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turnea
From the BBC:
QUOTE
An Iraqi militant group has announced it is holding two missing French journalists, according to Arabic television station al-Jazeera.

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

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

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

Chirac Demands Release of Hostages in Iraq

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

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

...but these actions aid no one.

So...

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

What is your view of the proposal to ban "conspicuous symbols of religion" worn by students in French schools?
Google
Cyan
QUOTE
Will the actions of these terrorists help or hurt the cause of repealing the French ban?


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

I think the ban is ridiculous. This is the country that *some people* want the US to admire and become more like?
Cyan
QUOTE(Lederuvdupac)
I believe that the French plan on appeasing the terrorists and lifting the ban.


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

France:Headscarf Ban Stays
France prepares to implement headscarf ban

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

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


Europe has been dealing with terrorism for a large span of time, and while their approach may at times be different than the American approach, it doesn't mean that they "love to appease." This statement is pretty inflammatory.
Ocean Islands
Chirac is not the type of person to repeal the ban because of these terrorists. He is very stubborn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post
You don't agree?

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

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

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

To integrate into a news culture should not mean leaving the old ways behind, as long as they don't impose upon anyone else. Is the mixing of cultures so much to be avoided as to enforce it by law?
Google
ConservPat
QUOTE
Will the actions of these terrorists help or hurt the cause of repealing the French ban?
I doubt it, France is VERY secular, and I don't think that terrorists can change that secular tradition.

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

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

CP us.gif
English Horn
Will the actions of these terrorists help or hurt the cause of repealing the French ban?

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

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

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

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


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

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


Do you suppose those school girls exist in a vacuum?

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


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


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


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

Traditionally, France has had a high level of immigration


from this Link


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

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


I think it's totally idiotic.
Cyan
10% of the French population is Muslim, and 70% of those Muslims come from Tunisia, Algeria, and Morrocco which were all former French colonies. France may not have directly invited them in, but the large number of Muslims immigrating to France is certainly related to the nation's history.

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


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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

and so on.

"America is the undisputed arbiter of world cultural taste" is not because we don't have any ministries governing our cultural affairs, but because of our tremendous marketing power. By the way, a lot of people in Europe would not call America an "arbiter of cultural taste", because along with some gems we export a tremendous amount of garbage, such as aforementioned rap (don't really want to sound like a knuckledragger here but it's true! There's no positive cultural impact of rap IMO - only a tremendous negative influence. Before I am accused in racism I'd like to mention that Jazz and Soul brought volumes into the cultural identity of America. But not rap).
So "undisputed" may be a bit of a stretch here...
turnea
QUOTE(moif @ Aug 30 2004, 05:57 PM)
Do you suppose those school girls exist in a vacuum?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

France is not a homogeneous country, and conformity is not a value to be sought out. I have a quote form London Mayor Ken Livingston in my signature that says it all...
English Horn
QUOTE(turnea @ Aug 30 2004, 10:30 PM)
If I might say, I find that kind of sentiment frightening.

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

Look, we might just have to agree to (hopefully amiably) disagree here, but here's one more point: France is a secular country. Muslims moving to France from Morocco or Algeria know that they're moving to secular country.
By moving to United States I had to accept and respect some customs and laws which may seem ridiculous to me (let's just mention no selling of alcoholic beverages on Sunday or after 8 PM, although the list may also include ban on travel to Cuba or buying Cuban products - how is that for freedom?) - however I have to accept it and live with it since benefits of me living here outweigh these little grievances.

According to CNN:

QUOTE
And even in the French Muslim community, Muslim women favor a ban 49 percent to 43 percent.


Apparently, the French Constitution itself bans any religion from public sector including schools. See this quote:

QUOTE
Going further even than the U.S. Constitution, France explicitly bans religion from the public sector, including schools. That notion conflicts with Islam, which in its purest form does not recognize a separation between church and state. That makes it all the more difficult for secular France to integrate Europe's largest Muslim population.
"What does it mean, secular?" asked Nagil Mejri, 38, an interior decorator who came to Paris from Tunisia in the 1980s. "It means you don't believe in God. That is a problem. We don't agree."


So if one doesn't agree why would he move to France?
turnea
QUOTE(English Horn @ Aug 30 2004, 09:57 PM)
By moving to United States I had to accept and respect some customs and laws which may seem ridiculous to me (let's just mention no selling of alcoholic beverages on Sunday or after 8 PM, although the list may also include ban on travel to Cuba or buying Cuban products - how is that for freedom?) - however I have to accept it and live with it since benefits of me living here outweigh these little grievances.

I don't support blue laws, they are frankly fragrant violations of the separation of church and state.

That said, one cannot justify France's bad law by pointing to another in America.

Two wrongs still leave freedom with the lumps...

The restrictions on Cuba, however, may be seen as economic pressure to protest human rights violations (of which there are many) regardless of whether or not you support that, it does not justify the ban on religious expression.
QUOTE(English Horn)
So if one doesn't agree why would he move to France?

Hmmm... North Africa or France...

It's a question of the lesser of two evils. A lesser evil, however, is still evil. France can hide behind secularity as much as Saudi Arabia hides behind Islam, but the universal standards of human rights remain.

No one country can decide to disregard the freedom of its citizens to uphold an ideology, even if such action is the will of the majority.
Ultimatejoe
Just a general reminder; this discussion is for the following two questions:

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

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


This is not a thread for broad commentary on the French culture or muslim culture, and certainly not for snide generalizations.
English Horn
QUOTE
No one country can decide to disregard the freedom of its citizens to uphold an ideology, even if such action is the will of the majority.


