Debating Society – Should women have the right to cover themselves in open society

The last debate before half-term was on the subject of whether or not it is acceptable for women to cover their face in public.

Even among Islamic scholars, there were previous debates concerning whether it is fard (obligatory), mustahabb (recommended/preferable), or cultural.

Last week, Gaura Harbal and Waymi Adeniji, Year 13, spoke in support of the right of women to cover themselves in open society. They reasoned that the niqab prevents them from being objectified by their physical appearance and as human beings, women have the right to wear what they want since it takes determination to wear it. We live in a sexualized society with media being evidence as the recent song ‘Blurred Lines’ has explicit lyrics connoting on how women behave, their sexuality and desires.

Speaking in opposition to the argument was Dylan Kelly and Elodie Mayo, Year 11, stating that the niqab obstructs identification and communication in public places due to covering of the face which can be seen as intimidating. In courtrooms, it is important for the magistrates to be able to see the facial expressions and gesticulations to determine the integrity of the individual. In airports, there are female security guards if the women do not want to be seen by men.  This point was not contested.

Prior to the debate, a vote from the audience was taken which remained similar to the outcome – very . Consequently, people still have conflicted thoughts on this issue. Bravo to the speakers and merci to those who attended the debate.

If you would like to suggest any debate topic, come and see us, s’il vous plaît!

By Cherry Hla, 11KF