France advised against veil ban

French PM advised against total Islamic veil ban

BBC: France's top administrative body has advised the government that any total ban on face-covering Islamic veils could be unconstitutional. The State Council also said a ban could be justified in some public places. Prime Minster Francois Fillon had asked the council for a legal opinion before drawing up a law on the subject. However, an MP from President Nicolas Sarkozy's party was quoted as saying that those drafting the legislation might ignore Tuesday's ruling. In the ruling, the council said any law could be in violation of the French constitution as well as the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms >>>


Shazde Asdola Mirza

Moment agha/khanoom moment ...

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

How about if France allows burka/chaddor/neghab, if Iran allows women without head-coverage?


Suffering memory loss Fouzul Bashi?

by divaneh on

Before you accuse me of linking Burqa, Islam, terrorism and the rest, go and read your own comments. My first comment was only related to the issue and then you started playing the victim card. I have seen it too many times. Those who do not have a justification for their unjustified action always play the victims and start complaining about discrimination. And when did I generalise? I said the bombing of London Underground was carried out by some Muslim extremists and intentionally used the word "SOME". Am I allowed to state the facts, or anything that blame any Muslim should be left out?

With the headscarf, when I see a 6 years old with headscarf, I know soon she will be forced into Hejab and that's what I found unsavoury.

I brought you examples of the security lapses due to this dress code. Why do you conclude that I am linking the Islam to Rubbery? I even pointed you to the fact that Hejab is an intermix of old traditions and Islam. Stop lumping everything together and stamping it with Islamophobia. That way we get nowhere.

Now stop beating around the bush and answer my questions. I have to thank you for answering one of them and agreeing with me that Hejab has no moral standing.

1. Name one legislation that discriminate against Muslim or any other group, or tell me what social opportunities have state provided to one group in exlusion of the others. 

2. I draw similarities between forcing the women into seclusion and Voodoo. I still need your answer on this. Read my last comment again please.

3. It only affects a small group of Muslims. Do you class all Muslim women who dress freely as non-Mulsims?

I do understand how your day to day experiences have drawn you to this stance, but your stance is based on emotions rather than rationales. You see the Micro and I see the Macro. There will no doubt be difficulties and heart aches for some. But it's for the good of the society and the next generation of those very people that you defend.

Now let me make myself unpopular and give you the title for your next comment. Iran went through the same pain at the time of the Reza Shah and we all heard the painful stories of those who had to change. But it helped the society. The gene is out of the bottle for Iranian women and even 100 more years of IRI cannot push the Iranian women back to the Hejab willingly.

Fouzul Bashi

Divaneh - Now headscarf too?!

by Fouzul Bashi on

 "You still have not given me even one reason that why forcing the women into a black box is a good idea and should be respected".

No I haven't!  Because I don't believe forcing women into a black box is a good and respectable idea!!

What I have been debating has been the racial and bigoted context of these proposals rather than any emancipatory concerns.  

 It does not matter that you meant SOME MUSLIMS, NOT ALL MUSLIMS.  Your generalisation lies in the LINK YOU YOURSELF MADE between burqa, Islamic extremism, robbery, heartlessness and terrorism!  I was not the one who brought them up!  I just brought your associations and links to your attention ..

I pointed to this as another evidence of how much hatred, misconception and prejudice lies behind this proposal and how these emotions and views are whipped up for further brutalising marginalising a group one is claiming, or really meaning, to emancipate!  

Divaneh Jan, I have worked with many communities including the 'burqa wearing' community and I know that such prospective laws would further force these women into isolation.  I also know how a forceful act such as this which carries enormous weight of tradition, identity and emotions, would translate into more and angry extremism.  

I knotted for peace and voice to the voiceless ..


Hejab is Voodoo, Fouzul Bashi

by divaneh on

You still have not given me even one reason that why forcing the women into a black box is a good idea and should be respected.

I do understand that the British society like any other society suffers from other problems such as unemployment, poverty, etc. But what is your argument? Because there are other problems, the issue of Hejab (which is indeed female suppression) should not be tackled? Why? Because it makes a group of people uncomfortable? Is it racism or hating Islam? Is Hejab Islamic? Muslim women who do not wear Hejab are any less Muslim? It is not about Islam, it's about outdated traditions which are intermixed with Islam.

Now let's extend your logic. What about VOODOO? Why is it banned? These poor African parents who are one of the most deprived people want to tie their children up and beat them until the dark spirits leave their bodies. This is for the good of those children and the children know it too. So why should it be banned? It must be racism against black. Isn't it? I see no difference between Voodoo and pushing these girls into seclusion from the early ages. It pains me to see a little girl with a headscarf, that’s where we are different.

You also completely ignore the rest of the society. Unlike Islamic societies, in these societies women are liberated. Suppressed women in burqa (whether by education from early age or by force) appears as an unfair and against the principles of their society. It is natural for them to try to change it by law. I do agree that Racists use that as an excuse but not everyone against Hejab is racist.

