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Old 01-17-2004, 08:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Anyone else think this is going to the extreme?

YaY YaY secularism!

http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe...ves/index.html

Quote:
ARIS, France (CNN) -- Hundreds of Muslims protested in Paris, London and other cities Saturday against the French government's plan to ban religious symbols -- including headscarves -- from state schools.

The proposed ban, which has not been ratified by the French government, would take effect with the new school year in September and includes Sikh turbans, Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crucifixes.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Paris' Place de la Republic, chanting and carrying placards calling on French President Jacques Chirac's government to reject the ban.

In London, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in front of the French Embassy to oppose the ban on the Muslim hijab, or headscarf.

"The hijab is a freedom, our right," said an organizer of the protest. "It is not a symbol."

She rejected the claims of some people that the hijab is a symbol of women's oppression, saying instead that the law itself would oppress Muslim women.

Men and women protested separately in London, carrying signs proclaiming that "secularism has failed the world" and chanting for "female dignity" and an end to "secular vanity."

Protests were also held in other cities in France and around the world, including Nice and Toulouse, France; Amman, Jordan; Istanbul, Turkey; and Beirut, Lebanon.

Media reports indicated that Sikh populations in France were planning protests later this month.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3333741.stm

Quote:
US concern over French scarf ban

The United States has expressed concern over French plans for a ban on overt religious symbols in state schools.

The US Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, John Hanford, grouped France with a list of countries accused of abusing religious freedom.

"All persons should be able to practise their religion and their beliefs peacefully without government interference," he said.

Iranian Nobel peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi also criticised the plans.

Islamic leaders in France urged young Muslims to stay calm after the French president's support for a law which would ban items such as Islamic headscarves, Jewish skullcaps and Christian crucifixes being worn in state schools.

President Jacques Chirac said this week that secularism was one of France's greatest achievements and played a vital role in ensuring social harmony.

Religious freedom

Mr Hanford, presenting a US report on International Religious Freedom, said allowing people to practice their beliefs was "a fundamental principle of religious freedom".

"Where people are wearing these with no provocation simply as a manifestation of their own heartfelt beliefs, we don't see where this causes divisions among peoples," he said.

French Education Minister Luc Ferry said a bill introducing the ban would be put before the National Assembly in February and should come into effect by September.

As both Mr Chirac's governing conservative party, the UMP, and the opposition Socialists are in favour of a law, it is unlikely to fail.

This year's Nobel peace prize winner, the Iranian-born Shirin Ebadi said the plans would only promote Islamic extremism.

"If there is a law, only fundamentalists will profit from it," she said in Paris.

"The better the girls are educated and the more they go to school, the more emancipated they will be."

In Malaysia about 50 Muslims protested outside the French embassy on Friday. One of the organisers, Salahuddin Ayub, of the Islamic Party (PAS), said: "This is a breach of human rights. There is no justification for the law.

"We think the French government is anti-religion. Its action reflects blatant disrespect for all religions," he told reporters.

In Denmark, a court upheld on Thursday a supermarket's decision to dismiss a young Muslim woman for wearing an Islamic headscarf at work.

It said 25-year-old Najla Ainouz's claim of discrimination could not be substantiated because she had agreed to a specific dress code when she joined the company.
When does secularism promoting "social harmony" overstep the boundaries of just plain repressive? Any takers that the ACLU will get on board with something like this here?
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Old 01-17-2004, 09:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Anyone else think this is going to the extreme?

Quote:
Originally posted by Mojo_PeiPei
YaY YaY secularism!

http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe...ves/index.html



http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3333741.stm



When does secularism promoting "social harmony" overstep the boundaries of just plain repressive? Any takers that the ACLU will get on board with something like this here?
1. The American-CLU wouldn't have much business in France, nice attempted jab but horribly mis-applied.

2. I think it is better for the pendlum to swing in the direction of non-religion in public matters than specific religious exemptions. I have never seen conflict between Athiests and Agnostics, or for that matter Diest and Athiest.

3. France is such a great place, and yes since I like it so much I may indeed both marry it and move there.
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Old 01-17-2004, 09:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Actually I'm with France on this one. Europe is going to have a serious identity crisis in the future and anything done now to help limit that is a good thing.

