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  1. #191
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    Alright, so this is my opinion on the issue, though I don't know much about it. I'm going to speak as abstractly as possible so I don't run the risk of contradicting facts.

    You may think you are liberating someone by banning their traditional icons, but in doing so, you remove an option. Free will is only fueled and strengthened by the breadth of options you are given. You know certain cultures are shaped to prefer certain options, just as most of the western world prefers to be 'liberated' by not wearing burqas, and fundamental Muslims prefer to have the option of wearing burqas. So I say that society should make an allowance for options that are only ethical and produce the greatest benefit, while preventing the greatest harm.

    If you would, imagine someone imposing one of these "walking coffins" on you. Does it feel good? Does it feel alien? That same alienating, writhing feeling you get is the same feeling Muslims extremists get when they feel your culture being imposed on them, or when they are stripped of their own.

    This feeling only stokes the tension on the Muslim side. What does that do? It may make some sects more violent or radical. It gives them ammunition.

    But it's France's call. It reflects on the Western World, though, which is a concern.

  2. #192
    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    Alright, so this is my opinion on the issue, though I don't know much about it. I'm going to speak as abstractly as possible so I don't run the risk of contradicting facts.

    You may think you are liberating someone by banning their traditional icons, but in doing so, you remove an option. Free will is only fueled and strengthened by the breadth of options you are given. You know certain cultures are shaped to prefer certain options, just as most of the western world prefers to be 'liberated' by not wearing burqas, and fundamental Muslims prefer to have the option of wearing burqas. So I say that society should make an allowance for options that are only ethical and produce the greatest benefit, while preventing the greatest harm.

    If you would, imagine someone imposing one of these "walking coffins" on you. Does it feel good? Does it feel alien? That same alienating, writhing feeling you get is the same feeling Muslims extremists get when they feel your culture being imposed on them, or when they are stripped of their own.

    This feeling only stokes the tension on the Muslim side. What does that do? It may make some sects more violent or radical. It gives them ammunition.

    But it's France's call. It reflects on the Western World, though, which is a concern.

    ^^^ very well stated!!!
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible."
    — Richard P. Feynman

    "Never tell a person a thing is impossible. G*d/the Universe may have been waiting all this time for someone ignorant enough of the impossibility to do just that thing."
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  3. #193
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oakysage View Post
    And thus you believe the western culture is truly the best culture. They themselves would think you were brainwashed from your society to believe such things. Works both ways.
    That's a huge leap. Also, completely untrue. You know nothing about what I value and to suppose that there are only two positions in this debate is extremely simplistic of you.

    I use the term "brainwash" because there is no rational argument which can defend the necessity of the burqa. Please, feel free to make one if you can.

    If it were simply irrational, there wouldn't be a problem. But it is also harmful*. And yes, I think it is the State's responsibility to regulate against harmful practices, whether or not it offends religious sensibilities.
    I also wouldn't think it was only a matter of modesty to wear the veil. It's more of a way to repel the general sexual attraction from the men publicly.
    So you believe women's freedom should be restricted rather than the appetites of men? Thanks for clarifying your position.

    Quote Originally Posted by stringstheory View Post
    maybe they think we're the brainwashed ones? Who's right?
    So your argument is that because French society isn't perfect it shouldn't seek to criticize or improve itself? Since when do two wrongs make a right?
    That women are pressured to aspire to an impossible ideal of beauty that leaves 95% of them feeling inadequate is a completely unrelated problem. Feel free to start a thread on it though, it's an important topic.

    What do you think this ban will solve?
    Bans aren't necessarily about solving anything - sometimes they are preemptive. The French are taking a stand in line with the values upon which their nation was built. They are saying in effect, you are welcome in France, but if you live here you must live as we live and respect the traditions that we hold dear.
    They aren't invading a sovereign state and stripping people in the streets - lets get this in perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    I hope you're not pulling an association fallacy out of the hat here...
    No, I was using a more extreme example to drive home the point that just because something may be acceptable in one culture, that doesn't make it universally acceptable. But thanks for asking.

    I don't really see the relevance of all the other questions, so I won't attempt to answer them here.

    *
    Quote Originally Posted by strawberries View Post
    i have encountered women in burqas in person a few times in my life and seeing a woman garbed in such a way disturbed me very much. she is dehumanised. you have little sense of her age, you can’t interpret her body language, her voice is smothered by the cloth – she is not there.

    i read an article by yasmin alibhai-brown in the independent who says to deny face to face interaction is to deny our shared humanity. in that article she quotes rahila gupta: ‘This is a cloth that comes soaked in blood. We cannot debate the burqa or the hijab without reference to women in Iran, Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia where the wearing of it is heavily policed and any slippages are met with violence.’ i think in this way the burqa represents more than other forms of religious dress.
    Yes. And such a ban is symbolic condemnation of those acts of violence, as well as the ideology that condones them.
    the thing that concerns me about publicly banning the burqa (and similar dress) is that for a woman whose culture includes wearing the burqa, a ban could mean she stays at home more, which further deprives her of interaction with the outside world.
    First generation, perhaps. But you have to think about the generations that come after.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    If you would, imagine someone imposing one of these "walking coffins" on you. Does it feel good? Does it feel alien? That same alienating, writhing feeling you get is the same feeling Muslims extremists get when they feel your culture being imposed on them, or when they are stripped of their own.
    I'm supposed to respect the views/feelings of Muslim extremists why, exactly? Most of them want me dead.

