muslim headrobes and driver's liscenses

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muslim headrobes and driver's liscenses

Postby TerraFrost » Wed Jun 11, 2003 8:01 pm

there was a recent court case in which some muslim woman didn't get a driver's liscense because she didn't want to unveil her face. the court decided against the muslim woman, saying that she her face had to be exposed for the picture... you can read about it here:

http://www.courttv.com/trials/freeman/v ... l_ctv.html

now the arguments for her unveiling were that if she didn't, it would effectivly render the driver's liscense as a means of identification as useless.

the arguments against were that by forcing her to unveil, they weren't respecting her religious rights.

so... what do you think? personally, i don't think she should have been required to unveil. for one, i think pictures are an outdated means of identification. as an alternative, finger printing comes to mind.

for two, i think that this encourages the idea that muslims wearing head dresses have something to hide, which i don't feel is justified. in fact, i believe that muslims wearing head dresses are going to be the center of attention, just as people with no legs often make people turn heads. the simple reason for this is that it is just not very common. if you have something to hide, you're not going to be hiding it when all the eyes of the world are upon you. rather, you would be hiding it by looking like everyone else - by blending in. that is, unless you're a stupid criminal, and in that case, you're gonna get caught anyways, heh.

now, muslims in america may well be more common as time moves on (although i doubt it, heh), but... as time moves on, a finger print system could be set up.

further, this makes it easier for people to take away other religious rights guaranted to muslims. it serves as a legal precident to anyone wanting to perhapes ban head robes all together, which in turn would serve as a legal precident for anyone wanting to abolish freedom of religion...
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Postby Gigafrost » Wed Jun 11, 2003 11:15 pm

Unfortunately a fingerprint system is largely impossible within the next few years, and this is because the photo ID driver's liscence only requires a device already configured to do the job; people. And people do a much better job than any program to date, being capable or recognizing facial hair changes, darker tans, etc.

To help understand why I don't sympathize with the woman, let's consider an analogous point. Let's say an amish person is suspect of some crime. Are they automatically free from handcuffs, police escorts, lighted jails, etc merely because of their religious beliefs.
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Postby TerraFrost » Thu Jun 12, 2003 12:16 am

Unfortunately a fingerprint system is largely impossible within the next few years, and this is because the photo ID driver's liscence only requires a device already configured to do the job; people. And people do a much better job than any program to date, being capable or recognizing facial hair changes, darker tans, etc.


well i did say "as time moves on" :lila: people staring at muslims wearing head dresses isn't going to change over night, and neither will the driver's liscences. as for people doing a better job than programs... i've actually not seen any statistics on how this compares with finger print matches, heh, so i can't argue with you on this :lila:

To help understand why I don't sympathize with the woman, let's consider an analogous point. Let's say an amish person is suspect of some crime. Are they automatically free from handcuffs, police escorts, lighted jails, etc merely because of their religious beliefs.


having civil rights taken away because you committed a crime is one thing... having civil rights taken away on a whim is something entirely different. i mean, lets face it - the person in this case isn't a criminal, nor should they be treated like one.
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Postby Gigafrost » Thu Jun 12, 2003 2:03 am

having civil rights taken away because you committed a crime is one thing... having civil rights taken away on a whim is something entirely different.

However, the driver's liscence ordeal is not a taking away on a whim, either. The part of the system under question is NOT something you can just take out without completely messing everything up. It is one of the key ideas of the driver's liscence. Regardless of whether she's a criminal or not, the system cannot function at present bending over backwards for every little religious belief. I suppose that was my main point. You seem to already agree with this point by discussing that the system itself as opposed to whims can intercede on civil rights.

