Elementry School Suspends Muslim Girl over Headscarf

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Father Ted, Oct 30, 2003.

  1. Father Ted

    Father Ted BigSoccer Supporter

    Manchester United, Galway United, New York Red Bulls
    Nov 2, 2001
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Ireland Republic
  2. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Why?
     
  3. Dante

    Dante Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 19, 1998
    Binghamton, NY
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm going to play Devil's Advocate for a second...

    why is it ok for the girl to wear a headscarf, but not for a teacher to wear a cross on the outside of her shirt?
     
  4. Demosthenes

    Demosthenes Member+

    May 12, 2003
    Berkeley, CA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If indeed teachers are not allowed to do that, I suppose it would be because they are authority figures representing the school.
     
  5. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That would be my guess, too. If that's the case anywhere. Is it, Dante?

    In my opinion, if it is that's a pretty gross overapplication of that idea (viz, authority figures displaying particular religiousity impinge upon their subordinates' freedom of/from religion). For one thing, I don't buy the notion that kids would actually be oppressed by the simple fact of their teacher wearing a crucifix. For another, how could this be evenly enforced? Certainly, there are thousands of less familiar religious symbols a teacher might wear and get away with simply because that religion is less familiar to the people who are supposed to police that sort of thing. Wouldn't that then be discriminatory, de facto, against the more familiar religions?

    Okay, I'll just sit here and wait for the lawyers to come kick me around.
     
  6. mannyfreshstunna

    mannyfreshstunna New Member

    Feb 7, 2003
    Naperville, no less
    No religion in schools! Separation of church and state!
     
  7. Matrim55

    Matrim55 Member+

    Aug 14, 2000
    Berkeley
    Club:
    Connecticut
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Maybe not oppressed, but certainly influenced. Is there anything kids aren't influenced by? Especially when it's coming from the one authority figure in a room full of 11 year olds?
     
  8. mannyfreshstunna

    mannyfreshstunna New Member

    Feb 7, 2003
    Naperville, no less
    They wouldn;t be influenced by it unless the teacher preached about Jesus, which they arn't allowed to do.
     
  9. monop_poly

    monop_poly Member

    May 17, 2002
    Chicago
  10. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

    Mar 1, 1999
    San Rafael, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Why in the world are people still comparing this to a teacher wearing a cross? First, one is a student and the other is a teacher - students have a wider array of rights in what they can wear and do. Second, Islam requires the head scarf to be worn while nothing in Christianity requires a cross to be displayed. There is absolutly no similarity at all.
     
  11. Dan Loney

    Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 10, 2000
    Cincilluminati
    Club:
    Los Angeles Sol
    Nat'l Team:
    Philippines
    Because Christianity is under attack by fundamentalist Islam and its natural ally, secular humanism.

    Why are teachers given parking places at elementary schools, while students aren't? Blatant discrimination, I tell you.
     
  12. dfb547490

    dfb547490 New Member

    Feb 9, 2000
    The Heights
    Radical fundamentalist Islam requires a head scarf to be worn, yes. I'm sure there are sects of Christianity that require followers to wear a cross at all times too.
     
  13. DoctorJones24

    DoctorJones24 Member

    Aug 26, 1999
    OH
    Alex and spejic, you're both wrong, though Alex is closer.

    Head scarves are worn by some Muslim girls. Certainly it's not "Islam" requiring it. Often, it correlates to a more conservative family philosophy (which is where Alex was going, I guess), but it's definitely common with many who are not radicals. In some families, one girl will choose to wear it, while her sister or aunt may not.

    In any case, the cross analogy is beyond moronic. A cross is THE symbol of Christ and the religion based on his life.

    A scarf worn by an 11 year old girl is merely her family's interpretation of "modesty." It has no religious symbolism for Islam or any other religion.

    Anyway, bravo to the conservative rights group for tackling this issue. The principal and schoolboard should be fired.

    Doubly nice that this is happening during Ramadan!
     
  14. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Influenced by, perhaps, but influenced how much? More than a child's parents? And while I agree that kids are amazingly receptive to influence they can also be amazingly resistant.

    I can easily see a situation wherein an a authority figure, such as teacher or a boss, could build an environment that oppresses by numerous indirect or subtle acts, including the wearing of religious symbols (similar to sexual harrassment). But to my mind, that's still a long way from your sixth grade teacher wearing her plain gold crucifix as (we assume) a personal expression of her faith.

