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Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 151 by Steve Zara

I do not see why we must entertain women's choice on their own subjugation.


Because in a free society we should respect the choices of adults, even if we don't like their choices. Otherwise we drift towards totalitarianism.

It's as if they are having their freedoms reduced to those of children by a crippling belief system, with the men as their abusive parents.

In this case, a law banning burqas would be social services intervening to protect the child.


That is deeply shocking. The state decides who loses their legal status of adults simply based on what they are wearing?

In fact, the state deciding who loses their legal status of adults without substantial investigation of each case is a very dangerous thing.

There is some circular arguing going on here:

We should consider burqa-wearing women as child-like. But why are they child-like. Because they wear the burqa.

There is simply no way I can see that a banning law would not backfire in really appalling ways, in terms of reducing freedom and wrecking human rights. For everyone.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 06:20:00 UTC | #383595

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 152 by Bonzai

Steve

This is why I object to Pat's 'get people angry' approach.


Do you think he is trying to get people to feel anger, or simply trying to articulate justly felt anger and frustrations?

Because anger without some clear constructive outlet for that anger - anger without solutions to the problem - can make a real mess of things.


That is true, but in order to look for a solution, one has to first acknowledge that there is a problem. It seems that a point that Pat tries to make is that many people are denying that there is even a problem.

It may not be very constructive to just point a finger to the Emperor and yell out that he is naked, without due considerations of how the Emeperor might exit gracefully. But sometimes it needs to be done.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 06:22:00 UTC | #383596

Frank Donaldson's Avatar Comment 153 by Frank Donaldson

Ev Love

Bladeeeeblaadee so pathetic CRAPPP

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 06:25:00 UTC | #383597

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 154 by Steve Zara

Comment #401052 by Bonzai

Do you think he is trying to get people to feel anger, or simply trying to articulate justly felt anger and frustrations?


For the purposes of argument, I don't think his motives matter.

That is true, but in order to look for a solution, one has to first get across the point that there is a problem. It seems that a point that Pat tries to make is that many people are denying that there is even a problem.


There are ways to do that without getting people vaguely angry against 'liberals' (for example). Pat has used this kind of attack against 'liberals' before.

It may not be very constructive to just point a finger to the Emperor and yell out that he is naked, without due considerations of how the Emeperor might exit gracefully. But sometimes it needs to be done.


I don't agree. Clear thinking should surely always be the intention.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 06:29:00 UTC | #383598

DalaiDrivel's Avatar Comment 155 by DalaiDrivel

Steve Zara,


Or, it is a general, unfocussed hatred of religion that picks the burqa as a supposedly easily targeted symbol.


In this case the symbol is a good and correct one to target, regardless of motive.

It may be a catch 22 for this generation of Muslim women. As Styrer points out, mature women are complicit in the propagation of this cult of subjugation. We may not be able to save today's women, but there are tomorrow's.

(*Edited for spelling)

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 06:30:00 UTC | #383599

DalaiDrivel's Avatar Comment 156 by DalaiDrivel



Because in a free society we should respect the choices of adults, even if we don't like their choices.


Steve... how are these women acting like free-thinking adults? In my eyes they are more like children in their independence.


We should consider burqa-wearing women as child-like. But why are they child-like. Because they wear the burqa.


Why are they wearing the burqa? Because of an oppressive belief system. What does the burqa then represent?

How do we best encourage mental maturation in these women? The answer may not be what I suggest, but it is an important question I think.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 06:38:00 UTC | #383601

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 157 by Steve Zara

Comment #401055 by DalaiDrivel

It may be a catch 22 for this generation of Muslim women. As Styrer points out, mature women are complicit in the propagation of this cult of subjugation. We may not be able to save today's women, but there are tomorrow's.


No. I am not prepared to accept the further victimisation of a generation of already oppressed women.

We either respect the status of adults as adults, or we throw away our freedoms.

If this is to be a literal war against religion in which human rights are to be abandoned, then I want no part of it.

