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France Bans Full Niqab

What say ye?
Edited by Hypatia on 09/14/2010 16:59
I say they are no longer a free society.

Not since the Vichy has France looked so bad.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
Hmmmmmm. Lets see..... Some religion wants to impose its will on a country that they migrated to in order to allow its adherents to conceal their identity and move about that country in anonymity.

Wow! Good thing that religion isn't the Muslim religion, huh?. That would be like saying that it is OK for known terrorists to easily conceal their identity by following the adherents of the religion they use as an excuse to justify their criminal/homicidal/pathological tendencies.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
This is a topic that I feel very drawn about. On the one hand I don't care what people want to wear regarding their religions, and it doesn't matter if I think their costumes look silly and ridiculous. On the other hand, of all the silly and ridiculous looking religious garb out there, the niqab is one of the few I can think of that I agree gives cause for concern regarding safety issues where the well being of people other than the wearer - or, in some cases, even the wearer - are concerned.

I'm concerned that women wearing a niqab and driving can possibly have their field of vision obstructed and be a danger to themselves and anyone sharing the road with them. Anyone who isn't (or is) Muslim can wear the niqab and burqa with the sole intent of concealing weapons and their identities. If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't care.

As far as that goes, the robes worn by priests and other faiths could also serve the same purpose. Granted, I really haven't heard about anyone wearing religious costumes just to carry out crimes, so that kind of concern has to be kept in context with reality. I can't say that it is just to ban such clothing in public, but keeping in mind the lengths some will go to in order to commit crime they're bent on committing, it is something we may, in the near future, have to be prepared to deal with.

I know this kind of topic has been the source of plenty of angry and hurt feelings between some members in the past, and that is really unfortunate. But these are still going to be on-going issues, and I think it's the nature of atheists to not turn a blind eye to anything just because it may be uncomfortable, or even angering, to talk about.
Edited by Hypatia on 09/15/2010 19:17
I'm torn about it too as far as 'rights' are concerned, but I must admit that I am somewhat cheered by the sight of France showing that it still has some resistance to being swallowed up by the tide of Islam which is currently ongoing in Europe. Most apparently have no desire to assimilate. Whether to allow the Muslim enclaves to adopt sharia law is an ongoing debate in Britain.
Bill Russell went to McClymonds HS in Oakland and then USF and finally played for the Boston Celtics. I remain a Celtic fan and because Bill Russell wore black Converse High Top basketball shoes I wear them to this day. Sad that they are no longer made in the US but I wear them still.

What is a 60+ year old man doing wearing black high top basketball shoes. Should I be banned from wearing what I like no matter what that might be.

I hate the oppression of women and the full Niqab is a symbol of that. What a person wears may be a symbol of what one despises it does not allow one to ban that clothing.
While some people think terrorist at the mention of all things Arab, the actual reasoning for the ban:

The text makes no mention of Islam, but President Nicolas Sarkozy's government promoted the law as a means to protect women from being forced to wear Muslim full-face veils such as the burqa or the niqab.
(emphasis mine)

No mention of safety or concealing ones identity. I'm sure they were brought up in other places, but this was the main selling point.

If this were attempted in the U.S. for these reasons, it would be ruled unconstitutional.

"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
It seems that the majority of Muslim women are wearing full burqas and naqabs out of choice, in compliance with their religious beliefs. If any of them feel they are being oppressed by being required to do so, it seems the effort to fight it should, would, at least begin from within their own culture and religion and not be forced from other cultures, or their 'adopted' countries.
Bob of QF
Mixed feelings about France's latest social experiment.

On one hand, I deplore the lack of freedom of expression.

On the other hand, I welcome anything that squashes one of the more hateful aspects of an overall misogynist religion.

That being said, on the gripping hand, I think it's the wrong approach-- had they taken the "while in public, when security was at risk" approach, they might have had a stronger case-- certainly, transactions where face recognition is a must, the ban makes perfect sense.

But the rest of the time? It sends mixed messages, of which I don't think the totality is positive.

I think a limited ban, only in certain circumstances, would be better than an over-all blanket ban.

For example: cannot board public transportation, cannot utilize public banking or other face-to-face transactions. Cannot enter large areas where crowds might congregate, except for religious institutions.

I.e. the approach would be to prevent terrorists from using veiled persons as bombs, or to prevent fraud.

I dunno. On the fourth hand, it will probabily be too much, too soon.

A better approach, is as always, education and enlightenment.

Once you achieve those? Silly religions where wearing these things will fall by the wayside, along with Zeus worship and thelike.
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
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