Monthly Meeting - Discussion - Religious dress

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Hello fellow secularists

Our next meeting will be a group/public discussion to try to sort out some of the difficult questions surrounding religious dress code especially in the workplace.

This summer about 30 French towns banned the burkini.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/02/burkini-ban-suspended-nice-court-france

I doubt that many of us would support French police telling women to undress. Why is it always women who are in the firing line of these debates? Do we see French taking razors to the beach to shave Muslim men ? Or do the French have concerns which we don’t understand?

A much more tricky issue is wearing of religious symbols in work. Police Scotland have recently allowed the optional wearing of the hijab amongst its officers and West Midlands are talking about allowing the full face-covering niqab.

http://www.scotland.police.uk/whats-happening/news/2016/august/hijab-ratified-as-option-for-police-scotland-uniform

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/burka-police-force-muslim-officers-west-midlands-ethnic-minority-a7234246.html

Already there are concessions for turban wearing Sikhs.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-overturns-turban-workplace-rule

Is this all welcome inclusivity or religious privilege? Is there any difference for wearing crosses at work ?

It seems to hang on whether or not religious symbols are a “requirement” or not.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9136191/Christians-have-no-right-to-wear-cross-at-work-says-Government.html

Let’s get together for an informal talk about these issues and see if we can work out an Edinburgh Secular Society position.

We then usualy move to the bar afterwards for more of social chat, and of course all are welcome.

The meeting will be in The Balmoral Room on the first floor. There is a lift, if required, and reception will let you know how to get to it.