It is one thing to be unidentifiable in a society where one is always under the control of a male guardian and a perpetual minor, but in a free and open society, full participation requires being identifiable as an individual and not merely in relation to another.
For that matter, in the West, unlike other places where the supposed equivalence has been stated very crassly, the bottom line is that the female face is not a private part.
“Dutch plan ban on Muslim face veils next year,” from Reuters, January 27 (thanks to Kenneth):
(Reuters) – The Dutch minority government plans to ban Muslim face veils such as burqas and other forms of clothing that cover the face from next year.
The ban would make the Netherlands, where 1 million out of 17 million people are Muslim, the second European Union country to ban the burqa after France, and would apply to face-covering veils if they were worn in public.
“People should be able to look at each other’s faces and recognize each other when they meet,” the interior affairs ministry said in a statement Friday.
The ban will also apply to balaclavas and motorcycle helmets when worn in inappropriate places, such as inside a store, Deputy Prime Minister Maxime Verhagen told reporters, denying that this was a ban on religious clothing.
Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam Freedom Party (PVV), which helps give the Liberal-Christian Democrat coalition a majority in parliament, has set considerable political store on getting the so-called burqa ban passed into law.
Few Muslim women in the Netherlands wear the Arabic-style niqabs which leave the eyes uncovered and Afghan-style burqas that cover the face with a cloth grid. Academics estimate the numbers at between 100 and 400, whereas Muslim headscarves which leave the face exposed are far more common.
The coalition has agreed to submit a new law to parliament next week stipulating that offenders would be fined up to 390 euros ($510), the ministry said.
Verhagen said the ban was intended to ensure that a tradition of open communication cherished in Dutch society was upheld, and to prevent people from concealing their identity in order to do harm….