Security issues are very real because the post office and the Jewellery shop that were raided by burqa wearing burglars did not have women security officials. They were not exactly airports.

Please do not take my comments out of their context. When I write “Some Muslims bombed the underground” I mean some Muslims and NOT ALL MUSLIMS. I do not generalise. I do not think that excuses the Iraq war (against which I demonstrated) or vice versa.

You are right we have different experiences, but also very different angles of view.

Hope you had a good 13 bedar.

Fouzul Bashi

Divaneh - it is about racist hatred

by Fouzul Bashi on

I don't mean you personally, but the issue in general. As I said, I have the experience of institutional and individual/group racism, particularly against Muslims, from personal experience and because of the nature of my work ..  I have been lucky enough to feel enriched and emphatic rather than victimised by my experiences.

 I agree with you that the UK is very much of a multicultural society and thankfully much more sophisticated and tolerant than France and some other European countries in this respect. That is why it would be much harder to push through that sort of legislation in the UK ;)  

You say "You live in the UK and you must be well aware of the frequent cases of the girls who are murdered by fathers or brothers for falling in love with the wrong man. Not to mention all those who are taken back to their country of origin before the punishment is carried out". 

I am aware of some cases that you mention.  I also deal on a daily basis with frequent cases of teenage pregnancy, alcohol and drug abuse, child abuse, wife and child battering, grievous bodily harm, theft and burglaries, prostitution, serious poverty, chronic unemployment and chronic mental health issues, unattended disability and educational problems, dysfunctional families and societies, who pass on their backwardness and deprivation from one generation to another.  So, unfortunate as those cases are, and certainly requiring lawful state intervention, I would be careful with attributing disproportionate social ills to fanatical Muslim in Europe.

 And you say, "What about the robberies by burqa wearing burglar in UK and France?"  

Are you serious in this?  Because all those MEN that I deal with on a daily basis who have carried out grievous bodily harm, robberies, burglaries, child and wife abuse, rape, etc, DO NOT WEAR BURQA!!  It seems you are attributing most of the social ill in Europe and in the UK to the presence of Muslims and their habits!!  I am sorry my friend, I have heard this arguments before, and in the UK, in response to these arguments you are raising, they would suggest a "Race Awareness Course".  As for racially discriminatory legislation, no, there isn't one.  Is there one in the US?  But would anyone say racism is dead in the US?! I can tell you that institutional racism is also very real in the UK in universities, in social services, in the NHS, in the police, in schools ... and fortunately the subject of much research and social policy because of the painstaking work of people like myself ;)

In relation to Burqa, the security issues are pretexts because women are searched by a women, and men by men.  Anywhere that search is required, there are female and male officers available anyway, even for non-burqa, mini-skirt wearing women.  If the issue goes beyond burqa and extends to lose garments (!) then it would include not allowing overcoats and long skirts and shawls in government offices either!!

As for the issue of equality and liberation, the argument does not hold.  Just as I mentioned earlier, those issues must be addressed within social policy and equal opportunities context, community consultations, provision of suitable educational and social resources, to combat isolation, dependency and to promote economic empowerment.   

Similarly you say, "Instead of capitalising on that support, some decided to bomb the underground and kills innocent people. Some other felt it was appropriate to pray for the death of the British soldiers in the streets of this country. As a result they lost the support and care of the rest of the society".

So in your view, the 7th July bombing and the action of some nutcase extremists condemns  Muslims in the UK!  What about 2 million dead in Iraq, does that reflect on Christians, because Bush is a Christian nutcase (although he doesn't hide it under a burqa)?  

Divaneh, we have different experiences and perspectives.  I understand your concern for people's individual freedoms, so do I, but in practice, I have witnessed how some measures would lead to tragic backlash that would hurt more than the original victims.  

Happy 13 bedar.  Knotting wet grass is not an appealing prospect  ;) 


It's not about force Fouzul

by divaneh on

It’s not about forcing the women in the same manner as Iran. It's about devising laws that requires women to show their face in the public. If you think that is too much of an infringement, then why these people choose to live in these societies who do not welcome their backwardness. What about the robberies by burqa wearing burglar in UK and France? As you rightly pointed these societies are democratic and governments are nothing but those elected by the society. It is their duty to use every tool in their box to advance the society whilst keeping the friction to the minimum. You live in the UK and you must be well aware of the frequent cases of the girls who are murdered by fathers or brothers for falling in love with the wrong man. Not to mention all those who are taken back to their country of origin before the punishment is carried out. Unlike you, I don’t think it’s about forcing women, but rather about forcing backward men to accept the women equality and liberation.

