Role of securalism

The proposed ban on women driving their kids to school imposed on grounds of “traditional rules of modesty“ by the Jewish British Belz Hasidic sect in London’s Stamford Hill brings up some interesting issues and I would be interested in what my fellow letter writers think.

Unlike in some recent debates about religious freedom versus equality, the Jewish school is not trying to impose its driving ban on all women, only those who subscribe to the religion.

The state should rightly be concerned to protect children from religious indoctrination in such a faith school but the adult women involved are ostensibly free to leave.

We can dislike the sexism 
involved but as secularists should we seek to protect the freedom of private religious behaviour from state interference?

Neil Barber


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Edinburgh Secular Society

Saughtonhall Drive