Niqab It is a symbol of islamic culture and it consists on a veil that covers women face and just reveal their eyes that translates the segregation that preserves nature.
Niqab It is usually made by cotton or poliester and black is its most common color It is found in countries from Arabian Peninsule and in others with muslim tradition Its historic origins are not clear but it probably existed already in the Arabian Peninsule before the birth of Islan
Crucifix It is an independent image of Jesus on the cross with a representation of his body.
Crucifix Emphasizes Jesus’ sacrifice – his death by crucification that christians believe that brought humanity redemption. It is the main symbol for many christians and it is specially important in the Catholic Church but it is also used in other churches (Orthodox and Luteran).
Crucifix - Characteristics It consists on an upright and a single lane in which the arms of the person who suffer are nailed It has a bidimensional body that shows Jesus already dead with a calm and dark face Jesus on the cross uses a crown of thorns and it is positioned in “S”
Crucifix – Historic Origins Middle Ages – Small crucifixes started to be hung in the rooms of the first monks and next extending to other people houses XIV Century– The practice of placing crosses on the altars of the churches became widespread XIX Century – It become usual to have a crucifix in the reception areas in the catholic houses
2. The controversies about the religious symbols
Niqab – Justifications for the use Some people believe that it should be used because it covers parts of women body that should not be exposed Alcoran and the Haddit expressely defend that niqab should be use because women should cover themselves when in contact with strange mans Others believe that this has nothing to do with islamic faith but it is a cultural tradition
Niqab – Mandatory or Optional? Some countries like Saudi Arabia have coercive rules that obly women to use the veil In other countries this doesn’t happen, however, it is still mandatory to use it for a tradional issue There are some countries like Tunisia or Turkey that had forbidden the use of the veil
Niqab in Europe The variety of islamic veils used in Europe had become an important symbol of islamic presence in Western Europe In some countries it taked to political controversies and proposes for its legal prohibition Some are dealing with similar legislation and others have more limited prohibitions
Niqab in Europe – Reasons for the prohibition Security – Antiterrorism measure Cultural Secular nature of the State Symbolic nature of islamic outfit Some jobs, like education, require face to face contact State neutrality
Crucifix – Conceptions Religious Symbol – symbolizes the christian’s devotion to Jesus Christ Exorcism – opposes to demons Foklore – serves to ward off vampires and other evils Modern Iconoclasts – use an inverted cross to show their disdain to Jesus Christ and Catholic Church
Crucifix - Controversies 2005 – Brithish Arways faced a judicial action for ban one employee of using a necklace that contained a croce 2008 – Spain order to leave the crucifix from public schools 2011 – Peru’s Constitutional Court decided that crosses in Courts of Justice doesn’t violate the secular nature of the State
The prohibition of the use of the veil in France – THE CASE The french Parliament started an investigation proposed by the National Assembly about the use of the islamic veil in France after president Sarkozy said that they “are not welcome in the country.” The proposal is based on the fact that it doesn’t allow the clear identification of the person and constitutes a security risk and a social obstacle for the society
The prohibition of the use of the veil in France – THE DECISION In 14 Setember of 2010, the french Federal Senade decided a law that banned the use of clothes that cover people faces in public places, with some exceptions The law applies to every citizen living in France and also turists that visit the country It is also imposed a fine to who violates the law and for those who force others to violate it
The prohibition of the use of the veil in France – THE REACTIONS Some people believed that the law violates the liberty principle Muslim people manifested they distaste with a protest in Paquistan International Amnisty condemned the law saying it is a violation of expression liberty
The Condemnation of the Crucifix in Italy’s classrooms – THE CASE “Lautsi vs Italy” resulted from a Mrs. Lautsi’s request against the School Conseil of her daughter’s school requiring that crucifixs were baned of the classrooms.
The Condemnation of the Crucifix in Italy’s classrooms – THE DECISION 1.Veneto’s Administrative Court – crucifixs in classrooms don’t offends the principle of secularism 2.Mrs Lautsi resorts to Supreme Administrative Court 3.SAC – confirms the decision saying that the cross symbolizes the religious origin of the values that features italian civilization
The Condemnation of the Crucifix in Italy’s classrooms – THE DECISION 4. Mrs Lautsi resorts to European Court of Human Rights 5. Chamber of the Court – declared that the decision violated the Europen Convention of Human Rights (Article 9º) 6. Italian Government resorts to the Open Court, supported by many countries
The Condemnation of the Crucifix in Italy’s classrooms – THE DECISION 7. Open Court Although this symbol refers to Christianity, the regulations confer on the country’s majority religion preponderant visibility in the school environment. This is not enough to consider a violation of the article 9º of ECHR "A crucifix on a wall is an essentially passive symbol and (...) cannot be deemed to have an influence on pupils comparable to that of didactic speech or participation in religious activities"
4. Reflexion based on Liberalism and Communitarianism
The prohibition of the use of the veil in France – LIBERALISM OR COMMUNITARIANISM? Liberalism – Niqab should be allowed to respect individual liberty Communitarianism – Niqab should not be allowed to respect the majority vision and secular nature of the State France Decision: Communitarianism “wins”
The Condemnation of the Crucifix in Italy’s classrooms – LIBERALISM OR COMMUNITARIANISM? Liberalism – Crucifix should not be exposed in Italy’s classroom to respect individual religion Communitarianism – Crucifix should be exposed to respect the majority’s religion and the secular nature of the state Decision of Italy: Communitarianism “wins”
Conclusion: In both cases, communitarianism PREVAILS over liberalism.