View Full Version : French school expulsions.

West Coast
25th Oct 2004, 17:41

The conundrum of complying with simple acts of modesty or religious beliefs now has to be weighed against losing access to education.

It would be understandable if it were sexually provocative or suggestive clothing, gang related or some other clearly improper garment, this however to any reasonable thinker clearly isn't.
Banning individual expressions as simple as a headscarf for a Muslim or a cross for a Catholic puts France on a slippery slope to far worse.

What's next?

25th Oct 2004, 17:48
After a while, they might realise how silly it was to wear their "uniform" and take great delight in their liberation, just like hippy women did years ago when they burnt their bras..... but without all the sagging later on.

And the divisions will be broken down a little further. What a wonderful world it will be then.

"Imagine there's no headwear, it isn't hard to see...."


25th Oct 2004, 17:49
Quoted from your link Some 600 cases of defiance of the law were counted at the start of the school year in September, but most have been resolved through dialogue — as called for in the law, Education Minister Francois Fillon said Tuesday...Authorities have also said they view the law as a way to fight rising Muslim fundamentalism in France and to protect the rights of women, widely viewed here as submissive to men if they wear head scarves.

There have been much less explusions than negotiated "reduced" headscarves actually.
The important word in the law is "ostensible" (conspicuous), small scarves are accepted, only the large "hijab" is in question.

another (non-French) point of view : here (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3671362.stm)

tony draper
25th Oct 2004, 17:53
I disagree, I admire the French for this stand, in my opinion all religions should be stamped on at every oportunity.

25th Oct 2004, 18:02
I agree with Drapes.... however I feel it shouldn't single out conspicuous Muslims, it should ban all signs of religion in public places.

Or ban religion.

tony draper
25th Oct 2004, 18:05
As I understand it, it is all religions.
Young Thugees are no longer allowed to garrot their school chums either.

West Coast
25th Oct 2004, 19:00
What of simple signs of modesty, non religious in nature? They are banned also. The debate is not of what many think of religion. Its of personal freedoms or in this case lack thereof.

25th Oct 2004, 19:26

Coming from someone in the US, to talk about restrictions of personal freedom and expression is a bit too much to swallow.



Mac the Knife
25th Oct 2004, 19:32
I recall what Churchill said when someone remarked that Clement Attlee, the Labour prime minister, was modest: "He has a lot to be modest about." :cool:

25th Oct 2004, 19:42
Churchill was a [email protected] t**t who presided over military disasters and got a lot of people killed but that was conveniently forgotten when he got himself into power.What of simple signs of modesty, non religious in nature? They are banned also. Who cares, the ends justify the means.

25th Oct 2004, 19:43
I've heard that one too, Dr Mac, but forgive me if once again I quote Mr Attlee himself on the topic:

Few thought he was even a starter.
There were many who thought themselves smarter.
But he ended PM,
CH and OM,
An earl and a knight of the garter.

Perhaps he was not so modest after all.

25th Oct 2004, 19:47
WCWhat of simple signs of modesty, non religious in nature? They are banned also
I'm glad to see you have soo good insight at what is happening over here, pray tell us where you got this information from ?

West Coast
25th Oct 2004, 19:49
Well, BHR

Funny you should chime in. Been photographed today, how is the national ID card coming along?

Find me a credible threat from wearing a headscarf that doesn't quite meet government specs. Let me help you, there isn't one.
Still didn't weigh in on the issue of the thread, is that for a reason?
I suppose it would carry more credibility with you if the originator was someone other than an American wouldn't it? Somehow then the issue would be at the forefront and not the poster.

Keep the eye on the ball, not your favorite target

25th Oct 2004, 19:49
BHR, care to post some examples of the United States Government banning freedom of speech, personal expression of beliefs or any other restrictions against the peoples rights?

You just might want to rethink your comment.

Just asking mind you.

25th Oct 2004, 19:55
Here we go again.


25th Oct 2004, 19:57
Lack of access for lawyers to those at Guantanamo Bay?


25th Oct 2004, 20:11
How about the new “smart” passports with an e-chip. Bush had two choices of digital format and insisted on the one that could be read slyly from a distance instead of requiring a contact scan, as customs simply would require.

Big Bro Bush is watching.

All of us.


25th Oct 2004, 20:43
Well according to Mrs. C-P some of us really do need watching, a lot!:)

25th Oct 2004, 21:14
How about the new citizens with an e-chip? Or the employees needing an e-chip (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3742684.stm) to carry out their work?

26th Oct 2004, 11:39
Just because someone who hails from the US made an observation about the effects of the new law in France regarding symbolic religious clothing we get professional students such as BHR making their usual rabid derogatory comments which divert the thread totally from the initial point. Now all we have is yet another long and circular argument developing where the BHR's and his ilk just twist the topic into their usual fetid anti-US diatribe.

Let me make a suggestion: BHR and your luvvie chums, **** off to one of the other threads that give you the platform where you can indulge in your masturbatory rants against anything that is remotely connected to the USA. I for one am becoming irritated beyond reason just because you somehow assume that because the poster is an American, that somehow gives you the right to divert the discussion along some tangent that only you and your luvvie chums can get orgasmic about.

