Tuesday, June 23, 2009

[l'interdiction du burqa] pourrait expédier l'islamicization

Banning the burqa may, in fact, speed up the process of the islamicization of France

62,448,977 in mainland France, divided by 3.7 to 4.1 million Muslims gives a percentage of the population of 6.57%, [thank you, Nigel].

It is a significant minority and rapidly expanding. One estimate puts the Muslim birthrate at three times that of the "indigenous" population. I use the term indigenous with care, as "indigenous" includes Muslims going back many generations.

Nevertheless, whichever way you wish to slice or dice it, it still creates a "problem" like the expanding population of Catholics in Northern Ireland. That is a problem for the Protestants, not initially for the Catholics but then becomes one for them in turn. In France, the strife in the banlieues [thank you, Pedant's Apprentice] is but one manifestation but it's not the only issue in France.

That of laïcité has been around for centuries, at the centre of slaughter and helping spawn philosophers. The matter is not resolved but in the corridors of power, it is the guiding principle. Mixed in with this issue is the taking of citizenship and citizenship rights by so many Muslims and there's a pretty problem:

A parallel process of Muslim enfranchisement is accompanying [the] population surge. Nearly half of the ... Muslims in France are already French citizens. The situation is similar for most of the ... Muslims in Great Britain. Most recently, in 2000, Germany joined the countries where citizenship is granted according to birthplace instead of ancestry. The new German citizenship laws added already a half million voters to the rolls and have opened the road to citizenship to all other Muslims in Germany.

Laïcité is at the centre of Sarkozy's remarks. At pains to redefine the issue as one of oppression and an "affront" to human rights, he understandably wishes to steer the focus away from the religious aspect. Again, whichever way you cut it and I'm not taking sides on the matter, it is a divisive garment, the burqa and the human rights angle muddies the waters and dilutes the opposition to its banning, i.e. leftist thought in France.

It would be interesting to see if the wearing of the cross would follow that; I feel it would not in the forseeable future in what is, after all, a Catholic country and with the political implications with the papacy.

Opinion in France, as Sarkozy well knows, appears divided along political lines:

Cinq ans après la loi de mars 2004 sur le voile à l'école, le problème de l'affichage de signes distinctifs religieux particulièrement voyants et attentatoires à la féminité – burqa ou niqab – suscite à nouveau un vif débat qui transcende largement le clivage droite-gauche.

Le Figaro doesn't seem to be carrying too much on the issue at all. Le Monde carried the Muslim side of the story. An interesting interview in Jakarta from 2004, throws some light on the official Muslim position:

ULIL: Can you estimate how many Muslims in France wear headscarfs?

AF: Statistic indicates that about 80% of Muslim women in France do not wear headscarfs. Hence, only 20% wear headscarfs. Syafiq Hasyim told us that some Muslim figures have said that the matter of headscarf is not an important religious matter. The French government asked the Muslim leaders in France about this and they said that it is not a big problem and that the most important is integration of the Muslim children. Hence, to them, it’s not a fundamental matter.

ULIL: What do you mean by mentioning that secularism benefits the Muslim community?

SH: It is because they are led by the majority law system supporting secularism. If only they accept not laicite or secularism, there will be a chance for the French people to adopt the Catholic system, since their major religion is Catholicism.

In other words, the Muslim spokespeople will make all the right noises against the move but actually, they are not against laïcité per se, as it affords them the best chance of keeping the Catholic Church in check and not reasserting its position within France. The Muslim task of the islamicization of France can then proceed without great hindrance.

From all this, one can conclude that the burqa will be banned but rather than be the next step on the road to the reassertion of France's traditions, it will actually aid in the islamicization of the country.
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11 comments:

UBERMOUTH said...

I am pro immigration, as you know but I believe in assimilation too.
If one is not interested in adopting the customs and culture of their host country,rather than forcing their hosts country to adapt to change them, they should go home.
It infuriates me no end when I see a woman wearing a burqua. It's a form of imprisonment and means of dehumanizing and segregating the women. I often wonder if it makes her feel that her body/face/gender is 'dirty' and shameful and must be hidden away?
A lot of Muslim men need their asses kicked.

I did my part.

James Higham said...

I'm trying to steer a line down the middle here and look at what it seems to me will be the consequences of ths action and why he is taking it at this time.

Nigel Sedgwick said...

According to my arithmetic, 4.1 million out of 62.4 million is around 6.57%, not 16.02%.

Best regards

James Higham said...

Yes, I get that too. Thanks for dropping in to correct that.

The Pedant's Apprentice said...

"the banyules"?

James Higham said...

banlieues

Gosh, I'm doing badly today, aren't I?

Thank you, Pedant's Apprentice.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I actually agree with Uber. I get angry about the burqas too. The Muslim women I taught would say that it's all about modesty, about a woman being a "protected jewel" and that may be very nice [if stifling] if you are married to someone who sees it that way. But a lot of the men use their women as symbols of how "religious" they are themselves and the next thing you know, we have "honour killings" [femicide]. Leila Djitli is an Algerian-French journalist who wrote a book called, "Lettre à ma fille qui veut porter le voile" and here she writes about Muslim men wearing the beard as a religious sign and why it's different from the veil: [My trans]: "Men who wear religious symbols don't have to change their lives..... They have the right to come and go, to speak, to see and be seen. The veil not only stigmatises women, but imposes their social behaviour..." She goes on to talk about "that way that Islamism has, of not only feeding the fear of difference, but of feeding the non-responsibility of men when faced with these fears" [of sexuality].

His Girl Friday said...

interesting take on the whole 'religious symbol' issue whether it has to do with repressing females or not. (signes distinctifs religieux particulièrement voyants et attentatoires à la féminité – burqa)..thank goodness for BabelFish.

Sorry, but I have a hard time reconciling the idea of politicians being concerned about repressed muslim females. (of course I didn't translate the whole article, so maybe I'm off here)

As I think you mentioned, James, if they ban the religious symbol of the burka, what next will they ban?

As to the mistreatment of muslim women, the only recourse here would allow the women to be represented by French law; and, for them to be empowered to do so through women's support groups (ie medical clinics could be a way to do this). This is made even more difficult when the women are illiterate; everything said by their husbands and the Imams is rule of law.

Junius said...

But the Burka is not a 'religious' symbol, in as much it is imposed by secular interpretation rather than divine decree.

The actual dress is actuall far older than Islam, and is practical for those who live in wind ravaged deserts. Men where similar clothing to protect themselves against the weather. I believe that camels have been seen wearing a type of yashmak over their nostrils for the same reason.

There is nothing in the Koran which requires women to dress this way, the only requirement is for women to dress 'modestly' and it is a requirement also for men.

The authority for the imposition of this garment comes from imams (who have no need of formal training in interpreting the Koran)

So claiming the banning of this hideous piece of sackcloth infringes 'religious' rights is rubbish.

Junius said...

james I have your problem - fast fingers and sticky keyboard - so I hope that you can work out my meaning.

James Higham said...

I won't answer one y one this time but there is a lot of food for thought there, from Welshcakes down to Junius.

I don't see anything to disagree with in those comments so where then does it leave us on this issue? What is the right way to look at it?