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← Christians have no right to wear cross at work, says Government

paulmcuk's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by paulmcuk

I was admittedly unaware of the details of Article 9 before.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief...

All right and proper. But...

...and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

...is more problematic. On the face of it, it gives religionistas carte blance to preach their nonsense anywhere at any time, regardless of whether people want to listen.

As far as the case in hand goes, this does not seem to require that maifesting a religion be only in ways that are required by that religion, as the government is stating. But I'm no lawyer. Like most people I don't give a hoot about whether someone wears a crucifix (subject to genuine health and safety reasons against it) but I feel I have to support the government's stance on a line-in-the-sand basis. If "non-required" manifestations are allowed, then there are many others that could elbow their way in that are much more harmful than crucifixes.

That said, I have to wonder how the hijab came to be classed as "required". My, admittedly poor, understanding is that the only requirement on woman in islam is that they dress "modestly". This is open to a huge range of interpretation and many muslim women wear no headgear at all. Something which is open to to such variance of interpretation cannot be a requirement. It also begs the question of whether muslims in France have tried to use Article 9 to overturn the French burka ban.

Sun, 11 Mar 2012 07:20:16 UTC | #926064