I apologise to everyone else for my outburst and shall now go and flagellate myself for this divergence from the topic. No doubt BHR will be back to defend his honour but I don't care as I shall not be wasting any more time on this thread due to its ruination in the first place by lifes detritus... the luvvies. :yuk:

Feeton Terrafirma
26th Oct 2004, 12:06
Getting back to the point..... In the great southern land many schools have a proscribed uniform which must be worn and this policy has been in place since they started. In another situation there is currently a dispute over a girl wishing to play sport in a team, but she wishes to be allowed to wear religious head gear which is not part of the team uniform.

For my part this is NOT about religion or race or culture but simply about someone wishing to vary rules because they don't suit. Why should rules be changed for one person, or one small group of people? If they choose to attend a school or join a sporting club then likewise they are choosing to wear the uniform.

They either like it or bugga orf

PS.. In most schools the "dress code" also applies to things such as jewlery, coloured hair, and even the hair style.

26th Oct 2004, 12:57
Since the days of Jules Ferry at the turn of the century, French schools have been secular. That means no religion. I believe French policy was that the Government would run the schools and that no other body would be accountable. Unlike in Britain, say, where we have CofE schools or Catholic schools.

It just happens that discrimination on the grounds of religion is a hot topic at the moment whenever it concerns Islam. I wouldn't expect to see yarmulkes or turbans in French schools either, but Judaism and Sikhism aren't particularly in the news just now.

West Coast
26th Oct 2004, 13:54
"masturbatory rants"

Silly me, I always thought that word was a verb.

26th Oct 2004, 14:19
I asked you a question on previous page, I'm afraid it got lost in the conundrum. Would you mind answering it, please ?

26th Oct 2004, 14:53
May I say there is allready one thread opened on Pprune dedicated to this "civilisation clash".

To hard to go back to this thread for you WC?

To hard to read the posts in which EVERYTHING was told about it?

I'm too tired to waist my time re-telling you about the French law banning ALL religious signs AT SCHOOL......

You are still allowed to watch or practice belly dancing ........


26th Oct 2004, 15:35
Grandpa, while we disagree on many things, ok darn near all things, I am very proud of the French for standing by their law banning ALL religious symbols in public schools. I feel it is a good law, however I am afraid that this will never happen here, especially in Oklahoma the buckle of the Bible Belt.

tony draper
26th Oct 2004, 15:45
I have a cunning plan that could end our economic woes, why not tax religion? tax it to the hilt, the organisations and the individual believer, make them collectivly pay reparations for the blight they have caused worldwide this last 2000 years, we atheists would of course be exempt or even be entitled to a rebate, treat em like we now treat smokers if they wanna pray or yack about their faith they have to stand outside in the rain, make inflicting passive religion on others a offence.
Bloody hell Drapes, how has the world managed without you to date.?
a health warning on all the holy books might be in order also.

This is even a better idea than ones plan to tax chaps on willy size,now who would ask for a rebate?, most prooner would be asking to be reassessed upwards?

26th Oct 2004, 16:04
Tony we have been trying to figure out a way to tax religion for decades. However it always comes down to the way people view and interpret Constitution. One could compare this battle with the right to bare arms issue. Here in the US religion is BIG, BIG money, I’m talking Billions of dollars all tax-free. There are churches with corporate jets, mansions for their head preachers, yachts etc. all tax-free. I don’t think taxation of religion will ever happen here, but maybe some day.

Reminds me of an old joke.

A TV reporter is interviewing a TV evangelist.

TV reporter, “Minster don’t you feel that all the money that you spend on your airplanes, yachts and huge homes would better served being spent on things that would please God?”

Evangelist, “If GOD wants a Gulfstream IVSP can’t GOD have one, of course he can!

If GOD wants a 100 foot Boward Yacht can’t GOD have one, of course he can!

If GOD wants a fleet of Rolls Royces can’t GOD have them, of course he can!

If GOD wants an 80-bedroom mansion can’t GOD have one, of course he can!

Well I am just using all this until GOD wants them.”

Lon More
26th Oct 2004, 16:04
Well said Drapes.

Newcastle: where a homosexual is one who prefers women to "Broon."

26th Oct 2004, 17:20
A lass I know, when I was working with her afew years ago, mentioned that her brother, who was living in San Francisco, had found a way of avoiding paying income tax.

He had founded a religion, got it recognised by the IRS, and so anything he earnt was 'religious contributions' - and tax free.

The group she was with (including me) were dismissive of the idea - nobody would ever believe that - but she was so insistent about it, and so casual, that we did believe her in the end.

26th Oct 2004, 17:30
Well I totally support the French in this matter. WC, I would have thought you would have supported this?

The west has a problem with Islam at this point in time, it is far too insular. Forcing 5 million muslims in France to comply with their secular beleifs, and making them obey their hosts laws is surely a good thing? This allows Muslims to further their engagement with wider society. I think it can break down barriers.

Islam is about 500 years behind Christianity, so I'm wating for the Muslim Martin Luther to nail his demands on a Mosque door any time now!!

West Coast
26th Oct 2004, 17:39
"Here comes your Grandpa, The Father Of All Discussions about veil in French schools"

That's kind of funny.

You don't seem to tired to reply, despite what you say. Do you feel more comfortable commenting on the US than taking some heat back home?

