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  1. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Drawing A Veil..

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Halcyon, Apr 11, 2011.

    Hi guys

    A new law has now come into force in France, banning women from the wearing of Islamic face veils in public places, with the punishment of a fine for those who do.

    The French Government claims that "the face-covering veil undermines the basic standards required for living in a shared society and also relegates its wearers to an inferior status incompatible with French notions of equality."

    Opponents of the new Law include those who object on the grounds of freedom of religious expression, plus those who believe that it infringes upon human rights and/or women's rights etc.

    I wonder how my fellow forumites feel...?
     
  2. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    It is a very bad idea.
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't see much difference between forcing someone not to wear something because you don't believed it is right and forcing people to wear something because you believe it is right. The French Government has become the abusive husband.

    Also never got this whole can't relate to someone with a face covering - just talk to them they are human and they generally speak back. My experience is just like with people in general some are rude and some are lovely.
     
  4. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't agree with this. It's part of their religion, I think it's unfair that they aren't allowed to show it because wearing a veil isn't harmful. I'm not personally religious, but I respect others who are. I'm not exactly going to say 'you can't read the Bible because it's all lies!', am I?

    Like Elgaisma, wearing a veil doesn't make them unapproachable - they're still people. Although I must admit, they do look unfriendly with the veils but then I think it's because we like to see things, not have things hidden to us. Or something.

    But yeah, bad move France.
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    But then people find a group of teenagers intimidating - how many shops ask for only so many at a time etc Not every group of teens is out to mug or hurt someone. Most are decent human beings and don't mind being approached.

    Do you remember a TV ad with a frightened old woman being approached by a teenager who handed her, her purse that had fallen out of her bag back >? Kind of reminds me of that. I think the people who are intimated by a woman in a Burkha would usually do at least a double take with someone with a facial disfigurement. I am not innocent of that - but when I do it is my issue to deal with not theirs.
     
  6. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I do remember that TV ad. And you're right about finding some teenagers intimidating, but I find most people intimidating anyway. >.>

    Are balaclavas banned in France too? Because they cover the face. Although, I haven't actually seen anyone wearing one other than on TV or in films by a criminal/gangster...
     
  7. ojduffelworth
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    ojduffelworth Contributing Member

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    I think the general public should be allowed to insist on some means of being able to visually identify individuals who enter into public areas, if only in the interests of public security and safety.

    Humans are a social animals, and a big part of socializing is through visual information—it is unnatural for healthy humans to hide all physical information from each other when communicating within the same time and space, so I don’t see why any society should accept it…if healthy individuals fear others seeing their physical features they don’t need a Burkha, but a physiatrist.
     
  8. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not sure - I understand the reasoning about asking people to remove the facial covering in certain circumstances but not an outright ban. Having said that they won't ask men to shave at airports. I just think it could get crazy.

    There was an arguement on the radio about John Simpson smuggling himself into Afghanistan in a Burkha. But then when Michael Ball first appeared in Hairspray as Edna Turnblad they received half a dozen complaints at the box office about him not being in the show lol. So I guess we would have to ban transexuals and drag acts under the same reasoning.

    Learning to talk to someone in a Burkha doesn't take much more effort than with any other difference that makes you take a deep intake - blind people manage to communicate, it is no different to learning to talk to a blind person who is giving you totally the wrong facial cues and looking off in the wrong direction. It is just different.
     
  9. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    In what other instances should, for the sake of their comfort, the general public be able to interject into the personal choices of individual citizens, especially as it pertains to the practice of their religion?
     
  10. ojduffelworth
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    ojduffelworth Contributing Member

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    You can see the facial expressions of men with beards and transsexuals in drag, you can see the shape of many of their features (nose, lips, jaw, cheeks forehead, and so on) – with the burkha you don’t see anything—so you really cant compare the two…
    Sure make up, beards, hair, hats, sunglasses can all hide some features, but they don’t eliminate all visual information…
     
  11. ojduffelworth
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    ojduffelworth Contributing Member

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    In any manner that general opinion deems inappropriate within a given society.
     
  12. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    With no limit beyond the will of the majority?
     
  13. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Beards and transexuals I was actually thinking about the security arguements put forward - a big bushy beard can disguise a person.

    A severe burn will make facial expressions diffcult, some forms of autism cause people to make the wrong facial expression, heck even botox has an affect, bells palsy, stroke victims, and depends on the beard an awful lot of children are scared of them because they are not used to them. If you go blind how do your propose to cope ? Do you think we should legislate what is an appropriate facial expression for someone to make ?

    I am not sure why it is of any concern of yours when someone chooses to be rude in whatever form.

    I may never want to wear a Burkha but I sure as heck don't want my right to choose to wear one removed. One of my children or grandchildren may want to live their life that way I don't want that right removed either. If I struggle communicating with someone in a Burkha it is my problem to overcome not theirs.

