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LQD: Charlie Hebdo is 'troubled by her veil'

by marco Mon Apr 4th, 2016 at 02:47:37 AM EST

Surprising op-ed by Charlie Hebdo in English was published last week.

It is being reviled on social media for being islamophobic.

Although I found the op-ed hard to understand, I would have to agree.  In particular, this clause from the concluding paragraph jumped out at me:

the woman who forbids you to admit that you are troubled by her veil

Charlie Hebdo is troubled by the veil?  Sounds to me like the very definition of islamophobia (or is it religiophobia).

HOW DID WE END UP HERE? | 2016-03-30 Charlie Hebdo

... the attacks are merely the visible part of a very large iceberg indeed. They are the last phase of a process of cowing and silencing long in motion and on the widest possible scale. ...


... His task, under cover of debate, is to dissuade people from criticising his religion in any way. The political science students who listened to him last week will, once they have become journalists or local officials, not even dare to write nor say anything negative about Islam. The little dent in their secularism made that day will bear fruit in a fear of criticising lest they appear Islamophobic. That is Tariq Ramadan's task. ...

... So why go on whining about the wearing of the veil and pointing the finger of blame at these women? We should shut up, look elsewhere and move past all the street-insults and rumpus. The role of these women, even if they are unaware of it, does not go beyond this. ...

... This is not to victimise Islam particularly. For it has no opponent. It is not Christianity, Hinduism nor Judaism that is balked by the imposition of this silence. It is the opponent (and protector) of them all. It is the very notion of the secular. It is secularism which is being forced into retreat. ...

... The first task of the guilty is to blame the innocent. It's an almost perfect inversion of culpability. From the bakery that forbids you to eat what you like, to the woman who forbids you to admit that you are troubled by her veil, we are submerged in guilt for permitting ourselves such thoughts. And that is where and when fear has started its sapping, undermining work. And the way is marked for all that will follow.

Display:
A baker choosing to sell sandwiches without ham as a precondition for bombings?

Yeah, that looks like islamofobia all right.

by fjallstrom on Mon Apr 4th, 2016 at 04:17:47 AM EST
I'm told it's brilliant, subtle satire and we just don't understand it. <shrug>

It seems to me and this point that the people who think that have assumptions and axioms I don't share and apparently can't even find. Our universes don't overlap in this area (any more, say, than they do with the beliefs of the religious or the Dawkins Church of Atheism) and the argument is pointless.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Apr 4th, 2016 at 08:22:27 AM EST
I'm told it's brilliant, subtle satire and we just don't understand it. <shrug>

Usually, I get their "superficially" racist/xenophobic humor (I think), as a sort of "meta-humor": ridiculing precisely those attitudes and positions in others.  But this essay does not seem ironic in that way at all.  Which is why I find it hard to understand, confusing, and surprising.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Wed Apr 6th, 2016 at 01:21:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Charlie Hebdo is troubled by the veil?  Sounds to me like the very definition of islamophobia

um hello? You are perhaps unaware of Charlie's historic opposition to burqas?

That editorial irritates the hell out of me, because
a) Nobody is forcing Riss to by pig-free sandwiches, and
b) the idea that there is a continuum between debating Tariq Ramadan and suicide bombing is ridiculous and offensive.

However, the thesis that it is islamophobic to be troubled by a woman's burqa is an attempt at political censorship. Because wearing a burqa in public in a secular society is a political act, and a legitimate subject of political debate.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Apr 4th, 2016 at 12:55:17 PM EST
Not wearing a burqa is equally a political act by that logic. And by CH's logic not wearing a burqa is directly connected with islamophobic murder.
by Katrin on Mon Apr 4th, 2016 at 01:06:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not wearing a uniform is indeed, in a sense, a political act. It is a statement that I am an individual, making individual choices about how I present myself to others, and by extension, how I interact with others.