You seem stuck on the all religion thing. I don't care if you perceive my disdain at the law because it affects Muslims the most. All religions should have the ability to observe, within reason religious or custom driven requirements. The argument comes down to what's within reason. A reasonable government of tolerance should allow these minimum signs and symbols, an unreasonable one doesn't.

"You are still allowed to watch or practice belly dancing"

Yes we are, has that been banned in France as well?

I get my info the same way you do. The Internet, the press, political journals, the odd visit, etc. If your going to say that doesn't qualify me to talk about matters French, then I suspect I won't see you commenting on the US. You better get all over Gramps then also.

I oppose Muslim terrorists, not Muslims in general. Surely you do the same?

"obey their hosts laws is surely a good thing?"

You make it sound as if immigrants must melt in and no individuality is allowed. Sorry I don't know how to spell it, but to this day my immigrant mother wears her Claddah ring. Should she remove it because she no longer lives in Ireland? I guess I'm touchy about this issue being the son of immigrants. Your above quote also doesn't speak to possibly the millions that are French born and have some sort of elevated rights that your post would lead one to believe.

26th Oct 2004, 18:08
I realise it is very difficult to understand the secularism law issue from outside. But just to clarify out some of the main points, you have to understand that in some areas the situation was becoming unbearable. In some areas girls wouldn't dare to go out without a headscarf, because that would label them immediately as "whores" and make them targets for insults, harassment and even rape and murder, as it has happened already. Force into a girl's head she's a whore without a scarf when she's young enough and the damage is done. Now that situation continued even in school, and other public places. Husbands in hospitals would expect to have a woman doctor to examine their wife, even at knifepoint (like they had women doctors in radical Muslim countries...go figure). I heard a nurse recalling a Muslim husband that had demanded a woman doctor for his wife, explaining that "you know she's a honest woman not a whore like you lot". Girls in school not allowed by their parents to attend gym classes. Teachers accused of racism because they expect even Muslim girls to do their homework, while they should know they must sort out house chores as a priority.
The State must protect the weak and set principles. Now what is happening is that in the name of religious freedom, it is the non fundamentalists that are starting of being discriminated against and blackmailed (I girl I know, of respectable middle class Muslim background, some time ago was having problem with her fiancé because her father didn't follow the Ramadan rules). The State is demanding French people to acknowledge its authority. In short, you are first French then Christian/Muslim/whatever.
Following the Cesnot/Malbrunot (journalists) affair, the majority of French Muslim rallied around the Government, demonstrating where their loyalty lays. Someone here said that the Iraqi terrorists requests revived the discussion. It is not true, more the opposite.

26th Oct 2004, 19:32

I was just surprised about your post about non-religious signs, which I never heard of around here, hence my question, that's all.

26th Oct 2004, 19:40
The Internet, the press, political journals
Could you provide a reference, or a link?

West Coast
26th Oct 2004, 20:00
I see the French have mobilized.

For starters see the beginning of this thread. The banning has made big news here in the US, especially in the lead up to it.

tony draper
26th Oct 2004, 21:13
The French can perhaps see the dangers and are acting to prevent the formations of nations within nations, where groups live separately, under a different set of laws,laws of the worst possible kind,religious law, because they would not be satified to stop there,when fully established they will expect the rest to obey the same law.
I keep saying this,but we had 500 years of blood fire and mysery in this country,because of fanatical religion because one group owed aligence to a old man in Rome and the other to the Monarch, and remember that old man in Rome issued what amounted to a fatwah against Elizabeth 1st, I hope we have learned our lesson and never again allow a religion the whip hand, because there is no such thing as a tolerant religion never has been and never will be, do not give religion a inch especialy one that lags 600 years in the past and intends to keep its followers in the same period.
Try Googling Canada and Sharia Law.

West Coast
26th Oct 2004, 23:05
"The French can perhaps see the dangers and are acting to prevent the formations of nations within nations, where groups live separately, under a different set of laws,laws of the worst possible kind,religious law, because they would not be satified to stop there,when fully established they will expect the rest to obey the same law"

That sounds like an oral history of Germany leading up to the war, the call for a homogenous society.


Of an individuals history
personal freedoms

Where does it stop? Will there only be one language allowed when buying milk at the store? No McDonalds? Nothing that denotes the influences from other cultures?

We either celebrate the differences among us or they are used to seperate us.

tony draper
26th Oct 2004, 23:25
I would fully agree with three of those points West Coast, but the words tolerence and religion do not belong in the same sentence.
Oh Christianity is tolerant enough now but only because its teeth have been drawn and its heading downhill fast, it no longer has power over the people, and thats one of the best things to happened in the last two hundred years.

26th Oct 2004, 23:43

I'm with Drapes on this one, (shock! :eek: )

There is a difference between someone wearing a claddagh ring and women being forced to wear burqua's and other coverings that are specifically designed to seperate them from society. That is a problem. You need to really go back into history to see why France is so passionate about it's secular status.

Of course celebrate differences, it's great to have cities with all different ethnic cuisine and culture, so long as they fit into society. I don't think it's OK to allow some groups to totally alienate themselves from the wider society and to demand different laws and customs.

