this is great. they bring up a lot of the points we brought up in the group thread. the girl that says that “it’s what she was taught to do” and then she says she wears it by choice – hehe!
what blatant disrespect from that man towards Mona!! for me it is very much a feminist issue. i can’t really understand – though i know i should make assumptions – how anyone would want to walk a round covered like that! it’s like saying i …want to walk around with a ball and chain!! I respect Sarah’s opinion, but with all du respect, she never wore a burqa. we have in common being born in cultures that oppress women and with very strong religious indoctrination (though in mexico is not that much so – at least in larger cities). i still say the ban is ok. including for the safety reasons.
R did make a point in saying that feminist women from Arabic states are in favor of the ban. I would like to see some links which represents this R if you can show me
I’ve worn a Burqa before. I bought it in Egypt. Wore it by choice. I still have it in my closet. Even the matching gloves.
what i meant to say and to which you attested is that you were born into a family that did not demand you wear one.
So many muslim girls are born into families that do not demand it either. Yet they choose it too. As I demonstrated in the group thread.
A burqa can be worn by a man as well as a woman, and IF security is a concern (such as mass transit systems, or any large gathering of people) , I think it is reasonable to ban them in those places.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali has a lot to say to this, her views coming from the “inside” are any of yo familiar with her? Her first book was “Infidel”. She is an amazing woman.
Despite all the shit storm around this entire thing in regard to religion and female rights, I still think that there is something inheritely wrong in telling people how they can dress. It’s hypocritical. You’re pissed at families for forcing women and children to wear it, but you turn around and tell people how they can and can’t dress. Same thing.
J, security is only an issue in regard to the face being covered. I have relented on my former stance in that regard and I agree with it.
It is also OK to pat down children IF they set off a metal detector, or there is a reasonable suspicion that they might be carrying a harmful substance. Peoples rights are only good if they do not endanger others. Religions should NOT overrule public safty!
It is hard to deal with masked covered faces in an open society. We do not know how to relate to such non people if we can not see their faces.
J do we ban wearing steel toe boots on the bus too? Where do we draw the line where the state imposed legal authority which infringes on freedom of expression?
Is this not a similar issue as the “Patriot Act” ?
There was a situation of crime in Australia and non of the perpetraters could be identified because they were all covered.
J, Burqa is not religion. The manner in which people used to pat down children bordered on the obscene. Children need a special patdown. That is an entirely different issue than this.
How are steel toes boots a danger to the safety of others, Thread Starter?
I have not been keeping up with this blog, nor do I use mass transit that much.
Steel boots can cause considerate damage to someone when you kick them. The moral is that anything and everything can be used as a weapon if the person wished and was skilled enough.
I get my toes stepped on every time I take the bus, to me that is a bigger safety issue then a woman sitting with her child dressed in her traditional garb. That is a real day to day thing.
I go back to Ayaan Hirsy ali when you hear her you understand that very very few would wear this dress if they had not been so deeply indoctrinated.
M. That goes without saying. People within this religion paint the Burqa as a religious issue when it’s not. Thus, in some places, it is instilled in their teachings. To wipe this out, you don’t attack the head dress. That changes nothing. You attack the mentality and break the indoctrination.
Sarah, darn it I did not want to get sucked into this discousion. How can you claim this is not a religious thing?
hmm – Thread Starter, in my culture it is the “traditional” women who raise the macho children, that see their male children as superior to their female daughters and they should be successful and grandiose, even if they have to become drug lords. to me that is more dangerous that someone stepping in my toe.
J, because nowhere in the religious teachings is it stated as a requirement. Not even in their prophet’s sayings.
So A what you are saying that is we truly do support freedom of expression we should support cultural traditions being challenged. Is this what you are saying?