We also have different experiences when it comes to discriminations. If you feel like a victim, you will be a victim. I ask you to name one state legislation that discriminates against Muslims or any other group. Britain may exercise divide and rule in other societies, but when it comes to itself adopts a unite and rule approach. Britain enjoys one of the best race relations in the whole Europe. You however have to be pragmatic. Governments cannot control every action of individuals. This is just the human nature to feel more comfortable and to bond with people who are like him or her. Those who accept this fact of life and embrace the host nation habits seem to experience little difficulty in their advancement. Take the example of the students in the University. Some Muslims mix with the students from the host nation and some prefer to spend their time in the Islamic Society in the comfort of being with like minded people. No need to say which group is more successful.

Finally, Muslims in this country were in the heart of the public resistance to Iraq war and were supported by most of a society that organised the largest anti Iraq war demonstration in London. Instead of capitalising on that support, some decided to bomb the underground and kills innocent people. Some other felt it was appropriate to pray for the death of the British soldiers in the streets of this country. As a result they lost the support and care of the rest of the society.

maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

thank you abgoosht  for very nice logics and I say I'm going to TILIT on this one for a long time.  Maziar

maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

If quebecoise wants to quack like francoise .......

then the ban of such law should be welcomed there too.

to the lady on you tube.... khahi nashsavi roosva ,hamrange jamaat shoo. ( means : go put your burqa if you're right.) Maziar



by jasonrobardas on

   I do not usually agree with a "divaneh" , but on this very topic , divaneh's logic sounds convincing to me .

Fouzul Bashi

Divaneh - force is the wrong approach

by Fouzul Bashi on

Every act has its counteract and this applies to the use of force.  The examples you offer of Tanzania and the state intervention to stop witch-burning in Europe are not appropriate.  

If you agree with the use of force by the state, by the same logic, the Iranian state and its proponents can claim that what is forcefully imposed on people is right and legitimate because it would ultimately 'save their soul' ;)  Anyway, Tanzania is NOT a democracy, and democracy was not known in Europe of the Middle Ages!  We are talking of a different order of things now.  

What we have now in Europe and the US are societies that are born out of the history of colonial exploitation, of theft of material and human resources, and of slavery and mass murder.  A history that continues to this day through economic wars and plunders waged by multi-national companies and military invasions and occupations. So this fear of 'cultural incursion' should be put in that context!  Is it not the case that the abuser is frightened of recrimination from the victim and is projecting its own violence into its objects of hate? 

I too live in the UK and I am very familiar with the discrimination and inequality in respect of religious and ethnic minorities, particularly of Islamophobia and of racial hatred which is always rife beneath the surface and whipped up at times of economic and social insecurity.  Why should it be acceptable in a civilised society that as you say, if you go to an interview with hedjab or with Yaser Arafat look alike (which means many Muslim Arabs and Middle Easterners) one would have less of a chance of getting a job even if one had equal or better expertise?  Why should the colour of skin or accent be an impediment to getting a job, getting promotion, getting equal respectful treatment?   I am highly qualified and experienced in what I do, but I have had personal experience of discrimination at work, in social life, in police encounters, with the Home Office, you name it.  

The point Q raised and I entirely agree with is that this law is not devised to better the lot of the burqa wearing Muslim women.  It is to further marginalise and whip up anti-Muslim hatred.  Where I work, I daily witness discrimination and offensive attitude towards Middle Easterners or non-whites in general, who do not wear Burqa or even a scarf.  On many occasions these are not reported because the victim is too dependent on or frightened of the abuser (a doctor, a nurse, a teacher, a policeman, a workman, a boss at work, a foreman or supervisor, a health visitor ...) to report or complain.  I have witnessed Muslim women, children (and men) being frightened of leaving their homes or walking alone for the fear of being attacked.  I have witnessed abuse against Muslims being discarded by police in the absence of witness!  And I have knowledge of school children having been taunted or humiliated for being Muslims, and 'subtly' excluded and undermined.  Finally, I know of Muslim and non Muslim women, who are totally isolated and don't speak even rudimentary English!  I don't see that tragedy stirring the liberators into action! And it is happily ignored by the state too!

I am against mandatory hedjab in Iran.  I believe, it must be made optional.  In Europe, I believe the first step in helping to liberate, would be assimilation through inclusive social and economic policies which would be enabling and empowering of women. It would not be a quick job of one week, but those who are enabled would take their own destiny in their own hands.  


Divaneh Iran... (I'd like to call you) :-)

by Arthimis on

Fantastic Comment... I really appreciated your common sense and logic regarding this issue!!!

As an ex-Muslim (by force and NOT choice) myself, I agree with your opinion on this...

Muslims are amongst most hypocritical religious people around the world. Here they are occupying Europe and Other First World and Christian Based countries, and on top of it, imposing their backwarded religious traditions on the original countries and cultures who have been hosting them (such as France and etc.)!!!! WTF???

