Two sides of a coin

There is no inherent contradiction in viewing fundamentalist religious headgear as misogynistic while still supporting an individual’s religious freedom, so why does the media keep painting it as such?

The Charter of Quebec Values is creating a huge, perhaps irreparable rift in the province’s women’s movement. For feminists, there is no halfway position over the proposed ban on religious symbols worn by public employees.

On one side are those for whom the Muslim hijab (or any kind of religious headscarf) is anathema because it’s seen as a symbol of female submission. On the other side are those who believe that wearing a headscarf is a woman’s personal choice and that the law will victimize Muslim women in particular by excluding them from a large sector of the labour market.

It’s similar to the concept of defending even that freedom of speech which we disagree with. I don’t agree with the choice* to wear a hijab but it is not my place to tear it from a woman’s head.

*A tricky concept in this discussion but where free choice is restricted we should target those coercing, not the coerced (don’t blame the victim).

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