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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 ]

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