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Banning the burqa

Gavin Hewitt | 09:42 UK time, Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Woman in full-face veil in France - file picFrance moves closer to banning the full-face veil today when its parliament begins debating a law that would outlaw the wearing of the burqa or the niqab anywhere in public.

It is a measure that seems popular with the public. Polls suggest 70% back a ban.

The numbers that wear the full-face veil in France are tiny. Perhaps 2,000 and then the tourists from the Gulf, who like to shop in the luxury stores on the Champs Elysees.

The French government says this is not an argument about religion but about values. By adopting this legislation the French are insisting that those who live in France abide by their values. As the writers of the legislation say, hiding your face in public is "an offence to the nation's values". It violates the republican ideals of secularism and gender equality.

The French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, said it was "a sign of debasement". The Immigration Minister, Eric Besson, described the burqa as a "walking coffin".

The French Prime Minister, Francois Fillon, said Muslims who wear face coverings are "hijacking Islam" and provoking a "dark and sectarian image". That seems to go to the core of the complaint - that some new arrivals live in France but do not embrace French identity.

The moves to ban the burqa also reflect a changing attitude towards multiculturalism in much of Europe. For a period it was accepted that new groups would arrive and continue living much as they had done in their countries of origin. There was increasing concern, however, that this was leading towards separate, parallel communities.

Now the legislation will be voted on next week and then goes to the Senate. It is likely to be law by the beginning of next year.

Enforcing the new laws will be difficult. Men who force their wives to wear the full-face veil will face substantial fines. A woman risks a much lower fine of 150 euros (£130) because they are "often victims given no choice". Persistent offenders risk further fines and prison. All of these penalties will be difficult to enforce and there is every chance that a woman may choose to go to prison and become a martyr for her cause. It is also difficult to see police officers intercepting women from the Gulf on their shopping trips.

A woman driving in a niqab was recently stopped in Nantes and fined because the garment "blocked her lateral vision".

Some Muslims in France support a ban. Many argue that the burqa or niqab is not principally a statement about religion, but about culture and identity.

Others oppose wearing the full-face veil personally but believe legislation is unnecessary. "It's going to increase feelings of being ostracised in part of the Muslim community, even parts where women don't wear the niqab," said Jean Bauberot, a sociologist from Sorbonne University.

Amnesty International has said that a "total ban on covering the face would violate the right to freedom of expression". Almost certainly the legislation will be challenged in the French Constitutional Court.

Similar moves are taking place in other European countries.

In Belgium a bill banning the wearing of full veils is awaiting Senate approval.

Spain is examining similar legislation. In Barcelona, the mayor says he will ban the garment in the city. There is support for a ban in the Netherlands too.

Comments

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  • 1. At 10:11am on 06 Jul 2010, AllenT2 wrote:

    "Amnesty International has said that a "total ban on covering the face would violate the right to freedom of expression". "

    Right, because covering yourself entirely in black is all about expressing one's self. :)

    Good for France.

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  • 2. At 10:22am on 06 Jul 2010, Daquan Quartermaine wrote:

    We need not turn this into a clash of civilizations. The simple fact of the matter is this: anyone who consistently covers up their face becomes an ill-functioning member of society. With unemployment figures through the roof in many European countries, how likely is it that somebody with a completely hidden face is going to see off the flocks of competing applicants and land a job?

    If you cover up your face every time you leave the house, you should no longer be entitled to unemployment benefits and similar subsidies. Our welfare states are being trimmed and cut in every corner, we simply can't afford such lunacy any longer.

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  • 3. At 10:24am on 06 Jul 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    You mean, Gavin, no more wet Burka Contests? :-(((

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  • 4. At 10:26am on 06 Jul 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    'A woman driving in a niqab was recently stopped in Nantes and fined because the garment "blocked her lateral vision".' Gavin reports.


    Women wearing niqabs have more than their lateral vision blocked.

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  • 5. At 10:28am on 06 Jul 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Amnesty International has said that a "total ban on covering the face would violate the right to freedom of expression".



    And what expression can you see on a covered face?

    [Curious meerkats want to know]

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  • 6. At 10:57am on 06 Jul 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    A question from someone genuinely interested in this whole area.

    As Westerners who has travelled extensively in the Islamic world, when my family and friends travel we are careful to respect and comply with the local traditions and mores, even ones with which we may not agree or may cause us offense.

    I would appreciate learning a Muslim perspective on the following ...

    1) It is traditional in many Western countries for women not to cover their heads and faces. Are these traditions and mores of our countries so repugnant to Islam that they must be flouted by Muslims of conscience, even when this causes offence?

    2) The Holy Qu'ran requires modest dress of both men and women. Why must Muslim men not also cover their heads and faces?

    Mickalus

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  • 7. At 11:05am on 06 Jul 2010, Freeman wrote:

    Good. Never trust someone who will not show their face.

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  • 8. At 11:32am on 06 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    I believe that anything covering the face like that should be banned because we need to be able to identify people. So when you get off a motorbike you should take off your helmet if it covers your face.

    It should not be banned for religious reasons. I am against the banning of head scarves or turbans in schools.

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  • 9. At 11:33am on 06 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    If then they don't ban them in the UK I might start wearing one as a protest.

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  • 10. At 11:41am on 06 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:



    I am interested to see if some "European Court" tries to overrule the French ban as some "European" rubbish has been telling the Italians to ban crucifixes in schools*.

    My guess is that the French will ignore the "European court".



    * I believe in not having crucifixes in state schools. I just think that ultimately it is up to the Italians to decide and not some arrogant, anti-democratic "European" institution.

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  • 11. At 11:57am on 06 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/10514634.stm

    "EU to withdraw Sri Lanka trade concessions deal

    ...
    The European Union has decided to withdraw Sri Lanka's preferential trade access to EU markets after it failed to improve its human rights record."


    So thee "EU" is prepared to interfere in Sri Lanka's internal affairs but "EU"-lovers here have claimed that it could not intervene to try to get the "government" of the UK to give us a referendum in the Lisbon Treaty.


    The "EU" and its glove puppets trample on the rights of citizens of the UK and other parts of Europe.

    The "EU" reaches parts of Europe that Hitler did not reach.

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  • 12. At 12:00pm on 06 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    352. At 10:54am on 06 Jul 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "Huaimek - correct. Although these days I live in the UK.


    ...

    Guess what, I could care less if you're scandalized.."

    EUpris: "EU"-lovers don't give a damn about the rights of British citizens, which is why we have to do something which they cannot ignore.

    Something peaceful.

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  • 13. At 12:26pm on 06 Jul 2010, Doesneb wrote:

    My biggest concern is that if there are men out there that insist on the women in their family covering up completely when they go out in public, won't this mean that they will then not permit the women to leave the house at all? I try to be extra friendly to these women especially when they have young children with them, to show that courtesy and modesty don't require clothing to be demonstrated and I believe that children growing up with acceptance and kindness will then feel part of our society and not want to alienate themselves from it.

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  • 14. At 12:39pm on 06 Jul 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    If a ski mask, balaclava, Klu Klux Klan hood are illegal then so should the burqa, there can be no exceptions to this and it's time that human rights, religion etc remembers that. If a law is a law then it's a law, end of story and claiming that a bible has greater right than the law of the land is fanaticism and insulting to the vast majority of law abiding citizens, remember, no responsibilities mean no rights.

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  • 15. At 12:55pm on 06 Jul 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Enter an Austrian bank, any bank, in a balaclava or a motorcycle helemet on.

    And complain here later how you personal rights have been violated. ;)



    P.S. Enter my house in ditto and complain later that a tip of my Magnum's silencer irritated your tonsils.


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  • 16. At 1:33pm on 06 Jul 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "and then the tourists from the Gulf, who like to shop in the luxury stores on the Champs Elysees."

    right..and what are they gonna buy? Gucci Burkas?

    The day Europe outlaws this prison I will proclaim: "Allah Akbar!"

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  • 17. At 1:35pm on 06 Jul 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "Guess what, I could care less if you're scandalized.."

    EUpris: "EU"-lovers don't give a damn about the rights of British citizens, which is why we have to do something which they cannot ignore. "

    Eupris, what are you trying to say? Did you even bother to find out what the argument was about? I called him "a girl" for being so sensitive and he went nuts...

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  • 18. At 1:40pm on 06 Jul 2010, BobRocket wrote:

    What has it got to do with the government what people wear ?
    Why stop at burqas, what about beekeepers, they wear some dubious clothing, what about flowery shirts (an item of clothing I find highly offensive), what about socks with sandals ?

    Governments should have better things to worry about than what people wear such as why they are letting the bankers and financial sector run off with all our money and why large corporates and oligarchs are allowed to entertain our representatives on yachts in the Med.

    The issue of the burqa is a distraction, whilst the French are up in arms over an item of clothing (stirred up by the government) they aren't rioting in the streets over their pension entitlement being stolen (by that same government).

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  • 19. At 2:15pm on 06 Jul 2010, mvr512 wrote:

    The strange thing is, its mostly right wing parties standing up to defend our western culture against barbaric practises from the middle east, whereas leftist parties tend to kowtow to the hostile ideology islam in order to secure votes.

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  • 20. At 2:30pm on 06 Jul 2010, Freeman wrote:

    #13 "if there are men out there that insist on the women in their family covering up completely when they go out in public, won't this mean that they will then not permit the women to leave the house at all?"

    Sadly this is a likely outcome for certain women who have husbands straight out the 8th Century. There is absolutely no requirement under Islam to wear a tent. The full head cover which disguises figure and conceals hair whilst leaving the oval of the face on view is the maximum that the faith requires (if you are being really conservative).

    However we cannot allow this farce to continue any longer just in case we offend a few cavemen.

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  • 21. At 2:56pm on 06 Jul 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "Almost certainly the legislation will be challenged in the French Constitutional Court."

    I think it is sure to be challenged in the EU Court as well. It will be interesting to see how it is defended by the governments who pass the laws and what the EU court has to say about it. Will it be attacked on cultural grounds? That doesn't sound like a plausible legal defense especially in an extra-national court whose jurisdiction is granted as part of an effort to create a confederation which brings diverse cultures together. That it violates women's rights will seem a rather hollow argument also when some women testify that they wear it out of choice without pressure from their husbands because they want to.

    I don't think any such ban will occur in the UK. With the UK having succumbed to relinquishing in part its legal sovereignty to Sharia Courts, they will allow the wearing of the burkha even if it is imposed by their husbands forcibly. Who knows, one day wearing it may be universally mandated in Eurabia by law as it is in say Saudi Arabia.

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  • 22. At 3:13pm on 06 Jul 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    The conflict is with the basic social ideals. In the West, religion is seen as a personal practice and not a social guideline. In the Arab world the religion is the social guideline and rules of law. The individual or religion has no right to impose religious practice in a social setting in the West. The religious history of the West has had a number of misadventures and clerical abuses and therefore has constructed social policy separate from religions. It appears somewhat contridictory that in the Arab world the wearing of veils or head scarfs are required in those countries by visitors or immigrants yet Arabs do not want the same standards applied when in the West. If a restaurant requires a coat and tie to receive service, that is the accept rule, even for those who do not own a coat and tie.

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  • 23. At 4:02pm on 06 Jul 2010, mvr512 wrote:

    I completely agree with ghostofsichuan (22)

    Indeed, if we go over there, we adapt to what they want (and if we don't want to do that, we ought not to go). Why should we not demand the reverse here? Those who come here ought to adapt to us... when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

    But the 'multicultural' crowd, backed by left wing parties angling for votes, will insist it is us who need to adapt not just over there, but over here as well. Will it ever dawn upon them that the 'religion' called islam is totally monocultural?

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  • 24. At 4:04pm on 06 Jul 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/europe/10508069.stm


    Nothing veiled about it.

    More like "in your face".

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  • 25. At 4:16pm on 06 Jul 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    As I understand it, Islamic scholars insist that the wearing of so called Islamic clothing by women is not a religious mandate of the Koran but is therefore a cultural artifact. It remains to be seen to what degree in the context of the supranational European Union with its courts cultural values can be imposed by the majority on a minority. I think the only valid argument those governments will be able to make is that it inflicts harm on society. That will be a very difficult burden of proof for them. About the only thing I can think of is that it prevents ready identification of individuals suspected of a commission of a crime. There would have to be a convincing pattern of that which I don't think exists, at least not yet. We'll see.

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  • 26. At 4:17pm on 06 Jul 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    More inaccurate garbage, Elagabalus? "With the UK having succumbed to relinquishing in part its legal sovereignty to Sharia Courts"

    I'm rather interested in this information you bring to us. I imagine I'm not the only one!

    Please, enlighten us further. I'd love you to give the readers of this blog one single piece of evidence that would allow us to locate such a court anywhere in my country.

    Oh, btw, I also request that your evidence be taken from a reputable source, i.e. not a neo-con, extremist publication.

    You are embarrassing yourself and your country by bringing your paranoid fantasies to the BBC.

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  • 27. At 4:32pm on 06 Jul 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "19. At 2:15pm on 06 Jul 2010, mvr512 wrote:

    The strange thing is, its mostly right wing parties standing up to defend our western culture against barbaric practises from the middle east, whereas leftist parties tend to kowtow to the hostile ideology islam in order to secure votes."

    Couldn't agree more. In fact, you're labelled an extremist if you're favoring a ban. Thats how far it's come.

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  • 28. At 4:37pm on 06 Jul 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    The trend towards banning burqas and niqabs is hard to distinguish from potential anti-Muslim intentions.
    Belgium became the first European nation to ban full-face coverings in public. It’s a decision that effectively makes it illegal to wear a burka, or other Islamic dress that covers the face. People who break this law face a fine of between 15 to 25 euros and a jail term of up to seven days.
    The foregoing refers to a draft bill and therefore it could still be subjected to challenges, especially regarding human rights.
    To the Belgium’s it’s a question (they say) of public safety: “We must (be able) to identify people in the streets for security reasons.”
    It has been pointed out that strictly-speaking burqas and niqabs are not “religious obligations” for Muslim women. I believe this is true; at least I cannot find a direct reference in the Koran, but there are suggestive passages about women showing not just their face or their feet.
    The debate has also hit Quebec, Canada, where Premier Jean Charest in March introduced sweeping legislation to bar Muslim women from receiving public services while wearing a niqab, which over the head and face but leave the eyes visible.
    Belgium mayors and city councils are also struggling with practical questions: e.g. demands for women-only hours at the local pools.
    The main reason I do not support the ban is that Muslim woman may not be accepted in the home environment where the males may react with hostility, or some women may find themselves totally housebound.
    Also I wonder if the burqa problem is not a reflection of anti-immigrant policies against Muslims.
    There are always ways that parties can position themselves, making a non-issue of the real issue.
    Where is the proof that burqas are a threat to public safety?

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  • 29. At 5:29pm on 06 Jul 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    MAII - I would also add that it is common sensical to expect to be able to interact with your counterpart in plain sight. It is intrinsically human and Burka etc simply take away any identity whatsoever. It is absolutely incompatible with European society.

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  • 30. At 6:28pm on 06 Jul 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    In this instance we should follow France's lead and adopt the burka ban.

    Those that object can always "express themselves" by relocating to those fine countries that promote (nay, ordain) such quaint cultural customs - along with stoning adulterers, 'honour killings' and female genital mutilation.

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  • 31. At 7:03pm on 06 Jul 2010, sean56z wrote:

    Women wear veils to show their religious devotion and humility. Genteel society does not accept nude paganism in public. Morality is the confidence and judicious reserve of prudence.

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  • 32. At 7:19pm on 06 Jul 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    String-a-ling, the Daily Mail good enough for you? 85 as of a year ago.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196165/Britain-85-sharia-courts-The-astonishing-spread-Islamic-justice-closed-doors.html

    if the link breaks, after

    http://www.

    paste in the URL box;

    dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196165/Britain-85-sharia-courts-The-astonishing-spread-Islamic-justice-closed-doors.html

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  • 33. At 7:22pm on 06 Jul 2010, Johns the Man wrote:

    Without a doubt, the full face burqas and niqabs should be banned from being worn in public or any public place at all in the UK and the rest of Christian Europe, if assylum seekers and imigrants wish to settle in the UK or elswhere in Europe, then they must abide by our rules and respect the European way of life, there should be no negotiation on this at all, This should apply to all no matter what colour creed or religion.

    This not anti Islam, it is anti terrorism, as the vast majority of terrorist acts are carried out by muslims, supposedly in the name of Alla, it is not only crucial that faces can be seen and if necessary identified, it is crucial to the stability of the European Nations that people who enter the UK or other host country do so on an equal footing.

    As for Amnesty International saying that a "total ban on covering the face would violate the right to freedom of expression" this is almost laughable.
    Just what about the freedom to live from the terrorist bombs in London, the suicide attacks on the twin towers, just what human rights justice is Amnesty International trying to protect for God Sake? - Get real and see things for what they really are instead of trying to protect the burqas and niqabs wearing peoples 'rights'.

