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  1. #231
    Senior Member Rebe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post


    This is true.
    Allegedly.

    PS. Don't try this at home kids!
    LOL. Exactly.

  2. #232
    Senior Member burymecloser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post


    This is true.
    Allegedly.

    PS. Don't try this at home kids!
    You've obviously got a point, but there's a fallacy at play here: any perceived moral imperative could be undermined by the same argument, including (ironically) the imperative not to kill.

    "Do no harm" is a fundamental principle we can apply to these things, and suicidebomberkid obviously fails such a test. It is not at all clear that wearing a burqa does. A free society should demand concrete proof of real harm before discarding liberties. The right to kill non-believers obviously and indisputably causes such harm; the right to cover one's face certainly does not. Ragashree wrote earlier that "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." You're asking us to do the opposite: prove why a freedom should be allowed. Surely you can see why that's backwards in a free society. Rather, actions and expressions must be demonstrably harmful before they are prohibited. The freedoms to commit murder or destroy property, thus, are not recognised, whereas the freedom to dress as one chooses is, notwithstanding widely-recognised standards of minimum (but never maximum) modesty. Those other "freedoms" contradict existing laws that are near-universally agreed upon, whereas the burqa ban creates a law with the express purpose of restricting freedom, even though wearing a burqa has no inherent conflict with any existing statute.

    You believe wearing the veil represents an infringement of civil liberties, and that's understandable. But it's also clear that some women feel empowered or even spiritually satisfied by wearing it, and in the absence of concrete evidence to prove -- or at least powerfully suggest -- that it is harmful, I don't see how a law prohibiting it can be justified. I'm sure you agree that making law based on supposition rather than evidence is not a road we want to go down.

    I understand why some supporters of women's rights are drawn to this legislation, but I believe it's ultimately about targeting Islam, in a country which has a long-standing chilly relationship with Algerians in particular and Muslims in general. I believe many proponents of the ban feel France would be better off if no Muslims lived there.
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  3. #233
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Displays of the swastika are banned in Germany because it represents a violent, totalitarian and anti-semitic ideology.

    And displays of the burqa are banned in France for the same reasons.

  4. #234
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
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    ^ Kudos for at least being on topic, Victor. But the introduction of highly subjective, unsubstantiated Nazi associations into a debate represents bargain-basement, desperate trolling. So Kudos withdrawn, eh?

    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.
    [Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay
    No. You're wriggling out of the original issue which was calling into question my use of the term "brainwashing". If a persuasive argument cannot be made for their use (and I see you sidestepped that entirely) then what else does one call it?
    Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay
    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.
    As I would hope I should not have to reiterate after recent posts, it does not have to be proved necessary merely to be permitted in a free society. Almost any freedom except the rights to eat, drink, and reproduce, could be removed on that spurious basis.

    Here, however, is the perspective of a Western, feminist, convert to Islam on what her experiences have been. She covers her faith's attitude towards women and misconceptions about it, Islam and women's rights, her own attitiude towards the Islamic dress code, its relationship to women's rights in Islam, and how the issue is misinterpreted by Westerners. I hope it will be sufficiently persuasive to at least make you look at the issue in a new light.

    How I Came to Love the Veil - washingtonpost.com

    I used to look at veiled women as quiet, oppressed creatures -- until I was captured by the Taliban.

    In September 2001, just 15 days after the terrorist attacks on the United States, I snuck into Afghanistan, clad in a head-to-toe blue burqa, intending to write a newspaper account of life under the repressive regime. Instead, I was discovered, arrested and detained for 10 days. I spat and swore at my captors; they called me a "bad" woman but let me go after I promised to read the Koran and study Islam. (Frankly, I'm not sure who was happier when I was freed -- they or I.)

    Back home in London, I kept my word about studying Islam -- and was amazed by what I discovered. I'd been expecting Koran chapters on how to beat your wife and oppress your daughters; instead, I found passages promoting the liberation of women. Two-and-a-half years after my capture, I converted to Islam, provoking a mixture of astonishment, disappointment and encouragement among friends and relatives.

