x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Letter argues in favour of the French niqab ban

Readers also comment on keeping children stress free, Arab hospitality, Kaiser Chiefs, road accidents and Emiratis in the construction sector.

A reader advances various arguments in favour of the French niqab ban. Jacques Demarthon/ AFP
A reader advances various arguments in favour of the French niqab ban. Jacques Demarthon/ AFP

Being a French national, I read Faisal Al Yafai's opinion article Sarkozy niqab ban strikes at heart of French liberty (June 21) with care and interest. Contrary to the opinions in his article, I don't think that this ban is a restriction against freedom but a guarantee for freedom and equality.

First of all, the purpose of the law is not to ban the niqab but to ban any clothing that does not allow observers to identify a person in a public space. I think that if you forget the religious side of the niqab and consider it only as clothing preventing identification, such a law is more understandable.

Through living in a Muslim country such as the UAE and discussing the situation with my Muslim friends, I have learnt that the full covering veil is not a very common practice in the Islamic world and that a woman can live freely and in accordance with the law of Islam without being fully covered by a niqab.

If you analyse the situation deeper, some women wearing the full veil in France are not doing it because they have chosen it but because it is imposed on them by social, family or religious pressure. If only one woman can escape from such pressure thanks to this law, then that sounds like defending liberty and not restricting it.

Since 1905, the concept of laicity has expanded in French society and most French people consider that religious beliefs have to be private and not interfere in daily, public and working life.

Following this idea, if there is no public show of belonging to a religion, then everybody is equal. Nobody can judge you or discriminate against you because of your religion.

After all, isn't religion an inner light that doesn't need to be shown to everybody?

Sebastien R, Abu Dhabi

Keeping children free of stress

In reference to the news article Managing children's stress during a move (June 21), I completely agree with being straightforward with your children and talking to them about the move. We've moved a few times already with our daughter and have always told her several months in advance. It has not always been easy for her but she knew that she can talk to us about it anytime. So it's important to keep the channels of communication very open.

Magarita Gokun, US

An example of Arab hospitality

I thought I would share a story with you. While I was sitting in Al Futtaim Motors as my vehicle was being serviced, an Arab gentleman arrived and sat nearby, and began to eat his lunch of two burgers.

On catching my eye, he invited me to share lunch with him, giving me his second burger. He was a most delightful Omani. Where else, except in the Arab world, will a total stranger invite you to join him for lunch?

Roger Warren, Dubai

Compliments to the Kaiser Chiefs

I refer to Plenty to choose from on new CD by Kaiser Chiefs (June 22). I have followed Kaiser Chiefs since their first album, and I loved their last. I think it was their best album. So I am still a fan. I think Little Shocks is one of their best songs they have ever come out with. The guitarist actually plays the guitar for once and Ricky Wilson actually sings, which is good.

Jordan Polmear, Australia

Road accidents waiting to happen

UAE roads are dangerous. Many accidents are being caused on roads for many reasons. A case in point is the road between Al Ain and Dubai, E-66.

On reaching the main highway from Al Ain city, I was astonished to read the sign, "Speed Limit 120, Radar set at 140". This would seem a clear invitation to all to drive over 140kph and slow down close to radar. What is most astonishing is to see that after about 30km, two lanes are blocked due construction. The slow lane is occupied by trucks, so only one lane is left for those charging along at 150kph.

I specialise in accident prevention in my profession. Here is an accident about to happen.

Kanwar Hayat, Dubai

Construction is one solution

Manar Al Hinai's opinion article in the Business section Emirati job seekers feeling shut out in their own country (June 18) described the difficulties that many Emirati graduates face in finding jobs.

Construction is a main sector in the UAE economy. Emiratis should be trained to become architects, engineers, supervisers, accountants, quality control technicians, and stores and purchase assistants. The current orientation should also change more towards technical and medical fields. Definitely more Emiratis would become employed.

Radna Krishna, Abu Dhabi