May 19, 2010

"Citizenship should be experienced with an uncovered face."

Says Nicolas Sarkozy. "There can be no other solution but a ban in all public places."

53 comments:

Moose said...

Eh - how very French.

And I agree with him. What if someone started showing up in public wearing those "V for Vendetta" masks, maintaining them as his/her cultural right.

Hilarity would ensue, I am sure...

Alex said...

So Halloween masks are outlawed now?

HT said...

I agree with Sarkozy! Whole heartedly.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I really appreciate all of the concerns that the pro-ban folks have, but I still don't like it. If I want to cover my face, then I think I ought to be able to do so. (Although I think others ought to have the right to discriminate against me for doing so, for example, if a bank wants to see it's patron's faces, it ought to be allowed to insist on it.)

Better to strengthen rules and enforcement against the kind of violent coercion that takes away the woman's right to choose whether or not she wishes to cover up.

- Lyssa

Kirby Olson said...

It's good.

But I think knee-length skirts should also be mandatory.

and of course no shorts for men.

GV said...

I agree with Lyssa. I hate the burkha, hajib, etc. I just don't think it needs to be legislated away except for certain instances, e.g.ID photos.

Next thing you know, some crazy leader will demand that no shorts be worn by adult males as it is not part of the French experience.

Richard Dolan said...

LOL. It's French for "the word 'voluntary' is a little complicated, and sometimes people don't do what's best for our society unless [l'Assemblee Nationale] holds hearings or unless the public demands it."

Today's theme chez Althouse, it seems.

Scott M said...

In a vacuum, I would agree with Lyssa.

However, this ban does not exist in a vacuum and must be viewed through the lens of a world-wide problem with the radical members of a religion that says it's okay to do something (overt opression of half the population) culturally at odds with the general population of France.

Another way of looking at it would be to suggest that merely denying building permits to a certain segment of the population based on country of origin or religion is patently wrong. However, when those buildings are minarets and the construction of which in non-Muslim countries has always heralded subsequent problems, a nation (in the sense of a collection of people with common culture/heritage) could be justified in preventing the spread of said construction.

On the converse, I believe there are bans in Muslim countries concerning female dress codes and religious construction. I'd say THAT's where the argument ends as those bans were in place first. End the bans in Muslim countries and the West will end theirs.

TMink said...

"Better to strengthen rules and enforcement against the kind of violent coercion that takes away the woman's right to choose whether or not she wishes to cover up."

No government can do this. No law can accomplish it. No rules can enforce it.

So how would that be better? If it would be at best an empty gesture?

I am conflicted on the law, seeing the tension between individual freedoms and the need for some sense of cultural cohesion in a country.

But unicorn rules and rainbow statutes would do nothing.

Trey

GMay said...

"Better to strengthen rules and enforcement against the kind of violent coercion that takes away the woman's right to choose whether or not she wishes to cover up."

I want to agree with you overall, but this paragraph begs the question - so you're wanting more restriction on religion? You know Muslims aren't going to stand for that right? They'll claim there is no violent coercion at all. That that's just a small, warped version of the Islam.

Hoosier Daddy said...

It's French for "the word 'voluntary' is a little complicated, and sometimes people don't do what's best for our society unless [l'Assemblee Nationale] holds hearings or unless the public demands it."

That's right Richard. France, despite the motto of the Revolution, isn't exactly the model of a free society. The Frogs have a nasty habit of flirting with authoritarianism so this isn't much a shock to anyone who has a cursory knowledge of French history.

Then again they do have universal health care so that trumps all.

traditionalguy said...

The greatest expenditure on cosmetic surgery in the world today is on women's noses. The ladies are still trying to make what is uncovered as attractive to strangers as possible. But France is at least in small part fighting back against an invasion by a foreign and hostile culture...something that Arizona also recently decided to do.

mesquito said...

Show your goddam mug or kick rocks back to fuckedupistan, is what I say.

Bob Ellison said...

France fancies itself the inventor of Western democracy and separation of church and state. Missed it by that much!

Geoff Matthews said...

Alex,

Once-a-year, as opposed to constantly is what you're missing.

wv - compwl - Many women are compwled to wear the veil.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I prefer being in a country where you can just live your life, and not have to experience citizenship every time you step out your door.

Paul Zrimsek said...

You know what's even worse than veils? The secret ballot.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Trey: "Better to strengthen rules and enforcement against the kind of violent coercion that takes away the woman's right to choose whether or not she wishes to cover up."

No government can do this. No law can accomplish it. No rules can enforce it.


