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Cyan
In the Burkha thread, deerjerkydave posted the following link.

Chirac: Ban headscarves in schools

To which Suzy Steamboat responded:

QUOTE
I don't understand why people are taking that story and running with it like France has launched some sort of anti-islam crusade. It does not only apply to burkas, it applies to large crosses and yarmulkes as well... as well and ALL symbols of religion. France making it's schools secular is not oppressive. There are plenty of places to show off your religion... like, say, churches, synagogues, and mosques. School is not the place for it. I applaud Chirac for his efforts to maintain secularity in an increasingly secularity-hostile world.


Rather than taking the thread off topic, I want to discuss this here.

From the above mentioned article:

QUOTE
Chirac said the wearing of religious symbols threatened the cohesion of the French people and France's separation of church and state.

"Secularity is one of the republic's great achievements," said Chirac. "It plays a crucial role in social harmony and national cohesion. We must not allow it to be weakened."


QUOTE
Some human rights groups said they opposed the measure. The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights said the law would violate France's commitments to protect freedom of religion, Reuters reported.

The group added that a head scarf ban would result in alienation and marginalization of Muslims living in France.


The question for debate: How do you view this policy? Is it indeed a positive move in regards to the separation of church and state in France or is the International Helsinki Federation of Human Rights' assessment correct?

I strongly oppose Chirac's measure, because I view it as discrimination against Islamic women. If they feel that wearing a headscarf in public is a requirement of their religion than they should be allowed to wear it. Forcing them to remove it could have deep psychological ramifications, and will almost surely marginalize Muslims in France who will not feel comfortable attending public schools.

I don't see how it can possible help with France's national cohesion. It will merely force a large part of French society to separate themselves even further from the mainstream.
Google
Corvus
I see the banning of religious symbols as analogous to the desire for uniforms in public schools. I was once opposed to uniforms, but now I think they'd be a good thing in America's commercialised society, and I confess I was only debating from the limited experience of growing up in a uniform in Australian schools. People see uniforms as a way to achieve unity amongst people from different social positions. I see the ban on visible religious symbols as way to prevent fractionalising a very religiously and ethnically diverse body of students. School isn't the place to express ideologies any more than it's a place to express individuality. School is a place to learn.

Why do faiths need extra consideration? My philosophy of epicureanism, my belief that pleasure is the way to happiness, would not be enough to prevent me from drinking gin and tonic in class. But if I believed my libations were a necessity for the placation of the great god, Er Somsing, I'd probably be given special consent.

Hate crimes are fairly common in Europe, and most people, including police, take a very lax view of it. I think a religiously sterile school environment is one step forward for the students to learn about equality.


The only problem is that it's the teachers that carry out the law. What's unfortunate is that they are often fairly lenient on Christians and Jews, but harsh on Muslims.
turnea
I was planning on starting a topic on this one myself.... thumbsup.gif

Where to begin? whistling.gif

On a continent where the treatment of suspected terrorists in Gitmo has drawn ire from human rights advocates (a cause to which I am not totally unsympathetic)...

In a country that is compared to the like of the Japan and UK in terms of standards of living...

This is Pathetic

To cut to the chase this is a crime against basic human rights that easily rivals if not surpasses (I suspect the latter) Guantanamo Bay. The sheer scale of this repression is staggering. Imagine ordering the entire population of a nation public school students hide their religious clothing purely in the name of conformity (or "national cohesion" rolleyes.gif ) No French citizen can now credibly claim freedom to practice their religion openly.

Heaven forbid that someone tell you apart from the rest of the crowd! (or that you mention heaven)

Religion is important to many people (including many French citizens) individuals should be allowed to exercise that religion as long as it does not interfere with the rights of others. These draconian measure only harm religious students while aiding no one.

To think that a major western nation is even capable of passing such a law is frightening. It would make me think twice about even visiting France, down right counts out ever living there.

How to I view the policy?

Negatively. dry.gif


It is not simply a crime against Muslims, but the entire nation of France.
nebraska29
Being an American, I too, am repulsed at Chirac's actions. At the same time, we must remember that France is governed under different laws, and that accounts for perhaps why a population so treated well by the bill of rights would be horrified at the restrictive laws of another nation. I will leave aside the cultural supremacy feelings and try to tackle this one like a Frech citizen. After considering the history of France and the European continent as a whole, it's easy to see why such a bill would be passed. The wars of religion weren't called that for nothing. With the likes of Cardinal Richelieu, Mazarin, Pope Gregory VII, and a king who though that Paris was well worth a mass, it's easy to see why Chirac thought France was well worth less bloodshed. Also consider the long history of persecution against the Huguenots and the Moriscoes of Spain, and it's easy to see why the French are so reticent about religion in the public sphere.

Viva Chirac!!--considering the past of France, Chirac is very prescient in his observation that religious fanaticism of any stripe needs to be put in check real quick. While Billy Graham may not take control of America, there has been a history of religious usurpers of power in Europe. Let the religious ones have their symbols and the like at churches and other sanctuaries. The people of France don't need people to cause trouble in a public sphere that in the past, the religiously inclined have shown a willful desire towards power grabbing and bloodshed, and not staying to themselves in their own religious sphere.
turnea
QUOTE(nebraska29 @ Jan 27 2004, 10:54 AM)
The people of France don't need people to cause trouble in a public sphere that in the past, the religiously inclined have shown a willful desire towards power grabbing and bloodshed, and not staying to themselves in their own religious sphere.

Perspective.

I don't think raising the spectre of religious wars in 21st century western Europe is at all realistic. It is a poor excuse for governmental repression.

The religious have shown no more pre-disposition towards violence than the non-religious comparatively, no thought police are necessary, thank you. rolleyes.gif
deerjerkydave
QUOTE(nebraska29 @ Jan 27 2004, 04:54 PM)
The people of France don't need people to cause trouble in a public sphere that in the past, the religiously inclined have shown a willful desire towards power grabbing and bloodshed, and not staying to themselves in their own religious sphere.

Only the "religiously inclined" power-grab and kill in Europe? And secularism is the solution?

Secularism is oppressive. It forces people into a narrow way of living because it takes away choice. It is a component of many absolutist governments. Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler were all secularists. France would be best served not to step in that direction.

Religious conflicts in Europe have been mere scuffles compared to the toll these secularist absolutists have taken on that continent. Lord Acton sums it up best when he observed that, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Dr. Rummel from the University of Hawaii follows up with this axiom, "Power kills; absolute power kills absolutely."
Looms
QUOTE(deerjerkydave @ Jan 27 2004, 06:31 PM)
Only the "religiously inclined" power-grab and kill in Europe?  And secularism is the solution?

More people have been killed over religion than for any other single reason.

QUOTE
Secularism is oppressive.  It forces people into a narrow way of living because it takes away choice.


Hitler was a vegetarian. Vegetarianism is oppressive. Vegeterianism forces people into a narrow way of living because it takes away choice.

You and Stalin might have the same favorite color, does that mean anything?

QUOTE
It is a component of many absolutist governments.  Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler were all secularists.  France would be best served not to step in that direction.


Right. And religion has never been a part of absolutist governments? Just look at the middle east, no absolutism there. rolleyes.gif

Nobody is talking about the complete illegalization of religion. The point here is that there is a time and a place for everything. As I said once before, I am quite proud of my pornography collection. I really am. But if I brought it to work, I'd have severe problems. Some things don't belong in a work/school environment. Period. For religion, there is the home, and the place of worship, there is no reason to add school to that list. Some things are and should be personal.

And last I checked, Marx was never the head of any government, absolutist or otherwise.
Julian
QUOTE(deerjerkydave @ Jan 28 2004, 12:31 AM)
Secularism is oppressive.  It forces people into a narrow way of living because it takes away choice.  It is a component of many absolutist governments.  Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler were all secularists.  France would be best served not to step in that direction.

Hmm - in principle, this is nonsense. You're talking about state atheism, not secularism. Secularism doesn't oppress religion, it ignores it. It gives religion no special privileges at all.

If a Christian girl would be asked to remove a head garment in a publicly funded schoolroom, there is no real reason to ask a Muslim girl not to do so within secularism. Any religious adherent is free to dress how they want elsewhere. Businesses are in a similar position - nobody works anywhere compulsorily, not even in France. The French government is not outlawing religious symbolism, just permitting institutions to form policies on it - no difference from me asking you to take off your shoes before coming in my house (something I don't do, and find intesnely annoying in others!).

In practise, though, I too find this French move discomforting. They have a problem in France with anti-Semitic vandalism and violence, which is largeyl caused by young Muslim men. It doesn't seem very prudent to me to give them even more things to feel aggrieved and isolated about, however the abstract arguments are conducted. Oppression is in the mind of the oppressed, by which I mean that if someone feels oppressed the oppression is real (rather than meaning oppression is imaginary). And people of every religion or race react against oppression eventually, often violently. This is just short-sighted government, and that is (sadly) not unique to France.
Corvus
QUOTE(turnea)
No French citizen can now credibly claim freedom to practice their religion openly.


You mean how no British and Australian citizen can now credibly claim to practice freedom of expression because they're forced to wear uniforms - both at school and at work? Is that repressive too? Of course not. School is an instution for the education of our young. Any policy that removes what would interfere with the unity or peace of the classroom is welcome. If they want an education where they are free to practice their religion, I am sure France has private schools for the the purpose.

QUOTE
The religious have shown no more pre-disposition towards violence than the non-religious comparatively, no thought police are necessary, thank you.


But religious conflict amongst French youth is high. That's something that can't be denied. I applaud France for trying to have students know unity at a young age. What would you have France do, ignore the problem? Education? Education rarely works when a problem has become a social epidemic. Education on drugs, sex education, etc, help very little.

If this law is so psychologically crippling, all the more reason for it to exist as a way to combat that narrow-mindedness that Deerjerkydave claims - somewhat offensively to us secularists - is intrinsic to secularism.

Excuzez-moi, me barbe est en feu.
turnea
QUOTE(Looms @ Jan 27 2004, 07:13 PM)
You and Stalin might have the same favorite color, does that mean anything?

