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> Headscarf Ban Kidnapping..., Never ceases to amaze...
turnea
post Aug 30 2004, 03:37 PM
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From the BBC:
QUOTE
An Iraqi militant group has announced it is holding two missing French journalists, according to Arabic television station al-Jazeera.

The group is reportedly demanding that the French government end a ban on Muslim headscarves in French schools in exchange for releasing them.

Frenchmen 'held by Iraqi group'
For those unfamiliar with the law the terrorists are targeting....
QUOTE(Reuters)
  France passed the law banning conspicuous signs of faith in state schools in reaction to the growing influence of Islamist activists among its 5 million Muslims and mounting tensions between Muslim and Jewish youths in schools.

The law was widely slammed abroad as a flagrant violation of religious freedom, both in the United States and Britain as well as across the Muslim world. France rejected the criticism.

Chirac Demands Release of Hostages in Iraq

Now let me make something clear. I oppose the ban.

In fact, I think it is the most destructive, immoral, and certainly the stupidest domestic policy I've heard from a major nation in a long time.

...but these actions aid no one.

So...

Will the actions of these terrorists help or hurt the cause of repealing the French ban?

What is your view of the proposal to ban "conspicuous symbols of religion" worn by students in French schools?
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Cyan
post Aug 30 2004, 04:13 PM
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QUOTE
Will the actions of these terrorists help or hurt the cause of repealing the French ban?


Everytime that a Muslim commits any kind of terrorist activity, it hurts the cause of Muslims around the world, because it further cements the image of Islam as a religion of extremism and violence. This is no different.

France is not going to cater to terrorists, and acts of violence against French citizens is only going to succeed in convincing the French that they need to push a little bit harder in regards to laws that limit religious freedom for Muslims.

QUOTE
What is your view of the proposal to ban "conspicuous symbols of religion" worn by students in French schools?


I oppose the headscarf ban, because I believe that it will push an already marginalized group of people further into the fringes of French society.

This is very much related to a clash of civilizations, and I can appreciate what France is trying to do, but I disagree with their methodology. If the goal is to integrate Muslims more seamlessly into French society, time and acceptance will work more effectively.

As it stands right now, Muslims have been placed on the defensive, and the need to defend their culture only stands to reinforce the most extreme aspects of it.
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lederuvdapac
post Aug 30 2004, 04:16 PM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Aug 30 2004, 11:37 AM)

Will the actions of these terrorists help or hurt the cause of repealing the French ban?

What is your view of the proposal to ban "conspicuous symbols of religion" worn by students in French schools?

I believe that the French plan on appeasing the terrorists and lifting the ban. I'll try to find the source on that and get back to here. The terrorists can do whatever they want to most European countries and get what they want because Europe loves to appease and the terrorists love being appeased.

I think the ban is ridiculous. This is the country that *some people* want the US to admire and become more like?

This post has been edited by lederuvdapac: Aug 30 2004, 05:07 PM
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Cyan
post Aug 30 2004, 04:41 PM
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QUOTE(Lederuvdupac)
I believe that the French plan on appeasing the terrorists and lifting the ban.


I have two articles that state that France intends to implement the headscarf ban despite the blackmail attempt.

France:Headscarf Ban Stays
France prepares to implement headscarf ban

Obviously, things could change, but as it stands right now, France is holding its ground.

QUOTE(Lederuvdupac)
The terrorists can do whatever they want to most European countries and get what they want because Europe loves to appease and the terrorists love being appeased.


Europe has been dealing with terrorism for a large span of time, and while their approach may at times be different than the American approach, it doesn't mean that they "love to appease." This statement is pretty inflammatory.

This post has been edited by Cyan: Aug 30 2004, 05:20 PM
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Ocean Islands
post Aug 30 2004, 07:08 PM
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Chirac is not the type of person to repeal the ban because of these terrorists. He is very stubborn.

France is in a difficult place because Muslims are not assimilating into the population. In addition, they have a proud and strict tradition of separation of church and state they need to uphold.