OK Sarah I see what you are saying. The head dress does not make the religion, but governments that do not want to discriminate against religions, can only attack aspects that can produce harm.
every form of ignorance must be challenged …
If they want to do that J, then must never allow Sharia law. Other than that, there is not much they can do. Just like in the states there is not much we can do about the Mormons or the Jehova Witnesses or the Baptists Chruches. All repress women and children. Yet we can not do anything but clean up the mess and not allow Church to merge with state.
A, that is a valid concern that you just described. So you attack that ideal, not the symptom. Tell me, if that mentality was manifested via..let’s say…a pin that women wore on their chest, do you think banning that pin on their clothing would actually stop those women from doing what they do anyway? Or thinking that way? No.
challenging ideals is good, talking is good, restricting what people can and can not do is not and it is highly hypocritical in this case
Mormons wear special underwear that restricts hygiene to a good extent. To save these people from their delusion, do you feel banning the magic underwear would do any good?
magic underwear, that sounds kind of kinky =p
Any law is going to discriminate against someone. I know of no law that does not infringe, so should we just have no laws?
It does =) This situation astounds me by the way. It has shown me in some respects how some people are quick to make assumptions about your character and position when they see that you do not agree with you. Not particularly in this thread, but I saw that in the video that Natalie posted in the group thread last night. The man in it said that women that disagree should be ashamed of themselves without even knowing their position or why they feel that way.
J, that’s fine. Just not something that restricts clothing. Government telling me what to wear has never made me happy. It’s none of their damn business.
We also need to distiguish between a buka and a head scarf no one minds a head scarf, as the woman above is wearing what is offenicve in a free society is woman who were face masks, have NO face. How can one interact do business with a NO face?
I like this
“My mom always tensed up and pulled me close when nuns passed us on the streets of Ogden when I was a child. She would say, “That’s a Catholic nun over there. Don’t look at her. She is of Satan’s own church.
Once some of her funda…mentalist, polygamy friends were visiting in our home. They wore long faded dresses over wrist and angle sleeved “old style temple garments.” They wore no makeup, and their hair was in never-cut braids. I describe them because they did not exactly look “normal.”
They were discussing nuns. One lady with five or six infants and toddlers hanging on her said, “Those Catholic nuns are the strangest looking people I’ve ever seen. I’d like to find one who is blind, so I could look her up-and- down, and up-and-down all day because I can’t get enough of looking at that wierd get-up!”
The difference is known. As I said, I relented on the face covering in that for some safety issues (identification purposes) in certain places, it should not be allowed. Otherwise, that’s their concern. Are face masks in general banned? No. Just in certain places. This should not be different.
”As I grew up, every adult I knew wore garmies. My aunties peed through a gaping slit in them. I saw my mother in them every day with bra and full slip on the outside, winter and summer. She put on a garter belt and nylons over them for ch…urch. Bunched up garmies in and around all of those other lady things are not a pretty sight!
I’m not even getting into the problems of periods or nursing mothers here.
I got in trouble once for not hanging garmies on the line behind the bedsheets to protect them from gentiles who may be passing our farm on the highway to Idaho.
I thought the kitchen was on fire a few times until I found my mom burning the “sacred symbols” in tin cans before she cut the underwear into dust cloths. I was slapped a time or two for letting them fall or drag on the floor when I did laundry as a child.”
Above sounds damn horrible to endure.
One cannot wear a motorcycle helmet in banks and building societies here in the UK for obvious reasons – I assume it is the same in a great many countries? I am not sure what the banks stance is on other facial coverings – I assume they wil…l refuse to serve you (I have never encountered the situation). Identification when passing through ports of entry into any country is important, but one assumes that people wearing these garments will be willing to remove them for identification purposes and allowed to put them back on afterwards? I am positively ambivalent if a person wants to wear something, as long as you aren’t compromising safety and security of anyone else.
As for the magic undergarments… I am intrigued, I have never heard about that side of Mormons before =)
It seems we are all more comfortable with religions we grew up with, and mistrust ohthers, even though we all no longer believe.