Great Point.

Countless murderers have profess Christianity (and Judaism and Islam, and atheism for that matter), does that mean these philosophies are dangerous?

QUOTE(Looms)
Nobody is talking about the complete illegalization of religion. The point here is that there is a time and a place for everything. As I said once before, I am quite proud of my pornography collection. I really am. But if I brought it to work, I'd have severe problems. Some things don't belong in a work/school environment. Period. For religion, there is the home, and the place of worship, there is no reason to add school to that list. Some things are and should be personal.

Flawed comparison. You pornography collection would get you in trouble at work because is would be viewed by your work community as indecent, not simply because it's personal. Say you had a wedding ring, that's personal. Is it alright for the government to order you to remove it when you enter, say a public library? It could make the unmarried upset, they wouldn't be able to use the library as efficiently. It flies about as far as this yarmulkes nonsense... rolleyes.gif

Looms, I'm curious, how does a libertarian come to support government interference in so basic an issue as the way we dress, with no greater vested interest than conformity?

QUOTE(Julian)
If a Christian girl would be asked to remove a head garment in a publicly funded schoolroom, there is no real reason to ask a Muslim girl not to do so within secularism. Any religious adherent is free to dress how they want elsewhere. Businesses are in a similar position - nobody works anywhere compulsorily, not even in France.


QUOTE(Corvus)
You mean how no British and Australian citizen can now credibly claim to practice freedom of expression because they're forced to wear uniforms - both at school and at work? Is that repressive too?

First of all I would like to point out the ability to private businesses to enforce dress codes should not be limited as stringently as the governments ability to do so, vastly different circumstances involved...

Now then, without getting into my opinion of school uniforms (I'm not a supporter), this issue of religious expression goes to a more sinister scale as illustrated by this statement.

QUOTE(Corvus)
School is an instution for the education of our young. Any policy that removes what would interfere with the unity or peace of the classroom is welcome. If they want an education where they are free to practice their religion, I am sure France has private schools for the the purpose.

Let's consider the true meaning of that statement. I hardly think they are totally free from gender disparity in France. Would not the appearance of gender differences harm the "unity" of the classroom? I've got a perfect solution. Uni-sex dress, haircuts, the whole nine yards, compulsory.

This is insane! wacko.gif

The school has an obligation to strike a reasonable balance between education and personal freedom (if for no other reason to help develop responsible citizens). If some students don't like the looks of my face, we shouldn't force them all to wear masks. Extreme examples but to some religious students no less discomforting I can assure you. Unless the French authorities can demonstrate a pressing need for these controls, they have no right to take such action and it becomes a human rights violation. (see article #18) To do so merely subjects French children to a uniform fantasy world, harming them all.

If they (any student, parent, faculty member) can't deal with someone wearing a headscarf, they've got deeper problems than academics.
Google
Corvus
QUOTE(turnea @ Jan 28 2004, 03:19 PM)
QUOTE(Corvus)
School is an instution for the education of our young. Any policy that removes what would interfere with the unity or peace of the classroom is welcome. If they want an education where they are free to practice their religion, I am sure France has private schools for the the purpose.

Let's consider the true meaning of that statement. I hardly think they are totally free from gender disparity in France. Would not the appearance of gender differences harm the "unity" of the classroom? I've got a perfect solution. Uni-sex dress, haircuts, the whole nine yards, compulsory.

However, there is no battle between the genders in the same way there's violence between the religions. Also, to borrow an expression often used by the religious right towards homosexuals, religion is a lifestyle choice, and not a fundamental difference, as between beauty and ugliness or males and females, both of which are hardly problems at all. The need for displays of religious affiliation is as out of place in a public school as a homosexual, or even heterosexual couple, choosing to assert their sexuality by kissing during school time.
turnea
QUOTE(Corvus @ Jan 27 2004, 10:43 PM)
However, there is no battle between the genders in the same way there's violence between the religions. Also, to borrow an expression often used by the religious right towards homosexuals, religion is a lifestyle choice, and not a fundamental difference, as between beauty and ugliness or males and females, both of which are hardly problems at all. The need for displays of religious affiliation is as out of place in a public school as a homosexual, or even heterosexual couple, choosing to assert their sexuality by kissing during school time.

If there was considerable inter-religious violence in French schools, that authorities had not been able to control in any other fashion you might have a point. That doesn't seem to be the case. The French governments objection is far more philosophical than practical. They exercise this repression of their own discretion rather than the needs of the classroom.

Public displays of affection (as the public schooling system here is found of reoffering to such actions as kissing) are banned because of the taboo against child sexuality, again complaints indecency is at the heart. Though it is publicly accepted for schools to repress public signs of lifestyle choices on the grounds of minor disruptions (or less in the case of religious symbols, I would sincerely like to see an actual disruption come of this), that doesn't make it right.

Many believe that religion isn't an ordinary lifestyle choice at all, but the effect of supernatural influence. It is not right for the government to take away the students ability to express such a conviction without a serious pressing interest.

It might not be considered a human rights violation otherwise, but again the need for such a policy must be demonstrated first.
Looms
QUOTE(turnea @ Jan 27 2004, 10:19 PM)
Looms, I'm curious, how does a libertarian come to support government interference in so basic an issue as the way we dress, with no greater vested interest than conformity?

To put it simply I DON'T. I agree that this goes too far. I was refuting the previous post, which really did make it sound as if France was trying to abolish all religion (presumably under orders from President Marx rolleyes.gif ). I also was trying to say that I do believe religion should be personal. But if you want to know what MY perfect world would be like, look at my signature.

BUT

There are people, in our own country (though they might feel more comfortable in any of the theocratic dictatorships in the middle east) who would look at the pentacle around my neck as being indecent. Maybe there are some who would view sexually explicit material as being a religious object. After all, if people claim Jedi as their religion, what's wrong with Pornotheism (yes, I did just make that up)? But the main point is this: many of the people arguing for religious objects in schools and courthouses, schools prayer, etc. have a HUGE problem with baggy jeans being allowed in school. Or tight shirts on females. Or (insert any style here, somebody probably wants it gone). There were actually people saying that Columbine would not have happened if it wasn't for the trenchcoats, conveniently leaving out the fact that they could have hidden their guns in their dufflebags, right next to all the PIPE BOMBS. wacko.gif So we either have dress codes or we don't. I prefer "don't." But when somebody says that one can't wear a hat because it's a hat, but another can, because it's religion, it's not exactly fair, is it? And I would MUCH rather deal with the extreme of "leave your religion at the door" than with the extreme that the other side is pushing.
Victoria Silverwolf
As an atheist who promotes a completely secularist government, I must also describe myself as a fierce defender of religious freedom for the individual. Chirac's policy, in my opinion, is immoral. (I have no idea if it is "legal" under French law.) Governments should express no opinion whatsoever on religious matters. There should be as little restriction as possible on the free expression of religious beliefs by individuals.
Corvus
QUOTE
Chirac's policy, in my opinion, is immoral. (I have no idea if it is "legal" under French law.)


This is the part of the French constitution that deals with religion.

France shall be an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic. It shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction of origin, race or religion. It shall respect all beliefs. It shall be organised on a decentralised basis.

It might be argued that this law does not "respect all beliefs"


QUOTE(turnea @ Jan 28 2004, 04:05 PM)
QUOTE(Corvus @ Jan 27 2004, 10:43 PM)
However, there is no battle between the genders in the same way there's violence between the religions. Also, to borrow an expression often used by the religious right towards homosexuals, religion is a lifestyle choice, and not a fundamental difference, as between beauty and ugliness or males and females, both of which are hardly problems at all. The need for displays of religious affiliation is as out of place in a public school as a homosexual, or even heterosexual couple, choosing to assert their sexuality by kissing during school time.

If there was considerable inter-religious violence in French schools, that authorities had not been able to control in any other fashion you might have a point.

Although I can't find any English sources on inter-religious violence (why should I? It's more of a problem specific to France, and I'm having trouble defining my search), I have found many pages on inter-religious violence in French society - mainly towards Jews - through google.

http://quickstart.clari.net/qs_se/webnews/...s.RiYb_DNG.html

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/137/story_13766_1.html

This is particularly interesting:

http://lipietz.net/article.php3?id_article=1003

The google translated page.

The opening paragraph in mangled English:
QUOTE
In one year, of 2001 to 2002, the number of "racist acts" was multiplied by by four, and "anti-semitic acts by six - the latter representing 62 % of the total. As for "racist threats", they have almost tripled, the anti-semitic threats quadrupling (they form 73 % of the total)


If anyone has a sound knowledge of French and wants to conduct searches into religious violence in French schools, I would appreciate it. Horyok? You out there?
Cyan
How will this law reduce the inter-religioius violence in France? This is an attempt to integrate the rapidly growing Muslim population...to mold them so that they don't altar the long-standing ideals of French secularism and equality, which I understand to some extent, but it's like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

If the choice is between obeying the law and obeying the Quran, which one do you think that followers of Islam will choose? Daughters of Muslims will be pulled from public schools and placed into private learning institutions that have a greater focus on Islam. This only widens the divide.
turnea
QUOTE(Corvus @ Jan 28 2004, 05:15 AM)
lthough I can't find any English sources on inter-religious violence (why should I? It's more of a problem specific to France, and I'm having trouble defining my search), I have found many pages on inter-religious violence in French society.

1. This concern is not apparent in the nature of Chirac's statement. It seems he is more intent on enforcing secularism in his population, in contravention of the French constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as it seems to me (I suppose a judge will be the judge of that....) on a purely philosophical basis.

2. Such a policy should be implemented only in specific schools that experience a problem. Since there is apparently no sign of a religious violence problem in schools, this proposal represents a wholly unnecessary burden on private citizens who wish to carry religious symbols.

QUOTE(Looms)
There are people, in our own country (though they might feel more comfortable in any of the theocratic dictatorships in the middle east) who would look at the pentacle around my neck as being indecent.

