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French MPs vote to ban Islamic full veil in public

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Apocalypse

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France's lower house of parliament has overwhelmingly approved a bill that would ban wearing the Islamic full veil in public.

There were 335 votes for the bill and only one against in the National Assembly.

It must now be ratified by the Senate in September to become law.

The ban has strong public support but critics point out that only a tiny minority of French Muslims wear the full veil.

Many of the opposition Socialists, who originally wanted the ban limited only to public buildings, abstained from voting after coming under pressure from feminist supporters of the bill.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has backed the ban as part of a wider debate on French identity but critics say the government is pandering to far-right voters.

The vote is being closely watched in other countries, the BBC's Christian Fraser reports from the French capital Paris.

Spain and Belgium are debating similar legislation, and with such large-scale immigration in the past 20 or 30 years, identity has become a popular theme across Europe, our correspondent says.
'Open-faced democracy'

The bill would make it illegal to wear garments such as the niqab or burka, which incorporate a full-face veil, anywhere in public.

It envisages fines of 150 euros (£119) for women who break the law and 30,000 euros and a one-year jail term for men who force their wives to wear the burka.

The niqab and burka are widely seen in France as threats to women's rights and the secular nature of the state.

BBC News - French MPs vote to ban Islamic full veil in public
It seems like there are those in Europe who still care about their nation's identity and the oppression of Islamic women.
First Belgium, now France.
 

MaggieD

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The bill would make it illegal to wear garments such as the niqab or burka, which incorporate a full-face veil, anywhere in public.
That'd never make it here in the States. It's a tricky problem. For instances, banks in Illinois would/could refuse entry to a woman wering a full-faced veil -- or a man wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses -- if they so chose. Most banks post in their lobbies that they will be denied admittance if anyone's face is covered or sufficiently obscured.

We don't see much of that in the Chicago area. Whenever I do, I'm so darned tempted to ask the woman why she is wearing it. So far, I've resisted the impulse.
 

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It seems like there are those in Europe who still care about their nation's identity and the oppression of Islamic women.
First Belgium, now France.
But, of course, in this Orwellian age of ours, some will try to spin this oppression of women as some sort of women's empowerment, instead, by making the claims that the women who would be beaten senseless by their owners were they to refused to wear the garments are CHOOSING to wear them since their wanting to avoid the beatings is some sort of true choice.
 

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We look at it as oppression of women....most/some? of these women do not. But they should be free to chose...who could argue with that? There are already laws on the books that make domestic violence a serious crime. It's not about the burka, really, it's about being free to choose.
 

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It seems like there are those in Europe who still care about their nation's identity and the oppression of Islamic women.
First Belgium, now France.
Care about their nation's identiy? Well it's clear they don't seem to care about freedom. This is just a stupid law made against a religion a people does not like. Nothing more than modern day religious oppression.
 

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We look at it as oppression of women....most/some? of these women do not. But they should be free to chose...who could argue with that? There are already laws on the books that make domestic violence a serious crime. It's not about the burka, really, it's about being free to choose.
Indeed, the necessary laws are already there. What they need to do is to bring these people into the culture, not ostracize them which is what this law does. It will only make more conflict. But if there's a problem with women oppression, then you bring the people into your laws and culture and let them know that there are paths open to take if they suffer from domestic violence. Banning a burka will do nothing for this cause. In a free society people should know the laws which protect those freedoms. A woman should be free to choose to wear a burka if they wish, their choice. If it's a result of oppression, banning the burka does nothing to combat that. Instead, people should be made to feel comfortable in the culture and aware of their rights and liberties they enjoy under the free society. Including laws against domestic violence.
 

bub

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Care about their nation's identiy? Well it's clear they don't seem to care about freedom. This is just a stupid law made against a religion a people does not like. Nothing more than modern day religious oppression.