    As soon as you start curbing the rights of others you start curbing your own. I just think the abusive husband is rubbish too - how is forcing someone not to wear one any better than forcing someone to wear one ?
     
  14. ojduffelworth
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    ojduffelworth Contributing Member

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    The balance between individual rights verses social obligations is changing dynamic, it’s silly to try to define that balance in terms of concrete principals that apply to all societies in all cultures at all times.

    In our society, I can’t walk around naked without getting into trouble, in other societies I can let it all hang. Like it or not, there are all ways limits in every society to both individual rights and social obligations – so it’s really a bit silly to say ‘without limits’ , as no human interaction is limitless, even if there is never a fixed definition of these limits that applies to all scenarios at all times – which seems to be what you are asking for? We are basically talking about what the bulk of society deems to be fair, or acceptable – and that is a changing subjective notion, not a fixed mathematical formula.
     
  15. ojduffelworth
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    "One of my children or grandchildren may want to live their life that way I don't want that right removed either."

    And I want my right to walk around naked reinstated

    "As soon as you start curbing the rights of others you start curbing your own."
    And if you don’t like that, you had better live in isolation, and not within a society, because the fact is, like it or not, society expects you to behave in certain ways.
     
  16. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Given as I have no bother with that either ;) I agree think you should be able to.
     
  17. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    So then, are the laws in Uganda by which a homosexual can be imprisoned or executed simply for being homosexual acceptable in your opinion, so long as the majority of Ugandans continue to believe that homosexuality is unacceptable?
     
  18. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks for the responses so far, guys.

    Writers/artists tend to be a largely libertarian group of people, so it comes as no surprise to find the majority on this forum favouring the rights of the individual over the power of the state in a case like this. We should also remember, however, that there are many Muslim women in this world who wear a veil not through choice, but because it has been dictated by a male family member. Any such women living in the West may see this law as potentially liberating.

    Here are a couple of quotes from people in France today...

    "At last a law that protects the dignity and the human rights of women. This is not a racist law, it is a brave and progressive law that aims to put an end to the scandalous persecution of women in the Muslim community."

    "As a Muslim living in Paris, I'm so glad that this new law is here, for there has been a growing problem for some time now in Paris, with the radicalisation of young Muslims. Some of the more extreme Muslims have begun to use dress as a symbol or statement against French society. I feel that the extreme example of the Muslim faith works against all that Muslims in France stand for."

    We should also remember that there are some relatively liberal Muslim societies in this world where women have battled long and hard for the right not to wear a face veil. So whilst this law does trample on the freedoms of Muslim women who genuinely want to dress in this way, it is definitely a story with two sides.
     
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  19. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    That is true, and the only good that comes from this law. But the government should not be dictating to those who wear the veil as a personal means of religious expression that they cannot.
     
  20. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not sure though - now women have to fight for the right to wear it. I only know two people on a personal level that wear a Burkha, three wig wearing Jews and a few head scarf wearing Muslims.

    All have been intelligent women who have made the decision for themselves for a variety of reasons. As a woman naturally i get to speak to the ladies that wear a Burkha in private without it. Not sure that removing it will remove abuse it could actually make it worse as those that were forced to wear the veil before may well not be able to leave the house now. And spousal abuse does not require a burkha to occur.

    Just not sure how France is now any different to a society that forces women to wear the Burkha.
     
  21. ojduffelworth
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    My personal morality is irrelevant to the workings of Ugandan society. So long as the bulk of their society thinks a particular action is fair, then they will permit that action. That is generally how societies works…(even a dictatorship has to be accepted by the majority of people, if only out of fear--but that's another topic!)
     
  22. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just on this specific point: how many of those females previously accorded the freedom to roam will now be confined to their homes? It would be naive to think this won't happen...
     
  23. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have no doubt that you are right. However, this new Law also makes provision for a much bigger fine (and possibly up to two years in prison) for men who force women to dress in this way, so that may deter some of the people that you are talking about.

    PS France is by no means alone in this regard. There is a similar Bill currently awaiting Senate approval in Belgium, and there is a limited ban on face veils in public buildings and markets in Barcelona.
     
  24. ojduffelworth
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    "But the government should not be dictating to those who wear the veil as a personal means of religious expression"

    so should the governemet be be able to tell me to wear clothing? would it be fine in your opinion for me to walk about naked?
     
  25. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm is there a similar fine for now refusing to let them leave the house? At least before these women had a greater chance of escape or community and interaction. That may well be removed from them causing them to become prisoners instead of abused women.

    It is no different to the many non Muslim men who insist their women dress a certain way. The issue here is abuse not Burkha wearing and with any incident of domestic abuse the person has to reach out - the opportunity to do so for some of these women may have been taken away from them.

    The abuse arguement doesn't work, the security arguement would involve us banning other things as well, the people who argue about the communication angle are on thin ice because where do we stop with that - do we go back to putting disabled people in institutions hidden from the world etc

    Again yes - if you want to freeze your knackers off in North Scotland in the winter feel free lol
     
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