2009 June 23 Tuesday
Sarkozy: Burqa "not welcome on French soil"
I admire the French for defending their own culture from a culture that is incompatible. If only America had a similar elite we'd be better off.
Paris - Leading Muslims and the media in France here have indicated general support of French president Nicolas Sarkozy's striking
comments Monday that the burqa cover for Muslim women is "not welcome on French soil," though opinion is divided on whether the president's cultural stricture should be extended to an outright ban of the burqa for women.
On Tuesday, a diverse group of French lawmakers announced a six-month study to see if a ban is warranted on the black veil, known in the Gulf states as a niqab, and in northern Pakistan and Afghanistan as a burqa.
To the neocons who want me to believe the French are my enemies: to hell with you. Western nations would be a lot better off if they, like the French, treated their cultures as worth saving.
Can the French be obnoxious and chauvinistic? You bet, but someone more clever than I am pointed out that it's your friends who will tell you when you have fucked up, or are about to. Do the French sometimes have a different agenda than we do? Of course. But France does not deserve the beat-down it gets from the neo-cons, and they're not reflexively antagonistic to us. You want a country to point to that IS antagonistic? Look no further than our southern border.
The elites sometimes realize that they are going too far ...
Neocons don't think much of Europe. Too nationalist, too socialist, too bad on Israel, too soft on Islam, too hard on moslems, too hedonistic, too un-american, etc., etc. As a European I say, why bother trying to be liked by these fools? It won't help you anyway, it will never be good enough. It's not that they don't like what Europe does, they don't like Europe -- period. And the French, most European of all, especially.
And the French get 80-90% of their energy from nuclear. They didn't let the liberals lead them down a non-scientific path.
To me this article only demonstrates how difficult the problem of integration is.
(1) Sarkozy states that the burqa "is not religious". There is a definite tendency in Europe to want to believe that anything that is too far outside western norms is "not religious" but cultural in order to give the ruling classes some cover to bash that behaviour. The corollary of this however is that if a behaviour is religious then the state finds it especially difficult to get involved. In the long run Sarkozy is not going to win any arguments with muslims as to what is and is not properly islamic.
(2) The article also refers to the problem of headscarves in France. The point here is that what exactly has been a achieved if the wearers of burqa's simply cut a face sized hole in the garb. They will still be immediately identifiable as muslims. From a western perspective we would imagine this must improve the lives of those women. If this is correct then the move is probably on balance worth it but you haven't got very far.
(3) One thing I noticed living in London where you do see quite a lot of women in burqas around: the difference in dress between the men and women. Although the women wore black head to toe this did not necessarily mean that the men wore conservative islamic dress. To the contrary the men often as not were wearing lose fit baggy jeans and American style hip-hop basket ball jackets (i'm not an expert on how to describe this stuff) and bling. I found the contrast striking.
You make a good point. Sarkozy does not want to be seen as attacking Islam. So he tries to separate the burqas from the religion. Yet of course Islam encourages keeping women in a very subordinate position.
London: What a tragedy. The Brits should stop the immigration and reverse it.
---To the contrary the men often as not were wearing lose fit baggy jeans and American style hip-hop basket ball jackets (i'm not an expert on how to describe this stuff) and bling. I found the contrast striking.---
Not just in al-London...I was in a mall in northern NJ the other day. A muslim couple I saw was dressed the same way. She was all muzzied up in a headscarf and dark clothing. The guy had an Ed Hardy T-shirt, expensive jeans and pricey sneakers. A rope chain and gold watch completed the look.
I have no doubt that liberals and feminists will soon remedy this kind of stuff...
The veil is different from a burqa. A burqa is a wearable tent. A veil is just a veil.
Does Israel allow burqas?
it's very interesting that Mohammed Moussaoui, the President of France’s Representative Muslim Council, supported Sarkozy's statement that women shouldn’t wear the burqa. here's an excellent article that outlines both sides of the debate. http://www.mindreign.com/en/mindshare/World-Politics-and-Current-Events/Sarkozy-3a-e2-80-9cMuslim-Burqas-are-Unwelcome-e2-80-9d/sl34045952bp295cpp5pn1.html
In this situation, isn't it important to note that the culture they're opposing is a worse one than their own? Islamic culture has all sorts of debased ideals, including the one relevant to this discussion: subjugation of women. Surely, the French should protect their culture from adopting too many Islamic traditions because this would undoubtedly facilitate a cultural and moral depression.
Is it always necessary to protect one's own culture from that of a foreign entity? What if the foreign culture has an ideal superior to your own, while simultaneously not undermining an important aspect of your culture? American history is rife with adoption of immigrant culture that improved our country without weakening a cohesive, traditional American consciousness.