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Congratulations to France.
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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #1
11-04-2011 03:14 PM

I never thought I would say well done to our friends over the Channel but they have the guts to ban the full veil and came into law today.
Sadly our Government is sadly lacking in courage in that dept.

Also The Spiral from French TV Sat nights on BBC4 is superb. As good as The Killing from Danish TV.

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poolsneighbour


Posts: 162
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #2
11-04-2011 03:22 PM

Agree re the veil.. I lived in Bethnal Green for a few years, with a large number of women wearing the burqa, it is divisive, extremely non-british and oppressive to women. We'd never have the guts to do it!

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michael


Posts: 3,223
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
11-04-2011 03:45 PM

My sister-in-law got married in a veil in a public space in London (not an Islamic ceremony). In France today she would now be rounded up for re-education and my brother would probably be in prision - except for the following information.

To quote my father-in-law, who speaks fluent French and spends half the year there:

Quote:
The French police union is among the strongest critics of this law "impossible to enforce" "this ridiculous law" "a vast process for an absurd result" "we're not going to waste time on such trivial minor offences when we don't have enough officers to combat serious crime" "the way to combat extremism is to work with moderate Muslims". They say in essence they'll turn a blind eye. Sarkozy's populism gets ever more ludicrous in his desperate search for votes for 2012 .


For me what is divisive and extremely non-British is to tell people how they should dress in public. I don't enjoy seeing people wearing a burqa, but I will defend their right to wear it with the same force as I will defend the right of people not to wear it.

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poolsneighbour


Posts: 162
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #4
11-04-2011 03:58 PM

PC brigade strikes again - everyone else is wrong

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #5
11-04-2011 04:33 PM

I agree 100% with Michael. And on the point about the burqa/niqab being 'oppressive', the impression one gets from the media is that many, perhaps most, veil wearers in Britain and France do so (however misguidedly, some may say) of their own free choice, and that they regard it as an act of religious devotion.

As an Englishman, I claim the right to dress as I like. My fellow Englishmen and Englishwomen have the same right.

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dita-on-tees


Posts: 46
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #6
11-04-2011 05:29 PM

In the way I cover the bits of my body which are sexual features (well usually a lot more besides!) I am sort of comfortable with women covering parts of their bodies which may be considered sexual, either out of religious observation or cultural reasons etc, so for many cultures ie certain Jewish groups and certain Muslim groups the hair is sexualised and hence covered in the presence of non family males. I know plenty of women who cover their hair who are proud, independent and certainly in no way oppressed. However I can't help but feel the act of covering ones face is an act of shame and covering of ones individuality, women are reduced to grey or black blurs and hidden away. It makes me uncomfortable and I cannot believe anyone with freedom of choice would choose to cover their entire face. For me the burkha is a method of control in that it means that it is harder (not impossible) for women to become a recognisable public figures.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #7
11-04-2011 06:27 PM

Well said Dita and Pools Neighbour.
Infact at least two persons have been arrested on the first day.

I agree no problem with hair being covered but the face should not. How can we function and communicate as a society if everyone walked about with face coverings.

Michael and Robin you say people should wear what they want.
Does that include Hitler Uniforms , walking round naked, tee shirts with slogans likely to offend etc etc etc.

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michael


Posts: 3,223
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #8
11-04-2011 08:32 PM

Brian,
There may be a need to limit deliberately offensive dress, but it is not a criminal offence to dress in a Nazi uniform (a simple apology from the prince is enough) and there is a time and place for partial nudity - go to any beach on the South Coast in the summer and you may well see topless ladies.
There are also occasions when it is not possible to see people's faces in public, particularly if they are wearing a crash helmet, hooded tops, or bushy beards, as far as I am aware these are not banned by the French laws, despite hiding the wearer's face.

The law follows a range of intolerant laws, banning the wearing of turbans, skull caps, and head scarves in French state schools. What will be next?

This pattern leads me to believe that this is not about creating a more integrated society but pandering to the 15% of the French electorate who voted for the racist Front National. If the choice is pandering to French racists and being labelled as 'the PC brigade', I will happily accept the compliment.

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roz


Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #9
11-04-2011 08:47 PM

Oppression can take many forms and appearances can be misleading. I don't feel comfortable with seeing women fully covered nor do I like seeing little girls with their hair covered. However I think I feel that way because its not my culture but if I lived somewhere where it was more commonplace I'd probably take it for granted. I don't particularly feel comfortable with seeing women plastered with far too much make up because they tried to meet the norm so prevalent in advertising, or who are so clearly in their third round of botox.
Is that not oppressive?

I was in a play park with my children last week when a Muslim family of girls wearing the hijab arrived with their father who had clearly just collected them from school. These girls played on the swings and climbing frame with my daughters and engaged in rough and tumble play with each other. I saw nothing about them or their behaviour, or the way their father played and interacted with them, oppressive. He was encouraging them to take risks on the climbing frame and challenging them about their homework.
The degree to which such dress 'oppresses' women is very variable. In some Islamic communities it does so more visibly but in others, and amongst more assertive , professional women, there is more to it. I lived for some time as a student with some Syrian women , some who wore the veil and followed traditional customs, and some who did not. These people were fairly well off as you might expect being foreign students but those who wore the veil chose to do so. I learnt a lot about Islam from them and realised that many people and countries interpreted it in different ways.
I therefore think twice before making judgements but I do despise countries like France who make wearing the veil a criminal offence as much as countries who force women to do so as well as beating and publicly executing women for adultery and other alleged crimes. Both sides of the same coin.