    Now, it is with disgust and dismay that I watch here in Britain as former foreign secretary Jack Straw describes the Muslim nikab -- a face veil that reveals only the eyes -- as an unwelcome barrier to integration, with Prime Minister Tony Blair, writer Salman Rushdie and even Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi leaping to his defense.

    Having been on both sides of the veil, I can tell you that most Western male politicians and journalists who lament the oppression of women in the Islamic world have no idea what they are talking about. They go on about veils, child brides, female circumcision, honor killings and forced marriages, and they wrongly blame Islam for all this -- their arrogance surpassed only by their ignorance.

    These cultural issues and customs have nothing to do with Islam. A careful reading of the Koran shows that just about everything that Western feminists fought for in the 1970s was available to Muslim women 1,400 years ago. Women in Islam are considered equal to men in spirituality, education and worth, and a woman's gift for childbirth and child-rearing is regarded as a positive attribute.

    When Islam offers women so much, why are Western men so obsessed with Muslim women's attire? Even British government ministers Gordon Brown and John Reid have made disparaging remarks about the nikab -- and they hail from across the Scottish border, where men wear skirts.

    When I converted to Islam and began wearing a headscarf, the repercussions were enormous. All I did was cover my head and hair -- but I instantly became a second-class citizen. I knew I'd hear from the odd Islamophobe, but I didn't expect so much open hostility from strangers. Cabs passed me by at night, their "for hire" lights glowing. One cabbie, after dropping off a white passenger right in front of me, glared at me when I rapped on his window, then drove off. Another said, "Don't leave a bomb in the back seat" and asked, "Where's bin Laden hiding?"

    Yes, it is a religious obligation for Muslim women to dress modestly, but the majority of Muslim women I know like wearing the hijab, which leaves the face uncovered, though a few prefer the nikab. It is a personal statement: My dress tells you that I am a Muslim and that I expect to be treated respectfully, much as a Wall Street banker would say that a business suit defines him as an executive to be taken seriously. And, especially among converts to the faith like me, the attention of men who confront women with inappropriate, leering behavior is not tolerable.

    I was a Western feminist for many years, but I've discovered that Muslim feminists are more radical than their secular counterparts. We hate those ghastly beauty pageants, and tried to stop laughing in 2003 when judges of the Miss Earth competition hailed the emergence of a bikini-clad Miss Afghanistan, Vida Samadzai, as a giant leap for women's liberation. They even gave Samadzai a special award for "representing the victory of women's rights."

    Some young Muslim feminists consider the hijab and the nikab political symbols, too, a way of rejecting Western excesses such as binge drinking, casual sex and drug use. What is more liberating: being judged on the length of your skirt and the size of your surgically enhanced breasts, or being judged on your character and intelligence? In Islam, superiority is achieved through piety -- not beauty, wealth, power, position or sex.

    I didn't know whether to scream or laugh when Italy's Prodi joined the debate last week by declaring that it is "common sense" not to wear the nikab because it makes social relations "more difficult." Nonsense. If this is the case, then why are cellphones, landlines, e-mail, text messaging and fax machines in daily use? And no one switches off the radio because they can't see the presenter's face.

    Under Islam, I am respected. It tells me that I have a right to an education and that it is my duty to seek out knowledge, regardless of whether I am single or married. Nowhere in the framework of Islam are we told that women must wash, clean or cook for men. As for how Muslim men are allowed to beat their wives -- it's simply not true. Critics of Islam will quote random Koranic verses or hadith, but usually out of context. If a man does raise a finger against his wife, he is not allowed to leave a mark on her body, which is the Koran's way of saying, "Don't beat your wife, stupid."

    It is not just Muslim men who must reevaluate the place and treatment of women. According to a recent National Domestic Violence Hotline survey, 4 million American women experience a serious assault by a partner during an average 12-month period. More than three women are killed by their husbands and boyfriends every day -- that is nearly 5,500 since 9/11.

    Violent men don't come from any particular religious or cultural category; one in three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime, according to the hotline survey. This is a global problem that transcends religion, wealth, class, race and culture.

    But it is also true that in the West, men still believe that they are superior to women, despite protests to the contrary. They still receive better pay for equal work -- whether in the mailroom or the boardroom -- and women are still treated as sexualized commodities whose power and influence flow directly from their appearance.

