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  1. #201
    Listening Oaky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    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.
    You make a rather large assumption about me based on me making a large assumption about you. Quite interesting. Yes, I don't know what you value and quite frankly, I don't really care. You are wrong to assume that I was only looking at 2 positions. I was looking at the way you expressed your position and not any other.
    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.
    A rational reason for the burqa? I would believe it was more of a spiritual reason which often does not take well with those who wish to rationalise about it. It wouldn't be a surprise for atheists not to understand why people who believe in God do some of the things they do. And now let those who don't believe in their same faith go nuts about a piece of cloth covering a woman. Why do you say it's harmful?

    So you believe women's freedom should be restricted rather than the appetites of men? Thanks for clarifying your position.
    False. I'm surprised by the assumption. They themselves are free not to wear the burqa if they wished not to. Yet they still wear it for the feeling of closeness to their religion or culture. Why do you think their religion tells women to wear the burqa or hijab? To prevent men from feelings of sexual attraction towards them. Why? Because it can lead to fornication or adultery.
    But then you have a vast amount of muslim women not wearing the burqa and even hijab. They chose it. It was their choice was it not? They would perhaps be considered less religious within their religion for it. Simply because it would be seen by more religious muslims as something that attracts sin.

  2. #202
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebe View Post
    I, again, admire that the French is also taking the initiative and making this issue come to the foreground of our international attention.
    Yes, the burqa, the nijab or the hijab or not items of clothing anymore than Das Kapital or Mein Kamf or the Koran are just books.

    No, the burqa, the nijab and the hijab are the flags of the Islamists.

  3. #203
    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebe View Post
    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
    But who are we to decide that for other people - it certainly hasn't been able to prevent physical or psychological abuse, excluding immigrants and those whose religious cultures differ from ours, in our society???

    How many contributors to this thread know and interact with Muslim women wearing a veil on a regular basis away from their menfolk? To presume that they are either physically or psychologically abused without direct personal knowledge is supposition and pre-judging or as we better know it - prejudice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebe View Post
    Saying that it is close to becoming a Holocaust is dramatic.
    You mistake me - if we cannot recognise the small steps that lead to division in societies based on race, religion and related practises, then we have no hope of learning from the past until it is too late, and lay the foundations of thought that can ultimately lead to tragedy.

    These things do not happen spontaneously, all of a sudden although immediate knee-jerk reaction post 9/11 showed what we civilised people are capable of.
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible."
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    "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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  4. #204
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    How many contributors to this thread know and interact with Muslim women wearing a veil on a regular basis away from their menfolk? To presume that they are either physically or psychologically abused without direct personal knowledge is supposition and pre-judging or as we better know it - prejudice!
    The woman who cuts my hair for the past several years is a light skinned black American Muslim, which I knew because she has a tattoo about it, but I'd never seen her wear anything on her head until about 2 years after I met her, and one day I came in and she had a very long scarf on. I asked her if she wanted to tell me what that was all about, and she said her live-in boyfriend of some years said why don't we go out? whereupon she got all excited, and he said yeah, let's go out to a strip club, whereupon she got all offended, and she said the next morning she woke up and just decided she would cover. So we had a long talk about men and women, my having, coincidentally, similar stories to tell and much sympathy.

    She also related to me stories about what it's like to be an American muslim who is covered, like the time another woman got angry with her in traffic and they both pulled over to hash it out, and the other woman went on a tirade before my friend could even open her mouth about You People Come Here and dadadada ... and was surprised to learn from my friend that she's descended from slaves and her family has been here longer than the other woman's. How some people do just assume she's some kind of foreign terrorist or terrorist sympathizer when she covers, and they don't treat her as well.

  5. #205
    Senior Member Rebe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    But who are we to decide that for other people - it certainly hasn't been able to prevent physical or psychological abuse, excluding immigrants and those whose religious cultures differ from ours, in our society???

