Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html en-gb 30 Thu 23 Oct 2014 06:52:43 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=99#comment295 Since you evoked this closed discussion, let me give the final answer to Oulematu on the issue (cos I see now he really did try to answer back - and failed again).Dear Oulematu, once you try to speak a little bit reasonably, then you get the logical answer so that you quickly jump back into lies and distortions. Do you really think you are the first such propagandist I speak to?"""....I simply noted that you retreated from your previous extreme position involving the definition of "guest" as everyone who is not a pure-blooded 4th generation indigenous person"""First you once again lie, since you once again attribute to me words I have never said. I never gave a definite definition of what is "guest" - a general term I used to make the basic distinction, unlike you who will call "French", "German" whoever accidentally finds himself legally, or illegally within the borders of these states.Secondly, as I said, I have left the "in" and "out" up to each country, something which you are not ready to recognise."""and proposing special rules for any "guests" as opposed to "hosts"."""I propose no rules. I say that people should be able to chose what is best for them, not what is best for any random soul that found its way inside."""I'm lost - are you now going back to this definition?"""You are not lost. You are evading the point through lies and distortions.I will repeat the point:"""It is up to each country to define what is "in" and what is "out"."""Having any problem with no2 you reveal instantly:a) Your total disrespect for the country and its political processes (guess how much if these come from democratic procedures).b) Your will to impose upon them your onw point of view which is of course translated as aggresiveness."And then check your answer:"""Now you cannot descend any lower than that, can you? As per Nik, a state can adopt any rules on who is "in" and "out" in its unfettered discretion, and whoever (citizen or non-citizen) who does not like it is showing a total disrespect for the country and imposes his/her views through an act of aggression."""Your answer is not merely propaganda, lies but also reveals a lot of hatred too against anyone that refused to abide to your distorted view. You treat as "violence" and "act of aggression" even the most basic liberties of citizens. Is the basic right of any society to refuse entry to random people an act of aggression? Really?"""What are you smoking?!"""Certainly not your drug."""Example: A state will decide to strip all Jews of their citizenship and relocate them to concentration camps."""Is the right of a country to say no to the entry of random individuals it considers as negative elements or useless elements equal to concentration camps organised for citizens Jewish in WWII? What kind of logic is this? For propaganda everything goes by I guess if you mention the Jewish."""Any notion of human rights,"""Is there any human right that can say that humans can impose their entry against all laws into any country they wish? Really? Show to me where did you find that?"""Dictatorship of the majority."""Fuzzy title. You represent Empire, caste societies, extreme social injustice, civic violence the good old rule by oligarchy? And it hurts you the rule of the majority."""Do you not see the total absurdity of this?"""I see nothing absurd. I am a democrat. You are a supporter of oligarchy. I am supporter of conscious, responsible societies. You are supporter of animal-like caste societies. Naturally you despise everything that has to do with democracy or conscious self-determined societies and you will fight views like mine with every lie possible, since you have no proper argumentation (as you cannot sell easily your real ideas of the rule of oligarchy, the imperial system, the caste society)."""It is glaringly obvious to even the most casual observer who has ever spent five minutes thinking about the principles of individual rights"""State is the property of its citizens. You do not recognise that, you are the last to speak about individual rights. You speak "Empire"."""rule of law"""You have repeatedly shown to be a keen supporter of illegal immigration. You are the last to speak of the rule of law."""and constitutional review"""A basic article of all constitutions is the one referring to the protection of the state's physical borders and that is it up to the responsibility of all citizens. You are the last to speak of constitution."""and has the most rudimentary knowledge of political history."""Do you have the rudimentary knowledge of political history? Make me laugh and give me for once a historic example."""You misunderstand the most basic principles and values on which European societies are based"""I know very well the "principles" and "values" and even if I stop laughing with you refering to them, I cannot still make the link of these values to the fact that you insist that every random soul that finds itself for whatever reason in any random state has to be instantly tolerated."""Anyway, if I am citizen A and you are telling me that my children C are not eligible for citizenship because spouse B is a non-citizen, then I see such exclusionary policies as a serious infringement of my and my family's rights."""You are blatantly wrong. If a country has had such laws all the way through then you should have known it and you are not excused to bear a grudge. If there is a new such law which represents the voice of the majority, then you have nothing to do with it, agree or disagree with it. If the law however acts retro-actively, then that is an injustice to you since you were not informed in the past about it and now your kids are paying the price of losing certain rights. However, a democratic society would rarely vote for a retro-active application hence referring it as a case is simply a smokescreen."""Surely this is not only a matter of what the relevant country wants, but also of what I and my family wants and is entitled to."""Oh really? So your personal interests lie above law and constitution? And since when you and your family is entitled to something? Is there a nature law that you should be entitled to be citizen of any random country you chose? Perhaps you are entitled to pick up anyone's property too? You know very well what this sounds like..."""I do not what you mean by 2nd generation, but obviously your implication that any 2nd generation person is inherently untrustworthy and should be stripped of its rights because it will not act in the real interests of the country is extremely offensive and based on pure prejudice."""It is offensive to you since it reveals your real motives. Of course the reality is that for many countries particular populations of particular backgrounds and even the 2nd and even their 3rd generations are particularly untrustworthy and especially in national crises they constitute an additional danger sometimes grave danger."""Where I live, people (whatever their citizenship status) are free to pursue their own interest, and there is no expectation that each individual's interest will coincide 100% with the interests of the country or society"""What you describe are citizens of multiple speeds, a heavily caste society, which is of course your ideal."""I find your prejudiced and spiteful way of thinking genuinely scary. If most Europeans share your ideology, then Providence help us - I'm afraid the world will see some really nasty things coming out of Europe in the near future."""Absolutely not. I am neither prejudiced nor spiteful, this is what you are as proven by your inclination to lie and distort. I speak sense. Wars are the outcome of macro-financial distputes. The most war-like state ever created that has been the US, a state that by and large abides to your ideal and it, for 200 years has been in uninterrupted constant warfare. The theoretical type of state (since it is not applied in reality) I describe is a democratic state with conscious citizens who self-determine their future and as such much less prone to wars. It is the caste-based imperial-like states you admite that tend to be more warlike."""However, that does not mean that the Parliament can enact any law - only subject to constitutional review, checks and balances and fundamental human rights. The laws that were passed by Nazis were illegal, and that is why Nazi leaders were tried after the War for their crimes even though they may not have been enshrined in the Nazi Criminal Code. And that is also why certain Communist crimes have been prosecuted after the regime change, and rightfully so."""You are really deluded. You have absolutely no clue of what is the notion of legality. Where do I have to start? Obviously from the basics? That there is no law out in nature defining any lawcode system?"""In a modern constitutional democracy, the role of the government is to ensure the protection of individual rights and prevention of harm to the public, but definitely not to enforce uniform application of social conventions (unless non-compliance with them infringes individual rights or causes tangible harm to the public)""".So what harm would cause you if I enterred naked in your office? It would excite your female collegue next to you and would make jealous or something? Aren't my rights infringed right here?"""By definition, social conventions are changeable in time and place and cannot be enforced uniformly by law."""There exist and they are very much enforced. You should be aware that it is illegal for me to come inside your office naked. It is called "indecent dress code". Moreover there are numerous places - even public ones - where there is enforced a dress code."""If the latter is the case, you need to come out and openly say what model of society you defend - authoritarian suffocated society in which individuals are not free to do anything that is not sanctioned by the state."""I did not even propose anything of what you mention. I said that in any kind of constitutional democracy the same measures should be applied to all cases without exceptions favouring "special parts of population". When nudity, a social must-not is sanctioned, face cover, another social-must not which is even worse since it includes the loss of possibility to identify the person hidden underneath, should be also sanctioned."""It is extraordinarily unfortunate and scary that someone like you, who has not the slightest clue about the constitutional principles and values on which European societies are based, seeks to harness government power in order to enforce your fallacious notions of Europe's basic values and principles and impose them on free humans."""You make me laugh. You have never even a read any country's constitution (I guess you have read only Britains one....!) and you try to speak on it. You talk of European values when you ignore even the basics of them (hence you do not even refer specifically to them)."""I will be very busy in the coming couple of days, and I would suggest that you should use this time to reflect and educate yourself a bit on these topics instead of posting mindless comments."""No need to think of anything. I need a more thoughtful answer from you to put me in the process of thinking anything particular. I just saw your answer some minutes back and concocted the most easy answer to you. End of story, you are someone who preaches "religion", "Empire", "caste-society" and above all "oligarchy". For someone who is a convinced democrat and a believer of peoples' personal rights (the right to property, the right to sefl-determination) like me it will be impossible to find consensus with you. Mon 06 Sep 2010 13:19:26 GMT+1 U14603703 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=99#comment294 How many niqabis have you seen comitting crimes?Covering up fully is one extreme while wearing next to nothing is another extreme. You cannot attack one extreme and not the other. Mon 06 Sep 2010 11:55:17 GMT+1 oulematu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=98#comment293 As reported by the New York Times, a US Federal court recently issued a decision in which it stated: “Moral disapproval alone ... is an improper basis on which to deny rights to [gay] men and women.” See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/opinion/05thu1.html?_r=1&hpNothing new to those familiar with US constitutional law, but what a discovery for those that want to enforce the "dominant culture" in Europe through legislation! And look at that brevity but clarity of formulation!Does this principle also apply in Europe? I think so, if Europe aspires a free society and a constitutinal democracy. Most of the arguments in favor of banning the burka can be rejected simply by reference to this principle - i.e., that moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to humans.Some may argue that this is only a US principle which has no place in Europe's constitutional culture. But that inevitably plays into the hands of those who argue that, at least as regards the protection of minorities, society in Europe is at a significantly lower level of development than society in North America. So I really think that the likes of threnodio need to thrash it out with the likes of Nik before they can maintain a credible rebuttal of MAII's critique of Europe. Btw, did you notice that Sarkozy now wants to strip French nationals of their nationality if they are foreign-born and commit a crime or threaten a policeman? He would also automatically take away French nationality from any non-indigenuous youngster who commits an offense and would hold parents liable for any actions of the minor children. See http://euobserver.com/9/30570 Thu 05 Aug 2010 08:07:47 GMT+1 peyman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=98#comment292 "MPs believe that those who live in, or visit, France should embrace French values.". Isnt the freedom to wear whatever clothes they wish part of the "french values"?I am myself from Iran and for me veil in general is a symbol of oppression. But if one day my own daughter came home with a veil I will not in anyway force her into some other clothing. I just believe it her right to choose as it should be in every (free) country around the world. I understand that in some places (e.g. banks and airports) it might be necessary to enforce such rules. But all public places?I would however fully support the law against forcing someone to wear veil. Tue 03 Aug 2010 12:54:33 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=98#comment291 LogjamsRe #253 & "..what about hoodies..?"Think You've read the tabloid headlines a couple of years ago & got carried away on what is/isn't English Law.There is NO ban on hoodies in Law anywhere in the UK. What there is, as with all such face-head covering is the Right for proprietors, e.g. Bank, Pub, Shop, Office, Shopping Mall etc. to Publish at their entrance specific details of what is/is not permitted/acceptable clothing.Thus You may find some Pubs, Clubs etc. perfectly happy to allow singlet & shorts & others require an entirely different Dress-code: This also applies to 'hoodies', crash helmets etc. & in fact the Burqua too, as each establishment under English Common Law does have the legal right to determine what is permissible - - those local Bye-Laws have pertained for almost half a century - - and as with most cases in the UK there has been a very liberal attitude taken to all such matters (with exceptions made when particular incidents/problems occur, e.g. the Bluewater shopping mall banned hoodies for a time as roaming gangs/mischief-makers were using them to hide their identity).England does not need a Law on the Burqua/Niqab: Bye-Laws are in place should establishments wish to use them - - in my view, hopefully, the illiberal/antagonistic attitude of France will not carry across the Channel - - that said, I fully support France's elected Government's Right & Responsibility to make such a Law if it sees fit to do so in the interests of France. Fri 23 Jul 2010 21:14:27 GMT+1 oulematu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=97#comment290 To Nik: STATEMENT no. 1"Interesting feedback Oulematu and it would be a perfect ocnstructive answer well focused on points if you avoided including reference to my opinions bordering with nazism or such. You have to realise that you speak to a totally de-complexed individual who won't be socially intimidated by such unilateral labelling and attributions."ANSWERIt was a compliment. I simply noted that you retreated from your previous extreme position involving the definition of "guest" as everyone who is not a pure-blooded 4th generation indigenous person and proposing special rules for any "guests" as opposed to "hosts". I'm lost - are you now going back to this definition? Then I need to go back to the previous label - I do not how else to describe such extremist position that you previously tried to defend.STATEMENT no. 2"(…) Let me tell you that your questioning on how to define "host" and "guest" (and in here both we understand we talk about very general labels) is very reasonable and well expected. (…) (2) short discussion: it is up to each country to define what is "in" and what is "out". Having any problem with no2 you reveal instantly:a) Your total disrespect for the country and its political processes (guess how much if these come from democratic procedures). b) Your will to impose upon them your onw point of view