You may feel that it is a law against a religion, and indeed the extreme right supports it, but many other people, including feminists for example, support this ban because the burqa is seen as a symbol of oppression. In France there was some controversy, but in Belgium everyone (148 deputees out of 150) supported the ban, so I guess it's not possible to argue that it is just a xenophobic law.

Have a look at the arguments used in Belgium (I guess the French deputees used the same ones) to justify the law

Arguments of the walloon socialists:

- Wearing a burqa is not a symbol of religious freedom, it is one of the most notorious expressions of the submission of women.
1) The respect of the women's rights is fundamental in our society: banning the burqa is asserting the equality and freedom of women
2) In a society, everyone should live together, and uncovering your face is the first step to promote that
3) There are also security concerns about people whose face is covered (and indeed there have always been laws forbidding to cover your face with masks)

arguments of the flemish extreme-right:

- Islamist fundamentalism is not welcome anymore, and this ban is the first step to stop the islamisation of our society

arguments of the walloon liberals:

- this ban project is not a ban on the burqa itself, it bans anything that covers your face and makes your identification impossible
- but it's not only for security concerns, we also take into account the "sociability" aspects. Living together (I don't really know how to translate it, he means "not staying isolated") is essential and we have to prevent that some groups remain isolated.
- Our society is based on mutual respect and equality of rights, and wearing a burqa is fundamentally in contradiction with these values

arguments of the flemish christian-catholics

- we don't call the freedom of religion into question, but religious convictions have to come within the scope of certain values and the law
- Burqa has become the symbol of intolerance towards our society and of inequality of women. We could not understand that we condemn such practices in Afghanistan while tolerating them in our country.

arguments of the ecologists

- we support diversity and plurality in our society, we support the freedom to wear veils and we consider that freedom of religion is fundamental. Banning the burqa is not in contradiction with these values.
- the burqa goes to far, since it prevents the integration of women, it excludes them from any social contact and it is contrary to their fundamental rights. The burqa is a wall that prevents any communication.
- there are also security concerns: unidentifiable people can not be allowed in public places

arguments of the walloon christian-democrats:


- several hundreds of women are wandering with burqas. They are more and more numerous and that shocks the population, since it is in total contradiction with the fundamental principle of our society that says that communication between members of our society implies that their faces are uncovered. Someone who covers his face isolates itself from the rest of the society. It is an unacceptable deshumanization and that calls into question the equality of men and women. Furthermore, these women do not have any identity anymore. All of this is contrary to the European Charter of Human Rights.

- wearing a burqa is not something religious. It is something that comes from machist and violent pre-islamic societies, and that has been picked up by the most fundamentalist trends of Islam. Furthermore, this is rarely something that is isolated: it is often accompanied with other abuses of human rights.


argument of the president of the chamber and of the flemish liberals


- the sanctions are minimal, as we want a dissuasive effect only.
- we do not want to stigmatize Islam, and that is why the word "burqa" is not mentioned in the law. And by the way, we are the only European country that subsidises immams.
- freedom of religion can not be invoked when we're talking about the dignity of humans.


arguments of the flemish populists:

- we don't dare to call a cat a cat: this ban is about the burqa, which is a textile jail, a shroud of freedom.
- burqa has nothing to do with religion, it has been re-introduced in Saudi Arabia in 1910, and it existed 600 years before the creation of Islam.
- on the contrary, it is a provocation, a sign of refusal to integrate in our society
- a poll shows that 3/4 of the women who wear a burqa are forced to do so
http://www.debatepolitics.com/europe/71554-belgian-burkha-ban-only-30-women-3.html#post1058725123
 

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Several Swiss cantons are also debating banning burkas in public places. The canton of Geneva too, but in a most hilarious way. You see, we get huge numbers of obscenely wealthy Middle Eastern tourists who spend ridiculous amounts of money in our little city. So even though on principle the city condones all those noble issues of protecting women's dignity and fighting oppression and all that jazz, guess who will be exempt from having to strictly adhere to this ban if it's ever put in place?