I can’t rest so I will say the following on this topic to drive some other things home. I read posts on Natalie’s thread and instead of beating that dead horse there, I will say that Alex makes interesting points. But the issue is that it… wouldn’t be a problem really if all they did was ban face covering in public period. This would automatically be applied to Burqas. But this way, they are actively seeking out and alienating a group of people for reasons that I’ve beaten the horse on more than once.
@Sarah; I am most assuredly against the beating of horses. A catch all that states you can’t wear facial covering in public? Halloween wouldn’t be as much fun 😉 But seriously, I don’t know why people are hand wringing about the issues, a …bit of an overreaction to the issues at hand? (if there even are any). Other than practical issues with regard to security and safety, it is daft to single specific items out for an outright ban.
@J; I don’t trust any religion, nor do I afford any one any greater status or respect. Stupid is as stupid does.
S! That’s exactly my point from the beginning! This entire thing is ridiculous. I feel like hiring a choir to hum your name while I bask in the beauty that is your comment.
i have no problem with the head covering. i have a problem with any form of religious extremism, no matter if it’s chrisitian or hindu or whatever. it makes me sick when i see the Jesus Camp docu. for example, and believe these people shou…ld be prosecuted for child abuse. but the burqua is extremist. i am reading the comments on various blogs and they are insane!! exactly what mona explains about holding muslim women to this super holy standard!! and condemning mona for choosing not to wear it and some even say she’s just jealouse because she is not as holly as or worthy than women who do wear the burqua!!! wtf!!! and i’m sure women who do wear it believe this to some degree!!
now, i did read there are only a few thousand women wearing the burqua in france out of millions. that worries me a bit. maybe the security claims were exaggerated? at the same time each country is also free to hold a collective ideal of their way of life.
”at the same time each country is also free to hold a collective ideal of their way of life.”
I still don’t agree with the latter just as much as I don’t agree with laws banning abortion or gay marriage. Personal beliefs should never be made into legislation. Furthermore, not banning something is not synonymous with agreeing with it.
I think Nationalism is the second great danger we face next to religion
@A; I think you are mistakenly merging the concept of the slightly over zealous folk with crazy hobbies that appear to be big fans of facial coverings, with the covering itself. Ban the covering, the zealot is still standing there, only …now even more annoyed and defiant. Fixes nothing. A general pragmatic set of guidelines about where any facial covering can and can’t be worn would be less inflammatory for all concerned.
I liked this response on N wall, says a lot about Nationalism to me and the harms it causes
“Society’s moral authority has always been composed by those in power, and in few exceptions, by the majority. Never the minority.” I disagree…. While that may frequently be what has occurred in practice, it is not always so, nor is it even frequently desirable. The majority does often have the power to impose its will on the minority, but that will is not always moral. In America, the racial segregation and discrimination that you cite were imposed at the will of the majority. These evils were dismantled, not because the majority’s morality compelled them to do the right thing, but because the MINORITIES protested, struggled, disobeyed the law and died for what was moral and right (i.e., an end to the discrimination). Only when the majority saw that they could no longer continue to trample on the minorities’ rights, because the minority would no longer tolerate it, did change occur. The government did not give minorities their rights, the minority communities demanded and took them.
As to your statement that you have no rights as rights are given by governments. I vehemently disagree. It is my belief that all people are born with certain fundamental (some would say God-given) rights that no government has the right to infringe upon (i.e., a right to self-determination, a right to dignity, etc.). Sadly, many governments do not always respect those rights and, as is the way of the world, might frequently makes right. Nevertheless, simply because a government abuses its people’s rights, doesn’t mean that people are not owed those rights.
There is nothing wrong with having a variety of opinions about women wearing burqas. But your dislike of it shouldn’t get to dictate another person’s decision of whether she may wear it. I do agree there are safety considerations that should be considered in determining whether such attire is desirable/legal in public. Unfortunately, much of the debate has focused on cultural issues, rather than safety concerns. As a cultural issue, everyone should be free to follow their own conscience and not the morality, prejudices or opinions of the majority.
