Banning ‘the veil’: the end does not justify the means

France is just one of a growing number of European countries which have been passing laws which forbid wearing veils that cover one’s face in public.

While I loath all forms of this apparel, I loath this law even more – and have said so often and loudly.

Here is my take on it:

OK – I’m not a fan…

For many reasons.

The origin of veiling women’s faces is in the practice of owning wives as a class of slaves.  This is the history.  Not good – and nothing rooted in this tradition will likely meet with my approval.

Today, some women are forced to veil their faces in public, either through physical or emotional coercion.  This, of course, is unacceptable.

In many instances, the facial veil is being used as a means of isolating a woman from the greater culture:  this form of isolation prevents her from forming social bonds of her own among the greater community – and prevents her from building a support mechanism which would help her escape from any potentially abusive situation.  I’m going to be repeating myself:  this, of course, is unacceptable.

Yes, many women today do wear the full facial veil of their own free will, as a symbol of their ‘identity’.   This, I find even more offensive!  Setting aside the whole psychoanalytical thing of women choosing to self-identify with cattle, this is an act of haughty contempt for everyone else individually and the society as a whole.  It is an aggressive assertion that they are better, worthier, more holy, than the rest of us… It is, in no uncertain terms, an outward expression of self-aggrandization and bigotry.

At the same time, it is often worn by some women as a not very subtle method of intimidation and aggression towards the greater society.  These women are themselves Islamists who understand perfectly well the fear many have of having Sharia forced upon them by the Islamits:  they wear the veil as an arrogant reminder of the threat they are posing to us all.

So, a woman wearing the ‘Islamic veil’ can either be a victim or an aggressor – either way, I don’t like it!  And that does not even touch on the whole ‘security’ issue, where criminals use the face-veil to disguise their identity…

In other words, I would be very happy never to see anyone hiding their true face!


The ends never justify the means.

In fact, the means often undermine and invalidate the end.

I got into a somewhat heated discussion about this with Trupeers over in the comment section of BCF‘s post on this.  I think I was not very clear about it and confused the issue by poorly expressing what I mean.  Still, it helped me ‘distill’ the essence of what I mean better.

My ‘first law of human dynamics’ states that eventually, every law will be abused and stretched into unforeseen ridiculousness.  Therefore, whenever we pass laws, we must consider more than their immediate effect.  It is our responsibility to examine the not-so-obvious implications of any law and to really really foresee any potential ways in which the law could be abused.

THAT is my problem with a law that bans ‘wearing a face-covering veil in public’.

The larger implications:  we are permitting a government to legislate what people may or may not wear in public.  You know, like they do in Iran

It is always easier to give some power to a government than it is to take it back.   Once we legitimize the practice of governments  legislating and enforcing dress codes, that aspect of our existence will be at the mercy of some  future government’s whims!


4 Responses to “Banning ‘the veil’: the end does not justify the means”

  1. stageleft Says:

    The people are fearful and paranoid, and they want the government to do something to keep them safe.

    In order to placate the masses the government must therefor either do something or face the wrath of said masses at the next election.

    Banning the burka will not, of course, accomplish anything towards acually making the masses any safer but since they see it as a blow being struck on their behalf against that which they fear, it is sufficient…. at least for now.

    Xanthippa says:

    Ah, yes – but then the patient will die of the cure…

  2. CodeSlinger Says:


    They are using one set of exuses to put cameras on every streetcorner, and another set of excuses to outlaw covering your face.

    End well, this will not.

    Xanthippa says: yes…

  3. Ontario’s illegal ‘eco-tax’ scrapped and ‘under review’ « Xanthippa's Chamberpot Says:

    […] populace because it appears to remove a perceived (rightly or wrongly perceived) threat (like, say, banning the full Islamic facial veil).  Once the measure and the method has been ‘accepted’ and ‘normalized’, […]

  4. David Marshall Says:

    The ends justify the means?

    “[ Footnote 4 ] The intelligence community believed that it was necessary “to conceal these activities from the American public in general,” because public knowledge of the “unethical and illicit activities would have serious repercussions in political and diplomatic circles and would be detrimental to the accomplishment of its mission.” Id., at 394 (quoting CIA Inspector General’s Survey of the Technical Services Division, p. 217 (1957)).” See [Footnote 4 of IV] U.S. 709 U.S. Supreme Court 1987 STANLEY military experiment case. [3] The “Veterans Right to Know Act” to establish the Veterans’ Right to Know Commission was proposed in the 2005 and H.R. 4259 [109th] 2006 Congress.[9] In accordance with the ongoing greater good necessity “to conceal these activities…” a veteran’s right to get the U.S. Senate’s “designed to harm” needed for treatment, and experiment identifying, evidence never became law.