Yep, ultra mega rich millionaire ladies in black from the Persian Gulf. :D

You gotta love how money talks, eh? :lol:
 

kaya'08

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It seems like there are those in Europe who still care about their nation's identity and the oppression of Islamic women.
First Belgium, now France.
What do you mean "still"? We are the only ones to have done something about it up to now. Good on France, i hope the rest of Europe promptly follows suit.

You may feel that it is a law against a religion, and indeed the extreme right supports it, but many other people, including feminists for example, support this ban because the burqa is seen as a symbol of oppression. In France there was some controversy, but in Belgium everyone (148 deputees out of 150) supported the ban, so I guess it's not possible to argue that it is just a xenophobic law.

Have a look at the arguments used in Belgium (I guess the French deputees used the same ones) to justify the law



http://www.debatepolitics.com/europe/71554-belgian-burkha-ban-only-30-women-3.html#post1058725123
Its not even a law against religion, its a law against a radical interpretation of that religion.
 
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Another foolish law being introduced I see
 

Infinite Chaos

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What do you mean "still"? We are the only ones to have done something about it up to now. Good on France, i hope the rest of Europe promptly follows suit.
I hope the rest of Europe remembers that free will is an important principle that our societies are based upon.

If Muslim men are oppressing their women banning burkas and niqabs is not going to prevent this. Better to spend the time or money in support networks and in educating women about their rights in western society.

Much as I dislike burkas and niqabs, I believe you don't protect people's rights by taking them away - taking away a right to wear what you wish is still taking a right away.
 

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#1 -- Nuns are forbidden to wear habits.
#2 -- Jews are forbidden to wear yamakas.

Using these examples, it's not hard to see that this is really about persecution of religious.
 

Apocalypse

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#1 -- Nuns are forbidden to wear habits.
#2 -- Jews are forbidden to wear yamakas.

Using these examples, it's not hard to see that this is really about persecution of religious.
I assume you mean that Nuns are not forbidden to wear habits and that Jews are not forbidden to wear yarmulkes.
However I know of no cases where yarmulkes or habits were forced onto a person.
 

MaggieD

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@ Apocalypse -- I posted a ridiculous example. I meant it to illustrate what we would think if those posts were made into law. If one wants to properly observe their certain faith, one wears a yamaka. Same with some orders of nuns. Same with Muslim women. No one is forcing these women to wear them. That's our perception; not theirs, in my opinion. If a woman in France decides she doesn't want to wear one, there are laws that protect her from domestic abuse. My husband forces me to wear a thong. (Another ridiculous example, by the way.) He'll beat me. Maybe he'll try to set me on fire. Shall we legislate against wearing them? Or throw his sorry ass in jail? Custom is hard to legislate.

In my opinion, this is thinly veiled religious persecution. (Pun intended.)
 
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SingleCellOrganism

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@ Apocalypse -- I posted a ridiculous example. I meant it to illustrate what we would think if those posts were made into law. If one wants to properly observe their certain faith, one wears a yamaka. Same with some orders of nuns. Same with Muslim women. No one is forcing these women to wear them. That's our perception; not theirs, in my opinion. If a woman in France decides she doesn't want to wear one, there are laws that protect her from domestic abuse. My husband forces me to wear a thong. (Another ridiculous example, by the way.) He'll beat me. Maybe he'll try to set me on fire. Shall we legislate against wearing them? Or throw his sorry ass in jail? Custom is hard to legislate.

In my opinion, this is thinly veiled religious persecution. (Pun intended.)
I concur. This is the seeds of fascism coming into fruition, oh how quickly we lost our grasp on what freedom means.

Where are the thinkers of yesteryear who understood the connection between 'imposing justice' and the police state?

V for Vendetta anyone?
 

