Are the French right to ban the wearing of religious symbols in schools?

View Poll Results: Are the French right to ban the wearing of religious symbols in schools?
Yes 11 30.56%
No 23 63.89%
Donít know 2 5.56%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

#1 Jan 24th, 2004, 15:08
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  • steven_ber is offline
#1
"Thats a very nice hairnet your wearing Mr. Singh"

The French government plan to ban the wearing of all religious symbols in schools, this will include Sikh turbans, Jewish skullcaps, Muslim headscarves, and Catholic crosses.

Are they right?

France plans ban on turbans and crucifixes in schools, more details.
#2 Jan 24th, 2004, 17:33
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#2
Yes ! They are right.

Religion should be practised within the four walls of one's home and should not be flaunted in a public place.

"Secular" India should dwell on this !
Whoever said money can't buy happiness didn't know where to shop !
#3 Jan 24th, 2004, 18:47
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#3
Shimla - if the religion requires you to wear a turban all the time it can't be restricted to the four walls of your home. You either practice it or you don't!

What if they were asking vegetarians to eat meat? Or suggesting that Budhists do disection?

I'm an eitheist but I attempt to offer the same respect to others beliefs as I would like to recieve.

I think it's a shame the French government has done this. They will have a generation far less used to tolerance, it sanctions that the state should be the decider of an individuals morals. This is not good ground, and what will they gain? Will children learn faster without wearing a scarf, turban, skull cap or cross? Are they allowing 'special' schools to be started? How will they punish parents and children who refuse to comply?

It has so much potential to harm and almost none to achieve anything meaningful. Schools should be a place where children and young people go to learn, rules should be in place to protect them and teach them how to live as members of a society. I personally hope that society stays as a mixture and is free to do so. Can you imagine a world anymore frightening than if individuality had to be kept behind closed doors, in public for all of us to be uniform?
Mine's not as clever as yours!
#4 Jan 24th, 2004, 19:25
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#4
Religion, caste, etc. is one of the problems of India, though no one will admit it openly.

An Indian is a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, etc; and even among Hindus one is a Punjabi, Malayalee, Maharashtrian, etc., but none is an Indian !

I think this is shameful.

Hats off to the French Government !
#5 Jan 24th, 2004, 19:28
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#5
How will scarfless Muslim girls in France stop the negative things you speak of happening in India? Do you believe it will?

Is lack of tolerance a problem in India?
#6 Jan 24th, 2004, 19:34
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#6
Religion sits inside the head and not on it!

Banning headscarves and the likes will have only the adverse effects. Such moves will only helps to inflame the feelings. Religion is a fact of life and we should not wish away with it.
It has both a nice and an ugly side. Any tinkering with religious feelings only helps to strengthen the ugly side.

Instead what is required is to encourage religions. All of them. Encourage people to understand and appreciate other religions and the values proffers by them. Ignorance is a sin.

Almost all the religions are centuries old and refined by time. They carry wisdom of many hundred generations. Itís not at all wise to ban or regulate them.

As long as everyone is made aware that they have the freedom to stretch their hands without poking into neighborís eyes, its fine. That is the only thing the governments can or should do on religions.
#7 Jan 24th, 2004, 20:59
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#7
This is a stunning move of intolerance. Even military and paramilitary organizations allow uniform exceptions for religious observances, and rightly so. If this measure passes, which seems doubtful, it will be a disgrace. Will people never learn?
#8 Jan 24th, 2004, 21:10
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#8

a can of worms?

Great comments, all. I'm not sure how I feel myself, I'm of two minds. But since I spend summers in France and I know a number of schoolteachers there, I thought I'd make a few comments about what I think is at the root of this decision. And I'll qualify it again: it's my observation from hearing teachers and others speak. I mean absolutely no disrespect for the French (France is my second home) or for any religion.

1. The rule is really aimed at Muslim girls' scarves. The government was forced to prevent yarmulkes, crosses, etc. for balance, to pretend to be fair.
2. It is aimed at Muslim girls' scarves because there is a strong French (and Western) feeling that Muslim women are oppressed and have to wear garb, stay home, etc. while men do everything in freedom. Equality of the sexes is a big Western ideal. Several teachers have told me that some of their female Muslim students have thanked them because it keeps their Dad from forcing them to wear the scarf.
3. Some teachers (in particular language teachers) claim that Muslim girls cannot hear as well with the scarves on, but this could be a justification not based on fact, I don't know.
4. The decision is aimed at Muslims in general, not just girls, because of the (hushed) European feeling that practicing Muslims are a negative force on their societies, introducing a non-liberal mentality, attempting to ban certain spectacles, etc.
5. Notwithstanding the above, it's true that French society is not religious at all, and they are very nervous about the power of religion as much in the US as in the Arab world.

Yes, the decision can be considered xenophobic, but all countries need to deal with the difficult balance between embracing immigrations/ multiculturality and keeping their national character. The French have always been very vigilant about national character, and not only Muslims but on other occasions Americans, Germans, the English language, neologisms, etc. have elicited governmental wrath. This history of vigilance allows them to get away with this ban where Germany or the US couldn't.

