France’s decision to ban the wearing of the burka in public by law symbolises the difficulty of reconciling rights when they conflict. This lies at the heart of the dilemma of multicultural societies and applies not just to France but to Great Britain and elsewhere. They do not wish to be culturally imperialist by treating ethnic minorities with disrespect, but nor do they want to set aside their own core values, such as opposition to the exploitation and abuse of women. A society like Britain which insists that girls from very conservative Muslim families should nevertheless be sent to school to receive a good education has already taken sides in that debate. The real issue is about proportionality.
Read what the Tablet has to say in its editorial of July 22:Should we outlaw the burka