Muslims Destroyed one of the greatest Civilizations known to mankind (Persian) and Now Europe, Americas and beyond??? Sounds like a virus or cancer !!!!Doesn't it???

POOROOEE ham hadi daare !!!!???

These same hypocrites DO NOT LET any foreigner/s to come in their own MUSLIM based countries without the Hejab???!!! (Saudi Arabia, Satanic Republic Occupying Iran and etc.)

Plus, In todays dangerous world and for security reasons, people must show their faces and eyes for proper identifications, otherwise any Osama Bin Laden can commute under the Burka...

Attention Fanatic Muslims,

Seriously get real or go back to your own backward countries and religious traditions!!! OK? Enough is enough!!! Europeans and Americans will never ever let you F$%k them over like you have done to Iran for example!!!

PS. Same goes for any other backward religions and religious fanatics...


Who is to say or set

by Bavafa on

Who is to say or set limits as what is librating for women and what is not? In European countries, it is far more acceptable to go topless where as in the US going topless in the same manner will probably buy you a ticket to jail. Are we to say that EU is right and more "civilized" ? Well perhaps, or I would since they will give women more choices and leave it to them as how they want to choose to dress. At the same time, they should give these women the choice to dress according to their own wishes if that is to dress from head to toe.

Having said that, I would be against any forced "hejab" or forced nudity for that matter. But I would think outlawing it would be hypocritical on their part.



Not that argument Fouzul Bashi

by divaneh on

You wrote:

The Muslim immigrants in France, like many European countries, are amongst the most poor, most deprived and most excluded.  If this law was about granting liberties to women, the state would first and foremost ensure social and economic opportunities.

I am sorry but this is not the experience of those Muslims who integrate into their host countries. I live in the UK and I am not aware of a single state law that discriminates against Muslims or any other group (unlike Iran and other Muslim countries). The social condition of illiterate Muslims from Asia or Africa is the same as the social condition of other illiterate people from those continents and the Christians from Latin America. There is no argument that people always find it easier to bond with people who are like them. Hence if you are going for an interview in your Hejab or dressed as a Yaser Araft look alike, you reduce your own chances. Even if you dress exactly the same, still you have to be better than other candidates to cater for your accent or complexion. On my daily life I come across many successful immigrants who have embraced their host traditions and I also encounter the failures who blame anyone but themselves for their lack of success.

With regards to state, yes they have to force people out of outdated customs. In Europe they used to burn witches until it was prevented by state. Today in Tanzania, Albinos are killed for their body parts to be used in witchcraft. Should state intervene or not? Forcing women into seclusion from the society is as absurd. We both know that the state legislation, whilst may prevent a woman from her real choice of wearing a Burca, it also serve as an excuse for the one who does not like to wear Burca but is forced or expected to do so by male relatives. Promoting the second freedom is the right way forward.


Chador is not too different from tie

by abgosht on

Hejab is very much a cultural thing.   Malaysian concept is very differnt from the Afghan Burqua vs Persian gulk neghab.

It is interesting to note that in old days Black Chador was a sign of city woman.  In villages obviously you can't be farming with chador and woman tend to wear colorfull floweral patterns.  It was a city chic to wear black chador.    See the Moraccan femist's Fatima Mernissi book (Shehrezad goes west).

The iranian version of the chador may have its roots in pre Islamic royal courts.  After all Shah's wifes would travel in covered wagons away from the staring eyes of the common folks.  Islam may have  borrowed the concept as what is good for his royal highness must be good for everyone.

If you step back and think about why men wear ties?   I think it is to distinguish white collar workers from blue collor factory workers.  It is sign that you use your mind and not your hand to make a living.  Which incidently is not too different from why in the old days (and now the cleargies) wear turbin and robe.  A farmer simply couldn't but a rich affluent men could.   In Europe ties do the same thing.  It gives you status just as Chador did in  past to woman.

Fortunelty, after the revolution Iranian men got rid of tie, now it is time for woman to get rid of the hejab.  That is not of course by force, but by choice.


Niqab and "Accommodements Raisonnables"

by Quebeqi on

It seems that wherever we live in Europe or in North America, the niqab debate and religious accommodations in the public space is all the rage. Here in Montreal, this debate has already split the intellengensia in two camps such as the one of the "Laïcité Ouverte" as defined by the Bouchard-Taylor Commission which also oldly sounds like a Tareq Ramadan speech and those who support the concept of "Laïcité Pluraliste" of sociologist Guy Rocher. Not only it has divided deeply our intellengensia, but also this split can be found within our political parties, both federalists and sovereignists from the left to the right, between the anglophones and the francophones,in our universities, in our media and even in some large feminist organisations such as the Fédération des Femmes du Québec which has taken side with the so-called islamists feminists in 2009.