    The muslims themselves have brought this anti burqas and niqabs wearing action on themselves in Europe by refusing to adopt the way of life of the host country. As a minority of religous islamic and muslim extremists are hell bent on murder and terrorism - supposedly in the name of Islam - you only have to look at Iran, parts of Parkistan and Syria, then every method of protection from an act of terrorism and identification of a terrorist must be taken.

    I am not the only person with this view, out of all the people I have spoken to on this subjet, only two were against the ban on the full face burqas and niqabs, which is about a 40/1 in favour of the ban.

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  • 34. At 7:44pm on 06 Jul 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 35. At 7:53pm on 06 Jul 2010, DiscoStu_d wrote:

    @26 "You are embarrassing yourself and your country by bringing your paranoid fantasies to the BBC"

    You must be new here. Macro has been embarrassing himself and Americans for a long while.

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  • 36. At 8:04pm on 06 Jul 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    the vast majority favors a ban. The political minority rejects it. In the UK at least.

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  • 37. At 8:10pm on 06 Jul 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Although the use of Sharia courts in the UK is supposedly voluntary, you can bet that that pressure on women and others within the Islamic community in the UK to submit to those courts in lieu of the civil courts will be overwhelming and impossible for most to resist. If they do not, they will be ostracized at the very least. The tolerance of Sharia courts in the UK is just one more sign that its identity and the sovereignty that British people have over themselves is diminishing. Competing forces of the EU and Islamic culture seem to be winning out.

    Brits did not have the spine to stand up to Hitler, in fact Chamberlain would not agree to the pleas of his military to build up its strength to be able to defend itself for fear of "offending" the Germans while it did not have the strength to resist the USSR. In both cases the US bailed it out just as it bailed it out of WWI as an entire generation of its young men were swallowed up by the incompetence and stupidity of its generals who were every bit a match for the incompetence and stupidity of its government. I don't think this time the US will have the will or ability to bail it out again.

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  • 38. At 8:16pm on 06 Jul 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Religion has most often been the regulator of the family and the pacifier of the population for easier governance. Men having difficulties subjugating their sexual desires have found it easier to blame women. Protection has been the tool of subjugation. It was not that long ago in the Christian world. Adultry undermines the family and potential for inheritance, particularly in land-based male dominated societies. Before the West "discovered" oil, no one cared about how these societies managed themselves, but now economic interests has brought the worlds into social conflict. It is not that religious laws are a bad way to construct society it is simply that religous laws are abused like every other kind of laws by those in power. A little Christian ethics would have benefitted everyone had that been some guidelines for the bankers and politicians. Historically the Arab world was the most cosmopolitian, traders venturing to China and Europe and practicing their faith with much admiration from others. It is only in most recent times that that faith has been hijacked by political interest. Although the Muslim conquerers of India murdered hundreds of thousands of Hindus on a regular basis. Christians prayed for a workable atomic bomb. The Japanese had raised Shinto over Buddhism to circumvent a passive doctrine with a more agressive one to provide its soldiers with a rationale for inhuman acts. Politics and culture usually try to associate with reglion, always to the detriment of religion. The communist were happy to kill for no religious purpose but prefered philosphy as a rationale. Religion offers hope to the poor where their governments offer them little else. As the ultimate question remains unanswered, our reason for being, one should not be quick to dismiss religion because some use it for poltical goals and power. The acts of men are the acts of men and because they cloth them in religion is not the falut of the religion. As the dress is supossedly based in religion and the terrorist claim a religious calling, the two are connected ..that is just reality and those who wish concealed dress in a society that is concerned about terrorist and the protection of innocent civilians the religion will be sujugated to the greater social norms. It has been an issue in many religions, dress. Puritans were forceful on that matter as well. But this is about should cultural norms be changed for immigrants. Practice your faith in peace but do not expect others to adopt your culture or not find offensive things that your culture may accept. The Chinese have always considered the West barbarian for buttoning their clothes on the left.

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  • 39. At 8:53pm on 06 Jul 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    The Euro stands at $1.26 today. Any thoughts on this by Homer Simpson?

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  • 40. At 9:03pm on 06 Jul 2010, Rebecca wrote:

    This is a topic which has interested me for a long time, my thesis for my French degree was all about the banning of the Muslim veil, so I have looked at both sides of the argument.
    Whilst I can understand and sympathise somewhat with the Muslims who believe that in order to BE a good Muslim, one must wear a garment such as a Niqab or Burqa, I also feel that the French have a good point...
    When travelling to certain countries, as westeners, we are expected to respect their customs - ie, dress appropriately when in certain places, so maybe the veil should be banned - that way the Muslims living in France, would be respecting their customs/values.
    The wearing of the headscarf or veil goes against everything that France, as a country, stands for...
    I think they have a good reason for banning the veil, and will be watching this debate very closely!

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  • 41. At 9:56pm on 06 Jul 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    maggie mcguire;

    The rise in the Euro to $1.26 may reflect several factors. Quiet but steady support for it by central banks and worry over the US economy going into the second part of a double dip recession. However, the extreme weakness of the EU and peril of the Euro remains unchanged. The fundimental flaws in the way it was brought into existance and the realities of it have not gone away. In fact if anything they are only getting worse. Personally if I had assets in Euros I'd convert them into another currency. If you don't like US dollars, try Japanese Yen or Swiss Francs.

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  • 42. At 10:03pm on 06 Jul 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Rebecca, you don't understand. Of the five million Muslims who live in France, many of them are French citizens including a large percentage having been born there. When you talk about the French culture, you have to include their culture too. They wear this clothing often because they want to. This is what they say on American TV and it is quite convincing. France should have thought about its cultural purity when it imported them and their parents and grandparents into France to do the low level jobs the French didn't want to do. They should have thought of it when they participated in the invention of the European Union as a multicultural confederation which they voluntarily joined. It was only their hubris in thinking it would always be THEIR culture that everyone else would follow. In their worst nightmare they never imagined that it is they who would be conforming to other cultural norms or they'd have had nothing to do with it.

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  • 43. At 10:17pm on 06 Jul 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    DS: "You must be new here. Macro has been embarrassing himself and Americans for a long while"

    Yes, I've been on the down under front (Nick Bryant) disputing the bigotry spewed from there, for a while.

    ElagabalusII, we have a few names for the Mail, over here. I think 'Daily Hate' is the one the moderators will allow. I should think, if you deigned to dirty your feet here, it would be your paper of choice. The right wing press do love a good wind up of the masses, and immigrants/race issues are a sure fire way of doing that.

    It's very kind of you to show so much interest in our political issues, but your triumphant, gloating tone does remove much of the weight of your contributions.

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  • 44. At 10:24pm on 06 Jul 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #37. At 8:10pm on 06 Jul 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:,

    As always you say a few paragraphs that have a little sense and then follow with a diatribe, as you know Chamberlain was an avowed appeaser in the centre Liberal mold of today, even though he was Conservative. The tolerance of Sharia law, Burqa's etc stems from the policy of appeasement at all costs and the incessant need to be fair to all whilst creating social problems by that very same appeasement. Nu-Labour were driven by this insane creed and so are many other political party's across the EU, however, you as a USA citizen must be worried by the centre left, Liberal, creed of the Democrats so maybe it won't be long before the Burqa becomes a problem over there, or will you rely on your wonderful Police to shoot first and ask questions later as always.

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  • 45. At 10:34pm on 06 Jul 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    # 42. At 10:03pm on 06 Jul 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "They should have thought of it when they participated in ... the European Union as a multicultural confederation which they voluntarily joined."

    Verily, has the niqab been lifted from someone's eyes!!!!!

    Truly God/Allah/Yahweh/Jehovah and sundry other First Causes work in truly mysterious ways.

    From the fingers of the most Europhobic one comes the kernel of a plain, and elegant truth. Europhobes awake - and refute if possible!

    Marcus has had a Pauline conversion on the way to his own Damascus!! The seed that was fallen on the rocky soil has sprouted and borne fruit!!

    Whatever next???

    Praise be and give thanks!!

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  • 46. At 10:52pm on 06 Jul 2010, d_m wrote:

    #42 MarcusAureliusII:

    Much of what you said in this post applies directly and exactly to the US immigration problem.

    I know this is a European blog and I'm off topic, but I interested in MAII view on this.

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  • 47. At 11:07pm on 06 Jul 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    string-a-ling

    Now that we all know how you feel about The Daily Mail (I don't know one Brit newspaper from another) can you refute what the article says about the Sharia law courts? Is the newspaper lying? Where are your facts man, where are your facts? Be careful, the libel and slander laws in the UK seem much tougher than they are over here.

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  • 48. At 11:21pm on 06 Jul 2010, ninetofivegrind wrote:

    21 MarcusArmpitII:


    "I don't think any such ban will occur in the UK. With the UK having succumbed to relinquishing in part its legal sovereignty to Sharia Courts"
    ___________________________

    Interesting 'point' you make. Please provide proof i.e. links to the relevant legislation where said sovereignty has been relinquished to Sharia Courts?

    Please note a foaming Glenn Beck does not constitute proof.

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  • 49. At 11:46pm on 06 Jul 2010, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    The full burqa is a terrible thing, but this proposed law is just as terrible. Government, especially a supposed secular republic, should never intrude this much into a person's life. It's no different than the newest government approved list of hair styles for Iranian men, and it would never fly in the US.

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  • 50. At 11:54pm on 06 Jul 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    The real question at the bottom of this issue is whether you prefer women wearing veils, or instead prefer policing a ban on the practice.

    For my own taste, I would let the women wear whatever they wish to wear. Whatever ideological of theological or legal arguments arise from an analysis of the muslim faith, none of them changes the nature of the individual being censored by the state. And curiously, the state can be divorced from the matter and the rights of the individual protected and still every possible argument could be made on every theological or ideological issue. This is not a "win lose" situation, where we can't debate reasonably if we allow the civil rights of the individuals causing no harm.

    If one takes a long term view, a sane long term view, there can only be some kind of reconciliation between the major faiths of the world. Muslims are not going to climb into rockets and set off to mars, solving the problems that way. And they ought not be exterminated. Marcus.

    And so, sooner or later we need to reach a cultural detente with the muslim world. That doesn't get any easier or better if we debase our cultures respect for individual liberties in an effort to protest that civil liberties in the muslim world are deficient.

    It is ridiculous to ask police to interfere with the costumes of muslim women living in the west. If we were engaging with them properly, we wouldn't even notice they were wearing veils.

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  • 51. At 00:02am on 07 Jul 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    And then there is the tactical aspect to the situation, especially for the militarily crippled and hysterically inclined.

    I mean, if and when the EVIL MUSLIM WOMEN rise up and begin to cuts out throats in our beds, and start manufacturing WMD cakes in their kitchens, and just when everything has turned into a Dawn of the Dead scenario, just like Marcus said it always would, .... what then?

    Wouldn't it make sense to have the EVIL MUSLIM WOMEN wearing veils, so as a person would know when he saw one and could protect himself in advance against the bloodthirsty slashing and tearing of its fangs? I know that when the EVIL MUSLIM WOMEN come for me in the middle of night, knives drawn and beady eyes glowing like coals, lusting to drink christian blood, I know that I will mighty pleased to see the veils, and be assured of not using the home defense pump action 12 gauge on a family member.

    If we take away the veils, when it all goes down then nobody will know what is what and who to shoot, and being a hero will just about leave a person tired out before they start at the job, from thinking around the angles of it all.

    It's crazy talk, if you are serious about these things.

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  • 52. At 00:18am on 07 Jul 2010, d_m wrote:

    #50 democracythreat:

    "The real question at the bottom of this issue is whether you prefer women wearing veils, or instead prefer policing a ban on the practice."


    I disagree. I think the real question is just exactly what they say it is: they don't want muslim women wearing veils. They obviously don't like it. Now they may after some experience come to your view, but for now they clearly want to put a stop to the use of veils. I don't know whether French law permits this sort of restriction, but it appears to.

    Further, and just an aside really, how do you know if someone is a woman or a man if they're covered from head to foot?

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  • 53. At 00:28am on 07 Jul 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    A ban is a good thing because once those women realize that if they don't wear these prison veils and its not god striking them down but only their husbands, they won't want to wear one anyway.

    Unlike now.

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  • 54. At 00:42am on 07 Jul 2010, lacerniagigante wrote:

    We have an economic crisis going on in Europe, farmers protesting on French streets, banks in paralysis, unemployment skyrocketing, but French politicians are worried about 2000 women out of 30 Millions, who go around with their face covered.

    Young people burn 300 cars a night in France, yet police goes after one single woman who was driving with her face covered.

    What a waste of money.

    Sarkozy is clearly in trouble, if this is his main preoccupation.

    Maybe he should push to fill the salary gap between working women and men, in their millions, rather than pursuing the "rights" of 2000 women who chose to cover their faces.

    Frankly, I don't care if a woman wants to go around like a pacman ghost. Her problem, not my business.

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  • 55. At 01:00am on 07 Jul 2010, d_m wrote:

    #54 lacerniagigante:

    I take your point. It probably should be a matter of priorities. And really burqas and niqabs don't seem like they are that important. But people, politicians inclukded, often do the things they can do instead of the things they can't. Solving the employment and debt problems that's a little trickier. Now you are treading on a lot of peoples toes instead of a few thousand women in veils. And, those toes belong to voters.

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  • 56. At 01:06am on 07 Jul 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    d_m

    "#42 MarcusAureliusII:

    Much of what you said in this post applies directly and exactly to the US immigration problem.

    I know this is a European blog and I'm off topic, but I interested in MAII view on this."

    There is a major difference between the immigration problems in the US and in Europe. The problem in Europe is one of lack of assimilation and integration and resulting alienation of large segments of the populations which are disaffected and disenfranchised. They are not part of the mainstream, don't see themselves as part of the mainstream, are not treated like the mainstream, and can't ever become the mainstream. As a disaffected alien presence they are a real danger to society at large. I have no idea how this can be resolved peacefully. The problem was allowed to fester, in fact to a large degree European governments created it themselves without any forethought of the consequences of what they were doing. That's what they always do.

    The problem in the United States may seem superficially the same but it is actually entirely different. Ours is a problem of illegal economic migrants predominantly from one region, one ethnicity, even one country. We've lost control over the rate they enter the US at and cannot absorb them at the rate they come without impact to our society. They are also disproportionate to the balance of diversity we'd like from around the world. They are therefore becoming too great a percentage of the population. We want immigrants without doubt. As our society is based on shared values, not shared history or ethnic origin or culture as other nations are, and because of the effectiveness of assimilation, newcomers quickly enter the mainstream. By the first generation born here, except for the superficial markers such as names, morphology, and highly diluted ethnic traits such as food preferences, they are indistinguishable from one another and from other Americans whose ancestors came here a long time ago. That's not just a slogan. For example, until it was reported in the media, I had no idea that Governor Richardson of New Mexico who ran for President during the primaries was Latino. I had no way to know that short of reading his biography. If I didn't see his image on TV and in the media, I wouldn't know what President Obama's ethnicity was. We've come far enough that I can criticize him for what he does, not what he is. I also have no idea how America's illegal migrant problem will be resolved. Certain segments of our economy depend on cheap illegal labor. One other difference of note, the culture of Latin America is not nearly so alien to the mainstream American culture as the Islamic cultures of South Asia and the Middle East are to the indigenous European cultures. There is no suggestion that Latinos will bring anything as disconnected to our system as Sharia law to the US the way it may try to in Europe. Nor is there the backlash.

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  • 57. At 01:58am on 07 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    36. At 8:04pm on 06 Jul 2010, Gheryando wrote:


    "the vast majority favors a ban. The political minority rejects it. In the UK at least."

    EUpris: You live in the UK. Please use British spelling.

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  • 58. At 02:24am on 07 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 59. At 02:28am on 07 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 60. At 02:28am on 07 Jul 2010, d_m wrote:

    #56 MarcusAureliusII:


    Thank you for your thoughtful response Marcus. I guess the things about your post that struck me most had to do with the failure of the French to recognize what they were doing and what the results would be: that the muslims in their midst would become part of French culture and society and that French culture and society would have to make accomodatrions and come to terms with those accommodations. I think you absolutely right about that.

    I think this applies to the US as well. At least, I think many Americans fail utterly to understand or realize that it applies,m or don't want to. In addition to the many latinos born in the US to illegal parents, many come when they are very young--preschool. They grow up in the US, illegally of course, go to school in the US, and truly know no other culture. It would be, it seems to me, cruel and unusual punishment to force these young latinos to return to their parent's homeland where life would be as foreign for them as it would be for you or me. Many don't even speak spanish and many only speak it poorly.

    So allowing latino labor to come here for decades, with a wink and a nod, s-to-speak, because they provided a cheap and available labor pool, has now imposed responsibilities on US society that they, like the French, will have to make accomodations for. Failing to recognize the long term problems that allowing illegal latino immigrants to come here and work would entail is not the fault of the children who were born or brought here illegally and now know no other culture. It seems to me that it is now time for the US to find a fair and responsible solution for the problem it created and for the young latinos who lives hang in the balance.