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@ Apocalypse -- I posted a ridiculous example. I meant it to illustrate what we would think if those posts were made into law. If one wants to properly observe their certain faith, one wears a yamaka. Same with some orders of nuns. Same with Muslim women. No one is forcing these women to wear them. That's our perception; not theirs, in my opinion. If a woman in France decides she doesn't want to wear one, there are laws that protect her from domestic abuse. My husband forces me to wear a thong. (Another ridiculous example, by the way.) He'll beat me. Maybe he'll try to set me on fire. Shall we legislate against wearing them? Or throw his sorry ass in jail? Custom is hard to legislate.

In my opinion, this is thinly veiled religious persecution. (Pun intended.)
The branch of Judaism that wears yarmulkes - is it radical or opressively conservative by nature?

How about the Christian nuns? Is being a nun not something a Christian woman undertakes for herself?

Considering the things Wahabbism preaches, if that too where to spread like wildfire in Europe, would you not be slightly concerned?
 

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Oh yay! Mark another one up for institutionalized oppression. :roll:

****ing idiots.
 

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The branch of Judaism that wears yarmulkes - is it radical or opressively conservative by nature?

How about the Christian nuns? Is being a nun not something a Christian woman undertakes for herself?

Considering the things Wahabbism preaches, if that too where to spread like wildfire in Europe, would you not be slightly concerned?
You're right in everything written, especially the last sentence. I would be very concerned. But passing a law saying a woman can't wear a particular headdress isn't going to solve that problem.

It's religious persecution -- at least in the United States of America.
 
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kaya'08

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You're right in everything written, especially the last sentence. I would be very concerned. But passing a law saying a woman can't wear a particular headdress isn't going to solve that problem.

It's religious persecution -- at least in the United States of America.
Well its good you realize it a problem. Where we differ, however, is how to approach it. I say ban it, you say.....? I want to know what method you believed is best in approaching this topic. It might even sway my opinion (if it doesn't involve the word "education" lol).
 

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Well its good you realize it a problem. Where we differ, however, is how to approach it. I say ban it, you say.....? I want to know what method you believed is best in approaching this topic. It might even sway my opinion (if it doesn't involve the word "education" lol).
The solution is simple for those who wish to see it. You incorporate these people into the society. In a free society, everyone is free to wear what they wish, and if one wishes to wear a burka then they are free to do so. Yet the oppression it once represented can be wiped away through bringing these people into your free society. It's obvious, is it not? There are rules against domestic abuse and other things which infringe upon the rights of the individual. You merely need to use these. You merely must welcome the others into your society and laws. If they are truly oppressed, let them know the methods they have to fight it. That they do not have to bear it, that they have rights and liberties the same as anyone else. By doing this you will address the problem.

If the burka really is a signal of oppression, than banning the burka does nothing about the oppression. You've only banned one outward mask of it; but have not addressed the problem at all. You're either hiding from the truth or willfully denying it. The latter comes with the hatred and bigotry born against the Islamic faith, bigotry which is sadly no stranger to Europe. And there in lies the problem. There is no move to incorporate these people. Look at France, they are purposefully kept out. Banished to slums and regarded as queer (not in the gay way, but in the strange/unorthodox way). So you champion the move to ban the burka, but I ask what you've really done. What moves have you actually made to address the oppression? My guess...little to none. Banning the burka is just a knee-jerk reactionary move by those who view Muslims as different and their religion as barbaric and wish to destroy the outward manifestations of that religion so they do not have to look upon it. But it does nothing to solve your perceived problem. You'll only isolate the sector more, and in doing so have added gasoline to the fire.
 
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@ Kaya -- Don't pass a law. Leave it alone. It may take a generation to change. Maybe longer. It's not government's business to regulate religious garb. Period. Certainly not in the US -- this kind of legislation will never happen here; and, I don't believe it should be done in other relatively free countries either. It will change as these people integrate more and more with the societies and countries they've moved to.