Maybe you're letting your hatred of the French blind you here the same way those fanatical anti-americans blind themselves?

This is hardly like Germany pre WWII, if it was, the French would be making them wear their distinctive coverings to differentiate them from the general populace. To highlight their Muslim traits to alienate them. Here, the goal is to further integration, to try and stop the stark differences that are emerging and to make them equal in everybody's eyes.

Feeton Terrafirma
27th Oct 2004, 01:19
Much of the problems discussed in this thread have their basis in one cultural difference. In some countries the religion and the state are the same.... This is true in most Islamic countries, Israel and also Vatican City. There are possibly many other examples. In most "western" countries we have seperated State and religion and found the benefits of doing so.

The aim of the French laws is to ensure that is NO discrimination based on culture or religion in the State run schools, something I must support because this is where these biases are learnt, leading to adults with hatred of their neighbours.

This is not to say that I don't support a persons right to follow a faith, but they need to temper that following so that it does NOT impact others in the community.

I can't stand to have religion forced on me. Its my personal choice to follow or not to follow any beliefs and I will not be told, encouraged, or suffer peer pressure to conform in that sense. In the same breath I must say that I will not tell, encourage, or pressure anyone to follow my beliefs.

Mr Draper, do you also wish the Christians would give back our 5000 year old Pagan festivals, Yule tide, Easter etc. and stop pretending they own them?

27th Oct 2004, 01:29
One more time OW22 you have taken the words right out of my mouth, er post.

West we agree on many, many issues here, I’m sorry we don’t here. If I am wrong I will back off right now and defer to you sir. However I wish we would ban, or some how reduce the influence of radical right wing religion here.

Now remember I am a stanch Reagan Republican and proud of that fact.

(PS I am watching the start of Series game III and two F-14s just flew over Bush Stadium and lit the burners, great!)

PPS, It's easy to entertain an old fart.:)

27th Oct 2004, 01:54
Would butthead-cornh- off himself to the library and get Roy Jenkins book on Sir Winston Churchill.
Hopefully it would open his/her eyes to what a great man Winston was.
The cause of freedom owes a great debt to him .
Please think about what you say about one of Britains Greatest Hero's.

27th Oct 2004, 02:55
I could be mistaken, but I believe that women in Turkey who work for the government are not allowed to wear headscarfs.

con-pilot I disagree about OK being the buckle of the bible-belt. It is Virginia! :uhoh:

My observation about religion in the US has been that little emphasis is given on ethics. I see religion and ethics as one, like the ying-yang.

I agree with Drapes that religion has caused many "civil" wars in history. Here in the US, I find "church-goers" much more narrow-minded and stubborn about views and cultures than "non-regular" church-going folk. One just has to look at the South where old differences still exist.

I have a question to WC about the seggragation between church and the government in the US: Why does it say: In God We Trust on every coin, but the crucifix is banned in public schools?

7 7 7 7

27th Oct 2004, 03:35
It's not just a French thing - from today's NZ press:

The husband of a Muslim woman who may have to remove her veil to give evidence says it would destroy his family's reputation if her face was revealed, even in a courtroom.
Shamullakbar Salim was speaking in Auckland District Court yesterday in a hearing to decide if his wife, Fouzya Salim, and another Muslim woman, will have to remove their burqas during an upcoming insurance fraud case.

Defence lawyer Colin Amery does not want Mrs Salim or Feraiba Razamjoo - the sister of his client - to wear their veils when they give evidence against Abdul Razamjoo, 39, who is charged with insurance fraud and making a false statement to police. Mr Amery said he could not assess the women's demeanour as they gave evidence if their faces were covered.

Neither woman was in court yesterday but speaking on behalf of them, Mr Salim said the wearing of veils was a part of their Muslim culture. "It's our tradition, our religion, our culture. We have to respect and try to protect it."

Mr Salim said his wife, who was born in Afghanistan, always wore her burqa in public. The only time she would consider venturing out without it would be in an extreme emergency. Inside the home, she did not cover her face but none of Mr Salim's male friends or extended family were allowed to see her. When visitors came over, the men and woman were seated in different rooms and never saw each other, even to serve drinks or food.

Mr Salim said the same applied for Miss Razamjoo, who lived at his house for several years. However the defendant had seen her face because they were brother and sister. Mr Salim said the women originally wanted the courts to provide a female judge and lawyers but they now realised that would not happen.

Keen to get the matter sorted, he said Mrs Salim would be prepared to unveil her face in a closed court for the judge and lawyers, but only behind a partial screen so Mr Razamjoo could not see her.

If Mr Razamjoo does see Mrs Salim's face, Mr Salim said it would be the ultimate embarrassment to his entire family, ruining their reputation and dignity. "He can never see my wife's face. If he sees my wife's face, this means he is winning the battle."

Expert witness Paul Morris, a professor of religious studies at Victoria University, said there were several references to women covering their body from all men in the Koran. The practice was widely adhered to by Muslim women. Mr Morris said there was a chance the women's responses and facial expressions may not assist the court anyway because the women are not used to interacting without veils and they would be unsure how to respond. He had heard of cases overseas where Muslim women had covered their faces while giving evidence.

