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    French Headscarf Ban Essay (1029 words)

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    On the other hand, young children from the point of view supporting the ban, might start to discriminate against these protestors, as it can be seen as disturbers of peace. REASON: Moving onto reason. Reason is based on a premise from which it is followed up by a conclusion. A premise, in logic, is called an assumption. So how is this connected to the issue of the ban of religious symbols? Well, the French government’s reasoning behind this law was built upon the beliefs of secularism. Secularism encourages that state affairs should be separate from religion, but does this give reason to the ban?

    The positives of the ban on to which the French government beliefs are set upon are that by separating the state and religion, the government can perform its duties without giving special treatment to any particular group, especially since France is so diverse. The government’s reasoning was based on that religion separates people, rather than brining them together. This is based on the idea that by eliminating religious symbols everyone can be looked at the same way, and will be identified as a person from France, rather than by their religion.

    Instead of France being a mosaic, the government wants a singular face that represents France, which would create a more cohesive society. Moreover, it is believed the law was mainly put in place to stop Islamic extremism. If one can visibly see, for example, the hijab being worn, then people might be pushed towards having a greater conviction in their beliefs, which would lead to extremism. Another reason for this ban was that it would eliminate any racism or prejudice, which is similar to that of the ban eliminating extremism.

    If a person can not tell whether a person is a Muslim, a Jew, a Sikh or a Christian, then they can not be bias towards them. Thus, all of these reasons come from the same premise of the belief that the separation of state affairs and religion will create a united society. Moving on to how secularism would be a negative in France. Although the argument that the ban would create a “united France” is valid, it can not be proven as the truth. Religion gives people an identity, and the ban has taken that identity away from them, creating a greater separation between the people that believe in the ban and the people that do not.

    Thus, the government’s belief that the ban will create a united society a fallacy as it is a hasty generalization, meaning it is an invalid pattern of reasoning, as religion is also a way of brining people together. As seen through religious gatherings. Lastly, since the ban, people have only become more faithful and more aware of their religion as seen in the protests; and this could lead to more extremist measures. As people have become more aware of the ban, they have become more exposed to the reality of the situation, which can get them involved in protests, and even riots.

    RELATED ISSUES: Now, we will move from the TOK world, back to the real world where the issue of the religious symbols ban connects with other similar issues. First I’ll be looking at a similar situation to France; Turkey, where secularism is also a government policy. Next, I will be looking at the complete opposite of secularism, which would be a theocracy; I will take the kingdom of Saudi Arabia as an example. And finally, I will be relating the freedom to express one’s religion, to the freedom of speaking one’s mind – more commonly known as the freedom of speech. Firstly, a parallel situation to secularism in France is secularism in Turkey.

    Turkey has been primarily viewed as a Muslim state, but in fact it is a secular. Although the interesting thing about Turkey is that if the government ever imposes religious laws to an extreme, the military can always intervene as they are the protectors of secularism. Secularism has been part of Turkey since the time of Ataturk, who was the initiator of it. Thus, Turkey’s situation parallels France, although one difference is that while the government is imposing this belief in France, the military is imposing it in Turkey. Another related issue to the separation of state and religion is the binding of state and religion.

    This is called a theocracy and we can see one in our neighbor, Saudi Arabia. Instead of the government coming in between people’s beliefs, the government imposes the religious beliefs on people. This is not to say that people do not naturally believe in their Islam, but the laws put in place are extremely restrictive. This issue presents the opposite situation of when the government is too involved in the faith of the people, which limits their freedom of choice, which is limited in Saudi Arabia. An example of this would be the restrictions put on women and whether they are allowed to drive.

    Although, this is also what the ban in France has done as well, it has limited people’s choice as everyone has to conform to one identity. This freedom of choice can also be connected to another real world issue as the freedom of choice and faith relates to the freedom of speech and speaking one’s mind. In Hyde Park in England, there is a “speaker’s corner” where previously one was allowed to talk about anything that came to mind; whether it be about the government, or the economy or anything else. Although in recent times the police have been stationed in that area in order to stop extremists from speaking.

    This is basically taking away a person’s freedom of speech, although there is validity in placing police officers there, as a person might get out of hand. This is similar to the ban on headscarves, which is basically a ban on the freedom to express one’s religious beliefs. Thus, all of these issues are closely related to each other. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge section.

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