are muslim women forced to wear the Burka yes/no and proof to back up your claim?

ebrown p
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2009 05:04 pm
First, I am glad you reject "universal truth" (as a point of agreement between us). But, I am not sure if the "what works" paradigm is useful since this is an undefined term... unless you mean this in the evolutionary sense (a system works if it passes on genes). I am not sure this is an interesting direction to take this discussion.

But yes... let's get back to the Burka.

What you say is true only from the limited perspective of Modern Western culture.

Our view of equality for women is quite odd-- viewed from the perspective of the vast majority of human cultures (as well as behavioral traits of our closest evolutionary neighbors).

Saying that this is a struggle between "democracy" and "theocracy" is quite misleading in that it gives an unfair weight to our current culture. There is no historical struggle.

Historically speaking, our views about women are quite recent-- only 200 years at most out of the tens of thousands of years of human history. This idea that women should be equal to men is nothing more than an strange little feature of modern western culture.

Cultures where women are controlled by men are much more in line with human experience. Burka wearing is not out of line with this.

Without a universal truth... there is nothing objective about any implication that the modern western view on the role of woman is superior to any other view.
Finn dAbuzz
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2009 05:05 pm
@ebrown p,
So if it makes you feel better, let's say I am just talking about the other religions when I say they are a function of evolved human traits..

Doesn't make me feel one way or the other.

I'm sorry if you don't see the humor in the question you posed.
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dazza 480
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2009 08:10 pm
countries in the western world were muslim women seem to have a choice eg britain, france. (Im well aware their are countries that force women to wear them)
ebrown p
Reply Tue 30 Jun, 2009 03:47 am
@dazza 480,
Very clearly, France is forcing women to not wear them.

It seems obvious to me that in a country that calls itself a modern western democracy, women should have the freedom to wear a burka if they choose.

The problem in France is bigotry.
Reply Tue 30 Jun, 2009 12:05 pm
@ebrown p,
I agree that historically the conflict has not been about democracy and theocracies, but more about competing theocracies as manifestations of innate tribal traits. Thus the critical issue regarding the wearing of the Burka is nothing to do with whether the Western (democratic) view of "the equality of women" is "superior". What is critical is that wearing it in the West is symbolic of a culture clash, or in evolutionary terms a conflict of tribal loyalties (tribalism being demonstrable in other primates). Of course each tribe will argue for its own "superior" perception and point to the inadequacies or "evils" of the other viewpoint, but in the logic of the street, such theoretical nuances are beyond the instincts of ordinary tribal members.
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Finn dAbuzz
Reply Tue 30 Jun, 2009 05:21 pm
@ebrown p,
The "problem" is not French bigotry. The problem is the stiff resistance to assimilation of Muslim immigrants that has been encouraged by Europe's devotion to multiculturalism.

The feminist concerns cited by Sarkozy is a dodge. France has awakened to the problem of multiculturalism when one of the cultures in the mix conflicts with the core values of the host nation.

Unfortunately, for Europe, Islam has not embraced the post-modernism that gave birth to multiculturalism. Islam is not interested in just being left alone, and fitting in. It doesn't buy that all religions are the same, and that it shouldn't assume it has a lock on the truth.

A good number of European muslim clerics have been quite clear with their intentions: Islam is the one true faith. Europe belongs to Allah. Europe must embrace Islam.

Europeans would never tolerate such chauvinism from Christians, but then Christianity is part of the base culture, it doesn't have to be tolerated.

The average Hans or Pierre in Europe didn't have to think about the consequences of an obsession with multiculturalism when the immigrants were a tiny and silent group that did all the jobs they felt were below them. No problems, and they got to feel superior to those racists in America.

Now the number of immigrants has grown, and their birth rate is probably three times that of native Europeans. It's becoming increasingly clear that they have no interest in becoming French, Dutch, English, or German who just happen to be brown skinned and Muslim.
They are Muslims who happen to live in these countries. Their core identities are not changing.

Even the most ardent multiculturalism in Europe isn't prepared to see their country lose it's European identity, and so we can only imagine what the average Hans and Pierre thinks.

This is the primary reason European politics is moving to the right, and if their governments don't take measures to stem the tide, it will move even further right, and eventually it will get very ugly indeed.
ebrown p
Reply Tue 30 Jun, 2009 06:00 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
What a buch of crap! Devotion to Multiculturalism? Pure hogwash. (And I hope the irony isn't lost that the conservative here is defending France.)

I am proud of the United States. We have done far done far better than France in terms of dealing with religious/ethnic minorities for a couple of reasons.

First, France doesn't give citizenship to people-- even when they were born in France and lived their whole life in France. In fact, France doesn't even give citizenship to their children. This means a large underclass of people who aren't fully "French", but aren't from anywhere else either.

It is France that is blocking people from "assimilating".

Of course the United States has given citizenship to whoever was born here... meaning that whether your parents came from Africa, Asia or Europe under whatever circumstances they came, you will be assimilated by the second generation.

The United States doesn't have nearly the ethnic strife that France has.

Second, This type of arbitrary rule targeting a specific religion is forbidden by our Constitution (and our justice system). Liberty and Justice for all, at least in the United States, means that everyone has the freedom to live their lives and worship God as they see fit.

The United States has dealt with the problem of women's rights by empowering women. We provide strong legal protection for women as well as services and public education. This means that if a woman chooses to wear a Burka here (and some do) it is very likely her choice... an expression of the liberty that she (and you) enjoy.

Finn, I find it amazing that you are arguing for Government interference on such a personal issue as religion.

The liberty granted by the US Constitution, where people are free to express themselves as they see fit without government interference, is one of the best things about the United States.
Finn dAbuzz
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2009 05:19 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown, in your haste to slam me and "cleverly" point out what you believe to be irony, you didn't bother to read what I wrote.

If you take a moment to read what I wrote you will find that the only thing I am defending France against, is your charge of bigotry in regards to this head scarf issue.

I've not doubt they have their share of bigots ( although they tend to focus more on Jews than other groups) but the move to outlaw the wearing of burkas in France is not born of bigotry - quite the opposite.

Sarkozy is simply a few steps ahead of his European brethren ( excluding Holland which beat him to it) in attempting to address a very big problem facing Europe and one caused by a continental affinity for multiculturalism and the temerity of Muslim immigrants to think theirs is going to be corrupted, not enhanced by European culture.

Your pro-American chest-beating is nice to see, but irrelevant. I've not argued we should outlaw burkhas or head scarves

You really don't need to school me in American superiority over Europe, and if there is any true irony on this thread it's your attempt to do so.

Look to my first post in this thread. I stated that France is restricting personal freedom. Apparently they believe it is necessary to do so, and it's not because of bigotry nor is it because of the feminist claptrap Sarkozy is trying to use as a cover.

This issue is far more complex than simple bigotry can explain.
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Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2009 06:27 am
A letter to the editor today, from my daily paper:

End 'protection'

THE original purpose of the burqa, which French President Nicolas Sarkozy is trying to ban (Comment & Debate, 6/7), was to protect women from temptation and keep them at home. If a woman wanted this "protection", she would best stay at home and not bother with work or education.

The burqa is not the first attempt to "protect" women. The West had chastity belts long before Islam existed.

And China had foot-binding for 1000 years. This was a much more effective method of keeping women out of temptation's way, as I can attest with my grandmother. But the burqa should be the last attempt at doing so.

Andrew Leung, Richmond
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