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First headscarves, now beards!?

France Headscarves State schools Muslims

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#21 Drew

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 03:51 PM

Atavus, on Jan 21 2004, 02:36 PM, said:

I can understand considering banning religious items if a teacher is wearing them, as is being considered in Germany and is already the case in Turkey, but why go to all the trouble of infringing on free speech by telling students what they can wear?
The French don't particularly care about that. The laws regarding separation of church and state in France have a different history than our own. Here our First amendment guarantees that the state will stay out of the business of religion. In France they want to ensure that religion has no influence on the state. A distinct and important difference, and not at all similar to our First Amendment freedom of religion.

Edited by Drew, 21 January 2004 - 03:52 PM.

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#22 the 'Hawk

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 03:52 PM

Drew, on Jan 21 2004, 03:14 PM, said:

There are no easy solutions.
Certainly aren't.

An article from the BBC on the Dutch attempts at working around a similar immigration problem.

Quote

While most immigrants had integrated well, it said, there were also growing ghettos of foreigners from countries such as Turkey and Morocco.

Even Dutch-born "foreigners" tend to marry within their own communities and find spouses in their parents' home countries.

The report blamed successive Dutch governments for what had previously been seen as a positive policy designed to make life easier for immigrants - allowing them to be taught in their native languages at primary school.

This had merely perpetuated their alienation and prevented them from integrating into Dutch society properly, it said.

In what would mark a reversal of a 30-year-old policy, the report recommended that the country's Muslims should henceforth effectively "become Dutch".

Quote

There is now a lively debate across Europe over whether assimilation or integration or multiculturalism is the most desirable way forward.

Holland seems to be lurching from the multicultural option - in which immigrants keep their own languages and cultures, at the risk of becoming ghettoised - to a policy of assimilation, by which newcomers lose all trace of their original identity and become indistinguishable from their "host" nation other than by the colour of their skin.

In the middle is the option of integration - practised with some success in the UK - whereby immigrants retain their distinct cultures but are also encouraged to become part of the general community.

With Belgium now also considering a headscarf ban, there appears to be a growing trend towards assimilation. It's a process that's already caused a storm among Islamic communities in Europe and abroad, and may be fraught with as many problems as the "opposite" policy of multiculturalism.

Trevor Phillips, chairman of the UK's Commission for Racial Equality, says the real enemy of integration is inequality: "The more we keep people unequal, the more they are likely to say, 'This society doesn't want us, it discriminates against us,' (and) they fall into the hands of extremists."

Edited by the 'Hawk, 21 January 2004 - 03:54 PM.


#23 Kevin Street

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 03:56 PM

Quote

Atavus:
Next it'll be ruled that French school uniforms should consist of the national colours.

That's not too farfetched, actually.

It's true that France is in a unique position here, because of the high value they place on their culture, and the traditionally restrictive way they protect perceived challenges to their cultural norms. And the fact that most of the immigrants to France share the same religion probably accelerates things as well. Other European countries, England especially, have much more diverse immigrant communities.

But I still think that just makes France the first country to face these kinds of problems (the restrictive laws and the challenges to secular institutions, that is), but they won't be the last. They're far from the only European nation to have a low birthrate and a high rate of immigration from other non-European cultures.

Imo, there will probably be an increase in both European nationalism (conflicting with the move toward uniting the region) and racism in coming years, and laws like the one we're discussing here will become more and more common.

Edited by Kevin Street, 21 January 2004 - 04:00 PM.


#24 Drew

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 04:24 PM

Kevin Street, on Jan 21 2004, 02:56 PM, said:

But I still think that just makes France the first country to face these kinds of problems (the restrictive laws and the challenges to secular institutions, that is), but they won't be the last. They're far from the only European nation to have a low birthrate and a high rate of immigration from other non-European cultures.
I agree that France is only the first (or among the first) to have to deal with this, and part of that is was dictated by their own history. However, other Western nations would do well to watch this situation closely and learn from the mistakes the French may (more likely WILL) make.

