Liberalism

France's Phony Secularism

Secularists should leave Muslim women and their clothes alone

|

Having grown up in a traditional Hindu family in India, I understand something about the domestic pressure for public modesty on girls. Jeans came into vogue just when I hit puberty. But for years the only way I could step out of the house in them without risking a minor nuclear explosion by my dad—a fairly urbanized doctor—was if I slipped on a blouse loose enough to smother my front and long enough to conceal my behind. A bathing suit—much less a bikini like the one that the first Muslim Miss USA wore to victory this week—was out of the question. Hence I never learned to swim.

Although these restrictions were nothing compared to what girls in strict Muslim households faced, they were enough to send my budding feminist consciousness into paroxysms of rage. And I often fantasized that if I were born Muslim and forced to shroud myself in a burqa, I'd just run away from home.

I could never have imagined then that I would find myself one day defending this garment from fellow atheists such as Christopher Hitchens, who are cheering French plans to ban it, as if its very existence on secular soil is an affront to their values. But their reaction betrays more affinity than they realize with the religious tendencies that their secularism is supposed to transcend. This becomes obvious when one compares their attitude toward the burqa to that of India's secularists, few of whom would ever dream of banning it.

The French parliament this week will culminate six months of hearings and move toward legislation outlawing the burqa. It would be one thing if the ban were limited to when the burqa comes in the way of official business like taking photographs for drivers' licenses. But this law would go much further and actually criminalize burqas, slapping women with fines if they wear them in public hospitals or trains. Coming on the heels of the 2004 ban on headscarves in schools, this law can't help but inflame French Muslims, not encourage them to assimilate. Besieged minorities after all tighten—not loosen—their grip on their ways.

So why does France feel the need to do this?

It's not like burqas are a huge problem in the country. Although estimates vary, Muslims constitute less than 10 percent of the French population and no more than 2,000 of them sport burqas. This means most French folks can comfortably go through life without ever encountering a burqa-clad woman. By contrast, India has nearly 140 million Muslims—or 13.4 percent of its population—and millions of them sport burqas, making it hard to go a few days without running into one.

France has certainly experienced its share of troubles with Muslims, including most recently the 2005 riots that paralyzed France for weeks (although arguably that episode had more to do with tension between the police and immigrant communities than between the French and Muslim communities). But Hindus have felt threatened by Muslims since the 16th century when Muslim conquerors invaded the country, initiating several centuries of Islamic rule. Hindus' lingering sense of defeat is a perennial source of tension between the two communities and erupts into sectarian warfare with disturbing regularity.

Over the centuries, Hindus have articulated a whole litany of gripes against Muslims but most involve—at least on the face of it—some material impact on Hindu interests. For example, special Haj lanes near airports to accommodate Muslims headed for Mecca are a source of endless irritation for Hindus stuck in traffic snarls. But what Hindus don't generally get worked up over—at least not strongly enough to create a credible political movement—are personal Muslim habits that don't in some direct way affect them. Indeed, last year a state college triggered a big brouhaha—especially among Indian feminists—when it refused to let a burqa-clad woman attend classes. Pramila Nesargi, a Hindu politician who champions women's causes, declared: "Not allowing a woman to come to college just because she is wearing a burqa is against her personal rights, fundamental rights and human rights."

The contrast with the French spirit could not be starker. As a precursor to final legislation, French lawmakers recently voted for a non-binding resolution condemning the burqa because they see in it not an expression of personal piety—but a message of religious fundamentalism meant to insult French secularism. President Nicolas Sarkozy went so far as to say that the burqa is "not welcome" in France, calling it a symbol of female "subservience and debasement." Likewise, Christopher Hitchens, the most prominent cheerleader of the burqa ban in America, is convinced that Muslim women don the veil not because they choose to—but because they risk acid in their face if they don't. Hence, in his view, France will actually do Muslim women a favor by banning it.

Burqas are certainly a tool of female oppression in Islamic theocracies where sharia law sanctions violence against women who violate its strictures. But that is not true in liberal democracies where the reason government exists is to protect personal choices from physical violence. When women wear burqas despite such protection, it has to be assumed that they are doing so of their own free will. This doesn't mean that all Muslim women affirmatively embrace burqas—although no doubt some do. But it does mean that their emotional ties with their communities and families are, on balance, stronger than their distaste for the burqa and hence they'd rather wear it than face rejection.

