The ban on religious clothing/accessories in France

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Do you agree with the French ban on the wearing of religious garb in public places?

Yes, because it promotes equality
1
6%
Yes, because it will help to fight dangerous kinds of fundamentalism
0
No votes
Yes, because religion does not belong in a school setting
0
No votes
No, because it compromises people's freedom
9
50%
No, because it is discriminatory
6
33%
No, because it goes against everything that secularism stands for
2
11%
I don't know
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 18

The ban on religious clothing/accessories in France

Postby parnassus » Wed Nov 16, 2005 2:03 pm

Do you think France was right to ban hijab, crucifixes, Jewish yarmulkes (skullcaps), and Sikh turbans from public buildings such as schools? If so, why? If not, why not?

I will post my views later, as my stomach is demanding food. (When isn't it?)
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Postby pinkparrot » Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:27 pm

I'm sorry but I don't get it. I'm sure you are fed up of explaining things but if you want an answer can you please explain your post?
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Postby parnassus » Wed Nov 16, 2005 6:08 pm

Very recently, there was a big media furore - I'm sure you'll remember it - over France's decision to ban any overt sign of religious affilation (such as Muslim headscarves, Jewish skullcaps, outsize Christian crosses, and Sikh turbans) from public buildings like schools and government offices. This is because the French government is secular. Secularism states that everyone is supposed to be equal, no matter what religion they follow. The French government also insists that it is inappropriate and offensive to display your religion in a public place. So Muslim girls can no longer wear scarves in school and Sikh boys can't have their turbans.

I personally think it is a very bad idea, because banning religious articles goes against everything that secularism stands for. We don't all have to look the same to be equal. In a secular society, you should be equal in spite of how you dress or whether or not you choose to proclaim your faith publicly, not because of it.

Secondly, banning hijab and turbans is discriminatory. It is not against Catholic faith not to wear a crucifix, so if I were a French schoolgirl I wouldn't have to disobey the rules of my religion when I went to school. But it is forbidden for a Muslim girl who has reached puberty to appear in public without hijab. (To be 'in hijab' is to cover everything but your face and your hands.) Sikh boys are forbidden to cut their hair, so they bundle it up in turbans to keep it neat. Now France's male Sikh population will have to go about with ridiculously long ponytails and get laughed at, as well as compromising their religious identity. Because the new laws cause Muslims and Sikhs to break their religion, they are no longer equal to Roman Catholic students, whose religious customs are more or less untouched by the rule.
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Postby pinkparrot » Wed Nov 16, 2005 6:11 pm

Sounds tricky. I don't think anyone should have to go against their religion and I'm not sure what harm it does to other people for someone else to be following their own religion. I think it depends on the religion and I have no idea about the complications involved. Perhaps when someone else writes in, the ideas could be clearer still...
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Postby parnassus » Thu Nov 17, 2005 7:53 pm

It is not religion that the French government is trying to ban, but the displaying of religious symbols in public buildings. My argument is that a religious 'symbol' is often much more than that - it is a religious practice.
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Postby mattie » Thu Nov 17, 2005 9:19 pm

I suppose some people would argue, though, that France is a country that prides itself on being secular and strongly emphasises equality. Having said that, I don't see a problem with people wearing religious clothing. I don't see why a scarf or item of clothing could possibly cause offence. I can't understand why they have been banned.

I think the current rioting in France has many causes; lack of integration; racism aimed at the immigrants; poor housing and education of minority groups; and lack of social responsibility. To resolve the crisis, the French government will have to change its policies towards immigrants so that they have the same rights and chances in life as other French people. Of course, the immigrants would also have to act responsibly as well.

If there's one thing I hate it's racism and intolerance of others. :x


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Postby parnassus » Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:40 pm

Equal doesn't mean the same. Dyspraxic people are not the same as neurotypical people, yet we are equal to them. French Muslims are not the same as French Sikhs, yet they are equal to them. Equality doesn't lie in dressing alike.
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Postby mattie » Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:19 pm

Yes, I agree. Everyone should have the right to practice their own religion and be considered equal. It seems to me that the rioting is as a result of French hostility/intolerance towards immigrants. The problem is, at least to a large extent, of the French government's own doing.


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Postby eDan » Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:56 pm

I can understand possible reasonings behind the banning of religious symbols or dress in places such as schools, based on a similar argument made by the French government that the citizens of France all are simply French, rather than French-Muslims, French-Algerians etc.

I suspect the logic stems from dinstinctive religious clothing being perceived as a means of distinction between the wearer and others, showing that the wearer is in a particular group if you will. Schools often try to underline that all pupils are on a equal footing at school, and I can see that it wouldn't take a government a great leap of reasoning to conclude that banning religious clothing and symbols in schools thereby removes the unhelpful visual distinctions otherwise present.

On a purely secular and anthropological level the wearing of distinct clothing similar to others could be tied down to human nature of wanting to belong to a tribe or group. We see it on our streets everyday, and extending far beyond the realms of faith, from football fans to goths to ponsey estate agents in winebars. Yes I suppose it could be argued by a government that drawing visual distinctions between yourself and others could in theory be the source of problems and division. However in reality there are visual divisions in many different forms, and I believe they add to the glorious diversity of our streets and countries' cultures rather than being something that should be quashed. I also agree that the French government's stance may take the secular line of argument in public, but may in reality be a (rather thinly disguised) discriminatory policy towards immigrants.
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Postby tears_on_a_pillow » Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:46 am

I think and believe it is verywrong that their is thisban in place, as Religious items such as Yamulki's, Tzitit, Hajeebs, cross', etc are all part of what makes an individual relate to their religion, and helps define beliefs, by making people not wear such items is taking away part of their heritage and identity, its very wrong.
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Postby parnassus » Fri Nov 18, 2005 6:16 pm

It is impossible to be exclusively French and nothing else. That's like saying doctors in France shouldn't wear lab coats, as they are assuming a second identity.

What do the French government want to make their citizens wear in order to promote la culture de l'Hexagone? Berets, stripey T-shirts, and strings of onions? It sounds like it.
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Postby chocolatefudgecake » Fri Nov 18, 2005 7:37 pm

I think people should be aloud to wear what they want, where they want.
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Postby parnassus » Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:37 pm

Within reason. We can't have people going through the town in nothing but their underwear. But I do understand your point.
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Postby chocolatefudgecake » Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:41 pm

Some people wear less than that - It's their choice, But I personally woulden't.
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Postby parnassus » Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:52 pm

Some people wear less than that


Thank goodness I've never noticed any of these people!

Then again, nudist beaches aren't really on my tour itinerary.
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