Also, I believe you completely missed what I tried to say about the photos, although the fault is mine for not being clearer. Lemme see...I wasn't comparing people viewing pictures to machines reading fingerprints. I was comparing people viewing pictures to machine viewing pictures. If people tried to verify fingerprints by hand the process will simply not work. They would need an added machine, and unless these machines are incredibly cheap, portable, and easy to obtain then it will take a pretty long time to completely replace driver's liscences. In the mean time, there's no way a few religious ideas should be looked over in faith that things will change very very soon.
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Postby TerraFrost » Thu Jun 12, 2003 2:13 am

However, the driver's liscence ordeal is not a taking away on a whim, either. The part of the system under question is NOT something you can just take out without completely messing everything up. It is one of the key ideas of the driver's liscence. Regardless of whether she's a criminal or not, the system cannot function at present bending over backwards for every little religious belief. I suppose that was my main point. You seem to already agree with this point by discussing that the system itself as opposed to whims can intercede on civil rights.


in that case, the two systems seem to be at odds. driver's licenses can't change on a whim, and likewise, religious rights can't change on a whim. so seeing that they sorta contradict, i guess we could just adhere to the more senior of the systems - ie. freedom of religion, heh.

as for your point about photo identification... yeah... i guess i did miss that, heh. although about the technology... i sorta included that in the "as time moves on" part - we'd have to revamp every department of driving place in the US to take fingerprints / make new cards, as opposed to old ones iwth picture id's, work on making cheap finger print scanners (i don't imagine they would be too expensive, but i really don't know), etc. it would definitly take time. the real question is... would people in head dresses still draw looks from people in the time that it would take?
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Postby Dracofrost » Thu Jun 12, 2003 2:19 am

Of course. People always stare at the person who isn't "normal", so unless the person wearing a headdress is in a place where sure is considered quite "normal", they would most likely draw looks from people.
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Postby TerraFrost » Thu Jun 12, 2003 2:24 am

unless the muslem population suddenly decides to move here en masse, hehe :lila:

i think we're pretty safe, though, from that, hehe. court cases like this will keep us even safer, too, hehe :)

EDIT: anyways, that all said... i think that she should have removed the veil... i mean, she shouldn't be surprised by the verdict, and... if she hadn't have made this go to court, there would be no legal precidence that could be used as a precident for other degenerate court rulings...
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Postby Nyufrost » Thu Jun 12, 2003 12:13 pm

Well, it looks like I am a little late to get in on the discussion but I'll add my two cents worth anyways.

1. The woman definitely should have to remove her headrobe for her driver's license picture being it is used as a means of identification. This would also be in her own best interest because it would be very easy for someone with the same general coloring to steal her ID and impersonate her possibly committing a crime and leaving her ID behind so she is accused of it.

2. I possibly misread what was said about fingerprints because I read over the entire topic rather quickly but I think someone said that people can't read fingerprints that they need a machine to do that. Actually, though it is easier with a machine, there are fingerprint experts who can make the same analysis without a machine.

I agree with Giga about how we can't bend over backwards for every religious preference there is ... which is why it annoys me that ONE annoyed person filing suit was all it took to start a flap over the pledge of alligiance but that's going off topic. :oops:

But, as for violating her religious freedom, no one is asking her to change the way she worships. Undoubtedly, the woman removes the headrobe to shower, eat and sleep so removing it to have the picture made for her license should not be that big of a deal.
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Postby Dracofrost » Fri Jun 13, 2003 8:01 am

Well, in response to Nyu's last paragraph, I'd just like to say that it is rather a big deal, from what little I know of islam. Thing is, yes, she does take it off to shower and eat and sleep, but those are all in public places. She's supposed to keep it on in public, because it's supposed to be disgraceful for someone to see the face of a woman if they aren't her parents or her husband or something like that, I think. Thus, with the photo ID, not only would she have to take it off that one, also every time she had to prove who she was she would have to expose her face in public.

However, despite this, I am personally undecided on this matter.
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Postby Javafrost » Thu Jun 19, 2003 12:03 am

It seems to me the ruling does not infringe on this woman's right to practice her religion as she chooses -- she is still free to wear her face covering in accordance with her beliefs. The ruling defines what one has to do to get a drivers license, which also functions as a "govenment issued ID". Does it infringe on her right to drive? I don't think we automatically have a right to drive -- there are hoops one has to jump through in this society in order to do certain things. That's the way it is.
What if, say, it was against your religion to take your shoes off in a public place? How would that person get on an airliner in this country today? Answer: they wouldn't. Options: choose not to fly. (That's my choice. Not that it's against my religion to take my shoes off in public. Oh, never mind...)
I think tying this issue to 9-11 is a bit of a stretch. Tying it to common sense is appropriate.
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