Banning the wearing of bits of cloth won't stop the oppression of women. It will only stop public displays of that oppression.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 06:40:00 UTC | #383602

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 158 by Bonzai

Steve

There are ways to do that without getting people vaguely angry against 'liberals' (for example). Pat has used this kind of attack against 'liberals' before.


See my post on label and substance above. If Pat is right, and I think he is, the 'liberals' do deserve the anger because they are the problems, they are the true enablers of the Islamists, much more so than moderate muslims themselves.

I don't agree. Clear thinking should surely always be the intention.


Sometimes you need to scream to shake people out of their complacency.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 06:41:00 UTC | #383603

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 159 by Steve Zara

If Pat is right, and I think he is, the 'liberals' do deserve the anger because they are the problems, because they are the true enablers of the Islamists, much more so than moderate muslims themselves


Which liberals?

Yet again there is this setting up of an imagined 'group' that is the enemy. Yet another 'enemy within' for people to hate.

There are some really awful people who do pander to religion and who probably call themselves liberal. Madeline Bunting comes to mind.

But to use the term 'liberals' in this general way is simply wrong.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 06:43:00 UTC | #383604

DalaiDrivel's Avatar Comment 160 by DalaiDrivel

In fact, the state deciding who loses their legal status of adults without substantial investigation of each case is a very dangerous thing.


I must hasten to add, that banning burqas for ALL adults would not invalidate any of their statuses as adults.

There are of course many decisions with legal ramifications that adults are not legal permitted to make.

Banning burqas could be, at its least sophisticated, more like a two-fingered salute to those specific, can't-keep-it-in-their-pants-without-their-women-clothed-completely Muslim men, in order to say-

"We know what you and your religion are up to. Suprise!"

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 06:45:00 UTC | #383606

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 161 by Steve Zara

Comment #401062 by DalaiDrivel

I must hasten to add, that banning burqas for ALL adults would not invalidate any of their statuses as adults.


Yes it would. It would say that no adult can make a responsible decision about what clothes to wear. I would feel considerably less adult in that society.

There are of course many decisions with legal ramifications that adults are not legal permitted to make.


Yes, but the justification for those exclusions aren't that some selected people are too child-like.

Banning burqas could be, at its least sophisticated, more like a two-fingered salute to those specific, can't-keep-it-in-their-pants-without-their-women-clothed-completely Muslim men, in order to say-


So make the two-fingered salute. That is a personal protest. Don't get the state involved. That should not be its role.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 06:50:00 UTC | #383607

Countping's Avatar Comment 162 by Countping

By covering your face you are crippling your ability to to interact socially with others. The burqa is an imposed disability.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 06:50:00 UTC | #383608

DalaiDrivel's Avatar Comment 163 by DalaiDrivel

No. I am not prepared to accept the further victimisation of a generation of already oppressed women.

We either respect the status of adults as adults, or we throw away our freedoms.


Does being victimised excuse victimising future generations?

Will we allow today's Muslim women to justify their stilted existence by crippling the next generation?

Listen to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Listen to her speak of the zeal with which Muslim women spy and conspire against each other.

I cannot recall the exact interview at this time. I think it was AAI '07.

I must reiterate, banning burqas for all would not invalidate adults' statuses as adults.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 06:51:00 UTC | #383609

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 164 by Steve Zara

Comment #401065 by DalaiDrivel

Does being victimised excuse victimising future generations?


This is still sacrificing selected people's human rights.

You still have not addressed the point about this only dealing with public symbols of oppression.

I must reiterate, banning burqas for all would not invalidate adults' statuses as adults.


Then I will repeat that it does.

A state dress code is against my rights, and also extremely silly.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 06:54:00 UTC | #383611

DalaiDrivel's Avatar Comment 165 by DalaiDrivel

Yes it would. It would say that no adult can make a responsible decision about what clothes to wear. I would feel considerably less adult in that society.