Let's have a wager. Which will get blown up first? The Louvre? The Eiffel Tower? The Arc De Triomphe? And when will it happen? 2004? 2005? 2006? Remember, there already was a foiled plot to blow up the Eiffel Tower. So I think the odds should be more like 2-1 for that. ;)

All kidding aside, it's a serious problem, and the only good solution--better assimilation of Arab Muslims into French culture--may bring about the same future that the French worry might happen anyway.

Quote

Imo, there will probably be an increase in both European nationalism (conflicting with the move toward uniting the region) and racism in coming years, and laws like the one we're discussing here will become more and more common.

Here in the US we've got zealots of secularism increasingly forcing religion out of the public sphere. (Perhaps in Canada as well?) Never say "It can't happen here."
"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#25 the 'Hawk

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 06:22 PM

Drew, on Jan 21 2004, 04:24 PM, said:

Here in the US we've got zealots of secularism increasingly forcing religion out of the public sphere. (Perhaps in Canada as well?)
I don't really know if religion's ever been *in* the public sphere to the same polarized extent as in the US.

Okay, that's a lie. It's a big deal in French-English relations in Ontario and Quebec, where the Anglos were typically Protestant and the Francos were typically Protestant.

But evangelical Protestantism and Irish Catholicism (just to pick at random here) have never been a driving force in Canada. The country's too small, isolated and randomly put together to really have any driving force save the train and the tax collector.

:cool:
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#26 G1223

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 06:31 PM

Drew the problem is France and at least the rest of Western Europe are bad at dealing with assimalation. My anaology of a German moving to France all his life he will be a German.  It was why folks came to America there was no one group that was in charge and after a while the people were assimalated.

#27 StarDust

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 12:19 PM

the'Hawk, on Jan 21 2004, 04:36 PM, said:

StarDust, on Jan 21 2004, 03:30 PM, said:

Anyways, France is still very seperatist.
I think that's Quebec that's separatist, not France. ;) Unless you mean something else by the term.

:cool:
What I meant is that they still differentiate between those that have 'French blood' (whatever that is in reality) and those that don't.  There is no melting pot, or attempt at one.  Everyone else will always be outsiders.

And yes, it does seem to be a 'French' trait, regardless of where they are.  :)

#28 the 'Hawk

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 01:06 PM

^ Oh! That!

I don't think it's a trait exclusively French in nature-- my relatives are the same way. Even among themselves, there's a pecking order of who's more Italian than who. And thus, who's better.

(Of course, my dad's not Italian at all.... and they treat him like a prince.)

Plus, it's that same kind of attitude --of simultaneous inferiority and superiority-- that lends itself to the ghettoization referenced in the articles listed above, in the Netherlands and France.

I mean, the very idea of "assimilation" into a culture is by its very nature that same sort of dichotomous association-- that somehow "they" have to become more like "us" in order to exist in "our" space. "They" have to do away with "their" customs and join "us". It's expressed itself in American history, too-- most prominently in the nativist movements.

So I'm not sure that it's just the French.

:cool:
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#29 schoolpsycho

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 01:09 PM

Well, as of right now, cancel my passort; I gots major goateeage goin' on. :D

I would comment on the absurdity of this, but many have better expressed themselves, so I'll just say what else occured to me...

Didn't the 9-11 highjackers, from instruction by Osama's manual, shave their beards, and trimmed their hair, just so they could fit in, and not be noticed?

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#30 StarDust

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 01:18 PM

^ Yes they did, as well as having 'western' passports.  

Hence the futility of certain attitudes. You never really know.

#31 schoolpsycho

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 01:27 PM

^

Hi Stardust...

Yeah, I mean, it's just plain crazy.

When I was young, I saw a man with a full beard and a ponytail for the first time, and it weirded me out. I thought he was creepy. Man, do I ever laugh at myself now; because I have been confused twice for being female, because of my long hair, including at the salon, when I had my mustache! Oy. *g* Needless to say, I've worn ponytails on quite a few occasions. *lol*

But, you can't tell by looking at someone what they are. For I've also been confused as White. It's just insane they think this will solve their problems.

