Is it morally correct to force a women to remove part of her clothes because of secularism?

by LA98 on September 12, 2016 - 9:43pm

On August 23 2016, the Daily Mail as well as many other papers published a series of pictures of Police officers talking to a veiled women on a beach in Nice. On the first picture, we can see a  police officers crunched down appearing to write a note.The other pictures show the same women removing parts of her clothes. These pictures have taken social media by storm forcing many to share their opinion via Social Media. The hysteria was so big that a hashtag was circulation on Twitter named #WTFFrance.The police forced a women to remove part of her close since a new law adopted in that region banned burkinis due to the recent attacks. Two reacting surfaced.Some where in favour of the fine received by the women while other thought it was inappropriate. In the article, their were two conflicting ethical choices. Greater good against freedom of religion.

People in favour of the police’s action say that he officers were only applying the law that was put in place while others say that clothes that represent a certain religion are not appropriate to be worn after the events that happened which killed many and that it would only cause trouble to public order.                   

The Conflicting ethical choice in this article is freedom of religion which means that every person has a right to practice the religion they want.People find it disgusting how a country that call’s itself liberal and democratic forces a women to take off part of her clothes.Others say that it’s an other way to stigmatize muslim women and some french citizens are disgusted by the way that women was treated when their country’s main values are liberty and equality.

In my opinion,it is very wrong to force a women to take off part of her clothes due to secularism especially if she is not disturbing anyone.People should be allowed to wear what ever they want.To continue, the law bans the burkini but the women on the images is only wearing a headscarf,leggings and a tunic which is very different from a burkini. To people who say it’s for security measures, the women was not even in the water, she was only seated at the beach.I might understand that it is tense in Nice right now because of the attacks and that they want to clear out anything that has to do with religion but I strongly believe it’s the wrong way to do it. ISIS’s technique to gain followers is by making them believe that western countries are against Islam and that idea can easily be depicted in those images.The photographies are what might cause trouble to public order, not what she was wearing.Secularism is important but should not baffle other peoples right.People have a right to believe and practice what they want without being forced to change.I would like to finish off on a question I have asked myself while writing this: How and when do we draw the line between secularism and freedom of religion?


Morin, Violaine. “Indignation devant les photos d’une femme voilée contrôlée sur la plage à Nice.” Le Monde, August 28 2016, .Accessed September 9th 2016.


Said-Moorhouse, Lauren. “Burkini ban: Police in Nice force women to remove part of clothing.” CNN, August 25 2016, September 9th 2016.


You impressed me, the way you use your words, you really convinced me that it's doesn't make sense what happened to this women. However there is just one point that doesn't work in your text and it's not an important error, still I was thinking that it would be practice to you to be more careful with words that you use sometimes. Example: ''People have a right to believe and practice what they want without being forced to change.'' It's an fallacy that we name hasty generalization in humanity class. It happen when you take one situation and you generalize it. In your case, you were talking about the right to wear burkini and suddenly, everybody should have the right to practice what they want. Hence, just be careful to be precise enough in your conclusion. Then I hope that my comment will help you for your next article. And I very appreciated my reading of this one, good job!

Very well done. You mentioned every detail to help the reader to have a good comprehension of the story without reading the article. I also liked that you helped to justify your point of view by using a true story to support your arguments. Just like you, I talked about the ethical issue of burkinis in France, although it was not specific to a story. I also think that women should not be taken away the right to wear burkinis, but not for the same reasons than you. I feel that banning the burkinis will not help to stop the fights between the two countries. If we want to find the way to a peaceful country we have to live and let lives others or else the fight will never stop. Moreover, many of these women do not have a choice, wheatear it is because their husband does not allow them or because they really respect their values and religions. This said, the ban of burkinis would also ban these women from any activity that requires this type of swimwear. I do agree with you that women have the right to wear what they want, but if we would go in Muslim countries, we would have to accept being subjected to wear the scarf or other symbols. Moreover, we would be restricted in our clothing because they don't allow women to show parts of their body, other than hands and feet. This is the reason why I don't think that the right of wearing whatever we want is fair in this context. This said, I do approve with the rest of your arguments and I do find your text very interesting. Like I said I do think that respecting each other's choice can only help us to get to reunite each other and I think this is the most important fact, or else a lot of innocent will continue to be killed and maybe that if we do the first step, it will encourage another country to do so. A question to make you reflect a little bit more on the topic; Do you think that not accepting their religion and letting them wear what they want, they will give us the same right when we go in their country?

I have a friend that is from Lebanon and I will talk about is father's point of view because I do not especially share is thoughts but find it very interesting. His dad has been forced to move to Canada on a boat leaving everything behind him to escape a war started by Muslims. Obviously, his opinions are not always subjective because of his situation. At the time, Lebanon was a Christian country and Muslims were generally immigrants. However, radical Muslims movement took power and apply pressure on the Christian community. My friend's father who was a cops in Lebanon started to feel insecure. He saw horrible things that has been done to people only for their religions. Slowly, it was very dangerous to wear a Christian symbol on the streets. After many threats, he decided to leave and come here to live in Canada. Now this was the story he told me, and then he continue with what he thinks about western situations.

He fears that the same situation will happen here in Western countries. He said that it always start this way, Muslims immigrate for many reasons and when they arrive, they establish themselves as a groups. Now, I think that it is totally normal that when you move to another country to stay with people that has the same traditions, languages and everything. However, he continue by saying that through history, Muslims rarely change and adapt to the country that they move to. So, on this point of view I think that he obviously generalize because he talks about an entire religions and probably a small percentage of people probably does as he said and the other percentage is simply not noticed. Now, what he wanted to says is that because of all the reasons that he gave, the western countries should in fact have bigger laws that restrict religion in general.

From my point of view, I think that it is very unfortunate what happen to that woman. The act of the police officer is completely disrespectful toward the woman and her rights. The questions here is not if what the police officer did was right or not because it was not. However, the law is that on the beach you cannot wear a burkinis so she had the right to leave but she decide to stay so the police officer has to do something. Now, even if the decision was misjudge, I think that we should discuss more about is the law is ethic or not. Therefore, my opinion is really not clear i do not know what we should do or not do about this issue. From one side the freedom of religion and the fact that we should not restrict people because of their religion which is my opinions. However, there is my best friend’s dad that really thinks that we should restrict religions in general.

I think it is an important topic to be discussed, especially with everything happening in recent years. Islamophobia has been on the rise for quite some times but only recently has it really peeked and, unfortunately, I still believe it will persist. It is important to distinguish secularism and plain discrimination. In this case, the woman was simply relaxing in front of the ocean with a veil (it's not even a burkini). A burkini is a form of freedom for women that decide to dress modestly and cover their skin for X reasons. It's a way for them to feel comfortable with themselves and enjoy a hot summer day. They have the right to dress as they want. Either it is with a burkini or with nothing.

This said, what is the difference between this new french law and the laws about women & clothing in place in Saudi Arabia which has the worst record of human rights? Why do Muslim women have to be either portrait as 'obliged' to wear a certain outfit or monitored on what they wear by the society they live in? Why can't Muslim women have to right to live the way they want without being judged?