But you're doing exactly that by denying me to travel to Cuba because of some questionable policy that most people think doesn't work anyway? Do I, as an American, have a right to travel wherever I want and spend my earned money on things that I want? To me, that's a violation of my very basic freedoms. But you're right, this has nothing to do with France, I just wanted to point out that we, too, have some limits on our freedoms to which we are totally used to.

QUOTE
France can hide behind secularity as much as Saudi Arabia hides behind Islam, but the universal standards of human rights remain.


Apparently, not so universal if the majority of French and even the majority of muslim women in France support the ban. To many of them it's the symbol of violence, domestic abuse, and oppression. Many wear it as a political statement. Why bring all that to school? In most schools in US it's forbidden to wear anything which maybe considered inflammatory. Here's an example:

QUOTE
Wednesday, August 27, 1997 at 7:00 p.m. the School Board met. At that meeting the Board voted to enact the new Dress Code which will apply to all high schools, junior highs and middle schools in the District. The new code is very strict and also very vague and bans any symbol which is considered "inflammatory."


Given the tensions between Jews and Muslims in France wearing yarmulke or the hijab may be just enough to sparkle violence and tensions. And they want to avoid that.
turnea
QUOTE(English Horn @ Aug 30 2004, 10:26 PM)
Apparently, not so universal if the majority of French and even the majority of muslim women in France support the ban. To many of them it's the symbol of violence, domestic abuse, and oppression. Many wear it as a political statement. Why bring all that to school? In most schools in US it's forbidden to wear anything which maybe considered inflammatory. Here's an example:

If a person considers another's religion inflammatory, that his/her problem. As long as the religious expression harms no one, and does not manifestly disturb the class ( the wearing of rotting meat would not be allowed) the government has no right to interfere.

As to support from Muslim women, not wearing a headscarf will not protect anyone from domestic violence. Here again the ban is totally missing the point. Public support is irrelevant, tyranny of the majority is still tyranny.
QUOTE(English Horn)
Given the tensions between Jews and Muslims in France wearing yarmulke or the hijab may be just enough to sparkle violence and tensions. And they want to avoid that.

Certainly, with disciplinary actions for offenders and police presence if necessary. If that can't do the job, removing turbans certainly won't. They will still be able to point out physical ethnic differences.
Bikerdad
Sigh... I would suggest that y'all do some research on this subject before you start condemning the French. They are not attempting to keep the "culture pure" as some suggest, they are responding to one aspect of a very real and significant problem, the refusal of the Muslim community to assimilate, the hostility and aggressiveness with which it is beginning to express it anti-Semitism.

Go to TechCentralStation Europe and do some reading on this, as well as Arts & Letters Daily. Sites looking at Europe, as well as European sites have discussed this issue at length. The French did not take this step lightly. I'd like to point out to y'all that the kidnapping is simply a increased level of exactly the sort of behavior that has brought this ban on. Headscarves, worth murdering over... huh.gif
turnea
QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Aug 30 2004, 11:44 PM)
Sigh...  I would suggest that y'all do some research on this subject before you start condemning the French.  They are not attempting to keep the "culture pure" as some suggest, they are responding to one aspect of a very real and significant problem, the refusal of the Muslim community to assimilate, the hostility and aggressiveness with which it is beginning to express it anti-Semitism.

Oh, I assure you I have done plenty of research, and agree that the root of the issue is a little more complex that many supporters argue it is. A dual motive of protection French secularity and the challenge on integration is what is really at stake.

That said, the law is still silly in that light. tongue.gif.

Forcing Muslims to remove religious clothing does nothing to aid in assimilation, anymore than banning yarmulkes would make Jewish youth feel less so.

...such actions certainly won't make them identify with the French, it is the French government that uses the force of law to ban a peace of cloth after all.
QUOTE(Bikerdad)
Go to TechCentralStation Europe and do some reading on this, as well as Arts & Letters Daily. Sites looking at Europe, as well as European sites have discussed this issue at length. The French did not take this step lightly. I'd like to point out to y'all that the kidnapping is simply a increased level of exactly the sort of behavior that has brought this ban on. Headscarves, worth murdering over...

...and this ban will do nothing to lessen terrorism, or Anti-Semitism, if fact Jewish groups in France oppose it.
For all these supposed causes of the ban, it certainly doesn't seem like a true step to any sort of solution, just lashing out irrationally.

I will ask the question again. Try and name some practical benefits of the ban worth passing the law.

I wish good luck, because I (after months of research) couldn't name one.
Julian
QUOTE(turnea @ Aug 30 2004, 10:47 PM)
QUOTE(Julian @ Aug 30 2004, 03:13 PM)
Of course, it would be better for the French journalists to be released, but in a way this is an encouraging development for Muslims living in Western societies.

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

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

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

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

Post
You don't agree?

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

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

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

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

I think you missed my points from my last post - I have a hunch that the ban will no longer be necessary if wearing the headscarf in France becomes associated in the mind of French Muslims with the (still, thankfully, only theoretical) murder of these two journalists.

This gives ordinary Muslims (and not the heads of their associations) a clear way of choosing a side. I'm pretty sure that most of them already have, and it's "ours" - this just makes it more visible, and gives them a public platform within France that maybe hasn't suited the unspoken media agenda that "Muslim = bad", which pre-dates 9-11 (and may have been a contributory factor towards it).

And on your "Muslims are afraid to be Muslim" point, I accept it, but as I say I was encouraged by recent events, including Amir Khan's Olympic medal, to think that this was receding somewhat - he and his family made no secret of their faith, even talking about a possible arranged marriage for him when he's older, yet this was reported (in the British press at least) in a matter-of-fact way lacking in all sensationalism. And this in the British tabloid press, which isn't exactly famous for being level-headed and fair-minded.

