France and It’s So Called ‘Secular Constitution’


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By Sajjad A. Khan Bangash, Islamabad, Pakistan

Mel Mitchell, Edinburgh, Scotland.
What we are seeing in France is part of the continued criminalization of being Muslim. Particularly the criminalization of visibly Muslim people – particularly Muslim women. What we are seeing is a vulgar display of White Feminism codified and legislated by the state. We’re seeing women being forced to conform to something held up as ‘liberty’ with no irony at all. Women are coerced – with the threat of force – to take off their burkinis at the beach. A Muslim woman was ordered off the beach in Cannes and fined for simply wearing her headscarf. We know already, of course, that the French implemented the ‘burqa ban’, we know that headscarves ‘and other religious symbols’ are banned in state schools and there have been multiple incidents of school-girls being forbidden from wearing ‘long skirts’ to school – not when they’re worn as a fashion statement, but when they’re worn by Muslim girls because then it suddenly becomes a ‘religious symbol’.

 

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Mel Mitchell, Edinburgh, Scotland.

‘It is outrageous when you consider that France is supposed to be a secular state. No woman should be coerced in to dressing a certain way while in contrast, Scotland has today announced that the Hijjab is to be officially incorporated as a uniform choice for female police officers.

It will have an impact on health too as I’d imagine many muslim women will feel they can only attend women only swim sessions – absolutely nonsensical. I agree as long as something isn’t harmful to others it should be celebrated and tolerated, accordingly.

I’m also a great believer of ‘when in Rome do as the Romans do’, so where possible, merge in with local culture but not at cost of compromising beliefs obviously.

If I were visiting a muslim country, I would make an effort to understand the culture before travelling and behave accordingly as far as possible its just good manners. I just think this law is not really in keeping with the French concept of egalitarianism it seems to be there just to provoke reaction. I hope women in France will protest peacefully against it.

In this world of today, there needs to be more of that there is too much onus put on superficial differences. Ultimately most people wish to live peaceably with their neighbours [but] it seems very difficult with all of the state sponsored aggression in the world. I am angry today that the restrictions on arms sales to Israel have been lifted. I have nothing against the Israeli people but their government’s treatment of the Palestinians beggars belief especially. Given their own history, it’s very sad.

Yes I agree wholeheartedly and that means celebrating the universal mores at the centre of most nations. It seems that often it is just the expression that differs, most people would consider that women should have equal rights with men it is just how that translates in to everyday life that differs. In my opinion, it’s the old sameness versus equality argument and it is possible to have one without the other. ‘

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