By wearing a uniform, I am making the statement that I have delegated my appearance to some other authority. When that uniform is designed to cut me off from all but the most perfunctory of human interactions, it is explicitly an act of submission, the very antithesis of self-determination.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Apr 5th, 2016 at 02:25:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the thesis that it is islamophobic to be troubled by a woman's burqa is an attempt at political censorship.

That is your personal interpretation the thesis.  As was my own claim about Charlie Hebdo's islamophobia: If someone says they are "troubled by the a woman's wearing of the (Islamic) veil", then to me that sounds like they are somehow afraid / fearful of that veil, as a symbol, or the wearing of it as an act.  Thus, it strikes me as an example of islamophobie in the literal sense -- "fear of islam", where fear is an actual emotion experienced by the perceiver -- and perhaps also of religiophobie in the more general sense.

Because wearing a burqa in public in a secular society is a political act

Again, that is your personal interpretation.  And very context-dependent, isn't it?

If Charlie Hebdo is being serious (un-ironic) with that editorial, then what I say to them is:  "If you are so afraid of the veil and Islam, etc., that is your own problem.  Don't limit the choices of others to make youself feel more comfortable."

and a legitimate subject of political debate

Of course!  Just because what someone says is islamophobic doesn't mean the putative cause or object of their islamophobia cannot be legitimately debated.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Wed Apr 6th, 2016 at 01:30:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What worries me is to see that not only Charlie Hebdo, but you yourself travelled down the way from attacking the burqua to defend its wearers (from opressive male chauvinist co-religionists and family members) to attacking the women themselves.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Apr 17th, 2016 at 04:01:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Excuse me? Can you point me to where I'm attacking the women? I'm quite serious.

Is it an attack to say that wearing a burqa in a secular society is a political act? It's true that it assigns agency to the women, rather than considering them as political placards brandished by their men. The degree of agency is an interesting question, of course.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Apr 20th, 2016 at 02:27:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For me this is the main reason why conversations on ET no longer make sense very often. One can amiably disagree on many policies: that is how it should be. One can even be on different ends of the political spectrum in certain life-and-death topics and discuss them politely and rationally (nuclear power, anyone?). One cannot do all that when it is about the persecution of a minority which will ultimately end in the same way as the last time people behaved in the same way and were troubled by the clothes of another religious minority. I am not going to discuss persecution politely, I am going to oppose it by all means I have.
by Katrin on Wed Apr 6th, 2016 at 02:54:59 AM EST
Godwin.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2016 at 06:26:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the US, we've suspended Godwin's Law for the duration of the Republican presidential campaign because, well, look at them.  Might want to bring a barf bucket.
by rifek on Fri Apr 8th, 2016 at 05:48:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not going to discuss persecution politely, I am going to oppose it by all means I have.

Politeness may be in the eye of the beholder, but discuss it we must.  I think it's largely because Europeans are too afraid to discuss it that we have such a crisis in that society today.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Wed Apr 6th, 2016 at 06:35:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
En 1989, l'affaire du foulard de Creil vous conduit à signer un manifeste contre le « Munich de l'école républicaine  ». Est-ce un nouveau tournant ?

Malgré notre appel, c'est cette gauche «  tolérante  » au gouvernement qui emporte la partie. Certains le regrettent aujourd'hui. Car la «  tolérance  » s'est retournée contre celles que l'on croyait aider. 1989 est un tournant, incontestablement. Mais un autre basculement s'opère dès 1991, celui de la guerre civile algérienne, lors de laquelle le Front islamique du salut s'affronte au gouvernement algérien, qui contient les prémices de la dérive actuelle. Les féministes venues d'Algérie ou d'Iran n'ont pourtant pas cessé de nous avertir  : «  Vous ne voyez pas que ce qui se passe chez nous va arriver chez vous ?  » En l'espace de dix ans, de nombreuses filles des quartiers se sont mises à porter le voile en France. Révélation divine  ? Non, montée de la pression islamique. Seule la loi peut protéger celles qui le portent sous cette pression. Or, lorsqu’on les soutient, on est considéré comme «  islamophobe  ».

