ModernityBlog

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

Posts Tagged ‘Burka Ban

France, Nativism And A Piece Of Cloth.

with 4 comments

I am not a fan of the Niqab or Burka, but then again I am against enforcing specific dress codes, to wear something or not to wear something.

I argued some time ago on this very topic at Zword, but reconsidering some of those arguments I think there is a better way of looking at it, a simpler way. In the grand scheme of things, how important is it, really? In my view, not much.

When you think of France, with all its numerous social problems, economic ills and political difficulties, would you think that a piece of cloth is the biggest problem that they face?

And does it become a bigger issue when worn by women, in strategic places ?

I suspect most intelligent readers will say, no.

Clearly, there is plenty of historical material on secularism in France, and anyone familiar with the French Revolution would know why, but the contemporary debate in France owes more to the political manoeuvrings of politicians and the influence of the Far Right.

Xenophobia has long been a problem in Europe with its major manifestations in the 1930s and 40s.

More recently we can see increased racial attacks and violence again Roma across European countries, including France and then the spectre of nativism raises its ugly head, where those wearing unapproved fashions are now attacked.

The Far Right’s influence can be seen all over these measures, along with Nicolas Sarkozy’s fingerprints as he panders to French nativism in the hope of electoral success.

Enforced dress codes must be rejected, whether in Saudi Arabia, the Taliban’s old Afghanistan or France.

France has many serious problems and they do not come down to bits of cloth worn by women.

The real problems and social ills in France should be dealt with, and it does not help women in anyway to fine them for not wearing the approved range of clothes.

So in Europe let us be serious, deal with the real problems, infrastructure, social inequalities, decent wages, good pension, a solid welfare state and the stark divisions between rich and poor, and not these panicky measure which only increase racial tension and help the Far Right.

Update 1: Previous posts on the topic, Stigmatising Dress Codes.

Pandering To Prejudice In France.

Written by modernityblog

11/04/2011 at 17:23

Stigmatising Dress Codes.

with 2 comments

Sadly, I haven’t got time to do a long post on this topic.

According to the BBC, the lower house in Belgium’s parliament has passed a provisional piece of legislation on the banning of the Burka and Niqab.

This is a very bad proposal, which I believe will have to go through the upper house and finally be ratified by the Belgian King, before becoming law

Ages ago I detailed my opposition to this type of proposal in a post at the Z-word blog.

I suspect that the law of unintended consequences will come into this, it will probably blow up, literally, and its political ramifications felt widely across the globe.

What a terrible mistake.

Although I haven’t seen the voting figures it wouldn’t surprise me if the Flemish Far Right had a hand in this too.

Update 1: From the above BBC link,

“Only around 30 women wear this kind of veil in Belgium, out of a Muslim population of around half a million.”

30 women and a whole law against them, not a good idea.

Written by modernityblog

30/04/2010 at 00:44