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France contemplates banning the niqāb (face veil)

japanjapan Registered User regular
edited September 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
Alternate thread title: Are Muslims the new Jews?

Example of a niqab:

150pxmuslimwomaninyemen.jpg

Article here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8480161.stm

There's also a link in that article to an explanatory slideshow that defines a few terms like hijab, niqab, burqa, etc.

The short version is that France has decided that the wearing of the veil is "contrary to the values of the republic", and a "symbol of radical religious practice", and is now considering barring anyone wearing a veil from accessing public services such as healthcare, social security, education, public transport, etc.

Now, France is perhaps a slightly unusual case in that it is generally pretty anti-religious, which is probably why this particular issue is coming to a head there first. It isn't the only such example, though, there is the Swiss ban on the contruction of Minarets, and other countries in Europe have contemplated taking similar steps banning face coverings.

My thinking is basically that, firstly, describing the wearing of a veil as "radical religious practice" is setting a pretty freaking low bar. Where does circumcision fit on this continuum? Or the feeding of wine to children and telling them it's blood? Or refusing to cut one's hair and instead binding it around one's head with a strip of cloth?

Second, though I can see the argument that the veil in its various forms is a symbol of oppression, I'm not convinced that any women that wears a veil is de facto being oppressed.

Lastly, even if it is granted that the wearing of veils is a cultural institution that perpetuates the oppression of women (which is a stance I'd probably agree with, for the record), it seems to me that the very worst manner in which to deal with this is by creating an environment where such women are literally turned into second class citizens, and thus rendered absolutely reliant on the support of a (probably male) benefactor.

So, veils. What say you?

japan on
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Posts

  • ElitistbElitistb Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Don't allow them anywhere you wouldn't allow sunglasses and hats.

    Also the public should probably react to people wearing them much the same way they'd react to people wearing hockey masks or winter masks (whatever they call those things that pretty much only robbers wear that only shows eyes and mouth).

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  • _J__J_ Festive Pedant Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    japan wrote: »
    is now considering barring anyone wearing a veil from accessing public services such as healthcare, social security, education, public transport, etc.

    Fine by me.

    Veils are for silly geese and brides.

  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Freedom of religion is a good thing. I'm pretty much in the camp that their stated reason is bullshit.

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  • _J__J_ Festive Pedant Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    OremLK wrote: »
    Freedom of religion is a good thing.

    Good thing to a point; we do not allow ritual sacrifice regardless of how much some religions might want it.

    One can be any religion one wants. However, one cannot wear a veil.

    Sounds fine to me.

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    is now considering barring anyone wearing a veil from accessing public services such as healthcare, social security, education, public transport, etc.
    Won't this just result in a lot of conservative Muslim women being denied a ton of shit?

  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Elitistb wrote: »
    Don't allow them anywhere you wouldn't allow sunglasses and hats.

    Also the public should probably react to people wearing them much the same way they'd react to people wearing hockey masks or winter masks (whatever they call those things that pretty much only robbers wear that only shows eyes and mouth).

    You're thinking of balaclavas.

    And the only places I can think of that bar face coverings are banks. However banks that offer sharia services don't do this.

  • _J__J_ Festive Pedant Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    is now considering barring anyone wearing a veil from accessing public services such as healthcare, social security, education, public transport, etc.
    Won't this just result in a lot of conservative Muslim women being denied a ton of shit?

    Probably.

    Or they could, you know, take the veil off.

  • TheStigTheStig Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Couldn't they have just said "we don't want people wearing masks in public because it would make them impossible to identify in the event of a crime" and not come off as silly geese?

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  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2010
    OremLK wrote: »
    Freedom of religion is a good thing. I'm pretty much in the camp that their stated reason is bullshit.

    Next, they'll have to ban shirts because only Abrahamic religions require them.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The rest of you, I fucking hate you for the fact that I now have a blue dot on this god awful thread.
  • _J__J_ Festive Pedant Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    TheStig wrote: »
    Couldn't they have just said "we don't want people wearing masks in public because it would make them impossible to identify in the event of a crime" and not come off as silly geese?

    Man, French people do not have tact.

  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    _J_ wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    is now considering barring anyone wearing a veil from accessing public services such as healthcare, social security, education, public transport, etc.
    Won't this just result in a lot of conservative Muslim women being denied a ton of shit?

    Probably.

    Or they could, you know, take the veil off.

    You realise there are other pressures at work here that may prevent that? And that such a ban is only going to strengthen them?

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    _J_ wrote: »
    OremLK wrote: »
    Freedom of religion is a good thing.