I sincerely doubt such a complaint would hold up to the scrutiny of law. If anyone orders you to remove a pentacle on public property for such a silly reason, you should sue. mellow.gif

QUOTE(Looms)
So we either have dress codes or we don't. I prefer "don't." But when somebody says that one can't wear a hat because it's a hat, but another can, because it's religion, it's not exactly fair, is it?

Yes, if one considers the relative important of one's religion to a baseball cap...

I would rather have a country that accommodates a students sincerely held beliefs, I'm glad that bit is written into our constitution. Provisions about hats in dress codes are a reflection of (rather antiquated) social norms. Because it is not considered widely that wearing a yarmulkes indoors is disrespectful, there is no problem with allowing one in the classroom. Because the yarmulkes is a religious symbol which holds great value for many people the is a problem with ordering its removal. I believe it is simply a matter of evaluating alternatives.

...rather have an inclusive society than a repressive one.
Corvus
QUOTE(turnea @ Jan 30 2004, 02:46 AM)
QUOTE(Corvus @ Jan 28 2004, 05:15 AM)
lthough I can't find any English sources on inter-religious violence (why should I? It's more of a problem specific to France, and I'm having trouble defining my search), I have found many pages on inter-religious violence in French society.

1. This concern is not apparent in the nature of Chirac's statement. It seems he is more intent on enforcing secularism in his population, in contravention of the French constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as it seems to me (I suppose a judge will be the judge of that....) on a purely philosophical basis.


Chirac said the wearing of religious symbols threatened the cohesion of the French people and France's separation of church and state.

"Secularity is one of the republic's great achievements," said Chirac. "It plays a crucial role in ]social harmony and national cohesion. We must not allow it to be weakened."


How is it not acknowledging the instability in French society due to religious disparity? Chirac has already taken measures against the ongoing threat to national cohesion and understands, as I do, that learning unity should begin at youth.

Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said Chirac had given orders to improve security outside Jewish institutions, boost teaching of tolerance and inter-faith understanding in schools, and hand down exemplary punishments when acts of anti-Semitism come before the courts.

QUOTE
2. Such a policy should be implemented only in specific schools that experience a problem. Since there is apparently no sign of a religious violence problem in schools, this proposal represents a wholly unnecessary burden on private citizens who wish to carry religious symbols.


Er, none? In a land fast becoming one of the world's most anti-semitic nations, schools are apparently a place of harmony simply because violence in schools has so far either gone unrecorded or statistics aren't conveniently available in English? Do a search and you'll notice a lot of the news reports admitting statistics on racism in France are hard to find because of the rather indifferent way most French citizens feel about them.

Most incidents like these do not make headlines. Although they would be denounced by the vast majority of Europeans, they are often not recognized by police — and their perpetrators aren't necessarily hard-core extremists. Different countries have different definitions of hate crime, and different ways of punishing offenders. But most agree that hate crimes are prompted by what the victim represents — a religion, race, nationality or, in some cases, sexual preference. Hard statistics are tough to find, since in most countries data collection remains abysmal.


QUOTE(Cyan)
If the choice is between obeying the law and obeying the Quran, which one do you think that followers of Islam will choose? Daughters of Muslims will be pulled from public schools and placed into private learning institutions that have a greater focus on Islam.


That's if they can afford to pay for private education. Poverty is rife amongst the Arabic community in France. Most are unemployed and live in slums.

I see this law as a way from preventing gangs turning up to school in jackets with their gang symbols embroidered on them.


edited to fix italics.
turnea
QUOTE(Corvus @ Jan 29 2004, 07:07 PM)
How is it not acknowledging the instability in French society due to religious disparity? Chirac has already taken measures against the ongoing threat to national cohesion and understands, as I do, that learning unity should begin at youth.

I view such a policy as purely philosophical because is it not in response to specific events and serves no true practical purpose.

To the point:
Even if French students spend much of their time in school, do you think it at all likely that they will be unexposed to religious symbols?

Is it a matter of the frequency of exposure? How?

What does hiding religious symbols accomplish, can one not tell apart an Arab or Jewish students by their looks (in general)? If it's not out of sight out of mind (because that is impossible, unless we go back to my mask proposal or better yet burkhas for everyone) then what?

When these children exit the school system how will there lack (or lessening) of exposure to religious symbols encourage solidarity?

Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said Chirac had given orders to improve security outside Jewish institutions, boost teaching of tolerance and inter-faith understanding in schools
Wow, is he mixed up or what? w00t.gif

How exactly doesn't Chirac intend to boost tolerance and inter-faith understanding with such a patently intolerant policy as banning religious symbols?

QUOTE(Corvus)
Er, none? In a land fast becoming one of the world's most anti-semitic nations, schools are apparently a place of harmony simply because violence in schools has so far either gone unrecorded or statistics aren't conveniently available in English?

I would imagine significant school violence would have been mentioned in reports regarding the issue. Since it was not, I suspect it is not occurring. Could be wrong...

QUOTE(Corvus)
I see this law as a way from preventing gangs turning up to school in jackets with their gang symbols embroidered on them.


Ban jackets with symbols then. Not headscarves, crosses and yarmulkes.

Again, without evidence of a pressing need this law is oppressive
turnea
Seems I left out a group being oppressed by this crackdown.

QUOTE
A Paris boulevard became a sea of coloured turbans on Saturday as Sikhs from across Europe marched to defend their traditional headgear against a looming French ban on religious symbols in state schools.

Waving French flags and chanting "live and let live", about 3,000 Sikhs turned out to call for turbans to be exempted from the ban due to outlaw symbols such as Muslim headscarves, Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses in the strictly secular public schools.

The National Assembly begins debating the ban on Tuesday but the draft text of the law, which outlaws "conspicuous signs" of faith, could be read to include turbans.

Sikhs, of whom about 5,000 live in the Paris region, say turbans and the light scarves that women wear are not religious but practical items meant to cover the hair they never cut.

Sea of turbans as Sikhs protest against French ban

On top of the burden this places on the religious community in France it is important to remember religion and culture are closely intertwined. It is sickening that a democratic nation could be brought so low as to legally enforce conformity. Such forced assimilation of millions of people cannot be in the interest of the country. crying.gif
Sevac
Why is it so hard to accept that there are rules of how to behave? You have to take of your hat in a church or a jewish graveyard as a sign of respect.
You could argue that by not showing your belief in school you would respect the ones who are of other belief.
I am strongly for secular schools as well as secular governments, for religion should always be a personal belief and not forced on others which would be accomplished by having a secular school system.

I consider myself an atheist or at least agnostic, but that does not mean I am not a spiritual person, I believe that everyone should find his own belief and hold it sacred. To find your own belief it is important that there is no one-sided influence on you, which can only be fulfilled in a secular society.
You should be taught in school the main ideas, ideals and morale of Humanism, as well as Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism as a kind of guideline, but having crucifixes in classrooms as it is common in some parts of Europe is as wrong as the open display of your belief.
turnea
QUOTE(Sevac @ Feb 1 2004, 05:33 PM)
Why is it so hard to accept that there are rules of how to behave?

Not hard at all. However it is important to understand that just as there are rules for individuals there are rules for governments. The French constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for starters. dry.gif

QUOTE(Sevac)
You should be taught in school the main ideas, ideals and morale of Humanism, as well as Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism as a kind of guideline, but having crucifixes in classrooms as it is common in some parts of Europe is as wrong as the open display of your belief.

Why is the open display of a belief wrong?

Why is it so hard to accept that it is wrong to pass arbitrary laws that harm the innocent while helping no one?

"Because we want to" is a thoroughly insufficient reason to restrict individual freedom. rolleyes.gif
nebraska29
QUOTE(deerjerkydave @ Jan 27 2004, 06:31 PM)
Secularism is oppressive.  It forces people into a narrow way of living because it takes away choice.  It is a component of many absolutist governments.  Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler were all secularists.  France would be best served not to step in that direction.

Religious conflicts in Europe have been mere scuffles compared to the toll these secularist absolutists have taken on that continent.

From your respose, it's clear that you are moving away from the subject, to talking about other leaders of other countries. While debatable in another discussion forum, they have little bearing upon French history, let alone religious influences of it. I was merely pointing out the historical religious influences that might lead them to adopt such a policy that in hindsight, would be pretty smart to carry out. Do you take issue with the wars of religion ever occuring? Is the persecution of the Huguenots too unsettling for you? Obviously, you feel that I might be offending your religious sensibilities, as opposed to your sensibilities about French history. Take a charismatic leader, a powerful church organization, and viola! You have the ingredients for trouble in a country that historically, has shown a predilection for it.
turnea
QUOTE(nebraska29 @ Feb 2 2004, 12:08 PM)
Obviously, you feel that I might be offending your religious sensibilities, as opposed to your sensibilities about French history.  Take a charismatic leader, a powerful church organization, and viola!  You have the ingredients for trouble in a country that historically, has shown a predilection for it.

w00t.gif

I would say that is an oversimplification, but it would be an understatement. Again, religious wars in 21-century France are nigh unto impossible, I think we all know that. rolleyes.gif


This measure won't prevent any impending wars, in fact it would serve only to aggravate French Muslims (and Christians, and Jews, and Sikhs...etc.).

Tell me again how this banning of religious symbols in a single aspect of student's lives will accomplish anything but oppression and division. dry.gif
turnea
An interesting AP article that details the sheer stupidity (I'll go right ahead and say it) of this proposal.

QUOTE
The ban is intended to be a vehicle for guaranteeing respect for France’s secular foundations, which ensure a strict separation of church and state in the public domain.  
  
However, President Jacques Chirac has made clear that the bill also is meant to keep France’s Muslim population from forcing its traditions onto French society rather than assimilating.

So by acknowledging their religion as they are entitled to do so under French and international law, French Muslims are failing to be French enough. I know a number of countries have these xenophobic concerns and condemn it in every case. This is just a pathetic example.
QUOTE
“To do nothing would be irresponsible,” Chirac told his Cabinet last week. “It would be a fault.”

