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The French headscarf ban

  1. Feb 13, 2004 #1
    Okay, I ain't got a link BUt I'm sure everyone knows bout the French bill which intends on banning religious insignia in schools.

    Recently I read that it's been passed through parliament and just needs senate approval or something!

    I'm shocked!!

    I think it's probably the most racist law to be proposed for a good 10 years!!

    It's pure evil. It is a human right for you to practice your religion and now it's getting suppressed by the state!!! uh...is this like a return to 20th century dicatatorships (ie. pol pot, idi amin).

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 13, 2004 #2


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    ANY religious icons will be banned from French public schools (other countries are considering it too). I think it is rediculous and very unnecessary.

    IF they want to do something about equeling people in public schools, the should reconsitute the wearing of uniforms, everyone will be restricted in the same way.

    Shouldn't we be teaching children to respect other religions, rather than hiding the fact that there are?
  4. Feb 13, 2004 #3
    I'm sure their have been worse laws somewhere in the world...this one is just stupid.
  5. Feb 13, 2004 #4
    Only racist if you buy into the muslim lobbying. It's a ban on ALL religious symbols, and for someone to say that the headscarve is more important than a yamaka, or cross around the neck, is extremely assumptive and arrogant.

    I am still against the law because I believe in freedom of religion, not censorship of. However, I'm not buying into "this is just an attack on muslims".
  6. Feb 13, 2004 #5


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    Oh, I am very sure this is an attack against muslims, you are from Europe? Why on earth would they pass a law like this?

    It is arrogant to think that a scarf cannot be more important than a cross around the neck. I agree though that the meaning of the scarf has changed over the years and is used less to cover up the neck and hair and is more subject to fashion.

    This way the wearing of religious items will only be frowned upon more, it creates segregation since people will have a strong inclination to go to private schools for muslims, private schools for jews and private schools for people who wear crosses
  7. Feb 13, 2004 #6


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    I guess I'll play the Devil's advocate (which makes the French government the devil).

    I have heard one reason for the ban is to protect less zealous Muslims from more zealous ones. The more zealous Muslims harass and even beat muslim girls who do not wear head scarves. Ideally, the solution would be to punish those who do the harassing. I don't know how it is in French schools, but I remember in my school days, no form of discipline ever had any effect whatsoever on students harassing each other. If anything, it intensified harassment.

  8. Feb 13, 2004 #7
    I am not from Europe. They are passing the law because French law already outlaws crosses and certain other religious symbols (I'll pull a link if need be) and this simply extends it to all religious symbols. Why would they? Because fair is all or none, and France has chosen none. I think tehy should have chose all.

    It's arrogant to believe that all religious symbols can be equally important to their respective religions? So tolerance is now arrogant? Regardless of whether a religion's holy book calls for the wearing of a symbol, or not, it doesn't change that a symbol of one's religion can be just as important to them as another's.
  9. Feb 13, 2004 #8
    This law is a tricky one. Any time the government enforces a dress code of some kind they generally step on some peoples freedoms. A total ban is probably the simplest solution, although I doubt it's the right one.

    I don't see this law reducing fundamentalism in any way. In fact it's likely to drive the religious to private schools, and segregating people by religion only seems to encourage fundamentalism.
  10. Feb 13, 2004 #9


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    Ok, so how does everyone not wearing a scarf solve the problem again?
  11. Feb 13, 2004 #10


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    That is not up for discussion. Muslim women traditionally wear the scarfs to cover up their femimity (sp?) their hair and neck have sexual value and should thus not be exposed to strangers.

    That is what I mean with the fact that a scarf can be more important than a cross on the neck. It also explains why certain Muslims have a big problem with their women not wearing scarfs. What if your gf starts walking around in a see-through shirt.. just look at the amazing, absolutely amazing (in dutch relative terms) uproar that was created in the US with the 1/8 of a millisecond exposure of Janet Jackson's breast..
  12. Feb 13, 2004 #11


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    don't I have a point? just respect other one's values
  13. Feb 13, 2004 #12


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    No type of head covering, hat, scarf, etc... can be worn by children in public schools here, it's been that way as long as I can remember. The reason they are banned is because they could be "gang related symbols". The only possible "gangs" at my daughter's school might be the "Prada Shoes" or the "Versace Handbags". But it is a rule and kids will be suspended for wearing anything on their head in the classroom.