Nor will it do to justify this ban on grounds that it will save women from having to make painful personal choices. It is not the job of liberal governments to make personal tradeoffs painless—just possible. Giving individuals the right to exit without fearing physical retaliation provides an automatic check on oppressive traditions without taking away the crucial tool that minority communities in liberal polities have to perpetuate themselves: moral suasion. Banning the burqa or the Sikh turban or the Jewish yarmulke is tantamount to telling observant Muslims, Sikhs and Jews that they don't have a right to exist.

Despite years of sectarian bloodletting, if Indians still intuitively understand this and take a benign view of the burqa, it is hardly because they are inherently more rational. It is because their secularism has been shaped by India's dominant religion—Hinduism—whose non-monotheistic ethos allows the space for multiple faiths. In this sense, Hinduism is perhaps more profoundly in sync with liberal tolerance than monotheistic faiths.

More crucially, however, there is nothing in Hinduism that makes an individual's spiritual salvation anyone's business except the individual herself. By contrast, Hitchens, et al, who have been raised in the cradle of a Christian civilization, have imbibed a certain comfort level with the crusading notion that people can—and ought to—be saved even against their will. Hence, it does not matter if Muslim women don't regard the burqa as oppressive. They have to be given sartorial liberation in the same way that the heathens need to be given spiritual liberation.

This is a profoundly anti-liberal and anti-secular idea. Indeed, if the French and Hitchens were serious about either secularism or liberalism, instead of asking Muslim women to shed the burqa, they would be shedding their own proselytizing prejudice against it.

Shikha Dalmia is a senior analyst at Reason Foundation and a biweekly column for Forbes. This column originally appeared at Forbes.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

294 responses to “France's Phony Secularism

  1. I love Christopher Hitchens, but I don’t agree with him on the burqa. If a female wants to wear it she can. It’s one thing to be asked to take it off in a court room where the face needs to be seen or for a drivers license, etc… but to ban it out right would be unconstitutional here in the U.S.

    Perhaps Hitchens doesn’t care for the Amish all that much either, but where is he calling for the banning of their clothing and 19th century ways?

    1. Banning the abaya would be unconstitutional, but aren’t there already laws against adults going out in public with their faces completely obscured?

      1. I’m all for the burqa and fully understand why these men want to cover their women’s faces. Those are some embarssingly ugly women.

        1. Have you been to Mississippi?

          1. Dude, you’re either fucked in the head or faggot. Mississippi has some fucking beautiful women.

            1. Many even have the majority of their teeth!

              1. And I’m talkin’ ’bout the front ones, son!

      2. In a court room, for license photos, and maybe for some other things, but not for just being out in public… I mean that is the entire point of the burqa.

    2. I happen to share Hitchen’s opinion, or the most part about religion, although I do not believe that everyone of “faith” is an imbecile or that religion itself, however irrational, is the cause of the awful things people do in its name. It serves as more of an excuse for awful people to do awful things. Nevertheless, I think Hitchens is a dick of the first order. He has no particular respect for liberty and would support state tyranny as long as it is tyranny in support of his particular conceits.

    3. The author states, “…if I were born Muslim and forced to shroud myself in a burqa, I’d just run away from home.” How simplistic and fantasy based.
      I fully support France’s ban on the burqa. Muslim women are being subjegated by their religion and the men that brutally enforce the tenets of that religion. And, last time I saw the Amish out and about, they didn’t cover their women’s faces with the equivalent of a speakeasy door.

  2. “This is a profoundly anti-liberal and anti-secular idea. Indeed, if the French and Hitchens were serious about either secularism or liberalism, instead of asking Muslim women to shed the burqa, they would be shedding their own proselytizing prejudice against it.”

    Who told you they were liberals, or even secularists? Hitchens and the French practice the new, “true” religion: Statism.

    1. From here:

      The return of the old in a superficially “new” (e.g., inverted) form — a paradigm that would ultimately expand beyond Marxism to all Leftism — was epitomized by the treatment of religion. Whereas conservative Orthodox theocracy predated (and eventually resisted) the liberal concept of Church-State separation, reactionary Bolshevism overthrew it — and made opinions on the supernatural once again a matter of state coercion. But instead of persecuting all nonbelievers in a specific type of theism, it persecuted all nonbelievers in a specific type of atheism (viz., “dialectical materialism”). The only “progress” this policy made was on toward different targets. And as a policy, atheocracy would ultimately expand beyond Bolshevism to all Communism.

