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France contemplates banning the niqāb (face veil)

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Posts

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Aegis wrote: »
    Lawndart wrote: »
    The point of the law is to force integration of Muslims which, rightly or wrongly, is percived to be a problem in France and some other parts of Western Europe like the UK.

    Except that restricting the religious expression of a Muslim minority is exactly the wrong way to go about forcing or even encouraging cultural integration or assimilation.

    I agree, state intervention in an issue as superficial as this is only going to make things worse.

    It's odd too considering France's successful assimilation of their linguistic minorities was done through the education system rather than these kinds of superficial things.
    Linguistic integration is a far cry from integrating a society that wants to remain separate bad enough that it won't accept your social norms for gender roles.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Archgarth wrote: »
    Lawndart wrote: »
    Archgarth wrote: »
    Slippery slope, and the government already restricts some clothing in the public sphere. I doubt that the reasons for the niqab ban are purely secular (in fact, I am convinced that the majority of the impetus behind it is the result of anti-islamic/anti-immigrant sentiment), but there are valid public reasons, not just for security, to require people to show their face (assimilation being the prominent one, from what I gather). I am still on the fence as to whether or not I agree with those reasons or the logic behind them, but they should be addressed.

    I was under the impression that pointing out how illogical and inconsistent those arguments were was a method of addressing them.

    However, if you're suggesting that a ban on religious dress will spur assimilation, pretty much every single example of such bans in recent history suggests exactly the opposite.

    This is absolutely correct. By banning the niqab you just force such behavior underground. By allowing it, we essentially continue on with the status quo, which is arguably not ideal or preferable. I am at a loss as to what, if any, is the right course of action.

    Education and attempts at integration or appealing to younger generations? Coupled with some degree of upward mobility to draw them even further into the status quo, of course.

    I never understand the seeming focus that is always put on first generation immigrants whenever the topic comes up. Look at any point in our history, at least, and first generation whatever always keeps strong links to their culture and societal norms. Then they have kids. Then have grand kids. And those little bastards are about as American as apple pie.

    I'm 4th generation American, and my great grandparents had to deal with 'Italians Need Not Apply' and bullshit like this:
    Spoiler:
    Not quite as bad as the Irish, but still. The only thing I could tell you about Italy is what I learned from a travel abroad summer thanks to my State University. Couldn't even tell you what part of Italy we're originally from, I think its the southern part but don't really know. My kids are going to be even further removed if that's even possible; particularly since I'm far from 100% Italian rather than being a mutt like everybody else.

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  • AegisAegis Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Aegis wrote: »
    Lawndart wrote: »
    The point of the law is to force integration of Muslims which, rightly or wrongly, is percived to be a problem in France and some other parts of Western Europe like the UK.

    Except that restricting the religious expression of a Muslim minority is exactly the wrong way to go about forcing or even encouraging cultural integration or assimilation.

    I agree, state intervention in an issue as superficial as this is only going to make things worse.

    It's odd too considering France's successful assimilation of their linguistic minorities was done through the education system rather than these kinds of superficial things.
    Linguistic integration is a far cry from integrating a society that wants to remain separate bad enough that it won't accept your social norms for gender roles.

    Umm, linguistic minorities want to remain separate just as much as religious minorities.

  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Unfortunately, there really isn't a right answer, historically.

    A people has to want to assimilate before they will. And really, the women that are actually being negatively impacted by the tradition would still be after the ban, they'd just be removed from whatever societal mechanism were there to help them as well.

    Think about the polygamists in Utah, for a good example of what happens when you legislate against something that members of your populace hold as a religious tenet. In that case, though, at least the church itself changed its tune, meaning that the more mainstream members had an easier time fully integrating into the larger society. There's no way of knowing or even expecting that to happen in this case, since for moderate Islam the necessity of the niqab has already been largely removed.

    One important thing is that cultural assimilation isn't a one way street. A dominant culture rarely welcomes the attempts of a cultural minority to assimilate with open arms, especially since those attempts occur in stages.

    I'd also suggest that a combination of cultural pressure and cultural acceptance, combined with education, is a much more effective catalyst for assimilation than governmental pressure.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Archgarth wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Archgarth wrote: »
    Aegis wrote: »
    Archgarth wrote: »
    One could possibly argue that seeing one's face is a crucial facet of interpersonal communication and relationships in Western culture.