Lately, an Egyptian lady refused to take off her niqab during her French immersion classes. It has forced the Quebec Immigration Minister, Ms Yolande James, to send envoys to the Egyptian lady demanding that she must remove her niqab. It has created a real uproar here to the point that the Prime Minister of Quebec, Mr Jean Charest and his Minister of Justice, Ms Weil, to present a bill banning face coverings in government offices. Already, the bill is being denounced by the Parti Québécois opposition leader, Ms Pauline Marois, as well as the Immigration critic, Ms. Louise Beaudoin. Before the bill passes at the Assemblée Nationale du Québec, there will be hearings starting in mid May, where the Québécois public will be invited to express their views. I imagine already that it will create again a lot of controversy but we, the secularists, will be there to make sure that our voices too, will be heard. And for the rest, don't hesitate to follow our local news and media, it is as interesting as the debates in France and Belgium.



Hejab does not have an Islamic origin.

by MM on

I saw a story in a National Geographic special, where the head-cover for women was "invented" in the small Jewish communities of the ancient world as a direct response to the 7th (thou shall not commit adultery) and the 10th (thou shall not covet ....; .... ; covet your neighbor's wife) commandments.  Covering wives with hejab was hoped to lessen the chances of adultery and coveting, thereby not breaking sacred commandments.  Hejab is still practiced in conservative US Jews where the wife, once committed, either puts a simple head cover or a hair-piece (kolaah-gees). 

Like many other rituals, hejab was imitated after Prophet Mohammad whose wife and daughter did not wear hejab.  Do not let Hejabis tell you that hejab was required/mentioned/asked to be practiced in the Noor Sureh.  Hejab goes way back to the Jews, not quite Islamic, and the Jews for the most part have done away with it.  The question should be; When will the Muslims do away with hejab?

Darius Kadivar

FYI/Isabelle Adjani Speaks Against the Burqa

by Darius Kadivar on

Isabelle Adjani contre la burqa:


She won the French Oscars ( Le César) for Best actress for her role in La Journee de La Jupe !

Adjani who is herself Half Algerian was also the First to Courageously Defend Salman Rushdie in 1989 by reading excerpts of from his book The Satanic Verses against the Fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeiny to which he was subject too:



Fouzul B.

by Rea on

"This law is supported by all the racists and Muslim haters in Europe."

Wrong, the usual misconception.


Head-to-toe veils make me uncomfortable,

by Rea on

..... like to see the face I'm talking to. 


Darius Kadivar

Strange Bed Fellows: Jean Marie Le Pen & Dieudonne & T Ramadan

by Darius Kadivar on

All Three are in their own Way the Worst Enemies of Democracy.

Jean Marie Le Pen (France's Far Right) leader Hates Democracy (and wants to substitute it with some kind of a VICHY-PETAINIST Nationalism where as Tarek Ramadan ( Who is Not even French but Swiss) Or Philippe Dieudonne Hate the West and all it stands for in the name of some obsolete colonial excuse.

And the fact that this perverted attempt by Fundementalists to abuse their rights in the land of Voltaire, Rousseau and Montesquieu is another example that by preaching a Nihilistic reading of everything this Nation has stood for more than 200 years is typical of all those retrogade forces who have only One goal: Highkack Democracy on obscure demands of Freedom and wrong premises to begin with.

This approach is No different from the way the Islamic Republic tries to rewrite history. Like when Iranian TV for instance claims that Iranian Kings and Aryan Heritage are Zionist Conspiracies :


When You systematically have this Nihilistic approach towards a given country's culture, identity and aim at denying a minimum of respect and loyalty to the nation's identity what is bound to happen is to lose EVERYTHING including democracy.


This joins the debate I had with David ET to some extent ( I am Not saying that David supports the Burqa ) when I told him that a Nation may be an Elitist, Class ridden and even Unjust concept in it's inception but Without it You Cannot EVER Have nor Maintain Democracy. Where as a Nation can very well live without that concept we define as Democracy.

  There should be No limits in demanding more democracy and to demand that your rights as an individual or as someone belonging to a given, race, religion or sexual minority be respected. But When one's individual demands jeapordize the social tissue and status quo necessary to our collective well being as a nation regardless of our backgrounds ( whatever that background may be ) then the word "patriotism" is not a vain word. To be a Patriot today in France is to defend the Republican ideals of 1789 upon which this society has been built to become the democracy it has been for more than 200 years. The same is True for a British when he or she defends the Constitutional Monarchy ( i.e: The Parlimentiary Democracy) against all Tides that threaten it's existence.
We tend to forget that the rights we are benefitting from are a result of hundreds of years of struggle, sacrifice and bloodshed. To think it is some kind of "Toy" we can play around with and take cheap shots at in the name of some pseudo "individualistic" concept of Freedom which is nothing else but the result of a spoiled mentality than an understanding of what democracy stands for is something which will ultimately nurture extremists from all sides.
Jean Marie Le Pen (France's Far Right) leader Hates Democracy (and wants to substitute it with some kind of a VICHY-PETAINIST Nationalism where as Tarek Ramadan ( Who is Not even French but Swiss) Or Philippe Dieudonne Hate the West and all it stands for in the name of some obsolete colonial excuse.
What they actually share in common is Intolerance but want to pose as victimes.
Sarkozy who himself was born to a Hungarian Father and is a First Generation French to be elected President of the Republic( and his Wife an Italian who recently got Naturalized French said it best) :

"If You Don't Like France Leave The Country !"