    Good thing to a point; we do not allow ritual sacrifice regardless of how much some religions might want it.

    One can be any religion one wants. However, one cannot wear a veil.

    Sounds fine to me.
    We don't allow ritual human sacrifice. We allow most other ritual sacrifices.
    One can be any religion one wants. However, one cannot wear a veil.
    One can be any religion one wants. However, one cannot have a church.
    One can be any religion one wants. However, one cannot wear anything that shows you are a member of that religion.

  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    France has a history of being racist fucks against the, ahem, 'pieds-noirs', so this is of no surprise to me

    France: Basically The Southern US At This Point, Religion-Wise

  • _J__J_ Festive Pedant Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    japan wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    is now considering barring anyone wearing a veil from accessing public services such as healthcare, social security, education, public transport, etc.
    Won't this just result in a lot of conservative Muslim women being denied a ton of shit?

    Probably.

    Or they could, you know, take the veil off.

    You realise there are other pressures at work here that may prevent that? And that such a ban is only going to strengthen them?

    Or the ban could spark an ontological debate on the nature of the niqāb such that they could truly discern whether or not a piece of fucking fabric actually has any bearing upon one's life or religion. Perhaps upon it being banned they will realize that it wasn't necessary anyway and did not provide any utility.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    This is just stupid. Hey France, stop being stupid.

    tea-1.jpg
  • TheStigTheStig Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Rent wrote: »
    France has a history of being racist fucks against the, ahem, 'pieds-noirs', so this is of no surprise to me

    France: Basically The Southern US At This Point, Religion-Wise

    My brother married a french woman, her family doesn't accept him and none of them attended the wedding, because he's not french of course.

    the-place-beyond-the-pines-03_thumb_zps3d4e0ec7.jpg
    360: Sir Stiggleton PSN: Stiggy_PA GFWL: RacerStig Steam: TheStig
  • _J__J_ Festive Pedant Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    One can be any religion one wants. However, one cannot wear a veil.
    One can be any religion one wants. However, one cannot have a church.
    One can be any religion one wants. However, one cannot wear anything that shows you are a member of that religion.

    I endorse these rules.

  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2010
    _J_ wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    is now considering barring anyone wearing a veil from accessing public services such as healthcare, social security, education, public transport, etc.
    Won't this just result in a lot of conservative Muslim women being denied a ton of shit?

    Probably.

    Or they could, you know, take the veil off.

    So they can do whatever they want as long as they adapt Christian practices. And here I thought the Edict of Expulsion was no longer in effect.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The rest of you, I fucking hate you for the fact that I now have a blue dot on this god awful thread.
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    _J_ wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    One can be any religion one wants. However, one cannot wear a veil.
    One can be any religion one wants. However, one cannot have a church.
    One can be any religion one wants. However, one cannot wear anything that shows you are a member of that religion.

    I endorse these rules.

    That's because you are a silly goose.

    tea-1.jpg
  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    TheStig wrote: »
    Rent wrote: »
    France has a history of being racist fucks against the, ahem, 'pieds-noirs', so this is of no surprise to me

    France: Basically The Southern US At This Point, Religion-Wise

    My brother married a french woman, her family doesn't accept him and none of them attended the wedding, because he's not french of course.

    Is he black and/or from Northern Africa and/or Muslim?

  • TheStigTheStig Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Rent wrote: »
    TheStig wrote: »
    Rent wrote: »
    France has a history of being racist fucks against the, ahem, 'pieds-noirs', so this is of no surprise to me

    France: Basically The Southern US At This Point, Religion-Wise

    My brother married a french woman, her family doesn't accept him and none of them attended the wedding, because he's not french of course.

    Is he black and/or from Northern Africa and/or Muslim?

    Nope he's white. It could also be a class thing, since they're hella rich and he's not. I suspect it's a combination of both.

    the-place-beyond-the-pines-03_thumb_zps3d4e0ec7.jpg
    360: Sir Stiggleton PSN: Stiggy_PA GFWL: RacerStig Steam: TheStig
  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2010
    moniker wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    One can be any religion one wants. However, one cannot wear a veil.
    One can be any religion one wants. However, one cannot have a church.
    One can be any religion one wants. However, one cannot wear anything that shows you are a member of that religion.

    I endorse these rules.

    That's because you are a silly goose.

    Next they'll be making the consumption of Boudin mandatory.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The rest of you, I fucking hate you for the fact that I now have a blue dot on this god awful thread.
  • KillgrimageKillgrimage Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    This is a tough one.

