Veils and other customs

In the UK we appear recently to have run into problems in respect of the mixture of cultures and their dress.

The Eastern custom of the lady wearing a veil was the most significant of these issues. In two recent cases, the question of whether these should be allowed in the workplace has been raised. I believe that one was in a customer service environment. In this case the lady was asked not to wear the veil at work because customers were complaining that they felt intimidated when facing a person in this type of costume. The second case involved a veiled barrister who was defending a person in a court case. Here the judge adjourned the case, stating that when it was resumed, the lady in question should not be wearing the veil. His argument was that he and the jury could not clearly hear what was being said. In this case the law firm actually replaced the barrister in question.

These two cases have produced a lot of discussion. There are those who say that we should let people remain true to their cultures, and others who say one should adopt to the cultures of the land where one chooses to settle. One of the difficulties of the latter choice is that, for criminal and terrorist reasons, we will not allow a British person to enter banks etc with helmets or other face covering garments, therefore it follows that it would be difficult to exempt persons from other cultures from this restriction.

The situation has been made worse over the last few day because British Airways have suspended an English woman from her work. The reason is that she was wearing a “crucifix” and refused to remove it.

It would appear that there are two areas that need to be looked at here. The first of course is civil liberties and human rights. However, there is also the problem of the workplace and the attire that is appropriate for it.

If we are careful we will be pushing the land towards the type of sectarian situation that sent Ireland up in flames.

the brit

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2 Responses to “Veils and other customs”

  1. Tangerine Panda Says:

    One interesting question about veils. Why would God have given humans the ability to use facial expressions so extensively if he had intended the faces of half the population to be covered!

  2. Paul Says:

    Hi Panda

    That is one of the points being made by a number of people over here, namely that a lot of human interation is by body language and expression and this covering precludes that.

    Thanks for the comment

    the brit

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