    2. “So why does France feel the need to do this?”
      Because at heart the French are mostly racists.

      1. So true. That’s what makes their sneering at us so damn irritating.

  3. By contrast, Hitchens, et al, who have been raised in the cradle of a Christian civilization, have imbibed a certain comfort level with the crusading notion that people can?and ought to?be saved even against their will.

    Yep, this same culture also gave us paved streets, sewer systems and removed the yoke of Islam from Shikha’s ancestor’s necks… and enjoys a good wife-burning every now and then.

    Regardless, wear your stupid shit and go about your business, but let others discriminate against you as they wish. No shoes, no shirt, burka, no service… you can’t wear that outfit if you teach in public schools, etc.

    If you want to live in the fucking past, then go buy land in the middle of nowhere like the Amish and inbreed yourselves into extinction.

    1. What about all of the paved roads, sewer systems, water systems etc. before the the Christian Era?

      Babylon, Rome, Meso-America and on.

      1. Um,right. Walk that donkey down that cobblestone, flush that crapper with a pail, drink that water with the scum on it. Lovely era that was. Christ man, at least go with China and 500 BC gunpowder.

        1. To say that Christian civilization was the cradle of theses advances is just plain wrong. The “first” roads, sewers & water systems in a “Christian” country were no better than what was already there. Did Rome’s services get an automatic upgrade when Constantine converted? The fact is, these advances occured somewhat simutaneously, or a least within a relatively short historic time, in many cultures around the world prior to the “Christian Era”.

          We get no bonus props just because western Europe became Christian at some point.

    2. What does religion have to do with technology or good urban planning or commons? Christianity and Islam both have have had their moments of technological glory. Technological progress has more to do with the openness of a society than *which* religion it is following at the moment.

  4. Complete covering of the face just like complete nudity is normally considered to be unaccpetable in Western society. Just like I don’t have a problem with nudity bans, I don’t have a problem with Burqa bans (religion or no).

    If that’s not enough, consider the security issues. Well, we saw someone in a Burqa leave the car bomb, nope that’s all the info we have.

    Are restriction on nudity or full facial covering a mild restriction on freedom, sure. But I’m ok with that. If that means I’m not a total libertarian then I’m ok with that.

    1. Re: Kroneborge,

      Complete covering of the face just like complete nudity is normally considered to be unaccpetable in Western society.

      That’s absurd. Both assertions are absurd.

      1. Really? In the course of doing what activities in a public setting does one encounter nude persons, in Western society? Aside from nude beaches, the predictable and lame response.

        1. Re: Kreminitly,

          In the course of doing what activities in a public setting does one encounter nude persons, in Western society?

          You’re equivocating. “Western Society” is not the same as “what we do in public”.

    2. I guess it depends on your definition of “Western.” Much “Western” society in Europe is fine with toplessness.

      And its not even homogenous in the U.S. The N.Y. Post can run Page 3 girls that would never, ever appear in an Illinois paper.

      1. Note that I prefaced it with “normally” and “complete”. I try and avoid absolutes so we don’t get into silly arguments about always, or never.

        For example, you wouldn’t expect to see somneone totally nude at the mall, or grocery store, etc, etc.

        1. So instead of using absolutes to give your argument more weight, you decided to use generalized words and no hard examples to back up your claims.

    3. “Complete covering of the face just like complete nudity is normally considered to be unaccpetable in Western society.”

      So you believe enforcing cultural norms is a proper role for the government?

      “If that’s not enough, consider the security issues. Well, we saw someone in a Burqa leave the car bomb, nope that’s all the info we have.”

      Would you also support banning ball caps, hoodies, sun glasses, etc. as well? Those articles of clothing can make identifying a perp difficult by disguising features.

      1. It can make it harder to ID yes, but not impossible. I do know that in some banks etc they will make you take that type of stuff off.

