Is Security More Important Than Freedom?

In 2010, a law was passed in France banning full face coverings. This targeted Muslim women who wear the facial coverings because of religious beliefs. Although this mandate was not passed specifically to victimize these women, it has had that effect. A European court upheld the law when a women sued, claiming the mandate inhibited her freedom of religion. The state upholds that facial coverings are banned as a matter of security, because it conceals a person’s identity. Several other European have similar bans against full face coverings, in the name of national security. Any person who chooses to wear a face veil, for whatever reason, faces a fine and the possibility of being forced to undergo citizenship instruction. Does this mandate violate the women’s freedom of religion, or is national security a higher priority? Should expression that is possibly threatening to others be permitted?

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