Can't very well have French citizens going about their daily lives observing unapproved belief systems now can we? zipped.gif

QUOTE
Some Muslims call the bill discriminatory. It has prompted demonstrations by Muslims in France and around the world, with another planned in France for Saturday.

As we can see the bill has already done wonders for national cohesion. w00t.gif

QUOTE
The debate over wearing it in public school dates to at least 1989, when two girls defied school rules in Creil, outside Paris, and refused to remove their scarves.  
  
Most, but not all, public schools already have guidelines forbidding head coverings. However, schools have been left to decide themselves whether to take action against those flouting the rules.

Wow... scary place.... ph34r.gif

QUOTE
Despite dissent, the bill is all but assured passage, as Chirac’s party holds 364 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly, and a bill needs only 288 votes to pass. Some 140 deputies — or nearly a quarter of lawmakers — have signed up to comment on the bill.

France weighs ban on religious apparel
This bill is more than a test on whether or not the French governments is willing to allow its citizens to observe their religion in peace. It is a test of the French people's willingness to stand up for their fellow citizen's rights, even if they are Muslims. dry.gif

Apparently the nation is failing miserably. crying.gif

Edited to Add:
Chirac own words in support of the ban, where he advocates a policy that goes against most of the values he lauds, with typical good sense. whistling.gif

QUOTE
All of France's children, whatever their history, whatever their origin, whatever their beliefs, are the daughters and sons of the republic.

They have to be recognised as such, in law but above all in reality. By ensuring respect for this requirement, by reforming our integration policy, by our ability to bring equal opportunities to life, we shall bring national cohesion to life again.

We shall also do so by bringing to life the principle of secularism, which is a pillar of our constitution. It expresses our wish to live together in respect, dialogue and tolerance. Secularism guarantees freedom of conscience. It protects the freedom to believe or not to believe...

But no yarmulkes you uppity outsiders! mad.gif .

QUOTE
It is the neutrality of the public sphere which enables the harmonious existence side by side of different religions. Like all freedoms, the freedom to express one's faith can only have limits in the freedom of others, and in the compliance with rules of life in society. Religious freedom, which our country respects and protects, must not be abused, it must not call general rules into question, it must not infringe the freedom of belief of others.

including the right not to witness the horrifying sight of a turban. mellow.gif
QUOTE
It cannot be tolerated that under the cover of religious freedom, the laws and principles of the republic are challenged. Secularism is one of the great achievements of the republic. It is a crucial element of social peace and of national cohesion. We cannot allow it to be weakened. We have to work to consolidate it.

Earth to Chirac! you're the one changing the law, you know by proposing legislation. blink.gif
QUOTE
This is why it seems essential to me today that the teaching of religious life in schools should be developed.

We also need to carry out, with vigilance and firmness, a relentless fight against xenophobia, racism, and in particular against anti-Semitism. Let us not accept the fact that insults are becoming commonplace, let us not play down any gesture, any attitude, any remark.

But xenophobic laws are cool. cool.gif
QUOTE
These - the Islamic headscarf, whatever name it may be given, the skullcap or a cross of manifestly excessive dimensions - are out of place in state schools. State schools will remain secular.

"manifestly excessive" too Christian for you? what the heck it that supposed to mean? huh.gif
Chirac on the secular society
Absolutely incredible...
deerjerkydave
QUOTE(nebraska29 @ Feb 2 2004, 06:08 PM)
Obviously, you feel that I might be offending your religious sensibilities, as opposed to your sensibilities about French history.  Take a charismatic leader, a powerful church organization, and viola!  You have the ingredients for trouble in a country that historically, has shown a predilection for it.

You are inferring conclusions which I have not made. I mostly agree with you in fact. Allow me to clarify:

1. Any form of government or religion, recognizing that religion can be government and government can be religion, which dictates its ideologies under force onto people is oppressive and wrong.

2. Governments which adopt atheistic ideologies (secularism) and dictate such philosophies onto people is just as oppressive and wrong. Possibly more so even given recent history. In the last century more people have perished and suffered under the hands of such governments than all other forms combined. This is why I quoted Lord Acton that, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

3. So if France wants a government like that in 1. or 2. (in this case its 2.), then it is turning towards the iron fist of oppression to solve its problems. I think France would be best served to choose religious freedom and tolerance instead of this totalitarianism. Unfortunately, it would seem that they are going to do just the opposite.
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.
hmmm.gif

I'm beginning to see a problem with the French lawmakers' logic.

Honestly, no one is hurting anyone by wearing headscarves or skullcaps. Suppose an Islamic or Jewish student requests a kosher meal in school. Will the French government say, "Sorry, eat pork in school or starve." Suppose a Muslim student does not eat lunch during the holy month of Ramadan. Will the French government force the student to eat?

And what about Yin-Yangs and "peace symbols," both emblems of religions? What about advertisements on clothing which happen to include traditionally religious symbols?

This law is as impractical as it is wrongheaded, and as useless as it is immoral.
Sevac
QUOTE
QUOTE
QUOTE (Sevac)
You should be taught in school the main ideas, ideals and morale of Humanism, as well as Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism as a kind of guideline, but having crucifixes in classrooms as it is common in some parts of Europe is as wrong as the open display of your belief.



Why is the open display of a belief wrong?

Why is it so hard to accept that it is wrong to pass arbitrary laws that harm the innocent while helping no one?

"Because we want to" is a thoroughly insufficient reason to restrict individual freedom.


I am sorry if I haven't made myself clear: The open display refers to religious symbols in school classroom. Like American schools have flags in their classrooms many schools here have signs of a religious belief in the classroom. I think it is not appropriate to have this kind of influence on children, therefore I would be glad if they would be removed.

Schools have a duty to educate children. They are not the place to pray. School teachers should not show their religious believe while teaching. Schools are part of the secular body of the state, there should not be interference from any form of religion.
I don't know if students themselves should not display their believes, but I would tend to say that religious symbols would rather disturb the atmosphere at schools. It may not have any effect, but as I know it, Religion is the one point where almost no one agrees on anything.

No one wants to remove religion from society, it's just that schools and religion shouldn't be mixed. It's my opinion and it's not a popular one, but religion is such a delicate topic for most people that we should try to keep schools neutral territory.
turnea
QUOTE(Sevac @ Feb 6 2004, 04:09 PM)
I am sorry if I haven't made myself clear: The open display refers to religious symbols in school classroom. Like American schools have flags in their classrooms many schools here have signs of a religious belief in the classroom. I think it is not appropriate to have this kind of influence on children, therefore I would be glad if they would be removed.

I agree that the school itself should remain religiously neutral. I'm actually a big supporter of the separation of church and state. Unfortunately, that is not what this law is about. It is about religious clothing worn by individual children. It's separation of church and student. dry.gif

QUOTE(Sevac)
I don't know if students themselves should not display their believes, but I would tend to say that religious symbols would rather disturb the atmosphere at schools. It may not have any effect, but as I know it, Religion is the one point where almost no one agrees on anything.

You mean no one agrees on everything don't you, because otherwise organized religion would be impossible. tongue.gif

I have been to christian private school, a private school without religious affiliation and public school. In neither place did the religious identification of student cause anything more than a very rare minor problem, which was corrected with seconds (Really, I can only think of one example and it was a pre-schooler) anyone over age six really shouldn't have a major problem with seeing a headscarf on a fellow students. rolleyes.gif
turnea
Just for those who might have thought my ranting about human rights and comparing this to Gitmo might have been overboard. tongue.gif tongue.gif

QUOTE
Q: Will French Muslims be able to challenge the law in Court? 
 
They will. There are clearly different interpretations of a French constitution that protects freedom of conscience, education and expression of religious belief. France is officially a pluralistic society and many Muslims argue that their rights to express their religious identity would be infringed by this law. Muslim women who wear the headscarf insist it is nothing to do with politics, but about dignity and obedience to God. Banning the wearing of it, they maintain, would require them to disobey their religion, or compromise their education. 
 
If a challenge in the French courts failed, they could also take the case to the European Court of Human Rights. Article nine of the European Convention on Human Rights enshrines the freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs, subject "only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others."

Q&A: Muslim headscarves
Finally!

Seeing as this law fails this standard miserably we can hope it will be struck down.

and if there was any doubt this law would force Muslim girls out of the public schools...
QUOTE
The most striking parallel with the current situation in France is Turkey. There the secular republic has banned headscarves in public institutions. That has led to many girls being excluded from the public system.

If it this happens in a Muslim country why in God's name does Chirac expect "national cohesion"?! dazed.gif

Edited to add more on human rights concerns...
QUOTE
The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights has also warned the French government against the ban, as has US-based advisory group, the Commission on International Religious Freedom.

as well as a note as to the actual purpose of this legislation.
QUOTE
Unspoken in this entire debate is the government's need to boost its own popularity, and combat a rise in support for the far-right National Front, ahead of key regional elections next month, Caroline Wyatt says.

French MPs back headscarf ban
turnea
QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth)
I'm wondering if the French are using this "looking more uniformly French" ploy instead of saying that they cannot guarantee Muslims that they will be safe if they continue wearing their traditional religious garb. Perhaps they feel it is a face-saving measure to declare their nationalism rather than admit that they cannot keep all of their citizens safe at home.

I know--how about having Muslim girls wear the blue, white, and red colors of the French flag for their headscarves and making it permissible for both sexes to wear the scarves on their heads? That would encourage some uniformity and proclaim nationalism while not specifically designating who is Muslim.

Again, there is no evidence of widespread attacks on Muslim students in France, particularly tied to the hijab. If individual schools could demonstrate they have this problem, then these measures could be considered. Not on this scale and especially for so specious a reason as "national cohesion" (government enforced conformity).

That is why your suggestion is unnecessary, not to mention males would never take to the headscarf idea in large number and it does nothing for Jewish, Christian, and Sikh students. The headscarves would simply change color without changing significance.

The French government, exhibiting the warning signs of a poorly based policy is all over the map for justifications of this act.
QUOTE
President Jacques Chirac's ruling centre-right UMP party has been the driving force behind the law, which is backed by some 70% of French people.
UMP deputy Jerome Riviere says France's secular nature was being challenged by a small minority of hardline Islamists, and he insists the law is not about suppressing religious freedom.