I agree a 100 % with that Assessment !

Romans Said it centuries ago :

In Rome Do as Romans Do !

As a Result their social system and government lasted for centuries.

We Spoiled Democrats on the otherhand are bound to Lose it all either for ourselves or for Future Generations.

It's Not surprising that Tarek Ramadan, Le Pen and Dieudonne have in turn become Strange Bed fellows by finding common ground on an Issue like Palestine and the Israeli Arab Conflict.

Le Pen on Gaza :


Tarek Ramadan outraged on Gaza but Strangely Silent on Iran's Post Election Violence and IRI clampdown:


Dieudonne on having been to Iran and meeting Ahmadinejad and financing his film on Algerian Revolution with the help of Iranian government and his cultural struggle against Zionism:



That is the best way to distract a nation form it's OWN PRIORITIES by investing in THREE MOFTKHORS with a same Cause: Annihilate a Nation and shed doubt on Democracy in it's very foundations ...

Personally I would Kick Them all out !

Fortunately for them I am Not President Let Alone King ;0)



Fouzul Bashi

Divaneh - "they can return to their own countries"

by Fouzul Bashi on

Well, that is the intention!!  This law is supported by all the racists and Muslim haters in Europe.  What if they don't have the 'choice' of going back to their own countries?  What if, like many of us, they consider France, THEIR country?  Is it the case that those who dress differently and have different skin colour never become rightful citizens?!  The Muslim immigrants in France, like many European countries, are amongst the most poor, most deprived and most excluded.  If this law was about granting liberties to women, the state would first and foremost ensure social and economic opportunities. 

 You also mention that it is "the responsibility of state to force people out of outdated customs"!  I thought we were talking about democratic decision making, and were seeking that for Iran too?!



Hejab to protect a property

by divaneh on

hejab is how a man protects his property, the woman (or women). It has been enforced on women and even in this free societies many of these Muslim women have no choice but to dress according to their men's wishes. It is a difficult question of individual liberty versus true freedom for all citizens. I believe it is a responsibility of the state to force people out of the outdated customs and in doing so assist those women who need such excuse to dress as they wish. If people are not easy about it, they can return back to their own countries.

Fouzul Bashi

Q- you are jumping into conclusions ;)

by Fouzul Bashi on

"You can say the same about women "forced" into prostitution, pregnency, pronography, drugs, etc. You can say the same about anybody man or woman being "forced" into a situation they don't want like economic and social dependence. Do men who clean toilets want to do it? Do beggers want to be beggers?"

I totally agree with you.  The point is that we were in this case talking about the choice of Burqa, not the question of choice in general.   

"You asked how do we know the women are really forced. I ask you, the people I named above really are forced, so why are there different rules and imaginative "oppression" scenarios only when it comes to Muslims?"

I agree again.  I did not imply anything else.  However, if I felt this law was supportive of women's rights and liberties and would offer them choice, I would have supported it, even though those sections you mention continue to suffer the same predicament of 'no choice'. 

"So, is it really about the welfare of women, or is it about the ruling society's biases/fears ?"

Yes it is about fear and prejudice!!!  And I concluded my comment by saying that it was the economic and social choices that needed to be attended to.  I totally agree that the purpose of this law, rather than any concern for civil and women's rights, is to play on population's fears and prejudices, under the guise of security concerns.

MM -  The situation in Iran is different where the issue of hedjab does not carry any racially/Other persecutory connotations.  In Iran hedjab was forced on women by the state.  I agree it should be down to individual's choice to wear or not to wear whatever.  It is the educational and economic opportunities of women and their standing in law (which is shit in Iran) which would give women the power of choice.


Sam's institutionalized opression

by Cost-of-Progress on

" ......the difference between individual rights vs patriarchal laws imitating rights. I have no problem with hejab by free will(my mom wears one) but most of these women do it because they are given no other choice by their Abdul or Asghar aghaa ."

Well said.

Centuries of systemic dominance by men exacerbated by teachings that sees women only as a sex object and baby-producing machine. Just read some of the so called writings by their imams and "religious figures", both Arab and otherwise.

A choice? Yeah, I am sure the women in Saudi wake up every morning and cannot wait to put on the head-to-toe burka in the stiffling heat of the desert.