I have to say, though, that I'm a bit undecided on whether the headscarf ban was a good choice, as yet.
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yehoshua
post Aug 30 2004, 07:18 PM
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Chirac is not the type of person to repeal the ban because of these terrorists. He is very stubborn.

If Chirac is stubborn, would this be an in roads for him to join the coalition force in Iraq (since they were kidknapped in Iraq)? And if France joins will the Germans? And if the France and German join will Kerry still say that Bush has made America look bad in the eyes of the world?
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Jaime
post Aug 30 2004, 07:45 PM
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yehoshua - please don't take this thread off-topic.

DEBATE:
Will the actions of these terrorists help or hurt the cause of repealing the French ban?

What is your view of the proposal to ban "conspicuous symbols of religion" worn by students in French schools?
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Julian
post Aug 30 2004, 08:13 PM
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Last I heard, French Muslim leaders have gone on record as saying that they will discourage their girl children from wearing headscarves to school if the hostages are harmed in any way, because they don't want to wear garments "tainted with blood".

If this happens, the ban on headscarves could be made redundant, and give the peaceable majority of Muslims a visible way of expressing their disgust at Islamic terrorism.

Of course, it would be better for the French journalists to be released, but in a way this is an encouraging development for Muslims living in Western societies.

Maybe I'm in a good mood because of Amir Khan, the 17-year-old British boxer who won the lightweight silver medal at the Olympics. He's been adopted by the British press and public as a hero of a kind, and his Islam has been portrayed in a positive light. It doesn't hurt that he is obviously proud of being British - with both himself and his family waving the Union flag at every opportunity.

I may be alone, but I find much cause for hope in the way ordinary Muslim westerners are becoming increasingly unafraid to emphasise their Western-ness - and not just their Islam.
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moif
post Aug 30 2004, 09:39 PM
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Will the actions of these terrorists help or hurt the cause of repealing the French ban?

In the long run, it won't make any difference. The Algerians used to try and get the French to bend to their will by setting off bombs in the Paris metro. It never worked either.

There is no way on this Earth that any French president is going to change a law just because two journalists got themselves captured by terrorists. All they will do is make a song and dance about it and hope for the best.


What is your view of the proposal to ban "conspicuous symbols of religion" worn by students in French schools?

I think a school uniform is just that. A uni-form. I also think that if you go to another country and they have a dress code, then you dress as they do. In my culture we dress very casually, but if I went to certain parts the world I'd be arrested for showing my knees. Consequently I would not show my knee's.

If the Muslims of France wish to integrate into French culture, then they should be prepared to leave their old culture in their old country. If they care so much about their old culture then they should stay where it is practiced and not take advantage of other people's lenience to foist it onto them.
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turnea
post Aug 30 2004, 09:47 PM
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QUOTE(Julian @ Aug 30 2004, 03:13 PM)
Of course, it would be better for the French journalists to be released, but in a way this is an encouraging development for Muslims living in Western societies.

I'd have to disagree, most western Muslims (or their associations at any rate) have already made clear their opposition to terrorism. The forced ban on headscarves would remain a blight on France's human rights record, whether enforced by shame or expulsions.
QUOTE(Julian)
I may be alone, but I find much cause for hope in the way ordinary Muslim westerners are becoming increasingly unafraid to emphasise their Western-ness - and not just their Islam.

Although I agree with what you are saying, I think you miss the primary problem with Muslims in the West.

Namely, non-Muslim's fear of the expression of Islam, even if it harms no one. That element of xenophobia is what drives the headscarf ban, not what is happening in the Muslim community.

When the 9/11 attacks occurred, everyone agreed they were unjustified. Just the same, some pointed out that the terrorist actions were supposedly extreme expressions of legitimate concerns. I don't share that view exactly, I don't believe the terrorist themselves are acting out of rational policy goals, but this does offer the chance to discuss the flaws in policy.
I think Shild in a previous thread, described them most efficiently.
QUOTE(Shild)
1) Encourage tolerance with legislation which is manifestly intolerant of religious expression. 
 