As a parallel, it's interesting to consider the way India and Indian provinces and individuals deal with issues of Christian missionaries in Orissa, the slaughtering of beef in Kerala, etc. Despite the relative tolerance of other religions when compared to most countries, India is still basically monoreligious, isn't it? Sonia converted to Hinduism, didn't she?

(I can't imagine cricket without H.Singh's hairnet. And he's in a lot of commercials on Indian TV, often playing a comic character, but because he's so endearing.)
#9 Jan 24th, 2004, 23:32
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#9
Tragic.
Reject violence.
#10 Jan 25th, 2004, 08:24
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#10

Question

Dayglowhamster ( # 5),

To get into discussions here will be to stir a hornet's nest.

Suffice to say that India badly needs to adopt some strict and rigorous measures.

But, as the saying goes, WHO WILL BELL THE CAT ?
#11 Jan 25th, 2004, 13:41
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#11
particular to the headscarf. i think we forget that it is a shroud covering a child, not a woman. this is just another muslim folly. there is no reason to cover a child -she is not (at least in principle) an 'object of desire'. the really pathetic thing about islam is that most do not even understand their own religion. no doubt, by latest un account 65% of muslims are illiterate. 20m live in n.america and europe. turkey/malaysia are largely literate. this leaves a STAGGERING number in the rest of the world (total is 1b muslims, 20% worldpop), cant even read their own simple holy book which they process literally with their lives.

makes ...one stop and think -no?
#12 Jan 25th, 2004, 14:26
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#12

Lightbulb

It is hard to believe, that but due to few peoples decesion the rest have to suffer. If someone want to wear something, that is their desire. If one want to express themself, that is their first right. We as human beings talk about being humble and kind, were does these ideas go when it comes to practacality. To count out the percentages % and labeling by what they can do or cant do is childish. History has shown us that islam has brought Current India most of the culture and art. The food you so love, the music you hear, to clothes you wear are 65% you. Be kind and love life, broden you mind and you thoughts. One thing India has taught me is "Smile". France or India, people are you and me, today someone says "you can't do this", tomarrow someone else will say "you can't do that". We must step in each others shoes to experence.
(P) (~) (co)
#13 Jan 25th, 2004, 14:28
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#13
it aint nobody's business what another's cultural requirements are, as long as it doesn't injure the person. If a mother wants to put a scarf on her daughters head, jeeze louise, what's the problem????? I tell ya what, No one's tellin my kids how to dress. actually, not even me, lolol, but still . ..

the scarf thing in France smells like what we call "wedge issues" here in USA. A wedge issue is a strategem to divide your opponent's base constituency, while at the same time sending coded messages to your own core followers. "we're banning all religious headwear" is a code for "F&ck the towellheads"
Here i USA we have "States Rights" as a 200 year old code phrase for "String the N%%gers Up." and Family values means "shitkick the Qu33rs" etc etc
Nothing new what they're doing in France, IMHO.
#14 Jan 25th, 2004, 15:40
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#14
I am sure the French have good reasons behind these proposals; they are hardly likely to risk offending many people without good reasons.

There is a lot goes on in Britain that the world hears nothing about.

There is this wonderful image of all cultures coming together, holding hands around a fountain and singing together..... the reality on the ground is completely different, Gang wars, muggings, drugs, no-go areas, police powerless to act....

I'm not sure if it's the same in France, and not sure if what is being proposed in France would make any difference, but feel that people should know that, on the ground, in the council estates it's not as rosy as we would like it to be.

On a side note: I personally find it appalling that Muslim women have their faces covered up, (the young Bangladeshi women in my local area are starting to rebel against this), we all advise women who are going to India to cover their arms and legs so not to offend Indians and attract unwanted attention, whats the difference?

What would happen in England if we started staring at Muslim women because their faces were covered?
#15 Jan 26th, 2004, 16:20
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#15
I think this proposed ban by the French government has a political aspect which overrides the issue of the secular state.

Elections are due soon and the present government is very much afraid that the FN (Front National) led by Jean-Marie Le Pen will make sweeping gains at the polls on an anti-immigrant policy so they have come up with an idea that seems to be popular with the majority of the electorate.

I also agree with others that this banning of religious symbols in schools is directed at the Islamic community but because this would suggest religious intolerence of a certain group it had to be extended to all religious sybolism.

Fearing that to demonstrate on the streets might prejudice their case against the ban, the leaders of the Islamic community have decided to keep a low profile.

I'm not sure how this is all going to work out but as an atheist I am in favour of the secular state. This protects the right of individuals to follow their chosen beliefs but also protects them from pressure by the state to conform (outwardly at least) to a particular religion.

I think the French government is moving into a dangerous area. I'm sure French school children have been wearing crucifixes for generations with no disapproval. It would be better to introduce into the schools (if it doesn't already exist) courses that increase knowledge about, and tolerence of, other people's beliefs.

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