Here are three consecutive photos of the Parsian Children’s Ensemble. The first photo was rejected because the girls are unveiled. I assume that the reason they are unveiled is that they are too young for compulsory veiling, which is the age of nine, when incidentally girls can also be ‘married’ off and you know the rest.

In the second one, though the girls are now veiled, the photo was still rejected because their veils were insufficient and their arms were showing; the genders were also mixed (shock, horror!) .

The third photo finally satisfied the censors – it was perfect. Girls nicely covered up and in the back where they belong…

Seriously though, to read the most brilliant piece against child veiling and in the defence of the child, read Mansoor Hemat. Start reading a few paragraphs down. Here’s a quote from it:
‘The child has no religion, tradition and prejudices. She has not joined any religious sect. She is a new human being who, by accident and irrespective of her will has been born into a family with specific religion, tradition, and prejudices. It is indeed the task of society to neutralise the negative effects of this blind lottery. Society is duty-bound to provide fair and equal living conditions for children, their growth and development, and their active participation in social life. Anybody who should try to block the normal social life of a child, exactly like those who would want to physically violate a child according to their own culture, religion, or personal or collective complexes, should be confronted with the firm barrier of the law and the serious reaction of society. No nine year old girl chooses to be married, sexually mutilated, serve as house maid and cook for the male members of the family, and be deprived of exercise, education, and play. The child grows up in the family and in society according to established customs, traditions, and regulations, and automatically learns to accept these ideas and customs as the norms of life. To speak of the choice of the Islamic veil by the child herself is a ridiculous joke. Anyone who presents the mechanism of the veiling of a kindergarten-age girl as her own ‘democratic choice’ either comes from outer space, or is a hypocrite who does not deserve to participate in the discussion about children’s rights and the fight against discrimination. The condition for defending any form of the freedom of the child to experience life, the condition for defending the child’s right to choose, is first and foremost, to prevent these automatic and common impositions. Anyone who thinks that in the matter of the veil there is ‘no difference’ between the child and the adult, should, before becoming a member of any editorial board or any Scandinavian Committee of any organisation, urgently do something about her own backwardness and ignorance about the basics of the issue under discussion. ‘


  1. I remember, a muslim in Mumbai sent his 9 year old daughter to school with veil. The school management objected it by saying that carrying religious symbols to school is against their school's rules. The muslim man sued the school management in court. The court dismissed the case and upheld the school management.


    All the while, the Arab world and the Muslim world are the largest practitioners of racial and religious apartheid. Where not one minority has equal rights with the governing power's ethnic-group/race/religion. Not to mention the still-practiced racist slavery on Asians and on blacks by Arabs. And the ethnic cleansing by the Arab world including by anti-Christian, anti-Jewish Arab-Islamic-Apartheid-Palestine.
    To quote from books: The Islamic world "the world's largest practitioner of both religious and gender apartheid." [Israel: And the Palestinian Nightmare – Page 158 – Ze'ev Shemer – 2010 – 244 pages] "The Islamic culture of "religious intolerance, economic backwardness, gender apartheid, muzzled press, militarism, terrorism." [A theory of international terrorism: understanding Islamic militancy – Page 153 – L. Ali Khan – 2006 – 371 pages] The "antisemitism of the Arab world and the Muslim world." The racist "long history of oppression against minorities in Arab countries." [U.S. news & world report: Volume 131, Issues 8-18 – U.S. News Pub. Corp., 2001 – Page 120] ["Beware Palestinian apartheid," 'Op-ed: Palestinian leader Abbas seeks to adopt racist policy based on ethnic cleansing of Jews.' Jonathan Dahoah Halevi, Ynet, 08.04.10] [The Real Apartheid State, by David Bedein, 2011]

  3.      "It is indeed the task of society to neutralise the negative effects of this blind lottery."
         This is something that sounds good. But on closer examination, I see a problem. Every belief system thinks that its ways are positive effects and deviations are negative effects. Now, with extreme cases, I can be quite confident. It is indeed negative to be coerced into "marriage" at such a young age. But the fact remains that every society will claim (and believe) itself to be neutralizing negative effects.
         In the case of the photos, the negative effects of the censors seems (to me) because everyone involved was satisfied with the first photo except for the censors. But, then, I am opposed to censorship.

  4. The issue is not whether a particular religion is extremist or not – the question is whether the lives of children should be differently valued, based on religion.

    Since all religions are lies – there is no proof that any of them are correct, my statement above boils down to:
    the question is whether the lives of children should be differently valued, based on lies.

  5. Well … erm… I remember the time when in Catholic schools mixing boys and girls was unthinkable. Things can change. But these here seem to change in the wrong direction.

  6. All religions have their fundamentalist/extremist inidividual who give a bad name to the religion. It is now the turm of Islam to face the scrutiny of the world and expose the ridiculous rites and rituals in the religion.

    Very moderate, moderate Muslim

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