C'est pour cette raison que, comme vous l'avez déclaré, «  il ne faut plus avoir peur d'être islamophobe  »  ?

Je considère que la plupart des Français partagent ce point de vue mais qu'ils sont tétanisés par l'accusation d'islamophobie. Etre traité d'islamophobe est un opprobre, une arme que les islamo-gauchistes ont offerte aux extrémistes. Taxer d'islamophobie ceux qui ont le courage de dire  : «  Nous voulons que les lois de la République s'appliquent à tous et d'abord à toutes  » est une infamie. Pour ma part, je persiste et je signe. Les islamo-gauchistes sont certes une minorité, mais influente et largement relayée par des grands médias et journalistes de gauche qui, par là même, se coupent du pays réel.

Elisabeth Badinter appelle au boycott des marques qui se lancent dans la mode islamique

I admire and support Badinter's courage -- or is it simply self-confident indifference? -- to take a principled stance against the veil based on her belief that the vast majority of women and girls in France who wear the veil do so because of montée de la pression islamique, despite the apparently elevated risk of being a branded an islamophobe in France these days for making such an argument.  But I do not share that belief and cannot agree with her that she -- and the French state -- can make such an assumption and thus condemn the very wearing of clothing and accessories by some of its citizens as being against the secular values by default.  I feel much more fear at such a position taken by a state than I do of some religion taking over the culture (much less the laws) of the French nation.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Wed Apr 6th, 2016 at 06:33:29 AM EST
I am always hearing that same thing from racists and Islamophobes. They always whine how oppressed they are, and that it needs courage to make statements of hatred. Thilo Sarrazin used to give the most impressive show of that stuff: wrote a racist book that sold a million copies and got invited into every TV talk show where he was given plenty of air time to tell everybody that he was not free to vent his Islamophobe and racist stuff, and how horrible it is to be stopped from giving vent to Islamophobe and racist stuff, and that it takes so much courage to do so.

I do not admire anyone who states their belief and then proposes to oppress and enslave people because of it. There is no courage needed for her position of depriving women of the right to decide on their own bodies. I am perfectly able to decide on my own if I want to dye my hair green or not, or shave it off or not, or cover it with a scarf or not.

You say this must be discussed. Experience shows that there is no common ground here, no shared principles to base such a discussion on. It saddened me enormously when I found that out.

by Katrin on Wed Apr 6th, 2016 at 07:49:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do not admire anyone who states their belief and then proposes to oppress and enslave people because of it. There is no courage needed for her position of depriving women of the right to decide on their own bodies. I am perfectly able to decide on my own if I want to dye my hair green or not, or shave it off or not, or cover it with a scarf or not.

Exactly.  And echoing (I think) Drew's point below, the burden of proof should not be on the woman to prove that she chose to wear the veil of her own free will, but on the state to prove in any individual case that she was forced to wear it.

You say this must be discussed. Experience shows that there is no common ground here, no shared principles to base such a discussion on. It saddened me enormously when I found that out.

Part of me agrees with you, but part of me believes that we have not tried enough (see my signature).  Also, after posting that comment, I found quite a lot of radio, TV, and news items in France discussing and arguing the issue, from both points of view, so I was unfair in my statement.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Sat Apr 9th, 2016 at 01:38:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
marco:
Part of me agrees with you, but part of me believes that we have not tried enough (see my signature).  Also, after posting that comment, I found quite a lot of radio, TV, and news items in France discussing and arguing the issue, from both points of view, so I was unfair in my statement.

By "here" I mean here on ET. There is no common ground at all on things like equality, human rights, even humanity itself,  the significance of citizenship, political rights, and all that. Things that for leftists should be a no-brainer, but are very controversial here. I have re-read this very unpleasant thread on that topic, and for me this was the thread that changed everything that before I had thought about ET.