    Is the state going to start legislating the correct method of saying hello, the appropriate measures to shake one's hand, and the specific distance one should keep from one another in a conversation? I find it silly to suggest that the state has a compelling interest in shaping the social non-public sphere of individuals to such a micromanaging extent.

    Slippery slope, and the government already restricts some clothing in the public sphere. I doubt that the reasons for the niqab ban are purely secular (in fact, I am convinced that the majority of the impetus behind it is the result of anti-islamic/anti-immigrant sentiment), but there are valid public reasons, not just for security, to require people to show their face (assimilation being the prominent one, from what I gather). I am still on the fence as to whether or not I agree with those reasons or the logic behind them, but they should be addressed.

    Are you referring to the headscarf ban here, or something different?

    I'm referring to public indecency laws, as it is an example of the government asserting legal authority to determine what does or does not constitute an acceptable form of public wear.

    Really? You're making the leap that because the State outlaws nudity that it has a proven interest in restricting other forms of dress that might be considered offensive?

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    At the same time, religious practices tend to stick longer than purely cultural practices, and the number of observing members of a religion can grow faster than the rate of immigration from a place where that religion is typically practiced.

    By way of example, the percentage of observant Muslims in Philadelphia has been on the rise for years now, but we're not experiencing an Islamic immigration boom.

    In the end, something that is prohibited by religion is often harder to shake than something that is part of a national culture.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Aegis wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Aegis wrote: »
    Lawndart wrote: »
    The point of the law is to force integration of Muslims which, rightly or wrongly, is percived to be a problem in France and some other parts of Western Europe like the UK.

    Except that restricting the religious expression of a Muslim minority is exactly the wrong way to go about forcing or even encouraging cultural integration or assimilation.

    I agree, state intervention in an issue as superficial as this is only going to make things worse.

    It's odd too considering France's successful assimilation of their linguistic minorities was done through the education system rather than these kinds of superficial things.
    Linguistic integration is a far cry from integrating a society that wants to remain separate bad enough that it won't accept your social norms for gender roles.

    Umm, linguistic minorities want to remain separate just as much as religious minorities.
    And you're talking about linguistic integration and not actual cultural integration. Which is, again, different.

    Edit: That is what you're talking about, right?

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

    Any gamers in the Danville, PA area? PM me if you're interested in some tabletop gaming.
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    At the same time, religious practices tend to stick longer than purely cultural practices, and the number of observing members of a religion can grow faster than the rate of immigration from a place where that religion is typically practiced.

    By way of example, the percentage of observant Muslims in Philadelphia has been on the rise for years now, but we're not experiencing an Islamic immigration boom.

    In the end, something that is prohibited by religion is often harder to shake than something that is part of a national culture.

    Yes, but religion generally adapts to fit the culture that it finds itself over time. The difference between American Catholics, South American Catholics, African Catholics, and European Catholics are relatively subtle in comparison to Catholics and all you other heretics, but they do exist. The same is true for Islam. It's pretty different (even ignoring the Sunni/Shia thing) in Arabia, Iran, Indonesia, and here. Opening up and being more tolerant of them while working to integrate the philosophical underpinnings of our culture tends to lead to different interpretations of holy texts over time. It isn't a guarantee of moderation, but it is a different dynamic.

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  • AegisAegis Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    And you're talking about linguistic integration and not actual cultural integration. Which is, again, different.

    Err, no it's not?

    You seem to be trying to separate language, culture, and religion from minority identity and claiming each is different. Basque, Catalan, Occitan, and other integration in France was cultural (and religious in the case of the first, or rather a-religious since they were trying to remove Catholic influence) even while they are all linguistic minorities. Moreover, the integration of these minorities was centered around language integration because through language was the dissemination of the French culture and suppression of minority cultures (if you kill off the minority language, you lose the aspect of culture along with it).

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Aegis wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    And you're talking about linguistic integration and not actual cultural integration. Which is, again, different.

    Err, no it's not?