I didn't address myself to what I thought of the ban itself at all - for the record, I think it's a dumb idea. Provided teachers can identify faces, which the standard Muslim headscarves don't obscure anyway, I don't see a problem. If uniformity is a problem, each school should be able to tell their Muslim girl pupils which colour scarf to wear, but to ban them altogether seems too much to me.
moif
Cyan

QUOTE
I can understand the problems that France has with a large multicultural population, but I disagree with the methodology involved. It seems that it is the non-Muslim population that is concerned with integrating the Muslims into French society. How is it going to be effective to tell Muslims that they can't be who they are? Doesn't it seem like a recipe for causing Muslims to exclude themselves even further by pulling their children out of school?


They just have to respect the culture into which they have placed themselves.

The unfortunate fact is their culture directly opposes French (and European) culture and in their desperation to retain what they perceive their culture, they not only lose touch with the culture into which they placed themselves, but like most ex pats, they become even more orthodox in their interpretation of the culture they left.

What is to be done? The French are not obliged to play host to millions of muslims, regardless of their colonial past they should not be expected to pay for the crimes of their country by becoming a 'multicultural state'.

After all, what is it to be 'multicultural' but the destruction of individual national cultures? Why should this strange notion be something we should accept? Where is the benefit?

Are we all to live in one great monoculture with our grease burgers and our world/rap/R&B music? And if so, then why should this trend only move in one direction? Whilst Europe is being inundated with demanding muslims, how many Europeans are being encouraged to come to the middle east?

Why should we accept this great influx of indifferent people? Europe is already overcrowded! We don't need these people no matter what our politicians say about our population figures.

In my opinion we cannot kick these people out once we have 'accepted' them, but we can demand they respect both our laws and our culture.

And European culture demands women be free of oppression.
Cyan
QUOTE(Bikerdad)
Sigh...  I would suggest that y'all do some research on this subject before you start condemning the French.  They are not attempting to keep the "culture pure" as some suggest, they are responding to one aspect of a very real and significant problem, the refusal of the Muslim community to assimilate, the hostility and aggressiveness with which it is beginning to express it anti-Semitism.


I do, in fact, understand the situation, Bikerdad, and I'm not condemning the French for trying to find a solution to the problem. I'm questioning the proposed solution.

QUOTE(Moif)
What is to be done? The French are not obliged to play host to millions of muslims, regardless of their colonial past they should not be expected to pay for the crimes of their country by becoming a 'multicultural state'.

After all, what is it to be 'multicultural' but the destruction of individual national cultures? Why should this strange notion be something we should accept? Where is the benefit?


This is the crux of the issue, Moif, and I can admit that I'm seeing it through the lens of my own American upbringing and experience, but believe me when I say that I'm trying to understand your point of view.

I agree that immigrants must respect the culture of the country that they have chosen to immigrate to. I have no argument with that at all. I also agree that certain aspects of culture that are considered harmful by the native population, a good example being female genital mutilation, should be disallowed whether it's a fundamental part of a religion or not.

I think that my main problem lies in the idea that Muslim women are the main target for this clash between Muslim culture and Western Culture, and forcing them to remove their hijab in this manner may do just as much harm as forcing them to wear it. There is no choice involved for them, and that seems like another form of oppression.
turnea
QUOTE(moif @ Aug 31 2004, 06:37 AM)
The unfortunate fact is their culture directly opposes French (and European) culture

That's an interesting statement, I don't see that cultures in general, can be opposing. Individual values associated with the culture, possibly.

So maybe we could get some specifics (since clearly Muslim culture in not wholly incompatible with European culture, it has been influencing European culture for centuries tongue.gif)

What are the specific values that are contradictory and how will the headscarf ban help?
QUOTE(moif)
What is to be done? The French are not obliged to play host to millions of muslims, regardless of their colonial past they should not be expected to pay for the crimes of their country by becoming a 'multicultural state'.

...by giving legal status to said Muslims they have already made their choice to do so.

Now it is their legal and moral obligations to handle this reality responsibly.
QUOTE(moif)
Are we all to live in one great monoculture with our grease burgers and our world/rap/R&B music? And if so, then why should this trend only move in one direction? Whilst Europe is being inundated with demanding muslims, how many Europeans are being encouraged to come to the middle east?

Heh, if they were how many would go? laugh.gif

People immigrate mostly for economic reasons, no use arguing scenarios that are divorced from reality. If European Caucasians want to preserve their cultures, they should do so without infringing on the freedoms of Europeans (Yes, they can be Muslim and European) with different heritages.
QUOTE(Cyan)
In my opinion we cannot kick these people out once we have 'accepted' them, but we can demand they respect both our laws and our culture.

And European culture demands women be free of oppression.

I'll ditto Cyan here, the headscarf ban won't free anyone from oppression.

Oppression after all has far more important aspects that a piece of cloth covering the hair, mean while the state itself is oppressing those whose feel the hijab (or turban, or yarmulke) is a religious obligations.

Edited to Add:
As an update to the hostage situation (and something to place on the "ain't that weird" list)
QUOTE(BBC)
Top officials joined prayers for the men's safe release at the main Paris mosque, as Muslim leaders in France condemned the kidnappings.

Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin and Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe were guests of the head of the Paris Grand Mosque, Dalil Boubakeur.

French leaders pray for hostages
So... they (paid government officials) can visit and pray at a mosque, but the kids can't wear headscarves...

