Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pluralism or Non-Pluralism?

It has recently come to my attention by a friend of mine from Egypt, that often more and more  Muslims around the world, but more so in Europe are getting the short end of the stick.  Recently, the French government has attempted to ban burkas based on the theory that it's "offensive and demoralizing to women".  Now I want you my dear readers to stop and think about that statement.  Just stop and think about it and list in your mind the reasons why you would agree with this statement.  Now let me point out that you who have agreed with this statement has placed your own ethnocentrism on a culture of people who do not subscribe to our way of thinking.

President Nicolas Sarkozy says full veil is "not welcome" in France and that this is an issue about women's freedom and dignity and not religion.

Take a moment to place yourself in the shoes of those who wear these burkas as a religious piety like our nuns or monks.  Their bible may not say anything about burkas and covering from head to toe, but then again neither did the Bible say that women couldn't be involved in the early churches because they were inferior.  In fact Christ pushed for the movement of women in his ministry.

What I don't get dear readers, is why is Europe deciding what is and is not oppressive to women?   I may find being a nun repressive and contrary to a woman's rights, but does that mean I go to the steps of my congress and push to pass a bill banning the role of nuns in the church?  No, because while I may not like the idea of a nunnery for myself, that doesn't mean that someone out there doesn't find a closer sense of spirituality by being a nun.

This school of thought that seems to suppress everyone in Europe is that of non-pluralism.  The need for everyone to be the same and so help you if you are a smidgen off.  Many Europeans do not like foreigners and do appreciate the ideals of America, with it's pluralistic society.  In America we believe that we can create laws to keep everyone safe without infringing on the basic rights of every citizen despite religious background or ethnicity.  However it is evident that France and Europe doesn't care about this kind of approach.

It just makes me laugh that these countries are trying to place a ban on a item that has religious significance in a culture that's been around long than the French President's family line.  France you sit there and say we Americans have our noses up our butts and aren't taking time to look at the world around us?  Well I point back to you with this whole piece of steaming you know what.  This culture has been around longer than your country has ever been a country.  You can't take western ideals, morals, and values, and place them on a distinctly eastern culture, and expect it to fly well. 

Some women out for a stroll with their kids.

Now I understand the fact that the full veil can pose many security issues.  However, I think that a law could be passed that would require burka wearers to expose their faces and potentially their bodies in certain security areas or check points.  Like in an airport, burga wearers could be asked to please not wear the burka for the duration of their flight and within or on the premises of the airport property.  Or like when they go to the bank, have them fully expose their faces for proper identification.  If a police officer sees a burka wearer acting strange like, they could have the right to search the burka wearer and even ask them to remove it.  Do I think the burkas need to be banned based on how oppressive it is to women and how it insults the dignity of women?  Absolutely not.  I think this has everything to do with religion Mr. French President, and nothing to with your supposed concern for a woman's dignity.  Please France just do what you do best and surrender.

Viva La France anyone?

(a quick side note:  I do not hate the French.  I do not hate any country, just disagree with some of their decisions)

And that was my rant for today...

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