    While I think it is time for the US to step up and deal with this problem, that doesn't mean it should ignore on-going illegal immigration. That's a problem that also needs a resolution. But a different one.
    Thanks for the time you spent on your response. It certainly got me to thinking. And that's getting harder to do as I get older.

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  • 61. At 02:30am on 07 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 62. At 02:38am on 07 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    From Open Europe:

    "Quote of the fortnight:

    "The biggest stumbling blocks for the Belgian presidency are with the European Parliament, an incalculable and badly organised partner. You don't know whether the opinion of MEPs is decided by the content of a matter or by the wish to be visible and show their own power. In some matters they don't even know that themselves."

    Jean De Ruyt, the Head of the Belgian Permanent Representation to the EU, in an interview with Belgian newspaper De Tijd, 1 July 2010"

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  • 63. At 02:54am on 07 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    49. At 11:46pm on 06 Jul 2010, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:


    "The full burqa is a terrible thing, but this proposed law is just as terrible. Government, especially a supposed secular republic, should never intrude this much into a person's life. It's no different than the newest government approved list of hair styles for Iranian men"

    EUpris: It is very different. People should not be allowed to walk around with their faces covered as they need to be identifiable.

    " ... and it would never fly in the US."

    EUpris: I don't care if it would or not. I don't want to be part of the "EU" or the USA.

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  • 64. At 03:18am on 07 Jul 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Another of Owen Bennet-Jones vapid interviews, this time with Ian Paisley. After Paisley got finished calling the Pope the anti-Christ and condemning the Catholic church, Jones didn't ask him about Moslem migrants to the UK, Sharia law, the Anglican Church's leader's position (Rowan Williams?) on Sharia law. He did ask him about which rugby team he'd root for though if Ireland played Britain.

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  • 65. At 08:06am on 07 Jul 2010, lacerniagigante wrote:

    Does this law imply that football fans can no longer paint their faces when they watch matches?

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  • 66. At 08:12am on 07 Jul 2010, lacerniagigante wrote:

    Re 55. At 01:00am on 07 Jul 2010, d_m

    Indeed, this silly law shows what happens when politicians start pandering to the guts feeling of the populace.

    Where's the line between democracy and populism?

    Is there one?

    How will this law be enforced?

    Will my tax money (France takes CPA subsidies from the EU and I pay into the EU, so it indirectly *is* my money) be wasted on French police stopping people walking with niqabs, burqas, helmets, halloween/carnival masks, painted football fans, etc.

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  • 67. At 08:14am on 07 Jul 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    In a weird kind of way MarcusAureliusII has hit the nail on the head.

    Immigration is not a problem if the indigenous population and the immigrant population can fuse together with mutually shared values of common decency towards one another and mutual respect and tolerance for their different origins and backgrounds.

    Immigration to Europe is not a new thing and, since Roman Times, many parts of Europe have burial sites that have remains of humans from other parts of the then known world.

    From Medieval Times, as the Known World expanded, so did the desire of peoples from far-flung parts of the world increased to move to better themselves and achieve prosperity. That is acceptable and should not be decried.

    The root of the problem is mass migration and the enforced acceptance of alien behaviours that are not mutually shared values of common decency towards one another and/or mutual respect and tolerance for one another.

    When any nation endures too many immigrants and the inward flow reaches a point where the immigrants do not have to abide by the ethics and morals of the indigenous population there is inevitably going to be friction.

    We see the epitomy of the curent friction in Europe with the resentment towards the Niqab and Burqa which are the 'in-your-face' best examples of differences between some immigrants and the settled populations.

    The problem with banning the Niqab and/or Burqa is does the difference stop there? What about Mufti, Sarees, Sandals, Mosques, Sharia Courts ... all examples of attire and a way of life that is 'in-your-face' and not mutually shared aspects of a common way of life.

    Society should be adabtable and it is not beyond the wit of mankind to take the benefits of one way of life and adapt it into another's way of life. We are all human and can experience the best things in life but also share in the same things that abase us all too.

    The fault of Europeans was that they allowed too many immigrants into Europe in too short a span of time. Instead of immigration continuing to be perceived as a good thing it has become perceived as devisive and the potential cause of fragmentation of Society.

    Banning the Niqab or Burqa will pander to the extremes on both side which will see the ban as either a statement that the immigrants must change or, on the other side, as an attack on the freedoms of immigrants to live life to their standards and moral beliefs.

    Whatever happens regarding the Niqab and/or Burqa Ban that is spreading through Europe, it is not the fault of the individual immigrant but the fault of Europe's politicians for allowing mass-immigration to get out of hand and it is this factor that has changed the balance and equanimity of the way of life of Europeans for general acceptance of immigration as being mutually benficial to both resident and newcomer to immigration now being seen as a threat and the cause of segregation, difference, friction and allowing potential excuse for open hostility and even bloodshed to become a concern.

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  • 68. At 08:14am on 07 Jul 2010, lacerniagigante wrote:

    Re 64. At 03:18am on 07 Jul 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "He did ask him about which rugby team he'd root for though if Ireland played Britain."

    Rugby is not an Olympic sport, so you'd be hard pressed to find a team called Britain.

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  • 69. At 08:16am on 07 Jul 2010, lacerniagigante wrote:

    Re "EUpris: It is very different. People should not be allowed to walk around with their faces covered as they need to be identifiable."

    So all those people that were walking around with white faces and a red cross on it 2 weeks ago across the streets of England should have been arrested?

    (Something tells me you would change your mind, if you see what I mean :-)

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  • 70. At 08:33am on 07 Jul 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    And now let's talk about Switzerland and its ban on minarets.

    [even those shorter than Matterhorn]

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  • 71. At 08:33am on 07 Jul 2010, lacerniagigante wrote:

    Re 40: "The wearing of the headscarf or veil goes against everything that France, as a country, stands for..."

    Do you reckon? I always thought the "Liberté" in the motto meant freedom.

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  • 72. At 08:47am on 07 Jul 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #68. At 08:14am on 07 Jul 2010, lacerniagigante wrote:,

    I may be wrong but is there not a joint rugby team that tours and is called the British Lions?

    #67. At 08:14am on 07 Jul 2010, Menedemus wrote:,

    Your analysis is very astute and I agree, and I tend to suspect that until recent generations the immigrants mostly used the "when in Rome do as the Romans do" technique and there were few real problems. If they kept theirs heads down and integrated they were accepted, just as I've been in Belgium. However if you keep in your own little enclave or ghetto and perpetually bang the drum about your origin and rights then all bets are off and you reap what you have sown, as is happening now with the muslims. It's often pointed out that Hindo's, sikh's, Budhists etc don't attract the attention the muslim's do and there is a very good reason for that, the other religions are not aggressive and expansionist but rather passive and peaceful.

    It is indeed the fault of our governments (and the UN) that refugees and Asylum seekers have been accepted with few controls, and often because the left think poor people will of course vote left, however it is a major fault of these politicians that it was not explained that allowing them (the refugees) to live in the EU does not mean their exporting their religious culture into their adopted country to the detriment of the adopted country and it's laws. This also comes back to the horrendous Human Rights laws that are misused by every activist living, and especially by religious fanatics who love their rights but deny all responsibilities claiming that their good book transcends legal responsibilities.

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  • 73. At 10:29am on 07 Jul 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    EUpris

    Re #12

    Think You got a little ahead of Yourself in that small quoting.

    In fairness to Gheryando, though hardly deserved, he and Huaimek were in fact requoting Gheryandos reply to me about his use of the term #you must be a girl# which I had criticised as being so old fashioned it revealed a lot about his social attitudes.

    Oddly the quote does sort of blend in with this topic too.

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  • 74. At 10:38am on 07 Jul 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    People emigrate for a better life.

    They emigrate from their Homeland because it does not offer the sort of life prospects they want for themselves and their children.

    They emigrate to EUrope and UK because it is a region that appears prosperous and they assume they too will in time prosper in that region.

    Then the Immigrant arrives in EUrope and UK and some of them promptly start to live exactly as they had in the Nation they rejected and left behind.

    How can these particular Immigrants think EUrope and UK got prosperous in the first place if the regions indigenous inhabitants had lived lives like the Nations the Immigrants have left.

    On every ground of logic in EUrope and the UK there is absolutely no case for a full face veil or any of the other trappings of lives that belong in former Homelands. Immigrants that continue these practises are not accepting they have left their Nation. They must accept the Social Custom and the Law of their new National Homeland or return from whence they came.

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  • 75. At 10:50am on 07 Jul 2010, generalissimo_1 wrote:

    "Amnesty International has said that a "total ban on covering the face would violate the right to freedom of expression". Almost certainly the legislation will be challenged in the French Constitutional Court."
    What a pity that the gentlemen of "Amnesty International" do not understand correctly how important is the application of the secular values in a secular society that are to guarantee the right to freedom of expression for the large majority of the citizens. If a second generation Libyan, Algerian, or say, Turk, living in France/Germany, or say, in Bulgaria still sticks to his medieval visions on how his wife/daughter is to appear on the Champs Elysees or to the local super market counter, it is high time that he be first warned, and then fined for his inadequate behavior.…

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  • 76. At 11:07am on 07 Jul 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    lacerniagigante

    Re #69 & #71

    There is absolutely no connection/parallel/equivalence between a Sport's Fan wearing their 'colours' in whatever fashion for a Sporting event than the daily practise of a Dress-Custom based upon an idea & commitment to a Faith.

    You know this: You are being obtuse for the sake of it.

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  • 77. At 11:07am on 07 Jul 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 78. At 11:16am on 07 Jul 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    MAscaridII

    Re #56

    You see!

    When You write in a logical manner You not only make some sort of sense You actually present a point of view that can be discussed in a non-belligerent context in which perspectives/ideas are exchanged and not epithets.

    #56 was interesting and Your point about the on the whole non-threatening nature of Hispanic 'cultural' emigration to the USA as compared to the Islamic-Sharia Law emigration influence on EUrope & UK was especially pertinent.

    More please.

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  • 79. At 11:22am on 07 Jul 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Re #50 & #51

    Quote, "...especially for the militarily crippled and hysterically inclined.." plus, "..it's crazy talk if you are serious about these things."

    This from a contributor who labelled all English as "..degenerates.." & "..dregs.."

    Oh pardon us all for the laughter at Your sudden concern for people being labelled by appearance!

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  • 80. At 11:22am on 07 Jul 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    cbw - good to see you kept your humor (humour for Eupris)

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  • 81. At 11:26am on 07 Jul 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "EUpris: You live in the UK. Please use British spelling."

    Don't you have anything better to do on this blog? If at all, you should start using the correct French spellings "faveur"

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  • 82. At 11:47am on 07 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    69. At 08:16am on 07 Jul 2010, lacerniagigante wrote:


    'Re "EUpris: It is very different. People should not be allowed to walk around with their faces covered as they need to be identifiable."

    So all those people that were walking around with white faces and a red cross on it 2 weeks ago across the streets of England should have been arrested?'

    EUpris: There was a picture of a man like that in my local newspaper. I immediately recognised him as somebody I know. He was identifiable.

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  • 83. At 11:52am on 07 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    66. At 08:12am on 07 Jul 2010, lacerniagigante wrote:


    " ...
    Will my tax money (France takes CPA subsidies from the EU and I pay into the EU, so it indirectly *is* my money) be wasted on French police stopping people walking with niqabs, burqas, helmets, halloween/carnival masks, painted football fans, etc."


    EUpris: Your tax money is wasted on the sick, arrogant, wasteful, parasitic, megalomaniac, morally illegitimate "EU".

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  • 84. At 11:56am on 07 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    66. At 08:12am on 07 Jul 2010, lacerniagigante wrote:

    "...
    Indeed, this silly law shows what happens when politicians start pandering to the guts feeling of the populace.

    Where's the line between democracy and populism?

    Is there one? ..."

    EUpris: "Populism" is a word used with manipulative intent by anti-democratic "EU"-lovers as an attempt to deny us our democratic rights.

    IMUO the law is not silly but banning the headscarf in French schools is.

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  • 85. At 11:58am on 07 Jul 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "When You write in a logical manner You not only make some sort of sense You actually present a point of view that can be discussed in a non-belligerent context in which perspectives/ideas are exchanged and not epithets."

    Agreed

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  • 86. At 12:35pm on 07 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    I note that three of my comments 58,59 and 61 have "This comment has been referred for further consideration."

    I think these are comments where quoted unflattering comments about Sarkozy which were quoted on the Austrian Radio website. I did not claim they were true or false. I could not possibly know.

    However, Sarkozy's behaviour re the Lisbon Treaty was despicable which makes negative reports about him seem more plausible.

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  • 87. At 12:37pm on 07 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    81. At 11:26am on 07 Jul 2010, Gheryando wrote:
    '"EUpris: You live in the UK. Please use British spelling."

    Don't you have anything better to do on this blog? If at all, you should start using the correct French spellings "faveur"'

    EUpris: Wot, in England, in Englisch? Should I call it Londre?

    Leiwand!

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  • 88. At 12:43pm on 07 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    To Gheryando and CBW:

    You both seem to think I was wrong in my comment to Gheryando about the girl thing so I probably was. In which case I apologise. It really is fun to have ago at Gheryando.

    He seems to be a basically decent bloke who is on the wrong side of the line between democracy and dictatorship. However he is not so far away from the line as some who post here.

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  • 89. At 12:44pm on 07 Jul 2010, Freeman wrote:

    If you want to see what is required at the absolute conservative end of the Islamic spectrum then look to the policewomen of Iran. That is if you take the most stringent interpretation you can.

    Saying you have a religious need to wear a tent is an outright lie.
    It is cultural....not religious.

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  • 90. At 12:58pm on 07 Jul 2010, Wonthillian wrote:

    '82. At 11:47am on 07 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    'So all those people that were walking around with white faces and a red cross on it 2 weeks ago across the streets of England should have been arrested?'

    EUpris: There was a picture of a man like that in my local newspaper. I immediately recognised him as somebody I know. He was identifiable.'

    I suspect that your friends walk around like that all the time.

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  • 91. At 1:10pm on 07 Jul 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    In 74 cool_brush_work wrote:
    People emigrate for a better life.




    Newt Gingrich, a historian in his previous life, has remarked once that aliens observing Earth from its orbit and not knowing anything about its dominating species(its history, culture, believes, etc.) would not have any problem determining where conditions for Homo Sapiens were better and where worse on that planet.


    All they'd have to do would be to watch a movement of human masses.

    For given any freedom of movement people always vote with their feet.
    [cf. what happened, e.g., in former USSR and Yugoslavia]


    Many posters in this blog could do worse than try&find out what that trend has been for many, many decades.

    Personally I have not seen masses of Americans trying to emmigrate to China, Cuba, Iran, Mexico, North Korea, Russia, Syria or Venezuela.

    Have you?


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  • 92. At 1:18pm on 07 Jul 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    Marcus at 56 says some interesting stuff, for sure.

    But on a more practical political level, policy choices are dependent on the governmental resources and mechanisms in place to enforce policy.

    lacerniagigante wrote:
    "Re 55. At 01:00am on 07 Jul 2010, d_m
    Indeed, this silly law shows what happens when politicians start pandering to the guts feeling of the populace.
    Where's the line between democracy and populism?
    Is there one?
    How will this law be enforced?"

    These are excellent questions, and they cut to the practical issues I mentioned earlier, about choosing to police odd laws.

    A law that is good in theory can be absolutely terrible in practice, if ever a regime is foolish enough to try and enforce it. Simple examples suffice to show the futility of such "good laws". Lying, for example. Wouldn't it be wonderful if nobody ever told any lies? So that would be a good law. Try policing it at a family level.

    So it can't be a law, unless you want to tear your social fabric to pieces on an insane moral inquisition.

    Now when we consider the question about the differences between "popularism" and "democracy", I would say that there is indeed a "line" between the two. That line in constitutional human rights law, protecting minorities and civil freedoms for individuals from the will of the enlivened majority.

    But a strong constitutional court is not certain, so it also helps to have procedural structures in place to defuse emotional debate and unreasoned policy. For example, in Switzerland a sufficient number of signatures can force a referendum on the law pertaining to the issue. So popularism can create votes on such things as minarets, for example.

    But the process is not swift. It takes years and years to get an initiative processed into a form of legislation fit to be voted upon. The role of government is subtly different from systems of representative systems. Instead of cabinets getting party experts to create centralized government departments enshrined by legislation, politicians in direct democracy spend their time disseminating information about up coming referendums and then work out how to get their village or kanton some economic benefit. The agenda is not set by the party, but by the people. The politicians work to get the agenda forward, they do not set it.

    So Switzerland is not some raw experiment in pure and instantaneous direct democracy. There are checks and balances in the system. Everyone knows what is going to voted upon in around a years time, and the newspapers and TV spend a large amount of time covering those issues. That changes the culture significantly, as media becomes less fantasy entertainment and more meaningful communication about real issues.

    Now in a centralized system of representation, such as the Uk or the former soviet union, the mechanisms to enforce policy are entirely different. All you need is a few party members to make a few bad decisions and you have ingredients for terrorism and even civil war.

    Northern Ireland, the caucuses. Etc and so forth.