That's certainly not true. Can a government eradicate it? No, but it can help by ensuring that laws against domestic violence are enforced, by ensuring a police prescence where it appears to be necessary, supporting shelters and other rescue services for those who are being mistreated, and through public education that provides awareness of those services and that the government will stand by you and against your oppressor.

Getting rid of the burka isn't going to stop all of the other abuses of Islam, either.

What this all comes down to is domestic violence. The justice system can and should take strong action against husbands or fathers who threaten females, whether it is about covering their face or wearing too short a skirt.

Seven Machos said...

Here's a novel idea: let France govern itself. Also, don't pretend to understand what is certainly a complex political-historical calculus.

Do you like it when French people are all bitching about American mores? Because I hate it.

Lem said...

Its too bad they are going to get the law involved..

If the French feel the veil is a form of harassment why not try to talk it out among the religious leaders and .. cultural preservationists (I don't know what else to call it) w/o resorting to the blunt instrument of law.

Lem said...

France is not a big country where its easy for people to "cocoon" as we do here..

I can see where Sarko is coming from.

Its not like we don't have our forms of vail bans.

Gated communities, like where my brother lives in Fla, have all kinds of restrictions that are strictly enforced.

LarsPorsena said...

Historically speaking, from time to time many of France's citizens have wanted to hide their faces.

bagoh20 said...

I'd rather have women walking around naked, but of course that's illegal, even though there is no history of naked people robbing banks or committing crimes as there is for masked ones. Consequently I don't see the conflict with precedent of outlawing certain dress, especially that which hides your identity.

If you have a problem with outlawing this, then I think you are being inconsistently selective about your freedoms.

Jim said...

Oh, but we all wear masks, everyday, we we go out and are not true to our selves.


;)

Kirk Parker said...

GV,"I just don't think it needs to be legislated away except for certain instances, e.g.ID photos."

OK, but what good is an ID photo showing your face, if you don't actually have to show your face when appearing in public?

Paul said...

The burkha and hajib do not belong in Western societies, just as Muslim immigrants do not belong in Western societies. We're falling all over ourselves trying to accommodate ourselves to a group that becomes a threat to infidels in every country in which it achieves a substantial presence.

We can skip around this reality until it's too late to do anything about it, as is already the case in some European countries. I heard Hirsi Ali on NPR talking about how we shouldn't keep Muslims out but rather dialog with them and persuade them to adopt more liberal views. And if they don't, what then?

It's amazing how craven Western societies have gotten in the past 50 years. Then, it would have struck us as self-evident that we wouldn't want hordes of Muslims immigrating here. Now it's supposed to be inconceivable to object to it.

Alex said...

What infidels don't understand is that the burka is the ultimate freedom for a Muslim woman. Taking her burka away is a supreme violation of her dignity.

Original Mike said...

Whatever happened in the (Florida?) case of the woman who wanted to wear a burkha in her driver's license photo?

Steve said...

Approx 2000 out of a population of 62 million wear a burka. That's 0.003 percent of the population. Sounds like a real serious problem. He should be ashamed.

c3 said...

France's brand of official secularism is not to my liking. I like the freedom of religious expression (such as a student wearing a cross in school) that is not possible in France.

But as was pointed out before, I'm not a French citizen.

c3 said...

PS and now come the comments about what students have worn in school.

rocketeer67 said...

Gated communities, like where my brother lives in Fla, have all kinds of restrictions that are strictly enforced.

Do I even have to point out that this is an apples to mastadon comparison?

Let your brother call the county sheriff to enforce the "no clotheslines" rule and see how loud the laughter is from the other end of the phone line.

edutcher said...

We have a problem in this country; the First amendment has this little thing that says, "nor restricting the practice thereof". The appellate courts and the ACLU may want to ignore it, as they ignore what an Establishment of Religion really is, but, like it or not, it's their right. I agree with Lyssa and GV that, aside from the driver's license, it's their business.

Also keep in mind, the French fell right into the Vichy lifestyle. Sending people to "resettlement" wasn't that big a deal to them. This has a similar flavor.

danielle said...

I wonder when this question will be before a US court.

I'm very interested to hear a defense for allowing the Burqa; and really, I'm most interested to hear what Muslim women have to say about this.

Clearly there have to be some constraints (banks, airports ...), but a ban in all public places (parks ! sidewalks !) seems a bit much.

Roman said...

Welcome to the 21st century!

david7134 said...

I don't agree with the ban in that I feel that it skirts the issue of directly facing off with Islam. Until Western governments recognize that Islam has as much to do with religion as the KKK has to do with equal rights and freedom for everyone, then we will continue to have problems. Though we have a separation in church and state, we are currently at war with a religion. That needs to be defined and action taken to markedly restrict this so called religion.

bagoh20 said...