2) Encourage respect of other points of view by suppressing them. 
 
3) Encourage unity by alienating large portions of the population. 
 
4) Encourage peace by making people very angry. 
 
 
I'm beginning to see a problem with the French lawmakers' logic. 

Post
You don't agree?

Here's a bit of a challenge to look at things a different way:
Think of one practical benefit of the ban worth passing the law.

Sound simple? It's not...
devil.gif
QUOTE(moif)
If the Muslims of France wish to integrate into French culture, then they should be prepared to leave their old culture in their old country. If they care so much about their old culture then they should stay where it is practiced and not take advantage of other people's lenience to foist it onto them.

laugh.gif
...and Muslim schoolgirls are forcing "Islamic culture" onto France by wearing headscarves....
I see headscarves frequently, I am under no pressure to become a Muslim.

To integrate into a news culture should not mean leaving the old ways behind, as long as they don't impose upon anyone else. Is the mixing of cultures so much to be avoided as to enforce it by law?

This post has been edited by turnea: Aug 30 2004, 09:55 PM
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ConservPat
post Aug 30 2004, 10:15 PM
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QUOTE
Will the actions of these terrorists help or hurt the cause of repealing the French ban?
I doubt it, France is VERY secular, and I don't think that terrorists can change that secular tradition.

QUOTE
What is your view of the proposal to ban "conspicuous symbols of religion" worn by students in French schools?
It doesn't make sense. What harm can a headscarf possibly do? What is the actual purpose of this ban?

QUOTE
I also think that if you go to another country and they have a dress code, then you dress as they do.
I see where you're coming from moif, that's the same way I feel about English as the US' national language...However, in this case, if the tradition in this case, a dress code, is based on the premise that wearing something somehow influences other, it is ridiculous to have to follow it.

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English Horn
post Aug 30 2004, 10:18 PM
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Will the actions of these terrorists help or hurt the cause of repealing the French ban?

It will not help the cause and I don't think the ban will be repealed. Despite the controversy I believe the measure is very popular with ordinary folks (as I hear, the referendum was won by a landslide). Chirac is not the kind of guy who would appease some ragtag terrorists who are trying to influence French domestic policy.

What is your view of the proposal to ban "conspicuous symbols of religion" worn by students in French schools?

I may be alone here, but I totally support it. I believe school uniforms contribute a great deal to discipline which, in turn, leads to success. And, as Moif pointed out, an uniform is an uniform... It's essential for school to stay totally out of politics and especially religion - French people, and Europeans in general, are very proud of their secularism. A school is a place for learning, and for nothing else. Also let's not forget that the ban is not directed specifically towards muslims - large crosses would be banned, as well as yarmulkas and turbans.

QUOTE
This is the country that *some people* want the US to admire and become more like?


France is not a "melting pot" like USA - they are a homogenous country and it's important for them to stay that way. French care a great deal about their cultural identity and language. I applaud them for that and I wish that USA would do more of the same.
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moif
post Aug 30 2004, 10:57 PM
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turnea

QUOTE
laugh.gif ...and Muslim schoolgirls are forcing "Islamic culture" onto France by wearing headscarves....
I see headscarves frequently, I am under no pressure to become a Muslim.


Do you suppose those school girls exist in a vacuum?

They don't. They belong to an alien culture. One which takes French journalists hostage and demands France change its laws to suit their cultural expectations.


QUOTE
To integrate into a news culture should not mean leaving the old ways behind, as long as they don't impose upon anyone else. Is the mixing of cultures so much to be avoided as to enforce it by law?


Do you accept uninvited strangers into your home?
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countrockula
post Aug 30 2004, 10:59 PM
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QUOTE
France is not a "melting pot" like USA - they are a homogenous country and it's important for them to stay that way. French care a great deal about their cultural identity and language. I applaud them for that and I wish that USA would do more of the same.