which is of course translated as aggresiveness."ANSWERNow you cannot descend any lower than that, can you? As per Nik, a state can adopt any rules on who is "in" and "out" in its unfettered discretion, and whoever (citizen or non-citizen) who does not like it is showing a total disrespect for the country and imposes his/her views through an act of aggression. What are you smoking?! Example: A state will decide to strip all Jews of their citizenship and relocate them to concentration camps. Per Nik, this is totally ok, there is not recourse against this, and anyone who protests against this is "disrespectful" and "aggressive". You lower your standards so far that any country can comply with them. Any notion of human rights, checks and balances and constitutional review fly out the window. Dictatorship of the majority. Do you not see the total absurdity of this? It is glaringly obvious to even the most casual observer who has ever spent five minutes thinking about the principles of individual rights, rule of law and constitutional review, and has the most rudimentary knowledge of political history. You misunderstand the most basic principles and values on which European societies are based - and these are the core principles, as opposed to whether or not someone wears burqa or runs around naked. I do not know how else to explain it to you. Other than that, I can only add that your own statement no. 2 provides also a good illustration in response to your statement no. 1. STATEMENT no. 3"Now if a country wishes to have both parents local to give citizenship or can recognise the one parent, or can recognise only the father or can give citizenship after 10 years or just gives citizenship for free that is the problem of each country and you can have absolutely no opinion on it. If you are a 2nd generation still having an opinion on such issues is a tricky one since you will eventually fall in the trap of preferring "open doors" so more "people like you" arrive and make you more socially empowered - which for you is more important than the real interests of the country and its society."ANSWERWho told you that I can have absolutely no opinion on that? I don't know where you live, but where I live, I can have an opinion absolutely on anything. I don't see how anyone or anything could prevent me from that. Anyway, if I am citizen A and you are telling me that my children C are not eligible for citizenship because spouse B is a non-citizen, then I see such exclusionary policies as a serious infringement of my and my family's rights. Surely this is not only a matter of what the relevant country wants, but also of what I and my family wants and is entitled to. I do not what you mean by 2nd generation, but obviously your implication that any 2nd generation person is inherently untrustworthy and should be stripped of its rights because it will not act in the real interests of the country is extremely offensive and based on pure prejudice. Where I live, people (whatever their citizenship status) are free to pursue their own interest, and there is no expectation that each individual's interest will coincide 100% with the interests of the country or society (not to mention that it is impossible to precisely define the sum of interests of a society and such interests are subject to continuous evolvement and it is also not possible to define society so as to exclude certain groups of people). There used to be such expectation (that people would do nothing that is not in the official state interest) in the part of Europe where I was growing up; but that regime is now over. I find your prejudiced and spiteful way of thinking genuinely scary. If most Europeans share your ideology, then Providence help us - I'm afraid the world will see some really nasty things coming out of Europe in the near future.STATEMENT no. 4"Again, my view is that this has to be up to the citizesn of the country to vote on such issues since accepting a stranger as "one of our own" is not something easy nor something to take lightly."ANSWERIn most European countries, the voting right belongs only to citizens (except partly for municipal elections and a few other narrow exceptions). It is not the only conceivable approach, but it is certainly possible and common. I never said otherwise. However, that does not mean that the Parliament can enact any law - only subject to constitutional review, checks and balances and fundamental human rights. The laws that were passed by Nazis were illegal, and that is why Nazi leaders were tried after the War for their crimes even though they may not have been enshrined in the Nazi Criminal Code. And that is also why certain Communist crimes have been prosecuted after the regime change, and rightfully so. STATEMENT no. 5"However where we disagree is on the exact definition of basic social conventions and how these should be expressed by law. I pinpoint you the current imbalance in treatment by law between two extreme cases, nudity and full cover. What I ask is a more comprehensive and more standardised approach: i.e. to enforce law equally on all social conventions and not make presents here or there. A differential approach is what establishes formally caste societies."ANSWERWe disagree on more than just the definition of basic social conventions. Social convention means an customary way of doing things - something that is normally done as a matter of custom, but sometimes may not be depending on the specific circumstances. In a modern constitutional democracy, the role of the government is to ensure the protection of individual rights and prevention of harm to the public, but definitely not to enforce uniform application of social conventions (unless non-compliance with them infringes individual rights or causes tangible harm to the public). By definition, social conventions are changeable in time and place and cannot be enforced uniformly by law. This is possible only in a state-controlled ossified society which is not left to evolve on its own. This is a fundamental misunderstanding on your part, or maybe an intention misrepresentation, I don't know. If the latter is the case, you need to come out and openly say what model of society you defend - authoritarian suffocated society in which individuals are not free to do anything that is not sanctioned by the state. It is extraordinarily unfortunate and scary that someone like you, who has not the slightest clue about the constitutional principles and values on which European societies are based, seeks to harness government power in order to enforce your fallacious notions of Europe's basic values and principles and impose them on free humans. I will be very busy in the coming couple of days, and I would suggest that you should use this time to reflect and educate yourself a bit on these topics instead of posting mindless comments. Fri 23 Jul 2010 16:41:57 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=97#comment289 287+289. At 09:29am on 23 Jul 2010, oulematu wrote:Interesting feedback Oulematu and it would be a perfect ocnstructive answer well focused on points if you avoided including reference to my opinions bordering with nazism or such. You have to realise that you speak to a totally de-complexed individual who won't be socially intimidated by such unilateral labelling and attributions.Even for me that write huge messages it will take really long to answer all your points though I see you revolve around 2-3 basic questions. Let me tell you that your questioning on how to define "host" and "guest" (and in here both we understand we talk about very general labels) is very reasonable and well expected.This leads to both a very detailed discussio but also a very short one:1) long discussion: blah blah blah....2) short discussion: it is up to each country to define what is "in" and what is "out".Having any problem with no2 you reveal instantly:a) Your total disrespect for the country and its political processes (guess how much if these come from democratic procedures). b) Your will to impose upon them your onw point of view which is of course translated as aggresiveness.Now if a country wishes to have both parents local to give citizenship or can recognise the one parent, or can recognise only the father or can give citizenship after 10 years or just gives citizenship for free that is the problem of each country and you can have absolutely no opinion on it. If you are a 2nd generation still having an opinion on such issues is a tricky one since you will eventually fall in the trap of preferring "open doors" so more "people like you" arrive and make you more socially empowered - which for you is more important than the real interests of the country and its society.Again, my view is that this has to be up to the citizesn of the country to vote on such issues since accepting a stranger as "one of our own" is not something easy nor something to take lightly. The fact that this has never happened in the past in any country just shows the "amount" of democracy that circulates around despite everyone advertising it - to my eyes China is no less democratic than any other EU country. European countries are ruled by oppressive oligarchies just like any other part of the world and citizens are trapped in them having less rights on their land than they had even 300 years ago under phenomenally more autocratic regimes.Back to our issue:I think you agree with me that Sarkozy brings this law as a smokescreenI think you agree with me that clothes are not our major issue.However where we disagree is on the exact definition of basic social conventions and how these should be expressed by law. I pinpoint you the current imbalance in treatment by law between two extreme cases, nudity and full cover. What I ask is a more comprehensive and more standardised approach: i.e. to enforce law equally on all social conventions and not make presents here or there. A differential approach is what establishes formally caste societies.And I think you are smart enough to know what is a caste-based society and how fair it can be. Fri 23 Jul 2010 11:10:20 GMT+1 oulematu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=97#comment288 to 288, learntogether: It seems very highly likely that the French criminal ban on burkas is not a measure adopted in a compelling governmental interest, narrowly tailored to meet that interest and capable of meeting that interest. If the concern is subjugation of women, they should instead strengthen measures to help victims and potential victims of family violence (improving law enforcement, enabling such women to seek shelter and helping them become independent). If the concern is about international terrorism, they should improve the operation of security agencies and the policing of public places, and should embark on a major public communication and information effort aimed at explaining to the world's population the benefits of and contributions made by modern constitutional democratic systems to humanity, the importance of human rights for human dignity, and the benign interests of these democracies that do not seek to act to the detriment of other countries. The criminal ban does not achieve any of this, is counterproductive in many respects, and by violating the constitution undermines the credibility of the French constitutional system. It is also unacceptable to label all Muslims as extreme "Islamists". There are over 1 bn Muslims in the world, the majority of them are ordinary people who are not ideological violent extremists, and you will need to co-opt the cooperation of many of them if you want a peaceful world. Many of these people live in countries that do not provide free access to objective (or at least diverse) sources of information, and engaging with these people (instead of antagonizing them) will take you a long way towards achieving your stated goals. I grew up in a totalitarian country, so I have a good idea of the effect that totalitarian and omnipresent propaganda, censorship, repression and spying has on the human mind (even on the dissident minority, not to mention the malleable majority of ordinary citizens). Finally, I am happy that you had a good year in Bali, but that does not mean there are no people who might relocate somewhere on a long-term basis. They do not want to be treated as permanent outcasts and always labelled as "un-French" for no good reason other than someone's bigoted narrow-mindedness, and surely you are intelligent enough to understand why such treatment would be counterproductive. Fri 23 Jul 2010 08:29:21 GMT+1 learntogether http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=96#comment287 Many posters seem to be deliberately dense, continually asking "Why the problem w/burkhas?" This question is answered over & over again in many ways, such as SECURITY pertaining to a covered face etc. Those who disagree with the ban rarely actually address the many common objections to women wearing burkhas in non-Muslim countries. This is not helpful to a mutual effort to understand the overall situation which is really the topic here: Muslims immigrating in huge waves to formerly non-Muslim countries & then beginning to push for their "rights" to practice Islam without hindrance in whatever way they see fit. This is not a problem with a harmless piece of cloth, as surely everyone should realize by now. It is much larger & more serious, revolving around entirely justified concerns about the overtly stated goal of many Islamists to take over the world, put simply. See the documentary 'Obsession: Radical Islam's war against the West', for some quite disturbing footage on this. Obviously every nation must decide, and quickly, what our policies & expectations regarding immigration & assimilation are to be in the face of the Muslim challenge to laws & customs in host lands. In my view, it is absurd to consider everyone who moves into France a Frenchman or -woman, same with any country. Assimilation into and contribution toward quality of life in one's new society is what makes you a part of that country, deserving of the name Frenchman (or British, American, whatever)--and that takes time, & proving yourself. I am an American, & once lived in Bali for almost a year--did that make me Balinese or Indonesian? Hardly! It is the FACT that Muslims are making these aggressive demands to be allowed to recreate the very society they left behind, whether through wearing of the burkha or any of the many ways they practice their religion--including those which conflict directly with European or American customs & norms--which we should find of great concern. This makes their actual motives for immigrating to these countries quite suspect; obviously they never intended to "become French" or to adopt the way of life in the new country, so why have they gone there? It is very hard not to see it as a deliberate means of conquest by attrition, and I do agree that they are using the host countries' efforts to be democratic & tolerant with immigrants against them. I strongly urge everyone to invest some time in reading books about Islam, by Muslims AND non-Muslims, check out some passages in the Quran on dealing with "infidels", find out what Muslims are saying on their radio & TV stations and newspapers and so on. This goes way beyond the usual debates on tolerance, freedom, & rights as generally experienced in western democracies--it is a profound challenge to ALL those ideals, while using them to infiltrate and co-opt. Thu 22 Jul 2010 18:53:21 GMT+1 oulematu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=96#comment286 to Nik, 285:Ok, so now you are somewhat relaxing your requirements so that a "host" is someone who was born and grew up in the host country and both of whose parents were born and grew up there; a "guest" is everyone one. That is some progress, at least this is not a pure Nazi-style blood test (i.e., even non-indigenous individuals can become "hosts" if they stay long enough and never travel) and most people will not have to conduct elaborate ancestry investigations to find out whether they are a "host" or a "guest" (except as regards the bit about "growing up" - can you define what you mean by "growing up"? It can be quite difficult to establish a legal proof where someone grew up and what will be the required degree of presence in the "host" country? Is a 2-month absence ok? 1 year? 10 years? How do you prove this about your parents? Or even yourself - I mean do you really keep all these records?) Anyway, it is still nonsensical to distinguish on this basis, and I do not understand where you are going with this. What counts is whether someone is a "citizen" or a "resident". A "citizen" or "resident" has certain rights regardless of whether he/she is a "host" or a "guest". A "citizen" will also not lose its nationality merely by virtue of residing abroad. I understand you are critical of "guests" as a group (regardless of their individual merits), and that is your personal view (in my view clearly unjustified), but nothing more. However, if that "guest" is a "citizen" or a "resident", then you cannot take away their rights simply because you do not like them or do not trust them. So, I do not understand what you are trying to achieve with this in practical terms. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only practical suggestion I was able to identify in your comments is that you want to tighten the requirements for acquiring citizenship or right of residency. I think this is not a beneficial policy, but I agree that it is a matter of legitimate policy debate. Of course, you must understand that such policy change cannot retroactively affect any rights of individuals who are already citizens or residents. In addition, it seems problematic and unreasonable (and possibly even illegal) to make the acquisition of such rights subject to conditions that are unrelated to a specific individual (e.g., country of origin quotas or the requirement that citizenship can be acquired only by an applicant who was born and grew up in the country and both of whose parents were born and live there). So can you please identify in simple words what precisely you are proposing in practical terms? And please do not use vague expressions such as "compliance with the basic characterictics of the host country" because I have not the slightest clue what you mean by that. Please consider the following hypothetical situation: person A is a "host" and a citizen of S (an EU host state). A's spouse, B, is a "guest" and a citizen of another country (e.g., a non-EU OECD or non-OECD country). A and B live in state S and have children C (who in your definition are "guests", because B is a "guest"). Please explain the rules that you want to apply to C (in contrast to existing rules, which may vary somewhat state by state), what will be the objectives of such rules and how you are hoping to achieve such objectives. Personally, even from an anti-immigrant point of view, I do not see any reason to be hostile or unaccepting to C who are children of A, a citizen of S. This would seem to be quite counterproductive and would only serve to expel A, B and C and push them into the country of B (where they would face the same situation, should that country be similarly unenlightened). I also do not understand what religion or a lack thereof has to do with any of the above.And I agree with you that individuals should not impose their views on others. This applies to any individual, including "hosts" and "guests".to Nik, 286:You want to ban everything that does not comply with the prevailing social conventions. To me, that is not the standard for a modern constitutional democracy that I though many European states wish to aspire to. Any dictatorship or totalitarian regime can meet that standard. A modern constitutional state should regulate only such behavior of an individual which causes unjustified harm to another individual (e.g., physical assault or a threat of one) or to the public (e.g., spewing out an oil leak). Other types of behavior should be unregulated even where they are unpopular or impolite. There seems no strong public interest in imposing a general ban of face veil anywhere in the public. Nudity has nothing to do with this. By the way, even nudity is not formally banned in quite the same way. I see nothing that terribly wrong if someone is naked (even outside any designated area) in a public lake, on a boat or at a public demostration or festival, or if someone has sex in the woods or other nature settings. It really depends on the place and time. Anyway, it seems to be a non-issue - I have not heard of any initiatives for a fully fledged legislative ban on public nudity at an EU state level, and I would suspect any such ban might be unconstitutional. I think it is also necessary to distinguish between public places and private places (e.g., a bank, museum or music club). I think it is reasonable to impose stricter requirements at private places (although such requirements still need to be non-discriminatory in terms of groups defined by suspect criteria - e.g., ethnicity or religion).I also insist that the rules applicable in a certain jurisdiction (e.g., France) must be assessed based on constitutional standards of that jurisdiction and not a different jurisdiction. You also seemed to be concerned about human rights standards in other countries, which is why I pursued this topic, but now you are telling me that it is the problem of those countries. So, I'm lost - you need to make up your mind. Personally, I would not take such a narrow-minded approach. Like it or not, we all live in the same world and we are our brothers' keepers in some ways. I also understand that you are against the ability to enforce basic alienable individual rights even against the sovereign will of the country that seeks to take those rights away. Personally, I find this attitude quite offensive as a matter of general life philosophy, but it is a matter of your choice. I also think this is a very short-sighted approach, which may come back to haunt you. There may come a day when you or your children may be members of a minority in one or another sense, and maybe then they will need any protection they can get against abusive government authorities that seek to violate their basic rights. Also, subjecting abusive sovereign governments to outside control is helpful in mitigating international policy excesses and conflicts, and would also go some way towards reducing some of the reasons people choose to migrate (which is something you are keen to minimize)."1) The law on burka is brought forward in the most populist way by Sarkozy to occupy the public opinion with this side-issue and distract it from more major issues." I agree. "2) The law itself is correct as it corrects a gap in the legislation reagarding a basic social convention "must not" and a repair of the injustice towards the quasi-totality of citizens for whom being forced to socialise in professional environment with people covering their faces is the equivalent (or often worse) than being forced to socialise with people naked or of other weird attire."I disagree, as explained above. No one is legally forcing you to socialize with people who are dressed not to your liking. If do not like them, just do not hang out with them and look away. There is no need to legislate on such non-issues, and such legislation is positively harmful, because it takes away rights of certain individuals to do something which does not infringe upon other individuals' rights and is not harmful to the public. This is not the standard that a modern constitutional democracy would aspire to. Thu 22 Jul 2010 17:23:34 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=96#comment285 283. At 08:47am on 22 Jul 2010, oulematu wrote:"""re 279, 281:Nik is trying to misrepresent what democracythreat is saying. France and other European states need to stick to their own constitutional standards."""Exactly. If they ban nudity in most public places on the basis of it being a basic social convention "must not", they are by constitution obliged to ban face cover too in most public places."""Whether or not some other country has comparably favorable constitutional rules has no bearing on this discussion, but would be a worthwhile separate discussion."""Yes. But it worths noting that I personally ignore any european country permitting full nudity in public places. I also ignore a European country where face cover is not a basic social convention "must not"."""This is not a question of double standards."""The case so far amply raises the question. A bank clerk refusing to serve a customer that approaches him fully naked cannot be attacked for social racism. A bank clerk refusing to serve a customer that approaches him with face fully covered today risks to be attacked for social racism - the risk may go up to losing his job and destroying his carreer.There is definitely a question of double standards. Up to know, there is something unconstitutional here: either nudity (or whatever other weird attire) has to be allowed on all social occasions, either face cover has to be dealt also as a "must not"."""Unquestionably it is regrettable that there are still countries around the world with very low standards of human rights protection, and those countries (regardless of which their laws say) are acting in violation of natural basic rights acquired by each human by birth (which cannot be legislated away)."""Regrettable but their problem, they short it out. Not our problem."""Unfortunately, the world today lacks workable legally binding mechanisms to enforce these natural rights acquired by birth at an international level."""The world does not need it either. We do not need a world government preaching us you know."""It is important for the public to keep pointing at these injustices so that pressure can be exercised against the relevant governments. It also helps explain the importance of a responsible asylum policy which does not narrow-mindedly pander to anti-immigrant voters."""Again, that is down to each country and each society to decide. Germany is not Italy and Italy is not Libya and Libya is not Chad and Chad is not Central African Republic etc. Let each country decide what works best for them.The side questions you open are very interesting. We can go on and discuss them in details if you like giving all the examples you want (you pick coutnries and specific examples and we discuss). But if I bring the discussion back to the original issue there are two basic lines:1) The law on burka is brought forward in the most populist way by Sarkozy to occupy the public opinion with this side-issue and distract it from more major issues.2) The law itself is correct as it corrects a gap in the legislation reagarding a basic social convention "must not" and a repair of the injustice towards the quasi-totality of citizens for whom being forced to socialise in professional environment with people covering their faces is the equivalent (or often worse) than being forced to socialise with people naked or of other weird attire. Thu 22 Jul 2010 09:25:00 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=95#comment284 282. At 08:37am on 22 Jul 2010, oulematu wrote:"""To condense our discussion, I think your philosophy can be summarized by the following general statement you previously made: “It is not up to the host to prove OK, it is above all up to the guest to prove OK."""Correct."""Unless 3-4 generations pass, muslims in Europe ARE guests."""Yes. Especially when you define the generation in the exact term, i.e. a 3rd generation person is one whose both parents are born and raised in the host country. Which is definitely not the case for a huge chunk of muslims."""They are not born there, they do not derive from there, they are newcomers and it is first of all up to them to prove they deserve to be accepted by the locals."""Yes. Do you have any objection?"""Until now they have done everything they could to prove the opposite."""Precisely."""I find this a shocking statement, and I have to utterly disagree with it."""Why?"""Clearly your second sentence contradicts your third sentence, because if a person and its ancestors have lived somewhere for more than a generation, then they will frequently be born there."""Absolutely no point there. Where did you hear that the 2nd generation has the same characteristics as the equivalent generation of local people? And as said, a 2nd generation risking marrying a fresh arrival then how the kid can be described as 3rd generation? Quite more complicated case it is."""Leaving simple logics aside, if I understand correctly, you propose to introduce regulations which would distinguish between “hosts” or “locals” (who hail from families that have lived in Europe for at least 3-4 generations) and “guests”."""No you do not understand. You speak of "distinguishing". I speak of rationalisation of giving citizenship. For me citizenship is something that is given to people that "comply". "Comply" means that the citizen would die for the state against any kind of threat. In modern societies where this need might nor arise, "comply" would mean that the citizen would remain faithful to the state under any kind of threat.Do you need to point to you examples of communities that are simply not complying to that? I wish to avoid this discussion here cos it gets nasty."""The gist of these regulations would presumably be that the “guests” would be obliged to act in ways so as to please the “hosts”."""Not at all. That is your understanding. The host did not invite the guest, the guest has no roots there and his reasons of going there down to only personal interest. The guest has a freedom to chose where to go. He is responsible to know what are the characteristics and the basic conventions of the country he wishes to go and install himself.Is that so difficult for you to understand?"""I fail to understand in particular (i) how you wish to define “guests” and “hosts” (and how these terms relate to the concept of “citizenship”, “residency”, “domicile”, etc.), (ii) how you expect to determine whether or not someone is a “guest”""""""(e.g., whether you are proposing a Nazi-style law which would require everyone to prove their ethnic ancestry)...impartial authorities or only by “hosts” against “guests” in their arbitrary judgement (self-help)."""No not at all. That is an internal issue of every country to judge by itself. For example, the general rule is to avoid having large concentrations of people of the same ethnic or religious (if different to local) origins for the simple reason that these will naturally form a caste inside the country. It is very different having a single 20% minority of immigrants comming from the same background than having a 20% minority of immigrants coming from 5 different backgrounds. Integration and community relations are much easier to establish. In the first case, the size of the single community will very quickly create a caste. This is to the detriment not only of the locals but also of immigrants first of all.From there on, it is natural for a country to wish to control the influx of populations that are basically negatively positioned towards the local society.What is so strange in all these? Don't you know that the basic notion of a "state" is propriety? The state belongs to the citizens and it is their propriety. It should be natural that they will open the door of that propriety on will not blindly. If it is not the case, that is because this notion is not respected, as ALL societies are not ruled by their constitutions or their democratic theoretical foundations but by imperialistic oligarhies whose interest is to yield control over people and rule their states in an autocratic manner as their own private propriety."""Therefore, I am not in a position to assess how these new regulations would apply to me, my family and other people and I ask you to clarify your proposals before I can respond in more detail."""You would see absolytely no difference in your life. In the mid-run and long-run you would see an end to the process of caste-forming and an appeasing of all communautaristic conflicts."""This is an important topic to me because me and my family may qualify as “guests” and I wish to understand what are the limitations to which you are seeking to subject me (and by the same token I want to know whether you consider yourself as a “host” or a “guest” and for what reasons)."""Oulematu. I am living between 3 foreign to me countries and spend a small part of my time back home. I declare myself as guest. It poses me absolutely no problem. I am a real citizen of the world. I show absolute respect for local cultures, I show respect for the local legislation and I do not try to impose to locals my own view.You ask me my view on your position and I simply do not have. You do a basic error here: changing levels on the discussion - i.e. bringing it down to the personal level which is wrong. The fact that someone talks about a different immigration policy does not mean he hates all foreigners and that he is unable to socialise with them in his everyday life. In my experience in France, Britain, Belgium and Holland it is very often the people described by the politically correc as racist people that have the most socialisation and personal relations, often very friendly, with foreigners and it is the political corrrect preachers who would change house if any minority family moved 5km from their neighbourhood.Here we discuss in general. When I use strong language on the case of muslims, it is that I criticise strongly their general attitudes. Do you know how many people of muslim background I meet and deal professionally? Excellent people, excellent professionals. But that is down to the level of personal relations. This is not what we talk here. Thu 22 Jul 2010 09:12:09 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=95#comment283 282. At 08:37am on 22 Jul 2010, oulematu wrote:"""To 278 Aaron, to 280 Nik:I agree with Aaron. These exchanges can get never-ending. Nik, you never responded to my answers on the 10 June Geert Wilders threat. With your permission I take it to mean you agree with my points."""There you are you got your answer on your last message asking me to answer (you were refering to that weren't you?). You asked for it, you got it. It worths to note though that you had absolutely no point there, just a random reference to a terrible event of uknown origins, nothing else.Now, these exchanges will never end for the simple reason we are dealing with you, a person that judges by religion, not logic. You have declared that you are a muslim and you hate Europeans, they make you vomit as you said. What else can you say more?The common sense is that you can't discuss with religion. Thu 22 Jul 2010 08:47:17 GMT+1 oulematu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=95#comment282 re 279, 281:Nik is trying to misrepresent what democracythreat is saying. France and other European states need to stick to their own constitutional standards. Whether or