The hearing, before Judge Lindsay Moore, is expected to finish today and be followed by the start of the trial. The ACT Party's justice spokesman, Stephen Franks, said it was a fundamental principle that a court must be able to observe demeanour and body language in assessing the credibility of witnesses. "No one should have to face masked witnesses - whether they're Muslim, Ku Klux Klan or traffic cops in sunglasses," he said in a statement.
"Eye contact has to be more than shadowy eyeballs peering from a shroud."

West Coast
27th Oct 2004, 05:34

And I agree with you on most issues. I however don't see wearing a veil as part of some vast right wing conspiracy. I look at it as a personal choice. I really meant to say religious conspiracy, I just wanted to sound like Hillary there for a second.

PS, I thought they were hornets on the flyby.

It comes down to personal choice. You would never catch me wearing any religious symbology as I have a certain disdain for organized religion. Believe in God, just not in religion. I however believe the right of someone else to practice as they see fit is worth fighting over. Much the same for free speech. I may not agree with the Euro weenies on much but for damn sure I believe in their right to say it

This is not a battle about religion, its of rights.

Aren't you being a little dramatic with your descriptions?

27th Oct 2004, 06:03
I however believe the right of someone else to practice as they see fit is worth fighting over. Much the same for free speech.
These rights are ideals which should certainly be defended as far as possible, but what happens when these rights come into conflict with the rules/laws/regulations of a country? Do we uphold the law or do we defend the rights?

Western women are required to cover their heads in certain areas of the world because this is the law and their personal/cultural preferences are not taken into account at all, neither is their "right" not to wear a head covering. It is appropriate that, as visitors (or residents), women should comply with these laws. It follows that if women who normally wear a head covering find themselves in a situation where it is not permitted, then they must remove it.

People who live in or visit any country should follow the local laws and accept that their personal preferences take second place. And a preference based on religion is certainly a personal one.

henry crun
27th Oct 2004, 08:24
There is an interesting case in progress in NZ BD.
It is an insurance fraud case with two muslim Afghani refugee women appearing for the prosecution.

Both wear a burqa, and one in the witness box today says that she would rather kill herself than show her face in public.

The defence lawyer is arguing that he should be allowed to see her face to judge her demeanour under cross examination.

It will be interesting to see what the judge decides.

27th Oct 2004, 08:48
That is interesting, henry crun. One of the things the judges like to make clear to juries is that their assessment of spoken evidence must include everything about the way it is said including the body language, attitude etc.. Indeed if you could not see a person at all, it would be very difficult to make those judgements.

However, the extreme embarrassment of a witness under those circumstances (where she was unused to uncovering her face) might lead to comletely incorrect conclusions so I don't know if the request to uncover her face would actually have much value at all.

A question for anyone who knows ... how do such folk get on when it comes to being photographed for a passport or other official ID? There hardly seems to be much point in issuing a passport to someone who is unidentifiable ... or do they use fingerprints or something???

27th Oct 2004, 09:18
Another, separate question for West Coast. This situation with religion in schools has been the case in France for about 100 years, but it's being highlighted in the US now - ask yourself why.

Training Risky
27th Oct 2004, 10:01
Does anyone remember the female USAF colonel who was forced to wear a burqa in Saudi Arabia..... and sued the US government?

Good on her!

I wonder if she won.......?

tony draper
27th Oct 2004, 10:14
Wasn't there cases of Muslim women in the USA wanting ID card photos taken with their heads covered and just their eyes showing?, bloody ridiculous.

27th Oct 2004, 10:39
A simple question West Coast, if by choice, I come and live in your country will you expect me to obey your laws or just the ones that suit me.

27th Oct 2004, 10:50
Aren't you being a little dramatic with your descriptions?


27th Oct 2004, 11:02
Allah Almighty says: "O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them. That will be better, so that they may be recognized and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful."
Allah's Messenger said: "...when a girl reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this, and he pointed to her "face and hands

So, according to the Koran, there's no reason why the woman in the fraud case, can't show her face when giving evidence.


27th Oct 2004, 12:22
WCThat sounds like an oral history of Germany leading up to the war, the call for a homogenous society.Although some already answered that point quite well, I cannot let you say such a thing.
Both my wife's and and my own family suffered under nazi Germany or communist regimes and finally chose to settle in France. Does "wie Gott in Frankreich" mean anything to you ?

There is no problem for muslim women to wear their scarves in the street, or for jewish boys to wear yarmulkes (except some are afraid to do so in some neighbourhoods because of muslims activists - the ones who force scarves onto women and whom you seem to defend), but as the state and hence public school have been separated from all churches from 1905, civil servants and public school pupils are not allowed to display conspicuous religious signs. Period. Outside the school they are free to wear whatever they want. Moreover, there are enough private and religious schools for those who do not want to abide with these rules.

Edited to ask when you visited France last time ?

27th Oct 2004, 14:45
People need to stop fooling themselves here.

“I see the French have mobilized.”
You (pl) can’t criticise posters jumping on your nationality and then go on to do it yourself.

“Tolerance... Of an individuals history, Religion, Ethnicity, personal freedoms.”
Utter hypocrisy in the light of “homeland security”. Tolerance is what? Planes being turned back/diverted because an ageing hippie pop singer is on board? The terrorists must be pissing themselves!