    I realize you probably didn't mean to use that word, but I think you'll find hardline Muslims much less tolerant of our culture than we are of theirs. But that doesn't mean that I'm going to walk around in a bin liner so as not to offend/arouse them. Unless I'm in a predominantly Muslim country. And only then because I'd fear for my safety, not because I respect their values. I don't. I don't respect religious nut-jobs whatever garb they are dressed up in.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  4. #194
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    Edit: Anyone else who shares Morgan's views in any respects on these issues are welcome to tackle any of the questions if they like, because I would be interested to see what approaches people have to resolving them.
    Ok, i'll give it a go but i'd like to point out that Morgan Le Fey was not for the decision of the French government whilst i could see some possible positive outcomes...


    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    Just because they're practiced by certain people who also happen to be Muslims, some of whom may adhere to extreme forms of veiling, doesn't make this issue directly linked to the wearing of the Burqa. They may be an overlap, but they also form two distinct subsets. I hope you're not pulling an association fallacy out of the hat here...
    I do not believe it's simply as an overlap, i believe there are only a miniscule amount of women who choose out of freewill to wear the Burqa. This can be seen in thousands of texts and articles by feminist (Muslim) women who see the Burqa as a symbol of the oppression. You only have to look at Countries like Iran, Afganistan and Saudi Arabia where the wearing of this clothing is compulsary, and the non wearing it met with violence and prison. Although granted in Iran the wearing of the full Burqa is not compulsory the police will still beat and arrest women who do not wear their headscarves correctly. It is clear from this that wearing these items is nothing to do with freewill and everything to do with compulsory laws, signifying opression.


    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    I'd agree with what you seem to be saying, that so much as there is a genuine issue here it may be one of domestic violence and its prevalence, perhaps due to cultural toleration, in certain Muslim communities. However, since as you say these laws already exist and help to protect women in the West:

    1) How does continuing to allow Muslim women to dress in a certain manner undermine the effectiveness of existing laws?
    I don't understand this question, which laws are you refferring to here French or western in general?

    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    2) How does preventing Muslim women from dressing in a certain manner strengthen existing laws, particularly with regard to their application in the Muslim community?
    I think taking out the extreme version of oppressive dress (the Burqa) has some positive aspects to it but i do doubt that the motives of the French government are genuinely to do with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    3) If existing laws are indeed less effective in the Muslim community at present, why is this?
    Which exsiting laws, In France, Turkey, Where?


    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    4) Domestic violence is already, and despite existing laws, an issue for plenty of Western women, especially (though not exlusively by any means) in deprived communities. A disproportionate number of Muslims also live in deprived communities. Is there any reason to suppose that effective measures taken to counter domestic violence in general, particularly targetting deprived communities, would not have as beneficial an effect on victimised Muslim women as on victimised non-Muslim women?
    I think it would but now tell me how would you know which women are which since they are veiled, would it come down to the husbands word? Do you not think it would be difficult to identify which women are being abused?
    I believe the Burqa de-humanises women.




    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    When does the posession by someone else of a belief you choose not to subscribe to personally become "brainwashing"? Can you establish any kind of objective criteria for determining when this has taken place?
    I don't think i can offer a when but a good starting point could be the Arab invasions, if we want to go that far back. I suppose brainwashing could be ascribed to many religions. I will refer to Islam to keep on topic.
    I did make an analagy regarding this a few posts back. I believe the religion as a whole is fundamantally sexist however wearing the Burqa is not in the Qu'ran so lets seperate the two.
    The wearing of it is not religious but it is merged into it culturally, it is the more extreme cultures that require it by law, the more mysigonistic ones.


    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    How is this brainwashing to be distinguished from the freely acquired and chosen set of beliefs you would presumably prefer?
    Thats a difficult one but can be answered by looking at the inhumane conditions that women are living in, if indeed we are still talking about women.

    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    If someone fails to meet whatever criteria you have established for being a victim of "brainwashing", yet still holds these beliefs (if you will allow that it may be possible to do of one's own free will), is she still an abuse victim, barbaric, what? Or do you simply not allow for the possibility?
    I allow that it may be possible the same way i believe almost anything is possible. I deem it very unlikey but i hasten to add that it may take time, prehaps generations for these women to truely feel free from the opression and fear.