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  • 93. At 1:30pm on 07 Jul 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Gheryando

    Re #85

    Yes, but we both know You are trying to make a point to me as much as anyone based on my own comment, whereas, I see no point in any extended discussion with You for so long as You consider gross abuse of entire peoples is preferable to my alleged '..militancy..'.

    Said before & say again: Jog-on.

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  • 94. At 1:35pm on 07 Jul 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    cool_brush_work wrote:
    "People emigrate for a better life."

    They do. They marry after following the same reasoning, and are frequently given an opportunity to change their world view as a consequence.

    The key, in my experience, is to both marry and immigrate into more cultivated territories posing both natural beauty and civilized laws.

    Of course, if you want to be accepted as a swiss, you have to meet some pretty strict criteria. Common people might be left to flee to Finland, or some other god forsaken stretch of unwanted russian ice.

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  • 95. At 1:45pm on 07 Jul 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "When You write in a logical manner You not only make some sort of sense You actually present a point of view that can be discussed in a non-belligerent context in which perspectives/ideas are exchanged and not epithets."

    Then consider this, you only see the consistent logic in my postings when you agree with the conclusions because you like them. When you don't, it is you who hurl the epithets first.

    You probably won't like this.

    The failure to assiimilate immigrants in Europe and the failure to anticipate the consequences of its actions has as its root cause a society that is deeply flawed, in fact fatally flawed. Not only do a few thousand or a few tens of thousands of people have a monopoly on knowledge and wisdom as well as power in Europe, the other 500 million of Europeans accept that and do not rebel against it.

    Contrast that to the United States. If the United States had been Europe, the Kennedy McCain immigration bill that was supported by liberals, conservatives, and President Bush would have become law around five years go. But America is not Europe. The bill wasn't merely defeated, it was destroyed, demolished, flattened by the American people themselves who told their Senators and Representatives that if they voted for it, they would not be going back to congress after their next bid for re-election. The bill was defeated strongly not by manifestations of people demonstrating in the streets with useless one day general strikes but by voters who wrote letters, went to town meetings, and by alternative candidates who threatened to run in opposition even in the parties which supported it. In the US the government does not own the people, it is the other way around and we never let them forget it. That is why for example the People of Arizona through their legislature and governor challenged the Federal government which is not enforcing the immigration law by passing their own law instead. The police in Arizona don't like it but they have no choice either. They are employees of the government and the people are telling them what to do. There will be a huge court battle between the State of Arizona and the Federal government, the DOJ in Washington having just filed suit yesterday. Meanwhile the overwhelming majority of Americans support Arizona. Even if the Obama administration wins in court, they will lose the larger political battle if they don't start enforcing the laws that are already on the books.

    Europe's problem and fatal flaw...it won't even recognize that it has problems, and not just with immigration. Since it won't do that, it has no chance to analyze them, debate possible solutions, try them, and use what works. In other words they will never be solved. It will just bounce from one crisis to another as it did with Greece denying before they blow up that they even exist. The rest of the world will not wait around for Europe to become a rational place. It is moving on without it. It has probably become academic already anyway. It's probably already to late to matter even if things changed. The world is not structured to Europe's advantage anymore.

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  • 96. At 1:51pm on 07 Jul 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    generalissimo_1

    Re #75

    Agree with You.

    For some years after my UK force's life (partly due to that experience) I was a member of Amnesty International and regularly wrote my donations & postcards etc. supporting the 'freedom'/'right to free speech' etc. of various 'victims of oppression' around S.America, Africa, Russia etc.

    Then, I believe in 1994, I read an old Amnesty Int report in which it classified the 'torture' in the 1970s of I.R.A. etc. in Northern Ireland by UK Armed forces as on a par with Idi Amin, Gaddafi, Bokassa etc.
    For those not familiar: This is Amnesty equating UK Troops putting a bag over a man's head & making him stand for hours on end with being not disimilar to slicing off ears, nose, fingers, grinding off limbs, staking out in ant-pits, rape & pillage of whole communities etc. - - whilst I freely admit to having seen & done a bit of the UK stuff in my time in Belfast, I don't ever recall stripping a woman & beating her with canes until she bled to death al la african/mid-East distator style!.

    Yes, of course the Belfast stuff was wrong, but there are degrees and whilst it should never have happened at all, to have myself & mates lumped together with Rulers using acid on testicles just took me past the Amnesty Int version of what the real World is about.

    At that point I realised Amnesty International was less in touch with reality in some instances than the Teletubbies which were all the rage at the time I read the report!

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  • 97. At 1:51pm on 07 Jul 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    I don't intend to suggest that the human rights situation in Switzerland is perfect, or even static. It certainly is not.

    But like America, the Swiss economy is based on utilizing skilled immigration. With 20% of the population being foreign born, and having 5 national languages, Switzerland a historic centre of international human movement.

    But the way the inevitable debate takes place in Switzerland is curious, and markedly different from centralized systems.

    Until very recently, one could not become naturalized unless the local people in your "commune" voted to give you a passport. So that is everyone who lives and works near where you live, of all classes. Even now, you have to "fit in" if you want to get a passport.

    And if you are a long term auslander, like me, you cannot vote. That kind of sucks.

    But laws on the regulation of international labour movements are as old as writing. Literally.

    The code of Hammurabi is the earliest known piece of legislation, and it contains extensive and clear regulations concerning the movement of labour. I forget the exact sections and subsections, but it is out there and worth a read, if you are interested in such things.

    You may note, from memory, that merchants may bring slaves into the city but they may not purchase slaves in the city and take them away. They could purchase slaves for use within the city. I think. Anyway, they are lots of details, as you'd expect with a piece of industrial relations legislation. Lots of fines and that sort of thing.

    Those Babylonian contract lawyers must have been living the life, I imagine.

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  • 98. At 1:55pm on 07 Jul 2010, ARMANI PASHTUN wrote:

    I think covering total face should be banned not just in France but also everywhere. You never know who she is or she might be he . If you are honest in belief practicing religion I don't think should put other in difficulties. Also France is not a Muslim country as a Muslim we should respect their law,their need.

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  • 99. At 2:04pm on 07 Jul 2010, ARMANI PASHTUN wrote:

    Why some muslim countries forbihidden french kisses, Romance ?

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  • 100. At 2:22pm on 07 Jul 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Powermeerkat

    Re #91

    Precisely!

    All the more reason to question the logic of Immigrants to the wealthier, thriving, advancing 'west' nations from the much less hospitable geographic-economic-political-faith regions who then insist in their deliberately chosen new Homeland Nations that they should be allowed to carry on doing all the things that had contributed to the backwardness of the Nations they had left behind!?

    Absurd & and unacceptable approach to take to a new life: Except it is also what many grandiose, out-of-touch, 'liberal' 'west' Governments made their indigenous constituent populations adapt to in their brazen tinkering with society. They liked to call it 'multi-culturalism' though only so long as the great mass of Immigrants were kept well away from their environments!

    In that sense the 'west' is very much to blame that there is even this miniscule problem of a face-veil. I fully sympathise with the Muslim lady who declares this clothing accessory is her 'way-of-life', afterall, it is 'west' Governments that neglected to inform their own Popuolations and the Incomers that a mix-n-match' approach would of necessity have to be predominantly reflecting the in-place Culture & Society and not the other way round.

    This was a character in a novel (can't give title): 'I'll tellya what a 'liberal' is! Someone who thinks his neighbour should share his swimming pool, but they use it only after its cleaned!'

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  • 101. At 2:57pm on 07 Jul 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Re #92

    ".. the differences between 'popularism' and 'democracy', I would say there is indeed a 'line' between the two That 'line' is Constitutional Human Rights Law, protecting minorities and civil freedoms for individuals from the will of the enlivened majority...". DemocThreat.

    in contrast to,

    "..I'll defend anybody's dignity and Human Rights, even someone crazy and miserable enough to become a suicide bomber.." (May 4th '09)

    that became,

    ".. the man (Tony Blair) is a war criminal with the blood of his own soldiers on his hands, not to mention 10s of thousands of women and children, and he should be hung by the neck until he no longer lives. His body should be dumped in an unmarked grave.." (Oct 26th '09)

    and an extension,

    ".. IF a Polar bear has to get his feet wet (**Global Warming**) so I can get on the Internet and argue the toss... so be it.. It's us or the Bears.. and just because daytime tv watching mothers like playful bears, that does not mean the reality changes one iota.." (Oct 30th '09)

    which then evolved as,

    ".. essentially you are right. I'm beginning to lose my patience with EUropean politics. I am beginning to think Europeans are a bit stupid... Mind you, the Swiss are alright. And they are European. So, it is not the people. It is the British.." (May 16th '09)

    soon followed with,

    ".. Churchill.. quoting his views on 'democracy' is like quoting Pol Pot on Human Rights.." (May 29th '10)

    Ah! The Swiss domeciled sage in full, flowing form: All points touched - - just not a consistent, logical thread in any of it - - brilliant, quite brilliantly funny contributions!

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  • 102. At 3:37pm on 07 Jul 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    MAscaridII

    Re #95

    It doesn't take You a moment to fall off any already ground-level perch, does it!?

    No, now You know Your allegation is not so: I never normally "hurl" anything, especially 'epithets' at you, however, I happily will oblige You today.

    It is more appropriate for Your uncomprehending mind to take more time to "..consider this..": When You scurrilously tried to equate the devastating tragedy of events on 9/11 to the 'Health' services debate & justify Your inexcusable rudeness to ThrenodioII, You reached about as low as one Human can get in the eyes of many on these Blogs.

    That You are incapable of sensing in that debate Your crudely insulting attitude to the victimes of 9/11 by Your mention of it in the same Comments as You spoke of not being in a 'popularity contest' exposes Your personality as several depths lower than shallow.

    Quote, "..you probably wont like this..": No, it is not like or dislike, it is not popular or unpopular, and it is certainly not right or wrong.
    You just don't get it at all because You have not the facility to do so - - thus, You really 'will not like this at all' because You will not understand the difference - - these are Debates not haranguing matches.

    Now carry on, but always remember a Hurricane Katrina of Facts are just waiting for You on each & every topic to which You bring Your limitations.

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  • 103. At 3:50pm on 07 Jul 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    ElagabalusII: "Not only do a few thousand or a few tens of thousands of people have a monopoly on knowledge and wisdom as well as power in Europe"

    Got to love it. After all, the brainwashed do not know they are brainwashed. People power rules in America, does it, Ellie? Well getting rid of that bill sure sorted out your immigration problem!

    Over here in Europe we could only sit back and enviously admire the supreme wisdom of the American people as they demanded Saddam Hussein pay for 9/11! We wondered at their incredible insight as they informed us of the huge stockpiles of terrible weapons Iraq had.

    We then marvelled at the way a few individuals went on to make hundreds of millions of dollars from government contracts while the masses shrugged their shoulders at the absolute absence of WMD. You are indeed an example to us all, America, an example to us all.

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  • 104. At 4:15pm on 07 Jul 2010, Isenhorn wrote:

    CBW @96,

    Having read your post, it appears that you would not consider it anything extraordinary nor a thing to object against, if a soldier or a policeman rounded up your children and left them to stand on their feet for a day, with black bags over their heads. I deliberately did not put you in the above imaginary scenario as I believe that with your military training and having participated in acts like that you would not be easily scared off. However, I really must ask you this question- would you be happy if your daughter or son were treated in the way you describe?

    In your opinion, the way you and your mates handled those suspects in Belfast might appear completely different than the other practices you describe, however I cannot get rid of the feeling that had you been born in Uganda and gone to the Ugandan military, you would have found some excuses for the practices of Idi Amin’s secret services too.

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  • 105. At 4:41pm on 07 Jul 2010, phillipwest wrote:

    re:cbw
    All these thoughts about how immigrants should assimilate or go home is fine in an abstract sort of way, but the reality is that millions of these people have already arrived, millions more are on the way and there seems no way of slowing or stopping it. Along the porous Schengen borders untold thousands cross every day and once inside the EU there is little to no border enforcement. None of us choose where on earth we are born so those born in prospeous areas have, in my opinion, a moral duty to help those not so favorably situated. However, all governments have a fiduciary duty to their own citizens first and are also obligated to protect the structure and integrity of their societies so these societies can prosper and maintain adequate resources to help not only their own citizens but those of less fortunate societies as well. The governments of western europe have failed miserably in this effort bankrupting their countries to support a burgeoning population of third world immigrants whose primarary contribution is to funnel off resources intended for their indigineous populations. Housing subsidies (my wife's childhood friend lives in a rent free flat in Cambridge, a college town from my understanding), cash payments based on low income and high number of children, and free health care (note a 1/2 billion euro hospital recently opened in Birmingham, UK). MAII in an earlier comment noted it may already be too late, I wonder. Mass migrations in history have often ended badly and this one seems headed for one as well. Hope I'm wrong.

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  • 106. At 4:43pm on 07 Jul 2010, navedyarkhan wrote:

    Muslim women who wear burqa do it to comply with the statement in the Quran that women should not reveal their beauty to strangers. They do so because they believe that statement is revelation from Allah and the Quran is a holy book an that Muhammad was Holy Messenger of Allah, the only God.All democratic states have constitutions of their own with liberty of belief,faith and worship or practice as fundamental right.Banning Burqa shall b obnoxious and derogratory and indeed inconsistent with the basic principles of the Democracy and the constitutions based upon it.

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  • 107. At 5:04pm on 07 Jul 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "88. At 12:43pm on 07 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    To Gheryando and CBW:

    You both seem to think I was wrong in my comment to Gheryando about the girl thing so I probably was. In which case I apologise. It really is fun to have ago at Gheryando.

    He seems to be a basically decent bloke who is on the wrong side of the line between democracy and dictatorship. However he is not so far away from the line as some who post here."

    I appreciate this commment.

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  • 108. At 5:07pm on 07 Jul 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    cbw

    "Yes, but we both know You are trying to make a point to me as much as anyone based on my own comment, whereas, I see no point in any extended discussion with You for so long as You consider gross abuse of entire peoples is preferable to my alleged '..militancy..'. "

    Could you please clarify what exactly you mean? I am not quite sure I understand your point.

    You seem to be very sensitive. I apologize if I hurt your feelings. I prefer to be slightly politically incorrect at times when I think it will make my point clearer.

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  • 109. At 5:14pm on 07 Jul 2010, sysut1 wrote:

    This clash of civilizations continues but uses democracy to attain its goals. Democracies will fall to theocracies by democratic means and be plunged into a dark age again. Europe will fall again to the east before it pushes back.

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  • 110. At 6:02pm on 07 Jul 2010, frenchderek wrote:

    When the Imam of Mecca visited France a few months ago he was asked his views on the proposed "burqa ban". In reply he explained that people who live in or visit his country they are expected to respect local law, customs, etc - eg in regard to dress codes. Thus he would expect residents in and visitors to France to do the same.

    What he didn't say (but other, French imams have said) is that the requirement to wear the burqa is held by one or two extremist sects. Visit Tunisia or Indonesia, say, and you will rarely see such clothing. It is hardly widespread in Iran even. The proposed law has overwhelming support across all parties here in France: and is expected to be passed. Given the low level of opposition, the question is: who will ask the Constitutional Court to intervene?

    NB I have just been re-reading John Simpson's tale of how he entered Iraq disguised as a woman (full burqa, of course).

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  • 111. At 6:23pm on 07 Jul 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    cbw;

    "No, now You know Your allegation is not so: I never normally "hurl" anything, especially 'epithets' at you, however, I happily will oblige You today."

    I'll bet that for a short time you had some people here fooled into thinking you could keep a civil tongue. But not me, I never had any doubts. You never fail to disappoint.

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  • 112. At 6:30pm on 07 Jul 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    string-a-ling;

    "People power rules in America, does it, Ellie? Well getting rid of that bill sure sorted out your immigration problem!"

    Not but it didn't pass which would only have made it worse. Yes, we bludgeoned our politicians until they did what we told them.

    "Over here in Europe we could only sit back and enviously admire the supreme wisdom of the American people as they demanded Saddam Hussein pay for 9/11! We wondered at their incredible insight as they informed us of the huge stockpiles of terrible weapons Iraq had."

    Our mistake. We believed MI5 with its dodgy dossier. We here in America wanted our government to go to war in Iraq and so it did. Again it did what we wanted. Your people were against it but your government did it anyway. You have no control over your government. They contol you. That is the difference between democracy and tyrannical dictatorship. Things haven't changed all that much in Britain since King George III. BTW, I understand your troops are staging a "tactical retreat" from Sangin in Afghanistan. Only time will tell if the Americans can do better there. Somehow I have a hunch they can and will. And yes we do have helicoptors and in sufficient numbers there. No MPs getting their pools cleaned or their dogs nails clipped on the public dole though as far as I can tell.

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  • 113. At 6:41pm on 07 Jul 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "106. At 4:43pm on 07 Jul 2010, navedyarkhan wrote:

    Muslim women who wear burqa do it to comply with the statement in the Quran that women should not reveal their beauty to strangers. They do so because they believe that statement is revelation from Allah and the Quran is a holy book an that Muhammad was Holy Messenger of Allah, the only God.All democratic states have constitutions of their own with liberty of belief,faith and worship or practice as fundamental right.Banning Burqa shall b obnoxious and derogratory and indeed inconsistent with the basic principles of the Democracy and the constitutions based upon it. "

    BS!

