When a government attempts to arbitrarily impose the social norms of the dominant culture against the will of a culturally distinct minority, it has gone too far. In a truly free country people should be allowed to choose what to wear in a courtroom and practice their religion without fear of persecution.

HaroldWilson'sWar (talk)21:44, 9 August 2010

It is hardly persecuation to ask to see the face of someone when weighing up their honesty for the first (and probably only) time.

This is not a simple case, and there are very strong arguments to be placed by both sides.

Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs)22:34, 9 August 2010

I agree! it is an issue of national security, for all we know it could be another witness underneath a burqa!! (talk)11:40, 11 August 2010

If a woman was in Saudi Arabia or some other islamic country, she'd be expected to cover up - western woman respect that when they travel to such places - why then are we so easy going when it comes to our own culture?

On a side note: Michelle Obama had to wear a modesty veil when visiting the POPE...

westerners respect other people's culture, why dont they respect ours?

BKCW8 talk06:28, 12 August 2010

I'm afraid your argument is fallacious, as the situations are not as parallel as you have characterised them to be: It is against the religion of conservative muslim women to expose their faces in public. Correct me if I'm wrong- but while it may be uncomfortable culture shock, it is not contrary to the religions of most "Westerners" - to use an imprecise blanket term that encompasses a variety of religions and cultures- to conceal their faces when visiting a country with conservative Islamic standards of modesty - a crucial difference. Therefore it is not simply a matter of respecting the culture of the host nation, but a matter of the individual being forced to engage in what she believes is sacrilegious behaviour.

HaroldWilson'sWar (talk)21:48, 12 August 2010

How about if a western woman wanted to testify without covering in Iran... She'd probably be arrested and put to death.

Fun Fact: In my (western) culture the face and eyes are what we connect with most during person to person interactions, its a vital part of non-verbal communication and would allow a jury to gage the humanity of the witness in a trial.

I am sure (as i have seen them) that there are burqas that show the face...

BKCW8 talk10:24, 13 August 2010

Covering up your face isn't (very) offensive to women, so they put up with it in Iran and other such uncivilised countries.

Uncovering your face is very offensive to Muslim women. This is not a black-and-white issue and I feel very sorry for the poor bugger who has to make the call.

Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs)10:28, 13 August 2010

Funny, I've spent my entire life in a Western culture, and neither I nor anyone I've ever known has fancied eyes to be as important to interpersonal contact as you're trying to make out. In fact, I quite honestly find it to be quite odd and rather daft when someone incessantly stares at you're eyes when they're talking to you, it can be very distracting. But that's my personal preference , and yours is your own. Some of us like to ogle, and some don't, but it's certainly not a universal "fun fact" about western culture - it's different strokes for different folks. Frankly your misconceptions about Iran are quite astounding, Have you ever even seen Iranian women? Many of them -especially the younger generation- do not even strictly adhere to moderate Muslim standards of Hijab (covering the hair, concealing the body form) let alone cover up their faces in public. Ah But alas, such misconceptions abound in a society that worships the rubbish factory oracle of Rupert Murdoch. (In any case the death penalty is not administered in Iran for such trivial infractions.)

The fundamental issue here is whether the subject's personal right to freely practice her religion without fear of coercion is being violated. Any country that would would like to call itself civilised must respect that right.

HaroldWilson'sWar (talk)21:13, 20 August 2010