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Jedi ejected from Tesco for wearing hood

20 September, 2009

I just came across this funny story (via @jensbest on twitter) about an English Star Wars fan and founder of the International Church of Jediism, who was ejected from a British Tescos store by staff over security fears when he refused to remove his hood. He felt “victimised over his beliefs”:

I told them it was a requirement of my religion but they just sniggered and ordered me to leave. I walked past a Muslim lady in a veil. Surely the same rules should apply to everyone.

Ridiculous as it sounds, the story points to the fact, that the line between what is considered „a cultural belief“ and which groups are to have the priviledge to be exempted from mainstream regulations, is a very fine one.

US Law professor Lawrence Sager is one of those, who very eloquently speak against giving groups special rights on the basis of their identification with a certain culture and religion, as this leads to the injust situation, where some people, who belong to an officially recognized group, can claim special rights, which others, who have equally strong beliefs, but can’t support them with „a culture“ („this is part of my culture“) can’t.

Thus we should seek to protect individual, as well as cultural and religious preferences, regardless of whether they can be legitimized by a group.

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