Finally, as to the comment someone above made about immigrants needing to assimilate to the majority culture. I find it ironic for a non-indigenous population (as most Australians and Americans are) to have colonized ANOTHER PEOPLE’S COUNTRY BY FORCE, shuttled the indigenous people onto reservations, destroyed their language, culture and traditions, set up stolen home as their own and decided that anyone who comes after them forthwith is foreign and should be required to assimilate to their “Australian” or “American” ways. I’m sure the Aborigines and Native Americans wish you guys had done the same.”
Yeah. I was thinking of making a thread to deal with nationalism later today. That comment by A was one of the things that prompted me to make my last serious comment in this thread.
yes well said N, and as far as we as a society agree to make certain standards, probably few of us like people in shopping malls naked, or in city streets naked, so we might as a socitey, as a whole decide that burkas are fine in ones… own privacy but not in the banks, shopping malls, on city streets. These black walking tents can be frightening to many, especiallt children. It can be shocking to see these formless, faceless figures. And they do give the message of opression. It is unimaginale to think any person would want willingly to walk around like that. We have right now a challenge in the courts of poligamy, which is mostly practiced by older men marrying many younger and younger girls. Should we as a society turn a blind eye and say it’s their religious freedom? While these young girls have no choice, nor protection by the society, or the government?
as a society these questions will obviously always be amongst us and how do we make these desicions fairly and in respect of customs, freedoms?
How do you feel with children in public seeing traditional Native people wearing their custom clothing on in front of them?
As far as adjusting to a country I adobt, has certainly been my attitude. While living in India I did not go about in short shorts or topless on their beaches. While living in the Samoan Islands I went bathing in my clothes, like the local …woman do. If we leave one country to find another, it is respectful to learn their language and adjust to their customs. In Canada much is tolerated as it is a multicultural land still there are certain standards that one follows.
Does this mean you might wear a burka if you went to the middle east M?
No I am not moslem and they do not expect non moslems to wear a burka but I would dress appropriatey and even cover my hair if I felt it was a requiremnet.
WHAT ! Middle-east is not like that , who wears Burka in Middleeast ? Only Saudi Arabia and few gulf countries
There is a huge misconception here !
So they do not wear Burkas in Iraq?
It was even ridiculed all the time by my School teachers , please don’t equate Middleeast with Saudi Arabia , I don’t belong to them and I Don’t want to
Yes F I was going to correct that too!! As far as the natives are concerned here in Canada they wear hery beautiful garments only at festivals.
he Burqa exists in every country, I think the difference is the countries that make it mandatory by law and the ones that do not.
It is worn by few but not in urban places
So it is not common to see it in Iraq?
No not common
ok thank you
I am very glad for France Decision and I am not afraid to say it , If Fundamentalists want to look like animals , let them be in the zoo but not in public .
M from the GSM thread: I guess i am the only one who has read Jennifer Heath (ed.) The Veil – Women Writers on Its History, Lore and Politics, (University of California Press: California 2008). The book comprises of articles written by w…omen authors explaining wh…y they have chosen to wear the veil – many of them are indeed converts. If you believe no women wear the veil of their own free will I suggest you speak to them, or at least listen to others who have. Upon researching for my masters dissertation as to the compatibility of the french ban with Article 9 of the ECHR, the evidence point overwhelmingly that the vast majority of women (at least in Britain, France, Germany and Netherlands) actually choose to wear the veil themselves. Moreover, if you think that a woman who is forced to wear a veil by her husband will be allowed to leave the house without one just because the authorities have banned it are sorely mistaken. They will simply be confined to their house instead. Some liberty and equality eh? The ban is nothing more than fear of what one doesnt understand in Islam. We may not understand why women chose to wear a veil – but plenty of them do. Just bear in mind this quote by a muslim feminist interviewed by Le Point in France “I feel that the France that I love has betrayed me. Thanks to France, I am now a free woman, but now France wants to chain me because it doesn’t accept my choices”
“Violators will face a substantial fine (€150) and will have to enroll in a citizenship class to better learn the values”
So this is about cultural assimilation if that is the deemed punishment?