not some other country has comparably favorable constitutional rules has no bearing on this discussion, but would be a worthwhile separate discussion.This is not a question of double standards. Unquestionably it is regrettable that there are still countries around the world with very low standards of human rights protection, and those countries (regardless of which their laws say) are acting in violation of natural basic rights acquired by each human by birth (which cannot be legislated away). Unfortunately, the world today lacks workable legally binding mechanisms to enforce these natural rights acquired by birth at an international level. It is important for the public to keep pointing at these injustices so that pressure can be exercised against the relevant governments. It also helps explain the importance of a responsible asylum policy which does not narrow-mindedly pander to anti-immigrant voters. Thu 22 Jul 2010 07:47:26 GMT+1 oulematu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=94#comment281 To 278 Aaron, to 280 Nik:I agree with Aaron. These exchanges can get never-ending. Nik, you never responded to my answers on the 10 June Geert Wilders threat. With your permission I take it to mean you agree with my points.To condense our discussion, I think your philosophy can be summarized by the following general statement you previously made: “It is not up to the host to prove OK, it is above all up to the guest to prove OK. Unless 3-4 generations pass, muslims in Europe ARE guests. They are not born there, they do not derive from there, they are newcomers and it is first of all up to them to prove they deserve to be accepted by the locals. Until now they have done everything they could to prove the opposite.”I find this a shocking statement, and I have to utterly disagree with it. Clearly your second sentence contradicts your third sentence, because if a person and its ancestors have lived somewhere for more than a generation, then they will frequently be born there. Leaving simple logics aside, if I understand correctly, you propose to introduce regulations which would distinguish between “hosts” or “locals” (who hail from families that have lived in Europe for at least 3-4 generations) and “guests”. The gist of these regulations would presumably be that the “guests” would be obliged to act in ways so as to please the “hosts”. I fail to understand in particular (i) how you wish to define “guests” and “hosts” (and how these terms relate to the concept of “citizenship”, “residency”, “domicile”, etc.), (ii) how you expect to determine whether or not someone is a “guest” (e.g., whether you are proposing a Nazi-style law which would require everyone to prove their ethnic ancestry), (iii) how you wish to treat “hosts” that move to a different country (i.e., whether you wish to strap them of their status as “host” by virtue of their relocation and what would be the waiting period in their new place of residence – e.g., 3-4 generations), (iv) what would be the constitutional basis for making this distinction and how it respects the basic rights of the affected individuals, (v) what obligations you wish to impose on the “guests” and whether the same obligations will also apply to the “hosts”, (vi) whether these obligations would be enforced by impartial authorities or only by “hosts” against “guests” in their arbitrary judgement (self-help).Therefore, I am not in a position to assess how these new regulations would apply to me, my family and other people and I ask you to clarify your proposals before I can respond in more detail. This is an important topic to me because me and my family may qualify as “guests” and I wish to understand what are the limitations to which you are seeking to subject me (and by the same token I want to know whether you consider yourself as a “host” or a “guest” and for what reasons). Thu 22 Jul 2010 07:37:13 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=94#comment280 Re279: DT, double standards are characteristic of caste societies. And we all know what means a caste society. Wed 21 Jul 2010 19:22:51 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=94#comment279 278. At 7:14pm on 21 Jul 2010, Aaron wrote:Due to my lifestyle I pass a lot of time on the laptop. I also write more fast than you can imagine. I also have as a hobby (geo)political blogging and tend to chose a given blog for a given period. BBC is one of the favourite ones. So evidently yes I write a lot...... which normally should be an excellent opportunity for anyone wanting to "catch" me somewhere to find points where I am wrong.Somehow that is not the case. I have stated on another discussion that people cannot do a proper discussion and you are coming yet another one in the line to prove me right. Thank you by the way.You do not need to try and reply to me. All you need to do is to explain to me what is according to you a basic social convention. Wed 21 Jul 2010 18:56:30 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=93#comment278 MattG wrote:"Am i missing something here? How is it that we are supposed to respect their wishes (sorry, 'rights'!) to wear the veil, when my partner who works as cabin crew for a major airline, cannot leave the hotel when in some middle eastern countries without having to wear a full burka! They expect us to respect their right to wear what they wish to in our countries, but then refuse to extend the same courtesy to visitors to theirs. Double standards?!?"Absolutely I am in favour of double standards.You, by shocking contrast, wish for only one standard, and it is theirs, not ours.The miserable idiocy of this policy rational is breathtaking.This whole debate boils down to opinions about a decision to throw out what is good in French law as a protest against perceived faults in other cultures.That is why I say this is a cynical and outrageous attempt by the political elite to harness the very worst in french society. They have made a deliberate overture to all that is hateful and, worse, plain stupid in french public life.Those with even a modicum of intelligence will discern what this says about how the french political elite estimate the character of their subordinate fellows. They clearly have utter contempt for the average french citizen. Wed 21 Jul 2010 18:28:50 GMT+1 Aaron http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=93#comment277 @ 276 NikDo you actually expect me to start a long winded pointless argument with you. Blog trolling isn't exactly one of my strengths. I have read your many reactions/arguments to "ideas" that are not congruent to your way of thinking. These arguments usually mostly result in a race of who can write the most in a single post and successfully drown the other in as much information/ideas/irrelevant examples as possible. I don't think the purpose of these blogs is to promote such unproductive tit-for-tat confrontations. anyways, respond to my posts as much as you like, but don't expect me to reciprocate. Ciao. Wed 21 Jul 2010 18:14:17 GMT+1 oulematu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=93#comment276 272. - Nic Oatridge wrote:"There are worse inequalities. You can't even smoke a little innocent weed in your own home, after all." What an un-European thing to say! Have you not heard of the recent decision issued at the EU Court of Justice (Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-137/09, Marc Michel Josemans v Burgemeester van Maastricht)? Marihuana is an illicit narcotic which does not benefit from the protection of EU law and the buying and smoking of which threatens the EU's internal security. Luckily we have institutions which will see to it that genuine European culture is duly defended and the evil un-European elements are weeded out. Europeans may booze out their brains and smoke away their lungs, but that does not give them a licence to get high on ganja. Unlike tobacco and alcohol, the herb is really, really dangerous and offensive to a genuine European. Just like a face veil or (as recently realized in Denmark) the same minimum wage applicable both to native-speaking indigenous people and immigrants or non-native speakers. :-) Wed 21 Jul 2010 09:46:21 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=92#comment275 274. At 12:05pm on 20 Jul 2010, Aaron wrote:"""I say NO."""No. You say whatever."""The veiled-woman interviewed mentioned that "wealthy" French individuals are offering to pay any fines imposed by French police on Veil-clad woman."""I laugh at your "-" on wealthy leaving French nude. You are ineed funny."""I wouldn't be surprised if there is an increase of woman wearing veils in the streets of France as a direct result of this ban:"""Given the increased illegal/barely legal immigration and the propaganda done in some mosques there would be anyway an increase. Down to the basics it is their issue, not ours, the more fines paid the more money in the bank."""I find it quite entertaining that a country with a population of 62 million people feels that its cultural values are threatened by a mere 2 thousand woman who seem to have an abnormal fashion sense."""People that would want to enter a public place completely nude sporting an erection might be even less than 2000. But such an act would be punishable by law, and much more severely than the veil."""For the sake of those supporting the existance of a "cultural clash", ill even describe it as borderline abnormal cultural sense."""Those that support eh existence of "cultural clash"? You mean the muslims?"""Is this ban in any way or form conducive in promoting "french cultural values"? don't think so..."""No. It is supporting the human right, and basic citizen freedom to refuse to talk either in a social or professional environment with a person that refuses to reveal his face."""One may argue that the issue is security? nope that idea was shot down."""It is not an issue of security though there cases where this becomes one too."""What about womans rights? nope, that idea was shot down too."""What the veil has to do with women rights? What about my rights to circulate naked. I am nicely built, and quite god-blessed down there and would be proud to circulate around but the law forbids me doing so. Where are my rights? Did not see you protesting for me."""french cultural values? nada 0.00003% women walking around in colored bed sheets don't have that influence."""Me and my nudist mates are also a 0,000% inside France, we do not have that influence, yet we are severely punished with a severe law using extremely offensive language against this cultural aspect of ours."""still the annoying question remains. Why so much effort going into this ban?"""Of course it is a smokescreen by a Sarkozy government that kept it in the freezer to put it out in a difficult moment to change a bit the discussion. Other governments might have kept similar freezer chicken like "fighting street violence" or "corruption" etc. The fact that it is frozen chicken does not mean that such laws are wrong. This law represents a basic social convention and aims to protect the basic human rights of the citizens who do not wish to communicate with hidden people thus it is a law that is right."""aha the magician at the behest of the "fair minded" guardians of these supposed French values, waves a wand and pulls out a piece of paper from his hat."""Why you ridicule French values? Do you have any particular problem over them? Did French go to Mecca in Saudi Arabia to ridicule the Saudi values? Why all that hatred against French and their values? What are your complexes?"""Ban the veil as a ploy to direct public attention from economic and political woes by vilifying Muslims."""Muslims have vilified themselves in every single (e v e r y single) country they went far more than any other community. Common logic says that it is them responsible for that. Time they do some self-assessment and change their habits. For a change, respect towards local cultures would be welcome. Wed 21 Jul 2010 08:34:33 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=92#comment274 OpinionRe #265Quote, "...dozens of women are raped every day just because of their provocative clothing.."Sorry, but I read that and checked the date - - for a moment I thought I'd returned to some Medieval Age where a dirty old man couldn't stop himself blaming Females for his repulsive thoughts & actions - - then I realised, no, it is JULY 2010!You know I think You will find that Police investigation tends to find that women are 'raped' by MEN.Now, if You are one of those sorts of MALES who cannot control Your bodily functions when my 2 daughters or other females venture outdoors in short skirts & tight tops then I suggest YOU WEAR A FULL FACE-VEIL & only go out in public when escorted by other RESPONSIBLE MALES/FEMALES.Better still, get Yourself to a Doctor and have him admit You to a Psychiatric Clinic as a PUBLIC MENACE! Tue 20 Jul 2010 16:01:27 GMT+1 Aaron http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=92#comment273 The veiled-woman interviewed mentioned that "wealthy" French individuals are offering to pay any fines imposed by French police on Veil-clad woman. I wouldn't be surprised if there is an increase of woman wearing veils in the streets of France as a direct result of this ban: On one hand, you have the French Government with a trickling cash flow coming directly from "Wealthy Individuals", and on the other hand veiled-women feel empowered; they are getting paid to strut down the sidewalk making a fashion statement. In a twisted way, isn't that an accurate description of the stereotypical French woman?I find it quite entertaining that a country with a population of 62 million people feels that its cultural values are threatened by a mere 2 thousand woman who seem to have an abnormal fashion sense. For the sake of those supporting the existance of a "cultural clash", ill even describe it as borderline abnormal cultural sense. Is this ban in any way or form conducive in promoting "french cultural values"? don't think so... One may argue that the issue is security? nope that idea was shot down.What about womans rights? nope, that idea was shot down too. french cultural values? nada 0.00003% women walking around in colored bed sheets don't have that influence. still the annoying question remains. Why so much effort going into this ban? aha the magician at the behest of the "fair minded" guardians of these supposed French values, waves a wand and pulls out a piece of paper from his hat. Written on it is a 4 letter word, oops my mistake, I meant 8 letter word: religion.my apologies, It isn't religion either. Ban the veil for the sake of security. SureBan the veil for the sake of womans rights. SureBan the veil as a ploy to direct public attention from economic and political woes by vilifying Muslims.I say NO. Tue 20 Jul 2010 11:05:53 GMT+1 SamH http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=91#comment272 265 (opinion) Your argument is why women have been treated as 2nd class citizens for centuries! Men punish women by forcing them to wear uncomfortable and restrictive clothing just because they can't control their own desires!!!! Men should wear blinkers and not leave their house without a female escort, if that's your argument. Tue 20 Jul 2010 09:41:49 GMT+1 Nic Oatridge http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=91#comment271 There are worse inequalities. You can't even smoke a little innocent weed in your own home, after all. And you couldn't walk down the street without any clothes to exercise your right as a naturist. Let's not confuse the religious piece either, most muslims don't wear veils, just a wacky minority. We don't let Mormons have multiple wives do we? What about THEIR rights?In practice there are many situations where you could not wear a full veil in public. I have seen the police remove head gear from innocent protestors to enable their video cameras to record their faces. Increasingly we rely upon surveillance cameras to keep our streets safe, and that becomes impossible if full face coverings become acceptable.We probably shouldn't ban the veil, but we should make it clear that, as a society, it flies in the face of our customs, culture and safety and should be as taboo as walking down the street naked. Tue 20 Jul 2010 09:16:01 GMT+1 Fingered http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=91#comment270 Moreover, for many many thousands of years, way back to the Babylonians and beyond, history teaches us that religion seems to have the uncanny knack of rearing it's head during economic downturns; time after time after time.........A sign of the times. Tue 20 Jul 2010 04:20:15 GMT+1 Fingered http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=90#comment269 Incidentally, in the case of Turkey, a predominantly muslim country (99%), there has been a ban even on the wearing headscarves, a story that has rumbled on for decadessince 1984! