The Veil in France Argumentative Essay

The Veil in France
This paper discusses the ban in France against the veil worn by Muslim women.
# 147667 | 3,771 words | 8 sources | MLA | 2011 | US

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In this article, the writer points out that France is the first country to enforce a ban against the veil that exposes only the eyes and is typically worn by Muslim women as a symbol of piety, modesty, and respectability. The writer notes that the debate between freedom of religious expression and equality of the sexes accentuates contradictions within the human rights and cultural relativist discourses. The writer discusses that claims on all sides highlight the ideological and moral complexities embedded within specific historical and social contexts, which ultimately reveal the impossibility of conciliation or multiculturalism. The writer maintains that the veil is clearly a symptom of more pressing issues, such as immigration, the global rise of radical Islam, and the perceived threat to French national identity.

From the Paper:

"Rajan advises the raising of public consciousness. Although both legal uniformity or western theories and cultural relativism can hinder women's rights, both sides need a closer examination. The cultural relativist notion of highlighting contradictions and inequalities between the sexes is similar to the veil in that both groups are recognizing, and not ignoring an anticipated truth. Instead of promoting equality of the sexes, Islam promotes the recognition and equality is not an issue for them. Human rights politics in the form of empirical observations have failed to mediate this issue and for this Rajan proposes negotiation through culturally specific contexts. She advises the opening of the "lines of communication" and the reexamination of exclusively western notions of humanity. In order to bring both sides together the human rights discourse must create new forms of sensitization and concretization that will ultimately render violations as taboo and socially unacceptable."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Abu-Lughod, Lila. "Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Reflections on Cultural Relativism and Its Others." American Anthropologist 104.3 (2002): 783-790. Print.
  • Brown, John R.. "Muslims and Citizens: France's headscarf controversy." Boston Review 3 Feb. 2004: 31-35. Print.
  • Davis, Britton D."Lifting the veil: France's new crusade." Boston College International and Comparative Law Review 34.1 (2011): 116-145. Print.
  • Dembour, Marie-Benedicte. "Following the Movement of the Pendulum: Between Universalism and Relativism." Culture and Rights: Anthropological Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 56-79. Print.
  • MacKinnon, Catharine A.. "On Torture." Are women human? and other international dialogues. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006. 17-27. Print.

Cite this Argumentative Essay:

APA Format

The Veil in France (2011, June 02) Retrieved August 16, 2022, from

MLA Format

"The Veil in France" 02 June 2011. Web. 16 August. 2022. <>