"We have to give a political answer to what is a political problem," he said.

"We don't have a problem with religion in France. We have a problem with the political use by a minority of religion."

French headscarf ban opens rifts
Right... rolleyes.gif I not sure if I want to justify that with an answer. (hint:political freedom is good)

More on the human rights aspect as I've been saying all along.
QUOTE
The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) is
concerned that a French presidential commission proposal to enact a law banning religious symbols in schools and other public institutions would violate France’s international commitments to protect the freedom of religion.
...
The IHF believes that such a ban would bring the French state in collision with international human rights standards on freedom of religion because wearing religious clothing can be an inherent part of manifestation of one’s religion. It is not at the discretion of a state to determine
which manifestations are legitimate as long as they do not violate other people’s basic human rights or do not endanger public safety, health, or morals, as defined by international law...
Further, while the IHF promotes equality between all religions and world-views, it is concerned at the fact that the intensity the French state now promotes secularism appears to amount to advocacy of one world-view and so seems to contradict the principle of neutrality to which the state proclaims to be committed. ..

A French Ban on Religious Symbols Would Violate International Protections of Freedom of Religion
Exactly. innocent.gif
Paladin Elspeth
I don't think that students should be required to abandon the garb connected to their religion, either. This goes deeper than a sense of individual style. I, too, suspect that there is religious intolerance at the root of this new law in France. Such nationalistic fragility that will not allow headscarves and yarmulkes!

To be a little facetious, what constitutes looking more French? A little black beret and a thin mustache, a horizontal red-and-white striped shirt and black Capri pants? Toting the requisite Sartre paperback under the arm? shifty.gif

Back during the late 1400's in Spain, Jews were being persecuted and shipped out of the country by the Christian authorities. Government authorities went so far as to check to see which chimneys did not have smoke coming out of them during the Sabbath, as Jews were not supposed to light fires in their fireplaces on that day.

Of course there are more recent and more infamous examples of religious/racial intolerance in Europe. It is sad that it continues to this day in France.
turnea
Well P.E., Chriac may not take you up on your idea, but it looks like someone has. biggrin.gif
QUOTE
Police estimated that 2,600 people marched in the southern city of Lyon Saturday. Organizers put the figure at 8,000.

In Paris, protesters marched through the east of the city. Police said the crowd numbered 1,300. Reporters estimated 2,000 to 3,000. [...]
In Lyon, some marchers wore head scarves in the blue, white and red colors of France's flag.

Other protests also were planned in at least nine other towns and cities.

Thousands protest head scarf ban
It's amazing and more than a little sad to see a people trying so hard to gain the respect and acceptance of their own society while their countrymen whine about a headscarf. crying.gif

It it were me, I know I wouldn't be so forgiving. (If Chirac wants to know what he can do with his law, I've got some great ideas.

QUOTE
French leaders hope the law will quell debate over Islamic head scarves that has divided France since 1989, when two young girls were expelled from their school in Creil, outside Paris, for wearing the head coverings. Scores more have been expelled since then.


I'm not sure of the wider implications (there have been international protests) it would be great to know from anyone more familiar with the EU judicial systems whether or not the human rights groups stand a chance.
moif
The question for debate: How do you view this policy? Is it indeed a positive move in regards to the separation of church and state in France or is the International Helsinki Federation of Human Rights' assessment correct?

I think its a good idea.

This is not a matter of religon it is a matter of culture. The Quran does not advocate that women should wear head scarves at all. I know this because I often watch MBT which is a Turkish channel, and they sometimes provide debate shows with English subtitles. (its extremely interesting how open minded Islamic people actually are when you can understand what they are saying to each other)

In fact what is happening in France, and in several other European nations is something very unique in European history. For the first time since the Roman era this continent is seeing massive population migrations, and the stability of thousands of centuries is being ended. Only a handful of decades ago this 'threat' would have led to immediate warfare, but what we are seeing today is an effort to make the new comers fit in to European society.

The common perception however does not favour the newcomers. The immigration stream is one sided. What Europeans are being asked to accept is perceived to be a serious threat to their own culture with no immediete benefits being offered in return.

Its all very easy to promote interculturalism and globalisation when your not being threatened by it, but France has been under severe pressure now for decades and somethings got to give. In this case it is the newcomers, uninvited and largely unwelcome who must adapt to their hosts, not the other way round.

If these people wish to live in France then they must accept French, and there by European culture. They cannot expect to come to Germany, France or Denmark and simply carry on their culture as if they were still living 'back home'. If their culture meant so much to them then they should not have left it.

PE

QUOTE
I strongly oppose Chirac's measure, because I view it as discrimination against Islamic women. If they feel that wearing a headscarf in public is a requirement of their religion than they should be allowed to wear it. Forcing them to remove it could have deep psychological ramifications, and will almost surely marginalize Muslims in France who will not feel comfortable attending public schools.

I don't see how it can possible help with France's national cohesion. It will merely force a large part of French society to separate themselves even further from the mainstream.


Head scarves were already banned in Denmark under certain circumstances. Here the debate regarded company clothing. Some company's who had uniforms refused to allow their Muslim employees to wear a head scarf because they already had head gear as a part of their uniform. When the Muslim women refused to wear the company hat, they were fired. The matter went before the courts and then to the government.

The law was made that a company can decide whether or not it wishes to allow Muslim women to wear head scarves, and most companies do not care one way or another. Some company's simply made a corporate headscarf, others refused to allow the headscarf.

The nation did not suffer any friction as a result of the matter.

The point was made frequently in the debate that the Muslim head scarf is not a religous requirement. Some Muslims themselves even argued against allowing headscarfs for that very reason.

On the basis of that, I do not think what is happening/ happened in France is about religon but about culture, and in France I think its is the French who must decide what is and what is not permissive in their state run appartus.

As has already been pointed out, France allows private schools.
turnea
QUOTE(moif)
I think its a good idea. 
 
This is not a matter of religon it is a matter of culture. The Quran does not advocate that women should wear head scarves at all.

I have heard debates on the subject as well (on a BBC special dealing with the subject)

clearly many Muslims believe wearing a headscarf is a religious act, unless you believes thousands of ordinary Muslims are lying about the religion for kicks... tongue.gif

Even if this is not explicit in the Quran, will we not allow Muslims differing interpretations just as is done for christians? (my denomination, for example, believes the Bible forbids smoking on health grounds even though there is no direct mention...)

QUOTE(moif)
The common perception however does not favour the newcomers. The immigration stream is one sided. What Europeans are being asked to accept is perceived to be a serious threat to their own culture with no immediete benefits being offered in return.

What threat?!
That people of a different culture might (gasp) live next door?
That (even worse) it is readily apparent by their mannerisms??!

We have a term for that, "xenophobia" a silly reaction and nothing to base a law on...

QUOTE(moif)
In this case it is the newcomers, uninvited and largely unwelcome who must adapt to their hosts, not the other way round.

There's the rub! Many Europeans simply don't want Arabs there and don't want the hassle of outright immigration discrimination. (Is this what is meant by "largely unwelcome?)
QUOTE(moif)
Head scarves were already banned in Denmark under certain circumstances. Here the debate regarded company clothing. Some company's who had uniforms refused to allow their Muslim employees to wear a head scarf because they already had head gear as a part of their uniform. When the Muslim women refused to wear the company hat, they were fired. The matter went before the courts and then to the government.

As has already been mentioned a government should be held to a higher standard of inclusiveness than private citizens and business. Surely a government should not dictate to citizens what to wear when on public property. Such draconian measures should be save for a real threat...

QUOTE(moif)
On the basis of that, I do not think what is happening/ happened in France is about religon but about culture, and in France I think its is the French who must decide what is and what is not permissive in their state run appartus.

Not according to the French government. It's all about legally enforced "secularity".

Resistance is futile.... ph34r.gif
BecomingHuman
QUOTE(Turnea)
There's the rub! Many Europeans simply don't want Arabs there and don't want the hassle of outright immigration discrimination. (Is this what is meant by "largely unwelcome?)


Wait, is this the Europeans master plan for scaring out Arabs? Banning head bans in schools? How can you assert that this is part of an overall European goal to boot out Arabs (a substitute for immigration discrimination)?
moif
turnea

QUOTE
I have heard debates on the subject as well (on a BBC special dealing with the subject)

clearly many Muslims believe wearing a headscarf is a religious act, unless you believes thousands of ordinary Muslims are lying about the religion for kicks... 


Not for kicks. Most of these Muslims believe that the head scarf is a religous artifact because they have been informed that it is by their leaders. The leaders themselves are lying though.

The reason why they are lyng is the same reason why the French are allowing the lie. Because this is a battle between two cultures. For the Muslim minority the goal is to retain their ethnic identity within the greater context of the French culture. The way they are trying to do this is the same way that all ex pat communities do, by becoming overly orthodox in their perception of their own culture. The majority of Turks in Denmark for example are already out of step with Turkish culture in Turkey where wearing a head scarf is not required by Muslim culture, only encouraged.

The head scarf also serves in another non religous capacity. It covers the hair and head of the Muslim girls, acting as a barrier between then and European men. Over the course of the last year we have seen quite a few 'honour killings' in Denmark alone and the implication is quite clear. Muslim girls are not allowed to associate with European men.

In a free society, the only way this can be enforced is by having the women subjected to various methods of 'religous' control, and the head scarf is one such method.

The French are allowing this to be interpreted as a matter of religon though because by doing so they avoid the religous arguements you raise in the next quote (below) and they cut straight to the ban on religous artifacts in French state run institutions.


QUOTE
Even if this is not explicit in the Quran, will we not allow Muslims differing interpretations just as is done for christians? (my denomination, for example, believes the Bible forbids smoking on health grounds even though there is no direct mention...)


If this were a matter of religon, then yes, its possible that such a consideration might be allowed. But it is not a matter of religon. In this matter I believe the religous aspect is only a pretext.