    On the one hand, the face veil can be used as a symbol of female oppression (your face is covered and that lessens you as an individual I think is one of the many arguments). Also, it makes it difficult to identify people, I can't even tell if the person under that veil pic is female or male, which the government generally doesn't like, what with driver's licenses and all. If it was *just* a headscarf to hide hair, I'd say France is in the wrong because that's on the same vein of hair tying/cutting.

    On the other hand, I can see the arguments FOR the face veil, in that it puts less pressure on women to conform to high beauty standards (no need for makeup!) and may force people to understand her as a person rather than relying on shallow looks?

    I don't know a ton about the religion it's based on, is it possible that she not wear the veil for certain activities (driving, banking, using the post office) and then she can be allowed to wear it otherwise?

    I do think that France, while trying to do the right thing, is making matters worse by causing women who will not conform to the "no face veil" rule be forced to stay indoors or be arrested/harrassed.

  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    _J_ wrote: »
    japan wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    is now considering barring anyone wearing a veil from accessing public services such as healthcare, social security, education, public transport, etc.
    Won't this just result in a lot of conservative Muslim women being denied a ton of shit?

    Probably.

    Or they could, you know, take the veil off.

    You realise there are other pressures at work here that may prevent that? And that such a ban is only going to strengthen them?

    Or the ban could spark an ontological debate on the nature of the niqāb such that they could truly discern whether or not a piece of fucking fabric actually has any bearing upon one's life or religion. Perhaps upon it being banned they will realize that it wasn't necessary anyway and did not provide any utility.

    Yes, because people routinely react to outright hostility with considered introspection.

  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    wrote:
    My thinking is basically that, firstly, describing the wearing of a veil as "radical religious practice" is setting a pretty freaking low bar. Where does circumcision fit on this continuum? Or the feeding of wine to children and telling them it's blood? Or refusing to cut one's hair and instead binding it around one's head with a strip of cloth?

    These don't affect day to day communication in even approaching the same way. And nor are they deeply, deeply sexist in the same way.

    The ban is wrong for a number of reasons (such as your aformentioned point about restricting services to muslim women), but lets not go around pretending they're anything but a terrible cultural practice.

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Or the ban could spark an ontological debate on the nature of the niqāb such that they could truly discern whether or not a piece of fucking fabric actually has any bearing upon one's life or religion. Perhaps upon it being banned they will realize that it wasn't necessary anyway and did not provide any utility.
    Perhaps rainbows will shoot out of my ass and Cthulhu will come bringing candy and flowers!

  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2010
    This is a tough one.

    On the one hand, the face veil can be used as a symbol of female oppression (your face is covered and that lessens you as an individual I think is one of the many arguments). Also, it makes it difficult to identify people, I can't even tell if the person under that veil pic is female or male, which the government generally doesn't like, what with driver's licenses and all. If it was *just* a headscarf to hide hair, I'd say France is in the wrong because that's on the same vein of hair tying/cutting.

    On the other hand, I can see the arguments FOR the face veil, in that it puts less pressure on women to conform to high beauty standards (no need for makeup!) and may force people to understand her as a person rather than relying on shallow looks?

    I don't know a ton about the religion it's based on, is it possible that she not wear the veil for certain activities (driving, banking, using the post office) and then she can be allowed to wear it otherwise?

    I do think that France, while trying to do the right thing, is making matters worse by causing women who will not conform to the "no face veil" rule be forced to stay indoors or be arrested/harrassed.

    Couldn't the same be said of a shirt?

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The rest of you, I fucking hate you for the fact that I now have a blue dot on this god awful thread.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    _J_ wrote: »
    japan wrote: »
    is now considering barring anyone wearing a veil from accessing public services such as healthcare, social security, education, public transport, etc.

    Fine by me.

    In general, I believe that all things should be permitted unless there is a compelling state interest to restrict a particular thing. What is the compelling state interest in banning niqabs?

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    _J_ wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    One can be any religion one wants. However, one cannot wear a veil.
    One can be any religion one wants. However, one cannot have a church.
    One can be any religion one wants. However, one cannot wear anything that shows you are a member of that religion.

    I endorse these rules.

    Congratulations! You have literally no idea what you are talking about or are aware of the geopolitical situation in France!

    Remember when the riots in France happened a coupla years ago? Cars burning etc? That was mostly minorities, mostly Muslim, mostly young, because of their treatment by the French government (and also the fact they couldn't get jobs because of the endemic racism/religious oppression in addition to France having a terrible socialistic captialist economic system set up so it's impossible to fire anyone from their jobs, creating little turnover and thus little extra jobs)

    Oh, also, those riots happen all the fucking time, usually when some nonsense like this gets proposed (because a bunch of jobless screwed over minorities have literally nothing better to do than destroy shit)

  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    japan wrote: »
    is now considering barring anyone wearing a veil from accessing public services such as healthcare, social security, education, public transport, etc.