Q, unlike you

by SamSamIIII on


& me to some extent, JJ is a genuine Democrat & that,s why his comment was surprising to me coming from him. Your stance are pretty clear so there is no need to argue with your type. & btw, get real, how many Arab or north African women you know who would call police on their husbands,brothers or fathers?. Here we are talking about super inferiorating full hejab not casual hejab.

Path of Kiaan Resurrection of True Iran Hoisting Drafshe Kaviaan // //

Darius Kadivar

Individual VsUniverality Fundamentalism Vs Reductionism, Spinoza

by Darius Kadivar on

Last night I started reading the special issue in Le Point Magazine and learned a good deal about the essential texts that uphold our democratic societies as we know them.

It is always good to take a look back at what we thought we knew and see if our understanding of democratic thought is as knowledgable as we may think it is.

Living in a democracy makes us lazy and we often tend to forget to question or update our knowledge on the basic principles that have founded our free societies.

I came across some essential paragraphs and one assessment about being Autonomous in a democratic state in particular ( pg 8) "Individual Freedom Vs Rule of the Majority"  which I feel perfectly applies to the current debate on the Burqa in France.

Here is a rough translation (but I won't claim exact translation given that in Philosophy semantics and exact choice of words are important in order to render their exact interpretation and understanding):

Being Autonomous (I.e: Independent) can be claimed equally by an Individual ( for instance anyone can run his personal life as he or she wishes ) or a collective entity ( aka the sovereign nation/people) who can formulate the laws which will define life in society and enable them to choose the individuals they deem most competent/legitimate to run the affairs of the State.

Because of the pluralism of autonomous behaviors, the powers within the State ( therefore as defined by the constitution) must be able to compete in order to avoid one another from becoming absolute ( therefore lead to authoritarian or absolute rule of one man or group).

NOTE: Here is where the paragraph gets Interesting and applies to the current debate :

As Much as Individual Freedoms limit Popular Sovereignty, the contrary is also True: concern for our COLLECTIVE GOOD should Limit OUR PERSONAL SATISFACTION.

Necessity of Autonomy (I.e: Independance) should subscribe to Universal Principles

The Need to be autonomous (I.e: Independent) should not be absolute. It is limited by on one hand public action purely aimed at the well being of the collectivity (even if at times it would machiavelically mean "Le Fin Justifie les Moyens" aka "The end result justifies the means") and therefore a purely humane goal, and on the otherhand by the principle of Universality: That is acknowledging an equal right to dignity for all members of the human community and which is commonly known as Human Rights.

Fundamentalism Vs Reductionism

In The Following chapters the article explains how democratic principles can be highjacked by selecting one or two basic principles in the name of Freedom but isolating it from the rest of the democratic principles that sustain it. In otherwords to justify the rights of an individual or community ( religious, ethnic, financial,  etc ) within that larger collectivity we call a nation but by isolating that principle in it's interpretation from the "Entire Spirit" that initialy inspired the drafting of that democratic principle. 

This highjacking of democratic principles in the name of obscure individual freedoms is common to both Fundementalists as well as Reductionists.

Fundementalists by sticking aiming at imposing their life style in the name of religious freedom and Reductionists such as Liberals ( in the French and Not Anglo Saxon definition of the word) who are against the intervention of the State when it comes to the economy in the name of Freedom. Capitalism at it's worst is a result of this distorted interpretation of individual rights as opposed to the nations collective well being.

In both cases they abuse the Freedoms not in an aim of generosity towards the collectivity but to satisfy their own greed or individual eccentricities in the name of the basic principles of democracy.

In short they Pervert the democratic process.  

La Loi de 1905: Séparation de L'Eglise et de L'Etat

France's Republic in Particular was founded on Secularism which imposes a clear cut separation ONLY IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE bewteen Religion and Politics ( truly put into application by the law of 1905. The Republic guarantees and protects the Freedom of Cult and can in no way interfere in the choice of a community for instance in having it's own private religious schools. However Public schooling is the norm given that most people cannot afford private education and sending one's child to school is a duty of all parents towards their children. Public schools are aimed at educating all generations without the distinction of social class, race, religion. In exchange Religion is not tought in classes other than within a history class and from a secularist non dogmatic perspective.

Some Fundementalists in France like Tarek Ramadan (who under the cloak of intellectual discourse try to distort the interpretation of the law of 1905) claim that the choice of Wearing or Not the Burqa IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE has no religious significance and is therefore a Right that needs to be respected as equally as anyother right.

I should say that he has marked some victory in some of his presentations, since one can equally argue why Orthodox Jews who distinguish themselves in the public sphere by wearing their traditional costumes and hats without ever being demanded not to do so.

Les Signes Religieuses Ostentatoires ( aka Visible religious Signs)

However Ramadan avoids mentioning that NO ONE in Public Administrations ( be it Schools, The Army, Police, City Halls) including Jews, Christians or anyother faith is allowed to display VISIBLE Ostentatious signs of Faith. What you wish to do at home or in the Street is respected but Not in the PUBLIC SPHERE of Administrations.