"We have a problem in this country; the First amendment has this little thing that says, "nor restricting the practice thereof".

Like all freedoms, it has limits. You can't practice human sacrifice just because it's your religion as a modern Aztec living in Aztlan.

Corky Boyd said...

Largely ignored in the proposed no-burka rule is France is in no way the only country to mandate clothing requirements based on religion.

Ladies, just try to enter Saudi Arabia without head covering. Try it in Syria, Yemen and a host of other sharia observant countries. You wouldn't last five minutes before the morals gestapo would be on your case.


While western democracies are usually tolerant of other religions, islamic states are not. Yet they are the loudest complainers about strictures on bans on islamic dress.

Try wearing a yamaka in Riyadh.

LakeLevel said...

danielle said:

I wonder when this question will be before a US court.


Hello, I'm pretty sure this is the law of the land in most US states. It was settled several years ago in my state when our Supreme Court ruled that a muslim woman could be arrested and charged for driving her car while wearing a face covering.

This is a made up controversy. Like Arizona. Save your sanity people: Stop listening to the East Coast Press Idiots.

GV said...

GV,"I just don't think it needs to be legislated away except for certain instances, e.g.ID photos."

OK, but what good is an ID photo showing your face, if you don't actually have to show your face when appearing in public?


One doesn't need to match an ID photo when appearing in public. The need to provide identification may require the woman to remove the cover in order indicate she is the person in the ID photo. Can someone in the UP wear a ski mask to go outside in winter? Would they be required to remove it when they go in the airport?

A.W. said...

Well, a few thought.

I am torn. on one hand the whole cover your face and body this is incredibly mysogynistic and terrible. but on the other, if we banned face coverings, would these women just never go out? So which works more for equality of women.

But i lean in favor of banning face coverings. Look, i think your face should be uncovered in public for exactly the same reason why we force you to keep a license plate on your car. otherwise, people can committ a crime, cover up and run.

i mean many states had klan acts that specifically forbade covering your face in public. the banks ask you to uncover your face. And don't even get me started on the abject stupidity of saying you have a right to wear a burqa for your driver's license photo.

And of course as women increasingly wear these things, then men feel more empowered to harrass the women who don't. european women report that they done at least a headscarf to avoid the harrassment, even if they are not muslim.

Like i said i am conflicted, but ultmately i am against face allowing face coverings in public, with the sole exception of halloween.

David said...

Zorro be very sad, senor.

Metaphoric masks included?

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Synova said...

"I prefer being in a country where you can just live your life, and not have to experience citizenship every time you step out your door."

Paul is my hero today.

"You know what's even worse than veils? The secret ballot."

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Except in Venice.

GMay said...

"Do you like it when French people are all bitching about American mores?"

Fuck 'em. They've been pointing fingers at everyone else, mainly us, for decades. I don't have a single problem shoving it back down their throats for once.

I'm still pissed at Napoleon for culling the population of decent men in France to an unrecoverable level.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I'm so proud of Machos. At 1:43 PM today he uploaded the first mature post of his that I've ever read. Bravo and whatnot.

David said...

"Try wearing a yamaka in Riyadh."

No problem at all, if you are wearing a burkah. So if you are a cross dressing observant Jew, you're free to express yourself.

amba said...

That's quite a beautiful line, unless perhaps you translate it as "bare-faced citizenship."

reader_iam said...

This isn't actually a figurative argument for literally banning pseudonyms on the internet, is it?

ironrailsironweights said...

Ladies, just try to enter Saudi Arabia without head covering. Try it in Syria, Yemen and a host of other sharia observant countries. You wouldn't last five minutes before the morals gestapo would be on your case.

Wouldn't be a problem in Syria.

As for the French ban, it can be characterized as much ado about (almost) nothing, considering that only about 1,500 women in the entire country wore full face coverings.

Peter

William said...

I've read that there is considerable pressure from fathers and brothers to force the women in their household to wear scarves and modest clothing when they go outdoors. This coercion is sometimes enforced in brutish ways. It would be a counterweight to this coercion if the law demanded the abscence of the veil and the scarve in certain settings.....There are many women, particularly young women who wish to assimilate, who are forced to wear religious garb. This law will empower them. What will Amnesty Intl and other human rights groups do to free such women from domestic opression?

TMink said...

Lyssa, domestic violence is a bad thing obviously. But do laws reduce it? No. Changed hearts reduce it. And the government is a complete failure when it comes to changing hearts.

Christ is quite adept at it though.

Trey