The ban on religious clothing/accessories in France

Feel free to debate any issues you wish here. Warning: The topics discussed and their content may on occassion offend some.

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

Postby eDan » Tue Dec 06, 2005 7:05 pm

1337, I understand your point, and I'm not saying politics and religion don't mix, rather that I'm uncomfortable when they do too overtly. It is easier to draw examples from cases in America such as with abbortions and gay rights. Do you allow these or ban these based upon the majority feeling as to what it morally correct, or based on sometimes literal interpretations from two-millenia old scriptures? Now don't get me wrong, I have no problem taking morals from the basis of religions, as I'm sure that's where many of my own morals are founded, however it concerns me when chapter and verse is quoted as the reasons to set national law in 21st century Britain or America. This is sometimes the argument used by Conservative Christian lobby groups in the US, and it is this sort of use of religion in politics that concerns me. I hope that clarifies what I mean.

On another point, from a secular point of view it seems quite ridiculous that two opposing sides go riding into battle against each other both with the firm belief that God is on their side. I am also too cynical and have studied politics far too deeply to believe that George W Bush is acting either courageously or with good intentions.
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Postby fuzzy » Tue Dec 06, 2005 9:44 pm

1337, I what eDan was trying to say is that leaders often use religion as an example for wars/ conflicts- some of which are actually just down to petty things such as pride.
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Postby parnassus » Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:37 am

Religion does serve as a convenient smokescreen when a war pops up. Over here in Saudi we know that the murders of Western expatriates and death threats issued to the Royal Family have very little to do with Islamic fundamentalism and everything to do with a wish to destabilise an extremely oil rich nation.

Within the (hopefully) less volatile Western world, though, it is impossible to separate religion and politics. Our entire justice system is based on the Ten Commandments. No matter how hard people try to remove all traces of religion from daily life, they will never succeed - it would be like trying to remove their own leg-bones. It is too deeply ingrained.
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Postby Thirteen-thirty-seven » Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:48 am

eDan wrote:1337, I understand your point, and I'm not saying politics and religion don't mix, rather that I'm uncomfortable when they do too overtly. It is easier to draw examples from cases in America such as with abbortions and gay rights. Do you allow these or ban these based upon the majority feeling as to what it morally correct, or based on sometimes literal interpretations from two-millenia old scriptures?


In America, majority feelings and the words of the scriptures co-incided exactly. People, rightly or wrongly, disapproved of gay marriage and late-term abortion. Also, I don't believe that the truth is determined by majority vote.

eDan wrote:I am also too cynical and have studied politics far too deeply to believe that George W Bush is acting either courageously or with good intentions.


I suppose nobody can really know what another person is thinking.
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Postby towildhoney » Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:34 pm

I think the ban is a bad idea and can force a dreadful chouce between education and faith. I can apprecate the french secular perspective and can see the point they make that the class room is not the place for religous expression. However I think that the french method of failing to accept cultural and religous diffrence alienates minority groups rather than setting a level playing field for intergration?. Whilst I don't agree with the french ban I wonder what people think about a school in England that had a uniform policy agreed with local mosques of girls wearing black salwar kamez and head scarf but this paticular girl wanted to wear niquab (forgive my spelling) and won her case to do so. Anyones thoughts?
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Postby parnassus » Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:00 pm

It was a jilbab that she won the right to wear (a long black cloak). A niqaab is a face-veil. I think that the judge's decision to let her have jilbab was wrong, as the school already provided a perfectly acceptable Islamic alternative to the standard uniform. The parents of Muslim children at that school were very afraid that the students would start to see the new dress code as a way of distinguishing between really pious believers (jilbab-wearers) and half-baked believers (girls who stick with the ordinary Muslim uniform). The whole point of the Muslim dress is to make people equal. It shouldn't disintegrate into a, "My dress is more modest than yours," scenario.

That said, having seen photos of Shabina Begum in the jilbab and another girl in the permitted Muslim uniform, I have to say that the jilbab looks a lot more elegant and stylish than the salwar-khameez the school was providing. Perhaps vanity was a motivating factor. :P
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Postby towildhoney » Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:17 pm

sorry you were right it was jilbab (I always get the two confused don't know why? Its not like they come up in everyday conversation mabey thats why)

I douct it was vanity that lead her to opt for it but as a rule school uniforms aren't flatering are they?

I though as the school had made reasnoble adaptions to the uniform the judge was wrong.

Even though I didn't agree with the decision I'd still rather have it than having a French situation here.
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Postby Thirteen-thirty-seven » Mon Dec 12, 2005 3:36 pm

I agree with parnassus and towildhoney. I don't think that there should be a hierachy of dress in schools.
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Postby towildhoney » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:36 pm

I can understand people being unconfortable with Americas moral majority actions. I think though that peoples religions obviously influence there political decisions as it often lies behind there value base. I think it can vary from country to country how much religion encroches upon the state. I think what secularists are often fighting for is that churchs and religous institutions do not have undue influence on the buisness of governance rather than individual politicans acting bassed unpon values dicatated by there religion. Although I'd be oposed to theocracies and the instituition of a church having undue influence on a state I think much is actually determind by the culture and personality of the people rather than the institutions. So in England there is an established church and daily prayer in parliment but you are very unlikely to here Tony Blair make an overtly religous statement in relation to policy or any of the major parties. The USA on the other hand does not have an established church yet religous morality is routinley spouted by its politicans.

I find it intresting how many religous leaders and churches paticularly Christian groups in the USA see it as there place to force decisions on religous grounds over sexual morality as the they see it in the form of gay mariage and abortion rights and contraception/aids in the developing world. Yet fail to see that there religous values should also extend to fiscal and military policy. I have little problem with the late Archbishop Romero's mixing of the religous and political because I think his was an issue where it was justified but I wish that issues of conscience would be just that and that people would go about the buisness of governance with a mind to the values of a nation rather than a vocal section of it.
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