QUOTE
French Immigration - Net migration rate: 0.66 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Traditionally, France has had a high level of immigration


from this Link


France isn't a homogenous country - if they were, the turban ban wouldn't exist because there wouldn't be any turbans to ban. What you're really talking about is the extremely dubious French Sense of French Greatness. Among othe things, FSFG is responsible for France's silly and vaguely xenophobic Ministry of Culture, which tries to keep ordinary frenchmen from using "Franglais," and generally guards against undue American influence on French culture. I think this is an extremely precarious logical position you've staked out to defend here. Why should America be more like France, exactly?

Sorry, forgot to answer the actual debate question - What is your view of the proposal to ban "conspicuous symbols of religion" worn by students in French schools?


I think it's totally idiotic.

This post has been edited by countrockula: Aug 30 2004, 11:04 PM
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Cyan
post Aug 30 2004, 11:15 PM
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10% of the French population is Muslim, and 70% of those Muslims come from Tunisia, Algeria, and Morrocco which were all former French colonies. France may not have directly invited them in, but the large number of Muslims immigrating to France is certainly related to the nation's history.

QUOTE(Moif)
If the Muslims of France wish to integrate into French culture, then they should be prepared to leave their old culture in their old country. If they care so much about their old culture then they should stay where it is practiced and not take advantage of other people's lenience to foist it onto them.


I think that is the problem, Moif. They don't want to integrate into French culture if that means leaving their cultural and religious views behind.

I can understand the problems that France has with a large multicultural population, but I disagree with the methodology involved. It seems that it is the non-Muslim population that is concerned with integrating the Muslims into French society. How is it going to be effective to tell Muslims that they can't be who they are? Doesn't it seem like a recipe for causing Muslims to exclude themselves even further by pulling their children out of school?
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English Horn
post Aug 30 2004, 11:47 PM
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QUOTE
What you're really talking about is the extremely dubious French Sense of French Greatness. Among othe things, FSFG is responsible for France's silly and vaguely xenophobic Ministry of Culture, which tries to keep ordinary frenchmen from using "Franglais," and generally guards against undue American influence on French culture. I think this is an extremely precarious logical position you've staked out to defend here. Why should America be more like France, exactly?


I didn't say that it should be more like France in every regard, but I like their efforts to preserve the purity of the language. French Sense of French Greatness is definitely annoying to some, but it helped them to preserve the culture and language with minimum outside influence (same can be said about Jews preserving Hebrew and Yiddish through generations by carefully protecting it from the influence from outside). Now what exactly is wrong with trying to keep the language pure and protect it from so-called words-parasites? I am not a native speaker of the English language but I am trying to use it to the best of my ability, and I try not to use words like "nite" instead of "night", "nukes", etc.
Don't worry, my vocabulary of vernacular English is fairly extensive and I can use it every now and then... laugh.gif but I want myself to be able to talk in proper English when required. I try to keep my Russian to the same standard. What's wrong with French doing the same thing?


Edited to remove reply to removed post

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countrockula
post Aug 31 2004, 12:06 AM
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QUOTE
Don't worry, my vocabulary of vernacular English is fairly extensive and I can use it every now and then... laugh.gif but I want myself to be able to talk in proper English when required. I try to keep my Russian to the same standard. What's wrong with French doing the same thing?


I think it's great that you've personally decided to hold yourself to a high level of usage. I try to do the same thing. As far as "defending" French and keeping it "pure" goes, however - languages are not virgin princesses. They are constantly evolving and their strength lies in their flexibility - I would be very skeptical of any legislative body that presumed to place an arbitrary standard on spoken or written English. America is the undisputed arbiter of world cultural taste precisely because we don't have a "Culture Ministry" sitting around worrying about, for example, the bad influence of rap music on English usage. I think the French focus on preserving the "Frenchness" of France is ultimately at best a self-defeating exercise in navel-gazing, and at worst a type of mental chauvinism that lays the groundwork for such backward-thinking moves as telling Muslim children not to wear headscarves.
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post Aug 31 2004, 12:27 AM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Aug 30 2004, 10:37 AM)
Will the actions of these terrorists help or hurt the cause of repealing the French ban?

Hurt. Trying to make the French remove the ban by force isn't going to accomplish anything.

