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"My Dress My Choice"

Over the last few decades, it has become more evident than ever, that issues of personal attire and religious marginalization by the hands of numerous agenda-oriented political actors are on the rise.


While most of us realize and voice our opinions on the ban on Hijab in India and France, we need to look at the other side too. There is no second opinion on whether or not what India and France are doing is right.


But these are the countries governed by Non-Muslims – what about Afghanistan? Where India and France are imposing their beliefs on the Muslims, the Afghani Government is doing exactly the same. The Afghan government has imposed strict and harsh dress code rules on the women, which have impacted their education negatively.


Both of these sides are completely wrong – while India and France are forcing them to remove Hijab, Afghanistan is making Hijab and Burqa mandatory. Both these examples show authoritarian rule and imposing/forcing rules on a person’s own choice.


Therefore, I believe that it's high time for regimes such as Afghanistan and France to understand that an individual - mostly women unfortunately - is capable enough to carry themselves and hence stop imposing and forcing any attire regulations on them. And this goes both ways - to the western countries and to the Islamic countries like Afghanistan.

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Extremely important topic! I always wondered why everyone was so critical of everything happening in France, but never spoke up against the oppression in Afghanistan, or Iran. What's also fascinating is the double standard that seems to exist within our country; I remember reading an entire thread on twitter which was against the Saudi Arabia policy to allow women to drive, when in reality, the women arguing in that thread definitely drove around freely! (Which I'm not saying is wrong of course, I'm just baffled at the double standards that seem to exist worldwide, not only from a misogynist's perspective, but also from women that somehow feel good when other women are oppressed?) It's high time we change the narrative;…

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Rania Bakhtiari
Rania Bakhtiari
Jun 22, 2023

The issues you have raised in regard to personal attire and religious marginalization are extremely important!

It is indeed very important that all government regimes, regardless of the Taliban in Afghanistan or France, respect one's individual freedom and their basic right to the choice of whatever they want to wear. It is important to note that whether in a secular state or an Islamic state, it is always the woman who faces the imposition of such rules that restrict her from wearing whatever she wants.

While the Afghan government argues that such strict dress-code laws are in line with the Shariah, it is essential to note that these policies are the result of a history of political dynamics and cultural…

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The examples you mentioned highlight the need for governments to respect individuals' autonomy and not impose their beliefs on others. Imposing dress code regulations on individuals, especially targeting women, can limit their educational opportunities, restrict their freedom of expression, and perpetuate unequal power dynamics.

Promoting dialogue, understanding, and mutual respect between different cultures and religious beliefs is essential in fostering an inclusive and pluralistic society. Encouraging societies to embrace diversity and recognize the agency of individuals in making their own choices regarding attire is an essential step toward achieving equality and respect for all.

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Thanks for raising this point!

There have been debates and controversies surrounding the ban on full-face coverings, such as the burqa and niqab, in public spaces. The French government argues that the ban is necessary for security, social integration, and gender equality, as they view the burqa and niqab as symbols of oppression and a barrier to communication. Supporters of the ban argue that it promotes secularism and prevents the marginalization of women.

Critics of the ban argue that it infringes upon individual freedom and religious rights, as it targets a specific group of Muslim women. They argue that women should have the right to choose how they dress and that imposing such restrictions may further isolate and stigmatize those…


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Adding to this, I believe it's essential to understand that the issue at hand is not just about clothing, but about the larger context of personal freedom, cultural identity, and religious expression. It's about the right of individuals to express their identity and beliefs in the way they choose, without fear of reprisal or coercion.

Moreover, it's worth noting that these impositions are not just a violation of personal rights, but they also have broader societal implications. They can lead to social exclusion, marginalization, and even violence.

It's high time that governments and societies across the world recognize and respect the right of individuals to make their own choices about their attire. This is not just about promoting tolerance and…

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