So yes, there are debates and acitivities in many places, including some that give me immense hope. Think for instance of the broad refugees welcome movement, which is countering the demonisations of racists and Islamophobes at the root. The discussions are there all right, but not here. There is no common ground.

by Katrin on Sat Apr 9th, 2016 at 12:28:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This post, for example, in that thread demonstrates the unbridgeable gulf between you and me.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sat Apr 9th, 2016 at 01:14:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You link to a post of yours that makes assumptions about my position that are false. I still see the unbridgeable gulf between you and me as one of equality, human rights, even humanity itself,  the significance of citizenship, political rights. In short, one could say it is about democracy itself. You declare Muslims with certain political aims not your political opponents (which would be fine), but public enemies. You presumably accept whites demanding war on Afghanistan etc. as fellow citizens who are political opponents and who must be fought by political activism. Same with whites demanding nuclear power or a ban on abortion, etc.  Salafists are different for you, you declare them a public enemy. Unlike whites they have no right to propose reactionary policies. It is striking that you don't mention colonialism and the refusal of civil rights to them in your post on the "Muslim question" in France.
by Katrin on Sun Apr 10th, 2016 at 07:31:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Katrin:
You presumably

Well, that's the thing, isn't it. You are very presumptuous. You don't really care what I write, and pay little attention to it. I have become your bogey man : racist, colonialist, probably slave-owning... and all because I don't agree with you about religious privilege.

Unless you actually want to discuss what I write or what I believe... Bye bye

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Apr 10th, 2016 at 09:41:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I noticed all right that you tell me what my position is without ever using a "presumably" or the like inquiring if you are right or wrong with that. And you of all people call me presumptuous! You say that the "unbridgeable gulf" between our positions is something that I never said, and you still think you have reason to complain about me. Incredible!
by Katrin on Sun Apr 10th, 2016 at 11:12:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My partner is from Morocco, and goes there several times a year. Although she is Muslim, she does not generally conform to a stereotypical Muslim dress code. When she's over there, she is often struck by the changes in the dress code by women she sees there, both in the street and in her own circle of family and friends.

In function of the political and social climate at any given time, the dress code becomes more liberal or conservative. When the islamist party was elected to government, with its conservative social program, she found she felt uncomfortable wearing trousers in town. When they messed up and became unpopular, it swung back the other way. And so on.

Of course, it's overly simplistic to say that the dress code of any individual is determined by community pressure. In Morocco, education and women's emancipation has greatly progressed. But in deciding what's plausible and what isn't, we need to be clear about where we're judging from. We Europeans are entirely responsible for our own decisions and behaviour. But those who have been brought up in a Muslim tradition have a much more collectivist mindset, and most Moroccans would never dream of making important life decisions, or changing public behaviours, without the consent of their entourage.

Muslims in France are a different question, because cultural and religious traditions have been disrupted and perhaps diluted by generations of economic hardship, broken families etc. This disruption, and a loss of moral compass, explain at least partly the strong appeal of a simple ideology and code of behaviour and dress which presents itself as true Islam. They are not merely promoting a dress code, however; they have a political agenda which goes very much further, and radically opposes the secular, liberal and individualistic values which are the cornerstone of European society, and very much require defending.

Anyone who publicly opposes such an agenda is branded as an islamophobe. Fine. If I lived in a country where the Catholic influence were excessive, I would be a catholicophobe. If I were a Russian today, I would certainly be an orthodoxophobe.

It's hard to say if the influence of those who are promoting this "true Islam" can really be measured by the visible aspect of how people dress. It's an unreliable barometer. But it is vital to break the influence of the Salafists who have been largely successful in their takeover of Islam in France.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Apr 7th, 2016 at 02:18:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you very much for sharing this.

You make a really key point distinguishing the situation in Islam-dominant countries like Morocco and the situation in European countries.  This was really interesting:

When she's over there, she is often struck by the changes in the dress code by women she sees there, both in the street and in her own circle of family and friends.