    You seem to be trying to separate language, culture, and religion from minority identity and claiming each is different. Basque, Catalan, Occitan, and other integration in France was cultural (and religious in the case of the first, or rather a-religious since they were trying to remove Catholic influence) even while they are all linguistic minorities. Moreover, the integration of these minorities was centered around language integration because through language was the dissemination of the French culture and suppression of minority cultures (if you kill off the minority language, you lose the aspect of culture along with it).
    Here's the thing, though (and I'm not trying to claim to be an expert in French History, so correct me if I go wrong);

    That sort of integration is basically done by 1) teaching the kids how to speak the dominant language, 2) convincing those same kids that there's more upside to being part of the dominant culture than there is to actively opposing it and 3) waiting until those kids become the cultural decision makers for their minority group. This is a pretty tried and true way of doing things, it's worked for every society with immigrants since the beginning of recorded history.

    So yes, there's some crossover with the moderation of Islam and its integration into the larger culture, but it also lacks some of the specific difficulties of this case to overcome. The outward markers of the culture in particular, in this case the niqab, are a hump that the culture has to overcome on its own in this model. The hope is that eventually the minority culture becomes integrated well enough that it just happens, but there's no guarantee that this will be the case. It requires a direct decision on the part of the culture to abandon something that they use to self-identify, which is rough in the best of situations.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

    Any gamers in the Danville, PA area? PM me if you're interested in some tabletop gaming.
  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    moniker wrote: »
    Archgarth wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Archgarth wrote: »
    Aegis wrote: »
    Archgarth wrote: »
    One could possibly argue that seeing one's face is a crucial facet of interpersonal communication and relationships in Western culture.

    Is the state going to start legislating the correct method of saying hello, the appropriate measures to shake one's hand, and the specific distance one should keep from one another in a conversation? I find it silly to suggest that the state has a compelling interest in shaping the social non-public sphere of individuals to such a micromanaging extent.

    Slippery slope, and the government already restricts some clothing in the public sphere. I doubt that the reasons for the niqab ban are purely secular (in fact, I am convinced that the majority of the impetus behind it is the result of anti-islamic/anti-immigrant sentiment), but there are valid public reasons, not just for security, to require people to show their face (assimilation being the prominent one, from what I gather). I am still on the fence as to whether or not I agree with those reasons or the logic behind them, but they should be addressed.

    Are you referring to the headscarf ban here, or something different?

    I'm referring to public indecency laws, as it is an example of the government asserting legal authority to determine what does or does not constitute an acceptable form of public wear.

    Really? You're making the leap that because the State outlaws nudity that it has a proven interest in restricting other forms of dress that might be considered offensive?

    I am not saying that it has a proven interest, I am just saying that some may construe it as having an implied interest. I, for one, do not think it has, but I am sure that someone somewhere gets a giant legal boner just thinking about restricting someone's choice of clothing on the precedent established by these laws.

    So yes, I am making the leap, because when people are given an inch of latitude in some aspects, they will go for the mile.

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  • mightycroutonmightycrouton Registered User
    edited February 2010
    Enosh20 wrote: »
    There was no aggression towards a specific religious community. Granted, Christians and Jews had to pay a special tax, but they weren't liable for armed service which kind of made everyone happy
    yeah

    lets ignore the forcefull removal of christian children from their parrents to indoctrinate them into the janissary corps

    It wasn't forced removal. Parents actually TRIED to kid their children into the corps since it promised their kids a waaaay better life. History can be kind of skewed to christian sympathy, but deeper studying of the corps and written documents by the Janissaries give a unique point of view.

    Hell, at several points in history, the Janissaries were just as powerful as the king.

    Dely Apple wrote:
    Flicking on some vicodin and watching children's television is something you do and wake up next to like the geek, and no one wants that
  • MrMisterMrMister 7 cards in hand Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Hell, at several points in history, the Janissaries were just as powerful as the king.

    And were super-conservative, and prevented crucial reforms from going through. History is full of these sorts of fun facts.

    Valuing scholarship above all else, the inhabitants of the Ivory Tower reward those who sacrifice power for knowledge.
  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    The French senate has voted in favour of a bill to ban face-covering veils in public, a proposal that has sparked fierce debate in a country that is home to Western Europe's largest Muslim population.

    Senators approved the measure by 246 votes to one, with most opposition senators abstaining in protest.

