What if a full body burka was adopted by a large US minority?

Assume a large US minority (religious or otherwise) decides to start wearing the equivalent of a full-body burka (which also covers the face)

For example, say the Mormons (which are around 13 million) decide one day that Jesus wants them to all wear a full-body cover (both men and women)

This thread is not about the Mormons: imagine any group in the US that is on the order of tens of millions and that decides that all its members should start wearing a full-body and face cover. Also assume that most if not all its members adhere to the new policy.

[li]Would you be OK with that?[/li][li]Would the law/government be OK with that?[/li][/ul]

From all the discussions about the Muslim body and facial coverings for women, and how the French/Canadians/etc are handling this issue, I think one thing to keep in mind is how would our society be altered/affected if a large number of people started roaming the streets in full-body covers?

Yes, the number of Muslim women in the US, and likely France and Canada, are miniscule, and so even if every single one of them wore a burka it wouldn’t amount to much. But, let’s keep this discussion away from the particulars of the Muslim minority and look at the principle of allowing large groups of people in full-body (and face) covers to go out in public.

As I asked above
[li]Would you be OK with that?[/li][li]Would the law/government be OK with that?[/li][/ul]

Irrelevant to the OP, but…

I was in church on Palm Sunday. The statue of the Virgin Mary was covered up, as is customary during Lent. Because of the way the cloth was draped, it looked exactly like she was wearing a burka!

There are hoodies (sweatshirt with a hood) here in Oakland that kids wear that will do a full face zip, allowing the person inside to see through a screen.

Sort of the same idea…

I don’t care what they do with their own bodies and I don’t see why the law should care.

However, for security, I do care if they refuse to take it off for ID photos to going through airport security. And I would care if they started making other people who are not part of their group wear it.

A problem I would see is that it would be pretty easy to don a burka and run into a group of people wearing a burka and hide. It would take quite a bit of time to get everyone in a large crowd to take off their burkas long enough to ID people…



I have wondered why they wouldn’t disallow this for id purposes. I often see groups of kids wearing identical ones, I assume for nefarious purposes.

It should not – indeed, better not – be a problem.

Is there a threshold when it becomes a problem?

Are you OK with 50% of the population walking around with body and face fully covered? 100%?

Personally, I’d hate to live in a society where a significant percentage of people (say more than 10%) were walking around with their face covered. 100% of people doing so would constitute living in a nightmare.

If you’re talking the voluminous robes, I’m guessing OSHA would have a problem with it in machine shops, lumber yards, and the like. And I’m also guessing that people would be required to uncover their face to get a drivers license, if pulled over, etc. I’d also assume bars & liquor stores would refuse service to people who would not show their face to verify their identity against their ID.

Personally, I wouldn’t care, in the sense that I wouldn’t want there to be a law against it, but if you’re a plumber bidding on a job in my house, I probably won’t hire you if I can’t see your face.

I don’t care what they wear as long as the following conditions are met:

  1. Any private business can designate themselves a “visible face” area. Including a whole frikking airport, or at least the secure area of it. (Which would make "don a burka and hide in a crowd’ a non-issue, if it ever was one.)

  2. Police and other assorted officials can require you to doff the head covering under any circumstance when they can ask you for ID.

I admit it would be freaky if it felt like I was being stalked by ghosts all the time, but if I really feel that way I can just stay home.

I was just in a local liquor store. They had a sign…“Please remove your hoods”.
I assume this is to deter robbers.

Well said. Thank you.

I’m OK with it as long as I am not required to do the same.

I find the idea of completely obscuring one’s appearance to strangers of the opposite sex to be quite odd, but then I find all religiously-based dress codes odd.

Nah. Oppressive and annoying, maybe, but nothing like a nightmare. Now, if 100% of the male population were to wear only Speedos everywhere; that’s a nightmare.

Is an airport truly a private business?

If it ain’t, then everyone working there counts as one of those “other assorted officials” I said could get you to take your hat off.

Also, clearly, various areas of certain public buildings can dictate the dress code (ie: prison).

Given the various caveats above, I really don’t care and long as I’m not required to do so. While I think it’s incredibly stupid (and also a relatively new ‘fad’ among Muslims, from what I understand, having talked to older people from places like Egypt), I’m basically a ‘whatever floats thy boat’ kind of guy, and it doesn’t bother me now when I see the occasional person wearing the things (or hoodies for that matter, though personally I think that looks even MORE stupid, if possible).

That said, I am in agreement with several posters above that private businesses and law enforcement officers could either deny entry to someone wearing the things or require someone wearing them to reveal themselves…and that folks wearing them would have to understand that.


I’m a bit shocked at this nonchalant attitude. So, if the US becomes a place where you look out your window and see everyone in full body and face cover, you go to the mall and you see everyone in full body and face cover, you go to the local restaurant and you see everyone in full body and face cover, etc, and your only reaction is “I can just stay home”? Personally, I’d get the fuck out of the country (assuming of course other countries haven’t fallen for this new “fad”)

I wouldn’t like it but I’d live with it. After all it’s less stupid than neck tatoos. :smiley:

Relax, mate. It’s just clothes.

Yep. We function just fine not seeing everyones naked body all the time. Faces may help communication, but its not like we can’t get by on voice and body gesture.