Of course this may backfire since its only public schools that this applies to, and I can already see private Islamic schools springing up because of this. I don't think we need to go into whats taught in Islamic schools in this thread.
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Old 01-17-2004, 09:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Are you trying to troll? Making statements such as
Quote:
The American-CLU wouldn't have much business in France, nice attempted jab but horribly mis-applied.
in regard to a statement
Quote:
Any takers that the ACLU will get on board with something like this here?
seems out of line and unnecessary. Frankly I don't see how anyone could honestly misconstrue what I said.
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Old 01-17-2004, 09:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What do you mean by identity crisis Ustwo? Is that in regards to the growth of the Muslim population vs. the soon to be decline of white europeans?
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Old 01-17-2004, 09:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mojo_PeiPei
What do you mean by identity crisis Ustwo? Is that in regards to the growth of the Muslim population vs. the soon to be decline of white europeans?
Yep.
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Old 01-17-2004, 10:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'll let it go, but there's already a thread about this...in General, I think.
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Old 01-18-2004, 01:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The French ban is racist, illegal (under European law, it is a violation of the student's human rights) and should not be allowed to happen.

The ban doesnt just effect Muslims, also Jews and Christian's. It is deeply offensive that the state feels that they have the right to tell people they cannot wear clothing that they feel their religion dictates to them they must. Religious beliefs are things that people hold very close to their heart, the state has no right to interfere.

If these items are forbidden in schools, then I would recomend any Jewish, Muslim, or Christian to refuse to go to school. if the state then attempts to force these children to go agaisnt their will - this must be considered as kidnapping, and any violent means used to damage or destroy the aparatus or the body of the state must be considered legitimate - even the murder of state officials.

No one wants a civil war, but the people must to defend themselves to a point, and when they do so they ust do it with such furious anger that the state backs down instantly and begs for forgiveness, or is totally destroyed.
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Old 01-18-2004, 09:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If anything this is also just really poor timing by the French considering Islam/Western Civ relations. This will further drive home the notion that the cultures truly are at war.
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Old 01-18-2004, 09:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah, this is completly wrong, we are above this kind of thing and religous freedoms must come before someone being offended by a large crucifix or other religous symbols. Unless it's like a vail that interupts identification at examinations or something like that this is just a politician being populistic.
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Strange Famous
The French ban is racist, illegal (under European law, it is a violation of the student's human rights) and should not be allowed to happen.

The ban doesnt just effect Muslims, also Jews and Christian's.
if everyone is affected, why is this racist? I could understand if it would only affect muslims. Than would indeed be racist.

I'm all for the ban, school is not the place for religion. In fact i also would like to see a stop religion as a school subject, I would like to see it replaced by a general "ethic" school subject, not influenced by a certain kind a religion.
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:08 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mojo_PeiPei
If anything this is also just really poor timing by the French considering Islam/Western Civ relations. This will further drive home the notion that the cultures truly are at war.
But they ARE at war.
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:16 AM   #13 (permalink)
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True, but you wouldn't want to alienate "moderates". This doesn't matter anything to hardliners, they'll just be able to say "see I told you so".
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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in the UK religion is not taught in school, social ethics are.

It is racist because it targets people and imposes penalties on them in terms of their ethnicity.

In the UK all motorcylists have to wear helmets, for example, except Sikhs, because they wear turbans.

The state does not have the right to attempt to ban people from wearing certain clothes which they feel their God demands. This is an outright attack against the human rights of these pupils, and as I said, the murder of state officials trying to enforce these rules, while tragic, may be unadvoidable.
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:36 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
Actually I'm with France on this one. Europe is going to have a serious identity crisis in the future and anything done now to help limit that is a good thing.

Of course this may backfire since its only public schools that this applies to, and I can already see private Islamic schools springing up because of this. I don't think we need to go into whats taught in Islamic schools in this thread.
I think I might be with Ustwo on this one. It goes back to the <a href="http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showthread.php?s=&threadid=41340">John Rhys-Davies thread.</a> Militant Islam is at war with the west, and the sooner we get around to realizing it, the sooner we can figure out a way to separate the militant Islamists from the muslims who basically just want to be left along to worship their god in peace. I doubt this was the intention, but ther French are certainly about to find out which Muslims in their country are militant.

