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Christopher
Just read this. Is this insane or what?
You just CAN'T make this kind of stuff up. blink.gif

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...ishing_beards_2

Have the French flipped?
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Corvus
I somewhat admire the law. It creates a sterile atmosphere in a place that should specifically be for education. But then, personally I don't believe any child should be exposed to religion until they come of an age where they can ascertain the true worth of dogma with the yardstick of maturity and experience.

But I feel it should be conspicuous religious symbols, and not visible religious symbols, for obvious reasons.

I mean, banning beards? Ban a beard for being ugly, put it under the "DO NOT"s in the school dress code, but under "visible religious symbols"? How do they figure out if its fashion or religion that brings the student to wear one? If the student looks to be of Arabic descent? Even so, where a common religious symbol may cause students to form into cliques or, perhaps, provoke hate crime, or even make some curious about religion, how does a beard influence anyone else to do anything?
Paladin Elspeth
As off-beat as this might look to Americans, I could see it happening here.

Of course, most young men in high schools aren't going to be producing a long, bushy beard, but more like the little strands on the chin that Shaggy sports on Scooby-Doo.

I remember it making the national news when one American school was not going to allow a young Muslim girl to wear her head covering.

What difference does it make to people if they want their chins or their heads covered to show devotion to their religion. We're not talking bloodletting or ritual sacrifices here. I'm certainly not going to consider becoming a Muslim for the sake of wearing a headscarf.

If I want to wear a cross on a chain around my neck it is my own choice. It just will not be as big as a gangsta chain, which by virtue of its weight can be wielded as a weapon in a fight.

There are some symbols that fall into the "hate" category and are worn in order to incite fear and possibly violence. But that is not the subject of this thread.
Corvus
I will play devil's advocate to add a little perspective to the debate.

QUOTE
What difference does it make to people if they want their chins or their heads covered to show devotion to their religion. We're not talking bloodletting or ritual sacrifices here. I'm certainly not going to consider becoming a Muslim for the sake of wearing a headscarf.

If I want to wear a cross on a chain around my neck it is my own choice. It just will not be as big as a gangsta chain, which by virtue of its weight can be wielded as a weapon in a fight.

There are some symbols that fall into the "hate" category and are worn in order to incite fear and possibly violence. But that is not the subject of this thread.


One has to realise France has Europe's largest Jewish population and largest Muslim population. Tension between these groups are fierce and often result in violence. I can see the French law, as well as providing a religiously sterile educational atmosphere, also is the equivalent of not allowing the members of two or three rival gangs show up in jackets embroidered with gang insignias. The law prevents fractionalising the students.

But then again, I've heard teachers are often fairly lax in enforcing the rules, especially amongst Jewish and Christian students.

Edit: Paladin Elspeth, if I recall correctly, you're in favour of uniforms in public schools as a way of encouraging unity between students. So, wouldn't the French law be a good thing?
nikachu
I think the concept of the deliberate exclusion of religion from education is a great idea in a multicultural country such as France, with a wide diversity of religious groups. However its also one of those ideas that should be kept written on their constitution, but not enforced too severely in the real world!

I wasn't allowed to grow a beard at my school, although Muslims (who are very much a minority in Scotland) could (although might not) be granted exemption from this rule, so long as they did not look to unkempt. This is fairly standard in UK schools, to prevent everyone looking like rejects from Scooby Doo...

I think this is only an issue in France because the government has gone a bit too far in trying to prevent a surge in radical Islamicism in its Arab communities. What they should be doing is trying to make Arabs feel more like a welcome part of French society & not as an immigrant underclass - Arabs tend to get the worst jobs & be amongst the lowest earners in French society, so its no suprise to see extremism develop.
Curmudgeon
QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ Jan 22 2004, 03:04 AM)
As off-beat as this might look to Americans, I could see it happening here.

I can remember a time when cities celebrated their Centennials by requiring men to grow beards. Shaving required a special license, and a reason to obtain the license.

My High School Dress code, however, required me to be clean shaven. I started growing a beard when I graduated from High School in June of 1964.

On May 31, 1984, my employer explained to me that OSHA regulations required me to shave my beard. There would be no exceptions, I could either report to work clean shaven on June 1 or report to the Personnel Dept. for termination of my employment.

It has only been in the past few years that, unable to work, I have been able to grow a beard again. Personally, I view it as a part of myself. Being clean shaven is an ugly disguise, and I found it very offensive that men would stop me on the street to tell me that I looked better clean shaven. I finally started telling the men who told me that, "It seems that all the other gay men think so too!"

I've only had one woman ever tell me that I looked better clean shaven. Unfortunately, I'm married to her, so this has been an ongoing issue for several years.

QUOTE(christopher @ Jan 22 2004, 01:41 AM )
Have the French flipped?

I'm unfamiliar with their laws, Constitution, customs, language, etc. From us.gif here, I see no reason why I should try to judge why they are implementing such regulations. I am certain however, they would likely find it equally ludicrous that John Ashcroft would want to know what books I am reading, or what I bought my daughter for Christmas.
kimpossible
I cant believe that article focused on the beards, when the controversy here in France has more to with Muslim women not being able to wear the veil. Every night there is always some segment devoted to girls who have decided to wear the veil and mothers and fathers weeping over their lost daughters. Its sickening really. And it would still be perfectly legal for Christians to sport gold crosses indiscretely.

I think the law is ridiculous and oppressive.
GoAmerica
QUOTE(christopher @ Jan 22 2004, 12:41 AM)
Just read this. Is this insane or what?
You just CAN'T make this kind of stuff up. blink.gif

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...ishing_beards_2

Have the French flipped?

I think it is overstepping!! The headscarve thing made sense but this is just too weird!! Who cares about the beards man!! A beard is a beard and i think the French need to stop making these nutty laws

The French need to come back to reality and stop pushing so many things that will alienate Muslims!
Jaime
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