Burqa bans – is what we wear a public or private matter?

Sunday 20 October, 10.30am until 12.00pm, Hammerson Room Hot off the Press 2013

Former Home Office Minister Jeremy Browne recently stated that as a nation, we need to have a discussion about whether or not the face veil should be banned in public places. This is not the first time such a statement has been made, and in light of the ban in France, politicians of all persuasions have voiced an opinion. But what is it that is so offensive about the burqa? Is it an overt symbol of female oppression? Do these women need ‘protecting’ as Browne suggests, or does the very nature of a liberal, pluralistic society mean we have to allow for all forms of religious and cultural expression? Is the burqa fundamentally un-British; a provocative gesture by those who are defiantly unwilling to subscribe to British cultural norms? Or is legislating to police what people wear what’s truly un-British? Would a ban undermine the values of freedom and tolerance just to deal with non-problem? Or is it simply common sense?

Speakers
Rania Hafez
programme leader, MA Education, Greenwich University; fellow, The Muslim Institute

Elizabeth Oldfield
director, Theos, religion and society think-tank

Max Wind-Cowie
deputy director, ResPublica

Chair:
Anwar Oduro-Kwarteng
promotions manager, Academy of Ideas; writer on politics and ideology

Produced by
Anwar Oduro-Kwarteng promotions manager, Academy of Ideas; writer on politics and ideology

Eurozonia: too big to fail; too small to succeed?

"The Battle of Ideas is free of that stifling British squeamishness about the serious discussion of ideas. It offers a rare chance to join the dots in contemporary politics and culture."
Eliane Glaser, writer & broadcaster; author, Get Real

follow the Academy of Ideas