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  • 114. At 7:47pm on 07 Jul 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    112. MarcusAureliusII

    "No MPs getting their pools cleaned or their dogs nails clipped on the public dole though as far as I can tell."

    What if it were Congressmen/women instead of MPs?

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  • 115. At 9:09pm on 07 Jul 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    MudDab, I hope we pay them enough so they can afford it on their own.

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  • 116. At 9:09pm on 07 Jul 2010, Aaron wrote:

    I personally don`t see the Burka as necessary or even a positive mode of clothing, but banning it, will not benefit the French at all. Most likely it will be detrimental to the nation. Although the burka is not Islamic and a mere 2000 women wear it, French muslims will see this legislature as a tipping stone of more to come. I dont think the French want to see a re-occurance of the race riots of 2005.

    The french are going to have to accept the fact that 10% of their population is Muslim, and as such, they need to breach some cultural divides in an effort to strength their country as a whole.

    Anyways, a recent bbc article on the ban states that of the 2000 woman wearing the burka, most choose to wear it on their own accord.

    I wonder, considering the trying financial times, how much this fiasco is costing the French tax payer?

    As someone else mentioned those who force the burka on their wives, probably most of which are French citizens, will just prevent their wives from leaving their homes. What then? introduce a piece of legislature that makes it mandatory for women to leave the house once a day and then preach that it is the `french` thing to do.

    Plain preposterous.

    There are other more conducive methods to combat individuals who force and bend their wives to their will.

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  • 117. At 10:22pm on 07 Jul 2010, Bill Baur wrote:

    I don't think the French have enough to think about. Who cares what people wear? In the USA near where I live, I see women wearing burqas all the time, and I don't give it a second thought. Nobody really does here. What will you ban next, the outfits nuns wear too? Where does it end?

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  • 118. At 11:12pm on 07 Jul 2010, mvr512 wrote:

    106.navedyarkhan wrote: Muslim women who wear burqa do it to comply with the statement in the Quran that women should not reveal their beauty to strangers.

    Who takes those books seriously anyway? Don't these people know there is no such thing as a 'god'?

    They do so because they believe that statement is revelation from Allah and the Quran is a holy book an that Muhammad was Holy Messenger of Allah, the only God.

    Well, as I stated before, there is no 'god' and mr Muhammad was quite the odious figure, to put it very mildly, not exactly someone to hold up as a shining beacon to be emulated, unless you like to see peoples lives terminated quite a lot and you don't value the physical integrity of women.

    All democratic states have constitutions of their own with liberty of belief,faith and worship or practice as fundamental right.Banning Burqa shall b obnoxious and derogratory and indeed inconsistent with the basic principles of the Democracy and the constitutions based upon it.

    Freedom of religion should be abolished. There are no such things as religions, they are all ideologies, and christianity and islam have a long and extremely malign history. I would argue that it needs to be freedom FROM religion, rather than freedom OF.

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  • 119. At 11:15pm on 07 Jul 2010, mvr512 wrote:

    110.frenchderek wrote: Given the low level of opposition, the question is: who will ask the Constitutional Court to intervene?


    Some leftist group like 'Amnesty International' (formerly an idealist organization, these days hijacked and used for purposes of leftist politics) or leftist political group hoping to secure the muslim vote.

    I don't like generalizing but it does seem overwhelmingly that it is leftists who side against our culture in such cases.

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  • 120. At 11:38pm on 07 Jul 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #104 - Isenhorn (re: #96 - CBW)

    I have to say that, on this occasion, I agree with Isenhorn. This is not a matter of degrees. Making people stand for hours on end with bags on their heads may not result in permanent physical damage but the risk of psychological damage is there. Similar arguments have been forward in defense of water boarding.

    The fact remains that it is humiliating, degrading and inhumane and therefore, in my book, unacceptable.

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  • 121. At 11:51pm on 07 Jul 2010, lacerniagigante wrote:

    Re 76. At 11:07am on 07 Jul 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    "There is absolutely no connection/parallel/equivalence between a Sport's Fan wearing their 'colours' in whatever fashion for a Sporting event than the daily practise of a Dress-Custom based upon an idea & commitment to a Faith."

    Odd. I looked up "fan" in the dictionary and it says that it's "short for fanatic".

    And if you don't know that Football is a faith for many, then you surely are not of this planet (unless you live in the Northern part of North America).

    Think about this connection a bit deeper, before you call other people names...

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  • 122. At 11:59pm on 07 Jul 2010, lacerniagigante wrote:

    91. At 1:10pm on 07 Jul 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Personally I have not seen masses of Americans trying to emmigrate to China, Cuba, Iran, Mexico, North Korea, Russia, Syria or Venezuela.

    Have you?"

    Not really. Most Americans (those from the Northern branches) have been wiped out by immigrants coming mostly from Europe in the last 500 years or so. So there's not much left to immigrate.

    Except for the natives, erroneously called "Latinos", who are trying to reclaim their native lands, but with the descendants of those same Europeans trying to deny them even that.

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  • 123. At 00:01am on 08 Jul 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #112 - MarcusAureliusII

    Astonishing. You somehow manage to get a barbed dig at the supposed superiority of US armed forces, the debate about British service equipment and the MP's expenses scandal into a single paragraph, use this as evidence that the UK is a 'tyrannical dictatorship' but apparently do not know the difference between MI5 and MI6.

    Check your facts Marcus. There has been a high degree of intelligence sharing and gathering in recent years. You can certainly lay the allegation regarding Sadam's attempt at acquiring fissionable material in Africa at MI6's door but the rest was shared information. If the UK's people assessed it and believed it, so did yours. And if you fantasized about it to create an excuse to go to war, you did it together. As usual, your venomous Anglo phobia has to be served and you are not going to let anything as inconvenient as the truth get in the way off it.

    By the way, on a completely different tack, I have noticed the unintended irony in my post at 120 above and the com about people wearing bags over their heads. As I recall, this tread was originally about people who do so out of choice:-)

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  • 124. At 00:17am on 08 Jul 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    CBW:" All points touched - - just not a consistent, logical thread in any of it - - brilliant, quite brilliantly funny contributions!"

    Well, there isn't likely to be a consistent logical thread to those quotes, given that you took them from a wide variety of random past threads.

    Who does that, anyway? Who goes pawing back over past threads, looking and searching for things to cut and paste in order to build diatribes against another member of a virtual forum?

    I think it is kind of spooky. You're freaking me out slightly, CBW. Straight up. I think you may have fallen off your perch.

    I reckon that of you were a dog back in the old days, someone would be about ready to cut off your ears and tail by now.


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  • 125. At 01:14am on 08 Jul 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    121. lacerniagigante

    "And if you don't know that Football is a faith for many, then you surely are not of this planet (unless you live in the Northern part of North America)."

    I can't speak for the Northern part of North America but I can testify for the other football (the one that don't bounce right). In the southern states of USA there is only one football where the players are as big a mini-vans except for the kickers. It is definitely a religion. I have to disagree with mvr512, everyone has a religion even if that religion is not to have a religion.

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  • 126. At 01:30am on 08 Jul 2010, HabitualHero wrote:

    #25 "As I understand it...."

    Amusement.

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  • 127. At 02:45am on 08 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    90. At 12:58pm on 07 Jul 2010, Wonthillian wrote:



    "'82. At 11:47am on 07 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    'So all those people that were walking around with white faces and a red cross on it 2 weeks ago across the streets of England should have been arrested?'

    EUpris: There was a picture of a man like that in my local newspaper. I immediately recognised him as somebody I know. He was identifiable.'

    I suspect that your friends walk around like that all the time."

    EUpris: I suspect that your only friend is called Jack. Quite clearly, you know Jack.

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  • 128. At 02:51am on 08 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    90. At 12:58pm on 07 Jul 2010, Wonthillian wrote:



    "'82. At 11:47am on 07 Jul 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    'So all those people that were walking around with white faces and a red cross on it 2 weeks ago across the streets of England should have been arrested?'

    EUpris: There was a picture of a man like that in my local newspaper. I immediately recognised him as somebody I know. He was identifiable.'

    I suspect that your friends walk around like that all the time."

    EUpris: Quite seriously, you have got me wrong. It is not about me being so incredibly British or English. It is about not wanting to be in the "EU". So I am thinking about trying to move to Switzerland or Canada or Iceland or maybe even Australia or New Zealand or Norway or Japan. I hate the "EU".

    Ethnically I am one-quarter English, half British and half continental.

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  • 129. At 04:20am on 08 Jul 2010, eigengrau wrote:

    On ABC news tonight they interviewed a Muslim woman in France who asserted that she will continue wearing her burqa and niqab even if the ban has passed and will result in her arrest.

    Why do Arab countries have the lawful right to force headscarves upon women visiting from the Western world, but such massive controversy is sparked when the Western world responds with the inverse in the interest of protecting its own identities and values? Sounds like a good ol' double standard to me.

    There exists a vast diversity of countries with different values. If you find yourself incapable of respecting a country's values on the most fundamental of levels, then it is obvious you don't belong there. If you want to live in a country where it's the norm for women to wear the most amount of clothing possible, then, by all means, go to Saudi Arabia. If you want to live in a country where it's the norm for women to wear the least amount of clothing possible, then, by all means, go to Brazil.

    With that said, why am I not in Brazil?!

    On a related note, as a U.S. American atheist, I find it jarring that in surveys conducted across my country, the populace remains considerably more resentful of atheists than any religious following. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find any of us willing to blow ourselves up in the name of radical atheism. In fact, I can't even begin to postulate what "radical atheism" would possibly entail. You would find that the overwhelming majority of us are quite happy with keeping our beliefs (or more accurately, lack thereof) to ourselves. :)

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  • 130. At 05:11am on 08 Jul 2010, ninetofivegrind wrote:

    129 eigengrau wrote:
    "...as a U.S. American atheist, I find it jarring that in surveys conducted across my country, the populace remains considerably more resentful of atheists than any religious following."
    ________________________

    And rightly so! How dare you not believe in the same stories that the majority of the populace believes in! Putting a lack of proof aside I'm staggered to hear that you don't believe in the local God!! What will happen to you when the local God has a showdown with the out of town one?

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  • 131. At 06:00am on 08 Jul 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    threnodious;

    "but apparently do not know the difference between MI5 and MI6.

    Check your facts Marcus. There has been a high degree of intelligence sharing and gathering in recent years."

    British intelligence is very eager to share with its US counterparts. So much so in fact that if they can't discover something of value to offer, rather then go to the party empty handed without a gift to bring they make it up themselves. How very thoughtful of them.

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  • 132. At 07:35am on 08 Jul 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    The wearing of the Burka or Niqab should be banned in European countries . This form of dress for exclusively women is offensive to European People whose culture respects equality of women and men .

    Religions are all man made here on earth ; Bible or Quran were written by men on earth to comply with the beliefs and customs of that day .

    I would say to #106 Navedyarkhan , that the interpretation of what is claimed to be written in the Quran , is open to variation . Some say modesty of dress is the only requirement ; but people here on earth have turned that to an extreme form of cover all .

    I am quite widely travelled and have become aware that religion and traditional customs tend to merge over time .
    I currently live in Thailand where the religion is Buddhism . I believe Buddhism is a phylosophy , rather than a religion . As I observe , my Buddhist wife , her family and friends , worship golden images of Buddha but actually practice ancient traditional Thai customs .
    I believe it is the same for the Muslim religion and Christianity too .

    I believe the real reason for Muslim women to dress modestly or cover themselves completely ; is from ancient times to the present , the risk of their being molested or raped in public by their own countrymen . In their primitive culture rape is classified as adultery , for which a woman might be stoned to death .

    When women wear a Burka in Christian Europe I and many other people are grossly offended , because the implication is that all men are the same and that they are at risk of molestation from civilised European men .
    We expect women to enjoy the freedom to go about in public as equal citizens to our European women .
    It is true that if the Burka was banned in France or other European countries , women might be forced to stay at home . Muslim men often forbid their wives to have a job , their place is in the home .
    I read the true story of a Moroccan emigre to Italy , who after several years managed to buy a two roomed apartment in Milan . He sent for his wife to come and live with him ; she was not allowed to have a job , she had to stay and mind the home , entertain friends . After a while she returned home to morocco , where she had a big house she could be proud of , and lots of friends .

    When WE of more advanced western culture travel in other countries , we are expected to observe the culture and customs of that country no matter how primitive . It is not unreasonable that we should expect the same respect for our more free western culture .

    I read a comment from an American , in which she says she is not at all perturbed by the sight of people wearing a Burka . The USA has always been multicultural ; whereas Europe has until recently been exclusively Christian and Caucasion ethnicity , with similar cultures .

    The argument about rich arab women coming to shop in Paris is invalid . Women travelling to a European destination should be prewarned that they will not be allowed to enter the European country wearing a Burka . What does a Burka wearing woman want to shop in Paris for anyway ?!!!

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  • 133. At 08:17am on 08 Jul 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #125. At 01:14am on 08 Jul 2010, MaudDib wrote:
    "I have to disagree with mvr512, everyone has a religion even if that religion is not to have a religion."

    A religion is an ideology as has been mentioned earlier, so if you're not ideological how can you possibly have a religion? I believe in certain things but a religion is not one of them and whilst some of my beliefs can be called ideological in a political sense they are not and never will be a religion. This is why I have an intense dislike for any privilege granted to a religious body purely on the basis of their so called religion, and the wearing of a burqua, and the obscuring of facial features is an avid example of that. Maybe everybody should protest by wearing Klu Klux Klan hoods, I'm sure we'll see a different reaction to that of the burqua wearers despite their being much the same with only an eye slit.

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  • 134. At 09:31am on 08 Jul 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    The British suck for helping you with Iraq
    The Continentals suck for not helping you with Iraq

    I'm following this right aren't I?...

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  • 135. At 09:44am on 08 Jul 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    threnodio: "By the way, on a completely different tack, I have noticed the unintended irony in my post at 120 above and the com about people wearing bags over their heads."

    I thought that was quite good form. You should have claimed it as deliberate.

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  • 136. At 10:29am on 08 Jul 2010, Freeman wrote:

    "113. At 6:41pm on 07 Jul 2010, Gheryando wrote:
    "106. At 4:43pm on 07 Jul 2010, navedyarkhan wrote:

    Muslim women who wear burqa do it to comply with the statement in the Quran that women should not reveal their beauty to strangers. They do so because they believe that statement is revelation from Allah and the Quran is a holy book an that Muhammad was Holy Messenger of Allah, the only God.All democratic states have constitutions of their own with liberty of belief,faith and worship or practice as fundamental right.Banning Burqa shall b obnoxious and derogratory and indeed inconsistent with the basic principles of the Democracy and the constitutions based upon it. "

    BS!"

    Succinctly put. ^^

    So Naved...are those policewomen of Iran and the 99% of Muslim women I know/have met are immoral women flaunting their faces to strangers are they?

    Puritans are a menace whatever magical sky fairy they follow.

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  • 137. At 11:30am on 08 Jul 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    ElagabalusII #112 "I understand your troops are staging a "tactical retreat" from Sangin in Afghanistan."

    Wouldn't have anything to do with the British public demanding our troops stop being placed directly in harms way while the USA works out its (non-existent) strategy for getting out of there, would it? Of course not, because our government does whatever it wants, without paying us any heed!

    "We here in America wanted our government to go to war in Iraq and so it did"

    Oh please, spare me the blinkered, brainwashed claptrap. They do what you want??? Don't make me and every right-minded person here laugh! Many of the American people wanted to go to war with Iraq as a direct result of the lies your politicians told you. Your public servants used known to be forged intelligence to justify an unjustifiable war, and you and many of your countrymen lapped it up like the good little citizens you are. Something tells me you personally didn't need much convincing, however.

    And, if you want to blame the British dodgy dossier, it's your right. I would, however, seriously question any government that goes to war based on some questionable intelligence from another country. Especially one with such a poor reputation as ours, as you have regularly reminded us.

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  • 138. At 11:47am on 08 Jul 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    As for pool-cleaning and other expenses, I believe that to be an issue we can be proud of here. I have friends/colleagues from Italy, Spain and Australia, and many of them didn't understand the fuss. I think it says a lot about the British public that we won't tolerate abuse of the system, like that. Some of our politicians are even in court over the issue. Would that happen stateside? I think not.

    Do you believe your congressmen have the utmost respect for the taxpayer's dollar, and work hard to avoid wasting a single cent? If so, you are even more naive than I thought. Your politicians are just a little more untouchable than ours, so they don't get questioned as much.
    I also believe the British public to be more cynical than Americans, therefore can't be appeased simply by the desinence 'God bless America'.

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  • 139. At 12:04pm on 08 Jul 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    Back on topic, am I alone in my frustration with comments about how Muslim women wear the Burka by their own choice? It reminds me of a battered woman saying her beatings are her own fault.