    How many contributors to this thread know and interact with Muslim women wearing a veil on a regular basis away from their menfolk? To presume that they are either physically or psychologically abused without direct personal knowledge is supposition and pre-judging or as we better know it - prejudice!
    That's like asking who are we to judge on anything since we are all different and have different values and cultures? Except blatant physical abuse. We have standards in which we judge the actions of a society, of a person, the traits of a culture. The burqa is what you are also defending for the sake of 'culture', not just the grand scheme of international peace and acceptance. Specifically, this is what you are defending. Yes, I understand that everything is connected and war flourishes way before the first battle. I understand that.

    I am not being short-sighted. Freedom is a tricky word. We don't condone child molesters or murderers so in their eyes, no, there is no such thing as absolute freedom. Women didn't know how to vote or have professional lives outside of their homes back in the day but it took a radical change of legalizing voting. And still, we have gender inequality and it took a while for women to feel comfortable voting and pursing their careers. The culture of that time was that women must be housewives and tend to the children and had no place or business in politics. No, we are not Muslim women, but we are human. We are allowed to take a stance. It's not necessarily from our cultural preference but a human one. We can't just defend a culture for culture's sake.

    You mistake me - if we cannot recognise the small steps that lead to division in societies based on race, religion and related practises, then we have no hope of learning from the past until it is too late, and lay the foundations of thought that can ultimately lead to tragedy.

    These things do not happen spontaneously, all of a sudden although immediate knee-jerk reaction post 9/11 showed what we civilised people are capable of.
    Oh please. Terrorist attacks have been happening all around us for quite some time. The divide between the West and the Middle East has been apparent for decades. I am very aware of that. That doesn't mean the burqa is humane and I am still proud that France took a stand. Cultures are supposed to progress and change along with the development of the declaration of human rights, our individual, societal, national and international awareness, not remain stubbornly to the past. Violations should not be appeased.

  6. #206
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebe View Post
    Cultures are supposed to progress and change along with the development of the declaration of human rights, our individual, societal, national and international awareness, not remain stubbornly to the past. Violations should not be appeased.

  7. #207
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    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.
    That never even occurred to me. Jeez...
    But that's hardly relevant.
    This would not have been an issue at all prior to 9/11!!
    Untrue. It's very much an issue for millions of women who are forced to cover themselves up to symbolize their total submission to their male superiors and has been so for a long time prior to 9/11.
    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.
    I can't see it happening in the UK, but I wouldn't oppose it if it did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oakysage View Post
    A rational reason for the burqa? I would believe it was more of a spiritual reason
    No. As has already been pointed out (twice!) it is a cultural tradition, not a religious requirement.
    They themselves are free not to wear the burqa if they wished not to.
    False. You don't know what you are talking about. I've just figured out who you are so this comes as no surprise.

    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    How many contributors to this thread know and interact with Muslim women wearing a veil on a regular basis away from their menfolk? To presume that they are either physically or psychologically abused without direct personal knowledge is supposition and pre-judging or as we better know it - prejudice!
    I know ones who used to and who were physically abused - who in fact had to go into hiding to escape abusive spouses. So what? Anecdotal.

    If most people don't know any who actively do it's because they segregate themselves. The clothing is designed to reinforce that segregation.

    And no, it's not prejudice. One can look at the rationale for forcing/encouraging women (exclusively) to cover themselves from head to toe in a uniform which suppresses their identity and means of expressing (or even ventilating!) themselves and ask whether it is reasonable or not. One needs no additional information about abuse to make such a judgment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  8. #208
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    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 put You've heeded the call which some people have been making for a "perspective shift" anyway, because I think this is of crucial importance. I do want to call you out on the use of the word "extremists" though, because it plays into the association Westerners tend to make between Islam and violence/repression, as can be seen from Morgan's response. (I would have liked to see disambiguate further herself, given her agknowledgement that the term was not being used accurately, instead she seized on to it to score a cheap point. Bad Morgan! )

    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    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.
    Conversely, is there a rational argument which can defend the necessity of banning it? Works both ways this one. Where civil liberties are being restricted, the burden of proof rests more on the necessity for the law to be passed that restricts them than it does on allowing the freedom to continue. We don't convict someone on the basis that they can't prove they DIDN'T do it. The most compelling arguments for probably rest on self-determination and freedom of religious expression; but where is the case against? Not for more support being given to Muslim women lving in the West in general, but for the banning of the Burqua being a constructive way to achieve this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    I don't really see the relevance of all the other questions, so I won't attempt to answer them here.
    I think the first set of questions are major criteria for assessing, in an ideology-free manner, the objective utility of a ban. This relates to my above point about a rational argument being needed to justify it. If you avoid addressing them objetively you have to fall back on ideology which relates to symbolic significance and your own belief system (as you have seemingly been doing). Saying "My/our beliefs are better, so we are justified in imposing them on you" might make you FEEL better, but what does it achieve?

