils that don't apply to the hijab.
Posted by imjustadreamer 7 years ago
'Hijab is quite different to a veil. It's a headscarf'
yea i know that but in some countries they want to band it in school.
Posted by Mirza 7 years ago
I wish you good luck.
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
Hijab is quite different to a veil. It's a headscarf.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by InsertNameHere 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:07