So much for secularism being an unimpeachable value. blink.gif
kimpossible
QUOTE
So... they (paid government officials) can visit and pray at a mosque, but the kids can't wear headscarves...


No one is saying that people cant be religious, there is no law against practicing your religion in a place of worship in France, so I dont know where your problem lies with people praying in a mosque, government officials or not.

As has been previously stated, France is extremely secular. It was described to me by my (French) sociology teacher like this: France is for freedom of religion, but because its such a personal thing for people, they feel that it doesnt need to be flaunted, and even some find it offensive. Did it make sense to me? Of course not, because Im American. But the French arent, and they have a different view than we do about religious freedom.

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


Hurt. Acts of terrorism NEVER help anyone achieve anything, and only serve to further alienate whatever cause terrorists are fighting for.

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


I think its a terrible idea. I like how it tries to be all encompassing, trying to include "large crosses, yarmukles, turbans" etc. but in fact it is really aimed at Muslims. Because even if a Christian cant wear a large cross, they are still allowed to wear a small one. Its Muslims that show their faith in a more conspicous manner, and they are the ones who are going to be punished the most by this law.

But....The French are allowed to pass whatever laws they feel necessary.
turnea
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Aug 31 2004, 11:55 AM)
No one is saying that people cant be religious, there is no law against practicing your religion in a place of worship in France, so I dont know where your problem lies with people praying in a mosque, government officials or not.

I don't have a big problem, I just though it was odd and possibly hypocritical. De Villepin isn't a Muslim (as far as I know) and hence was likely present in his capacity as a government official, isn't this the kind of mixing of church and state that the French government professes to oppose? Is it not a public display of religion, that the French people profess to oppose?
QUOTE(kimpossible)
As has been previously stated, France is extremely secular. It was described to me by my (French) sociology teacher like this: France is for freedom of religion, but because its such a personal thing for people, they feel that it doesnt need to be flaunted, and even some find it offensive. Did it make sense to me? Of course not, because Im American. But the French arent, and they have a different view than we do about religious freedom.[...]
But....The French are allowed to pass whatever laws they feel necessary.

Yes and no...
If by and large the French people have a problem with public display of religion, that is a personal problem, not to be interfered with by the government.

Regardless of their cultural values, International Law makes it abundantly clear governmental force should not be used to restrict the freedom of religious expression.

..and, of course, I myself (having no problem with imposing moral absolutes) see unnecessary government infringement upon personal freedoms as immoral.

From the European Convention on Human Rights, which France signed.
QUOTE
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.


Paragraph one is taken directly from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, France is in on that too...

So France can't just pass any oppressive law it wishes, there are standards to be upheld.

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
...and it's not just us crazy Americans who think so... ermm.gif
moif
editted to remove weird double post
moif
Cyan

QUOTE
I think that my main problem lies in the idea that Muslim women are the main target for this clash between Muslim culture and Western Culture, and forcing them to remove their hijab in this manner may do just as much harm as forcing them to wear it. There is no choice involved for them, and that seems like another form of oppression.


I'll readily agree that this aspect of gender is a concern. But at the same time, these girls are not being subjected to a difference in the law. The law is equal to all.

I do not see why the French government should be seen as oppressive in this matter. European culture and tradition is such that we put aside such arcane practices of forcing women to wear 'womens clothing' centuries ago. It is the muslim minority with its out dated perception of gender that is the problem. If these people wish to live in France then they should do so as French muslims, not as Algerian muslims or Somali muslims. They should put aside their old culture and embrace the new one.

No minority has the right to demand a majority to conform to its cultural demands. To do so is an act of aggressionand disrespect. One which begs the question, why did you come here if you don't like it?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


turnea


QUOTE
That's an interesting statement, I don't see that cultures in general, can be opposing. Individual values associated with the culture, possibly.


The single fundamental value of western European culture is the freedom of the indivual to define their own existance. All our modern cultures are based around that.

The single fundamental principle of Islam is to bow down to the will of God.

These two principles directly oppose each other.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


QUOTE
So maybe we could get some specifics (since clearly Muslim culture in not wholly incompatible with European culture, it has been influencing European culture for centuries  tongue.gif )


And vice versa.

But if history is a justification then we would be equally justified in slaughtering every last Muslim who refused to convert to Christianity in Europe.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


QUOTE
What are the specific values that are contradictory and how will the headscarf ban help?


It will help the French people feel less threatened in their own country.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


QUOTE
Heh, if they were how many would go?  laugh.gif


Exactly. Europeans would not be welcomed and yet we welcome muslims into Europe and in return we are chastised for not allowing medieval religous practices which we consider oppressive and cruel.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


QUOTE
People immigrate mostly for economic reasons, no use arguing scenarios that are divorced from reality. If European Caucasians want to preserve their cultures, they should do so without infringing on the freedoms of Europeans (Yes, they can be Muslim and European) with different heritages.


There is plenty of money to be made in the middle east turnea. So much so that some people are willing to risk death to work in countries like Saudi Arabia.

Its odd that France gets so much slack for banning headscarves whilst people turn a blind eye to what goes on to women in Saudi Arabia.

As for heritage, its a choice not a chore. People choose which traditions they wish to follow. They decide for themselves how to define their heritage. Were it not so then we would never have given women the right to vote or abolished slavery.
countrockula
QUOTE
The single fundamental value of western European culture is the freedom of the indivual to define their own existance. All our modern cultures are based around that.


QUOTE
No minority has the right to demand a majority to conform to its cultural demands. To do so is an act of aggressionand disrespect. One which begs the question, why did you come here if you don't like it?


