Spirited Debate: Should religious clothing be banned in public?

Recently, Fox News’ “Spirited Debate” featured Kennedy Williams-Benjamin debating France’s veil law. Kennedy and her fellow panelist appeared with host Lauren Green on  ‘Spirited Debate,’ a web-based news show on FoxNews.com Live.

Kennedy points out that the niqab face veil worn by pious Muslim women is no different from the yarmulke worn by observant Jews. The panelists then discuss whether physically revealing Western fashions are as oppressive by other cultures. Needless to say, Kennedy’s comments sparked a good exchange between the  panelists.

A friend who found the debate of the Muslim veil law in France intriguing commented,

“I had never considered that women in the US are driven to a certain dress (or rather lack thereof) and somehow we say that is freedom, when in Muslim countries we assume it oppressive if a woman covers herself.”

Like my friend, many Americans are unconsciously affected by our sexually charged culture than they realize. Too few American perceive the constant media portrayal of scantily clad women may also be a form of oppression.

Unintentionally, President Sarkozy has opened debate on how French couture fashion –with its focus on a distorted female form– is a torturous oppression of women. High heel pointy-toed shoes throw the female wearer into a toe crunching, back-breaking totter that push out the breasts and buttocks. In comparison, the niqab face veil and the burqa seems much more liberating of the female form.

Watch The Video: Panel discusses ramifications of putting restrictions on women’s clothing.

Ms. Williams, the author of Processing Life’s Moments: Therapy for the soul, is a semi-regular guest on Foxnews.com LIVE. ‘Spirited Debate’ is webcast Fridays at 2PM.

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, FoxNews.com LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email FOMB08@GMAIL.COM.
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2 Responses to Spirited Debate: Should religious clothing be banned in public?

  1. anon says:

    Why is nothing being said that the head to toe dress of Muslim women could easily hide an explosive device?


  2. Pingback: Black Muslim Fencer a Standout | MichaelBenjamin2012's Blog

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