A ban would be supported by reason. It is dogmatic self-deprivation, a virus of the mind. I doubt that little separates swathing yourself head to toe in black, than exercising the freedom to deny yourself of air, or your adult right to step off of a bridge.

I stand by my charge that it committing suicide in terms of freedom. Do it in a country that does not endorse freedom!


Yes, but the justification for those exclusions aren't that some selected people are too child-like.


The justification is that we would ALL be too child-like under siumilar oppression.

Ah, you're right, that last statement is a personal protest. But I make it on behalf of all Muslim women who may enjoy a burqa's worth less control exercised over them by their husbands.

Steve, I'm off to bed (I live in Canada's west coast). I've loved the duscussion... any response on your part I will make a point to get to tomorrow!

You made a point earlier in the thread about the trouble of coming up for a legal definition of a burqa. For what it's worth, I have doubts too about exactly how we can translate what we know about the burqa as an oppressive tool into legal language.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 07:02:00 UTC | #383614

NakedCelt's Avatar Comment 166 by NakedCelt

A state dress code is against my rights, and also extremely silly.
Quoted for truth.

Although... Steve... are you joining the ranks of us nudists?

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 07:03:00 UTC | #383615

zengardener's Avatar Comment 167 by zengardener

I wonder, if I were to pull the veil off a woman, would she be more angry with me, or afraid that she will be punished by her Father/brother/husband, who doubt that a stranger stole her veil.

I would not do this, of course.

I don't particularly like dress codes, but I remember a court case here in the U.S. where a woman was suing for the right to wear a veil on her ID photo. I believe this is the sort of nonsense Pat is railing against.

I encountered this cultural relativism in Anthropology, and I don't buy it. See the declaration of human rights.

As for symbols... Ok, yes the burka is a symbol, but wearing it is an act, the act of labeling with a symbol. What this symbol means is different to different people. but what it means is of the utmost importance. It matters what people think, but some peoples opinions matter more than others.

1. It matters to the woman. If she doesn't want to wear it, now power on Earth should force her to.

2. Anyone who would try to force a woman to wear a burka is guilty of abuse, and should be punished accordingly.

3. Security is an issue. Positive identity is a reasonable request that one must comply with when entering private property, or official business.

4. Children wearing burkas...That's where it all starts, isn't it? Stop the indoctrination!!! The only reason women ever want to wear a burka is because they have been fully indoctrinated.

James Madison
Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 07:07:00 UTC | #383616

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 168 by Steve Zara

I doubt that little separates swathing yourself head to toe in black, than exercising the freedom to deny yourself of air, or your adult right to step off of a bridge.


That is rather extreme. We are talking about the wearing of clothes.

The justification is that we would ALL be too child-like under siumilar oppression.


That is a worrying statement to make. I don't want the state to me using such justifications.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 07:09:00 UTC | #383617

mannylee's Avatar Comment 170 by mannylee

Usual hysterical fare Pat. I agree with a lot of it but isn't it time for a new schtick

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 07:21:00 UTC | #383620

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 169 by Ignorant Amos

143. Comment #401040 by ev-love

Yes, it has been overturned by the commissioner, but only after the "hue & cry" it created and the threat of officers refusing to remove the pin and other officers joining them, thus creating a disciplinary nightmare. And perhaps the growing number of names on the 10 downing Street petition might have had a small infuence.

I dare say that the regulations WERE breached and had that been the reason for the removal of the badges, although still abit offish, would have had a different slant to the request. Possibly causing offence to some minority group is another matter, as one officer is said to have stated, various different badges and emblems are worn by officers against regulation regularly with no adverse effect so why has this been such a sticking point. Some "misguided" liberals want to take things to the extreme, to the point where my human rights may be trodden on...and even to point where they want to prempt the offense before it happens.

The point of my posting the article here was merely to show that this type of thing is going on all the time. Trying to appease those who might be offended, even before it happens. This example is not exclusive.