But i knew this headscarf ban thing would come back to haunt Chirac. I just knew it. But, of course, what do you expect from the French?
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English Horn
post Aug 31 2004, 12:37 AM
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QUOTE(countrockula @ Aug 30 2004, 08:06 PM)
I think it's great that you've personally decided to hold yourself to a high level of usage.  I try to do the same thing.  As far as "defending" French and keeping it "pure" goes, however - languages are not virgin princesses.  They are constantly evolving and their strength lies in their flexibility - I would be very skeptical of any legislative body that presumed to place an arbitrary standard on spoken or written English.  America is the undisputed arbiter of world cultural taste precisely because we don't have a "Culture Ministry" sitting around worrying about, for example, the bad influence of rap music on English usage.  I think the French focus on preserving the "Frenchness" of France is ultimately at best a self-defeating exercise in navel-gazing, and at worst a type of mental chauvinism that lays the groundwork for such backward-thinking moves as telling Muslim children not to wear headscarves.

But almost every major nation has an institution the only purpose of which is protecting the language and culture:

In Germany it's the Goethe Institute with its motto of "Deutch lernen, Kultur erleben!" They definitely have a language standard - so called "Hochdeutsch"...
In France it's the previously mentioned Ministry of Culture
Russia has its own Ministry of Cultural Affairs
Greece has its own Hellenic Ministry of Culture

and so on.

"America is the undisputed arbiter of world cultural taste" is not because we don't have any ministries governing our cultural affairs, but because of our tremendous marketing power. By the way, a lot of people in Europe would not call America an "arbiter of cultural taste", because along with some gems we export a tremendous amount of garbage, such as aforementioned rap (don't really want to sound like a knuckledragger here but it's true! There's no positive cultural impact of rap IMO - only a tremendous negative influence. Before I am accused in racism I'd like to mention that Jazz and Soul brought volumes into the cultural identity of America. But not rap).
So "undisputed" may be a bit of a stretch here...

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turnea
post Aug 31 2004, 02:30 AM
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QUOTE(moif @ Aug 30 2004, 05:57 PM)
Do you suppose those school girls exist in a vacuum?

They don't. They belong to an alien culture. One which takes French journalists hostage and demands France change its laws to suit their cultural expectations.

..and that still doesn't provide the least bit of logical backing of the headscarf ban. tongue.gif

I know that some will try to use the terrorist's actions to back France's policy, just as some in the US use the threat of terrorism to support restrictions on freedom in my own country.

Until we can give a rational answer to what all of that has to do with headscarves, this law is still ridiculous.
QUOTE(moif)
Do you accept uninvited strangers into your home?

Legal immigrants are not uninvited "guests", Muslims French citizens certainly aren't and frankly such a suggestion is an insult, illegal immigrants should be deported.

It still has nothing to do with the hijab.
QUOTE(English Horn)
I believe school uniforms contribute a great deal to discipline which, in turn, leads to success. And, as Moif pointed out, an uniform is an uniform...

... and I suppose their is no such thing as an unreasonable uniform? One that refuses to allow a piece of cloth around the head to fulfil a perceived religious obligation has to fall into that category. That doesn't lead anyone to success, just to frustration and distrust.

I have yet to see a yarmulke disturb a classroom. rolleyes.gif
QUOTE(English Horn)
French people, and Europeans in general, are very proud of their secularism. A school is a place for learning, and for nothing else.

Yes, many types of learning. Learning to deal with others, for instance...

Separation of Church and State I'm all for...
Separation of Church and Student is a violation of basic human rights.
QUOTE(English Horn)
France is not a "melting pot" like USA - they are a homogenous country and it's important for them to stay that way. French care a great deal about their cultural identity and language. I applaud them for that and I wish that USA would do more of the same.

If I might say, I find that kind of sentiment frightening.

France is not a homogeneous country, and conformity is not a value to be sought out. I have a quote form London Mayor Ken Livingston in my signature that says it all...

This post has been edited by turnea: Aug 31 2004, 02:31 AM
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