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View Full Version : France to ban the Burqa?


jonathan7
06-30-2009, 06:56 AM
Link; http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2009/06/2009622154955406217.html

So is this to defend womans rights? Fight fundamentalism? Or impinge upon an individuals right to freedom of religion?

vanir
06-30-2009, 07:58 AM
Considering there are no such thing as defence attorneys under the French legal system, I'd say any individual rights there are a matter of debate, but this is me speaking as a foreign national under a different culture of law.

I have read about this before however, the time it first hit world news was related to fundamentalist Muslim, young women carrying concealed weapons into French schools. Those found doing so claimed it was part of their religious dictate to carry a ritual knife under their burqa, regarding it the same thing as a Christian wearing the crucifix. The school Principles promptly banned the burqa. The story hit world press.

Next French Parliament legislated to outlaw the burqa in schools (since carrying concealed weapons is already illegal, this is presumably related to the unrealistic proposition of having to body search underage women wearing burqas before entering schools). There was a conflaguration over the fact crucifixes were not similarly banned.

Finally, just recently the President has apparently supported general public concerns over the wearing of a burqa in mainstream society. This final conflaguration is typically a product of public appeasement and cites such irrelevant reasoning as cultural representation (without any recognition that within cultures also exist subcultures).
One must understand the French way of arguing politics is not the American way or the British way. For example in Australian Parliament legislation is passed by calling the opposition a bunch of poorly educated ninkompoops and has nothing to do with the issues at hand. In the US it all comes down to how professional/expensive a lawyer you can afford and who his contacts up and down the Hill are. In British Parliament a Lord sneezes and there's a new law about it.
In France again you don't argue the point in Parliament, you argue philosophy.

The important factor however was that this issue was initially about carrying concealed weapons into schools, claiming religious exemption. It's since then turned into a religious debate in the way international media likes to sensationalise things.

It is also noteworthy the Al-jazeera newsgroup publishes Zionist conspiracies, Jews are attempting to destroy all Arab nations it claims, backed by America.

Astor
06-30-2009, 09:13 AM
It seems that the wearing of the Burqa, and other associated Islamic/Religious clothing will always be a hotly debated topic across the Western World.

I don't agree that it should be banned altogether - what a person wears is entirely their decision, whether it be for religious reasons or not. There are, however, certain situations where wearing such a garment would present an obvious security risk, or barrier to communication.

I agreed with the decision in many countries that it shouldn't be allowed in schools, as I feel that education is as much about visual communication as it is verbal.

I do think that we (the Western World as a whole) needs to have a proper debate on the issue though, and bring it out into the open, instead of sparking controversy every time it's brought up. (Such as when our dear Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary suggested he'd like to see them banned).

In France again you don't argue the point in Parliament, you argue philosophy.


Or, they take to the streets in droves. :)

SW01
06-30-2009, 10:19 AM
I don't find it a particularly surprising move. From everything I came across when looking at this sort of issue in French society (admittedly briefly and as part of a wider aspect of a language course), it is a continuation of its aim for public secularism. Do I agree with it in principle? No - I personally, as I'm sure everyone else does also, would rather see a society where religious decoration is a non-issue with people...

No doubt though this is going to cause a significant amount of trouble and Human Rights actions over the next while. It happened before, as I recall, when girls at a particular French school were ordered to remove 'head scarves'. It was, however, upheld by the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds that the law was not discriminatory, but in order to 'adhere to the requirements of secularism in state schools.'
Rationale behind 2004 ban on headscarves in schools. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3328277.stm)

Considering there are no such thing as defence attorneys under the French legal system, I'd say any individual rights there are a matter of debate

Seriously? There are a number of things wrong with that, you know. First, there are 'defence attorneys' because it is a fundamental human right to have access to defence counsel (Art. 6(3)(c) ECHR). French legal counsel are named avocats. Second, there is a significant body of European Human Rights law - some even say a crippling amount in some circumstances. I give you the European Convention on Human RIghts and Fundamental Freedoms (http://www.hri.org/docs/ECHR50.html). And that's only the broad document without precedents attached. :)

True_Avery
06-30-2009, 10:36 AM
Unless its psychologically damaging, or "improper" for streets (IE topless, bottomless, etc although I personally don't have much of a problem with topless), I don't see much reason for its banning. Under 18, you wear what your parents tell you regardless and over 18 its a choice.

