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Heed


May the fires of this world always burn bright!


Total posts: 38
Posted:I'm not Muslim, I honestly do not agree with the religion so this may seem odd for a question such as this to come from me so I apologize for my forwardness and if I come across as rude. I do not mean to be be rude to anyone or any group of people.

However, why is the French government so anti-religious that they are banning Muslim women from wearing face veils?

I can understand the sanitation rules/laws about the swim wear that Muslim women wear, I can understand in certain buildings (banks and other buildings) requiring the women to take off their veils for security purposes. (I've worked in a bank for several years so I understand the desire to have everyone's faces showing.)

However out in public, on the city streets, in their own neighborhood, in shopping centers... etc. why is it an issue? I do not see it as demeaning towards the women who wear them. Do the women who wear them feel that it is demeaning?

I think that the ultra-revealing fashions of today are much more demeaning towards women than a veil could ever be. But that is just my opinion.

The reason why I ask about the French government's seemingly anti-religious stance is because this new law only targets Muslim women. No other religion wears veils like they do. (With the possible exception for a wedding veil, but that is not even close to being in the same category of veil.)

So please, help me understand what is the reasoning behind this new law?


The more enlightened man thinks he is the more foolish he proves himself to be.

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Dom
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 3009
Posted:I'll quickly address the argument that this law is the government getting involved in religious and cultural affairs and therefore wrong.

I contend that the French opinion, for those that aren't being simply anti-Islamic, could be that they see religious and cultural affairs impacting on their aggressively secular society and therefore it's their duty to legislate to protect secularism & equality.

Also just because a practice or principle is based on a religion or culture doesn't mean it shouldn't be contested. We should judge how we judge and not accept what's unacceptable because it's somebody else's religion, culture or politics. And where we see injustice we should look to defeat it.

I still don't see the French plan working though. If a woman is repressed and made to wear a burka the response of that woman's husband/family if this law is enacted will be to keep that woman locked in the house, and so away from any liberating influence she might have had before.


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Fugee
BRONZE Member since Feb 2010

Fugee

Cooler than bubblegum!
Location: Dallas, Texas

Total posts: 2501
Posted:I am not making the distinction because the harlot still rides the beast. Infringement is still infringement no matter what the reason or guise, no matter the duration, no matter the extent. Do you give up your civil liberties simply because you can be convinced it's for your own good. France feels that this law has a social imperative same as the US.

I personally believe that the article I posted explained the reasons. It is just a matter of accepting that to the French majority, this law makes perfect sense. To a Saudi, neither the US law regarding safety in financial institutions or a hijab ban in France would make any sense for countries that claim to up hold religious freedom as one of their dearest principles.

I just thought that maybe perspective might be another way to understanding. There are better examples of laws and policies in the US(eg. passport policies concerning Muslims) but I thought I could elaborate on the one already mentioned so as not to stray from the topic's original course more had already been done. wink


The popcorn extends life... The popcorn expands consciousness...

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:The law passed parliament. But only because nobody opposed it there doesn't mean that it's supported by the majority. I dislike this current procedure of democracy for only this matter. Politicians rule and the public has no say - just every 4 years and then only voting for a package deal - not for details.

If it were a referendum - different story.

Maybe this law reflects more of the Sarkozy government ideology than of all French... definitely it doesn't reflect that of Europe altogether... it won't stand.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted:I'm with Dom on this - I don't think it's right that just because something is religious it is exempt from normal criticism.

I'm not convinced they'll all be locked away if they can't go out without burkas - the men will need their shopping and chores done ("heaven" forbid they do it themselves...)


Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:It is tricky It was on newsnight the other day. there was a very aggressive Womans rights person from Egypt where the veil is banned (I think). she was saying that making it "a choice" is no choice at all because the women will be forced to wear the veil by their husbands/fathers. Her argument was that with the ban, the women were no longer forced to hide their most communicative asset - their face. they could still wear small / half and see through veils as a way to show their respect for their religion but not the total face covering which shut them off from the world.

another thing mentioned was if you saw a man walking down the road wearing a balaclava with just eyes showing - it creates tension on the street.

I don't really care what france do they've always been odd wink


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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Heed


May the fires of this world always burn bright!