    At the beginning of this school year so many kids were suspended it made the news. Kids are not allowed to wear jeans that are long enough to cover their shoes, or baggy jeans, or shirts with logos, and on and on...

    So I was suprised to see that people thought that a ban of this type in school was unusual. I guess it's what you are used to.

    I think it's ridiculous for a school to ban anything unless it's indecent, but I disagree with all of their stupid policies.

    Njorl's point has validity though.
  14. Feb 13, 2004 #13


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    I think that's the real question at issue here, what constitutes indecency? To many from Arab cultures, the bearing of a woman's head and neck is indecent. So, to borrow from Monique's hypothetical,

    This law would be more accurately represented if the question were: "what if the government passed a law prohibitting your gf from wearing a top in public schools?" Such a law would be rediculous.

    Which brings up an interesting idea for a protest; suppose school children start showing up to school in the buff? When officials try to tell them they must where clothing for the sake of decency, they can respond that the relationship between clothing and decency is a function of said officials' religious upbringing. Therefore, all clothing can be called "religious symbols". That would cause a stir!
  15. Feb 14, 2004 #14

    and thus, that statement alone is reason that one's religious symbol cannot be assumed more important than someone elses.

    It's rude, arrogant, and assumptive of you to tell someone that their wearing of a cross is less important to them than the wearing of a headscarve because tradition calls for it on the account of humbleness.
  16. Feb 14, 2004 #15
    Once again, I reiterate the fact that just because the group as a whole does not require the wearing of a christian cross does not mean that the wearing of such a cross is less important to a person than the wearing of the scarve to a muslim. What position is it for anyone to judge someone else's religious symbols.h
  17. Feb 14, 2004 #16
    Any ornamental decoration can be considered more important than any other decoration, since the importance of a decoration is a subjective determination of ones culture.

    I would oppose a ban on religious icons simply out of principle. But it really doesn't matter if Muslims in general care more about wearing scarfs than Christians in general care about wearing crosses. The real issue is that the government is attempting to restrict rights (freedom of expression and religion) using a subjective law.
  18. Feb 14, 2004 #17
    I tolerate the values of others if doing so does not harm me. I do this so that others will tolerate my values that do not harm them.

    However respect is something very different. Values, like people, must earn respect. If your value system/religion requires continually wearning a particular piece of clothing, I'll tolerate such a value and even defend your right to have that value. But I might still think you're a fool and your beliefs are stupid.
  19. Feb 14, 2004 #18


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    I told you the reason why scarfs are traditionally worn by women. The same reason as to why you walk around in pants and not your underwear.

    So now you explain to me how wearing a cross is the same. Does it protect you from the evil eye?
  20. Feb 14, 2004 #19
    I agree with Monique.

    A cross can be worn underneath your shirt without anyone else ever needing to see or know that its there. Whereas a headscarfe for a muslim woman cannot be covered up for obvious reasons. What i am saying is a someone can get away with wearing a cross without anybody else needing to know about. For a headscarfe to be worn everyone see's it, thats why this law has more effect on muslim women.
  21. Feb 14, 2004 #20


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    Greetings !

    Well, the overall circumpstances are simple - all across
    Europe and abviously in Muslim countries many Muslim
    religious leaders attempt to force more and more
    strict Islamic laws on their "subjects" and
    preach "rather" undemocratic principles. It's natural
    for a democratic country to take some abvious counter
    measures when such a phenomenon becomes too overwhelming
    in numbers and results within its borders.

    Nevertheless, the law adresses all religions equally
    so it's not against any particular religion, this way.

    As for the law in general - for any religion, well,
    in my personal opinion - LESS religion is BETTER !
    So, I'd support such a law anyway temporarily, though
    I agree that it's not entirely democratic, in the hope
    that later on it won't be needed at all any more. :wink:

    Live long and prosper.
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