    Islam, like every religion, is a MAN-made ideology to suit MEN. Never is this more clearly illustrated than when one sees a Muslim family out on a hot summer day. The poor woman must be sweating so uncomfortably beneath those long black robes and head scarves, while the man will usually be seen wearing a white t-shirt and shorts. I've also noticed that it will often be the woman struggling with the bags, while the man plays with his mobile.

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  • 140. At 1:46pm on 08 Jul 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Three people have been arrested in connection with a plot to bomb targets in Norway, police in Oslo have said.

    Two of the plotters were arrested in Norway and one in Germany, said the head of the Norwegian security police, Janne Kristiansen.

    The men - a Uighur from China, an Iraqi and an Uzbek - are said to have ties to al-Qaeda and to be linked to bomb plots in the US and UK, Ms Kristiansen said.

    The three, all Norwegian residents, had been under surveillance for a year.

    US prosecutors say the Norwegian case is linked to foiled bomb plots in New York and the English city of Manchester. [BBC News]


    Would al-Qaida, Taliban, Hamas, Hezebollah, Quds aficionados would care to comment?

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  • 141. At 2:46pm on 08 Jul 2010, Iron dome wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 142. At 4:24pm on 08 Jul 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    141: ORB survey of Iraq War casualties estimates that 1,033,000 Iraqis have died since the US-led invasion. I'm just saying.

    There are dictators all over the planet, many with far more dangerous arsenals than Saddam had. Why isn't the US so keen to go into N. Korea? Could it be because we know they actually DO have WMD, and wouldn't roll over like a weak Iraq? the Iraq war made money. If you believe our governments were altruistically acting on behalf of the poor Iraqi population, you need to wise up.

    I don't have a skewed sense of solidarity, I simply feel none with many Americans who were pro-war.

    As for your unjustified and offensive accusation of anti-semitism, you clearly misunderstood my point. That point was that Israel, as the only nuclear country and main aggressor in the region, requires no help defending itself from outside. Tenuous accusations of racism only weaken your point, I'm afraid.

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  • 143. At 5:19pm on 08 Jul 2010, Iron dome wrote:

    Again, how is Israel the "main aggressor"
    Who is arming hizbollah with thousands of non precision weapons, clearly aimed at city areas, to cause maximum terror if they are ever used?
    Who provoked a 3 week mini war after indescriminately firing unguided munitions at an Israeli town for YEARS?
    Who broke off peace negotiations and provoked a bloody (and unsuccessful) insurrection including an unprecidented campaign of sheer terror on Israeli streets, killing and maiming hundreds?
    All of the above indicate a far more aggressive, certainly genocidal force in the region. Its certainly not Israel.
    Your clumsily phrased but doubtlessly sincere point about Israels right "to self defence" still stands. The idea that a nuclear armed nation somehow has no right to self defence at the terroristic, irregular warfare level is odd. Are you advocating that Israel indeed uses those weapons?
    It was a gratutuitous and OT point anyway, merely another stab at delegitimisation of the only nation in the region where you yourself could genuinely and without fear articulate and express your political view.
    Regarding the burkah, it is clearly oppressive and as divisive in Western liberal democracies as sharia courts are.
    It can in fact, like the minaret be taken as a conscious statement of cultural supremacy.

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  • 144. At 6:30pm on 08 Jul 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 145. At 7:47pm on 08 Jul 2010, Bazrev wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 146. At 9:38pm on 08 Jul 2010, Arthur Brede wrote:

    How weary must you be, Poor Gavin, to be recycling HYS questions from elsewhere. Last time it was 'Should the burqua be banned?, and I wrote the following, which is equally relevant here:

    Those trying the 'clever' equivalence of talking about banning helmets are obviously not motorcyclists. All banks, many businesses and lots of shops won't let you in wearing the brain-bucket, even in winter when removing it breaks the bubble of warmth created by good clothing arrangement. I was a courier for a couple of hundred thousand miles so the comment is experience-derived.

    As for chadoor, burka, chadri, veil or whatever you want to call it, I think things have come to a pretty pass if we join in the persecution of women to vent our ire at Islam. What about the person socially programmed and adjusted to wear this defensive clothing, to find, like the motorcyclist, a warm, sealed bubble - of independence and security - in a strange and increasingly hostile land? I have known lots of Islamic ladies and many of them actually like being covered in public, away from the constant judgements of consumerist competition and the incessant, obsessive, male lechery that has come to flood western life.

    Why are we not attacking the root cause of all the misunderstanding, which is the burgeoning Saudi Wahabbism that has radicalised so much of Islam since the 1950's? Yes, the external jihad had been on hold for hundreds of years, with Islam learning the ways of the modern world rather quicker and somewhat better than Christianity did, until the oil fuelled hatred, as did western abandonment of decency in favour of shopping.

    Now we have a media that cannot name the religion, where the BBC attributes the damage to the Mumbai Oberoi Hotel to "militants" with not so much as a modifier like "ruthless", "merciless", "fanatic" or, more accurately, "insane", presumably for fear of profiling or offending someone equally insane. We have Obama surrendering to all and sundry, abandoning Europe and indirectly supporting another genocide for the Jews of Israel with, again, the Beeb parroting Iran's - sorry, Hizbollah's propaganda (and lending credibility to a founder-member, justifier of murder in the name of religion, with a sympathetic obituary), at the same time as effectively allowing the whole Middle East to go nuclear to defend itself because the US won't. Not to mention letting Turkey off the leash – some of us noticed, Barry Boy! We have the farce of airport security not targeting the group that commits most of the terrorist crime - young men of a certain cast of features and attitude - and we have simple non-reporting of the "honour killings", routine abuse, and displacement and murder of Christians in certain tediously predictable countries and circumstances, and no discussion whatsoever of the support and exploitation of "radicalised" Islam by superpowers: certainly China, possibly Russia.

    It's high time our media and politicians took off their cowardly blinkers and started addressing the issues; their deliberate blindness is far more harmful than any female face-covering. I for one am not fooled into thinking that those who are said to represent us are "taking action" by adding to the not inconsiderable burdens of Islamic womanhood. This goes for France, Belgium, and even the Islamic Republic of Britainistan.

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  • 147. At 10:27pm on 08 Jul 2010, Iron dome wrote:

    @146 well said, and pretty much spot on.

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  • 148. At 10:40pm on 08 Jul 2010, Nik wrote:

    146. At 9:38pm on 08 Jul 2010, MercThrasher wrote:

    """"All banks, many businesses and lots of shops won't let you in wearing the brain-bucket, even in winter when removing it breaks the bubble of warmth created by good clothing arrangement. I was a courier for a couple of hundred thousand miles so the comment is experience-derived.""""

    Right. You gave the answer yourself. Enf of story.

    """"As for chadoor, burka, chadri, veil or whatever you want to call it, I think things have come to a pretty pass if we join in the persecution of women to vent our ire at Islam.""""

    We do not give a thing about this dodgy religion, their problem if they want to follow it, they just have to keep it in their houses and not try to force their own dodgy customs upon foreign societies.

    """"What about the person socially programmed and adjusted to wear this defensive clothing,""""

    Frankly we do not care. It is their problem to adapt or they can go elsewhere where they accept this kind of unacceptable and extremely hostile and anti-social behaviour.

    """... to find, like the motorcyclist, a warm, sealed bubble - of independence and security - in a strange and increasingly hostile land?""""

    ... like the motorist is obliged they have to be obliged to.

    """"I have known lots of Islamic ladies and many of them actually like being covered in public, away from the constant judgements of consumerist competition and the incessant, obsessive, male lechery that has come to flood western life.""""

    Really? Take this raw:

    Country with the most rapes per minute = Pakistan
    Country with the highest rise in rapes = Egypt...

    And for so many others we frankly have no numbers!!!

    What is interesting is that in Egypt, women who are wholly covered are especially targeted since men there find they provoke more... whatever...

    They can wear whatever they want out in the streets but in public buildings they should be kicked out. As simple as that. End of story. Zero tolerance to anti-social behaviour.

    This issue is a non issue. We should not even discuss it.

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  • 149. At 10:49pm on 08 Jul 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Heard a discussion on a similar subject, an Echo of Moscow radio jornalist had a Muslim guest, a Director of some culture or ethnography? study institute (will check up).

    Questions were similar - why why why.

    Plus a Russia specific one :o) - couple of our Muslim republics have approached Putin, trying his reaction to their republics' idea to

    1. formally incorporate "kalum" (payment to the family from where a bride is from. paid by the bride-groom family) - in strictly allocated by law amount

    2. increase the ? payment ? when you agree to stop family vendetta, become peaceful again :o)))), for a certain amount of money. One republic insists it must be 10 million roubles now - "because of the inflation".

    :o))))))))))))))
    You can imagine poor VVP touring our places :o), and formally approached with these brilliant suggestions :o))))))))))

    So the Echo of Mosco journalist tried to get answers, from an all- things-Muslim-knowing authority what the hell is happening (in Russia).

    The main answer he got is the Muslim world is fragemented ww, there is no common authority. No formal get-togethers of learned people, no equivalent of other churches' gatherings, in order to figure out some universal Muslim "standards".

    So each region and place interprets "the rules" as it pleases.
    Which, for most of the time, has nothing to do with "bookish" Islam - but the thing not many become "bookish", in that respect.

    No universal authorities, and no even regional "guru"-s.

    He was saying that Islam needs to re-invent itself, because its development of itself has stalled. No one is working on it, advancing values. But what there is is largely locals "heads" who were born of administrative ? "cradles", like, nee administrators, not spiritual leaders. And that is the major problem.

    He was also saying, that as Islam followers are quite a majority ww, or close to it - this absence of spiritual Islam "developers" and , ? don't know, say, "guru"-s - will the the problem not only of Islamic people, but of the whole world.

    That urgent measures are required, but alas this isn't easy, because Islam - moving forward ? scientists? and developers? - this isn't a "technical" problem. Like, it is not an issue for "technicians".

    He was also saying that female education is also a key issue, because low drive for high female education among, say, many Islamic old traditional regions - leaving a woman at home - results in her NOT KNOWING the very Islam. She only gets it at home, which is not enough, as it's the same surrounding.
    And then the cycle repeats itself - by Islam tradition, boys up to 12 yrs old stay with Mum. If she knows little - re Islam - she teaches her kids little - and that is the vicious cycle, the next generation works out to be the same, "under Islam developed", - approx. so he said.

    The pay-back for a girl, for example, he said is interpreted by the whole Republic weirdly, because scientifically - by Islam proper - not the girl's family ought to get the cash - but the girl herself.
    Her personal insurance and guarantee that if there will ever be a divorce - she doesn't stay without means for eistance. And that the girl's family has absolutely no right to grabatise the money. That he will approach Putin and explain him he absolutely insists - that if the republic takes that law - it is at least an Islam proper law, and not some local un-educated interpretation :o)

    He put forward nice examples (IMHO :o) - that things are improving :o) - some girls in that Republic already get their money, not in the money form - but an apartment is bought for their name - in Krasnodar or Ekaterinburg - any Russian city. Which is being let for rent, so the brand-new bride receives her personal income, and in case of anything - she has a flat elsewhere in Russia.

    ? Quite clever! :o))))))) As min., as a Russian Russian - I see sense in it :o)

    Re the payment to stop vendetta - he said - again - crap - has got nothing to do with Islam - local historical fancy, and, like, laughable.
    But as matters stand in Russia, any thing to stop violence in the Souith is good, and he would recommend any laws type "I take money and stop killing left and right relatives of the wrong family" :o)))))
    Even as high as 10 million roubles (because of the inflation :o)))

    A very clever man and said a lot of sensible things.

    And also said that other Russians, non-Islamic, should be understanding of the problems of Islamic Russians, that they live through a difficult phase of the worldwide trend, absence of spiritual strong leaders, and be , how to say, allowing, to their co-patriots.
    And that they should also learn things what is proper Islam what not - because with the level of education it might be a Russian Russian will be sooner able to explain to an Islamic Russian what is "by the book" what not.

    The journalist laughed at that, like, Sure! Russian Orthdox - great authority to Muslims in Russia re what Islam is!

    but the man was serious - he said anyone who has better access to education by family mould-up, or surrounding - should be explaining others, his in-born duty. Because problems within Islam will concern all.

    Makes sense.

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  • 150. At 11:00pm on 08 Jul 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    He was also asked who are the hopefuls for trend-setting in Islamic world - pan-world these days. Who are likely to be ABLE to develop Islam.

    The chap answered that Russia, by the way (I was intrigued :o), because traditionally alright with education mass levels and able to think.

    That currently - Malaysia is developing "the science" forward.

    That Saudi Arabia does nil, contrary to common belief. Wa sased why - answered because their wealth is dependent on other cultures - take them away one day - empty place is left. Beacuse by themselves - they don't move forward as an Islamic society, and don't drive others. Stalled, and in the closed world, still water. Not trend-setters for others.

    Named Iran, among other places as well, interestingly. Said he cried :o), when he recently saw a new Iran "robot" - presented with huge pomp :o) That he is not very sure what exactly is "robotic" :o), about it - but the whole direction of thought, the idea to do something themselves, not taking or buying what others have done - is good green roots, and he approves hreatly, of such a thought angle.

    A clever man! said many things I didn't know. Should find the web record of the interview. At least, some orientation, re what is happening worldwide and by Islamic or a combined country.

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  • 151. At 11:08pm on 08 Jul 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I think Putin was greatly consoled :o) by one explanation given there - that being a proper Muslim does not mean living in an all-Muslim country, and striving for a kind of a "concortium" creation of "Muslim blocks". But - acc to the Islam proper - one can live any where an be a proper Muslim - it's a unity of people living in different societies. Not a land-block-based party but a religion-based congregation world wide. Made up of individuals pan-world.

    By the book - of course. Which not many know :o)

    But at least, something, and I think our PM will be from now on for the Islam "proper" by all means.
    :o)))))))))

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  • 152. At 11:16pm on 08 Jul 2010, Iron dome wrote:

    @149 excellent post.
    There is a crisi in Islam, at the intellectual and the "religious" ie, moral and ethical evolutionary level.
    There is no unified Islamic voice, neither a Chief Rabbi, a Pope, an overarching voice as there is in Orthodoxy, nor an Archbishop of Canturbury.
    This allows Islam to be hijacked and co opted at the local, sub national or ethnic level, and even as we see in the ME, as a perverted "liberation theology" with its ethical vision trapped (often willingly) in an aggressive, xenophobic and oppressive world view.
    Islam is at the same developmental level as 14th Century European Christianity.
    Its no way to run a religion.

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  • 153. At 00:27am on 09 Jul 2010, Liliput wrote:

    Well, after reading all the posts above - the best possible permanent solution as I see is that: we shouldn't stop at the Burqa ban only. Ban the Islamic style beard, ban the Koran, ban the sharia, ban the mosque, ban the minaret, ban the halal-food, ban the islamic prayers, ban arab-sounding names, ban everything that smells like islam or muslim -- because they are alien and anathema to european culture and values and thus offensive to us. Finally ban Islam and all Muslims. Just deport them ALL back to their lands of origin! That way, we won't have to be offended ever again by their presence amidst us. Otherwise, they will simply keep annoying and bugging us again and again by one small thing or another. So just ban'em all and let's live happily and merrily ever after ! And there will be peace for eternity.

    By the way,we may ban & deport these immigrants from Europe now, but we make NO guarantees that we will never follow their returning footsteps in the future and won't immigrate to THEIR countries ourselves. But we DO guarantee that, we will NOT go there surreptitiously and meekly - wringing our hands and asking for asylum. But we won't bug them or annoy them for sure like they do. Nor will we pollute their culture. Promise!

    Because, when we immigrate out of Europe - and history will testify -- we just wipe out the local native population first. Put simply, they won't exist in sufficient numbers (or at all!) to be bugged or bothered or offended by us or our alien way of life, culture, values etc. In other words, we won't do to them the mean things they are doing to us. We never did. We just put them out of their misery first, even before they get the chance to be miserable. We are so civilised, so noble, so kind and magnanimous ! Why can't these sneaky, annoying, irritating illegal immigrants see or appreciate that ?!! I wonder.

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  • 154. At 08:14am on 09 Jul 2010, lacerniagigante wrote:

    Re 125. At 01:14am on 08 Jul 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    Sorry, I meant north of the Rio Grande, to be precise, or if you want Anglo-America.

    I also should have included Australia as it seems that Football is also a confusing word over there.

    Following comments we can safely say that Football is a deity, while when other names and adjectives are used (Soccer, American Football, Australian Football) it is merely a "cultural/ethnological import".

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  • 155. At 08:18am on 09 Jul 2010, Arthur Brede wrote:

    Oh Dear, Nik. Blinkers are worse than burkas, mate. You managed to miss the point utterly and entirely, with a penchant for sexism nearly equal to the paranoia you generate.

