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Britain - The great veil debate


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So there should be no compromise between cultures and no steps towards integration between communities within society!

We should exist in separate communities that remain totally independent of one another, isolationism is the way forward in the progressive society!

Each culture should remain within it's own country, so that country's ideals, customs and beliefs are upheld and stabilised. Naturally people should only reside in that country which upholds their customs and beliefs, we change integration into adoption.

So Britian is predominately a Christian, Westernised state, therefore Muslims, Hindus, Budest etc, should on that bases adopt our culture and ways or move to a country that conforms to their belief systems.

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So there should be no compromise between cultures and no steps towards integration between communities within society!

We should exist in separate communities that remain totally independent of one another, isolationism is the way forward in the progressive society!

Each culture should remain within it's own country, so that country's ideals, customs and beliefs are upheld and stabilised. Naturally people should only reside in that country which upholds their customs and beliefs, we change integration into adoption.

So Britian is predominately a Christian, Westernised state, therefore Muslims, Hindus, Budest etc, should on that bases adopt our culture and ways or move to a country that conforms to their belief systems.

Does Britain have no room for people wearing different clothing? Besides, many are born in GB as you probably were, have they not the right to wear a veil as you have the right to wear flannel? I would've hoped for GB to be inclusive, not exclusive in culture.

Of course, some compromises must be reached. Like removing the veil for IDing, etc.

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How about all cultures accepting one another, veil or not ?

Nema, I totally agree with you about the coloured hair and piercing ! I cant believe people would want to put bits of metal in their bodies like that !  ???

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alchemi2 - I think you think I'm saying quite the opposite of what I'm actually saying. Hm. That doesn't clear things up much.

"So there should be no compromise between cultures and no steps towards integration between communities within society!"

Precisely not what I'm saying. My point is that muslims are often getting the message "erase all trace of your ethnic identity and only then will you be fully accepted into society". And that's just not on.

Secondly, I don't think that cultural integration necessarily means cultural homogenisation. Even if we adopt a tit-for-tat approach, all that means is we'll have either no culture whatsoever or a uniform nonsense-crazy-pastiche. And I don't know about you, but I don't fancy living in a country in which every single house has a mezuzah saying "Allah save the Queen" in Hindi. Cultural integration isn't about eroding cultural variety, it's about breaking down social barriers. It means not just tolerance of people who look, dress, and do things differently, but acceptance of people as individuals on an individual level, whatever clothes they wear. It means desegregation of communities - education has a big part to play in this, (I'd say faith schools do a lot to promote division, incidentally, but that's another debate) - and there are bigger socio-economic factors at play keeping people 'in their place'.

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what drives me nuts from these arguments is that people are looking at these issues from 20th century perspectives. We really dont know how to handle the issue (especially in many european countries) of thriving cultures coming into developed countries. In america we face the problem of illegal immigration coming from central and south american peoples. We are stifled by taking any action based on economic or idealistic standards. People who say we should not bar the continuing influx of immigrants use the argument that it is beneficial to the economy, or that it is somehow racist. Both arguments are very limited in the fact that they dont percieve how the influx will effect the future of countries fifty to a hundred years in the future. Race riots, abuse from the upper classes, and all around class divisions over here in America. Over in Europe I dont know how different immigrant populations will effect people.

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Precisely not what I'm saying. My point is that Muslims are often getting the message "erase all trace of your ethnic identity and only then will you be fully accepted into society". And that's just not on.

I agree to a degree, i disagree with segregation within society and i believe the expression Muslim community is yet another division.

The main thrust of my arguments has not only been to provoke debate but to expose our own bias towards ethnic groups.

Personally i do not find the the head scarf or full cover clothing offensive or intimidating and i think Sari's can be very smart and attractive BUT on the matter of the veil i do think it is :-

A) Unnecessary.

B) Intimidating/rude.

C) Medieval.

D) A symbol of segregation not only of belief but of gender.

IMO many Britons do see the veil as fundamentally wrong and link it to extremism.

Also when we talk of tolerance it should be remembered that it is a two way street, therefore Muslim, other non christian religions and Christians for that matter need to accept that we are a reasonably secular nation and believe in the right to freely express ourselves but that we have to live with the consequences of those expressions.

Many people assume all Punks are violent, thick druggie criminals which we all know isn't the case but that is the image the general public have, so if you choose that life style then you can't really bemoan the stigma, all you can do is try to change it.

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Many people assume all Punks are violent, thick druggie criminals which we all know isn't the case but that is the image the general public have, so if you choose that life style then you can't really bemoan the stigma, all you can do is try to change it.

Yes, but we dont ask punk types to get rid of their hair/piercings/types of clothing or anything else like that.

Also who are the "we" ? Those that shout loudest ? Those of us who decide we will have a debate ?

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WE are the normal average majority.

Actually many people would stop piercings and the hairdos and suppress the radical music.

Radical music? Ahahaha. There's no such thing as a normal average majority, it's all just your imagination. And even if it did exist, why should people strive to be a part of the "average"? That's like wishing to be mediocre and overlooked. All people are fundamentally different in culture and upbringing and you should not speak for them. Attempting to speak on behalf of the majority is a major fallacy in a logical debate.

What you're suggesting here borders on governmental sponsorship of censorship and persecution of the individual for his cultural and ethnic customs.

Remember, it's the basis of a democracy that minority customs and freedom of belief be respected and not imposed upon by the majority, as long as those customs are not directly harmful. Now, you've listed the following reasons for why the niqad should be banned:

A) Unnecessary.