I'm not trying to be glib here, but aren't these statements in direct logical opposition to each other? You can't have it both ways - a government who allows the individual to define their own existence, and at the same time a government who doesn't allow a minority to express their own culture.
moif
QUOTE(countrockula @ Aug 31 2004, 08:16 PM)
QUOTE
The single fundamental value of western European culture is the freedom of the indivual to define their own existance. All our modern cultures are based around that.


QUOTE
No minority has the right to demand a majority to conform to its cultural demands. To do so is an act of aggressionand disrespect. One which begs the question, why did you come here if you don't like it?


I'm not trying to be glib here, but aren't these statements in direct logical opposition to each other? You can't have it both ways - a government who allows the individual to define their own existence, and at the same time a government who doesn't allow a minority to express their own culture.

Yeah, well we're not an anarchy. We have laws to maximise the amount of freedom for all people, not just a vocal minority.
countrockula
QUOTE
Yeah, well we're not an anarchy. We have laws to maximise the amount of freedom for all people, not just a vocal minority.


Still don't understand where the French people's rights are being abridged by Muslims wearing headscarves. Everyone's free to not wear them. I understand the argument you're making about assimilation, but it's faulty, and here's why: People who want to assimilate, and therefore succeed in their new country will do so without government intervention. Those who don't essentially ghettoize themselves. It's the same problem I have with the "English should be America's national language" argument. It's intrusive, but it's also largely unnecessary - Mexican immigrants, for example, who want to go to college and become successful businessmen in the big world of American business will learn English without being told to do so by fiat.
Hobbes
QUOTE
It is the muslim minority with its out dated perception of gender that is the problem. If these people wish to live in France then they should do so as French muslims


...and if, as French muslims, they decide that to remain true to their beliefs they need to wear headscarves? ...and if, as French muslims, they decide that their perception of gender is in fact correct?

QUOTE
Still don't understand where the French people's rights are being abridged by Muslims wearing headscarves.


Ditto. (see, I'm a conservative, so I have to ditto somebody smile.gif )

QUOTE
Yeah, well we're not an anarchy. We have laws to maximise the amount of freedom for all people, not just a vocal minority.


So, why restrict the freedom of one group to wear headscarves if they please? As CR stated, everyone else is free not to wear them if they so choose.

QUOTE
No minority has the right to demand a majority to conform to its cultural demands.


Which I don't think they're doing....they're not forcing any non-Muslims to wear headscarves are they?

QUOTE
The single fundamental value of western European culture is the freedom of the indivual to define their own existance. All our modern cultures are based around that.

The single fundamental principle of Islam is to bow down to the will of God.

These two principles directly oppose each other.


I disagree, in this example. These women aren't trying force anyone else to bow down to the will of God...rather, they are trying to utilize their supposed freedom to define their own existence (ie, shouldn't they be free to bow down to the will of God if they so choose)?

Just a couple other points in passing. Moif, I hope it doesn't seem like we're ganging up on you. This is just an interesting situation. It would seem that we have an issue here in which Europe (France) is being far more restrictive (conservative?) than the US--which I find somewhat ironic, if nothing else.
moif
countrockula

QUOTE
Still don't understand where the French people's rights are being abridged by Muslims wearing headscarves. Everyone's free to not wear them. I understand the argument you're making about assimilation, but it's faulty, and here's why: People who want to assimilate, and therefore succeed in their new country will do so without government intervention. Those who don't essentially ghettoize themselves. It's the same problem I have with the "English should be America's national language" argument. It's intrusive, but it's also largely unnecessary - Mexican immigrants, for example, who want to go to college and become successful businessmen in the big world of American business will learn English without being told to do so by fiat.


If they are forcing their culture onto ours (Europeans) then they are not assimilating. Why are we being asked to accept their culture in our nations if they won't accept ours?

Our culture and laws are ours, they are a reflection of who we are and who we are trying to be. They search for the best in all of us, but they are not infallible. They can be broken and misused. They can be circumvented and even used against our best interests.

And these people are forcing their culture upon us. They have brought their alien religon into our society's, into our city's and created ghetto's were before there were none. They build mosques and congregate to the sounds of the imam shouting out Allah's prayers across our city's.

France is said to have 10 million Muslims now, thats twice the population of all Denmark, living inside France defining themselves by a common religon. If that isn't a threat to French culture, then I don't know what is.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Hobbes

QUOTE
...and if, as French muslims, they decide that to remain true to their beliefs they need to wear headscarves? ...and if, as French muslims, they decide that their perception of gender is in fact correct?


...then they have made a conscious decision to defy European French culture and as such they cannot complain if France returns the sentiment.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


QUOTE
So, why restrict the freedom of one group to wear headscarves if they please? As CR stated, everyone else is free not to wear them if they so choose.


They are still free to wear their headscarves. Just not in school. There they must dress the same as ALL other French school children.

Why is their culture more important than French culture? Why is it oppressive when the French take action to preserve something they have fought long and hard to establish?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

QUOTE
Which I don't think they're doing....they're not forcing any non-Muslims to wear headscarves are they?


No. But that does not mean they are not forcing their culture and their religon on the French when they demand their children be exempt from wearing the same school uniforms as all other children on no other basis than, "Well thats how we used to do it in the old country", or "my religon dictates I have to cover my hair in case a man see's it".

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


QUOTE
I disagree, in this example. These women aren't trying force anyone else to bow down to the will of God...rather, they are trying to utilize their supposed freedom to define their own existence (ie, shouldn't they be free to bow down to the will of God if they so choose)?


Lets not pretend. These women are oppressed. They come from a culture which treats them like property, that arranges who they must marry, that dictates how they must dress. If they choose that, then thats fine.

