Distrust & fear as interpreters
When I was very much younger I used to wonder why legal documents had to be so complex, specific and carefully defined. I'm thinking of tax returns, property sales and purchases, business ventures and such. I now realise that it's because life itself is complex so it isn't a sinister plot to confuse us though there are wise people who assure us that a vast amount of material could be simplified to a profound degree and in the twinkle of an eye life would be easier in some ways for millions.
But life's richness and complexity is not the only reason we have the "fine print". We have fine print because people can be shrewd and manipulative. Those who design tax-returns take into account not only the honest people but the dishonest. Words are multiplied and defined and the definitions are defined, antecedents are tediously pointed out because whether we like it or not, we simply can't trust everyone. ("Oh, I didn't know that meant…so I didn't…" Yeah, right!)
I don't know if it's true or not but I know it's true that I read that the shortest will on record is three words: All to mother. (I'm also sure a good lawyer could find a point of vagueness in that.) I do know some people, up close and personal, who say "yes" or "no" and you can depend on that—and some of them are non-Christians. Jesus said (John 14:2), "If it were not so I would have told you." Just like that; calm as you like and fully expecting them to take his word for it (but see 14:11).
Much of the difficulty in our communicating with each other is not about the right words; it's about a lack of trust. We fear each other, we think the others are out to get us or cheat us or humiliate us so we make sure that every eventuality is covered by the right formula of words. People of character and openness are dragged into the "word business" though they need no legal documents or special oaths to get them to keep their words (believers or non-believers they take the words of Jesus seriously—see Matthew 5:33-37).
Distrust and fear deafen and blind us. Even innocent things/people are dragged into the quagmire. A young girl rejects society's dishonour and sleaze and wears a full-faced veil to indicate this. She wishes society was better and she's living her life in a morally upright way to help make it better. Her intentions are upright but in a climate of fear and distrust the visible marker of her intentions becomes a hindrance to the very thing she would like to promote. Because of societal wickedness a girl's good is evil spoken of. A wise and caring man though he fully accepts the girl's fineness of character makes the point that a full-faced veil in a society shaped as this one is sends the wrong signals and makes community cohesion more difficult. His wisdom and good judgement is evil spoken of. So two people—a veiled girl and a wise statesman—get it in the neck for doing the "wrong" thing and words threatening violence and chaos begin to fly.
Extremists thrive on this—each extreme making its own point; and they're able to promote fear and distrust even in moderate people and so the infection spreads. A girl's upright behaviour gets her in trouble—trouble she wouldn't experience if extremists didn't flourish. So the very people who say they are standing for the girl are placing her freedom to protest in jeopardy.
The problems humans face lie beyond the ability of courts and discussion and social programmes—though we should engage in them. We know this for sure: until society in general makes it clear in all the ways open to it that extremism will not be nurtured or approved decent and committed girls and wise statesmen will be accused of being the problem.