The freedom to dress like a ninja

Is it right to ban the Muslim ninja costumes, otherwise known as the niqab? How about the slightly less extreme version known as the hijab?

With the recent moves in Holland and France to band the ninja costumes that some Muslim women wear, it got me thinking.

There is a danger here of replacing one form of oppression with another. Is it right to prevent someone from wearing religious costumes in public? I would say no. As long as the costume doesn’t break secular law (i.e. they aren’t walking around with a crucifix jammed up their arse and nothing else), then they should be free to wear what they want.

There should be some exceptions though. The workplace should be free of these things. The main reason is that these outfits often represent offensive religions. I would not want to go to work and sit next to someone in such an outfit because they are bringing Islam uncomfortably close to me. I would say the same about Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu or pretty much any other religion. Considering what a shit the Christian God is, there’s no way I want to sit next to someone who’s proudly sporting a crucifix.

Government facilities should be covered by a ban for the above reasons and more. The government must be seen to be impartial regards religion. People have the right to be religious as much as they wish in private or in public places. They do not have the right to bring their religion in to state operated facilities, particularly if they work there. Imagine going to collect your benefits and having to receive them from someone wearing the garb of a religion that brands you ‘a fornicator’ or even worse?

Religious expression in public places should be allowed however. It’s silly to bar someone from dressing like a ninja (or Jesus for that matter) in the street. To do so is to infringe on their rights and introduce a chilling effect in to society. If the ninja costume is barred, why not bar all masks? Balaclavas cover the face and are very practical in cold weather – why should these be different to a ninja costume? How about a motorcycle helmet? Should they also be banned?

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3 Responses to “The freedom to dress like a ninja”

  1. Gerrit Says:

    Helmets are disallowed in the UK in gas-stations and banks. Those are workplaces. The street is the workplace for the bobbies. Several terrorists have escaped closed areas dressed like women, in nikabs. I guess our government has a point.

  2. Gerrit Says:

    How about a UK airliner that fired someone wearing a crucifix?

  3. Sean Kehoe Says:

    BA claim that they didn’t ban their employee for wearing a crucifix for religious reasons, thay claim it was ‘impractical’. No idea what that is meant to mean but I would say that it’s perfectly fine to have a policy forbiding employees from wearing religious symbols. There are two reasons.

    1) No-matter what muddle-headed anglican bishops may say, the major religions are not compatible with each other. Christianity claims Islam to be incorrect and vice versa. An employee is not there to advertise what they consider to be the one true faith.

    2) Christianity has a long track record of oppression. The Bible itself contains horrible discriminatory rules and lessons. If a passenger happens to be a witch, do they need to see an employee wearing the symbol of the religion that teaches “Thou shalt not suffer a Witch to live”. Should a gay passenger have to seek service from the person worshipping the God that considers them an abomination?

    A person can claim to have a moderate faith but the symbols they wear represent something far greater and nastier than they personally believe.

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