I do have to disagree with you on this, however:

Muslims in France are a different question... They are not merely promoting a dress code, however; they have a political agenda which goes very much further, and radically opposes the secular, liberal and individualistic values which are the cornerstone of European society, and very much require defending.

You are absolutely right that our -- I mean, our European -- secular, liberal and individualistic values very much require defending.

However, I would argue with you that presuming that a woman walking down the street wearing a veil or a burka was doing so because she was forced to violates those very European, liberal, individualistic values.  In effect, that would be a presumption of "guilt" on the part of the family and/or friends who co-erced that woman into wearing the clothes she is.  (It would also be insulting the woman if she had in fact chosen freely to wear the clothes herself.)

Alternatively, if you insist that such a woman is not only promoting a dress code but a political agenda, whether of her own free will or not, then that is also a presumption of "guilt", in this case on the woman herself (not the putative relatives and peers who forced her to wear the clothing).  Does such a presumption of guilt accord with our European values?

One measure of how healthy our European values are is how liberal we can be with letting people wear what they want in public.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Sat Apr 9th, 2016 at 01:51:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If we're specifically talking about the niqab or burqa, then there is no ambiguity whatever about the ideology and politics behind it. To what degree the wearer is doing so voluntarily is sort of beside the point; it's not a matter of preventing people from dressing as they wish, but of recognising a danger signal.

It is not an anodyne coincidence that the rise of specifically Salafist-prescribed dress codes has occurred simultaneously with the departure of hundreds of young European Muslims to engage in holy war. It's part of the same political movement. It's not up to you or me, of course, to declare who is a "good Muslim" or a "bad Muslim"; but Salafists are scum and must be resisted, on purely political grounds.

One (of many) bad mistakes made by the French government was to not interfere with what was said and done in and around mosques -- until quite recently. This is despite the fact that France has strict laws about separating religion and politics, which have often been applied in the past against the Catholic church; and insufficiently against Moslem organisations, who practiced Salafist indoctrination, mostly financed by the Saudis. With tragic consequences : hundreds have gone to the Middle East and been killed; a few have returned and killed hundreds in Europe.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sat Apr 9th, 2016 at 01:33:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To what degree the wearer is doing so voluntarily is sort of beside the point

Huh!? Of course it isn't beside the point. If you want to punish people, it's the whole point.

it's not a matter of preventing people from dressing as they wish, but of recognising a danger signal.

That's sophistry. What does it mean if you identify a "danger signal"? Will you (a) do nothing, or(b) prevent people from dressing as they wish?

the rise of specifically Salafist-prescribed dress codes has occurred simultaneously with the departure of hundreds of young European Muslims to engage in holy war.

First, was there a rise in such dress codes at all, or just a rise in hysteria? Second, from what I know, these dress codes aren't limited to Salafists. Third, Salafists are to terrorists like Orthodox Jews to radical Israeli settlers: the bulk of them are just crazy prayer fanatics, and it needs a potent political organisation to compel a minority to violent action. Do you want to ban Orthodox Jewish clothing and hairdo? Fourth, do you really think that going after women wearing burqas will stop the flow of Daesh recruits? Fifth, is this really anywhere near the biggest problem we have in Europe?

Moslem organisations, who practiced Salafist indoctrination, mostly financed by the Saudis. With tragic consequences : hundreds have gone to the Middle East and been killed

Look, I'd like to see Saudi influence over European Moslem organisations curbed, too, but this is a gross over-simplification and exaggeration. From every story I read, (1) most recruits used to be secular but have gone through a 'born-again' phase, (2) this is strongly connected to alienation which is not the Saudis' fault, (3) on-line propaganda had a big role, (4) the Jihadi recruiters weren't the muftis but fellow worshippers who subverted (not just Salafist) congregations to seek out likely recruits, or friends. You won't defeat al-Qaida and IS recruitment networks by going after Salafists and/or Saudi-financed mosques.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Apr 17th, 2016 at 03:56:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are about a hundred mosques and prayer rooms in the Lyon region, of which fourteen are Salafist. There used to be more (Salafist), but some of them were shut down for hate speech, recruiting for foreign wars, or other infractions of French legislation.