“We either celebrate the differences among us or they are used to seperate (sic) us.”
Again total hypocrisy - I don’t see much of this going on in your country. Using dirty tricks (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3751606.stm) to deprive certain people of their votes for example?

“Believe in God, just not in religion.”
Umm… Yes.

27th Oct 2004, 16:42
My religion tells me to stone adultery women....

Your "freedom principle" says I' should be free to practice my religion.


Your unrestricted "freedom" means we must go back to dark age.

27th Oct 2004, 18:05
I see the French have mobilized.
Did you expect them not to? It's their country you are talking about.
This is pprune, not Fox News :rolleyes:

West Coast
27th Oct 2004, 19:16
OK, here we go....

Yes I did. I simply wasn't aware there were so many on the prune.

Your last post needs work.

Never said the US was as pure as the driven snow. That said there are plenty of threads to discuss perceived American wrongs. Go there if you want to grieve an issue with the US. This one is for the French. Go read Danny's post to BHR early in the thread.


"Edited to ask when you visited France last time ?"
WTF does that have to do with this thread? Nothing. Its been a few years to answer your question. If one has to live or visit the country weekly to hold an opinion about it then jetblast will dry up as only very few can pass your litmus test.

"A simple question West Coast, if by choice, I come and live in your country will you expect me to obey your laws or just the ones that suit me"

A simple question to which I will give a simple answer. I expect the law of the land to be followed. That doesn't mean said law isn't subject to change.

Blue diamond
The answer to your question is the same as I gave above to Shack.

Yes you are.

Tony D
"Wasn't there cases of Muslim women in the USA wanting ID card photos taken with their heads covered and just their eyes showing?, bloody ridiculous"

Yes, there was/is still perhaps. As I said earlier in the thread, it comes down to reasonable freedoms. Not having your face on a drivers license has potential for criminal abuse of the license. The same cannot be said of a young Catholic girl wanting to wear a cross that is a bit larger than what the secular French government believes is appropriate for her to wear. Compare apples to apples and not oranges when countering with examples.

27th Oct 2004, 22:09
Tony yes there was such a case. The Florida Supreme Court (the same Democratic controlled court that did every thing possible to assure that Gore would win the recount) upheld the right of the woman in question to wear the veil.

However the United States Supreme Court reversed the Florida Court’s ruling basically stating that the permission to an individual to operate a motor vehicle is a “privilege” granted to said individual that is granted and governed by the issuing state under the laws and guidelines of said state.

On other words the lady in question did not have the given “right” to drive a car, she will be accorded privilege only if she complies with laws of the land and shows her face for the driver’s license.

I don’t know if she ever got her license or not. By the way she was an American who had converted to Islam. She had a driver’s license with her picture on it before she converted.

28th Oct 2004, 02:47
You know, I couldn't give a ..........., if people want to go to school with strange things on their head. As long as you don't make me wear a tea towel - (or listen to that painful music).

Oh and I used to be soo opinionated about such matters. Loved a good debate. Now I can't hink of much of an argument for or against. I think my brain is drying up and all I can think about is basic things like **x:eek:

28th Oct 2004, 03:34
From the law case in NZ:

When she moved to New Zealand nine years ago, Mrs Salim changed her burqa to one which showed the eyes but she would never venture out of her home without it, unless there was a "life and death" situation.

Responding to a question from Judge Lindsay Moore, Mrs Salim she knew that she might have to change the way she lived when she moved to New Zealand.

Now's the time, I guess....

28th Oct 2004, 12:06
"This one is for the French. Go read Danny's post to BHR early in the thread.Ah yes - of course - compartmenting your discussion like that works well when your argument is weak. Reminds me of the kid at school who'd walk off with "his football" when he was losing. Do you really want to take a position and then only talk to like-minded "yes men"? Maybe you could put that at the beginning of the post next time...

West Coast
28th Oct 2004, 17:39
Freedom somehow equals weak argument. Reminds me of...who cares what it reminds you of.

Now I see the French gov is considering going to the other extreme and considering providing funding for Mosques.

That pendulum has quite a range

28th Oct 2004, 19:01
you obviously are not well informed. Your last statement is an enormity. It assumes the French Government has done something against Muslims. I won't even try re-explaining everything to you because it's been covered extensively on JB when the law was being discussed, and because, as we would say in France in your case c'est toute une éducation à refaire. But just to make you understand how off track you are, the (then) Ministre de l'Intérieur Nicolas Sarkozy (but the first one to work on it was J.P. Chevènement in 1999) founded the Conseil Français du Culte Musulman in order to grant a legal representation to the second French religion, and which, along with other duties, has the one of conducting the talks to decide about the construction of Mosques. If you are interested in facts and not only in propaganda, here (http://www.portail-religion.com/FR/dossier/islam/pratique/institutions/CFCM/index.php) you can learn about the CFCM.

West Coast
28th Oct 2004, 21:28

Read up Ludo.

28th Oct 2004, 21:54
I don't exactly understand how this article makes your point. It very superficially illustrates a small part of a big plan. Why don't you read the link I posted (provided you can speak French)?

West Coast
28th Oct 2004, 23:10
Couldn't open it. Speak Spanish and English, French will have to wait.