    My point was the that the burka is not the point. It was that our slimy, cowardly politicians, our "representatives" have chosen to take their so-called "stand" on Islam just where the Moslems stand - right on top of their women. Just as the heroic "fighters" or "gunmen" push their women before them because they are in a win-win situation with the western media - they don't care if a woman dies, the western media laps it up - so they can push a dead, useless debate (in their terms - it's only women, after all) to the fore and start from a point so far removed from foul, insensate, murder and the obeying the rule of law as to be useless.

    Your hatred of Islam is well-expressed. I'm sure we are all enlightened by exposure to your justifications for zero tolerance. However, there is a problem over and beyond your personal fears and prejudices. That problem is how to tackle the very real paradox of giving human rights and democratic representation to people whose root ideology contains imperatives to destroy exactly those same rights - whether we like the the people or not. By the sound of things, that includes you, Nik. Bigotry comes in all shapes and colours and not all of it is imported. The royal 'we' throughout your post. together with a tendency to "dodgy" (your word of the day), unsourced statistics, smacks of a party alignment most of us abhor. My apologies if I'm wrong.

    I write from deep experience of Islam and Moslems and a genuine, daily and front-line involvement in human rights. Like many who follow the Islamic faith, I am deeply worried by the penetration our politicians are allowing Wahabbist ideology and the aggressive confrontations it constantly provokes. Those Moslems who want to stand against the tide of violence amd insane rejection of host-country norms do so at real risk to their lives and livelihoods, just as dissident Jews did under Nazism even before the war. It is up to us to represent the side of sanity. Your are not doing this, Nik. I suggest you take your own advice and leave the discussion. We know who you are and what you "think", but the mods prevent our naming it.

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  • 156. At 12:30pm on 09 Jul 2010, mvr512 wrote:

    155.MercThrasher wrote: I write from deep experience of Islam and Moslems and a genuine, daily and front-line involvement in human rights.

    In that case you ought to be aware that religion (in this specific case, islam) and human rights do not mix well. In fact, in this instance, they are mutually exclusive.

    Those Moslems who want to stand against the tide of violence amd insane rejection of host-country norms do so at real risk to their lives and livelihoods

    Where are they, then? These 'muslims who want to stand against the tide of violence'? We keep hearing every time someone does something 'bad' in the name of islam, that supposedly many muslims are against it. But we never see them, all we see is large crowds of protestors who call for death of those who are opposed to islam. If it really was such a huge majority against all that radicalism, why are they so afraid of that supposed 'tiny minority'?

    The only explanation I have is that the claim that the majority doesn't support what the 'radicals' want isn't true. And when one reads the quran, one feels that the radicals are actually justified in what they do because they follow what the quran says. Verses such as 'slay the unbelievers wherever they can be found' (and that isn't even the worst of them) simply cannot be misinterpreted.

    just as dissident Jews did under Nazism even before the war

    The jews still have to be careful to this day, because the islamic leadership of the middle east considers itself, to this day, the ideological heir to the nazi-islam alliance that existed between both sides leadership during WW II. Amongst middle east muslims, a certain Austrian corporal is still considered a great historic legendary leader.

    Just a brief scan of the world today sees the old anti-jewish alliance very much alive: islamic leaders, neo-nazis and extreme leftist folks who think the jew is behind capitalism. Same now as it was then.

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  • 157. At 12:33pm on 09 Jul 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    MercThrasher wrote

    "As for chadoor, burka, chadri, veil or whatever you want to call it, I think things have come to a pretty pass if we join in the persecution of women to vent our ire at Islam. What about the person socially programmed and adjusted to wear this defensive clothing, to find, like the motorcyclist, a warm, sealed bubble - of independence and security - in a strange and increasingly hostile land? I have known lots of Islamic ladies and many of them actually like being covered in public, away from the constant judgements of consumerist competition and the incessant, obsessive, male lechery that has come to flood western life."

    Well, if they don't like it here, they should go back.

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  • 158. At 3:23pm on 09 Jul 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 159. At 4:17pm on 09 Jul 2010, Terry Rigby wrote:

    From Marcus Aurelius "Brits did not have the spine to stand up to Hitler, in fact Chamberlain would not agree to the pleas of his military to build up its strength to be able to defend itself for fear of "offending" the Germans while it did not have the strength to resist the USSR."
    It may come as a surprise to you that Britain was in fact re-arming in the mid to late 1930s. Where do you think the Spitfires, Hurricanes and other 1st class aeroplanes came from that kept the Germans at bay. At the same time the Royal Navy's strength was increased and the Army re-equipped.

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  • 160. At 5:16pm on 09 Jul 2010, Simon Morgan wrote:

    Fundemental Islam is the root cause of the problem - not the Burqa. My view is that western civilizations will have to address the underlying problem sooner or later.

    To recap:

    Islam has given us octogenarians 'marrying' pre-pubescent girls (a paedophiles' heaven if ever there was one).

    Islam has given us 'honour' killings.

    Islam has spawned the Taliban, the Iranian regime and numerous terrorist organisations.

    Islam is at war with itself as well as with the rest of the world (Sunni and Shia take turns slaughtering each other or Sufi Muslims - the only adherents to a moderate form of Islam, as far as one can tell.

    And finally Islam trains new extremists every day in its' madrassas.

    It really isn't surprising that right-wing islamophobic parties are doing so well in Europe now.

    Islam cannot now get its' own house in order - it's far too late for that. The question for us is whether to just ban the Burqa or go the whole hog and ban Islam.

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  • 161. At 5:49pm on 09 Jul 2010, ROBSON wrote:

    To Marcus Aurelius....you are a true idiot with no grasp of history nor factual details...truly a credit to your nation and exactly what we would expect. You continue not to disappoint....remarkable....well done. Just think soon you may be able to dress yourself aswell lad...

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  • 162. At 11:46pm on 09 Jul 2010, Aaron wrote:

    to (156) mvr512

    By the way most Muslims that are media and internet savvy have better things to do than to troll blogs and waste time arguing pointless arguments with those who are entrenched in their Islamophobia.

    I will just entertain your post with a response just this once. I will not waste any valuable time writing long winded arguments when there are better more effective means and methods to educate the public at large.

    It is obvious from a part of your response that you point to the following verse of the Quran as reason to deem Islam as a religion incompatible with the modern world

    "slay the unbelievers wherever they can be found" (2:191)

    Using the cut and paste approach as you have so chosen to do would give the perception that you apparently want the readers of this blog to have. That is, that Quran is a barbaric, backwards completely dehumanizing book, and such the religion Islam is as well.

    Just to entertain your obvious ignorance, this is what the verse REALLY has to say. This is the translation that is agreed upon by the muslims at large. It is also agreed upon by Muslim scholars that this verse is used as a guideline to Muslim action during a time of War and violent persecution. This is not the case in the modern World, thus the jurisprudence of this verse has no application today.

    (2:190-194)

    "Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loves not transgressors. "

    "And kill them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for persecution and oppression are worse than slaughter; "

    "but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, kill them. Such is the reward of those who reject faith. But if they cease, God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."

    "And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God; but if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression."

    "The prohibited month, for the prohibited month, and so for all things prohibited, there is the law of equality. If then any one transgresses the prohibition against you, transgress ye likewise against him. But fear (the punishment of) God, and know that God is with those who restrain themselves. "


    A very different picture is painted, a picture that dictates what Muslims are to do in a time of War and are being Killed violently persecuted for professing their religion. Obviously muslim's today are not being killed or persecuted for professing their religion, (or are they?)

    Some individuals will still consider this picture as an extreme and but that is their right. But by no means does it portray the Quran (and as a result Islam) in the barbaric light that you have so done.














    I would like to

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  • 163. At 04:58am on 10 Jul 2010, Simon Morgan wrote:

    162. At 11:46pm on 09 Jul 2010, Aaron wrote:
    //
    Some individuals will still consider this picture as an extreme and but that is their right. But by no means does it portray the Quran (and as a result Islam) in the barbaric light that you have so done.
    //

    -It doesn't exactly portray Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance, does it?

    The problem, of course, with many religions is not the religion itself but the interpretation, and politicizing, of the word of 'God'.

    Once religion and politics mix, the road to confrontation is inevitable. You only have to look at Iran and the Taliban to know this to be true.

    The question for us (non-religious) types is how far we must go to tolerate the beliefs of people with religious views, while at the same time there is zero tolerance coming our way.




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  • 164. At 06:56am on 10 Jul 2010, Aaron wrote:

    @ 163 its nice to see a response that is not a "loaded question".

    as I mentioned in (162) the verse deals with a specific situation, that in which muslims are being opressed and killed due to the fact that they are muslim. That was the case 1400 years ago, at a time when no more than a few hundred or a thousand muslims existed on this planet, and muslims were targeted for their religous ascription.

    Most muslims in the modern world understand that context, and it is agreed upon that, that type of oppression and persecution no longer exists and thus these verses are for our purposes irrelevant.

    It is obvious that if someone is out to kill you, tolerance does not work. Muslims that are out to kill and oppress those who are not muslims should not be tolerated by anybody, muslims and non-muslims alike.

    In the modern world muslims are not out to kill other people, tolerance is key, and other verses in the Quran support this point of view.

    Of course it is quite easy for someone, say an individual who preports to be muslim to take one part of a verse from the Quran and create an ideology based on intolerance, violence and mayhem, as Hisb al-tahrir have done. I admit it is up to muslims to reign in these extremes as they pop up with the help of others, but to classify all muslims as part of these groups is a gross generalization.

    All I am saying is that quoting anything from any piece of literature, out of context, does not contribute to productive debate or discussion.

    There are certain individuals on blogs such as these that have a vandetta and pretty much excel at "trolling", forcing their ideas down people's throats.

    It gets really annoying.

    I agree that in the modern world, it would be difficult on the verge of impossible to mix religion and politics. The only way I can see it mixing is when a population is completely composed of a certain ascription, or if there are separate religious courts for matters dealing with social issues that operate for those who chose to participate in them. Laws dealing with matters criminal in nature obviously should be independent of religion.

    With regards to Iran , I am not knowledgeable in their internal state of affairs, but I suspect that the issue is not simply religious intolerance. Most likely the government is inventing laws and cloaking them as being religious in nature to stay in power. I wouldn't be surprised if the Taliban operate under the same premise. Their funding comes from the drug trade, which as far as I am concerned is on par with third degree murder.

    It is easy to vilify religion when you have countries like Iran and groups like the Taliban out there. I propose that if Religion did not exist these groups and individuals will find or create another ideology to operate in the exact manner.

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  • 165. At 07:07am on 10 Jul 2010, Aaron wrote:

    to (163)addenum

    I realized I failed to answer your question.


    "It doesn't exactly portray Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance, does it"

    Islam is peaceful and tolerant to those who are peaceful and tolerant to it. For those who are not peaceful and intolerant, Islam is not peaceful and is not tolerant towards them.

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  • 166. At 12:02pm on 10 Jul 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #165. At 07:07am on 10 Jul 2010, Aaron wrote:,

    "Islam is peaceful and tolerant to those who are peaceful and tolerant to it."
    Your good book may say that but there is little evidence that the followers are following that creed even within Islam. A muslim said to me years ago that he felt Islam was in the same stage of it's development as Christianity was during the crusades, especially considering the relative ages of the two ideologies. I had no reason to disbelieve what my muslim friend said then and recent events have reinforced the opinion that Islam is an expansionist religion, actively seeking converts by any means, and on a fundamentalist crusade.

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  • 167. At 1:38pm on 10 Jul 2010, Nik wrote:

    155. At 08:18am on 09 Jul 2010, MercThrasher wrote:

    """Oh Dear, Nik. Blinkers are worse than burkas, mate. You managed to miss the point utterly and entirely, with a penchant for sexism nearly equal to the paranoia you generate."""

    You are so naif to believe that I would try to open a real discussion on this utterly ridiculous issue. There is absolutely no issue. There is only 1 fact: that people who cover their faces have to be kicked out of all public places. They are allowed to wear it in their houses and private rooms where the propriator allows it. End of story. There is nothing to discuss more on it. If these people do not like it they can as well chose another place to live. They can't eat the pie and have the pie entirely intact at the end. You have a go at touching it philosophically which brings you down to the primitive level of these people who want to open such issues. You are at the mercy of your own choices.

    """My point was the that the burka is not the point."""

    It is not just the burka... it is a whole series of issues related to the utterly anti-social behaviour of the average (the a v e r a g e) muslim in Europe, and not all of them wear it.

    """It was that our slimy, cowardly politicians, our "representatives" have chosen to take their so-called "stand" on Islam just where the Moslems stand - right on top of their women. Just as the heroic "fighters" or "gunmen" push their women before them because they are in a win-win situation with the western media - they don't care if a woman dies, the western media laps it up - so they can push a dead, useless debate (in their terms - it's only women, after all) to the fore and start from a point so far removed from foul, insensate, murder and the obeying the rule of law as to be useless."""

    ???

    """Your hatred of Islam is well-expressed."""

    The muslim world had celebrated (and still admires) the genocide of 4 million christians in Minor Asia (that became modern Turkey) even if it was commited more in the name of secular Turkey (but back then it was commited in the name of islam as the notion of Turkey did not exist). Why should I have any reason to respect muslims. Did I see any repentance? Give me 1 reason to love them? Why do I have to love every human group on the earth? The fact that I do not like them does not mean I hate them, that is your definition and is 100% fascist: you have no argument, you throw a "boogey-man word" like "hate". Whatever.

    """I'm sure we are all enlightened by exposure to your justifications for zero tolerance."""

    Put it in a referendum and I will tell you who is enlighted. As I said: zero tolerance to anti-social behaviour: it creates better societies.

    """However, there is a problem over and beyond your personal fears and prejudices."""

    It is my city, my country and I run it as I like. It is not their city, it is not their country and they don't have the slightest of right to run it as they like. End of story.

    """That problem is how to tackle the very real paradox of giving human rights and democratic representation to people whose root ideology contains imperatives to destroy exactly those same rights - whether we like the the people or not."""

    It has absolutely nothing to do with human rights. With your logic having sex in public just like the dog is an even more basic human right than wearking the burka. Yet it is punishable and even more severely than wearing the burka. Do you have any point over this? No. So cut it there.

    """My apologies if I'm wrong."""

    My apologies if I am direct.

    """"I write from deep experience of Islam and Moslems and a genuine, daily and front-line involvement in human rights. Like many who follow the Islamic faith, I am deeply worried by the penetration our politicians are allowing Wahabbist ideology and the aggressive confrontations it constantly provokes. Those Moslems who want to stand against the tide of violence amd insane rejection of host-country norms do so at real risk to their lives and livelihoods, just as dissident Jews did under Nazism even before the war. It is up to us to represent the side of sanity. Your are not doing this, Nik. I suggest you take your own advice and leave the discussion. We know who you are and what you "think", but the mods prevent our naming it.""""

    Why do you get tired on this? AS I said, do a public research, a referendum on this and respect the outcome.

    Covering the face in European cultures is seen at minimum extremely rude, very offensive and down-right anti-social. It is thus more than natural that it has to be banned. Don't argue with this. Start respecting the European culture for a change.

    End of story.

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  • 168. At 9:13pm on 10 Jul 2010, Aaron wrote:

    to (166)

    Various life experiences and events such as yours dictate our personal opinion. My experience is specifically with muslim's in Canada. I would judge the muslims population in Canada to be representative of individuals who have immigrated from each and every country the middle east, northern Africa and Asia. So I would could safely assume (although some trepidation) that I have been exposed to most of what is out there. My experiences with these people does not communicate that muslims seek converts by any means possible. On the contrary, muslims although do welcome converts are somewhat wary of them, as some converts use the "brotherhood" system to take advantage of generous individuals. As well it has been known in the west, and even in the east, that government agencies insert individuals (who present a radical persona) to weed out individuals who are deemed to be radical in nature. This is quite controversial, as these government "moles" frequently cause an influx of radicalism instead of just exposing it.

    I don't see muslims actively seeking out to convert the masses at all. the muslim population gained through an influx of converts occured during early Islamic times. Today's population of a billion or so muslims can be attributed to century after century of high muslim birth rates.

    I realize that you have distinguished between what the Quran has to say and how muslim's act. It is up to muslims to change how they act and perceive the world. the Quran presents a nice guideline on how do so, but unfortunately muslims dont read the Quran anymore.

    As well, I suggest that muslims realize that confrontation is no longer a viable method for survival.

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  • 169. At 09:50am on 11 Jul 2010, Arthur Brede wrote:

    Nik

    1. I'm not a fascist because I feel your diatribe contains hate. The definiation of 'fascist', even in its most loose form, does not include simple semantic accuracy. However, I suspect the word is close to the front of your mind, day in and day out....

    2 You say:
    'It is my city, my country and I run it as I like. It is not their city, it is not their country and they don't have the slightest of right to run it as they like. End of story.'

    Absolutely wrong! Start of debate and story! It is OUR city, country, etc, and we run it according to the rule of law in a pluralist democratic society through elected representatives, not like dumb hounds piddling on fences to mark their territories. It is 'their' country, too. It's far too late to reverse that, however idealistically blinkered allowing them in may have been.