QUOTE
What threat?!
That people of a different culture might (gasp) live next door?
That (even worse) it is readily apparent by their mannerisms??!

We have a term for that, "xenophobia" a silly reaction and nothing to base a law on...


The perceived threat is that by allowing muslims to circumvent the law by such means as we are seeing today, they will erode the basic principles upon which French/ Danish/ European culture is based.

It may be a form of Xenophobia, and it may be ultimatly unfounded, but there is nothing in Islamic culture which promotes it to Europeans. The subjagation of women and the dominant religous aspect of Islamic culture are anachronisms to modern European culture, and whilst out tolerance is being demanded by our political leaders with regard to these immigrants, we are witness to 'honour' killings, arranged marriages, female circumcision, unbalanced sexual prejudice against (and the gang rape of) European women and the constant demand for resources to fund an alien religon in a time when most Europeans are leaving religon in the past.

Xenophobia is a real possibility in this case. But there are other factors to consider. What obligation do Europeans owe to these uninvited outsiders? If we extend our privileges to strangers and are taken for granted, how should we react?

Is it xenophobia to protect one's own culture?

And does'nt xenophobia also swing both ways? Is it not equally xenophobic to travel from Turkey to France and then refuse to integrate oneself into French culture whilst expecting France to conform to oneself?


QUOTE
There's the rub! Many Europeans simply don't want Arabs there and don't want the hassle of outright immigration discrimination. (Is this what is meant by "largely unwelcome?)


Exactly. They are largely unwanted. Europe is a very crowded place with very old cultural traditions of its own.

Should we feel guilty because we do not wish uninvited strangers to enter our house?


QUOTE
As has already been mentioned a government should be held to a higher standard of inclusiveness than private citizens and business. Surely a government should not dictate to citizens what to wear when on public property. Such draconian measures should be save for a real threat...


The government did not dictate what citizens were to wear or not. The ruling was that a company had the right to fire some one who refused to wear a corporte uniform.


QUOTE
Not according to the French government. It's all about legally enforced "secularity".

Resistance is futile....   ph34r.gif


The French have their reasons for wishing a secular state and those reasons date far further back than this current matter.

For my part I fully support the French in this matter. I do not like the idea that any form of religon should be displayed in a state run institution where children are being taught, regardless of which religon. Like most Europeans I have a deep seated mistrust of religon, and see no good in it what so ever.


France has been the same for decades, even centuries, and it can come as no surprise to any one living there what the culture of that nation is. Any one who chooses to live in France must accept that culture. There is freedom of religon, but that freedom is not the right to impose one's religon upon other people. It may seem heavy handed to you that this includes the ban of religous artefacts in French schools, but then the answer is, don't move to France.

And if you have a care to compalin about it, consider how your country would feel if it had had as many wars and massacres based on religous differences as France has had.



editted for spelling
turnea
QUOTE(BecomingHuman @ Feb 18 2004, 09:15 PM)
QUOTE(Turnea)
There's the rub! Many Europeans simply don't want Arabs there and don't want the hassle of outright immigration discrimination. (Is this what is meant by "largely unwelcome?)


Wait, is this the Europeans master plan for scaring out Arabs? Banning head bans in schools? How can you assert that this is part of an overall European goal to boot out Arabs (a substitute for immigration discrimination)?

That comment was a bit of a joke. laugh.gif

Note that I then ask if that was what was meant by "largely unwelcome".

The real purpose of this legislation is for a number of politicians in France to gain brownie points with a populace largely insensitive to the concerns of its minority Muslim population.
Check some of these enlightened comment out...
Should Islamic headscarves be banned in schools?

"When in Rome..." rolleyes.gif

Edited to change the underlined word which, strangely enough, was Iraq...
turnea
QUOTE(moif)
The reason why they are lyng is the same reason why the French are allowing the lie. Because this is a battle between two cultures. For the Muslim minority the goal is to retain their ethnic identity within the greater context of the French culture. The way they are trying to do this is the same way that all ex pat communities do, by becoming overly orthodox in their perception of their own culture. The majority of Turks in Denmark for example are already out of step with Turkish culture in Turkey where wearing a head scarf is not required by Muslim culture, only encouraged.

1. It is certainly not the place of the French government to interject itself into a theological dispute. It is not simply in Europe that headscarfs are worn, they are also common in Muslim countries (where they are certainly not struggling to retain their cultural identity) and here in the U.S. In my experience this does not correspond to "over orthodoxy" at all.

To deny that this a religious issue is to ignore the global significance of the headscarf to the religion of Islam.

2. Even is wearing the hijab is only "encouraged" that does not give a government the right to ban them as only "minor" expressions of religion.

QUOTE(moif)
The head scarf also serves in another non religous capacity. It covers the hair and head of the Muslim girls, acting as a barrier between then and European men. Over the course of the last year we have seen quite a few 'honour killings' in Denmark alone and the implication is quite clear. Muslim girls are not allowed to associate with European men.

...and would banning the headscarf help in this case? They would still be forbidden from associating with non-Muslim men correct? So the only effect of the law: anger and further disunity.

France has not said it had a problem with violence, this bill pertains specifically to schools. If a school has a violence problem and demonstrate a clear connection to the hijab, then such measures could be considered.
QUOTE(moif)
 
The perceived threat is that by allowing muslims to circumvent the law by such means as we are seeing today, they will erode the basic principles upon which French/ Danish/ European culture is based.

If people are breaking the law, arrest and try them, don't stigmatize an entire community for the actions of a few. (There are not mass "honor killing" in France, individual crimes, individual response).
QUOTE(moif)
The subjagation of women and the dominant religous aspect of Islamic culture are anachronisms to modern European culture, and whilst out tolerance is being demanded by our political leaders with regard to these immigrants, we are witness to 'honour' killings, arranged marriages, female circumcision, unbalanced sexual prejudice against (and the gang rape of) European women and the constant demand for resources to fund an alien religon in a time when most Europeans are leaving religon in the past.

Sounds like there's something rotten in Denmark... tongue.gif
No sign thing have reached such a level in France...
Crimes should be tried in criminal court. I'm darn sure the government won't be funding Islam any time soon and of course Muslims have every right to be religious no matter how religious others are.
QUOTE(moif)
Xenophobia is a real possibility in this case. But there are other factors to consider. What obligation do Europeans owe to these uninvited outsiders? If we extend our privileges to strangers and are taken for granted, how should we react?

Now here's the killer... dry.gif
"Uninvited outsiders", moif these are French citizens. As French as the white Catholic next door, nothing outside about it.
QUOTE(moif)
Is it xenophobia to protect one's own culture? 
 
And does'nt xenophobia also swing both ways? Is it not equally xenophobic to travel from Turkey to France and then refuse to integrate oneself into French culture whilst expecting France to conform to oneself?

1. In this way, God yes!!
2. It is not xenophobia to retain a culture when one changes nationality. This does not indicate fear of a outside culture at all. Different cultures can and do live side by side in civilized nations without fear.

Afraid the xenophobia (irrational fear of "outsiders") is only swinging one way at this point.
QUOTE(moif)
For my part I fully support the French in this matter. I do not like the idea that any form of religon should be displayed in a state run institution where children are being taught, regardless of which religon. Like most Europeans I have a deep seated mistrust of religon, and see no good in it what so ever.

Which then gives a government the right to restrict the religious freedom of those who believe differently? Not according to any human rights standard I've ever heard.
We've got a term for that too, fascism.
QUOTE(moif)
France has been the same for decades, even centuries, and it can come as no surprise to any one living there what the culture of that nation is. Any one who chooses to live in France must accept that culture. There is freedom of religon, but that freedom is not the right to impose one's religon upon other people. It may seem heavy handed to you that this includes the ban of religous artefacts in French schools, but then the answer is, don't move to France.

How exactly are Muslim women imposing their religion on other by wearing a cloth on there heads, I'd love to hear this one. wacko.gif
QUOTE(moif)
And if you have a care to compalin about it, consider how your country would feel if it had had as many wars and massacres based on religous differences as France has had.

Red herring. 21st century France won't be seeing anymore religious war, when was the last one again, I hope they've "grown up" a bit since then. wink2.gif
The answer is to demand the French government abide by international Law.
Cyan
QUOTE(Moif)
This is not a matter of religon it is a matter of culture. The Quran does not advocate that women should wear head scarves at all. I know this because I often watch MBT which is a Turkish channel, and they sometimes provide debate shows with English subtitles. (its extremely interesting how open minded Islamic people actually are when you can understand what they are saying to each other)


You are correct, the Quran does not advocate head scarfs directly, but the Hadith does advocate modesty of dress and makes specific mention to the idea of veiling women. To what degree is left to the interpretation of religious scholars, and as I understand it, not all sects of Islam follow the teachings of the Hadith, the collected traditions of Mohammed. The point is that the women who choose to wear headscarfs believe that it is necessary in their interpretation of Islam...call it religion or call it culture. The two are not easy to separate.

QUOTE
The common perception however does not favour the newcomers. The immigration stream is one sided. What Europeans are being asked to accept is perceived to be a serious threat to their own culture with no immediete benefits being offered in return.

Its all very easy to promote interculturalism and globalisation when your not being threatened by it, but France has been under severe pressure now for decades and somethings got to give. In this case it is the newcomers, uninvited and largely unwelcome who must adapt to their hosts, not the other way round.


It's not one sided, though...

Did France not benefit from the colony in Algeria which existed for 132 years until 1962 when the Algerians finally won their independence based on ideals that they learned from the French? Did the French give the Algerians the option of deciding whether or not French culture was a threat to their tradition when the French government sent colonists to Algeria?

Nearly all of the Arabic immigrants in France came from the French colonies in Northern Africa. Colonialism creates cultural ties that are not easily broken, and for better or for worse, France developed that relationship.
moif
turnea

[quote]1. It is certainly not the place of the French government to interject itself into a theological dispute. It is not simply in Europe that headscarfs are worn, they are also common in Muslim countries (where they are certainly not struggling to retain their cultural identity) and here in the U.S. In my experience this does not correspond to "over orthodoxy" at all. [/quote]

This is not a theological dispute. Head scarf's have not been banned. What has happened is the re enforcement of a pre existing law which dates back to the French revoultion that church and state be seperated. ALL religous artifacts are banned in state run aparatus. This law is not a new law. It is the decision too enforce the old law in order to protect French culture from a perceived threat.

