This is from the WSWS, about a proposed legal ban on the Burka.
I am of two distinct minds on this:
The Freethinker in me abhors the legal suppression of any form of expression,
yet the militant atheist in me applauds the suppression of religion.
Granted these laws are only about a specific article of clothing, and larger issues of immigration in Canada and France, which would hardly survive a constitutional challenge in the U.S., but, those things aside: atheists do not accept the tacit promotion of Christianity as opposed to Islam, which our governments do all the time. All the flavors of theism taste rather foul.
To my mind, all religions need to go irrevokably into the dustbin of history. But is it right to pick them off one at a time? And who gets to decide?  They erroneously consider atheism a religion as well.  Should we be concerned that we're next?
Does anyone else see this as big a dilemma as I do?

Tags: Quebec, World Socialist Website, burka, immigration

Views: 211

Replies to This Discussion

Suppression is not the way to deal with religion. It's a form of persecution, and they eat that shit up. Faith flourishes in adversity. The way to remove religion from humanity is with time and reason, not suppression; like any other mental illness, blind faith can't be harangued out of someone's head.

The fact that facial covering and full-body covering in Islam is rooted in women's status as property is beside the point: so many women are comfortable wearing it, and feel it's a part of them, that its roots probably don't really matter any more. If there is a justification for a secular law's overruling that cultural law, it's over matters of identification. Same principle as keeping your driver's license or wallet with you - if you're going to do something that means legally people might be obligated to confirm who you are, be prepared to reveal your face to those people.

It's sometimes hard to pick facts out from this, since the whole report's loaded with biased, leading, emotive language - but all the same, this is not the way to go about solving the problems religion causes our species.
For sure, people love to play the Martyr.

But banning the Burka is just treating the symptoms instead of addressing more fundamental problems such as misogyny.

Some quick steps to get rid of the Burka:

Start heavy with propogranda to push a change in the culture:
Popularize a TV show with a strong likable Muslim woman.
Have the woman build a happy successful life then get forced into an arranged marriage (to whatever extent that might happen) with an abusive husband.
Make the husband a villain who forces the woman to wear the Burka against her will.
(They have done something very similar to this in India already so I'm not just making all this up)

Push feminism in the country with events and shows that focus on strong, smart ladies like Marie Curie.

Ratchet up laws on domestic abuse and work to strongly protect the victims.
Give women and families ways to become independent from abusive husbands and hotlines/psychologist to help council them.

...etc.

Help the victims who are basically forced to wear a Burka via mental or physical control, but woman will actually want to wear the Burka by their own choice should be allowed to do so.
Yeah, those who wear it by choice will be feeling the same way I'd feel if there were a law passed that banned geeky T-shirts...
The idea of fully banning religion is about like prohibition. Some people act stupid under the influence of religion/alcohol, so let's ban all religion/alcohol. Except the ban on religion is much harder to enforce.

The article was ridiculous. We get the point WSWS; you're communist. You don't need to meticulously spout off socialist vocabulary words every sentence. It doesn't make you sound intelligent or subversive; it just makes you sound like a robot.

The far left thinks it's misogynistic to limit misogynistic practices (cultural relativism can just as easily be used to defend FGM, and is), and equates a full facial covering with a Catholic symbol on the flag (I've also seen the burqa compared to the yarmulke and other things which are not at all the same). The article also tried to compare nuns' covering to the burqa. The nun outfit shows the face. Same as the hijab. I don't have a problem with either of those. How stupid are people? It has nothing to do with banning all religious outfits; all the law is saying is hey, show your face.

I am not for supressing most religious expression. The burqa, and also the Sikh tradition of carrying swords, can't be infinitely accommodated. Someone shouldn't be allowed to cover their face in any area where it is required that everyone show their face, and someone should not be allowed to have a weapon in an area where others are not allowed to have weapons. There are other forms of religious expression which I think are stupid, but should be allowed for adults (like refusing medical treatment) but should not be forced on children.
I suppose. I also worry it could go the other way too, if some of the zealots in this country get their way. Something like being required to wear a big "M" embossed on your clothes, it's not like that hasn't been done before.
Don't suggest that "it can't happen here", that was said before too.
The whole I.D. thing. Perhaps that's what the WSWS was getting at, this was an unusually polemical article, even for them. But I ran across this, just today, which I find rather alarming.
I think @Daniel has an excellent to approach to at least part of the problem, doing something about religion's social acceptance.
@Rudy-The gender issue of this whole thing is a different problem, you're right, and a more pervasive one. i.e.-South American men are not renowned for the way they treat women, in a way, it's rather 19th century, but by and large, the countries are still xtian and that is a factor. It is far from a strictly Muslim thing.
I agree with the banning of full face coverings. I wouldn't be allowed to walk into a bank or doctor's surgery with a balaclava on, even in the FSM required it of me, so why should anyone else be allowed to do the same.

While Islam carries the treatment of women as property, with the niqab as a tool of that oppression, they need to be given a bit of stick. When men and women are equals, we can talk about whether the niqab is a good idea. This is an issue of equality and fair treatment of women for me, nothing to do with religion. I've just finished reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Infidel and I'm still worked up on this issue.


@Luke- FSM is gaining some traction these days, praise his Noodleness. But seriously, the treatment of Women by religion in general is often quite troubling, to say the least.
I guess kicking Islam into the 19th century is a first step towards kicking it off the face of planet with the rest of them.
Maybe what will happen when we grow up some day it will be that wearing your religion on your sleeve in public will become as stigmatized as is being tried now with smoking.
The media is, quite fairly focused on Islam right now, but it wasn't all that long ago historically that christianity treated women as badly. On the other hand, it took centuries for the west to move beyond that crap, but then Islam has been interacting with christianity for just as long and really has no excuse.
This whole subject goes beyond a simple debate about government and the suppression of religion.
I wish some women would weigh in on this subject.
The idea of banning the burka is dangerous. Women who are forced to wear the burka will also be kept inside by their husbands. Those who choose to wear the burka will be discriminated against. Obviously, there has to be a limit to where people can wear the burka. Places where the face needs to be shown can ban the burka but, there shouldn't be a sweeping ban on it.
Ah, reason, I love the smell of it in the morning.
I do agree; burqa needs to be removed anywhere a person needs to show their face. In some instances I think a person could be security-checked by another female. I guess I think that most places do require someone to show their face; for instance, a business should have the right to require it.

I don't know if "because their husbands will force them to stay inside" is really a valid reason not to ban the burqa, though. It's giving too much power to a group of abusive men, who could just as easily beat their wives at the passing of any other laws.
I have to take off my sunglasses just to go into the bank here (In IL - U.S.) so my face can be seen. I get that.
On the other side we have also tried to (successfully in some cases) ban baggy pants. These bans are stated to be about many things, but more often than not, it is part of the culture wars.
It may sound like a silly comparison, but the argument of gang connections has been used in some cases.
I added this to point out that is it not always about religion and the U.S. has found ways to fight the culture war via wardrobe using similar arguments to the French (it's about crime and civility). If we can see how similar these situations are it may help see the debate in another way.
I saw this earlier, and found it rather alarming, and not unrelated to the present discussion.
How big is Big Brother going to get, whether it comes to religion, the lack thereof, or some other "threat" they might create?
To me, one thing is glaringly obvious when it comes to the politics of social issues like this: if you remove religion from the equation, you remove the bulk of the problem.
I guess that's why there are so many of us here, thinking about how to go about it.
Islam isn't the problem in and of itself any more than any other large cult. If the majority of the Islamic population didn't live in Greater Pipelineistan, would it still be a problem?

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