Don't read too much into this. I recognize the problem. I haven't got a solution yet, but taking this to logical extremes is so ugly that I am not even going to say more than this: If something isn't done right quickly about assimilating European Muslims into European culture, it will become a race war to make the Holocaust pale.
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Old 01-18-2004, 11:19 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Strange Famous
It is racist because it targets people and imposes penalties on them in terms of their ethnicity.
yeah Ok.

but wearing overt religious symbols could influence the children, especially young children. And I think that such influence should not happen in school. A school should be "religion free"
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Old 01-18-2004, 11:21 AM   #17 (permalink)
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How could it influence the children?
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Old 01-18-2004, 11:27 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pacifier
yeah Ok.

but wearing overt religious symbols could influence the children, especially young children. And I think that such influence should not happen in school. A school should be "religion free"

Nonsense.

Schools should be about learning, in this case about religions and about cultures. And if done right, children can make up their own minds what to believe as they get older.

Schools shouldn't be sanitized white rooms where we only funnel feed kids what we think they should know.
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Old 01-18-2004, 11:29 AM   #19 (permalink)
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young children are easyly influcend I think. I just don't think that people with i.e. a burka (ok its a extreme example) should teach little children. And if you ban one symbol you have to ban them all
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Old 01-18-2004, 01:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Article 1 France shall be an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic. It shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction of origin, race or religion. It shall respect all beliefs. It shall be organised on a decentralised basis.
Doesn't seem very respectful to me.
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Old 01-18-2004, 03:19 PM   #21 (permalink)
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This will be one of those "where will it stop" deals if it passes. What would be next? No religious anything in "public" buildings? No religious objects in "public" parks? No religious symbols on the "public's" streets? Its not that far a cry from bannings in schools.

As long as everyone is equally repressed then they are still equal right? They share the same freedoms even though they may be limited to just breathing... until an air tax can be imposed. Then everyone can be equally free to pay the air tax or get arrested/killed. "Free" as long as they are a slave to the government.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:18 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pacifier
young children are easyly influcend I think. I just don't think that people with i.e. a burka (ok its a extreme example) should teach little children. And if you ban one symbol you have to ban them all
I think they should be exposed to different cultures. Now if they are taught exclusively by teachers with burkas, then that's a different story. Maybe give them a few years so that a person with an almost complete face mask won't intimidate them so much, and they'll understand more about religion and be accepting of a teacher dressing differently.
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:55 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I think it's an unwise policy. By doing this, they are simply alienating groups that they want to modernize, precisely what they don't want to do. I think it's very short-sighted if you ask me, but then again I've been *very* cynical about France's attitude towards immigrants ever since I read about the ghettos where, through economic realities more than anything else, they are forced into either a pitiful subsidized life or a life of crime.
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Old 01-18-2004, 06:56 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
President Jacques Chirac said this week that secularism was one of France's greatest achievements and played a vital role in ensuring social harmony.
In light of what's been going on in the world since 9/11, this is a strange attitude for a French President to be making public. I attribute it to France's inferiority complex towards the U.S..
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Old 01-18-2004, 07:42 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Apparently France isn't alone.

Quote:
German state plans headscarf ban
Teacher Fereshta Ludin's court victory looks set to be short lived
A German state has begun moves to ban Muslims from wearing headscarves in schools.

The bill was proposed by the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg following a supreme court ruling in September that allowed a Muslim teacher to wear a headscarf.

The legislation is expected to gain approval from the state parliament early next year.

Civil rights groups say a ban would hamper religious freedom but six other states are planning similar laws.

"The aim of the law is to forbid state teachers from wearing symbols which could be regarded as political," said Erwin Teufel, state premier of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

The region's Education Minister Annette Schavan said the headscarf was "seen as a symbol of cultural division and part of a history of repression of women".

In September's ruling, the federal constitutional court ruled the state could not ban a female Muslim teacher from wearing a headscarf because there was no law against it.

But the court also said German states could ban headscarves in schools if they passed new laws.

The ban will not apply in religious education classes, and Christian and Jewish symbols will not be banned.

Three states - Berlin, Hesse and Saarland - want headscarves banned in all public services.
(BBC story, lost the link)
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Old 01-18-2004, 07:47 PM   #26 (permalink)
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higly unfortunate. A legacy of the enlightenment construction that saw eqaulity as the opporunity to conform to the social standard, and not pluralistic freedom to have idenity outside the social mainstream. It reminds me greatly of the Jewish "Emancipation" that was the double edged blade-the possibility for citizenship, but at the cost of total assimilation, made complusory by the threat of deportation. If i were there...i'd start protesting like mad. If i was not free to wear the cross, i know how i would feel...and i won't stand by while someone inflicts similar injury on a minority population out of fear.
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:35 PM   #27 (permalink)
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wow, and when i read the original post, I thought to myself, "hey, finally a topic that will unite the entire TFPolitics board."

but alas, not to be.