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headscarf_controversy_in_Turkey Tue 20 Jul 2010 03:38:15 GMT+1 Fingered http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=90#comment268 It would appear that the mood to ban veils is sweeping across a number of countries, Syria and Turkey included.......A sign of the negative times. Tue 20 Jul 2010 02:32:10 GMT+1 opinion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=90#comment267 This post has been Removed Tue 20 Jul 2010 01:23:19 GMT+1 loverboy260 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=89#comment266 The thing I dont get is that I see sometimes on bill boards, naked women/men (atleast their bum is showing and you can see clearly that they are naked..).. but no one objects... your kids are seeing it and you have no problem yet a woman covering her face is giving you problems why? The women are wearing less and less.. which by my standards is not modest but no one bats (sp?) an eyelid.. yet people have problem with modesty? hypocricy? Doesnt the govt have better things to do like employment, terrorism etc... Tue 20 Jul 2010 00:52:22 GMT+1 Threeamp http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=89#comment265 I do find it funny that quite a few of the pro burka brigade are comparing wearing one to the dress code of a nudist! When was the last time you saw a naked person in your local post office or bank? And if you felt intimidated by a naked man you are only suffering from penis envy...... Mon 19 Jul 2010 21:39:03 GMT+1 opinion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=89#comment264 its just a shame that the french government still doesnot realise the benefits of the full veil.family life is almost finished as no male or female wishes to marry and staying as unmarried couples has become a sort of fashion.divorce and break ups have become norms of life as people tend to dislike their spouses when they see a more attractive man or lady roaming in th streets or at their workplace. infidelity is so common that it is hard to find a man who is loyal.virgin male/female are non existant for marriage. dozens of women are raped every day just because of their provocative clothing and being a fashion celebrity is becoming a source of pride as the women is now public property.all these aspects are degrading the women who are now seen as an object to be looked at especially when nude.these are all marketing gimics being played by immoral men to fulfil their desires which will eventually cause an end to family life and open sex in the markets between stranger men and women.then this society will get to know why the veil is important and most people will only then revert to islam..guys wake up.. cant you see where the world is going with all this nudity. Mon 19 Jul 2010 20:23:10 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=88#comment263 LiliputRe #249And exactly as I said for the aforementioned Terry Goodkind applies to all those quotes.Wecould get into a p........ contest & I could quote back contrary, however, I just stand by my own assertion: The quote is no more use than any other (or Your's or my opinion) in a debate on this particular topic.Mind, as You must have worked so hard, I will end on one quote:'The world must be made safe for democracy.' Woodrow Wilson 2 April, 1917 and it makes about as much sense today as it did then! Mon 19 Jul 2010 19:51:06 GMT+1 MattG http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=88#comment262 Am i missing something here? How is it that we are supposed to respect their wishes (sorry, 'rights'!) to wear the veil, when my partner who works as cabin crew for a major airline, cannot leave the hotel when in some middle eastern countries without having to wear a full burka! They expect us to respect their right to wear what they wish to in our countries, but then refuse to extend the same courtesy to visitors to theirs. Double standards?!? Mon 19 Jul 2010 17:11:14 GMT+1 HJP http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=88#comment261 Strongly agree with 258. In the UK, can women drive a car wearing a burka or niqab? Perhaps fundamental Muslim men would not allow women to do so, or at least, not until it is against the law, then they may want to demonstrate how unfair such legislation would be. And if the burka clad women suffer from a lack of vitamin d and live in tenements without an area to safely display any skin to sunlight, what should their doctors prescribe? The right to wear the burka does seem to be more loudly demanded by more recent converts, French, English or American, whereas a large number of moderate Muslims seem to be for the ban. Mon 19 Jul 2010 16:13:17 GMT+1 WolfiePeters http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=87#comment260 I'm contrary to people keeping their faces covered and most things done with the excuse of religion. I feel sorry for these women. However, there must be a better way of treating the problem than making a law against it.If we want to spend time on legal matters and immigrants, we should be discussing the organised crime activities that are growing in north-west Europe. They are come from southern and eastern European countries and don't have convenient markers like veils, headdresses or dark skin. But they are far more dangerous. Mon 19 Jul 2010 15:54:33 GMT+1 SamH http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=87#comment259 The debate seems to be between a total ban or not and has only come about because of the number of women choosing to take the veil has substantially increased worldwide over the past decade. There is a midway point between nothing and a full public ban - and this is banning all full face coverings in certain professions, situations and places. What we need to understand is why are more women choosing to take the veil in the last 10 years? And whether there is any coercion in Islamic education (especially for recent converts)?My worry would be if my children were taught or doctored by someone wearing a Burqa or Niqab. I also would not like to be judged by someone wearing a full face veil - or be tried by my peers, half of whom were veiled. This is common sense and not racist, Islamaphobic or feminist. I do believe, though, that the veil does knock women's equality back a good few years as I can't ever see a burqua'd ballet dancer, diver or astronaut. But as long as it's their choice and a choice arrived independently of others, then each to their own.I think there will be a UK law in the not too distant future against wearing any full face covering in carrying out certain professions; in all public buildings; and where you need to pass through security. It will also likely give companies and shops the ability to decide for themselves whether they require faces to be shown (veils, motorcycle helmets, balaclavas, masks, etc) on their premises. Yes, I am uncomfortable talking to a woman wearing a niqab or burqa but that's because I've grown up relating to people through facial expressions - like humanity has done for eons. However, what women wear when they walk down the street is their business and I always tell someone who is veiled how I feel.We already have laws on decency, so it would be rather contrary to also have an outright ban on modesty! Mon 19 Jul 2010 13:29:54 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=87#comment258 Re258: Precisely spoken. Mon 19 Jul 2010 13:06:42 GMT+1 Roland22 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=86#comment257 People tend to go overboard with this rather practical and logical law.People shouldn't look beyond what is obvious and create things that aren't there to suit there personal agenda's.You aren't tolerant if you allow woman to be caged up in clothes like this.And you aren't "Islamophobic' if you want to ban these garments from being worn.People are using this made up word "Islamophobia' to claim that being against any Islamic practice is irrational and racist.I can be against burqa's and against female genital mutilation and against halal ritual slaughter of animals and against stoning and cutting off peoples hands without being "Islamophobic' it's all very rational and not based on some kind of mysterious "Islamophobia".That word was probably invented to try and mirror the use of "anti-semitism" which is also a term that is often abused. Mon 19 Jul 2010 12:08:32 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=86#comment256 236. At 06:10am on 17 Jul 2010, Liliput wrote:"""65 Million people against 1900 ! 34,210 french against 1 Burqa-clad woman! The french feel culturally threatened by 0.00002923th of a burqa per french head! Will it cover even one of their toe-nails? Will most of the french ever get the chance too see a Burqa-woman once in their life-time? What are these people? Yet, most of the posters here seem to agree with them! I am speechless. All I can do is to quote the author Terry Goodkind :-""""Some excellent logic!!! According to your logic, since there are no more than 2000-3000 forced marriages of muslim underaged persons in France, France should permit it happening isn't it? Afterall, as long there is no physical rape, there is nothing wrong with the family coercing the little girl/boy to marry the boy/girl of their choice. And in that way the French will respect the customs of the immigrant muslims. Isn't it?Well in a reasonable society it does not work that way. The law does not measure how often it happens. It acts to represent the basic social conventions when they are infringed. As simple as that."""People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want it to be true, or because they are afraid it might be true."""You are criticising yourself there I guess which I can only appraise!"""People's heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool."""Some of us here are trained quite hard to tell the difference between corn & horn so do not underestimate anyone. We all know that Sarkozy puts the law now as a diversion and a smokescreen and that the law won't solve any issue. But speaking of the law itself it is an 100% reasonable law in the sense that it expresses the French society's basic social conventions (for which you seem to have absolutely no respect and you express it in the most fascist way). French - perhaps unlike you - have the habbit of finding completely direspectful and immensely offensive having anyone appearing in front of them with their head covered. Down to the basics there wouldn't be so much of a problem if these women stayed in their house to perform their face-covering hobbyhorse. But then, being they definitely need some social contact with the outside society they despise so much e.g. to go to the supermarket but then more importantly for them to go ask social benefits or to go to the hospital and as such they violently impose themselves upon the bulk of society. This law is done to protect people who do not wish to socialise in anyway in their professional environment with peopel that cover their faces.255. At 10:55pm on 18 Jul 2010, harris wrote:"""I agree the ban of the Islamic veil is justified in France because it does not allow a woman to interact in the western society."""Good that you agree but you agree for the wrong reason. The socialisation of the fanatic muslim woman is mostly her problem. This law is done to protect the basic social convention of the bulk of society and protect their basic human right of not being forced (referring to their working environment) to socialise with a hidden face."""Criminalising a women for wearing it will be against her Human rights"""... yes, as much my basic human rights of circulating naked in public are criminialised. This is called basic social convention mate. Some people here cannot grasp this simple reality."""however I would propose a ban of the Islamic veil in public places such as Airports,banks,post office and school.A right not to serve and engage with anyone wearing a veil or Burka will be a more effective way to deal with it.They used to have a poster in all public places and airports in Singapore in the 70s depicting a untidy long hair man with a cross over showing a right to not serve any man with long hair (indirect ban to the hippy culture)"""This law aims at doing so. Everyone knows that police has better things to do than stop women from wearing it and it is certain that women in their banlieus and in muslim shops and such they will be allowed pretty mich unhindered. The law will be mostly applied in public services protecting the basic human rights of the employees. As simple as that. Mon 19 Jul 2010 11:30:13 GMT+1 rationality12 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=86#comment255 as always it is the french that say "i give up" Mon 19 Jul 2010 00:34:47 GMT+1 harris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=85#comment254 I agree the ban of the Islamic veil is justified in France because it does not allow a woman to interact in the western society.Criminalising a women for wearing it will be against her Human rights however I would propose a ban of the Islamic veil in public places such as Airports,banks,post office and school.A right not to serve and engage with anyone wearing a veil or Burka will be a more effective way to deal with it.They used to have a poster in all public places and airports in Singapore in the 70s depicting a untidy long hair man with a cross over showing a right to not serve any man with long hair (indirect ban to the hippy culture) Sun 18 Jul 2010 21:55:05 GMT+1 Rob http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=85#comment253 I hope all the Arab states introduce a law that all French women should cover up their faces completely when in their countries. As well as all the 190 or so countries only allow 24,000 British workers carry out their business, thats 126 per country...126 in China, 126 in Germany 126 in Indian and so on....fair is fairrob Sun 18 Jul 2010 06:18:11 GMT+1 Logjams http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=85#comment252 So it is still ok for women to wear the Niqab or Burka in Britain and many other western countries except France. Is it also legal to wear full face balaclavas or football shirts in pubs? What about hoodies then? Britain's tolerance rules are not logical at best of times. Sun 18 Jul 2010 05:05:47 GMT+1 David Martin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=84#comment251 This is a culture clash issue to me; I am simply insulted when a person with whom I'm conversing hides his or her face. Even Aviator style sunglasses are suspect. Or a paper sack with holes in it.It is not clear to me that legislation prohibiting such public attire is appropriate. Perhaps when trying to converse "face-to-face" with someone in a Niqab or Aviator Sunglasses we should all just put a ghost-mask sack over our head and show them the soles of our feet? Sun 18 Jul 2010 03:38:17 GMT+1 Adelaide_girl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=84#comment250 I cannot quite understand why we have this debate, i.e. official ban of burqa via a law.Every property owner, whether it is a residence, a school, a shopping centre, even a tenant who rents a shop, has the right to admit or refuse any person's entry.If the bank manager decides to put up a sign 'no face covering', the person who enters wearing a balaclava or a burqa can be removed. Every school principal has that right to refuse entry to disguised people and so does the bus conductor or subway overseer. It does not require national laws for someone to apply house rules. Leave it to the individuals in charge and their security staff! Sun 18 Jul 2010 02:05:14 GMT+1 TIF http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=84#comment249 I think the Hijab is fine in modern society.But can someone please explain how do these women proceed through passport control when fully veiled? Sun 18 Jul 2010 01:52:16 GMT+1 Liliput http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=83#comment248 cool_brush_workRe # 239Well, rely on Napoleon then (as in : #235). He ruled the French (and a lot of others too!) for a long time. Still a hero to many. He couldn't have done it without knowing them inside out. Surely, his opinion carries a lot more weight and substance than Your's, mine or anyone's here !!Or, perhaps take a listen to what a Brit Oscar Wilde says:"Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives."- Oscar Wilde => The Vuvuzeleers of the Ban-Ban-Ban movement are not shy of claiming the "noblest motives"!or"The great thing about democracy is that it gives every voter a chance to do something stupid."~ Art Spander or“Get all the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything.”- Frank Dane => Sarkozy knows that best. He must have read that Napoeon quote1or"If you attack Stupidity you attack an entrenched interest with friends in government and every walk of public life."~ Robertson Davies.Canadian writer.or“One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona-fide stupidity, there ain't nothin' can beat teamwork.” => Yap. Million strong teamwork ! Unbeatable!or“The trouble with people is not that they don't know but that they know so much that ain't so.” -Josh Billings or"Individual stupidity is an intensive property. However, it appears that collective stupidity is an extensive property."- Robert C. McWilliams or"There is no adequate defense, except stupidity, against the impact of a new idea."~ Percy Bridgman (1882-1961)American physicist, philosopher, professor => Many will have to adopt that defense sooner than you may think.or“There is no nonsense so gross that society will not, at some time, make a doctrine of it and defend it with every weapon of communal stupidity.”- Robertson Davies => and reduce their IQ to 0.00002923 (as explained in #236)or“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.”