    And for those who are still trying to claim that Islam oppresses women, recall this 1992 statement from the Rev. Pat Robertson, offering his views on empowered women: Feminism is a "socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."

    Now you tell me who is civilized and who is not.
    Good question. Barbarism, oppression, Morgan?

    If you still think so, please try to at least address the bolded bits of the article in the context of my previous remarks, because I've covered a lot of this already in a theoretical sense, though obviously not in such detail
    Look into my avatar. Look deep into my avatar...

  5. #235
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Why aren't laws against public nudity so controversial? Surely if a woman has the right to cover herself completely, she should have the right to uncover herself completely, yes?
    -end of thread-

  6. #236
    sophiloist Kaizer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    Why aren't laws against public nudity so controversial? Surely if a woman has the right to cover herself completely, she should have the right to uncover herself completely, yes?
    Are there statistics available for rapes in nudist areas versus the rest of society where nudity is against the law?

    And again, only the niqab was banned.
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  7. #237
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    ^ Kudos for at least being on topic, Victor. But the introduction of highly subjective, unsubstantiated Nazi associations into a debate represents bargain-basement, desperate trolling. So Kudos withdrawn, eh?
    He seems rather desperate for attention lately. I mean just a few pages ago he was raging against Mel Gibson; which had absolutely nothing to do with my take on the ideological nature of Islamist extremism.

  8. #238
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    in a secular democracy it is the perspective of the majority that must be respected.
    Yes Alexis de Tocquveille noted famously the tendency for democracies to degenerate into "tyrannies of the majority". Hence one reason why he heavily stressed the importance of religious underpinnings for the long-term survival of any democracy.

  9. #239
    Senior Member Nonsensical's Avatar
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    I think France should ban snoody arrogant prick faced assholes. Oh wait, that'd mean kicking everyone out of the country. bad idea?
    Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?

  10. #240
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    ^ Kudos for at least being on topic, Victor. But the introduction of highly subjective, unsubstantiated Nazi associations into a debate represents bargain-basement, desperate trolling. So Kudos withdrawn, eh?







    As I would hope I should not have to reiterate after recent posts, it does not have to be proved necessary merely to be permitted in a free society. Almost any freedom except the rights to eat, drink, and reproduce, could be removed on that spurious basis.

    Here, however, is the perspective of a Western, feminist, convert to Islam on what her experiences have been. She covers her faith's attitude towards women and misconceptions about it, Islam and women's rights, her own attitiude towards the Islamic dress code, its relationship to women's rights in Islam, and how the issue is misinterpreted by Westerners. I hope it will be sufficiently persuasive to at least make you look at the issue in a new light.

    How I Came to Love the Veil - washingtonpost.com



    Good question. Barbarism, oppression, Morgan?

    If you still think so, please try to at least address the bolded bits of the article in the context of my previous remarks, because I've covered a lot of this already in a theoretical sense, though obviously not in such detail
    Great article. Wonderful substance.

    This conversation reminds me of many of the arguments against Christianity that say that Christian doctrine is immoral because it promotes slavery. While it may be true that Christians, in particular, Protestants have used some perversion of their faith to justify slavery, but that doesn't explain why John Brown thought the Godliest thing to do was emancipate slaves. Even further, it doesn't explain why many Civil Rights leaders were Christian.

    All I can say is that these misunderstandings are due to the images evoked by the wearing of a burqa and other head scarfs. People see a certain image that correlates oppression with religion, and then leap to the conclusion that one is somehow causal of the other.

    ragashree's article provides a huge perspective shift here - that in the Western world, the body of a woman is often commercially exploited; and that this sort of "oppression" is the result of our adherence to our culture. This culture maybe viewed as "brainwashing" by Muslims, just as you might view theirs as "brainwashing". That terminology, however, is only used because of the obtuse differences between your culture and the other. Since many Muslims are probably more knowledgeable of Western culture, while Westerners don't have the same circumspect, I would have to say that they have more leverage in determining this case with more objectivity.

    Who are you to say that the burqa, or any other headscarf, is an instrument of intolerance when it prevents the sexist images you see on television and the internet every day, and when you are intolerant of it?

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