The French finance minister making such statements is not some simple man on the street voicing his opinion, it has to be taken as at least some degree of genuine intention to provide the funds.

28th Oct 2004, 23:39
Yeah, ok :rolleyes:
Now please do your homework and come back when you have a clue what's going on, ok? It helps instead of picking bits and pieces here and there.

29th Oct 2004, 01:21
Just a passing thought.

Mrs Synth and I met in the sandpit about ten years ago. I am agnostic, but she is an Irish Catholic. If she had been found in possesion of a bible, or found at a Catholic service, a man would have beaten her with a stick (at which point I would have set about him, and been shot for my trouble).

Muslims in England demand mosques.

Ain't it nauseating what a country will put up with to earn some money

:yuk: :yuk: :yuk:

West Coast
29th Oct 2004, 02:31
"come back when you have a clue"

My thread, you take the long walk off the short plank.

Will I come back to a France that is building Mosques?

Lemme see, an anonymous poster on the prune or the French finance minister, who to believe????

Is there an easy explanation for taking in Arafat as well?

29th Oct 2004, 07:50
France is trying to cut out fundamentalism by encouraging "good" Islam. What should they do instead, kill all Muslims and go to war to each and any Muslim country in the planet? It's a big plan and it'll need time, but surely short sighted people cannot see it now.

West Coast
30th Oct 2004, 04:35

Which is it?

First you tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about, now your defending the concept that you denied even existed.

I don't know if this idea will work or not. I, however can't help but be struck by the forked tongue the French government is talking with. On the secular side the gov says no way to religious medallions but yes to building mosques with (presumably) tax payers money. No consistency of message sent.

30th Oct 2004, 11:32
WC, if your problem is not only logic but dyslexia, there's no point of having a discussion. Re read what I wrote.
It's interesting to discuss with someone of a different opinion, but not when someone is ill informed, chooses to understand just what pleases him and replies in bad faith misquoting what you said.
Sorry sir, I value my time too much.

Nigerian Expat Outlaw
30th Oct 2004, 11:50
Am I being a bit simplistic to believe that if a person (of ANY race, colour, creed, religion) elects to depart their own country/cultural base to another one with a different outlook etc in the belief that there will be a better life there, then they should at least acknowledge the social/cultural differences while maintaining their own ? If they expect to reap the benefits of a new life surely they should try to integrate ?

Just a thought, please don't shout at me !!:ok:

West Coast
30th Oct 2004, 12:39

To your credit, you know when its getting too hot in the kitchen.

30th Oct 2004, 13:52
surely they should try to integrateNigerian Expat Outlaw, to be fair to French Muslims, the majority of them do. It is just a minority, funded by groups outside Europe that is trying its best to stir trouble. Unfortunately it's a very noisy small minority. Read the French newspapers, the interviews and articles written about it. Especially after the abduction of the two French journalists, French Muslims, the majority of them, rallied with the Government and declared themselves first French then Muslim. They also declared fundamentalism was damaging them. As a result the law was more accepted than it would have.

Charlie Foxtrot India
30th Oct 2004, 16:58
From the USA Today article

"The law is intended to uphold France's constitutionally guaranteed principle of secularism"

I'm no expert but understood that this has been the case since the French revolution, which was hard won, and the French are rightly proud of thier constitution. Please someone more knowledgeable than me correct me if I'm wrong, This is not a "new" law but just one that upholds the constitution in schools.

So this may seem really smplistic, or paranoid, but when chosing to emigrate to a country, why pick one where you don't like the constitution unless you are determined to undermine it?

Vive La France

30th Oct 2004, 17:03
To your credit, you know when its getting too hot in the kitchen. Or maybe he just knows a lousy cook when he sees one? :E

30th Oct 2004, 18:18
charlie !
i cant agree more about the defense of our laic constitution..

but i just find this "law recall" should have been reminded before.. and not aimed only to muslims, in this case catholics also mus leave their crosses... and what about rasta, or satanitic adepts ?
a lot of hypocrisis... who wears "visible signs" but muslim girls ?

did you know that the ROYAL NAVY has his first official "satanist" in the crew? they allowed him to practice his cult and to have a satanical ceremony if dead in mission (check out news for this if you think i m fancy)

did you know that in one region of france (Alsace) the public schools are officially catholic ? regading a kind of tradition..

ok for the law but the same FOR ALL.

30th Oct 2004, 18:28
I have already posted this article some time ago, but I'll post it again as a clarification for those not familiar with the French idea of "secularism". It might help you to understand the issue.

Why France values its religious neutrality
Guy Coq IHT
Monday, February 2, 2004

Symbolism and scarves

ARCUEIL, France With France on the verge of passing a law that would prevent Muslim girls from wearing their head scarves in class, Americans are asking why the French are so attached to secularism.

I always want to respond to this question by asking another, a version of one asked by Montesquieu nearly three centuries ago: How can one be French?

Our uneasiness about head scarves and other religious symbols in schools is a result of our long, often painful history. If we bow to demands to allow the practice of religion in state institutions, we will put France's identity in peril.

The French word that is closest to secularism, laïcité, was invented in the late 19th century to express several ideas. Laïcité includes, foremost, tolerance.