As far as it being a piece of religious clothing and should be banned, not sure. My High School is covered in this Christian stuff called "Not of this World". Cards, t-shirts, you name it. School even has a Christian Club. If that is allowed, I do not see what it wrong with a religious garment like a Burqa. A bikini, yes, but not a Burqa.

The history of the Burqa is unfortunate. It is ironic that it was put in place to protect the woman, but has nowadays been treated as handcuffs. I like them in the same way I like school uniforms: I am not hot on the idea, but I definitely understand where they are coming from and in a setting like school I can see, in -concept- on how it would work.

But, in reality, the more naked you are, the more perverse your society, and the more open people are, to a degree, gets you a better society. Hell, just compare rape rates in Japan and America. No contest, Japan beats the hell out of America even though at first glance it is a nation of perverts. Australia has an abominable rape rate and its well known for its censorship. People rebel when put under pressure, and just like a uniform, censorship, etc, a burqa only truly does the opposite of its intended purpose.

But whatever. People do harmful stuff to themselves all the time, and if they want it... let them. So long as it doesn't effect me.

Considering there are no such thing as defence attorneys under the French legal system
French defense attorney's are called Advocates.

vanir
06-30-2009, 11:22 AM
I don't find it a particularly surprising move. From everything I came across when looking at this sort of issue in French society (admittedly briefly and as part of a wider aspect of a language course), it is a continuation of its aim for public secularism. Do I agree with it in principle? No - I personally, as I'm sure everyone else does also, would rather see a society where religious decoration is a non-issue with people...

No doubt though this is going to cause a significant amount of trouble and Human Rights actions over the next while. It happened before, as I recall, when girls at a particular French school were ordered to remove 'head scarves'. It was, however, upheld by the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds that the law was not discriminatory, but in order to 'adhere to the requirements of secularism in state schools.'
Rationale behind 2004 ban on headscarves in schools. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3328277.stm)



Seriously? There are a number of things wrong with that, you know. First, there are 'defence attorneys' because it is a fundamental human right to have access to defence counsel (Art. 6(3)(c) ECHR). French legal counsel are named avocats. Second, there is a significant body of European Human Rights law - some even say a crippling amount in some circumstances. I give you the European Convention on Human RIghts and Fundamental Freedoms (http://www.hri.org/docs/ECHR50.html). And that's only the broad document without precedents attached. :)

Meh, don't mind me, I've confused an issue in Canada over ceremonial knives in schools with the burqa issue in France.

I'm not convinced the Advocate qualifies as defence attorney though I'm well aware the position substitutes. Defence attorneys represent their client directly, the Advocate represents only an opposing argument to the State, if there is one, representing the defendant by proxy. The Chinese use the same system. Basically it means most decisions are a foregone conclusion well before any due process or evidentiary procedure. There is a culture to the way an Advocate may argue a case, they aren't allowed to "fight dirty" or make the courts look bad or will face very short careers.

The European Convention has no authority in the conduct of individual nations, they may choose to observe or completely ignore guidelines and rulings as the United States frequently does, even Australia did once over treatment of Aboriginals in the Northern Territory. Worst case scenario they call you a bunch of meanies. The United States is currently under a standing subpeona over the Guantanamo issue and charges of torture, but has refused to send any representatives on the basis that it would have to reveal national secrets in order to defend itself in an international court.

Hallucination
06-30-2009, 03:11 PM
Meh, don't mind me, I've confused an issue in Canada over ceremonial knives in schools with the burqa issue in France.
It's also a Sikh thing, not Muslim. ;)

Darth Avlectus
06-30-2009, 08:43 PM
Hmm. This is rather puzzling.

Well, I must say I am against this banning something that is of personal right/religious freedom. Banning it outright is wrong. Such things are acceptable provided it is not:
1) of harm to the individual herself, or another person
2) that it is posing an obstacle to communication or learning to the individual (facial piercings come to mind)
3) it is a distraction to others
4) does pose some threat to security

Comparing it to other things, I'd say it is comparatively benign. However, I have had some old fashioned teachers that would require you to remove your hat and perhaps other articles out of respect for the classroom/indoors and to fit proper form. Where everyone has to fit proper form, it sort of makes a statement that despite everything else, you are ultimately a student in this school and on our time.