It doesn’t reflect at all about the concerns to public safety, that seems to be an after thought as to the actual reasons
Right. If the target audience for help with this ban are the oppressed minority who wear it against their will, then how the hell is a citizenship class supposed to help them with anything? If it’s against their will then they already idenify with the sentiment that the Burqa is bad. This is further proof that their aim is to not free those that are being forced to do something, rather it is to force their values down someone else’s throat.
Yeah. Exactly as I suspected all along.
well, that too plays into security. because you might remember the riots. some commented it was because the people were having trouble assimilating the culture.
so they target a ridiculous head dress? they can do better than that
Why does it surprise people that the French government makes efforts to enforce nationalism? They even have laws restricting the proportion of foreign albums that can be put on sale in record stores.
Security is at best a tertiary concern to the French government. Their primary concern is that they are afraid of Muslims. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.
If it were about public safety the class they are forced to enrol with would reflect public safety not cultural assimilation
I have to admit the French are a bit paranoid here in Canada
There are so many language laws in Quebec, you get fined for having English signs
So then you got issue like Walmart, how do you say Walmart in French?
Touching on a couple points that didn’t seem to get responses earlier:
J: “Any law is going to discriminate against someone. I know of no law that does not infringe, so should we just have no laws?”
I am not okay with laws that discriminate against people for expressing their respective beliefs. I am, however, okay with laws discriminating against child molesters. I doubt I need to explain this discrepancy.
M: “We have right now a challenge in the courts of poligamy, which is mostly practiced by older men marrying many younger and younger girls. Should we as a society turn a blind eye and say it’s their religious freedom? While these young girls have no choice, nor protection by the society, or the government?”
People should have the right to exercise their religious practices insofar as it does not infringe upon the rights of others to life, liberty, and property. Children cannot consent to a commitment such as marriage as a sober-minded adult and as such should not be permitted to participate in the practice of marriage, even if they express a desire to do so. Religion doesn’t enter into it. Not only would creating a law against the religion be unecessary, but it would also be ineffective as the practitioners of any given practice will find a secular way to circumvent the law.
So people should be free to wear traditional dress? I would assume that would include nudity? The simple fact is that public nudity is an offence. Isn’t this the same thing? An example of discrimination many here would accept? So why is it okay to ban nudity but not the burka? Is the principle really freedom of choice?
And I hasten to add: how many burka clad women do you think would allow their daughter to become a naturist or go topless at the beach (which is acceptable in France)? Do I smell hypocrisy? My freedom of choice must be respected but I don’t have to respect your freedom to choose!
I don’t think nudity should be banned, either, so the comparison to nudity is irrelevant to me, personally. As I have said before, it doesn’t matter to me whether someone wants to wear a beekeeper’s suit or go out into public naked. That is… a personal choice and has no affect on myself or any other person’s life. People might be offended. That is fine. Everyone has a right to be offended. The government doesn’t have to do anything to address people being offended, but they have a right to be offended.
How many American mothers would allow their kids to go to a topless beach? How many Catholic French mothers would allow their children to convert to Islam? There will always be disapproving parents. You can’t get rid of them. The kids will have to do what everyone with disapproving parents did: Put up with their parents until they were old enough to move out of the house.
Kids don’t have rights as human beings, as you illustrated with an earlier example of French students not being permitted to wear religious symbols in school. I don’t like it, but other people seem to be okay with it.
Yes and religious studies be taught at an early age teaching the history of all religions. We pick our battles people, seems like our energies would be more productive elsewhere