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Where is your face?

Posted by on March 13, 2014

What are the similarities and differences between the following cases? :



The similarities among them, which immediately cross my mind when I look at these pictures, are that

  • everybody is a human being
  • they all have their faces covered but their eyes are visible

The differences are a bit more numerous than the similarities but on the back-burner

  • three of these people are male and the other three are female
  • they are resorting to different expedients to cover their faces
  • the color of their expedients is sometimes slightly different, other times very different
  • the material of their expedients might also differ. In one case, it is very different


Why, albeit the strong similarities among them, nevertheless we do consider and treat one of them completely differently?


For safety reasons, one with covered face is not allowed to enter a place.  Should you want to enter a bank or any other kind of institutions with your face covered, you will not be allowed; The security guys will surely approach you at the entrance and ask you to unveil your face if you want to have access. Safety is just common sense, isn’t it? It is indeed true that there are people out there who have criminal intentions and you need to protect yourself. That is why there are safety rules. You just cannot enter a bank with your face covered. Would you let some stranger with their covered faces enter your house?

Do you think you could undisturbedly pass a police checkpoint or a border or the security check at the airport with your face covered? To pass the security check at an airport you need to show your passport and your face must be visible, of course! It’s so self-evident a thing that does not even need to be mentioned at all. So, why am I mentioning it, though?

Well, there happens to be one of the above cases to whom exceptions are indeed conceded.

Why is it like that? Well, because the case at stake allegedly belongs to a practice of a religion. It means that because of their religion, we make an exception and arbitrarily act against the safety rules, which are normally meant to protect all the citizens.  Behind that covered face could hide a terrorist or just a face that authorities are seeking for or simply a different face from that one depicted on the identity document which they are carrying.

This means that, because of the exception we concede to their people, not only are  we disobeying the safety rules prescribed by the law and ridiculing the promise that “everybody is equal before the law” – but we are also accepting to run the risk of putting ourselves at risk of a criminal attack.

We are acting against the law. We are treating somebody differently due to their religion. It is illegal to discriminate on grounds of race, sex or religion.

Any other person keen on covering their face would surely protest against this inequity and ask for a clarification a là “why is she allowed to pass the security check with her face covered but not me??!”.

It is indeed a justified question, isn’t it?

Maybe a quick solution for the remaining and discriminated five cases from above to make them also allowed to undisturbedly walk around and pass any kind of security checkpoint is to invent for them a religion that also professes this practice.


At home in Calabria, Berlin, London, and above all in the music.

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