- Albert Einstein (1879-1955) => Therefore, stupidity reigns supreme. In fact, as per Einstein, we can call it God. Now I know the true meaning of : "Vox populi, vox dei" !!!or“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”- Albert Einstein (1879-1955) => Politicians are humble. They know their own limits, and the limitessness of Vox populi, at times.or“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”- Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)=> The former can always learn through education etc, but the latter never Un-learns1 That's the real problem.or “No one in this world, so far as I know- and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me- has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”-H.L. Mencken -> Nobody knows this better than Sarkozy ! Apparently many here, or in france, don't.or“The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views . . . which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that need altering.”- Unknown -> Unfortunately, the 1900 Burqa-women find themselves in the position of such facts, among 65 million (or 70% of it) of the other kind!==>>Take your pick, CBW. :-D Sat 17 Jul 2010 23:33:46 GMT+1 mvr512 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=83#comment247 185.NancyL wrote: For the past several years I've been following with no little astonishment the French headlong rush to force everyone in France to conform with some idea of what it is to be FrenchDon't like it? Don't go live in France, then.including the banning of any kind of head coverings or the wearing of noticeable religious symbols in their schoolsWhich I support 100%, if not 1000% Religion and state and also religion and education need to be completely and rigidly separated. Throughout the ages religion (in particular the abrahamic variants) has been a malign influence (to put it mildly) and has cause many deaths, much suffering and subjugation and many many other things.I live in Brooklyn, NY, am a feminist and a leftyWhich to a degree might just explain your 'ignorance' (my opinion, not stated as fact) on these things. Leftists tend to have rose tinted glasses about 'multiculturalism'. The 'melting pot' stuff does not work in Europe. As I said countless times before, all cultures and all aspects of cultures are not equal, in fact some aspects of some cultures are very undesirable.and even I can see that forcing women to go against strong cultural imperatives is wrong, folks, plain wrong, and you certainly won't get assimilation out of itWhy is it wrong? What if a 'strong cultural imperative' forced women to undergo genital mutilation? Those suffering it would just have to accept it? Or do we have a moral duty to do something about it?What's astonishing to me is how the French have created a form of fascism by trying to legislate French identityThe self-proclaimed 'lefty' uses the word 'fascism' to describe something she doesn't like, what a surprise. Lefties usually go for that word when out of arguments.As for me, well, I'm not particularly comfortable with women being forced to cover up either, but per my upbringing and my belief in the U.S. Constitution, I know I have to let them make the decision: I cannot make the decision for them, nor am I allowed to.Except that they don't make that decision ot of own free will. It is forced on them by men. And they have to do it under threat of social exclusion, and also they are told to tell gullible westeners (lefties may qualify here) that they do it 'out of free choice' and threatened with violence and 'honor killing' if they don't. Sadly, most of them are brainwashed from birth to accept their status as inferior to men. That's how it works in this kind of 'extremely radical' islam. Free choice my bottom. Sat 17 Jul 2010 23:31:10 GMT+1 Mike Stone Sr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=83#comment246 It's very,very simple, if muslims want to continue any tradition or act that the sovereign nation of France deems unacceptable and muslims or any other immigrant group does not want to cease, the foreigners should GO HOME! To me, as an American that is watching the whole "socio-economic" balance of the United States be altered by an illegal "collusion" between the federal gov't and illegal immigrants, it is clear that most migration of third world folks to developed nations is not based on a desire to assimilate! Sat 17 Jul 2010 20:17:46 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=82#comment245 Re #243Oh bless You!Now You have 2 friends... the MAscaridII & a nice but frumpy Scots lass.Next time DemocThreat why not bring all Your friends along and maybe between all 3, one argument worthy of the label could be set-out! Sat 17 Jul 2010 17:00:25 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=82#comment244 DemocThreat Re #244Well, I support the right of France to make Laws suitable to France and have not suggested Islam or its followers are beyond the pale.Your sweeping generalisation about those who write in support of the ban just does not hold up to inspection. E.g Comments #3, 6, 9, 11, 12, 24, 33, 36.... and so it goes on made no mention of opposition to Islam per se.You then lost it completely with the analogy of Nazis & jew-baiting! How even someone as relatively weak on argument could just drop that in with Your, "..it is at best, hate-mongering.." simply exposes You as having neither understood nor studied the issue in any serious manner.The France 'political-class' as You label them have not picked a fight with Islam as You imply: They have, as all the evidence of the last 16 months show if You cared to look at the development of this proposal, after careful & lengthy consideration taken forward a Legal measure concerning the protection and evolution of France as a Secular State. Sat 17 Jul 2010 16:55:19 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=82#comment243 If I can sidestep the inevitable hysterics from the peanut gallery and come back to the topic of this blog entry for a moment, I think the issue that seems to have become distilled from the many posters is fairly simple.For my understanding, it boils down to "They are disgusting, so we are entitled to behave disgustingly also."When I lament the degradation of French civil liberties, I am not at all making an argument in favour of radical Islam. Or even moderate Islam. I am not saying or implying ANYTHING about Islam at all. I am simply talking about the standard of civil liberties in France.And that seems to be lost in this debate. One cannot comment without being seen to take a side regarding Islam. Either you support the ban, in which case you do not side with Islam, or you reject the ban, in which case you are, to use the charming americanism, a "terrorist enabler".It is the politics of "If you are not with us, you are against us.", and that is an appalling state of affairs.Now if you doubt this analyses, have a careful read of the arguments and counter arguments above.Note that every time a poster comments on the degradation of civil liberties, the response is always the same: an argument about the undesirability of Islam.Now this CAN make sense, but only if you accept a specific premis: that the ONLY way to deal with Islam is to revise civil liberties in the west, and enhance the power of the state over all individuals.I dispute that premis absolutely. It seems to me a recipe for complete disaster. I mean, how far do we go down that road? Do we create a secret police force that can disappear people and torture them for a while, and then dump the brutalized bodies into the sea from helicopters?Will that be sufficient power for the state to make us all safe from Islam?Or do we need to repeal the law entirely, and authorize the establishment of citizens courts, to try and execute those who enable Islam as soon as is possible?Should we, for example, create a law which says that if any three white christians gets together and passes judgement on a muslim, then it is lawful for that muslim to be put to death on the spot? If you think that sounds insane, welcome to the law of the USSR during the great purges.What confuses me most is the desired outcome of those who claim to be protecting us from harm. What is that they wish to see come to pass?Do they wish to force people into giving up their faith and embracing a better one?Do they wish to demonstrate that western law is a superior way of living because in the west we throw human rights out the window at the drop of a hat? (or veil)Or do they wish to obtain votes from a public frightened out of its wits by tabloid journalism of the most ridiculous kind? Or do they wish to push through large state contracts for "security services", which will enrich the family members of the party elite?They only thing we can be certain of, in this debate, is that the people who wrote and passed this legislation have absolutely no desire to reach a detente, and no real desire to demonstrate the qualities of french law as superior to Islamic law.If there was a single shred of desire to bring a peaceful reconciliation, or even to win an argument about whose law is better on the grounds of human rights, this legislation would never have been adopted.It is, at best, hate mongering. It is a testament to the quality of the french political class, and the utter moral bankruptcy of the french party based system.It is no better, in its moral authority, than nazis screaming abuse at jews and encouraging the mob to smash their windows and burn their shops on the night of the broken glass.Indeed, what these french politicians have done is a disgrace to france. It is cultural treason, and legal vandalism. these politicians have grown up in an environment of tolerance, and they have been educated in a state where people were free and civil liberties were a reality.They have repaid their ancestors by tearing this incredible legacy to shreds, all in an effort to gather cheap votes from those who wish to visit anger and hatred upon their neighbours.And that has absolutely nothing to do with Islam. It is not Islam which can destroy the french tradition of liberty and civil rights, but only the french political class. And if they succeed in so doing, who can then stand up and say that the deplorable system of human rights under Islam is worse than the french alternative?France is being dragged into the mud, in a stupid fight with Islam that does not need to descend to this level. And it is the political class of france, not the islamic weirdos, who have taken this course of action. Sat 17 Jul 2010 15:31:30 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=81#comment242 i concur with CBW, margret.His hysterical accusations and arrogant bullying have been thoroughly consistent. So have his delusional opinions of himself as an intellectual.Indeed, I have come to expect nothing from him except a constant whine and emotional outpourings of bile. Sat 17 Jul 2010 12:58:03 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=81#comment241 MargaretHoward,Re #241Please, please do go ahead and give chapter & verse of my alleged 'inconsistency' because I am quite sure it is DemocThreat to whom I address that critique.You may disagree wholeheartedly with all I write, but until now inconsistency is certainly not a factor in any criticism You or others have made of my contributions. Sat 17 Jul 2010 11:17:05 GMT+1 margaret howard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=81#comment240 237 cool_brush_work writes about democracythreat:"To which I can honestly say I look forward to Your continued comments on every topic with a hunger that can only be described as 'indecent' and to obliging You by repeated exposure of Your wholly inconsistent and often illogically made points of view."Are you sure you are not describing yourself here? Sat 17 Jul 2010 10:47:37 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=80#comment239 CBW, did you finish high school? Sat 17 Jul 2010 10:30:21 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=80#comment238 LiliputRe #236All I can do in riposte is to suggest a reliance on a quote from Terry Goodkind is a rather 'stupid' action as the opinion carries no more weight and is no more substantiated than Your's, mine or anyone's! Sat 17 Jul 2010 06:05:11 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=80#comment237 MargaretHowardRe #214Give it up Margaret!Your variety act as the grumpy Scot has been done so many times by others with a much better ratio of one-liners about the English!"..100 year war.." and "..empire.." , plus "..rainy little island..", concluded by "..'us' Scots.." all in the same paragraph: About as relevant as haggis is to a decent meal!If You really are a Scot then its Your 'rainy island' too, or hadn't You noticed because You were too busy complaining about all things English!Come now, You've long since had Your Stone of Scone returned and the English really are sorry they kept it since 1296 - - Your THISTLE now encircles the GARTER and the Scottish CREST has replaced the English in the Royal Arms of Great Britain - - what more could You possibly be wanting from the English!? TeeHee! Sat 17 Jul 2010 06:02:04 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=79#comment236 Re #202Been away: Just read that, DemocThreat. Another raspberry of trivial pursuit by You!".. I'm sorry but you (cbw) must earn my respect.."To which I can honestly say I look forward to Your continued comments on every topic with a hunger that can only be described as 'indecent' and to obliging You by repeated exposure of Your wholly inconsistent and often illogically made points of view. Sat 17 Jul 2010 05:38:56 GMT+1 Liliput http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=79#comment235 65 Million people against 1900 ! 34,210 french against 1 Burqa-clad woman! The french feel culturally threatened by 0.00002923th of a burqa per french head! Will it cover even one of their toe-nails? Will most of the french ever get the chance too see a Burqa-woman once in their life-time? What are these people? Yet, most of the posters here seem to agree with them! I am speechless. All I can do is to quote the author Terry Goodkind :-“People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want it to be true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People's heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool.” Sat 17 Jul 2010 05:10:22 GMT+1 Liliput http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=79#comment234 " Rascality has limits, stupidity has none."-- Napoleon Bonaparte. Emperor of the French.Napoleon wasn't 'Emperor of the French' for nothing! He knew his people best. Sarkozy has limits, but the French seems to have none... Sat 17 Jul 2010 04:26:50 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=78#comment233 This post has been Removed Fri 16 Jul 2010 23:04:24 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=78#comment232 232. At 10:38pm on 16 Jul 2010, HabitualHero wrote:"""" MPs believe that those who live in, or visit, France should embrace French values."So every visitor to france will have to learn how to play football very, very badly?"""Yes dear. If the French esteem that playing badly football is a basic convetion of their society you wil have to learn to play football very badly and you will be forced to abstain from training sessions. If you find this prospect horrible, you jump to Spain. It is your choice afterall. Fri 16 Jul 2010 22:23:04 GMT+1 HabitualHero http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=78#comment231 " MPs believe that those who live in, or visit, France should embrace French values."So every visitor to france will have to learn how to play football very, very badly? Fri 16 Jul 2010 21:38:24 GMT+1 generalissimo_franco http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=77#comment230 @199 Threnodio“That is not the separation of the state and religion - it is direct intervention and as such, undermines, not enhances the secularism of the state.”Sorry to intervene without any invitation. For the first time maybe, I should disagree with your vision on the interpretation of the main principle of any secular state. I agree that this discussion concerns the core, the mere foundation of any modern society where the church normally is independent from the state, thus guarantying to all citizens equal right for practising a religion of their own choice. But what happens in practice, not only in France /where the second generation migrants from Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania constitute more than six percent of the population with a clear tendency to increase even more/, not only in Germany /where the residents of mainly Turkish origin constitute more than five percent of the citizens, and if we add to that the total number of the non residents still working in Germany, we may presume that the total percentage of the Muslims may exceed ten percent of the total German inhabitents/, but almost in any central/eastern European country including Bulgaria, where the local Muslims already reached the critical ten percent of the whole population. Needless to say, we managed so far to reach some kind of a well balanced relationship between Muslims and Orthodox Christians at the cost of many compromises, including the establishment of a political party which members are mostly Muslims. But, at the same time, we noticed that under the cover of the free religious practices, many alarming news started to come from the towns/villages inhabited mainly by Muslims, such as marriages of young girls of under 16 years, marriages of youngsters previously arranged by the parents against the will of the couple, organising of illegal islamic courses in the mosques by people of unknown nationality, foreign investments coming from neighbour Turkey presumably in districts inhabited mostly by Muslims, and last but not least deliberate speaking