Religious Freedom? Or Oppression in the Name of Tolerance?

Saturday

A reporter working for a newspaper in Sweden posed as a Muslim mother of a preschool-aged girl and called forty schools asking if the teachers would help make sure her daughter wore her headscarf at school. Two thirds of them said yes, and some even offered to take videos of the girl for proof of compliance.

A writer for a Swedish newspaper was rightfully outraged by this and made a very good argument against such compliance. The national curriculum for Sweden says that all preschools must be guided by the principles of "individual freedom, integrity, and gender equality." The author wondered if making a girl wear a headscarf violates those principles since it is not merely a garment, but a "symbol of women's submission to men."

The writer insisted that Sweden needs to have a national conversation about "where the limits of religious freedom lie."

And this, I thought, was the Swedish writer's pithiest statement: We can't allow "oppression in the name of tolerance."

Absolutely. This is now a top issue in every free country, being forced to the top by the immigration of so many Muslims. Dealing with this issue, or even bringing it up, has been labeled "xenophobia." But it isn't foreigners in general, but followers of Islamic doctrine that are forcing us to resolve an important ethical conflict. The sooner we resolve it, the better.

You can read the article in The Week Magazine here: Stop Forcing Young Girls to Wear Veils.

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