But the rest of us do not choose it. We do not believe that women must be treated like property, or that it is proper for a woman to be subservient to a man, even if she believes it so. European women did not fight for generations for equality just to have the oppression of muslim girls legitimised by social acceptance.

If these people choose this culture, then so, equally did they choose to migrate to France, and they knew what France was and what France stands for. Their freedom to choose does not give them the right to defy French laws and violate French culture and customs for no other reason than economic gain.

For if they turn their back on France and its culture, then why else are they in France but to make money?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


QUOTE
Just a couple other points in passing. Moif, I hope it doesn't seem like we're ganging up on you. This is just an interesting situation. It would seem that we have an issue here in which Europe (France) is being far more restrictive (conservative?) than the US--which I find somewhat ironic, if nothing else.


Right so... the French are oppressive because they banned religous artifacts and garments in their schools in order to protect their culture but America isn't oppressive even though US forces killed 11,000 Iraqi civilians whilst GW Bush misquotes the bible as justification?

This whole anti French attitude is just so much denial. France is no different than any other nation and certainly not the USA. You cannot tell me that America does not have problems with immigration and the clash of cultures when you have 130,000 soldiers currently occupying a muslim nation.

You might ask, what does this have to do with the head scarf ban? Well, everything really, since its all a part of the current global trend of migration and intercultural conflict. Most specifically the friction between the christian west and the muslim east.
countrockula
QUOTE
If they are forcing their culture onto ours (Europeans) then they are not assimilating.


No one's claiming that wearing headscarves aids assimilation. That's not at issue.

QUOTE
Why are we being asked to accept their culture in our nations if they won't accept ours?


Because we live in more tolerant nations with better forms of government than they do. Perhaps that explains why they want to immigrate to our countries, but we don't generally want to immigrate to theirs.


QUOTE
And these people are forcing their culture upon us. They have brought their alien religon into our society's, into our city's and created ghetto's were before there were none. They build mosques and congregate to the sounds of the imam shouting out Allah's prayers across our city's.


So what? You know, this is bordering on just some straight up, old-fashioned intolerance. If that's the case, no real point in debating further with you...

QUOTE
France is said to have 10 million Muslims now, thats twice the population of all Denmark, living inside France defining themselves by a common religon. If that isn't a threat to French culture, then I don't know what is.


Is having a lot of Muslims necessarily a bad thing? Didn't they invent, let's see, algebra, telescopes, timepieces, gunpowder, and soap, among other things.

QUOTE
Our culture and laws are ours, they are a reflection of who we are and who we are trying to be. They search for the best in all of us, but they are not infallible. They can be broken and misused. They can be circumvented and even used against our best interests.


Exactly - That's precisely what's happened with this stupid and ill-conceived ban.
moif
countrockula

QUOTE
Because we live in more tolerant nations with better forms of government than they do. Perhaps that explains why they want to immigrate to our countries, but we don't generally want to immigrate to theirs.


If so, then why bring their intolerant culture with them?

No I don't accept the argument that they come here because they want to live in a more tolerant place. They come because there is money to be had here, not because they wish for greater tolerance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


QUOTE
So what? You know, this is bordering on just some straight up, old-fashioned intolerance. If that's the case, no real point in debating further with you...


Since when is accepting the creation of a ghetto to be described as intolerance? what exactly is it you'd have us tolerate? poverty? a religon that keeps women as property? a cultural mindset that refuses to accept the reality of its own decision to emigrate?

And why should we make allowances in our laws to suit people who defy us?

Why is European intolerance the issue here when every other ethnic and cultural minority in Europe manages to integrate and adapt to European culture? Its odd that of all our minority groups, only one has caused the problems that we see today and that one just so happens to define itself by its religous belief's.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


QUOTE
Is having a lot of Muslims necessarily a bad thing? Didn't they invent, let's see, algebra, telescopes, timepieces, gunpowder, and soap, among other things.


There was a time when the Muslims were the most prosperous and enlightened people on the planet. Historians like to point to it as proof that we have a flawed perception of our own history. But what they so often fail to add is that those same Muslin nations inheritied most of their knowledge from the Greeks, the Indians and the Chinese.

What they also fail to take into account is that the Muslims have already previously made several attempts to annex Europe to their faith, both by the invasion of the Iberian penisula and across the Balkans.

What many people in Europe are asking themselves today, is what constitutes an invasion?
If we once opposed these people in their thousands, then why now do we accept them in their millions?

What will we benefit from what our tolerance? If one man gives and other only takes, then pretty soon the first man will have nothing and the second man will have it all.

And we only have to look at the violent mess of unchecked crime and greed that is America to understand where 'mulitculture' is going to take us.
Zarkind
I didnt read thread - But France stands up for headscarf ban in schools ( dont think USA wouls allow that) - but vetos UN attack on Iraq - confusing
Zarkind
How many folks linked headscarf ban in France with France's Un vote 2 years ago? Look at why - look at food for oil program - look at WW2 for that matter
Eeyore
Zarkind, you are new to the site and may not be aware of this, but all posts need to be constructive and on topic. Also, double posting is discouraged. if you have an additional point to make before someone responds to your post please use the edit feature on your last post. All members are expected to be familiar with the rules
turnea
I think we need to refocus on the essentials here, because if we argue the tangents, particularly the one's that are borderline offensive ("violent mess of unchecked crime and greed") rolleyes.gif

...then we could be here all day.

I want to get back to a proposed answer for the key question, namely:
QUOTE(moif)
QUOTE(turnea)
What are the specific values that are contradictory and how will the headscarf ban help?
It will help the French people feel less threatened in their own country.