And I don't believe for a New York Minute! that you'll be changing your MIND anytime soon. Ha!
 

kaya'08

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@ Kaya -- Don't pass a law. Leave it alone. It may take a generation to change. Maybe longer. It's not government's business to regulate religious garb. Period. Certainly not in the US -- this kind of legislation will never happen here; and, I don't believe it should be done in other relatively free countries either. It will change as these people integrate more and more with the societies and countries they've moved to.
Relatively free? :2razz:
I see what your saying in regards to "liberalizing muslim youth with the generations". But Muslims have been in Europe for quiet a while now and im yet to see evidence of gradual moderation.

And I don't believe for a New York Minute! that you'll be changing your MIND anytime soon. Ha!
Well i want to change my mind. I want to believe non-secular Muslims can align themselves more with moderate values, i want to believe shiite Muslims can do the same, i want to believe Muslims pose no threat to the existence of our values of freedom and Democracy. Currently i do not feel that way.

If ten years from now i see evidence of a liberalizing Muslim youth, and non-secular's from the East ARE capable of adapting to OUR ways of Democracy and OUR ways of life, then i know the time has come to re-evaluate my stance.
 

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Relatively free? :2razz:
I see what your saying in regards to "liberalizing muslim youth with the generations". But Muslims have been in Europe for quiet a while now and im yet to see evidence of gradual moderation.
Actually, this new wave of Islamic fundamentalism in Europe is a recently imported phenomenon. As you correctly point out, Muslims have been in Europe for a very long time. French Muslims especially were and still are some of the most moderate and secular on the continent, precisely due to the fact that they've been there the longest.

The new wave of ultra conservative Islam is the product of recently arrived immigrants. The danger comes from a trend I've been noticing in some European countries where this conservative doctrine is infecting some of the communities that have been in Europe for decades. It does have the potential to spread and must definitely be monitored.

That said, France's Muslim population is still the most secular, modern, moderate Muslim population on the continent. Which makes this silly ban doubly stupid. I believe it will only help the case of those ultra conservative Muslims and will help spread their ideology rather than stifle it.
 

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Actually, this new wave of Islamic fundamentalism in Europe is a recently imported phenomenon. As you correctly point out, Muslims have been in Europe for a very long time. French Muslims especially were and still are some of the most moderate and secular on the continent, precisely due to the fact that they've been there the longest.
Islam on a whole has radicalized much more, not just in Europe but outside of it too. Thats why the Muslims we had then, or the French had then, namedly the Algerians, where definetly much more better suited to adapt to Western ways (yet they are sunni's).

I think Goshin once posted a picture of a graduating class in Egypt 1960 (2 girls wore headscarfs) and then a graduating class in Egypt 2006 (all women wore headscares with exception of 2). It means nothing, it proves nothing, but its striking.

The new wave of ultra conservative Islam is the product of recently arrived immigrants. The danger comes from a trend I've been noticing in some European countries where this conservative doctrine is infecting some of the communities that have been in Europe for decades. It does have the potential to spread and must definitely be monitored.
Agreed.

That said, France's Muslim population is still the most secular, modern, moderate Muslim population on the continent. Which makes this silly ban doubly stupid. I believe it will only help the case of those ultra conservative Muslims and will help spread their ideology rather than stifle it.
But Shiite muslims who wear Burqa's are NOT secular, otherwise they would not wear it.
Turkey, a nation founded on policies that attempt to seperate religion from state the most in Europe, for example, have banned headscarves in government buildings. Its secularist affillation. Headscarves, Niqab's - these are all religious affilations. They are also a product of cultural Islam rather than religious Islam hence according to the UN banning headscarves/Niqabs is not a violation of rights (the UN the US founded) which is why France, Belgium and Turkey have gotten away with it and will continue to do so.
Polygamy is also a cultural thing but thats been banned. It's also part of the Zulu tradition, a religion in its own right, but that seems OK.
 
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