Tolerance had actually been around for a while. It was first instituted in 1598 under the Edict of Nantes, which allowed Protestants to practice their faith and ended our Wars of Religion. But the state and the Roman Catholic Church were so intertwined that tolerance wasn't enough. We had to take away the church's power to oppress minorities and make law.

For that, France had to go further than other countries in separating matters of state and matters of religion. The most emphatic expression of this desire came in our Revolution of 1789. The French people didn't just depose a monarch - they also took aim at the Catholic Church's domination of society, stripping the church of its property and demanding that the clergy acknowledge the authority of the state.

In the century after the Revolution, however, the Catholic Church found ways to regain power. A concordat between the papacy and Napoleon in 1801 gave the church a privileged position as the majority religion of France. The church took control of education and provided priests as teachers.

As monarchs, emperors and republics succeeded one another during the 1800's, the church inserted itself into politics by joining with forces that were enemies of the rights of man and the republican ideas of the Revolution. The leaders of the Third Republic, in the 1880's, saw that for the republic to establish itself, it had to wrest control of the schools from the church. Prime Minister Jules Ferry founded the public school system, which barred priests as teachers and took over the job of transmitting common values and the sense of social unity - in short, forming the citizens of the republic - without reference to religion.

The next step, the ending of Napoleon's concordat, came in 1905. By separating church and state - instituting a republic that was neutral toward all religions, and without a national religion - France finally realized the aims of the Revolution. This is laïcité, and it has worked well.

But the laïcité of schools has been eroded by the intrusion of religious symbols, prompted by an excess of individualism, that philosophy so revered by Americans. The need for the law against wearing religious symbols in schools that Parliament will debate on Tuesday reveals the regrettable waning of this French tradition.

More than ever, in this time of political-religious tensions, school secularism is for us the foundation of both civil peace and the integration of people of all beliefs into the Republic.

If the French hold laïcité so dearly, it is because that principle, as much as the republic and democracy, is essential for a cohesive society. Each nation has its bedrock principles. One could just as easily ask, what does it mean to be American? Meanwhile, more and more, there is talk of a Europe-wide laïcité. More and more, European democracies are multireligious. They no longer have a base of common religious tradition. Instead, they are constructing social guidelines built around ethical, universal values like justice and liberty of conscience.

The question that France is posing to the world is this: Can one progress toward true respect of these universal values without relying on some sort of "laicity"? To disarm fundamentalism, notably Islamic fundamentalism, can we give up laïcité, which builds a neutral space for all of us?

(Guy Coq is the author of a book about secularism in France. This article was translated by The New York Times from the French).

The International Herald Tribune

30th Oct 2004, 21:34
It should be understood that Sarkozy ISN'T French law.

He is just a gifted politician climbing as high as he can.

To reach this goal, he is courting groups, communities...

After meeting the Jewish leaders in New-York, he tries to get some support from the Muslims too.

The French secularist law forbids the State to give money to BUILD churches, mosq, synagogues, buddhist temples....
(Only in Alsace you can find a difference, because this province was under German administration at the beginning of 20th century when France enforced secularist laws, and when Alsace returned" to France in 1918, French authorities didn't change the old rules to avoid unrest in the religious population of Alsace).

Sarkozy only says this law isn't fair for the Muslim, because other religions had their building made long ago, while the Muslim are newcomers, need places of worship and are not so wealthy they can afford it easily.
He refuses also that foreign countries (Saudi Arabia for instance...) help French Muslims and take some influence on them....

Wait after the elections.................(in France)

West Coast
31st Oct 2004, 00:17
Much is made of French secularism, that however doesn't jive with possibly building mosques with tax payers money.

Which will it be?

31st Oct 2004, 01:36
How long would it take to get the old Guillitene's operational,as beheading seems to becoming fashionable again.Might make some of the new immigrants feel at home with some headrolling.:E

31st Oct 2004, 02:04
It'll be interesting to see what happens with Sikhs students. The Sikh turban is not a religious symbol. What is a religious symbol is the uncut hair that the turban covers, which is why they wear it. Therefore if they were not covered they would be in violation of the law against the wearing of religious symbols. Are the Sikh's to be required to cut their hair to be able to remain in public schools?

31st Oct 2004, 02:07
i agree pigboat,

keep the school public but :mad: let the people wear what they want!

4th Nov 2004, 07:45
Dominique de Villepin (now Interior Minister of France) has taken a stance against Nicolas Sarkozy's suggestion to modify the French secularist law and allow Govenment funding to build mosqs.

He says there are allready solutions to help Muslims build their worship places, and he wants the law to remain unchanged.

In the future, there may be some struggle between them as they may compete in French elections.

Sarkozy seems ready to do anything to get support inside and outside the country, while Villepin appears to stick on principles and own kind of Gaullist vision, which made him very popular in France and rest of the world (not including the ex-American Indians territory I suppose.....) when he reacted at UNO against USA unilateralism and preemptive lies based Iraq war.

henry crun
17th Jan 2005, 07:23
After 10 weeks of deliberation the judge in the insurance fraud case in New Zealand has announced his decision.

He has ruled that the two Muslim women giving evidence must remove their burqa veil, but will not be exposed to public view.

They will be protected by screens and only visible to the judge, counsel, and female court staff.

17th Jan 2005, 07:56
Are they so ugly?