[quote]To deny that this a religious issue is to ignore the global significance of the headscarf to the religion of Islam. [/quote]

They have not denied it is a religous issue (I have). In fact they are calling it thus in order to curb Islamic culture in France.

It is my personal opinion that the religous aspect of this matter is a pretext for a culture struggle between France and her immigrant population, but that is not how the law is being perceived in France, at least not in public...

The same struggle is happening right across Europe.

[quote]2. Even is wearing the hijab is only "encouraged" that does not give a government the right to ban them as only "minor" expressions of religion. [/quote]

It is the people who decide what rights the government has. Since the French a long time ago decided to seperate the church from the state, then the government has every right to enforce that law.

[quote]...and would banning the headscarf help in this case? They would still be forbidden from associating with non-Muslim men correct? So the only effect of the law: anger and further disunity. [/quote]

Correct. But without the head scarf there would be one less barrier to be over come.

[quote]France has not said it had a problem with violence, this bill pertains specifically to schools. If a school has a violence problem and demonstrate a clear connection to the hijab, then such measures could be considered. [/quote]

Correction. You have not heard France say it has a problem.

France does a problem with with violence pertaining to Islamic youths. The matter has reached the stage where Israel, acting out o concern for France's large Jewish population has begun to liken France to pre 1935 Germany due to the amount of attacks by Islamic youths against French Jews.

In fact, Europe is seeing a lot of Muslim versus non Muslim violence in these last few years, and the Islamic/ immigration debate has become the leading political problem of the age

Also, this bill is applied to all state run institutions, not just schools.

Also. The connection to the head scarf is established since the headscarf is being called a religous artefact by the French Muslim community, and the problem of violence has been attributed to the Islamic sub culture. This is not just a French problem but a Europe wide problem. The same anti European/ western hostility can be found in every country which has a large proportion of Islamic immigrants.

[quote]If people are breaking the law, arrest and try them, don't stigmatize an entire community for the actions of a few. (There are not mass "honor killing" in France, individual crimes, individual response). [/quote]

This is already the case. The problem is not the individual crimes, but the Islamic culture which allows them.

[quote]Sounds like there's something rotten in Denmark... 
No sign thing have reached such a level in France...
Crimes should be tried in criminal court. I'm darn sure the government won't be funding Islam any time soon and of course Muslims have every right to be religious no matter how religious others are. [/quote]

I'm not sure I understand this paragraph.

France has seen far more violence than Denmark. It is easily the most violent nation on mainland northern Europe.

[quote]Now here's the killer... 
"Uninvited outsiders", moif these are French citizens. As French as the white Catholic next door, nothing outside about it. [/quote]

No. France, like the rest of Europe has seen a vast migration of immigrants in the last ten years. These are not all French citizens. Many of them are, but the majority of these have been living in France for generations without the scale of cultural friction we are seeing today.

The current problems are arisen due to the influx of new economic immigrants which have swollen the Islamic communities of Europe to the breaking point. The same is true in almost nation of Europe. Even Holland has begun implementing strict immigration laws, and the reason is the same as in the rest of Europe.

European culture is under threat. You may not wish to accept the nature of that threat, but neither are you the one being threatened. I am European, and I perceive my culture to be under threat. I can see the damage that has been inflicted on Denmark in the last decade.

[quote]1. In this way, God yes!! [/quote]

Why?

[quote]2. It is not xenophobia to retain a culture when one changes nationality. This does not indicate fear of a outside culture at all. Different cultures can and do live side by side in civilized nations without fear.

Afraid the xenophobia (irrational fear of "outsiders") is only swinging one way at this point. [/quote]

I disagree entirely. If you move to another culture, far removed from your own, and then refuse to intergrate into that culture, then I claim you are indeed suffering from an irrational fear of outsiders.

Unless of course you can provide a reason why you should fear them and if that be the case then what is the arguement for moving to culture where you fear the inhabitants?

[quote]Which then gives a government the right to restrict the religious freedom of those who believe differently? Not according to any human rights standard I've ever heard.
We've got a term for that too, fascism. [/quote]

Religous freedom only exists for as long as it does not contrast with pre existing laws. Religous freedom for example does not allow an eighteen year old woman to be forced to marry agiainst her consent. The law protects her from that.

The law also protects the children of its citizens from unwanted religous advances. It does this by banning ALL religons from state run institutions. This does not deny any one their religon. It only denies them the right to project that religon onto other people by way of symbolism.

Since however, Islam does not call for women or girls to wear a head scarf, the point is moot any way. Islamic children are not being discriminated against because of their religon. They are being told that as French children they must wear the same unifrom as all other French children, and their religon does not exempt them from that.

This is not facism. Facism would deny them the right to be Muslims. They still have that right. Not wearing a headscarf does not change their religous convictions one jot.

[quote]How exactly are Muslim women imposing their religion on other by wearing a cloth on there heads, I'd love to hear this one.[/quote]

The headscarf seeks to seperare the Muslim women from the rest of the comunity. It is a form of imposed apartheid that seeks to seperate Muslim women from the rest of the population. It is much like putting a collar on a woman. Or according her the status of a Nun. Whether the girl/ woman in question chooses to wear the head scarf is no longer a valid arguement because her right to self determination is called into question by her insistence upon refering to the head scarf as a religous duty.

[quote]Red herring. 21st century France won't be seeing anymore religious war, when was the last one again, I hope they've "grown up" a bit since then.  [/quote]

Have you ever heard of Bosnia Herzogovina? Up until it exploded into religous war, it was thought to be a perfect example of how Christians and Muslims could live together. No one expected the upsurge in bitter hatred and violence that reduced that nation to what it became.

France may seem like a stable nation to you, but the French population do not agree with you. Like so many other Europeans they have begun to feel the pressure now and have taken to voting for the nationalists in ever growing numbers.

As I said earlier, somethings got to give. In order for a state to function it cannot have two conflicting cultures. The lesser must conform to the larger. That is the way it has always been.

[quote]The answer is to demand the French government abide by international Law. [/quote]

They have not broken international law.
moif
Cyan

QUOTE
You are correct, the Quran does not advocate head scarfs directly, but the Hadith does advocate modesty of dress and makes specific mention to the idea of veiling women. To what degree is left to the interpretation of religious scholars, and as I understand it, not all sects of Islam follow the teachings of the Hadith, the collected traditions of Mohammed. The point is that the women who choose to wear headscarfs believe that it is necessary in their interpretation of Islam...call it religion or call it culture. The two are not easy to separate.


This is true. Unfortunatly for these women, their freedom of religon does not exempt them from the laws of a state.

Neither is their religon being denied them. They do not stop being Muslims simply because they are not allowed to wear their headscarfs in schools or other state run institutions. There are millions of Muslim women all across the planet who do not wear head scarfs.

QUOTE
It's not one sided, though...

Did France not benefit from the colony in Algeria which existed for 132 years until 1962 when the Algerians finally won their independence based on ideals that they learned from the French? Did the French give the Algerians the option of deciding whether or not French culture was a threat to their tradition when the French government sent colonists to Algeria?

Nearly all of the Arabic immigrants in France came from the French colonies in Northern Africa. Colonialism creates cultural ties that are not easily broken, and for better or for worse, France developed that relationship.


Again true. However, France is not attempting to sever those ties. It is simply establishing its own laws within France.
Corvus
QUOTE(turnea @ Feb 14 2004, 10:09 AM)
Again, there is no evidence of widespread attacks on Muslim students in France, particularly tied to the hijab. If individual schools could demonstrate they have this problem, then these measures could be considered.

Although there's no evidence of muslim racism, forum member Newswire pm'd me the results of a French study into school "victimisation".
Unfortunately the study has to do with all crimes committed in the school, and not just racism.

http://www.obsviolence.u-bordeaux2.fr/recherches/index.html

According to the study, out of 6579 students from under-privileged colleges polled, 1552 (23.6%) answered "oui" to having experienced racism, and 634 (9.6%) did not give a response. Strangely, that's the highest group of people who did not give a response out of the 5 categories, which includes insults, blows, theft and racketeering.
GoAmerica
QUOTE(Cyan @ Jan 26 2004, 09:42 PM)
The question for debate: How do you view this policy?

It's a stupid policy that could have a bad effect in the eyes of radical Muslims, especially Bin Laden. Why, just yesterday, his top Lt. spoke on audio tape, condeming this action:
Article
QUOTE
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) -- A tape recording attributed to Osama bin Laden's top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, criticized France's decision to ban Islamic headscarves in schools, and described it as "part of the West's campaign of hatred against Islam."


So Chirac is not making any friends in making this policy! He's just making France a target for terrorism wacko.gif


QUOTE
How will this law reduce the inter-religioius violence in France? This is an attempt to integrate the rapidly growing Muslim population...to mold them so that they don't altar the long-standing ideals of French secularism and equality, which I understand to some extent, but it's like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.


It's basically telling Muslims to accept French culture or else and taking away Muslims' individual rights of expression of their religion. And this won't reduce inter-religious violence in France. It'll just make it worse.
moif
GA

QUOTE
So Chirac is not making any friends in making this policy! He's just making France a target for terrorism


But why would France want to be friends with Osama Bin Laden?


QUOTE
It's basically telling Muslims to accept French culture or else and taking away Muslims' individual rights of expression of their religion. And this won't reduce inter-religious violence in France. It'll just make it worse.


How so?
GoAmerica
QUOTE(moif @ Feb 27 2004, 05:10 PM)
GA

QUOTE
So Chirac is not making any friends in making this policy! He's just making France a target for terrorism


But why would France want to be friends with Osama Bin Laden?