    I hope i have at least answered a couple of the questions in the way you intended, i found it quite difficult as they were initially directed at someone else. You may of course ask me more or direct questions to me personally.
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  5. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by GemPOPGem View Post
    i'd like to point out that Morgan Le Fey was not for the decision of the French government
    I know I'm ambivalent, but still...
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  6. #196
    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    Just a note of reason:

    Almost every orthodoxy has religious imperatives that have dress requirements, rules and regulations, spoken or unspoken, about women's participation - it is not just Islam!

    The Jewish Orthodoxy separates women and men in the Synagogue. Many Jewish Orthodox women shave their heads on marriage and wear wigs for their married life. This may or may not be disappearing in the mainstream but the Hasidim still practise this.

    The Friends or Plymouth Brethren require women to not cut their hair and wear scarves to cover their hair and modest clothing.

    The Catholic Church will not allow women to become priests, bishops or cardinals.

    I have just watched a disturbing program on pre-war Nazism in Germany. It was very disturbing. What had once been thought of as the ignorance of the German people of the acts against Jews prior to 1939 has been disproven. There were insufficient SS staff to police the new laws of prohibition of acts, employment and behaviour so they relied on the people to inform of suspicious behaviour or perceived flouting of the laws.

    Most of the documentation pertaining to this throughout Germany was burned before the occupation forces could access it, however in one town/city (which name I cannot recall), the Americans were able to prevent this from happening. The tremendous number of records there, only recently studied, provide a chilling look at the proactive collusion played out by the townspeople, that ultimately resulted in people being sent to the Concentration Camps.

    The researchers were interviewing some of those people whose complaints had resulted in such tragic consequences. One woman was giggling and saying she was surprised that it would be brought up some 50 years later but "I didn't kill anybody!".

    My concern is this:

    If you begin to provide laws based on people's ethnicity or religious beliefs, particularly where they are not in themselves directly causing physical harm, it is only a few small steps to a repeat of the tragedies of the Holocaust!!
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible."
    — Richard P. Feynman

    "Never tell a person a thing is impossible. G*d/the Universe may have been waiting all this time for someone ignorant enough of the impossibility to do just that thing."
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  7. #197
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    Just a note of reason:

    Almost every orthodoxy has religious imperatives that have dress requirements, rules and regulations, spoken or unspoken, about women's participation - it is not just Islam!
    That's why Islam doesn't figure in the legislation. It's covering the face in public that will be outlawed.
    My concern is this:

    If you begin to provide laws based on people's ethnicity or religious beliefs, particularly where they are not in themselves directly causing physical harm, it is only a few small steps to a repeat of the tragedies of the Holocaust!!
    Slippery slope fallacy.
    That was my knee-jerk reaction too, (well, not that specifically, more that it might lead to religious persecution) but it's unfounded.

    "Democracy thrives when it is open-faced," Ms Alliot-Marie told the National Assembly when she presented the bill last week. She stressed the bill, which makes no reference to Islam or veils, was not aimed at "stigmatising or singling out a religion".
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  8. #198
    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    That's why Islam doesn't figure in the legislation. It's covering the face in public that will be outlawed.

    Slippery slope fallacy.
    That was my knee-jerk reaction too, (well, not that specifically, more that it might lead to religious persecution) but it's unfounded.
    This is easy to say but you and I both know that it is very thinly veiled (excuse the pun). What other group of people use the veils?? It is in itself implied, rather than stated, that this applies to Muslim women!!

    Several interviews of 2nd generation of Muslim women here in Australia have taken up the veils as their own choice where their mother no longer wears it.

    My gym is a women's only gym and the Islamic women members freely remove their regalia when exercising and interacting with other women. They are still very modest but, contrary to belief that they may be hiding abuse, I have seen no incidence of bruises or black eyes.

    This would not have been an issue at all prior to 9/11!! That date is burnt into my memory, not only for the terrorist acts that occurred, but for its foreshadowing of a more paranoid world that has been prepared to allow the legislative removal of freedoms, and restriction of those of others, in the name of the War on Terror.

    I do not see that banning this will achieve anything but further disharmony and hope that this does not follow through to other Western countries.
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible."
    — Richard P. Feynman

    "Never tell a person a thing is impossible. G*d/the Universe may have been waiting all this time for someone ignorant enough of the impossibility to do just that thing."
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  9. #199
    Senior Member Rebe's Avatar
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    There is greater harm than physical harm. Just because it is not physical and is not a clear right or wrong, that doesn't mean it is not also an extremely damaging and unnecessary 'cultural norm'. Because physical harm is not related, many human violations are pushed to the back burner. I, again, admire that the French is also taking the initiative and making this issue come to the foreground of our international attention. Saying that it is close to becoming a Holocaust is dramatic.

  10. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    Alright, so this is my opinion...
    When you spoke to me on the telephone, you made it plain to me that you were doing something behind your parents' back.

    This makes it absolutely crystal clear you are not a responsible adult.

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