        Anyway, I don’t have a problem with society/government saying there is some behavior that is SO far outside the norms that it’s off limits. Yes that’s right I said it, I’m ok with some limits. Freedom isn’t an all or nothing proposition. Especially when you are in a public venue. (note we are not talking about inside someone’s house etc).

        I think you are subscribing to the slippery slope fallacy. If we ban burqa’s we must ban sunglasses next. Or if we ban complete nudity, well why not mini skirts. I’m ok with their being a middle ground.

        1. “Freedom isn’t an all or nothing proposition.”

          Obviously, but you need a good reason to restrict that freedom and you aren’t making a good case.

          We can probably agree that there are certain places and situations where one should not be allowed to cover their faces with a burqa, ski mask, or whatever. However, to ban people from wearing these things anywhere at anytime they are in public is completely ridiculous.

          Why shouldn’t I be able to wear a ski mask or burqa while walking down the sidewalk in my neighborhood? Or while sitting on a park bench and reading? Or when I’m fishing on a lake?

          1. “Why shouldn’t I be able to wear a ski mask or burqa while walking down the sidewalk in my neighborhood?”

            Well because, presumably, a majority of the French electorate, by means of their duly elected representatives and, presumably, within the limits of the French constitution, said or is about to say that you can’t do that in France. What the hell is it about democracy that libertarians don’t understand?

            1. What is it about “tyranny of the majority” you don’t understand? Just because the majority of people want to do something does not make it right, desirable, or moral.

              1. Like I said, within the limits, presumably, of a constitution. A fairly moral constitution. Don’t be obtuse.

              2. No that’s true it doesn’t. But IMHO, in this case it does. And I’m willing to let the tyranny of the majority do a bit of oppressing here.

                I think the cultural and security reasons are suffienctly grace to justify this restriction of freedom.

            2. Libertarians understand perfectly that democracy is a form of tyranny. democracy is vile and allows for passage of any sort of law by the majority against the minority, anywhere from nanny-ish to genocidal as long as mass hysteria is in play. It encourages leaders to rule by fear and rewards mobs with the money and freedoms that it takes from individuals.

              1. Give a call when you get back from Galt’s Gulch. We’ll do lunch.

                1. Do you have anything more than “neener neener democracy rulez?”

                  You’re just being a child at this point. I mean honestly, is your point that force wins? Yes, we know that already – that does not make what was done with that force right.

                  1. agreed. But I think at this point it’s unlikely for their to be agreement. I think that the burqa is so bad that a restriction of freedom in this case is justified. You don’t.

                    Since this is a social and not an economic issue, there really aren’t any facts that can back up either side (ie one solution is more efficent than the other).

                  2. No, I never said force alone is sole agency through which society is structured. This is getting quite sophomoric

                2. Sure thing, I’ll meet you at Hobbes’ diner. We’ll let the Leviathan order whatever is in our best interest for lunch.

                  1. How about we just compromise. Make it sam adams’ pub, okay?

                    1. Just as long as there are no redcoats around.

                    2. “Sure thing, I’ll meet you at Hobbes’ diner. We’ll let the Leviathan order whatever is in our best interest for lunch”

                      Props to you. That was quite funny, actually.

                    3. Aww shux. I can’t stay mad at you.

            3. Okay. No-one can be this dense. When discussing whether something is right or wrong, nobody would say “because the majority says so” I smell troll.

            4. Okay. No-one can be this dense. When discussing whether something is right or wrong, nobody would say “because the majority says so” I smell troll.

              1. There are examples of issues where the best you can do is put it to consideration of the majority. Abortion, for instance. There is no absolute morality. This is not mathematics. But you’re right. Forget all this. Screw the whole goddamn polity. The next time there’s a big issue brewing, let’s just call the philosophy department at Berkeley. I’m sure that will be much more edifying.

                1. I don’t agree with your analysis but I sure do like the cut of your jib, sir

          2. “Why shouldn’t I be able to wear a ski mask or burqa while walking down the sidewalk in my neighborhood? Or while sitting on a park bench and reading? Or when I’m fishing on a lake?”

            Perhaps because it infringes on rights of others to feel safe in public. One person’s freedom to look like a lunatic should not override the freedoms of others to enjoy their friggin lives.

            1. Who determines what a “lunatic” looks like? How do we know people feel unsafe at the mere sight of an abaya or burqa or niqab?

