“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for January 22nd, 2010

Strongest Predictor.

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The Washington Post covers a survey on prejudice, which finds that people who have prejudices against Jews tend to have them against Muslims as well, as it reports:

“In the Gallup poll, respondents who said they feel “a great deal” of prejudice toward Jews are very likely to report feeling the same level of bias toward Muslims.”

Not surprising really, as most of us know, bigots tend to be universalist in their hatreds, that’s the problem.

The full report is at Muslim West Facts Project site, as a PDF file.

Written by modernityblog

22/01/2010 at 03:02

Pandering To Prejudice In France.

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Anyone following the debate concerning the Burka or Niqab in France might imagine that there are tens of thousands of people sauntering around, committing nefarious acts, hidden by these pieces of cloth.

But in fact according to a BBC correspondent, there are only about 1900 wearers in the whole of France.

Even taking account of French history and anticlericalism it strikes me that this debate is taking on the form of a moral panic in France.

Personally, I think it is regrettable when people wear these particular forms of dress, I think they are demeaning and sexually regressive, but it is their choice.

However, as I argued previously at Z-blog, implementing a ban is in many ways implementing a dress code. It is telling people what they can or can’t wear, even if it’s just in a negative sense.

Why ban the Burka and Niqab? What other forms of dress are socially unacceptable? Should we legislate on those too? And if not, why not ?

My view is, that if someone consciously decides to wear the Burka or a Niqab, for their own reasons, who are you or I to say no? Would you like someone telling you what you can or can’t wear? Of course not, then why apply that to others.

State implemented dress codes are wrong, either in the form of enforcing what you can wear or what you can’t.

The problem is, I think it is the wrong type of debate and in the end it panders to prejudice.

Written by modernityblog

22/01/2010 at 00:40