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#32 G1223

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 01:29 PM

Well I got to wonder when the elements that have been turned towards (some of which have gone unpunished.) Anti Semetism is going to be turned towards this segment of the "French" Arab community?

#33 Drew

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 01:33 PM

schoolpsycho, on Jan 22 2004, 12:27 PM, said:

. . .  because I have been confused twice for being female, because of my long hair, including at the salon, when I had my mustache! Oy.
My grandmother had quite the mustache.  :cool:
"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#34 schoolpsycho

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 01:37 PM

Hi, Drew...

tee hee So do I, but they still thought so. Can't blame them, though, I insist on long and gorgeous...well, long, anyway!

*lolololololol*

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#35 Rhea

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 06:28 PM

the'Hawk, on Jan 21 2004, 09:57 AM, said:

The BBC, again.

Quote

A proposed ban on religious symbols in French state schools could include a ban on beards, according to the French education minister.
Luc Ferry said the law, which will be debated in parliament next month, could ban headscarves, bandannas and beards if they are considered a sign of faith.

But he said Sikhs might be able to wear head coverings if they were discreet.

The proposals, backed by President Jacques Chirac, follow an official report into state secularism.

Mr Ferry, in a National Assembly legal committee hearing about the draft law, said the definition of a religious symbol in the proposed law was broad so that pupils could not bypass the law simply by deviating from a list of proscribed items.

Some Muslim girls wear bandannas to cover their hair as an alternative to the traditional headscarf, feeling it is easier to blend in to the crowd.

Asked about beards, as worn by many Muslims, Mr Ferry said: "As soon as it becomes a religious sign and the code is apparent, it would fall under this law."
Erm...exactly how discreetly can you wear a turban?  :p

What the hell is the point of this law? Have the French suddenly become Marxists and think that all religion is bad? Or is all religion but Catholicism bad?   :eek:  I absolutely do.not.get.this.
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#36 Beldame

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 06:37 PM

Yes, and how can you tell a religious beard from a secular beard? A beard permit to declare your facial hair faith free?
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#37 Bad Wolf

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 06:41 PM

Beldame, on Jan 22 2004, 03:37 PM, said:

Yes, and how can you tell a religious beard from a secular beard? A beard permit to declare your facial hair faith free?
Or at least agnostic.   :lol:
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#38 Rhea

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 06:41 PM

Beldame, on Jan 22 2004, 04:37 PM, said:

Yes, and how can you tell a religious beard from a secular beard? A beard permit to declare your facial hair faith free?
ROTFLMAO!  :lol:
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#39 Norville

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 10:39 PM

Quote

When I was young, I saw a man with a full beard and a ponytail for the first time, and it weirded me out. I thought he was creepy. Man, do I ever laugh at myself now; because I have been confused twice for being female, because of my long hair, including at the salon, when I had my mustache!

I prefer longer hair on men, and have never found it "creepy", but apparently still have certain cultural assumptions -- I went out to eat tonight and saw a little kid with long hair from behind. The kid looked female. Later, I realized it was a little boy; I blinked and said "oh" to myself. :lol:

Quote

Yes, and how can you tell a religious beard from a secular beard? A beard permit to declare your facial hair faith free?

! "This is an atheistic beard!"
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#40 schoolpsycho

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 10:48 PM

Hi, Norville...

***I prefer longer hair on men,***

Yay! :) :) :)

***and have never found it "creepy", but apparently still have certain cultural assumptions -- I went out to eat tonight and saw a little kid with long hair from behind. The kid looked female. Later, I realized it was a little boy; I blinked and said "oh" to myself.*** :D

That reminds me. Remember when Hanson(mmm bop!) first came out? Well, the youngest had long hair then. He was looking at a video of theirs, and said, "Look at that cute girl!". When she turned around, he realized the girl was...HIM!!!!!

*LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL* :D

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