    As I pointed out, the problem is Wahabbism on one side, blind ethnocentrism on the other. I see no difference between those who support, supported or deny the holocaust of WW2 and the Islamic extremists - foul murderers outside the democratic system, all. And back to my point about finding a way of integrating even the most odious, whatever their origins, into a democratic system.

    And talking of copulating dogs, as you were, it's good, rabble-rousing stuff. Only problem is, there's not a lot of rabble to rouse on HYS. A basic pronciple of human rights is that they exist (a) within valid and agreed law and (2) only insofar as they do not impinge on the human rights of others. As the good lady said, 'The English just don't do it on the street and frighten the horses' - early animal rights. Save it for rally, lad, only the converted believe that kind 'reasoning'.

    However, judging by your standard of comprehension of what I've written before, I hold out no hope that you'll even begin to understand that. What you completely fail to see is that I am very anti anything that threatens the separation of church and state and seriously opposed to the spread of violent Islam - as well as being directly engaged in struggling against it, far, far beyond silly flaming matches in Auntie Beebs frilly front room.

    But I really don't like neo-Nazis, either, and their cant is all too recognisable to anyone who works with words. I work with words.

    Beginning of story....

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  • 170. At 2:33pm on 11 Jul 2010, Nik wrote:

    169. At 09:50am on 11 Jul 2010, MercThrasher wrote:

    """1. I'm not a fascist because I feel your diatribe contains hate."""

    O no, of course you are a fascist, actually you are a typical fascist, cos you impose on others things they have never said, benting the discussion to create impressions. You do not do a dialogue, you do a monologue and refer to the other only to throw an empty acusation.

    Your distorted logic can imagine anything. I do not hate anyone, but I do not love anyone necessarily. At the end why would I feel compassion for some anti-social, extremely aggressive and full of hatred stance of some religious fanatics wishing to break down the basics of - and showing your face in public places IS one of the very basics of our society. If you are not ready to grasp this basic then you have a serious problem.

    ---------------------

    Now leave the rest. Prove to me you are a coscious democrat. Are you willing to accept the voice of the people over this (and of course other much more serious issues)?

    Permit me to make an educated guess: No you are not prepared. You are not a democrat, you are siding with the ruling oligarchy of the fascists. Deep in your heart you are a fascist too. You accept the authority of the oligarchy and blindly follow any rubbish pseudo-ideal they throw to you.

    Please, at last prove to me you are a real democrat and that you are in position to accept the voice of the massive majority of the societies in concern.

    The story starts and ends here: do you accept the will of the majority or not?

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  • 171. At 8:59pm on 11 Jul 2010, cactusman7 wrote:

    I'm for the ban. Every nation has a right to protect and assert it's culture, language, customs, religion, it's "uniqueness".

    For those who object to the ban, please consider the following. In muslim countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and others, non-muslim women are forced to wear the burqa or nijab and can beaten and/or arrested by muslim religous police. Women, muslim and non-muslim, there don't get to exercise any personal choice in the matter.

    When muslim countries recipricate and allow non-muslims within muslim countries to live and function without having to conform to islamic cultural and religous laws, then maybe such bans should be eliminated. The door must swing in both directions or not at all.

    In the meantime, if muslims don't like having to assimilate or respect the values found in the non-muslin country in which they are living, then why are they living there??? Leave and go to a muslim country where can wear your burqa or hijab, to your heart's content. Nobody asked muslims to come to a non-muslim country and nobody to is forcing muslims to stay in any non-muslim country.

    Most muslims who live in Europe are there because the have fled the muslim world seeking religeous, socio-economic and political freedoms and opportunities that just are not available in the muslim world; not to mention getting blown-up and killed by one of the many radical muslim factions. The medieval islamic attitutes and resulting poor socio-economic and political conditions that exist throughout most of the muslim world are not compatable with non-muslim cultures, especially in the modern and progressive culture found throughout Europe. Muslims there must adapt the sensitivities of the non-muslim countries in which they reside.

    There is no requirement for a nation to change or give it's culture, language, customs, religion, it's "uniqueness" to accommodate foreign visitors or immigrants. The obligation to change is incumbent upon the immigrant, not the host nation. If you don’t like a certain country because of it’s culture, laws, etc., then don’t go there!!! Go somewhere else! How hard is that to figure out?

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  • 172. At 10:51pm on 11 Jul 2010, Nik wrote:

    cactusman7, you speak of the evident. Since you are a reasonable man I will also have to ask you a tricky question:

    Question: What is the difference of an illegal immigrant from a colonist?

    I can't find a straight answer to this other than ... "their social status!!!!".

    But the end result is always the same: the bulk of the indigenous losing.

    Let aside the above question, it is not answered easily, nor linearly.


    I will ask another tricky question that none poses here, yet this question is 100% linear and simple and very direct and extremely easy to answer.

    Where does the sovereignty of 1 country belongs? To whom? When you define this, then isn't the sovereign responsible to define on such issues? Yes or not?

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  • 173. At 10:30am on 12 Jul 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #168. At 9:13pm on 10 Jul 2010, Aaron,

    It's not just what the Quran says, it's simply one of a number of books that have been translated, re-written, adjusted over the years to reflect the current thinking of the particular religion. Most of these bibles were written to portray a kind of morality whilst keeping the faithful faithful. Unfortunately they are written with too many words and are not precise like the ten commandments, therefore they can be anything to anybody, which is why some muslims use obscure texts in the Quran to justify violence, repression etc. Most know the Christian bible is just a composite of a number of writings and that many equally valuable writings were ignored and left out by the Roman conference that structured the religion. It is because these books are just works of fiction that I dislike the accommodation and appeasement that is being granted to their devotees, what next, we are all required to read L Ron Hubbard's books to appease Scientology.

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  • 174. At 01:53am on 13 Jul 2010, ninetofivegrind wrote:

    161 ROBSON wrote:
    "To Marcus Aurelius....you are a true idiot with no grasp of history nor factual details...truly a credit to your nation and exactly what we would expect. You continue not to disappoint....remarkable....well done. Just think soon you may be able to dress yourself aswell lad..."
    _____________________________

    Given MAIIs advanced age, it's not dressing himself that he should be concerned with.........

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  • 175. At 09:59am on 13 Jul 2010, Arthur Brede wrote:

    Nik - doesn't it get tiring, life on three legs, mentally, physically, logically, metaphorically?

    Your definition of fascist is pure Humpy-Dumpty. Go look it up. It's there with the ones you're still colouring. What 'majority'? The one that elected an upper-class twit and a white-goods salesman to run the country?

    The 'will of the majority' is a phrase like 'we're doing it for tomorrow's children' - cobblers, both in the sense that it's loosely tacked together and that its a load of [rhyming slang deleted}. Never trust a state of organsisation with 'democratic' in its title.

    My point - sorry I hid it from you so effectively - is that we shouldn't be bullying women about when we should be addressing issues - as other posters have done - of Koranic interpretation, social cohesion, and ways to catch and severely punish those who use religion as an umbrella for violent revolution - and the fellow-travellers who let them do it. Spitting feathers about patriotism, barely-concealed racism, silly apartheid comments and bent bull about 'majorities' and 'the people' are a dangerous waste of time and play into the hands of the enemy.

    Among other qualifications, I speak several languages and make some of my living translating. As a professional, I see very little, or no difference between 'Sieg Heil' and 'Allah u akbar' - is that clear enough for you, connoisseur of fascim that you are?

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  • 176. At 10:31am on 13 Jul 2010, Aaron wrote:

    to 173: Buzet 23 (We're pretty much going off on a tangent here, but I'll entertain with a response)


    I agree with the logic behind your stance to a certain extent. I will not agree that the Quran was altered since its inception ( BBC is not a proper venue to discuss that anyways), but I do concur that no one should be made to read a religious book for the sake of its people. Conversely, for one to criticize a religious book/scripture, they must be on FIRM intellectual/factual ground to do so. The onus is on them to learn everything about that book/scripture. As well, cut and paste tactics do not constitute as "learning".

    I am of the position that if anyone that wants to learn about Islam, Christianity, Judaism, (any religion) the content/religious scripture is always available. Whether be it online, or the closest Church, Mosque, Synagogue, Hindu temple. Those who do not want to believe in religion, certainly should not be harassed in any manner or form for their choice in this matter.

    I will make the distinction between "belief" and "action". When it comes to religion, these two terms are inter-linked, but obviously belief supersedes action. So, I will presume that they are separate entities, just for the sake of simplifying my argument.

    I think the crux of the religious issue is the following: In essence religious devotees feel a need to inform others of their religion, due to a mindset that is driven by pity, and in extreme cases, hate. They presume that those who do not follow their religious ascription will be punished for their "deviance" in belief. And, as such, it becomes the Religious devotee's aim to save this "unbeliever" from punishment. This rationale is flawed. Human beings are not in any shape or form able to implement judgment on the "beliefs" of fellow human beings. That ability is reserved for God. (for those that believe in God.)

    On the other hand Judging "action" is within the realm of Human intellect.

    I think, in today's socio-political environments, Religious devotees should restrict their actions to strictly educating those who are interested, or have misconceptions about their religion. Most action, above and beyond this, has a tendency to create chaos and mayhem.

    Since religious devotees dictate that God, or for some "gods", are all powerful and responsible for the presence of human beings , then intuitively speaking it is only God that has the power and discretion to properly judge the beliefs of any individual. Human beings alone, cannot judge belief, all we can do is to reserve judgment on "action" as it pertains to our ability to perceive "right" and "wrong".

    I think if religious folk adopt a mentality of strictly educating, as well as cease to pity or in extreme cases hate those who are not of their faith, this world would be a much better place to live in.

    The above statement not only applies to religious folk but also applies to those who deny and stigmatize religion.

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  • 177. At 10:33am on 13 Jul 2010, Nik wrote:

    175. At 09:59am on 13 Jul 2010, MercThrasher wrote:

    """Nik - doesn't it get tiring, life on three legs, mentally, physically, logically, metaphorically?"""

    ?

    """Your definition of fascist is pure Humpy-Dumpty. Go look it up. It's there with the ones you're still colouring."""

    Fascism is not all about Mussolini you know. You have to understand what fascism is all about.

    """What 'majority'? The one that elected an upper-class twit and a white-goods salesman to run the country?"""

    You should had understood by now that I do not consider elected parliamentarianism as any closer to democracy than any other dictatorship.

    I have been speaking here about referendums... r e f e r e n d u m s that can express the public will. That is what you are not ready to accept. You are not at all ready to hear the public will and even less to see it being applied. Any other alternative you may bring here is much more close to fascism - it is no magic: 1+1=2.

    """The 'will of the majority' is a phrase like 'we're doing it for tomorrow's children' - cobblers, both in the sense that it's loosely tacked together and that its a load of [rhyming slang deleted}. Never trust a state of organsisation with 'democratic' in its title."""

    Pfff... what are you churning there? Perhaps democracy is all about the rule of the miniroty? Perhaps to pass a measure we should all vote against it, is that what you are trying to tell me?

    Go read what democracy is all about. It is about the "Demos" applying "kratos". If you really do not like the idea you can pick up any alternative out there but do not call yourself democrat cos you are anythign but that.

    """My point - sorry I hid it from you so effectively - is that we shouldn't be bullying women about when we should be addressing issues"""

    I do not care about the well-being of these illiterate women more than I care about the rights of people who want to be nudists in public places or have sex in public. There is nothing bad intself being naked in public or having sex in public, any other animal does it. However, there are social conventions. And as circulating naked or having sex in public is deemed indecenet, the covering of the face is also deemed indecent and actually worse, an aggressive attitude. Like nudists go to special places to enjoy their hobby, these women should go to special places to enjoy their hobby. Wa can't change social conventions built over 1000s of years in a go, for the shake of a tiny minority of religious fanatics.

    It is as simple as that. If you do not respect this simple remark you are once again proving how you lack the slightest of respect for society, let alone your inexistent democratic beliefs.

    """ - as other posters have done - of Koranic interpretation, social cohesion, and ways to catch and severely punish those who use religion as an umbrella for violent revolution - and the fellow-travellers who let them do it."""



    """Spitting feathers about patriotism,"""

    What? Where did I mention this?

    See now why I call you fascist? Keep adding things I have never said.

    """barely-concealed racism,"""

    Where did you find this in my sayings?

    Once again, see why I call you fascist. Keep bending my sayings.


    """silly apartheid comments and bent bull about 'majorities' and 'the people' are a dangerous waste of time and play into the hands of the enemy."""

    You are a fascist. What do you know about democracy. I underline your mentoin about "apartheid" as yet another poisonous effort to put labels to your interlocutor (me) against whom you lack the capacity to argumentate properly.


    """Among other qualifications, I speak several languages and make some of my living translating."""

    ...But judging from your argumentation, your level remains always down.

    """As a professional, I see very little, or no difference between 'Sieg Heil' and 'Allah u akbar' - is that clear enough for you, connoisseur of fascim that you are?"""

    Yet another poisonous effort to accuse me. Please feel free to point an exact phrase from my sayings where I supported fascism. You are really getting ridiculous.

    Anyway, to prove how much out you are and how much incompetent to take part in such a discussion let me ask you on your above phrase:

    What do you refer?:

    a) Do you equate the "Sieg Heil" that Germans shouted in Germany witrh the "Allah u Akbar" that Arabs shout in Algeria?
    b) Do you equate the "Sieg Heil" that Germans shouted in France with the "Allah u Akbar" that Algerians shout in Belgium?
    c) Do you equate the "Sieg Heil" that Germans shouted in Germany with the "Allah u Akbar" that Algerians shout in Belgium?

    Yet another poisonous effort to link your interlocutor with things he never said. Where does this end?

    Now take note of this:

    1) You have shown your complete lack of democratic beliefs yet you are willing to accuse your interlocutor as a fascist when it is your interlocutor that reminds you of the basics of democracy
    2) You do not have the substantial education to understand what is democracy and what is a basic social convention.

    But above all:
    3) You have proved your complete lack to argumentate
    4) Under the light of 3 you have shown your will to poison the discussion by trying to link your interlocutor with things he never said.

    MercThrasher your tricks and gimmicks may pass among the semi-illiterate, here they just don't pass.

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  • 178. At 10:34am on 13 Jul 2010, Nik wrote:

    (it is amasing how people are reacting so violent to the idea of organising commonly referendums... proving that there are out there a far greater number of people that hate democracy and who will fight it by any means possible than we really think...)

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  • 179. At 11:57am on 13 Jul 2010, Nik wrote:

    it seems I let out the following out of MercThrashers' confused text:

    """ - as other posters have done - of Koranic interpretation, social cohesion, and ways to catch and severely punish those who use religion as an umbrella for violent revolution - and the fellow-travellers who let them do it."""

    Dear MercThrasher. I frankly do not give a thing about how Koran is interpreted, I am not occupied with idiocies. And It is certainly not up to the state to mignle in all that. Being interested in how the various groups of muslims interpret their texts is a devious & poisonous approach from the side of those who wish to create an issue where there should be no issue at all but the application of law following the social conventions.

    It is 1000 times more natural to go out naked than fully covered from toes to face. Yet according to social conventions established since prehistoric times this is illegal. Covering completely the face is another social convention which is actually older than nudism and which of course was treated much more severely (refusal to reveal one's face is naturally translated as an extremely aggressive attitude). Up to now there was no particular law for this second social convention since there was no case for it as no logical European citizen would had circulated like that, and since if anyone did it trying to enter any public building people would avoid him, clerks would refuse to serve him and eventually the police would arrest him to identify him and his intentions.

    However the influx of (often illegal) immigration from countries with radically different social conventions raises this question and thus naturally the law - as always following the events than being in front - answers. In that situation two things can be done:
    1) Immigrants adapt to indigenous social conventions
    2) Immigrants enforce their ow nsocial conventions on the indigenous
    3) A mixed situation where the law racially distinguishes people into indigenous who are subject into different laws from the newcomers upon whom legislation bends to accomodate for their often radically different social conventions

    1 is the natural thing to happen for people who chose to go live in a particular country.
    2 is an aggressive and violent move of newcomers against the indigenous. The more social conventions newcomers impose on indigenous the more they pronounce their lack of respect for the local ones and the more ground they gain at their expense.
    3 is an caste-like/appartheid-like state.

    You MercThrasher move between 2 and 3 proving once again your complete disrespect for the basics of democracy and societal organisation.

    As simple as that. There is nothing to like or dislike it, there is nothing to discuss. Any law permitting people ot circulate around with faces covered means that it is automatically permitting ALL social conventions to be nullified and thus people have the right to be nudists or have sex in public. There is no more room to discuss here in that unless we start discussing in general all basics of social conventions such as nudism, incest, animal treatment etc.

    The law is the law and cannot do distinctions in such issues in a proper democratic state - otherwise we speak of course about totalitarian regimes that can chose for you which basic social convetion can be expressed as law and which not.

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  • 180. At 3:05pm on 13 Jul 2010, Traveler Liz wrote:

    Remember years ago when catholic women were required to cover their heads when visiting church? I attribute this religious action equal to muslim women covering their heads...and only their heads. Covering the head is religious, covering other parts of the body is not.

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