ASK A QUESTION
There've been a lot of questions recently about how far different cultural values can be reconciled with the law of a country (assuming the law is secular). It seems easier to answer extreme questions like whether female genital mutilation should be permitted (no in my opinion), or something much milder like whether headscarves and other religious dress should be banned in schools (no in my opinion again), but what about the questions that fall somewhere in between? For example, is it right to force Sikh people who can't cover their turbans with anything to wear helmets when they ride a bike, and to punish them when they don't? How far can you force people to obey the law where there might only be a potential risk to them if they don't, but there will definitely be harm to their religious or cultural beliefs? Thank you for answering.
December 17, 2005