in Turkish in public places /hotels, banks, etc., held by Muslim proprietors/. If we add to that, the practice of wearing burka/niqab in public places, and the numerous protests of Muslim women against the normal requirements concerning the make of a portrait photography for the IC, you may constitute the picture of the present situation here, which may hide many risks both for the secular society and the national security. If I should resume the reasons of my personnel concern in brief, I should say, that the Orthodox majority here do respect the principle of separation of the state from the church, while the Muslim minority does not respect it. In the mean time, there are evidences of even more provocative manifestations of some extreme Islamic groups, such as the illegal building of monuments commemorating ‘the exploits of the unknown Ottoman soldier’, etc.You see friend, the ghosts of the past are still alive here, and our authorities have to work even harder in order to guarantee the civic peace and the civic rights of the citizens in Bulgaria…Sofia, July 16th 2010 Fri 16 Jul 2010 15:24:30 GMT+1 oulematu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=77#comment229 Gheryando, 186 wrote:"there is nothing wrong with showing other people the boundaries of your culture. The Western culture is the most liberal, accepting and progressive you will find in the history of mankind. It works amazingly when its members all share the core values. It becomes complicated when these hard-earned rights and values are challenged through exactly the means, which have enabled these rights and values to develop. We have now reached a critical point. Having been accepting ever since, it has now come so far in that we have to "force" people to accept our ways. That it ever had to come to this just shows the extreme leniency with which we have been operating in terms of accepting cultural norms that are, inherently, incompatible with ours."Amazing! The Western culture is the most liberal, accepting and progressive you will find in the history of mankind, to an extent where it even finds the moral generosity to tolerate people who accept all its cultural norms. That is quite a moral achievement which epitomizes the intellectual peaks to which the "Western culture" has risen and can provide leadership for the rest of the world! Admittedly, it would be even more admirable, if Europe could tolerate people who are slightly different, but apparently that would be too much to ask of Europeans. So let us rejoice that they tolerate at least people who are the same, which makes it the most morally advanced civilization on Earth, as per Gheryando. I also note the expression "core values". I assume what you mean is that this includes also wearing or not wearing this or that piece of clothing, right. I would have thought that core values would mean something more general, along the lines of the Ten Commandments or the Categorical Imperative, but no, there you go, Europe's core values also include your clothes, and if you don't watch out, they will soon label you as a non-European element. So I have to be careful to keep track of what is considered European by the likes of Gheryando.Which reminds me, a few years back an EU "expert" was trying to help me understand why Turkey cannot be admitted to the EU. If I understood correctly, his main argument was that most Turks do not eat pork, which is supposedly a big problem since most EU laws relate to agricultural products, and the free circulation and eating of pigs is the first and foremost core principle of EU law. Glad I didn't mention to him that I am something of a partial vegetarian - that would have been a very un-European thing to say and might have offended his European sensibilities. Fri 16 Jul 2010 15:23:27 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=77#comment228 Re228: Oh really mate? Are you afraid? Why don't you go tell Londoners and New Yorkers to start reading the Koran so as to avoid future bombings! That is what you tell us right now.Of course the law is a smokescreen and it is there to create impressions and reactions since politicians could not care less if the citizens rights are infringed - and I am not talking about the right of muslims to hide their faces but I am talking about the human right of Europeans to refuse to talk with people that hide their faces which so far has been denied provoking a huge injustice.However, you do not have the sufficient basis to grasp the basics: the law itself it is correct: it addresses an issue that should be addressed. The issue is all about making a law on a basic social convention that is the "must not" of face cover in the exact way that the "must not" of nudism is already illegal. Nothing more nothing less.Now if muslims become more hardliners then that is their problem. It will be dealt. The state cannot alter its functioning to accomodate for people who have no respect for it.If you think that everything was ok up to now and that it is this law or such measures that will cause a fight between the communities you are far from the truth.Take this:"""Today, America would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order. Tomorrow they will be grateful! This is especially true if they were told that there were an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened their very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well-being granted to them by the World Government."""Henry Kissinger at Bilderberger Conference, Evians, France, , 1991Do you have the substantial analytical capacity to grasp what it is all about? Do you think that by giving concessions it will stop?No mate, I am sorry. It has started long before you were born - cos you are young I suppose. It started with the arbitrary, uncostitutional and illegal installation of muslims in most countries of Europe. From there one, anything can be an excuse. And if you give one concession for the shake of this misty thing called multi-culturalism next day there will be something else. It is a trap and there is no way out apart two cases: the newcomers putting water to their wine and accepting to respect the basic social conventions of the host society or the host society losing completely ground to the newcomers.Face cover is a basic social convention. It is not a choice to take or not to take. Nudism is also a choice of take or not to take and down to the basics it is much more a human right than full face cover. If you accept full face cover is of course the equivalent of accepting from one day to another people coming to your shop completely naked, often sporting and even entertaining erections, why not afterall?If muslims want to impose the host society to have their women or anyone else circulating with full face cover, it means that in their turn they will have to accept that fully naked men can also circulate in public. It is as simple as that. Either we respect social convetions or not at all. Any other approach is pure fascism imposing a caste system of dual speed and a true communautarian organisation that will keep reproducing tension and constantly giving new issues of division. Fri 16 Jul 2010 14:56:35 GMT+1 euormartin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=76#comment227 Unbelievable as this law may sound to those who recognise its contempt for choice and cultural difference, I can tell you it is more sinister than you can imagine. I have spent my entire life in conflict zones and this move is a text book,declaration of war on the muslim way of life designed to provoke a reaction. The results will be an immediate formation of a muslim defence orgnisation which in turn will give political elements the excuse to further erode basic civil liberties. Make no mistake, this is not about helping a woman select her wardrobe, this is about taking the power away from the people and back into the hands of the few. Fri 16 Jul 2010 12:55:47 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=76#comment226 # 221. At 10:52am on 16 Jul 2010, you wrote:This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain# 223. At 11:32am on 16 Jul 2010, you wrote:This comment has been referred for further consideration. ExplainComplain about this comment?????????I guess some people do not like to be told some basic truths since they reveal the poverty of their own thinking.There was absolutely nothing out of the rules in these messages apart the fact that they pinpointed the lack of basic education of some people here who fail to see the following:- All societies have basic social convetions.Does anyone has any objection to it?- Nudism in public places is a basic social convention in western societiesIn many western countries untill recently there was no particular law on nudism since no people would go around naked and if anyone tried he would be 1) either beaten on spot by bystanders or 2) closed in a primitive psychiatric institutionHowever, one the one hand after a slight change in peoples' attitude towards nudism not being a psychological illness (which did not change of course the basic social convention on nudity), as well as the rise of civic sense so that beating people on spot or closing them in the mad-house was neither permitted, the law came in and defined that nudity in public places is an illegal act punishamble by law.- Full face cover is another basic social convention in western societiesUp to now, few if any countries have legislated on it since if in the past anyone circulated with his face covered, people would refuse to approach him, they would refuse his entry in any public building, and in some cases he would try to communicate with people he could get beaten up by irritated people, in other cases of enterring guarded places, he would be gunned down to death instantly.However, on the one hand the changing attitudes of the general civic sense that does not want anymore lynching people for infringing the basic social conventions and on the other the influx of muslim immigrants some of whom are not willing to adapt to the local basic social convetions (which is the strict minimum), calls in for the creation of the face-cover ban law.There is absolutely nothing to discuss on it, this is a non-issue. People who are against the ban actually admit having absolutely no respect for any basic social convetion and thus being willing to accept people circulating in public naked and - why not (it is a 100% natural thing!)? - with visible erections. If they do not accept the later then they are fascists of the worst kind trying to impose their own distorted views on society and at the same erase long standing views existing in society, i.e. they are absolutely aggressive to the point that only an enemy would be.The law is not at all about sending policemen to patrol for veiled women. It is about protecting the basic human right of the citizens to refuse to communicate with people that have covered face. Until now, any public service or bank employee refusing to serve a veiled person would risk being sued for racism, destroying his career and up to completely losing his job. The law comes in the protection of his basic human right not to communicate with people that do not want to reveal their identities.I am again and again surprised that people can have any objection to the above on whatever grounds. That is what I call fasicsm. Fri 16 Jul 2010 11:35:52 GMT+1 Rufus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=76#comment225 It all depends on who's "infidel" to whom. From the Christian point of view, Muslims are infidels, i.e. Mohammedans. Fri 16 Jul 2010 11:23:01 GMT+1 raoulbitenbois http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=75#comment224 threnodio_II :// I was responding to your extraordinary allegation that only an Anglican can be prime minister.//Why did Tony Bliar wait to get out of number 10 to convert then ?The fact that Disraeli was PM does mean that my anglican argument was wrong.Duly Noted.Concerning the Belphegor (google it , you'll see) costume "controversy" and its fanatical backing , it's the latest attempt at undermining a secular country , Turkey faces the same kind of concerted attacks, to not see that is either naive or malicious.It's demands to have public swimming-pools have women-only days , women demanding to have female doctors while visiting public hospitals , public roads being blocked on friday afternoon in the 18th arrondissement to have outdoor prayers (while nearby mosques are empty).The common thing about these examples ? Public facilities (paid by everyone). In France when your picking your kids off kindergarten you have to prove that you are who you say you are.So you say Hi to the teacher or staff then bye and go on your way. Crazy stuff I know.The solution proposed by the advocates of the Burqa ? They're willing to take the burqa off to prove to the staff that they're are the legimitate person but due to their modesty they want a private room to do it.So 36.000 villages in France , let's make it 50.000 schools all needing major construction work just to accomodate "religious" rights .We'll pass. Fri 16 Jul 2010 11:16:50 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=75#comment223 " Are you aware of a sura that talks about how to rape the infidels' women?"I'm not Nik. Perhaps you could quote it. Fri 16 Jul 2010 11:05:33 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=75#comment222 This post has been Removed Fri 16 Jul 2010 10:32:58 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=74#comment221 Re215: Each time someone recites suras from the Koran suddenly the atmosphere gets so depressive. No wonder people who are occupied with this religion suffer from complexes and psychological problems. There is a similar effect with other religions too but the Koran is simply the champion in doing so. Are you aware of a sura that talks about how to rape the infidels' women? Fri 16 Jul 2010 09:54:55 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=74#comment220 This post has been Removed Fri 16 Jul 2010 09:52:37 GMT+1 StopPoliticalCorrectness http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=73#comment219 Well done France !One step along the way to restoring my faith in the EU, they have shown some backbone, where the other nations are running scared of extremists who justify ridiculous restrictions in the name of religion.Next up, please ban all organised religion, if someone has faith, then they should be able to pray without having to go to a church, where there are told what to say and do by out of touch octegenarians more interested in hiding their own sins of the flesh or by mad eyed lunatic dictators who hate the democracies because of the theoretical freedom they offer. Fri 16 Jul 2010 09:49:48 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=73#comment218 threnodio:"I favour this but do not necessarily think that the satus quo mitigates against the country's democratic credentials even though it may appear that way to outsiders."Have you any idea how North Korean that sounds? Fri 16 Jul 2010 09:38:13 GMT+1 D http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=73#comment217 I find skinheads with docmartins offensive, can we ban skinheads? i find middle aged white men on computers scary because most peadophiles are middle aged white men, can we ban them owning computers! i find jews wearing black and having lots of unkept facial hair distrubing and think they may be forced into wearing it, can we ban that, i think a nazi supporting party based out of leeds is offensive to those who died and fought int eh 2 world wars, so why they a legitimate party! freedom goes both ways not just the anglo illegal war and torturign persons way only! Fri 16 Jul 2010 09:01:31 GMT+1 loran http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=72#comment216 @199 - threnodio_IIThis discussion is really interesting.I am not sure of what the PM has said to the Independent.. And the discussion around separation of state and religion is interesting.You are right to say that the 1905 law is separating the two "powers". This is what is, literally, in the text. But you have to understand the context, at this time, the spirit of this law was to weakness the religious power. This has to be related to the "hussards noirs" of the 3rd Républic (that ended in 1940). These teachers, that were State's "evangelists" went all over the country and fought both the religious power and the traditionalism to put in place the state we know today. This story that could be seen as an old one, is in fact still accurate, since the Education Nationale, is still constructed on this model. All the roots of this huge entity are there. State oriented, anti religious. This is how the modern states has been constructed. That is part of what is getting out these days. And this is even stronger since the high classes of the society are trying to get rid of the State in order to construct EU against the people (remember the 2005 referendum...)