              1. I’ll say I feel unsafe when seeing a abaya or burqa in public.

                1. I feel unsafe when seeing running shoes in public. Should we ban them?

              2. I know it when I see it.

                Seriously, I think somebody sitting on a park bench in a ski mask or in most parks in a KKK outfit would be regarded as a “lunatic.” They would logically look menacing and prevent other people, notably families, from using the park. With the freedoms of ALL in mind, a community can make reasonable restrictions on what constitutes acceptable dress in a park or in other public areas.

                If all you “lunatics” responding to my post, don’t get that then I think you need to reassess your unrealistic extreme utopian libertarian views.

                Libertarianism recognizes competing freedoms, not just one person’s unlimited freedom at the expense of others.

            2. There is no right to feel safe in public.

            3. Your right to feel safe doesn’t trump their right to wear what they please. Ipso facto null and void kathleen blanco.

      2. I’m okay with a ban on hoodies.

    4. Great point.

      Wearing a burqa is similar to wearing a ski mask. Both are unacceptable in public (except for ski slopes in the latter case) for obvious reasons.

      I would also add that the burqa, as others have noted, is more than just a religious costume. It is meant to completely dehumanize or subjugate a woman and make her invisible. It was created by male Muslims to deter female infidelity – not for any supposed religious reason. If religious reasons were paramount, men would wear them too. Therefore, it is inherently immoral. Many women, although they will profess to wear it voluntarily, are coerced into wearing the burqa. In Muslim societies, this coercion is universal. If a slave professed to love his/her slavery, does it make it any more acceptable? If leading somebody around by a collar and leash in public was supposedly a voluntary religious practice, would that make it more acceptable?

      I think not.

      There are appropriate restrictions on public dress or undress.

      1. Anyone covering their face is presumed guilty in your little world then.

        1. When I see someone walking down the street barking at the moon and licking windows, I assume they are crazy. When I see a man walking down the street in shorts while his wife swelters in a black burka, I assume he is a misogynistic pig who adheres to barbarian customs.

          Sorry but your actions do say something about who you are.

          1. And the way you judge strangers based on their appearances says something about who you are as well.

            1. Your denial that people do that or that appearances don’t say something about reality, although not always authoritatively on the subject, says that you are an idiot.

              1. I guess, then, that Applederry drawns no conclusions when he spots a skinhead or someone in a clan outfit

                1. Of course I do, I am human after all and as fallible as any other, but as a good individualist I try not to engage in it too often.

              2. I have denied nothing. I’m well aware that in the vast majority of the cases of what you describe may be accurate, but not always. You cannot *know* someone simply from appearances. I admit I was being a bit flippant with you, but my point is that to judge someone like that based on their appearance is to deny them their individuality. It is hard for me to imagine why someone would wear a burqa willingly just as it is hard for me to imagine why someone wouldn’t eat bacon because they feared eternal damnation, but some do.

                I don’t claim to be a saint in this area, I judge quite often based on few characteristics myself. The point is to know and try to approach each person as an individual and not as a collective.

                1. From everything I’ve read most of the women that “choose” to wear a burqa aren’t doing it voluntarily. Not a sufficient argument on it’s own, but one more nail in the coffin.

                  1. I’m afraid I don’t see why women being forced to wear the burqa is an argument to ban it. That seems like an entirely different issue to me, namely domestic violence and female agency.

                2. “You cannot *know* someone simply from appearances”

                  Spend a few years doing street-based outreach to the homeless in shity urban neighborhoods and you’ll think differently about that.

                  1. Maybe. Being an individualist and living true to it is hard work after all, but just because collectivism is easy doesn’t mean it’s right so I try to fight the instinctual collectivist within me as best I can.

                    1. Sure there is nothing wrong with trying to put the indvidual first. But that doesn’t mean we can’t ever take other stuff into account. People automatically sterotype because sterotyping works.

                    2. Sometimes.

                    3. Usually.

                      Thats why they exist. they are useful.

                      Hopefully they are useful because they are accurate, sometimes they are useful because they maintain a dominant narrative or stir fear.

                      Most of the time, however, they are useful.