    Fine by me.

    In general, I believe that all things should be permitted unless there is a compelling state interest to restrict a particular thing. What is the compelling state interest in banning niqabs?

    They're imposed upon muslim women and serve to otherise and detach them from the rest of society.

  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Leitner wrote: »
    wrote:
    My thinking is basically that, firstly, describing the wearing of a veil as "radical religious practice" is setting a pretty freaking low bar. Where does circumcision fit on this continuum? Or the feeding of wine to children and telling them it's blood? Or refusing to cut one's hair and instead binding it around one's head with a strip of cloth?

    These don't affect day to day communication in even approaching the same way. And nor are they deeply, deeply sexist in the same way.

    The ban is wrong for a number of reasons (such as your aformentioned point about restricting services to muslim women), but lets not go around pretending they're anything but a terrible cultural practice.

    I never understood the argument that the wearing of a veil in some way obstructs communication. If that were the case it wouldn't be as easy as it is to conduct business by phone. On top of that, I spent most of my time when outdoors during the UK's recent cold snap with my face covered. I didn't notice any particular difficulty getting anything done.

    I won't deny that it is indicative of an oppressive culture, but it's a symptom, not a cause.

  • DmanDman Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    TheStig wrote: »
    Couldn't they have just said "we don't want people wearing masks in public because it would make them impossible to identify in the event of a crime" and not come off as silly geese?

    Yeah I'm with this.
    If you're going to make it a law it has to be equally applied. Banning random things just isn't cool.

  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Again- I wanna point this out- they call African immigrants in France 'pieds-noirs'-"black feet" over there. It's highly derogatory and very commonly used. Guess who's Muslim in France

    This is racism, pure and simple

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Leitner wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    japan wrote: »
    is now considering barring anyone wearing a veil from accessing public services such as healthcare, social security, education, public transport, etc.

    Fine by me.

    In general, I believe that all things should be permitted unless there is a compelling state interest to restrict a particular thing. What is the compelling state interest in banning niqabs?

    They're imposed upon muslim women and serve to otherise and detach them from the rest of society.

    Okay, so they're a symbol of the oppression of women.

    What is to be accomplished through banning them? Does this, in any way, reduce female oppression?

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • Saint MadnessSaint Madness Registered User
    edited February 2010
    I find it funny that one of the reasons behind the ban is to protect women's rights, by telling them what they can and cannot wear.

  • ElkiElki GOBS OF PUKE!!! YES!!!!!!!Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited February 2010
    Ha! Take that middle eastern French apologists! I've always known tying yourself to those racist idiots was a losing ticket.

  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    japan wrote: »
    I never understood the argument that the wearing of a veil in some way obstructs communication. If that were the case it wouldn't be as easy as it is to conduct business by phone. On top of that, I spent most of my time when outdoors during the UK's recent cold snap with my face covered. I didn't notice any particular difficulty getting anything done.

    I won't deny that it is indicative of an oppressive culture, but it's a symptom, not a cause.

    Just business business? Because it is much harder to communicate over a phone in regards to any kind of emotional topic then it is in person. We rely upon various subtle social clues that get lost over the phone or when your face is covered. I'm sure one of the sociologists here have a link on the effect.

  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    As an example, this kind of thing:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8494860.stm

    I'm actually OK with, assuming the facts in the article are correct. I wouldn't be as comfortable if they'd denied citizenship because someone wore a veil.

  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Elki wrote: »
    Ha! Take that middle eastern French apologists! I've always known tying yourself to those racist idiots was a losing ticket.

    What? There are Middle Eastern French apologists? That's like being a KKK Black Apologist


    Does not fucking compute

  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Leitner wrote: »
    japan wrote: »
    I never understood the argument that the wearing of a veil in some way obstructs communication. If that were the case it wouldn't be as easy as it is to conduct business by phone. On top of that, I spent most of my time when outdoors during the UK's recent cold snap with my face covered. I didn't notice any particular difficulty getting anything done.

    I won't deny that it is indicative of an oppressive culture, but it's a symptom, not a cause.

    Just business business? Because it is much harder to communicate over a phone in regards to any kind of emotional topic then it is in person. We rely upon various subtle social clues that get lost over the phone or when your face is covered. I'm sure one of the sociologists here have a link on the effect.

    So your solution is to...take away people's rights? Man, fuck education, if we get rid of the symptom the disease is cured?

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