Do not ban headscarves in schools/hospitals
This petition is being sent to President Jaques Chirac by March 1, 2004. My first contention is that those who publicly practice religion pay taxes too, and have equal rights as other tax payers to the use of public facilities. Banning these people from the use of such facilities cannot be fair without a fair refund of taxes. The proposed ban on wearing religious symbols in publicly funded institutions, directly attacks French ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity and puts a dent in the secular nature of society. In a secular society, people have the liberty of following whatever religion they want, to participate in it\'s ritualistic manifestations and to uphold the sanctity of it\'s sacred symbols, like the cross, the star of David, etc. Equality is created by giving equal opportunity to all sectors of society. Fraternity is created by ensuring the above two. People love each other only if they have freedom and equality. If people are forced to act in a certian way, they become angry. Society becomes polarized. The essense of Secularism is to protect the religious rights of minorities, not to trample over them. If you ban headscarves in public schools, you leave a Taliban-like legacy of denying young females education. If you ban women from asking for a female doctor, you deny a patient\'s rights to make decisions regarding their own healthcare. Who will be responsible for lives lost/destroyed because the majority public opinion chose to interfere with the choices of the minority Banning religious symbols will usher France into a long list of closed societies that I need not mention here. Please do not take the onerous burden of history on your shoulders, and do not pass such a legislation.