Basically, you should be allowed to have it in school provided you respect proper form and it is neither harmful nor distracting or in any way is anti-conducive to the learning environment.

I can also see how secularism could (for varied reasons) take either side of this issue--or how arguments on both sides could potentially include secularism. Quite baffling. It would also make this a very messy issue.


I don't agree that it should be banned altogether - what a person wears is entirely their decision, whether it be for religious reasons or not. There are, however, certain situations where wearing such a garment would present an obvious security risk, or barrier to communication.

Quoted For Emphasis. Exactly.

<snip>as I feel that education is as much about visual communication as it is verbal.
Why not also "hands-on"--real world application? Is Kinesthetic not also as important as the Auditory and Visual? Just curious. (I am a 3 way split primarily dominated by kinesthetic if you're curious--though this might be better discussed elsewhere as it is off topic.)

Jae Onasi
06-30-2009, 08:57 PM
This wouldn't be an issue at all in the US--women are allowed to wear burqas and head scarves and whatever other religious ornamentation there is that doesn't violate decency laws. If they tried to ban the burqa in the US, it would be a violation of the First Amendment. I'm surprised that France is able to get away with it since freedom of religion is supposed to be a basic human right, but they function on the Napoleonic code there, not case law.

Is Kinesthetic not also as important as the Auditory and Visual?No, in fact the visual system is far more efficient than auditory (which is second best) and both are far better than kinesthetic. We retain somewhere around 50% of what we see, 20% of what we hear, and 90% of what we see and hear at the same time. I don't remember the stat on kinesthetic since most learning/teaching is done visually and aurally.

JediAthos
06-30-2009, 09:03 PM
Here is the wikipedia article on the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizen which is somewhat equivalent to the U.S. Bill of Rights

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_the_Rights_of_Man_and_of_the_Citize n

and here is a quote discussing religious freedom:

"provided that [...the] manifestation [...of their religious opinions] does not trouble the public order established by the law".

So I'm guessing that is where the lawmakers in France would get their justification for a ban if they do so.

urluckyday
06-30-2009, 09:06 PM
This is either a complete misunderstanding or the definition of intolerance...This is pure hypocrisy...

jrrtoken
06-30-2009, 09:06 PM
This wouldn't be an issue at all in the US--women are allowed to wear burqas and head scarves and whatever other religious ornamentation there is that doesn't violate decency laws.That, and nobody would take the risk in today's world. Even the hijab is considered taboo in mainstream America; anyone wearing a burqa would face immediate persecution from the majority of society.

Jae Onasi
06-30-2009, 09:12 PM
That, and nobody would take the risk in today's world. Even the hijab is considered taboo in mainstream America; anyone wearing a burqa would face immediate persecution from the majority of society.I disagree on that--it depends where you're at. In parts of Chicago, there's a large Muslim community, and I see women wearing headscarves quite regularly, and some of the older women are in burqas. It's not taboo in those communities. The younger ones typically wear more modern outfits, however. I would like to add they have some kick-butt Middle Eastern restaurants in those areas, too. :D

I have a few Muslim women for patients in my town (which is predominantly a Catholic community), though I've only seen a couple in the most conservative garb. The men prefer that their wives, sisters, and other female family members see female doctors rather than males.

jrrtoken
06-30-2009, 10:09 PM
I disagree on that--it depends where you're at. In parts of Chicago, there's a large Muslim community, and I see women wearing headscarves quite regularly, and some of the older women are in burqas. It's not taboo in those communities. The younger ones typically wear more modern outfits, however. I would like to add they have some kick-butt Middle Eastern restaurants in those areas, too. :DAgreed, though I was focusing on more of a subconscious, de facto from of discrimination, rather than a more outward and apparent form of hate. Dirty looks and general wariness around Muslims would all be examples, for one.

Web Rider
06-30-2009, 11:01 PM
That, and nobody would take the risk in today's world. Even the hijab is considered taboo in mainstream America; anyone wearing a burqa would face immediate persecution from the majority of society.