    Without addressing Spejic's point about the lack of comparability between the two examples, but I'm curious. If it's true that a teacher, or teachers in general, have been prevented from wearing crosses in school I haven't heard about it. Can anybody save me the backbreaking labor of another google search?

    Should it be protected under the rubric of freedom of religion, then?

    You're certainly right, I realize, about the degree of choice involved in whether to wear a scarf or veil or the more elaborate versions of personal cloistering. However, many religions make similar choices available to their worshippers, and these are valued within those communities as expressions of faith, or fealty to God's will, or something along those lines. So in this case I would class this particular expression of modesty as a religious act, despite the fact that there is such a thing as secular modesty.
     
  15. dearprudence

    dearprudence Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Chi-town
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Teacher fired for wearing crucifix

    She won her suit, and has been reinstated with back pay. I don't have the link in front of me, but it was decided prior to the school year starting.
     
  16. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Teacher fired for wearing crucifix

    Sorry monop_poly, I was a little too zippy with my wheel mouse and missed you the first time through. Thanks for the link, and thanks to HC for the update.
     
  17. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

    Mar 1, 1999
    San Rafael, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    > Head scarves are worn by some Muslim girls.
    > Certainly it's not "Islam" requiring it.

    The Koran doesn't specifically ask for a head scarf, but if you ask the parents of the girl doing this they would almost certainly tell you that they are doing it for religious reasons. If it was just a token of modesty, there wouldn't be any fight, would there?

    > I'm sure there are sects of Christianity that
    > require followers to wear a cross at all times too.

    I don't know of any. Can you name one?
     
  18. DoctorJones24

    DoctorJones24 Member

    Aug 26, 1999
    OH
    I'm not following you here. Why would there be no fight? My understanding from the article is that the school has a policy against ALL "headgear." I'm guessing they didn't want guys in bandanas or baseball caps.

    So this girl's family, like many Muslim families, interpret their religion's call for girls to dress modestly as saying that she should wear a scarft. So yes, it is about their faith, even their Islamic faith, but not about "Islam," as I think we agree.

    Lots of followers of conservative religious groups have similar dress codes: Amish, orthodox Jews, Catholic nuns, etc.
     
  19. dearprudence

    dearprudence Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Chi-town
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You could (and indeed, the teachers aide did) make the same arguement for wearing a cross as for wearing the head scarf - religious reasons.

    I can't think of any Christian sects which require wearing a cross, but I do know several women who have had crosses soldered on permenantly. FYI - I don't wear a cross.
     
  20. Cascarino's Pizzeria

    Apr 29, 2001
    New Jersey, USA
    I saw a picture of a girl's HS soccer game here in Jersey and there was a girl dressed head to toe in Arab garb. I guess a bicycle kick for her is out of the question.
     
  21. DoctorJones24

    DoctorJones24 Member

    Aug 26, 1999
    OH
    Yes, I think it should fall under rubric of religious freedom. My point was not that this did not represent a religious choice for the girl. I was merely pointing out that this was not "Islam" or even specifically "radical Islam."

    Nonetheless, clearly this is a religious choice for the girl's family. Would the school prohibit a Jewish boy from wearing a yammukah? That's a better analogy.

    The teacher wearing a cross comparison is dumb on a couple levels:
    1) It seems like a red herring in that we've no evidence that it's ever been banned.
    2) The cross is a specific and universally recognizable symbol. A head covering is not.
    3) Teachers and students have different roles and rights in school settings.

    In any case, I'd be very surprised if teachers aren't allowed to wear crosses. I'd be pissed at that, and I'm not religious.
     
  22. afgrijselijkheid

    Dec 29, 2002
    mokum
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    yeah im gonna need some proof of this teacher cross business... even if it did happen, i'd chalk it up to an overzealous administrator (much like the one in this case) - some teachers in my school wore crosses or stars of david on necklaces
     
  23. Craig the Aussie

    Craig the Aussie New Member

    May 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    The land of the free?
     
  24. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    And the home of the brave.
     
  25. mannyfreshstunna

    mannyfreshstunna New Member

    Feb 7, 2003
    Naperville, no less
    Word.
     

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