I agree that education should be as secular as possible which I think is what happens in France but once the girls/women leave school for the day then they should have the right to wear the veil.

France is not known for its fantastic race relations with its Muslim citizens and to take this step is very questionable as I suspect the main motive is control and as someone said, attracting the populist vote, not the concern for the welfare of its Muslim women.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #10
12-04-2011 09:00 AM

Roz I am concerned that girls young enough to play on swings etc have the full veil.
I admire your tolerance ( which seems to extend to everything but the British , because of your Irish roots ), but surely that is too far.
Could not the parents be charged with child abuse?

Also how can you say banning the face mask is in the same league as countries that publicly execute women for adultery. That is the same as Milliband the younger saying essential government cuts back to spending of 2005 is the same as fight against apartheid

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #11
12-04-2011 09:54 AM

I could be non PC and suggest that women can wear what they like in the UK as long as they can wear what they like in the Middle East.

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #12
12-04-2011 10:08 AM

Why should we compromise our values of freedom and toleration just because others don't share them?

And can you prove that something is misguided or silly or a 'liberal' conspiracy just by calling it 'politically correct' ? What's wrong with being politically correct, anyway?

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roz


Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #13
12-04-2011 10:56 AM

I don't think its about being pc, its about being leaving people alone in something that really doesn't matter. I do however think the veil should be lifted in certain circumstances, such as in banks and where health and safety is a concern but otherwise let people get on with it. I can envisage women who wear the veil being placed in a difficult position and being targets for abuse and violence as a result of this legislation. As I said before, I do not like the veil but I think this is the wrong way to handle objections to it.

The children in the park were not wearing the full veil, just the hijab. Some would say its sensible in the sun!

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #14
12-04-2011 11:14 AM

I do agree that some non muslim people go to the other extreme and where far too little clothing. I can well understand Muslim's seeing how some of our young ladies dress and feeling disgusted.
I still feel the answer is not the full veil ( whatever it is called ). The face should not be covered.
Our society requires we see each others faces so we can communicate correctly.
Someone mentions they are getting good jobs. How to they pass the interview? Surely cannot be working in jobs dealing with the public ? Would you go to a position in a bank where the teller has a full veil , I would certainly not.

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jon14


Posts: 145
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #15
12-04-2011 11:26 AM

What about the Christian couple who didn't want a gay couple to stay in their b&b? Or the foster parents that couldn't adopt because of thier views?

Are we really that tolerant in this country? There's a prevailing attitude that you can do what you like as long as it doesn't impact on the rights of other people. But 'rights' are bound to clash - you're bound to impinge on somebody's 'rights' somewhere along the line.

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danwoods


Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #16
12-04-2011 11:27 AM

I would like to ban Brian from wearing trousers.

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michael


Posts: 3,223
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #17
12-04-2011 11:45 AM

Brian Wrote:
Our society requires we see each others faces so we can communicate correctly.

Hello Brian, can you hear me? Can you see my face? Are we communicating?

I saw somebody on the train this morning reading a 'newspaper' and there was a picture of a topless lady taking up most of the page. Naturally I found this offensive as she was not breast feeding at the time. "It makes me uncomfortable and I cannot believe anyone with freedom of choice would choose to..." show their breasts in a national newspaper. But I can respect that this is part of the British culture and should not be banned any more than people choosing to wear a veil.

On the other hand, on a recent trip to France I noticed that a group of men on the Eurostar train were watching hardcore pornographic videos on a handheld device, on a train with children aboard. I wonder if this is against the law in either France or Britain and if either sets of laws apply when 100m below the channel?

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #18
12-04-2011 11:48 AM

How do you know I do Danwood.

Getting back to reality surely face covering is in a totally different league .

I believe in France they have ID cards with picture on. I would be interested if anyone knows whether you have to reveal your full face for this picture?
If answer Yes then surely Police Officer or anyone else wanting to confirm their ID would be quite within their rights asking the good lady to remove their face covering.

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Baboonery


Posts: 581
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #19
12-04-2011 11:49 AM

Which they already were.

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #20
12-04-2011 03:19 PM

Quote:
....'rights' are bound to clash - you're bound to impinge on somebody's 'rights' somewhere along the line


Indeed, Jon. And so far as I know (others may be better informed) there are no universally accepted principles for deciding which 'right' (or freedom) takes priority over the other when there is a conflict; it all depends on the circumstances, or what the law says.

In the case of the couple who wouldn't give a double room to a gay couple, I think the judge said that under English law the right of the gay couple not to be discriminated against trumped the freedom of the boarding house owners not to be forced to condone what they thought was immoral behaviour. In the case of the burqa/niqab,there is a clash between the freedom for Muslim women to dress in ways which they believe they ought to with the freedom for other people to be able to look them in the eye or to recognize their faces.

It may largely depend on the priority society chooses to give to the right to practice one's religion freely. We don't have to take the same line as the French, who in this case may be influenced by the fact that they appear to attach a higher priority than (I suggest) most English people do to the republican concept of la´citÚ and to social and civic homogeneity.

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