This is completely untrue, there are VERY few women who wear a burqa in America precisely because there are very few Muslims that are THAT traditional. However, those that do, and there are a few, find ways to blend. The dogmatic black burqa that is so nortiorious for it's oppression, is replaced with colorful floral patterns and various decorations. At a casual glance, it just looks like a woman in a big flowy gown.

Additionally, even in conservative areas there is often little objection to headscarves. Remember that even in conservative Christian sects there were rules about covering the hair not unlike a headscarf. And most of them are quite colorful and don't look like anything more than a simple head-covering.

vanir
07-01-2009, 01:50 AM
It's also a Sikh thing, not Muslim. ;)

Yah I think I messed up big time. I beginning to suspect cheap scotch is rewiring my memory synapses :D


Anyway some women look sexy in a headscarf, with that dark eye-liner and sharp green irises, just the hinting outline of a lithe body, grrr :P
And don't women always say they want to be judged by personality rather than appearances? Or is that just what they say?

Web Rider
07-01-2009, 02:35 AM
Anyway some women look sexy in a headscarf, with that dark eye-liner and sharp green irises, just the hinting outline of a lithe body, grrr :P
And don't women always say they want to be judged by personality rather than appearances? Or is that just what they say?

I believe within the first 5 image results on a Google search for "burqa" you will find two regarding how a woman can still be sexy in one, I think the 3rd image actually has a woman posing sexily in one.

Jae Onasi
07-01-2009, 06:06 PM
Agreed, though I was focusing on more of a subconscious, de facto from of discrimination, rather than a more outward and apparent form of hate. Dirty looks and general wariness around Muslims would all be examples, for one.Not from me, they won't--I go have hummus and homemade pitas at their restaurants. :D

I did have to report one of my sisters-in-law's new husband to Homeland security one time--he was from Pakistan and professed True Love to her over the internet after only knowing her for 2 weeks online. He would only tell her his job was in 'banking' (but not the name of the bank), and he couldn't get a visa into the US, so they got married in England. Needless to say, the rest of the family who actually had half a brain cell knew something was funky.

Darth Avlectus
07-01-2009, 10:35 PM
This is completely untrue, there are VERY few women who wear a burqa in America precisely because there are very few Muslims that are THAT traditional. However, those that do, and there are a few, find ways to blend. The dogmatic black burqa that is so nortiorious for it's oppression, is replaced with colorful floral patterns and various decorations. At a casual glance, it just looks like a woman in a big flowy gown.

Yeah, I guess it's a place to just let your hair down here in the states. You'll probably find it among elderly areas most likely. Or muslim mothers travelling to see their daughters in college. Even one woman I knew in college was so non traditional, so Americanized, I didn't even know she was muslim until she told me. Her mother who wore more of the garb actually didn't really care. Both of them were gorgeous looking too. (More relative on that in a sec :dev10:)

Lawl. Funny thing one time: she was a straight A's student but in her physics class she was having just so much trouble wrapping her brain around the concept of 'stimulated emission', until she learned my (rather limited) layman's understanding of it in lasers as a part time hobby (http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/laserfaq.htm).

Additionally, even in conservative areas there is often little objection to headscarves. Remember that even in conservative Christian sects there were rules about covering the hair not unlike a headscarf. And most of them are quite colorful and don't look like anything more than a simple head-covering. You mean like what old grannies wear? Yeah, I remember that, in fact. Still goes on in retirement homes today I think.

Yah I think I messed up big time. I beginning to suspect cheap scotch is rewiring my memory synapses :D

Anyway some women look sexy in a headscarf, with that dark eye-liner and sharp green irises, just the hinting outline of a lithe body, grrr :P
And don't women always say they want to be judged by personality rather than appearances? Or is that just what they say?

:laughing::lol:
:rofl:
That's the spirit! Kavar's could sometimes use a little more jesting. Heck, make enough people laugh enough times and you'll get the Jester's badge.

So far as that is actually concerned...*googles images of burqa* ...WOW...ehh, well, yeah there are some good lookin' images of that. :dev8: Maybe that's why they (traditionalist leaders) are such sour grapes about western society? Because their women have picked up individual identity and want to be good looking, so they have figured out ways around the garb? :naughty:
...Hey, does anyone think that a particular one on google search looks like Visas Marr in her underwear?

All jesting aside, if they want to wear a head scarf and it isn't a problem otherwise, fine.