Wasn’t there a similar incident when a Heathrow employee was banned from wearing a cross for the same reason? Where would you stand on that?



ev-love, I come from a country where this sort of thing has been the norm for years...it is especially bad because here where I live, it is all about religious bigotry. I don't think anyone has the right to be offended by the wearing of religious iconic jewellry any more than a football medallion ( I sport a nice gold R.F.C. myself ) or a political badge of support, including the B.N.P., where will it end? If some holy roller wants to wear a crucifix, so what, we pride ourselves in the west for our free, democratic societies and there are far more important issues to become intolerant over.

I'm sure there will be a number of exceptions to this pointed out by the good folk on RD.net.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 07:21:00 UTC | #383619

Styrer-'s Avatar Comment 171 by Styrer-

There is everything wrong with wearing a burqua.

But to abolish it wouldn't get the message out.

Let it be worn in the west as much as is desired, with the sensible provisos that they must be taken off when entering sole-ownership buildings, if such is the policy of the owner; and in all buildings where the wearing of a helmut would not be permitted.

But for these exceptions, let the burqua continue, and let's please have no more argument about it, but let's do indeed use such wearing as a marker against which we can perceive the effects of our own attempts to make secularity, and the free choice granted to women, more telling signals as to how we are succeeding, or not.

Banning clothes, indeed. Humph.

Styrer

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 07:33:00 UTC | #383623

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 172 by hungarianelephant

167. Comment #401072 by zengardener

Anyone who would try to force a woman to wear a burka is guilty of abuse, and should be punished accordingly.

That's the point, isn't it?

We don't know why any individual woman wears the burqa, but we suspect that at least some are forced to do so. Forced how? In some cases, by the threat of violence.

But we have laws against threatening violence. The days of the police saying they can't interfere with domestic affairs are thankfully long gone. Violence and threatening violence are the same crime whether they take place in street, mosque or house.

What has been sorely lacking is a political willingness to take it on in cultures where it is endemic. There is an element - I am not going to use Condell's ludicrous terminology - which unthinkingly values cultural sensitivity over people. It abandons them.

If we are genuinely interested in equality, as I'm sure we are, then what is fundamental is the equal protection of the laws we have. At the moment we are failing Muslim women in this. We all know this. The burqa is an outward symbol of that failure. There's an air of futility and failure about trying to ban it - it will not end oppression, but it will stop us all from being reminded of it daily. It is equivalent to imprisoning people for sleeping rough: please Mr Policeman, just take the evidence of societal failure away from my sight.

There's a general political assumption that enforcing the existing laws we have for everyone properly will alienate Muslims. FWIW I think this is nonsense. Sure, it will alienate some of the more extreme ones, but they will never be brought onside anyway. On the contrary, it will tell people that they have the same value no matter what their skin colour or religious upbringing. It will make them more willing to deal with oppression within their own communities, knowing that they will be supported rather than patronised.

That would be a multiculture to be proud of.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 07:38:00 UTC | #383624

Quine's Avatar Comment 173 by Quine

If the burka is banned, they will go to big coats and veiled hats. You have to get to the root cause, not the symptom.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 07:48:00 UTC | #383626

Styrer-'s Avatar Comment 174 by Styrer-

Comment #401080 by hungarianelephant on July 31, 2009 at 8:38 am

Mr. Elephant

You seem to me to be cursed with the ability of seeing all sides at once, and of being blessed with the talent to communicate such. This goes for lots of the posts I read with your name attached.

I've a simple mind.

What's YOUR opinion?

Styrer

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 07:56:00 UTC | #383628

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 175 by Ignorant Amos

A state dress code is against my rights, and also extremely silly.


Probably a bit silly of me, but don't we already have a state DRESS code?

Naturists rights are violated by the state every time they go out in public.

What if it wasn't the Burkha, but some other form of hinderance being used as a form of mysoginistic oppression....say, a straight jacket or ball and chain or even a big heavy wooden cross forced on christian women by sexist catholic clerics...would the same arguements stand?

