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Sarkozy says the burqa is 'not welcome' in France

(641 Posts)
AbricotsSecs Mon 22-Jun-09 18:49:11

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AbricotsSecs Mon 22-Jun-09 18:56:30

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ilovemydogandmrobama Mon 22-Jun-09 19:01:59

There was a recent debate about this, after Matthew parris wrote an article in The Times that the burka and covering one's face (for women) was a social/cultural issue rather than a religious one citing that women in Syria/Iran were more lax than some other countries (am happy to be corrected on this summary...)

It just seems that if one is going to say a woman has freedom, then surely that freedom extends to making a decision about how they wish to express their religious belief, even if it goes against the culture.

For instance, I wear a LA Dodgers baseball cap wink and no one here gets baseball wink

edam Mon 22-Jun-09 19:03:50

Good for him. Although it is a bit tricky, seeing a man telling women what they can wear...

It's hellishly complicated. How do you factor in personal freedom to dress as you wish, v. personal freedom not to be made to wear something that your family may wish to enforce against your will, v. the wider impact on society?

Wonder how many women would be bloody glad if France did ban the burqa so it wasn't something that could be forced on them, and how many would be pissed off that they couldn't wear one?

Islam as a religion appears to be in favour of individuals limiting their behaviour for the good of society as a whole... so why not apply this to the issue of wearing a burqa in Western countries, i.e. don't do it?

AbricotsSecs Mon 22-Jun-09 19:05:26

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SoupDragon Mon 22-Jun-09 19:06:55

Is forcing women not to wear it any better than forcing them to wear it?

SomeGuy Mon 22-Jun-09 19:10:09

Of course it is, because there are so many different things you can wear that are not burqas.

So there is clearly the freedom to wear anything that's not a burqa is a greater freedom than being forced to wear one.

SoupDragon Mon 22-Jun-09 19:22:24

No, because anyone who is being forced to wear one will simply either be taken out of the country or made to stay wearing it where no one can see. Those who choose to wear it are forced not to or forced to move.

It will not help those women who are made to wear it.

AbricotsSecs Mon 22-Jun-09 19:27:18

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onagar Mon 22-Jun-09 19:38:14

The choice thing is just one of several reasons they might be banned. It was said on a recent thread (by a muslim) that it could and often was the equivalent of a sign saying "non muslim men keep away!"

After all 'everyone knows' that non muslim men are savages that have to be kept at a distance.

Muslim isn't a race, but the nearest example I can think of would be white women wearing a sign that meant "black men keep away" which would not be acceptable.

It's also a slap in the face to people who are deaf since it prevents them lipreading.

There is also this nonsense about being able to go through customs, collect children from school and other situation where ID is important while wearing a mask.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Mon 22-Jun-09 19:44:54

Agreed, hellishly tricky. I do find it quite offensive on a blisteringly hot day to see a man in cool shorts and tee-shirt, while wife is wearing heavy thick hot black robe from head to foot.
No problem with headscarves.

sarah293 Mon 22-Jun-09 19:47:17

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monkeytrousers Mon 22-Jun-09 19:56:22

any state that believes itself to be a liberal democracy couldn't really in good conscious 'order' their citizens to wear or not wear anything. Even if they are an oppressed people like many women in Islam.

They could start debate about it though. And keep doing so. Until the message begins to get through and a reformation of sorts begins to happen. But after what's happend in Iran, a massive part pf which is all due to educating women and freeing women from domestic bondage, and especially depending on what does happen - revolution or no - the powers that be may become more conservative.

Whatever happens, women in Islam, the ones who cannot choose rather than those minority who can, could very well be democracy's 5th column - Just how we enable them to liberate themselves is another question altogether.

monkeytrousers Mon 22-Jun-09 19:57:05

in good consciousness order their..too many typos, I know...

GivePeasAChance Mon 22-Jun-09 19:58:35

I just wish the women would do it themselves and burn the burkas, and not have to be told by someone with Small Man Syndrome

AbricotsSecs Mon 22-Jun-09 19:58:55

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TotalChaos Mon 22-Jun-09 19:59:06

agree with MT and Riven. Whatever one's feelings about gender politics etc and burqa, I doubt an enforced ban is the way to go about things.

BonsoirAnna Mon 22-Jun-09 20:06:13

We talked a lot about this over the weekend. When we were driving home last night, we concluded that in fact we wished the burqa were obligatory for all those who failed our rigorous "appearance police" test grin

AbricotsSecs Mon 22-Jun-09 20:10:25

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BonsoirAnna Mon 22-Jun-09 20:12:39

I think we were so bored of this debate (as you can imagine, living in France and being a dual-religion household this is hardly the first time that the subject has been debated fast and furiously and got quite heated wink) that we were looking for an elegant solution smile

smallwhitecat Mon 22-Jun-09 20:16:13

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totalmisfit Mon 22-Jun-09 20:16:39

i think it's quite a divisive item of clothing. It creates an artificial barrier (intentionally or otherwise) between the wearer and the non-wearer.

As a species, i think we have a collective duty to break down barriers, encourage communication and shared values between different ethnic and religious groups to make the world a more peaceful place; the burka is a physical and psychological barrier to that end because all 90% of communication is non-verbal

totalmisfit Mon 22-Jun-09 20:22:53

Plus, it's not even a religious item of clothing, it's a cultural item originating in Saudi Arabia and associated in the popular imagination, and often in reality, with extremist islam (the kind that doesn't believe a woman has the right to chose what she wears, and so threatens the very values opponents of Sarkozy's proposal would seek to protect) rather than more progressive, moderate muslims, in the same way that the balaclava is now associated mainly with terrorism and violence in northern ireland and britain.

sonicxtra Mon 22-Jun-09 20:29:44

If we were to move to an Islamic country we would be expected to assimilate with their ways and customs, not walking down the street with everything hanging out, so why should foreigners settling in another country not be expected to blend in with the ways and dress?

If you want to be on the outside then don't emmigrate to a non muslim country.

edam Mon 22-Jun-09 20:43:24

Fair point, sonic, but some of the women who have adopted the burqa in the UK were born here - seems to be a political act, a protest against Bush n Blair and that era. The whole 'axis of evil' invasion of Iraq etc. etc. etc. I can see their point, I just wish they would make it without wearing clothing that represents the subjugation of women. Even if they are subverting it.

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