B) Intimidating/rude.

C) Medieval.

D) A symbol of segregation not only of belief but of gender.

Let's examine them. Unnecessary couldn't be any more vague. What's necessary when it comes to clothing? How is a suit any more necessary than a T-shirt, for example? It all comes down to style and tradition, which is subjective to each particular group. Personally, I don't find them intimidating or rude. Perhaps you have some sort of phobia or intolerance of the muslim culture that needs addressing, but I am not a psychiatrist. These are irrational fears based on stereotypes that need be dealt with by the supposed majority, rather than the muslim women. And so what if it's medieval? I'm pretty sure the custom is far older than the Middle Ages anyway, but so are some of the english customs. As for being a symbol of segregation by gender, it exists in all cultures. If you notice, women tend to dress differently from men no matter where you look. It's been brought up before in this thread - the only difference tends to be that women in western cultures show more skin than those following Islam. But muslim men have similar requirements, only their concern hair rather than skin - I believe they aren't allowed to leave uncovered any hair that is not on their face, aka they can only leave the beard uncovered.

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1st i have never called for the banning of anything, in fact quite the opposite.

2ND I wasn't speaking for WE i was speaking for me, the We was in answer to the earlier Erjin question/statement of what was WE.

3rd Did you bother to read The entire thread?

4th I've already stated that my personal fear/apprehension of the veil is illogical and irrational, that doesn't lessen it or change the fact That many share it. Perhaps we all need PHYCHIATRISTS.

5th I have never said anyone strove to be average or what average is. There is within any society that which is considered the NORM, those that rebel against it often then become the NORM for the next generation.

Finally the point of the discussion based on the original articles, was the general opinion being towed within society at the moment by politicians and the general public.

Highhanded and convoluted arguments of social stereotyping are all well and good but does the ordinary everyday person in the street care.

A female researcher for the BBC radio2 recently wore the niqab for a week to gauge peoples reaction to her, she found that she was treated differently, people were more nervous around her and it was harder for her to interact.

Many see the veil and associate it with funmentalist extremism or activist.

The Non Teaching assistant, who was suspended for refusing to remove her veil, argued that she couldn't do so in front of male colleagues as it was against her religious beliefs but when she attended the interview for the job, she wasn't wearing the veil and was interviewed by a man and at no point informed the school of the sudden need to wear the naqib.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/worldhaveyoursay/2006/10/tuesdays_agenda_1.html

why not feel free to read the comments of others

I found this one particularly interesting.

7. At 04:38 PM on 25 Oct 2006, Richard Boothroyd wrote:

There are two points I would like to make concerning the veil discussion:

1) I truly belive Ginnah Muhammad and sypathetic Muslims are being totally arrogant when they resist or in this case refuse to accept the ettiquite of our institutions in cluding the law. In my opinion if you are going to benefit from ANY aspect of living in a society, you as a minority must conform to the requirements of the majority. That is the essence of democracy. Democracy is about the idea that The majority rules not the minority.

2) WDET's forum presented the views of an Islamic cleric who stated quite clearly that the complete covering of the face is a cultural not religious choice. In addition, in the earliest days of Islam, adherents conformed to the expectations of the host culture, not vice versa.

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You see, the author of that article (and you, if you agree with opinions stated) makes the mistake of believing that we should follow the beliefs of the majority and mend our ways according to their fears, insecurities and paranoid delusions. But the mob is fickle and ignorant, easily scared by generalization of what they see on their television screens. If there is no real physical threat from wearing niqabs, why should anything be done based solely on those irrational factors? Why should we mend the truth just because the majority cannot accept that the earth isn't flat?

Democracy isn't all about majority rule as many seem to believe - it's about equal representation and cooperation. What is being referred to is majoritarianism or tyranny by majority and most of the world's leading democracies have at least some sort of rules to prevent the majority from de jure domination. 

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Unless he is already being watched as a known suspect, there would be no need to dress up as a woman. Also, he may simply have been fulfilling a fantasy  ;)

I note you say suspect, so there is no proof he was a terrorist ? So he could have been an average joe with a fetish of sorts ? Wow.

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Suspected Terrorist because he had not be caught, tried and proved to be a terrorist.

Devil's Advocate Democracy isn't all about majority rule as many seem to believe. How true  ;) often under 50% of the adult population bother to vote.

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Many times as those in H block show.

Although as with everything more coverage is given to those who are innocent or there is insufficient evidence against them to take to trail.

In any system mistakes can be made and often those mistakes are costly for the innocent.

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"Recently, a terrorist suspect disguised himself as a wo"man, and a wore a veil, so that CCTV could not pick him up.

Are we going to ban the weaing of motorcycle helmets? Balaclavas? Maybe we should be required to look at the nearest CCTV camera every minute, so they can have nice clear shots.

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Nothing is simpler than to state that something that isn't a part of your culture or life should be banned. How much would you be willing to give up for others to feel safe? Would you submit to daily searches of your car and house? Maybe even daily strip searches of yourself and your family?

Fact is, people scare easily and nothing will make them feel safe. All this will do is take away the normalities of their livelihoods. Plus, I'm pretty sure there are issues that are far more major in preventing terrorism than banning clothing. Off the top of my head, I can think of port security, which is generally very poor.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We had a cracker of a news story recently where the local mufti declared that scantily clad women who were rape victims were like uncovered meat left in front of cats. He asked "whose fault is it - the meat or the cat?", or words close to that effect. He ventured that the owner of the meat is at fault as the cat is compelled by instinct.

Needless to say, debate was vigourous.

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