Total posts: 38
Posted:So you have helped me to understand. Thank you, job well done. France, who sees itself as a secular nation, views that anything religious, and in public, is a front to that secularism. The government cares nothing about people and their wishes and desires as long as the State's secularism is protected.

Equality, is a red herring, it doesn't exist. Face it equality doesn't exist anywhere under any guise. I agree that the law wont pass the EU's civil rights committee or whatever it is called.

However, my point is still relevant. If this law were to pass, how long until we are all wearing yellow jump suits (just pulling that out of thin air from Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon") because all other clothing is deemed "religious" in origin?

I guess all of France would be equal in dress then... so much for France being the leaders in world style and fashion then haha.

RC: I'm sorry that you do not see a difference between the two laws, (at least in the spirit of the laws, I'm sure you have no problems seeing the actual differences). No I don't think either of your articles 'explained' anything especially the spirit of the US law. I think that you are wrong, and that is where we will just have to agree to disagree. Thank you for stating your thoughts and opinions, though I do not agree with them I do hold them in the highest respect.


Dom: The only problem that I have with what you said is that different people have different vies of what is unacceptable. Which people group should have the right to judge and pass laws as to what is acceptable and what isn't?

To a certain extent injustice is also a matter of opinion. For those injustices that seem to create a grey area, who has the right to make the laws? Those who do not view the action(s) as unjust or those who view them as just?

Both justice and injustice and acceptable and unacceptable are very tricky slippery slopes.


Fire Tom: I agree with your last post 100%.

Durbs: Hehe I laughed at that last bit. However I question, if nothing is held as sacred and everything should be criticized, should your personal life be held up to public scrutiny? Should my life? If nothing is sacred, then nothing is private. Once the one has been destroyed the other will follow shortly.

Mynci: If I saw a person walking down the road covered from head to toe and wearing a veil, how would I know that it was a man? Honestly I would think it was just a large (that sounds so cold but I don't know what else to use) woman and just give her the respect "she" desires.


The more enlightened man thinks he is the more foolish he proves himself to be.

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Fugee
BRONZE Member since Feb 2010

Fugee

Cooler than bubblegum!
Location: Dallas, Texas

Total posts: 2501
Posted:Originally Posted By: HeedThank you for the link it was an interesting read. I think I am understanding a bit more about what is going on in France.

Strange....


The popcorn extends life... The popcorn expands consciousness...

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Heed


May the fires of this world always burn bright!


Total posts: 38
Posted:What is strange? It is perfectly obvious that I was referring to this link " http://christinagoes.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/french-mps-vote-to-ban-full-islamic-veil-in-public/
" when I said that. Not any other link. And it is true, after reading that link I think I saw some insight as to why things are being done. And what I said in the previous post is also true, I am understanding things better and I thank those who have gone out of their way to be of some assistance.


The more enlightened man thinks he is the more foolish he proves himself to be.

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:the blog - to me - does not reveal much more information than the initially linked articles... :shrug.

However, it might be of interest that not only France recently, but Belgium also has a discussion regarding veils and headscarfs: link.

But even more interesting than the legislations in the two European countries it is to note that SYRIA has banned veils from its Universities - read here and that a similar ban exists in TURKEY for some time already - read here... this goes even further as in banning the headscarf.

It might be important to note that the European Court of human Rights upheld the Turkish ban at this time. The difference in this may be that the ban is enacted in public institutions - not in the general public.

Also interesting that the two muslim nations governments, Turkey and Syria oppose the veil and headscarfs under reasons of secularism.

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1280227562)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Heed


May the fires of this world always burn bright!


Total posts: 38
Posted:FT: yeah I read about the Syrian ban a week or so ago that was surprising. Also to find out that predominantly Muslim countries are doing the same thing, or at least similar things, is very interesting.

The more enlightened man thinks he is the more foolish he proves himself to be.

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:It seems as if wearing veils (in Muslim countries) is considered fundamentalist... Im not sure.

Maybe it has to do with the differences between Sunnites and Shiites also... but I am not as remotely far down Islam to be able making a claim.

The veil or burka might have its origin from a culture where rich people are allowed to marry as many women as they can financially support... thus creating an imbalance in demographics/ simpler men go without a woman - especially without those considered the pretty ones...

And somehow it crystallizes to me that there might be a connection between warmer climate and the "value of women" in society... but that might be completely off too.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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