Human Rights Case Study: Headscarves And French Schools

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Headscarves and French Schools
Every human being is entitled to basic freedoms and rights that must be equitably protected and enforced as a matter of responsibility towards the enhancement of world peace and sustainability.
Any action that infringes on the rights and freedom of one person or group is a threat to all. It is therefore important to be concerned about all cases that have human rights implications, and at the very least, have an opinion about it in furtherance of creating a sustainable global enterprise where all rights and protections are observed. In this paper, I will discuss the Case Study:
Headscarves and French Schools which studies the French government's new legislation that bans the display of conspicuous religious symbols
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Article 18 states that "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" (United Nations, 1948). Based on the constitutionality and dictates of the article which was also consented to by France, it is a direct violation of human rights. The article clearly states that "this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private" (United Nations, 1948). The phrase, "alone or in community with others and in public or private" is what is at play here. The French government is willing to observe the first part which is to allow for religion to be practiced alone or in private, but not the second part which is to allow the same religious rights and freedoms to be observed publicly.
According to the case study, proponents of the ban cite female oppression as one of the arguments to support the ban. They say that the wearing of headscarves is a symbol of
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My opinion is built on the fact that the requirement is a fundamental part of their religious beliefs. They believe that wearing the headscarf is a sign of modesty, and contrary to false narratives, some Muslim men also wear scarves on their head (Arabs in America, n.d).
The fact that Muslim men also wear headscarves negates the argument about female oppression.
Secondly, while the tenants of every religion have requirements, fulfilling those requirements is a matter of choice. No one is forced or should be forced to observe any religious practice against their will. Not all Muslim women wear headscarves and if that personal choice is frown upon by certain Muslim communities then it is a threat to their civil liberties of equality which is an entirely separate issue from religious freedoms. If the French government is interested in protecting equality then it should engage in programs or rather legislation that will ensure the
Muslim women are not treated unequally (oppressed) in their communities. Banning a very strong element of the Muslim religion on the basis of trying to establish equality is rather robbing people of their basic right to religious freedom. The legislation is a slap in the face to
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