Here, lies the problem, non-Muslim French residents have to deal with their own feelings. It is not appropriate for the French government to coddle them by restricting the freedom of others. It completely fails the criteria set out for freedom of religious expression set forth in the European Convention on Human Rights, among other standards.

If the French people have a problem with letting others satisfy a unobtrusive perceived religious obligation, then they should set-up state run counseling offices so they can all talk to someone about it. mellow.gif

...passing this illegal law is not the answer.
moif
turnea

Try comparing the violent crime figures for America and Europe. Is the truth, 'borderline offensive'?


QUOTE
Here, lies the problem, non-Muslim French residents have to deal with their own feelings. It is not appropriate for the French government to coddle them by restricting the freedom of others. It completely fails the criteria set out for freedom of religious expression set forth in the European Convention on Human Rights, among other standards.

If the French people have a problem with letting others satisfy a unobtrusive perceived religious obligation, then they should set-up state run counseling offices so they can all talk to someone about it. 

...passing this illegal law is not the answer.



And just why does 'freedom of religous expression' carry more moral weight than the principle that all school children will wear the same uniform?

Either you have uniforms or you don't. Are you going to tell me that if a Muslim or a Hindu joined the military they ought to be allowed to wear a turban or a head scarf instead of their helmet?

How about motor bike cops? Should ethnic or religous minorities be allowed to use their religon as a reason why they shuld be exempt from a uniform code? And who is to decide what is and what is not a religous obligation? If you grant muslims exemption from the laws of the land then how do you stop the members of a cult from dressing how ever they like? How do you prevent people from simply ignoring their uniform codes and claiming religous freedom?

But really, this has nothing what so ever to do with bloated arguments about legality or abusing people's religous rights.

This is an issue about culture. There is no law in Islam that dictates that women must wear a headscarf. It is not a religous demand, and even if it were then such a demand would be illegal any way since religons do not have any legal right to impose any sort of obligation on individuals in Europe. What we are facing is a minority culture which uses its religon as an excuse to impose its cultural demands.

Demands that cover over such acts as forced marriage, the subjagation and oppression of women, honour killing, genital mutilation and a rise in rampant anti Jewish violence across all of France and the rest of Europe.

And Europe owes these people nothing. We extend to them the same rights and duties by which we govern ourselves. They are not being segregated or treated any different to any one else. They are equal to us in every respect under the laws of France and Europe.
turnea
QUOTE(moif @ Sep 1 2004, 06:21 PM)
And just why does 'freedom of religous expression' carry more moral weight than the principle that all school children will wear the same uniform?

I should think that obvious, simply that the reality of today's world is most people place more value upon freedom top follow religious conviction than upon whether school children wear cloths over their hair or not. This reality is reflected in the specific standards laid down in international law. Note, there is no article on school uniforms... rolleyes.gif
QUOTE
Either you have uniforms or you don't. Are you going to tell me that if a Muslim or a Hindu joined the military they ought to be allowed to wear a turban or a head scarf instead of their helmet?

How about motor bike cops? Should ethnic or religous minorities be allowed to use their religion as a reason why they shuld be exempt from a uniform code?

The examples put forth are completely different from the situation in France, helmets are a matter of safety, as are uniforms for public safety employees.

No comparison.
QUOTE(moif)
And who is to decide what is and what is not a religous obligation? If you grant muslims exemption from the laws of the land then how do you stop the members of a cult from dressing how ever they like? How do you prevent people from simply ignoring their uniform codes and claiming religous freedom?

If there is no reason to do so that conforms with international law.. you don't.
QUOTE(moif)
But really, this has nothing what so ever to do with bloated arguments about legality or abusing people's religous rights.

Purely your opinion, to those on the other side it has everything to do with freedom of religious expression.
QUOTE(moif)
This is an issue about culture. There is no law in Islam that dictates that women must wear a headscarf. It is not a religous demand,

According to your interpretation of Islam, millions of Muslims are of a different opinion. Who appointed the government theological judge? huh.gif
QUOTE(moif)
It is not a religous demand, and even if it were then such a demand would be illegal any way since religons do not have any legal right to impose any sort of obligation on individuals in Europe.

Huh? All religions do so. Or rather, they have every right to suggest them, they have no right to enforce them outside of those directly under their legal guardianship.
QUOTE(moif)
What we are facing is a minority culture which uses its religon as an excuse to impose its cultural demands.

Upon itself? They have every right to do so, as long as it does not impose upon the rights (as defined by law) of anyone else.
QUOTE(moif)
Demands that cover over such acts as forced marriage, the subjagation and oppression of women, honour killing, genital mutilation and a rise in rampant anti Jewish violence across all of France and the rest of Europe.

These for instance, don't qualify. There are already laws against all of them.
QUOTE(moif)
And Europe owes these people nothing. We extend to them the same rights and duties by which we govern ourselves. They are not being segregated or treated any different to any one else. They are equal to us in every respect under the laws of France and Europe.

Not every issue of oppression involves discrimination, this law is universal all right.

Universally Wrong.
moif
turnea

QUOTE
I should think that obvious, simply that the reality of today's world is most people place more value upon freedom top follow religious conviction than upon whether school children wear cloths over their hair or not. This reality is reflected in the specific standards laid down in international law. Note, there is no article on school uniforms...  rolleyes.gif 


Maybe its true that the majority of people feel 'religous freedom' to be more important than other principles. Given the sanctimonious preachings of most religons I don't doubt it.

In France however, the law has precedence over religous matters. And the law requires French school children to wear the same uniform to remove social and religous differences. That is French law and it is above any religous consideration.