    Probably conflict between what have now been set up as belief systems which are, due to the triumphalism of one, necessarily in opposition to each other, and perhaps needless conflict IF the same issues can be resolved pragmatically, without resort to ideology. This is why I think these questions are highly relevant, because I'm trying to establish the pragmatic value and consequences of a ban, compared to other ways of dealing with the issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    Yes. And such a ban is symbolic condemnation of those acts of violence, as well as the ideology that condones them.First generation, perhaps. But you have to think about the generations that come after.
    It also is a symbolic and actual, because legally enforcable against them, condemnation of female rights to self-determination, as traditionally expressed in Islamic culture. Worth bearing in mind.

    Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay
    I think a woman being brainwashed into believing that covering her face/head is somehow necessary for a modest/decent life, thereby alienating her from the people she lives amongst with their "dangerous" Western ideology is a form of abuse. She might as well walk around with a ball and chain.
    No, I don't think we should respect barbaric practices just because they come from an alien culture in the almighty name of Tolerance
    .
    I thought your later commments bordered on patronising overgeneralisations towards those who had a different belief system to yourself. I'm extremely wary of making the blanket assumption that all Muslim women who choose to wear some kind of full veil in Western society (as opposed to the societies where Islamists hold political power) have been brainwashed into it, or are not capable of thinking for themselves. It devalues them as reasoning, autonomous beings in much the way as you're accusing others of doing to them; and your last couple of sentences give the game away when you talk about "ball and chain" and "barbaric practices". This is your ideological position, which you are projecting on to them, and implicitly claiming to be superior on the assumption that if they held a different one, they must have been brainwashed. I'm not denying the possibility, but I'm also not assuming that the norm for Muslim women is to be so weak willed or subservient that they cannot think for themselves in this. No, you're not saying this, but you are implying it with your "brainwashed" comment.

    This is why I'm asking if you have any argument to establish HOW they may have been brainwashed, and what constitutes a brainwashed Muslim woman as opposed to an autonomous one. Otherwise you're simply indulging in labelling beliefs opposed to your own as inherently unsound, which amounts to circular reasoning and affirmation of the consequent. If they were demonstrably brainwashed, yes, their own beliefs would be of less value. But how do you intend to show that they are?

    Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay
    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.
    So you believe women's freedom should be restricted rather than the appetites of men? Thanks for clarifying your position.
    Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay
    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.
    Islamic thought is frequently critical of the objectification of the female body in Western culture, it's important to remember that the modest dress code, of which the Burqa/Niquab are extreme forms, is often interpreted, PARTICULARLY by Muslim women, as a defense against this objectification. There has been considerable opposition by the mainstream in France to any form of female Islamic dress, including the hijab. France is a country in which the objectification of the female body is particularly rife. I don't therefore see these as necessarily unrelated issues, unless you are going to deny the stance many Muslim women have on objectification, and the use of dress to combat it, which I can easily prove if you're interested.

    Islamic dress is one effective defense Muslim women have against being thought of as sex objects when out in public, in their own minds at least; I don't see how removing these rights from them is particularly liberating, or particularly empowering to women unless you insist that your own version of feminism is the only valid one.
    Look into my avatar. Look deep into my avatar...

  9. #209
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    If France starts a war with political islam the US will be laughing!!

    The costs of fighting political islam alone will no doubt drop, although it remains to be seen if in the US Obama's Health reforms will provide the alternative channel for wealth creation and capital accumulation the elites will exploit rather than the military industrial complex.

  10. #210
    Sniffles
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    What does Obamacare have to do with this?

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