Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Artist's Challenge...

This following exchange came out of my post on the Court solution to the problem if two Muslim women giving evidence. It will be recalled that the Court did come up with a solution acceptable to most…

J at TAotB put the challenge, I responded. I have pulled it out here because he does not seem to recall the challenge, nor acknowledge my reply.

And what is your culturally sensitive solution to letting Muslim women have their gov't id photo taken with their veils on?
# posted by TAotB : 4:56 PM

BTW - I agree with you that this was an acceptable compromise in this situation. the one I posed, however, is a bit trickier. I am interested to see what the probligo will say. . . . .
# posted by TAotB : 5:07 PM

And my response -
Fortunately, the decision is not mine to make.

However, let us take drivers licence as an example. NZ has photo-d/l. There are no "papers" that we are required to carry other than that and firearms license if you are carrying a weapon (it licenses the carrier not the weapon). If you are stopped in the street by Police and asked for ID the d/l is the first resort. If you do not drive, they ask for address and the name of another person living there. From that point the intelligence of the polisman takes over - and believe me they are pretty good at it...

For the drivers license example -

I would not issue the license - if the person applying for it insisted on wearing burqah. It would have nothing whatever to do with photos. It would be on the grounds that the drivers vision would be severely limited by the veil.

I suspect though that a woman whose beliefs were so strong would not be looking to drive - it would be "outside the brief" so to speak. She could not go anywhere without male company, and a male would not permit a woman to take precedence [by driving the car].

So the problem will probably not arise.

On the "national ID" bit - I would be objecting to "having to carry papers". Too much like Nazi Germany for my taste.
# posted by The probligo : 10:40 AM


Al said...

Eminently reasonable.

MacBoar said...

This type of case arose in Florida and a judge ruled if the face was coverd, no license would be issued. Of course, the call of racism was sounded...but it was quelled as you pointed out as a safety issue.

The probligo said...

MacBoar, Al, how would you call the "national ID" issue that the Artist raised. I have spoken my piece on it.

What are your thoughts?

Al said...

I can't find the original post, so I can't make a very deep comment, but I agree that I don't believe in the National ID. Of course, I already have a drivers license and a Social Security card. We're pretty much forced to rely on the fact that tracking is made difficult simply because of the vast numbers of people involved.

The probligo said...

How does the Social Security Card rank in terms of "identification papers"?

For example, it is my understanding that you must present it to prove you have the right to take up employment. Is that right?

The NZ equivalent would probably be our iniquitous IRD (your IRS) number. The difference is that all I need do to get a IRD number is fill out a form. OK, if I were a furriner it could get sticky - produce passport and visa evidence, work permit etc etc... No photo required tho. If I were trying to get a second number as a NZer somewhat more difficult - the first question would be "Where have you been for 25 years?"

Hmmm... this is getting insidious.

Dave Justus said...

Your IRD sounds pretty much identical to our Social Security cards. They have no picture on them and are pretty much just a tax identification number (although they end up being used as a general all purpose ID number.)

I am in favor of a national id card, not so much for the security and anti-terrorist help (which I doubt it would do much) but because a well constructed ID card, with bio-metric info could greatly cut down on identity theft which is a real issue. Obviously there are technical challenges for creating a difficult to forge card here, but I think it could be done.