catch of the day
2004-02-18 07:26:18 UTC
i dunno. i think both sides has valid arguments.
if scarves are to be banned for the separation of church and state,
what about crucifix necklaces? what about yarmulkas? what about a
t-shirt that says 'i love jesus' or 'i love beezelbub'?
i think the french government's reasons are really two-fold.
one is cultural. french are very proud of their culture and want
immigrants to adopt the french way.
the other reason is french politics is very egalitarian and the scarf
is seen as a symbol of subjugation of women, so the issue is more
political than religious. but, couldn't the yarmulka also be banned
purely on ideological grounds? if egalitarianism should be the norm
in the school, isn't a jewish guy flaunting his jewishness sending the
message 'i belong to the chosen people and you don't'?
i think the french government is also worried because the tide of
immigration keeps rising. if the current population of arabs could be
contained, it might not be much of an issue. but if in the next
several decades, arabs will make up a huge minority, then it's
important to make arabs adopt the french way because if they don't,
france will have a huge population of arabs living with anti-french,
anti-western values of male chauvanism, religious intolerance, etc.
for pragmatic reasons, i support the french government. also, i think
the scarf, by its size and visibility, is a far more brazen symbol of
religiosity than something as ornamental as a crucifix necklace.
but ideally, i think it's wrong for the state to ban such things.
after all, sometimes it's not really about religion but about culture.
i've worn a beezlebub t-shirt not because i believe in beezlebub but
because of my pride in my beezlebub heritage.
i think the solution is to skirt over religious issues and simply have
school dress codes where certain things are forbidden, period. for
example, if some frenchman of nordic ancestry wants to wear a horned
helmet to class in honor of odin and to celebrate his heritage, he
wouldn't be able to because the dress code says 'no horned
headpieces'. so why not 'no stupid-looking scarves' code?