    The law has already been passed by the national assembly but still has to be vetted by the constitutional council, France's highest legal body.

    Critics of the proposed law hope that the council will overturn the bill.

    Some rights groups have voiced concerns that the legislation risks raising Islamophobia, in a country where some Muslim women already face harrassment for wearing the veil.

    If implemented, women caught wearing face veils in public places, including streets, markets, government buildings, private businesses and public transport would be fined $190.

    Tougher penalties

    Men who force their wives or daughters to cover for religious reasons would face tougher penalties of up to $38,685 and a one-year jail term.

    Supporters of the bill insist it is aimed at integration, rather than stigmatising a minority group.

    Only around 2,000 women in France wear a face-covering veil, out of a Muslim community of around five million.

    Speaking before Tuesday's vote, Michele Alliot-Marie, the justice minister, said: "The full face veil dissolves the identity of a person in that of a community.

    "It challenges the French model of integration based on the acceptance of the values of our society."

    Alliot-Marie said the ban had nothing to do with religion and said it reaffirmed the French values of equality and dignity of all individuals and would prevent women from simply becoming faceless members of a larger ethnic community.

    Legal minefield

    Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, has promoted the bill as a measure to protect Muslim women from being forced to wear the all-enshrouding veil, which he has described as "not welcome".

    But some Muslim women argue that such a law would force them to stay at home so as to avoid showing their faces in public.

    "I won't go out. I'll send people to shop for me. I'll stay home, very simply," Oum Al Khyr, a 45-year-old woman who lives on the outskirts of Paris, told the AP news agency.

    "I'll spend my time praying, I'll exclude myself from society when I wanted to live in it," she said.

    The bill to ban the veil will take effect only after a six-month period set aside for mediation and explanation.

    The legislation was carefully worded to ensure it passes potential legal minefields.

    The measure is called "Forbidding the Dissimulation of the Face in the Public Space", making no mention of "woman", "veil" or "Islam".

    The language was tweaked in similar fashion when a ban on headscarves was passed in 2004, with the law outlawing all "ostentatious" religious symbols, including large Christian crosses.

  • EchoEcho very gravitas Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited September 2010
    So a whole lot of women have now effectively been put under house arrest. Awesome.

    Unless someone really think there will suddenly be some female empowerment movement and they all decide to burn their veils.

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Yeah this is a shit idea. I can understand France taking action against the problems of sexism that exist in their Algerian immigrant areas, in fact they absolutely should, but this is a very bad and superficial way to go about it.

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  • Big ClassyBig Classy Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    France is being real shitty recently. First they annoy the muslim population and then they piss off the rest of the world by kicking out the Roma civilians. They're going nuts.

    camo_sig2.png
    My Backloggery PSN: Bigisy24
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Wait, 2,000 women?

    So roughly .0003 (?) percent of the population wearing these is some sort of challenge to French values?

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Big Isy wrote: »
    France is being real shitty recently. First they annoy the muslim population and then they piss off the rest of the world by kicking out the Roma civilians. They're going nuts.

    sensationalism gets us no where. This isn't 1984.

    sig.jpg
  • Big ClassyBig Classy Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Big Isy wrote: »
    France is being real shitty recently. First they annoy the muslim population and then they piss off the rest of the world by kicking out the Roma civilians. They're going nuts.

    sensationalism gets us no where. This isn't 1984.

    I agree.

    camo_sig2.png
    My Backloggery PSN: Bigisy24
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Big Isy wrote: »
    Big Isy wrote: »
    France is being real shitty recently. First they annoy the muslim population and then they piss off the rest of the world by kicking out the Roma civilians. They're going nuts.

    sensationalism gets us no where. This isn't 1984.

    I agree.

    I misread what you wrote it seems. Read it as "France is getting really shitting recently". My mistake

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  • Big ClassyBig Classy Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Eh. it happens.

    camo_sig2.png
    My Backloggery PSN: Bigisy24
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Big Isy wrote: »
    Eh. it happens.

    I agree this was a shit thing for France do to, but I get tired of "western civilization is crumbling because this one thing happened!"

    It looks like corrective action will be taken and France will get over this douchebagery. System working as intended.

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  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    And the irony of "freedom fries" deepens.

    georgersig.jpg
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    So much for Liberte.

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