So the debate over the Burqua has become rather a subversive attempt to destroy the Status Quo on the question of Secularism on which this country is founded.

Spinoza and Secularism

However one can also argue that France's Staunch Secularism shaped largley by Not merely the French Enlighted Philosophers but also to a large extent by the Secularist Ideas of Spinoza ( a Dutch citizen of Spanish heritage who fled Spain because of the Inquisition) may not be entirely adequate to all. But that is the norm in this country.

Spinoza was considered a radical in his times by claiming suggesting that Morality has to be based purely on Reason and Not religious dogmas. He made a distinction between Morality and Theology.

He also believed that Republic is the Ideal form of government as opposed to the monarchy. Unlike Voltaire Spinoza had little admiration for the British Parlimentiary Democracy.

However Spinoza's strongest argument for Secularism as a basis to Democratic practice was to make this distinction between Morality in Politics based on Reason and Morality interpreted from a Religious Theological perspective.

This is probably why all modern democracies adopted this principle as the basis of law making and justice.

But took to the letter Spinoza's interpretation also has it's contradictions.

For instance let's take the case of Torture. The British were the first to demand it to be abolished in their BILL OF RIGHTs submitted to their King  and which was to inspire the American Constitution but also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  

Torture is Not Bad because it is Counterproductive or useless ... It is Bad because it is Inhuman.

Yet "Humanism" is purely a religious notion and in a direct product of Christian thought !

Prior to the advent of Christianity, The Roman Republic indulged in seeing gladiatorial games of life and death as pure entertainment. Christians and Jews were fed to the Lions on the same grounds.

What made Human beings question Gladiatorial games as Morally wrong was not only because it was a waste of good slaves who could be used in a better and more constructive purpose but because it was Cruel !

Yet the Roman Institutions, the Senate, their scientific and architectural accomplishments are ALL a Product of REASON !

So it is important to see this Paradox and realize that Morality cannot be purely based on Reason but also on the ability to recognize what is Human ( i.e: Humanistic) and what is Not.

So in a paradoxal sense Christianity is a corner stone to Western Civilization as much as Secularist and democratic thought have been fundemental in protecting Individual rights as much as popular sovereignty over absolute rule.

From this point of view it is interesting that the debate over the Burqua is seen as a threat to the very secular foundations of the French Republic, where as in Great Britain (equally a Secular Democracy ) this debate seems to create less controversy given that Indian Sicks including Policement can wear Turbans and one can see many Indians or Pakistani women in Saris and other traditional costumes co exist with the British Top Hats without being pointed too as dangerous extremists.

Maybe the British Model of Democracy in the form of it's long lasting Constitutional Monarchy is far more tolerant after all ? ;0)

Up to you to draw your own conclusions. I am not dogmatic on this issue, even if personally I am against the Burqa in THE PUBLIC SPHERE as Schools and Administrations ( and Passport photos ) , I do not see it problamatic on an individual basis.

Personally I would feel more comfortable not seeing any one of these Burqas in such places as Airports or crowded malls for essentially security reasons.

Otherwise well I am not bothered by their sights in parks or gardens where one can see women ( or men ? ) taking their kids for a walk or having a picnic.

And Lastly this is for Our IRANICAN Friends ( Watch the Burqua Scene) :

Harry Enfield: The Americans - "Isn't She Probably Pretty & Peek-A-Boo"









Darius Kadivar

FYI/GOOD READ: The Enlightment Philoshers (Le Point)

by Darius Kadivar on

Another good reason to update your knowledge on the fundemental texts that have shaped our modern democracies (Hope you can find an English Translation or equivalent series of articles in your area or local libraries):


GOOD READ: All You Need to Know About The Enlightment Philosophers



It's a good call

by benross on

The West should have dealt with fundamentalism far sooner and completely in a different manner. Although it sounds insulting now, but I guess it's a good policy in Netherlands (I believe) to introduce every immigrant to the secular values of their society right on arrival. And to tell them get used to it or get out. It sounds insulting now, because it's too late for many.


no one in Iran should force adults to wear against wills too.

by MM on

everyone agree?


Fouzul Bashi,

by Q on

women ARE forced to wear what they don't want but because of their economic and social dependence, they have to choice but to forego their 'civil' right.

You can say the same about women "forced" into prostitution, pregnency, pronography, drugs, etc. You can say the same about anybody man or woman being "forced" into a situation they don't want like economic and social dependence. Do men who clean toilets want to do it? Do beggers want to be beggers?

You asked how do we know the women are really forced. I ask you, the people I named above really are forced, so why are there different rules and imaginative "oppression" scenarios only when it comes to Muslims?

So, is it really about the welfare of women, or is it about the ruling society's biases/fears ?