Perspectives on the Iranian Equivalent of the French No-Headscarf Law

In a move "reminiscent of the Nazis", the Iranian parliament has reportedly passed a bill requiring religious minorities to wear badges for identification. The bill is yet to be rattified by the "Supreme Leader", Ali Khamenei, before it takes effect.

This reminds me of the French no-heascarves-at-school law. The French law, which requires students from a Muslim background to take off thier headscarves while at schools, was aimed at creating homogeneity among students. However, it ended up creating more differences by bringing drastic changes in the clothing styles of a considerable number of students. Furthermore, It was a blow at the personal freedom of Muslim girls. It stopped them from observing their religious practices properly, as it is required of ladies in Islam to wear headscarves. It was also a very good indicator of the French definition of democracy..

The Iranian law, which is passed to help identify religious minorities, requires Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians to wear yellow, red and blue stripes of cloth on their dresses respectively. It too, if passed, will end up creating differences among Iranians and would make the religious fragmentation more visible. It too is a blow at the personal freedoms of the "religious minorities". It too is a good indicator of the Iranian model of democracy, which is very much on a par with the French one.

However, the fact worth mentioning here is that this is a move by the Iranians and should not be construed as in line with the Islamic ideology. This is analogous to the fact that the banning of headscarf from schools is strictly a French move, which can and should not be construed as representative of the Western democracy. This is a fact which is very often misunderstood: Many phenomena rampant in Muslim societies like forced marriages, honor killings, etc are not Islamic; they are construed by many as Islamic because they have been widespread among Muslims for a long time.

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3 Responses to “Perspectives on the Iranian Equivalent of the French No-Headscarf Law”

  1. 1 Jamie Stern-Weiner May 24, 2006 at 10:52 pm

    Just so you know, this rumour isn’t true. It was started by a Canadian newspaper founded by Conrad Black, and was then picked up by the Jerusalem Post and it then spread like wildfire. It just shows how desperate the mainstream media is to demonise Iran.

  2. 2 marinadedave May 24, 2006 at 10:55 pm

    I believe there is a difference between what Iran is trying to do and what France has already done. Iran is trying to segregate society and religious groups. France was trying to make segments of society less recognizable. In a sense, that would lessen prejudice, because they would not stand out amongst the crowd.

    In Florida, a Muslim woman sued the state for not allowing her to wear a headscarf that only exposed her eyes on her driver’s license photo. Now, tell me, if all Muslim women sued on the grounds of religious freedom and won, how would anyone be able to be identified on that license? How would a police officer know it was the woman identified by only her age, address, weight and color of eyes, for example? How would a bank teller know for sure she is who she says she is before cashing that check? What would be the point of showing any kind of photo at all, if, at that point, everyone covered their faces? Needless to say, she lost, and rightfully so. Sometimes, religious beliefs do not outweigh what’s best for all.

  1. 1 Sandra Trackback on August 10, 2009 at 11:53 am

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