You will no longer hear preachers telling their congregations that it is OK, and perfectly normal, for a Muslim to beat his wife, or inciting to jihad (these elements of Salafist doctrine are well-documented in my region, and still preached in every country where they can legally do so). They have become calmer, even mealy-mouthed, because they know they are now closely watched. And the Salafist holy men, generally not the preachers, now hang around outside the mosques to recruit vulnerable young men.

It was said by someone that I would not wish to shut down an analogous "white" "conservative" activist group. On the contrary, if Salafism were a political party rather than a sect, I'm pretty sure that the Ministry of the Interior would not content itself with closing down a few branch offices where such outrageous things happened. It would be banned, and if necessary, forcibly dissolved.

In other words, they are clearly benefiting from religious privilege.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Apr 20th, 2016 at 02:39:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If, on the other hand, we're talking about a headscarf (the term "veil" clearly indicates something that covers the face, so I supposed we weren't), I'm personally not troubled in the slightest when my sister in law comes to stay and wears hers. Nor am I troubled by the dozens of women I see in the street, shops or place of work who cover their hair with a scarf. In general, people who would have a problem with that are most likely what I would call islamophobes.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sat Apr 9th, 2016 at 01:36:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Under Guise of 'Saving' Them, French Elites Declare Open Season on Attacking Muslim Women | AlterNet

... Muslim and Arab communities find themselves increasingly attacked by discriminatory house raids and warrantless arrests, over four months into a heavy-handed "state of emergency" imposed and then extended by the French government in the wake of the Paris attacks.

This state violence is abetted by those in France's intellectual and political classes who are calling for the intensified criminalization and public shaming of Muslim women in the name of "saving" them. Predictably, such figures have declared open season on the veil.

[An activist against state racism and organizer for the website Contre Attaques] Assbague put it succinctly: "Muslim women are being used to divide the communities that are being targeted."

<...>

France's Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who has called for France to impose a state of emergency until the “total and global war" on ISIL is over, jumped into the fray on Monday. "The veil does not represent a fashion fad, no, it's not a color one wears, no: it is enslavement of women," he said at a roundtable on Islamism. Anne Hidalgo, the Socialist mayor of Paris, publicly backed Badinter in statements made Tuesday.

The crescendo of resentment directed towards women who wear the veil immediately heightened concerns among many Muslims, who are already living in a politically suffocating environment where hate crimes are becoming commonplace.

"There is an increase of hate violence, racist violence and racist discrimination," said Assbague. "A lot of women who wear the veil are prevented from going to school and working in public space. Every day we hear about a woman wearing the veil who is assaulted, arrested, and so on." ...



Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire
by marco on Wed Apr 6th, 2016 at 06:50:23 AM EST
I think there are valid reasons beyond Islamophobia to be put-off by burqas, because the many see it as a symptom of oppression of women.

That said, I do think people being put-off is typically a function of Islamophobia and racism -- I've no data to back that up, of course, it's simply my impression -- and policy proposals on it do seem to have a tendency to come from right-wing politicians looking to prey on people's fears.  Sarkozy practically made a career of this.

The question for me comes down to whether the woman wishes to wear it or is forced to, and unfortunately we can't really know that short of evidence for oppressive male relations on a case-by-case basis.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2016 at 11:48:42 AM EST
I don't really blame people who were personally affected by a terrorist attack for losing perspective. What I find really worrying is that the usual media reaction tries to induce this same loss of perspective in the population totally unaffected.
by generic on Mon Apr 11th, 2016 at 10:38:50 AM EST


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