    To-date rejected is the U.S. Senate 1994 Report’s, “The Feres Doctrine should not be applied for military personnel who are harmed by inappropriate human experimentation when informed consent has not been given.”[8] Despite the 16 of 66 year efforts of some, the U.S. Congress has failed to protect service personnel from “to harm” experiments. Therefore, do not the U.S. Senate’s reported Department of Defense (DOD) “EXPERIMENTS THAT WERE DESIGNED TO HARM” [8] continue?

    Please have your members in the U.S. Congress give back to service personnel and veterans those rights that convicted rapists and murderers keep, e.g., “Written policy and practice prohibit the use of” [prison] “inmates for medical…..experiments.”! See page 13 of 14, REF: [6] The U.S. Supreme Court’s 1987 STANLEY [3] “to harm” DOD experiment is approved by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1950 FERES [1] ‘can do no wrong, ends justify the means’ Doctrine. The STANLEY case is one of the U.S. Senate’s 1994 “During the last 50 years, hundreds of thousands of military personnel” were subjected to “experiments that were designed to harm”, e.g., the reported biological and chemical agents, radiation exposure, hallucinogenic and investigational drugs, experimental vaccines and behavior modification projects.[8] It is a dereliction of duty in direct disobedience of the DOD Secretary’s 26 February 1953 NO non-consensual, human experiments.[2] During the U.S. Senate’s reported past 50 years, most of the “to harm” service records were destroyed in a 1973 National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) fire. Congress’s 1974 Privacy Act censored experiment verifying witnesses from any surviving records!

    After the 1987 STANLEY, Congress passed the 1988 Veterans’ Judicial Review Act (VJRA).[4] Established was the Legislative, Article I severely restricted, U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals. In 1994 its Chief Judge stated, “The Court simply identifies error made below by a failure to adhere, in individual cases, to the Constitution, statutes, and regulations which themselves reflect policy — policy freely ignored by many initial adjudicators whose attitude is, “I haven’t been told by my boss to change. If you don’t like it — appeal it.”[7] Congress dictated that, “The court may not review the schedule of ratings for disabilities or the policies underlying the schedule.”[4] Given to the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) is the Judicial Branch’s final authority on “the policies underlying the schedule” questions of law![5]

    Each “to harm” experiment completes a Research and Development (R&D) process. Prior R&D is reviewed. The resulting Scope of Work defines what each experiment is “designed” to accomplish. The how, where, when and who is identified. The conducted RESEARCHED cause and effects are closely followed and recorded. From the results are DEVELOPED safe production, use, victim treatment and protection. Accordingly, at the time known are the recorded and withheld “designed to harm” resultant “schedule” disabilities with their identifying symptoms and treatment. Ignored by the U.S. Congress is the service personnel rights lost vs. prison inmate kept!

    Overlooked by many in Congress is our “Pledge of Allegiance” “with liberty and justice for all” and the U.S. Supreme Court’s ignored own, carved in stone over its entrance, “EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW”!


    [1] 1950 – Feres v. United States, 340 U.S. 135, 146 (1950).

    [2] 1953 – DOD Secretary’s 26 February 1953 NO non-consensual, human experiment’s Memo pages 343-345. George J. Annas and Michael A. Grodin, “The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code; Human Rights in Human Experimentation” (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).

    [3] 1987 – U.S. SUPREME COURT, JUNE 25, 1987, U.S. V. STANLEY , 107 S. CT.. 3054 (VOLUME 483 U.S., SECTION 669, PAGES 699 TO 710).

    [4] 1988 – Veterans’ Judicial Review Act (VJRA), Pub. L. No. 100-687, Div. A, 102 Stat. 4105 (8 December 1988) DVA-Chapter 4 and

    [5] “United States Code (USC) Title 38, 511. Decisions of the Secretary; finality.” US CODE: Title 38511. Decisions of the Secretary; finality.

    [6] 1994 – U.S. State Dept., “U.S. Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights July 1994, Article 7 – Freedom from Torture, or Cruel, Inhuman
    or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.” Electronic Research Collections (ERC)

    [7] 1994 – Chief Judge and colleague statements, Court of Veterans Appeals, Annual Judicial Conference, Fort Meyer, VA., 17 & 18 October 1994. Chief Judge Frank Nebeker’s Statement STATE OF COURT – – – URL:

    [8] 1994 – December 8, 1994 REPORT 103-97 “Is Military Research Hazardous to Veterans’ Health? Lessons Spanning Half a Century.” Hearings Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 103rd Congress 2nd Session.

    [9] 2005 & 2006 – “Veterans Right to Know Act” to establish the Veterans’ Right to Know Commission was proposed in the 2005 and H.R. 4259 [109th] 2006 Congress. H. R. 4259.

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