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“They were really worried,” said Ms. Gioe, “as if the whole principle of laïcité would crumble for a small Belgian case.”

Rather unfair of the NYT to end its piece about the latest legal decision in favor of allowing employers, in very restricted circumstances, to ban the hijab in public work settings, with this dismissive statement from a lawyer for the hijabi who sued. And rather unwise tactically.

I mean, on the reasonable assumption that the NYT is appalled by burqa and hijab restrictions, it does its position no good by featuring the it’s all a tempest in an abaya line, which people are always doing. People are always telling us how risibly few female children and women wear the burqa, the abaya, the hijab, so why make a fuss?

Whereas numbers are actually going up in most places.

So to align yourself with people who dishonestly downplay a phenomenon which does in fact demoralize many citizens of secular countries (they tend to vote overwhelmingly in favor of restrictions) is to put yourself in a place which is itself subject to dismissal.

And as to the amusing pathetic crumbly fragility of a laicity which would fail to stand up to brave little Belgium’s little case — pshaw. Obviously it IS standing up to theocratic threats — by recognizing and managing them.

Margaret Soltan, December 2, 2023 7:23AM
Posted in: end the erasure of women

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