... Fri 16 Jul 2010 08:25:07 GMT+1 threnodio_II http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=72#comment215 #214 - margaret howard"Advise on ecclesiastical appointments? I thought in a true democracy church and state were strictly separated".Yes. This is a curious anomaly. In progressing to a 'true democracy', the British have thought it meet to remove executive powers from the monarchy (Queen being the titular head of the Anglican church) to the elected government. This includes the appointment of bishops. This could be resolved by transferring that power to the General Synod but ultimately the answer is disestablishment. I favour this but do not necessarily think that the satus quo mitigates against the country's democratic credentials even though it may appear that way to outsiders. Fri 16 Jul 2010 07:59:55 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=72#comment214 what the Koran actually says on the subject:"the faithful women must keep their gaze focused below, on the ground and cover their sexual organs. They must not put their beauty and their jewelry on display. They must hide their breasts behind Purdah. They must not exhibit their beauty to anybody except their husbands, brothers, nephews, womenfolk, servants, eunuch employees and children.They must not move their legs briskly while walking because then much of their bodies can get exposed." (Sura Al Noor 24:31) Fri 16 Jul 2010 07:14:27 GMT+1 margaret howard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=71#comment213 206 threnodio writes:"Technically, there is no reason why a non-Anglican should not hold the office although presumably someone else would have to advise on ecclesiastical appointments."Advise on ecclesiastical appointments? I thought in a true democracy church and state were strictly separated. And to answer raoulbitenbois at 211 when he says "But keep bashing France , it's easy , it feels good , french people in their vast majority couldn't care less" I can assure him it is pure jealousy. Remember the 100 year war? The loss of their French possessions is as painful to the English as the loss of their empire. Just imagine being stuck in their rainy little island surrounded by the despised Welsh, Irish and us Scots when they would love to be in charge of the world. So in desperation they hang on to the coattails of the yanks hoping to play a bigger part on the world stage and probably waiting for their chance to have another go at dominating it. Thu 15 Jul 2010 22:57:33 GMT+1 threnodio_II http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=71#comment212 #210 - raoulbitenboisI don't bash France. I love it dearly. And I would certainly never accuse them of being the lazy, surrendering to the Germans types. I was responding to your extraordinary allegation that only an Anglican can be prime minister. You have replied with a list of ministers who fit my criteria. Fair enough, match drawn. I mean you and your nation no offense - quite the opposite - but revisit your original post and it reads like a rant. Sharia law English style? Fostering home grown suicide bombers? Give me a break.If we have started off on the wrong foot, I apologise and we can agree to differ about Islamic dress codes but please don't tell me I was not entitled to react to your original post. It was full of precisely the kind of stereotypical images of which you accuse me. If we are going to have serious exchanges of views, we need to go beyond that sort of thing. Thu 15 Jul 2010 22:03:57 GMT+1 lacerniagigante http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=71#comment211 Re 54. At 11:15pm on 13 Jul 2010, fmzubair wrote:"If the face veil is banned what about the other extreme, females walking almost naked on the streets with skimpy outfits in the name of social liberation? These indecent exhibitionist perverted attitudes should be banned first."Get off it. No one is forcing you to look at them.The state should not tell women (or men) how to dress (or undress).They'd better start doing something useful with our taxes. Thu 15 Jul 2010 22:01:21 GMT+1 raoulbitenbois http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=70#comment210 //You are clearly confused. It is clearly you who hates the British, the Americans, the odd 1% of Muslims who lead the other 99% by the nose //I love americans , but not when they're willing to look the other way while their govt is willing to use methods they prosecuted after WWII when it was used by the Japanese in prison camp.I don't hate English people either , I cringe at your govt subserviency to whatever Washington decides (sometimes against your own national interests).A lot of British people do as well.But keep bashing France , it's easy , it feels good , french people in their vast majority couldn't care less - not only because they don't read the british press but french people are too busy being lazy ,eating cheese , surrendering to the germans , collecting EU subsidies and oppressing legitimate religious claims ... Thu 15 Jul 2010 21:29:54 GMT+1 raoulbitenbois http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=70#comment209 threnodio_II : I was refering to the UK concerning the PM thing ,bad editing made it look like I was speaking of the US , I wasn't.//Remind me of your last woman president, Muslim or Afro-Caribbean minister. You mean there were none? //Last muslim minister ? Hmmm , the present Secretary of State for Urban Policies for one.Who incidentally is dead against ninja costumes (a woman against that debasement of womanhood who would have thought ?).The sports secretary is not only from the muslim faith , she was born in Senegal and happened to be a woman !Imagine that.Last Afro-Caribbean member of the cabinet ? Marie-Luce Penchard.But don't let those facts get in the way of your obviously extensive knowledge of French politics.Did I made this up ?http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7690809.stm Thu 15 Jul 2010 21:13:08 GMT+1 MaudDib http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=70#comment208 201. democracythreatSurely it will require a surgeon to remove your tongue from your cheek. Thu 15 Jul 2010 20:55:36 GMT+1 ghostofsichuan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=69#comment207 I would like to comment on the fact that everyone seems willing to beat up on France while nations all over the world drag people off to prisons, kill them outright, discriminate against minorities or in some cases majorities and have open political corruption. Such outrage over requiring that people not cover their face in public. It is strange times when almost everyone would agree this is a outcome of the radial Islamic militants and their actions but that cannot be said. Public fears, justified or not can and do become public policy. These are always sticky questions in a democratic form of government and how the majority of people can impose something on a minority. I think the quoting of international human rights legislation is very hollow in this world where it is violated every day in many places with nothing at all being done but letters being sent in protest. As the US Secretary of State said on her first visit to China: the US would not let human rights or enviornmental issues get in the way when discussing economnic cooperation. What else needs to be said. Thu 15 Jul 2010 20:43:23 GMT+1 stanilic http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=69#comment206 205 Dorfkcots.Very well put. I nearly said that myself earlier but got myself caught up in a theological and moral argument that has confused the moderators. My fault for not making the points more clearly.I will however state that modern Western culture encourages individuals to assert themselves. Now we have an assertion which is offensive to Western culture. To deal with it we should be promoting what we all have in common rather than our differences. Thu 15 Jul 2010 19:41:55 GMT+1 threnodio_II http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=69#comment205 #203 - raoulbitenboisWell - we have another rabid Anglophobe on the books do we?Do you want to pursue the logic? "Being reprimanded by the US is laughable - easy way to make Gitmo ,rendition planes ,secret prison, Abu Ghraib , torture less of a concern at an ally expense.The day someone not anglican will be allowed to be PM , French people and MPs might take whatever that country has to say seriously ..."The United States does not have a prime minister, it has a president and a Catholic, one John Kennedy has held that office even in my lifetime. Unless, of course, you mean the UK? Well of course you do, stupid of me.Technically, there is no reason why a non-Anglican should not hold the office although presumably someone else would have to advise on ecclesiastical appointments. But there have certainly been Ministers of the Crown of different faiths and ethnicities including a number of Muslims - oh yes and a woman prime minister. Remind me of your last woman president, Muslim or Afro-Caribbean minister. You mean there were none?"England should stick to dealing with their homegrown suicide bombers instead of dwelling on what a country they despise does"So remind me. 7/7 was the only occasion when suicide bombers successfully attacked in the UK. Every other attempt has been foiled. I thought that was dealing with them. And what is this country that we are all supposed to despise - France? Surely not. A lot of us live their for heaven's sake.You are clearly confused. It is clearly you who hates the British, the Americans, the odd 1% of Muslims who lead the other 99% by the nose (where the hell did that come from?) and I imagine you are not too fond of the led either. And as for "sharia law English style" - 'Publc' reader are we.Why don't you take a nice cold shower and lie down in a dark room with a bottle of Pernod. It will pass. Thu 15 Jul 2010 19:31:24 GMT+1 Luther http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=68#comment204 If I were to walk into a bank with a balaklava on I would probably be arrested before I had left the building.Should someone walk into a bank, purportedly a female, wearing something (what can that be I wonder) covering her face it is her right? I don't think so. What happens if a shop owner is deaf? I imagine they would not be allowed (by our wonderful laws) to refuse to serve someone wearing a veil over their face, and yet they would be unable to do so. What is more, the veil wearer would scream 'bigot' if they were asked by sign language to take it off. I suppose it would be better to ban deaf shop owners and the like. Or maybe not.Visual identity is very important in our society - it is a marker of Western Europe that we identify one another by facial characteristics, as well as communicate with one another (and that includes the important communication which is made with people we do not know). Those who bring in a cultural activity that undermines the societal methods of interaction that are applicable in the country they (culturally speaking) are invading should not be allowed to do so.Our way of life works, our communication works, our culture works. If you wish to live here you are welcome to join us - but join us, don't cut yourself off from us and don't act in ways which undermine what we are... after all, you chose us, so accept us the way we are please. Thu 15 Jul 2010 18:27:23 GMT+1 threnodio_II http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=68#comment203 200 - democracythreatThank you - that was gracious of you. Appreciate it. Thu 15 Jul 2010 18:23:25 GMT+1 raoulbitenbois http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=68#comment202 It took the french society decades to put religion in its place.Being reprimanded by the US is laughable - easy way to make Gitmo ,rendition planes ,secret prison, Abu Ghraib , torture less of a concern at an ally expense.The day someone not anglican will be allowed to be PM , French people and MPs might take whatever that country has to say seriously ...England should stick to dealing with their homegrown suicide bombers instead of dwelling on what a country they despise does.A few religious fanatics wanting to live in a sharia state will not change that.99% of french muslims despair at being "represented" by these medieval fanatics.Enough negotiations with these degenerates.Some here obvioulsy fails to see that secular states like France and Turkey are targeted by these nutters. (Burqa now ; sharia law English style tomorrow)No Thanks.That ridiculous costume is also forbidden in Mecca that anti-muslim hotbed ...Why is that ? Thu 15 Jul 2010 18:03:42 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=67#comment201 CBW, with the greatest possible respect, I have long since lost faith in your ability to follow my arguments, let alone counter them.You have repeatedly demonstrated a lack of integrity and an emotional ferocity which undermines your attempt to set yourself out as some kind of intellectual force.I am sorry, but you must earn my respect. You will not bully it out of me. Thu 15 Jul 2010 17:34:14 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=67#comment200 razausman wrote:"@ democracythreat : You are an ignoramus. Can you please explain why anyone would want to veil themselves. If it is cultural. It is wrong. If it is religious. It is wrong. It is based on the concept of treating women as inferior, unable to think for themselves. An object to be possessed. Ever wonder why in these societies and cultures the men don't veil themselves, yet they insist their women should?"Well, it isn't really my place to explain why people choose to wear veils. Nor is it yours. It is their business what they wear, and if that doesn't affect my behaviour I see no reason for me to have an opinion on the subject.Secondly, I do wonder why "in these societies" (here you refer unwittingly to France) certain women veil themselves, and why men do not. I had come to the conclusion that it is due to many factors, not the least of which is that their mothers told them that doing so was virtuous.Thirdly, I must thank you for calling me an ignoramus. i find it refreshing, given what I am usually called, and it supports my view that nobody has an exclusive handle on the quality of intelligence.Except for yourself, of course."It is wrong." is a statement you make repeatedly, and the awe felt by ignorant folks such as myself when you make your declaration is inspiring.I intend to take your example of wise reasoning into court and into my workplace. I have no doubt it will make me a great hit with everyone, and perhaps it will go some small way towards convincing my peers that I am less of an ignoramus than I was.It is a pleasure and an honour to discourse with you, razausman, and I look forward to your continued comments on every topic with a hunger that can only be described as indecent. Thu 15 Jul 2010 17:27:47 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=67#comment199 threnodio_II wrote:"#76 - democracythreat"threnodio_II wrote:"It is a law against hiding you face, is it not?" You took that comment out of context and without regard to the central point I was making. The following paragraph is therefore uncalled for if direct at me and you should withdraw it."You are quite right. I do withdraw it. In fact I did so as soon as I realized my idiotic mistake but that comment was moderated into oblivion.I did not take you out of context, I stupidly failed to comprehend what you had clearly written. I am sorry for that piece of foolishness. Thu 15 Jul 2010 17:17:01 GMT+1 threnodio_II http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=66#comment198 #191 - loranI will bow to your superior knowledge because I am not French although I know the country well. My understanding, however, has always been that the determination to keep the state as a secular institution was about maintaining a strict separation of the state from matters of faith. This appears to be the opposite of that. Since the burqua is worn through a tradition which stems from religious faith, how can it be any different from monastic robes, nun's habits or priests' frock coats and collars. These are simply the outward manifestations of faith.If the minister concerned is honest in his interview for the Independent, then this has nothing to do with religion and is simply a law against clothing which hides the identity. Presumably it will apply equally to 'hoodies' or anyone else who is not on a motorcycle or fencing. But this is not how it is being sold. It is being 'sold' as a measure against the muslin veil. That is not the separation of the state and religion - it is direct intervention and as such, undermines, not enhances the secularism of the state. Thu 15 Jul 2010 17:04:09 GMT+1 generalissimo_franco http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=66#comment197 @ 193 BluesBerry"As well as the European Convention of Human Rights, in Article 9: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance”.What happened to state neutrality in matters of religion?There is no law to support this law!"The "...worship, teaching, practice and observance" do not necessarily suggest and legalise to wear burka and niqab in public places. Second, if "the ..worship, teaching, practice and observance" serve as a motive to interpreter wrongly or to violate the established secular laws that would guarantee equal rights to all of us /including those Muslims who are more or less embarrassed by their parents to practice other ways of existence, such as the non respect of the Ramathan restrictions/, then we have to pass laws that would interpret more precisely what is in violation of what, i.e. we must follow the French example. Thu 15 Jul 2010 17:00:28 GMT+1 cynic555 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/07/criminalising_women_behind_the.html?page=66#comment196 Unfortunate/improper law - but predictable consequence of yrs of Islamic terrorism combined with no apparent desire to assimilate into host country. I suspect that Islam will either reform and eliminate violence or face further exclusion from the West. Thu 15 Jul 2010 16:23:55 GMT+1