How can you get past the fact that this law grossly violates religious freedoms? To Americans: would you support such a law if it were to be proposed here in the states?
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:46 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I wouldn't, this type of shit is scary.
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:50 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Rather than protecting everyone's religion, this law would be forcing secularism on everyone.
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:54 PM   #30 (permalink)
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In a perfect world, there wouldn't be religion, but we don't live in a perfect world, and I'll settle for religious tolerance (within reason). The issue is less cut and dried than you might think. There's the whole "We live in a different world now that 9/11 has happened" meme. And perhaps head scarves are a civic security issue?

I say, let them wear their religious garb, but government people should be allowed to look under the scarf to identify people. Driver's licences should be taken without scarves. Compromises like that are possible.
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Old 01-18-2004, 11:00 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Whats so bad about religion? Religion is fine aslong as you keep politics out of it.
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Old 01-19-2004, 01:04 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mojo_PeiPei
Whats so bad about religion? Religion is fine aslong as you keep politics out of it.
That kind of like saying the Vikings were good people if you forget about the raping and pillaging and plundering.
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Old 01-19-2004, 01:48 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I'm still bit undecided about this, I see your point about cultures, but i think respect for different cultures can be teached without presenting teacher draped with religious symblos. I don't like organised religion at all, so I think there should be no place for it in school. different cultures are, of course, welcome but for me thats something different than just religion.

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Last edited by Pacifier; 01-19-2004 at 01:53 AM..
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Old 01-19-2004, 02:15 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Hah, Ustwo, I'm living in the state that article is talking about. I had no idea that was happening (I'm here just for a semester, I don't really keep up on local happenings that much).

One thing that got my attention:
Quote:
"The aim of the law is to forbid state teachers from wearing symbols which could be regarded as political," said Erwin Teufel, state premier of Baden-Wuerttemberg.
First off, look up what "Teufel" means . Secondly... it's a slightly different situation. I don't find it *quite* as bad if the ban applies to the teachers, and not the students, although I'm undecided on how that really changes the situation. Children essentially have to go to school, so a ban on students wearing religious garments would force these children not to wear them. Teachers are not forced to be teachers, so it's not quite as radical an idea.
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Old 01-19-2004, 09:22 AM   #35 (permalink)
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This ban is the result of a failure to teach people how to cope with people having different beliefs. Its a total failure of tolerance. First religion, next culture, next identity. How can you teach kids diversity by pretending we are all the same? This is ridiculous. NEWS FLASH! People's religion can be the most important thing in their lives! To deny them of that right is to deny them of the most important piece of their identity. Not everyone is secular, and not everyone is a zealot either. This ban sacrifices understanding for simplicity. Why not ban religion entirely?

Tolerance forfeits the game. We give in. Everyone hand in your differences because we just can't get along.
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Old 01-19-2004, 09:41 AM   #36 (permalink)
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The problem is currently we have a trend of diversity without assimilation. We are expected to be accepting and tolerant of their beliefs, but go back to their home country and try to be an open Christian.

If they come to France to be French men/women thats fine, but when they come without assimilating into the culture its asking for conflict and strife.

I personally think the ban is stupid, not because of religious freedom, but because it won't work. I fully sympathize with the goal, which is keeping French culture French.
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Old 01-19-2004, 09:58 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
The problem is currently we have a trend of diversity without assimilation. We are expected to be accepting and tolerant of their beliefs, but go back to their home country and try to be an open Christian.

If they come to France to be French men/women thats fine, but when they come without assimilating into the culture its asking for conflict and strife.

I personally think the ban is stupid, not because of religious freedom, but because it won't work. I fully sympathize with the goal, which is keeping French culture French.
Assimilation and religious freedoms need to compromise. If they want to keep French culture French, by all means close your borders, but don't ban people's differences. Assimiliation would probably occur more naturally if left to its own people.

There is something to be said about assimilation, but this is an extreme and a poor attempt at it.
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Old 01-19-2004, 02:04 PM   #38 (permalink)
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As long as the scarves represent a religious duty, banning them grossly infringes on an individual's religious freedom. This is a horrible step backwards for Europe.

If the scarves were being used simply to represent affiliation with a particular sect or pseudo-religious movement (Wahabis) then I would be much more sympathetic to the ban (like Crips and Bloods doo rags are banned in LA schools), .
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