School uniforms may not be deemed important enough to warrant attention from international law, but they have been adopted in France for good sound reasons that neither you nor I have any right to dispute.

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The examples put forth are completely different from the situation in France, helmets are a matter of safety, as are uniforms for public safety employees.

No comparison.


Of course there is a comparison. School uniforms are also for the purposes of safety. The safety of the children wearing them by their identification as school children. The protection from social difference (and the religous differences that once led to open warfare in France) and the desire for all French school children to bond together under EQUAL conditions in order to prevent the dangers of social disharmony that occur when one group seeks to set itself apart from the rest of the population.

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QUOTE
If there is no reason to do so that conforms with international law.. you don't.


Except of course there is a reason. One that goes all the way back through history to Catherine de Medici and in more recent times led t the Holocaust.

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Purely your opinion, to those on the other side it has everything to do with freedom of religious expression.


It is not purely my opinion. It is in fact the opinion of most of the Islamic scholars who were involved in the same dispute when it took place here in Denmark.

I have adopted my understanding of this matter from their statements. I did not simply reach my opinion by my own understanding of the quran since I have never read it.

As for those on the other side, and here is the crux of the matter. Their interpretation of their religous obligations does not over rule the principle of equality which exists in the French state school system.

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According to your interpretation of Islam, millions of Muslims are of a different opinion. Who appointed the government theological judge? huh.gif


In this case? The people of France.

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Upon itself? They have every right to do so, as long as it does not impose upon the rights (as defined by law) of anyone else.


Upon the rest of the nation. Their demands to be allowed to violate the French principle of equality do not equate to a human right.

Neither does the law regarding the wearing of school uniforms in French public shools violate their freedom to practice their religon since they are not being ordered to put aside their religon. They are simply being told to obey the same law as everyone else with regards to a dress code in a state run school.

If they wish to carry on wearing their head scarf's then they may do so by attending a private school. But that is their choice. They still have the right to attand a state school, but with that right comes a duty to obey the school dress code.

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QUOTE
These for instance, don't qualify. There are already laws against all of them.


And as is now the case with school uniforms.

If you contest this law, then why not contest the others? If this is truly a matter of religon as you claim, then forced marriage, the subjagation and oppression of women, honour killing and genital mutilation are all equal aspects of that same religon.
Why are you so quick to defend this aspect of female oppression when you claim these others don't qualify?

It seems to me that you are eager enough to allow that aspect of the religon that does not threaten YOU, whilst ignoring the palpable threat felt by millions of French people when faced with a militant community within France that has chosen to defy the rest of the nation on a matter of religous interpretation.

Your eagerness to defend these womens freedom of choice ignores the simple fact that they are not free to choose at all. Their culture enforces its oppression upon them by means of its insistence they wear such garments as cover them from sight and induce a feeling of shame and inequality to their person.

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QUOTE
Not every issue of oppression involves discrimination, this law is universal all right.

Universally Wrong.


But all discrimination is oppression. Even if it is apprently 'freely' chosen by the oppressed themselves.

The bottom line is, in France you can follow any religon you choose to, just as long as you do so within the law. That is far more freedom than these people allow themselves or each other. They have nothing to compain about nor any right to kill people to get what they want.
turnea
QUOTE(moif @ Sep 2 2004, 06:29 AM)
In France however, the law has precedence over religous matters. And the law requires French school children to wear the same uniform to remove social and religous differences. That is French law and it is above any religous consideration.

Wrong. France signed the European Convention on Human Rights decades ago, this legally-binding document says exactly the opposite, that legal restrictions on religion are only acceptable if they past certain criteria, this law fails each miserably.
QUOTE(moif)
Of course there is a comparison. School uniforms are also for the purposes of safety. The safety of the children wearing them by their identification as school children.

Come now moif, I've been to school too. tongue.gif
My schools usually accomplished the same goal with a little picture ID. It was a neat souvenir and didn't violate anyone's freedom of religion. shifty.gif

Besides, as Julian mentioned some time ago, schools could dictate the color of the headscarf without any legal or moral problems. That's a rather lousy explanation.
QUOTE(moif)
The protection from social difference (and the religous differences that once led to open warfare in France) and the desire for all French school children to bond together under EQUAL conditions in order to prevent the dangers of social disharmony that occur when one group seeks to set itself apart from the rest of the population.

That boils down to government enforced conformity, which of course is illegal as well as impossible. There are different groups of religion in France the way to teach them to live peacefully together is not hiding that fact (the kids have to get out of school sometime whistling.gif ) but to behave well while differences are apparent, since it is what they will be facing for the rest of their lives.
QUOTE(moif)
As for those on the other side, and here is the crux of the matter. Their interpretation of their religous obligations does not over rule the principle of equality which exists in the French state school system.

Of course it does, just what do you think all that talk of "freedom of religious expression" in international law means?
QUOTE(moif)
If you contest this law, then why not contest the others? If this is truly a matter of religon as you claim, then forced marriage, the subjagation and oppression of women, honour killing and genital mutilation are all equal aspects of that same religon.
Why are you so quick to defend this aspect of female oppression when you claim these others don't qualify?

... because the hijab is not necessarily a case of female oppression. For that matter, neither are yarmulkes and turbans.
QUOTE(moif)
But all discrimination is oppression. Even if it is apprently 'freely' chosen by the oppressed themselves.

If it is freely chosen then it is not oppression. If it can be legitimately defended as a religious practice, and of course it can, then it is largely out of the French government's hands. They signed away the right to interfere years ago...
Thank goodness.
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