Saturday, April 24, 2010

France and Belgium: More Bigotry

I do hope the decision of France and Belgium to ban the face-veil is based on misunderstanding, not on bigotry. However, I will not try to fool myself. It is abrasive bigotry, not to mention state-organised Islamophobia - and I thought the days of the Nazis were over.

Muslim women who wear the face-veil are misunderstood, discriminated against and marginalised even in their hometowns. Nonetheless, it doesn't make the decision of France and Belgium any more acceptable. Somebody please explain why it is not acceptable for Muslim women to wear the face-veil, which they may think is obligatory, whereas other women are free to wear G-strings, monokinis or go bare a few kilometres away on French and Belgian beaches. My point is, if there is freedom of attire in Europe, it should apply to all citizens indiscriminately. Again. Muslim women who wear the face-veil believe they are obliged by God to do so. Whether you agree or not does not make a difference. Isn't it their choice and should be respected? They have not left their countries or decided to spend a vacation in France to uproot the s0-called European culture altogether. They may as well be taking part in enriching it by doing research, a PhD, enlightening Muslim communities, giving their voices for elections, helping boost the economy through tourism etc. In fact, writing these words now, I can't help wondering how the two countries just decided to risk all of this. Instead, they choose to see the face-veil as a threat, a sinister phenomenon. Needless to say, this decision will exasperate moderate Muslims like yours truly, not to mention similarly bigoted Muslims. I am not saying it is in any way acceptable or religiously allowed for Muslims to make riots or any acts of violence in reaction to this decision, but it might incite violence from some Muslim extremists.

When I knew about the decision, I couldn't help remembering the British couple who were caught kissing, or making out, or making in or whatever the hell they were doing on a Dubai beach. Look what the BBC wrote in its news story, with all due respect; the humiliation is complete. So should I understand that it is okay for a British couple to disregard Arab and Muslim traditions, and that they should not be jailed for shacking up out in the open, but that Muslim women must be put in jail just for their harmless beliefs? What logic is that?

I just know that the French and Belgian governments will be sued as well as ridiculed by Muslims and/or sane left-wing or otherwise logical people in these countries. But if the countries claim to be democratic, really, why are they exposing themselves to this needless trouble? Why are they using two-way guns?

1 comment:

sonia said...

well people are exactly the same, whether 'Muslim' or 'french'. they want THEIR culture to trump, and they don't want their kids to be 'exposed' to 'foreign' influences.

So much for the clash of civilisations! they are more similar than they thought.