          2. This makes the man in shorts an asshole. It does not make the man or the woman likely suspects in an impending crime.

          3. Misogyny is not illegal, violence is. Barbarian or not, you have to prove the coercion, prove he threatens her then you or anybody else can beat him to death for all I care. He has no business walking around on two unbroken legs pretending to have rights. He has none, but that is because of his acts of violence not his misogyny or barbarian customs.

        2. And in your little alternate reality, suppressing a woman’s humanity through a barbaric custom or hiding one’s identity despite the obvious security issues is just fine.

          1. There are no fucking security risks in general, everyday life to justifiy banning burqas. There are existing work arounds for those extremely limited cases where a woman must provide positive confirmation of identity.

          2. “And in your little alternate reality”

            There are no alternatives to reality

            “suppressing a woman’s humanity through a barbaric custom or hiding one’s identity despite the obvious security issues is just fine.”

            1-Nope and 2-Yup

      2. Since you wish to ban the burqa because it is meant to dehumanize women, would you also support banning things like high heels and thongs? After all, they are designed to sexualize women and make them appear as objects of lust and not as people.

        1. Well we do ban public nudity, although not for that reason. But you make a good point.

          1. I actually think there’s a public health reason to force people to at least wear underwear in public, but I’m sure a nudist will come along and tell me I’m wrong.

            1. You saying I have to stop free-balling? Are you going to have panty police?

              1. No, I’ll just require everyone to carry a large permit card if they want to walk around nude.

                With no pockets, they’ll eventually get tired of carrying the card and the problem will work itself out.

          2. I’m pretty sure the law in Ohio and a bunch of other places is that women are permitted to walk around in public topless.

        2. People ARE “objects of lust” – they are not mutually exclusive. High heels, thongs or other sexually suggestive clothing expresses their humanity rather than hiding it – like a burqa.

          Equating sexuality with dehumanization is feminist idiocy.

          1. Equating sexuality with dehumanization is feminist idiocy the will of Allah.

          2. What if covering oneself is viewed by that person as an AFFIRMATION of one’s humanity? As referenced in yesterday’s clusterfuck of a thread on this subject, there are a number of feminist Muslims who prefer to cover because they contend that it forces people to deal with them on non-physical terms.

            My personal opinion is that most of them use that as a justification for blindly following custom, but that’s neither here nor there.

          3. Dave, you are a moron, just stop talking. If you think people can’t be dehumanized by being thought of only as sex objects, you’re fucking retarded.

            Not that it’s a bad thing, but you are retarded for not realizing that. It’s nice to have a Pollyanaish view of the world; but lots of people do dehumanizing things to make money, get the attention they never got from Daddy or Mommy, etc.

            1. Zoltan, you should just shut your stupid piehole. If you think sexuality dehumanizes people, you are a feminist brainwashed imbecile. Sexuality is natural and part of the fucking human condition. So how the flying fuck, can it “dehumanize” somebody??!!! Only in feminist delusional propaganda does that make any fucking sense. If you are an adult and don’t understand that, you need a fucking brain transplant.

              1. You’re a fucking moron if you think human sexuality in its entirety is good. Lots of things are “natural” and “part of the human condition” but not necessarily good or entirely good. But hey, you’ve been spreading your nuance-less idiocy all over this board; why not some more?

                1. You make no sense. My libertarian arguments are all about nuance while you argue the anarchist viewpoint that there are no appropriate limits to public behavior/dress.

                  And how do you determine what expressions of sexuality are good or not so good? Do you have a little feminist bible to refer to? Get a grip, buddy and stop posting feminist fascist nonsense.

                  1. I don’t determine it; individuals do. Expressions of sexuality that are good and not good are decided by the individual; as someone who has experienced the good and bad of sexuality, I speak for myself but I know I’m not alone. Your pathetically optimistic view of sexuality ignores the negatives, which makes me think you haven’t had much experience with either the good or the bad.

                    And you’re definitely not a libertarian, you pathetic statist schmuck. Keep thinking stomping on freedom is “nuance”, you have more in common with the Republicrats in Congress and the executive than you do with anyone here.

      3. Imagine, a post using absolute language (universal, etc.) manages to have factual errors in it!

      4. It is meant to completely dehumanize or subjugate a woman and make her invisible.

        I thought the idea was to prevent Muslim males from being aroused by the sight of an uncovered female body part and becoming raging violent sexually frustrated beasts with the potential of doing bodily harm to said females. Or maybe that was yesterday.