Never said France wants to be friends with Osama. What i meant by "France isn't making any friends with this policy" is that France is not helping the war on terror by making this policy because they are discriminating against Muslims and Al-Queda can use that as a tool for recruitment
moif
I disagree. By re-enforcing the secular nature of France's state institutions, I reckon the French are doing their best to decrease religous tensions which could possibly lead to wide spread violence.

You did'nt answer my second question. How will this enforcing this law lead to a worsening of inter religous violence in France?
NewsWire
Hi 1st post wink.gif
Apolozies to all - Just in case innocent.gif
Anyway - I am for the banning of religious artifacts in state school and for this matter in state related building.After all;The state is " us " ... Think about the mess it would be.Something like only for " Christian " - Only for " Jews " or/and what a mess smile.gif Specialy many of those religious denominations can`t stand one another " Secular Jews and Orthodox " - " Orthodox Russian and Greek Orthodox (The old guard) " - Or even better " Pencotists " and " Atheist " ... Sorry can`t agree.
Perhaps you should read this ... First - Before;Allowing some wild debate about " France " and the banned on religious artifacts in school and state related buildings ...
http://www.law.emory.edu/IFL/cases/USA.htm
As for the banned related topics ... Try this one - Headscarf banned in " Turkey - Tunisia ... " - Restriction " Belguim - Germany - UK - Spain ..." usually at local school level and some case at state federal level (Like Germany).
Frankly it doesn`t make much differences - Diff country = Diff cultures ... Greece as for example in the " Thrace " region ... Got a strong Muslim population (No problem,with headscarf),then the " Greek " would be that wink.gif because of the " Atos " erea (Strong Christian Orthodox erea) - France;that is another variation ... Since the last great religious wars.Every school (I think is around the age of 12) - Has to learn the " Edit of Nantes " and related - The " Edit of Nantes " was the real and first piece of law,in which the idea of state/country sponsored religion,shouldn`t be (Also know as " The Edit of Tolerance ")... Started with the " Edit of Nantes " Circa 1598 of April - Confirmed and signed by the parlement " Circa " 1599 of 25 Februry - Also signed the last day of march 1599 (Procureur du roi) - And 1599 of 30 April (Courdes aides) - All were read/registered/and published ...Under the King of France " Henri IV " which was hinself a protestant prior becoming a " Roman Catholic " ...Of course this was the first of fews updates and problemes along the way (1628/30/33/40/44/58/80/81 - Huguenonts problemes) - Simply because it was,a bad piece as a law - It didn`t work (Roman Catholic was and would have been a state sponsor religions - By steath) Revocation of the " Edit of Nantes " ... Was done by " Louis XIV " in 1685 " Edit of Fontainbleau " - Then revocation again by " Louis XVI " 1787 - Only with the " French Revolution " of 1789 - For the proclamation of " Freedom of the free excercice of religion. And ever since that date - It evolded.Nothing news;In France - But I rather suspect some anti-french related feeling to the present - Rather than an inform debate on the subject - Specialy from some of our " US " collegues ...
P.s...
As some friends of mine put it to me fews time;Prior and during this debate (Back when it was " News " here) lasted 2/3 days smile.gif
Born and raise as " Muslin " - " Jewish " - " Catholic " and even one of rather exotic one ... Not one couldn`t careless;About this debate.
In fact - What is amazing to me " is " ... This debate is most entranched into the " USA " ... Why !?...
Regards - NewsWire
turnea
So now that we have established that wearing the hijab is indeed a religious issue (If further clarification is needed it can be provided.)

Let's move on to the next key issue
QUOTE(moif)
It is the people who decide what rights the government has. Since the French a long time ago decided to seperate the church from the state, then the government has every right to enforce that law.

This is true thanfully only within a specified constitutional framework and subject to the demands of international law. First the French Constitution.
QUOTE(Article 1)
France shall be an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic. It shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction of origin, race or religion. It shall respect all beliefs. It shall be organised on a decentralised basis.

Emphasis mine.

Clearly ity is not respecting a belief (in this case a number of beliefs) to pass a law restricting religious expression without practical reason.

Next international law:
QUOTE(European Convention on Human Rights)
Considering the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10th December 1948;

Considering that this Declaration aims at securing the universal and effective recognition and observance of the Rights therein declared;

Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is the achievement of greater unity between its members and that one of the methods by which that aim is to be pursued is the maintenance and further realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms;

Reaffirming their profound belief in those fundamental freedoms which are the foundation of justice and peace in the world and are best maintained on the one hand by an effective political democracy and on the other by a common understanding and observance of the human rights upon which they depend;[...]
Article 9 – Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
2. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

and while we're at it the Universal Declaration of Human Rights might be nice...
QUOTE
Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction. [...]
Article 18.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The will of the French people contrained by these international agreements unless they wish to withdraw from them and their own constitution unless they wish to amend it.

So mob rule is out of the questiona here and France is stomping all over international law. dry.gif

QUOTE(moif)
Correction. You have not heard France say it has a problem.
France does a problem with with violence pertaining to Islamic youths. The matter has reached the stage where Israel, acting out o concern for France's large Jewish population has begun to liken France to pre 1935 Germany due to the amount of attacks by Islamic youths against French Jews.

I have not heard leaders of the Jewish communities blame the rise in European anti-semitism on European Muslims. n any case they Jewsih communities as find this law oppresive, is france cannot keep the peace, improve the law enforment. These measures are hardly necessary.

QUOTE(moif)
Also. The connection to the head scarf is established since the headscarf is being called a religous artefact by the French Muslim community, and the problem of violence has been attributed to the Islamic sub culture. This is not just a French problem but a Europe wide problem. The same anti European/ western hostility can be found in every country which has a large proportion of Islamic immigrants.

and short of a ban on Islam, restricting its expression will sove what, exactly? Surely the headscarf isn't key to the violence... rolleyes.gif

Even if most of the Muslims in France are not citizens (I'll check that out) those that are deserve their rights to be respected legally.
Morally, (this means little to govenments these day of course) they all deserve the chance to wear the hijab, forcing its removal will neither run them off (they aren't going back to northern Africa...) or encourage peace.

Comparing France to Bosnia is a bit of a strecth, no? If the French, with their powerful central government cannot keep order and must live in fear of centuries old wars,

the headscarf is the least of their worries. hmmm.gif
moif
turnea

QUOTE
So now that we have established that wearing the hijab is indeed a religious issue (If further clarification is needed it can be provided.)


But have we?

I'm informed that this passage from the Quran, is the reason why women are expected to wear the headscarf.

QUOTE
024.031
YUSUFALI translation: And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss.


Slaves?

So, by the authority granted by this passage, am I to assume, that (by your arguements) were France to reaffirm its laws against slavery, then France would in fact be violating the rights of its Muslim minority?

It seems to me that what you are refering to as the oppression of religon, in fact is nothing of the sort.

Indeed, if I look at your own posted example of the European convention of human rights;

QUOTE
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
2. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.


I see nothing here which prevents France from having a dress code in its schools. On the contrary, it states quite clearly shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others

...the others in this case being the general population of France, the rest of Muslim minority and the Jews. Because what you apparently fail to realise, and I say this on the basis of this sentence...

QUOTE
Clearly ity is not respecting a belief (in this case a number of beliefs) to pass a law restricting religious expression without practical reason.


... is that there is a very definate practical reason, and that reason is grounded, firmly in the events of the second world war, and echoed, strongly, recently, in Bosnia Hercogovina.

Now, you might not wish to accept that argument. You may consider Bosnia to be an extreme example. But the facts speak for themselves. France is in the grip of a wave of anti semitic violence (Only last week the EU called a special meeting to debate this fact).

France has seen a rise in power of the nationalists under the unpleasant leadership of JM Le Pen.

Europe as a whole is seeing nation after nation tightening its laws to prevent a further influx of immigrants, most especially from Muslim nations


The government of France, does not share your scepticism. After all, they have long memories, and they know all too well the fickle nature of religous sentiments, political convictions, and what happens when a charismatic leader assumes control.

To that end, they have moved to re-establish an old law, which places all citizens of France on an equal footing in French institutions.

Because lets be frank (no pun intended), the Muslims of France are not being denied the right to their faith. They are not being denied the right to express their faith.

They are simply being told that in France there is a dress code that they, like all other French citizens are subject too.




QUOTE
and short of a ban on Islam, restricting its expression will sove what, exactly? Surely the headscarf isn't key to the violence... 


The ban is not designed to solve anything. It was originally conceived to remove all expressions of religon from France's government and state apparatus. The original reason for this was the continued friction between the Catholics and the Protestants which lead to the deaths of thousands.


QUOTE
Even if most of the Muslims in France are not citizens (I'll check that out) those that are deserve their rights to be respected legally.
Morally, (this means little to govenments these day of course) they all deserve the chance to wear the hijab, forcing its removal will neither run them off (they aren't going back to northern Africa...) or encourage peace.


Any one is allowed to wear what ever they please in France. But when they attend school, then they must wear the same uniform as all others. The whole point of a uniform is that it renders all differences otherwise apparent in dress, void. That it levels the differences between each student.

Allowing one set of students to wear their religous headscarfs in school would render the entire concept of the uniform invalid, since by its nature the headscarf would set the Muslim students apart.

There is nothing new about this. It has always been this way in France, ever since the days of the revolution. Any one living in France with children, and unaware of this fact has only themselves to blame.


QUOTE
Comparing France to Bosnia is a bit of a strecth, no? If the French, with their powerful central government cannot keep order and must live in fear of centuries old wars,


Germany also had a powerful, central government in 1939. In the late 80's Yugoslavia was also governed by a powerful central government.

What your failing to take into account is that governments exist only at the whim of the people.
If the current situation in Europe is allowed to continue unchecked, then the backlash it risks is both real and extremely unpleasant.

The spectre of the holocaust rides above us and few Europeans have any illusions regarding the ease, and even anticipation with which many Europeans relish the thought of obliterating the Muslim threat. In Serbia that obliteration was carried out swiftly and without remorse, and Europe as a whole stood by in shock and did nothing...

Think about that...


QUOTE
the headscarf is the least of their worries


Exactly, which is why it must serve as a line in the sand.



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