I'd like to see some opinions on this....

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 08:28:00 UTC | #383631

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 176 by Ignorant Amos

166. Comment #401071 by NakedCelt

apologies...I posted before reading further!

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 08:33:00 UTC | #383632

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 177 by Richard Dawkins

I am not in favour of banning the burqa, because I am not in favour banning any style of clothing. But I think Pat is right to compare the burqa with a Ku Klux Klan hood or a swastika armband (which shouldn't be banned either). I think he is right to speak of Islamic fascism, I think he is right to condemn the use of the word 'Islamophobia', and I think he is right to attack apologists who dare not oppose Islamic oppression of women for fear of being thought racist. I think he is right that the underlying rationale of the burqa, and of the general Muslim obsession with covering up women, is a disgusting presumption that men cannot control their lusts, and that women who are not covered up deserve to be raped. Pat is right to point out the embarrassing contradictions that we liberals face, when torn between a desire not to interfere with other 'cultures' (fear of being 'imperialist' or 'racist') and our opposition to the oppression of women and the legitimizing of rape. In this video, Pat Condell spends very little time on the suggestion that the burqa should be banned, and the great majority of his time on those other issues, with which I find it hard to disagree. On balance, therefore, I am glad that we posted this video, and I am sorry people switched off within seconds of starting to watch it.

I think Islam is probably the greatest of all man-made evils in the world today. It takes courage to speak out against it. Pat has that courage. He will be making enough enemies among the Islamofascists. I prefer not to encourage them by attacking him from the other side.

Richard

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 08:54:00 UTC | #383639

Peacebeuponme's Avatar Comment 178 by Peacebeuponme

hungarianelephant

This is a mismatch, in my view. On the one hand, the burqa wearer is making a political statement that "I am not like you", and on the other she would be invoking legal protections against anyone saying "You are not like us". It's far from the only mismatch, of course.
Not sure I agree with this. Are we really always making political statements with the clothes we wear?

People can wear garments because they want to wear them, and not make a statement that they are different.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 09:05:00 UTC | #383640

Tycho the Dog's Avatar Comment 179 by Tycho the Dog

Liberalism when faced with an serious internal threat can become self-paralysing, as evidenced by a lot of the comments here. People know that some sort of action is needed, by they are unterly unanable to agree on what that action should be, because someone, somewhere will have had their rights compromised. For an interesting hypothetical examination of the problem, I would suggest John Wyndham's 'The Midwich Couckoos' - the book, not either of the films.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 09:13:00 UTC | #383641

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 181 by hungarianelephant

174. Comment #401084 by Styrer-

Do you have any specific inconsistencies in mind? Or are you just cross that not everyone sees the world in simplistic hooray-boo terms like Pat Condell?


177. Comment #401095 by Richard Dawkins

I think Islam is probably the greatest of all man-made evils in the world today. It takes courage to speak out against it. Pat has that courage. He will be making enough enemies among the Islamofascists. I prefer not to encourage them by attacking him from the other side.

Had he stopped there, I would have little issue with this. I don't agree with all his solutions, I don't like his manner of expression and I don't see what's funny about it, but these are personal opinions.

He doesn't stop there, though. He decides that all those who criticise his stance are liberal-leftys, cultural traitors and apologists for evil, tarring them all with exactly the same brush. This may be true of some of the critics. The rest of us are entitled to call him out for mischaracterising our views.

If he is going to be making enough enemies amongst Islamofascists, then perhaps he would be better advised not to go out of his way to alienate people who might agree with much of what he has to say. This "with us or against us" stuff is every bit as childish as when it emanated from the Bush administration.


178. Comment #401096 by Peacebeuponme
Are we really always making political statements with the clothes we wear?

No, I'm not suggesting that. But the burqa and various other forms of veiling clearly are political statements.

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 09:25:00 UTC | #383645