      5. I hate going off on ad hominem attacks about true motives and stated motives but it’s so obvious here I have to point it out for future generations.

        Your claim a burqa should be banned because it is a security risk. But the rest of your post is an emotional rant against the burqa. ‘Security’ is clearly just an excuse.

        So what’s the real driving force behind France’s ban? Well, I’m Indian and we’ve had far more bombings by muslim terrorists than France. And *far* more people wearing burqas. And we don’t even think about banning it.

        The difference is clearly due to sensibilities.

    5. If that’s not enough, consider the security issues. Well, we saw someone in a Burqa leave the car bomb, nope that’s all the info we have.

      Can i wear a paper particle mask, sun glasses and a baseball hat?

      1. Hell, I think that was the uniform during the Swine Flu Spring of Aught-Nine.

    6. Agree.

      From another discussion:

      “Instead of tolerating the intolerant, we should protect ourselves from them and save our tolerant societies from their oppressiveness—we should tolerate the tolerant and not tolerate the intolerant.”

      and,

      “The burka, and it’s cousin, the full head veil, are a calculated insult. Specifically, they say to every male in the area: you are a depraved sexual agressor who cannot control yourself unless I veil my face and hair.

      “They say to every female not so dressed in the area; you are a prostitute who flaunts your sexuality.”

  5. Caption Contest!

    “You’ve come a long way, baby. Now put the burqua back on.”

    1. This is why Islam fails. It is always taking backward steps.

      Take their theology: they say the are Abrahamic and the final revelation of Allah (G-d / God). But think about it; the first Abrahamic religion was Judaism. It said that if a woman commits adultery, then she must be stoned to death. So, that’s what they did.

      Then along comes Jesus (Christianity, an Abrahamic religion) who says, you know, G-d had rules for you to follow and you just couldn’t follow them, so I say we move forward. From now on, when a woman commits adultery, we forgive her with loving, understanding hearts, because that’s what G-d wants us to do. So that’s what they did. No more stoning

      Then centuries later, Muhammad shows up, claims to be an Abrahamic faith. In fact, his is the final revelation, which says, no wait, Allah (G-d / God) says we’re supposed to go back to stoning those adulterous bitches.

      So we have two options here: Either G-d is one fickle, bipolar son-of-a-bitch that only a moron would want to worship, or…

      Muhammad is a liar.

      1. There’s another option: goatherds aren’t speaking the word of God.

      2. Or… Jesus was lying

  6. The French are just beginning to realize that having a 10% (and growing fast) Muslim population is a really bad idea, and they are scared. This burqa ban is an illiberal act of fear.

    Of course, the real answer is to halt immigration from Muslim countries and get rid of welfare payments to people already there, but there is no chance in hell of that. So instead they will do something that will radicalize the Muslims even more without actually solving the problem.

    PS: Shikha Dalmia, is is worth learning how to swim; even if you don’t enjoy it, it’s a good survival skill.

    1. Muslim Women in the US wear burqas all the time.

      Also if you talk to most American Muslims they like it here. The same cannot be said of France. The french are not secular they are stridently anti-religious and fairly anti-culture which is not their own, which is not the same thing at all.

      1. I don’t recall seeing the burqa or abaya in the US, but have seen hijab, and a couple of cases of niqab.

    2. I don’t understand how people don’t just do some sort of natural doggie paddle? Is “not know how to swim” just panicking when you get into water or actually not really know at all what to do?

  7. Brilliant

  8. Look, the French animus towards the burqa has pretty much nothing to do with secularism or religion. It’s straight up racism/xenophobia/hatred of immigrants.

    It should be understood to be analogous to the Arizona undocumented-alien law. Both are expressions of people who want to impose their bigotry in law, but are just ashamed enough of their bigotry to want some kind of fig leaf for it.

    In America, the fig leaf is “no, we don’t hate all Mexicans, we’re just trying to enforce the law (in a way designed to anger and inconvenience all Mexicans).”

    In France, the fig leaf is, “No, we don’t hate all North Africans/Middle Eastern people, we’re just secular (and this is designed to show our complete disrespect to all North Africans/Middle Eastern people).”

    1. “Look, the French animus towards the burqa has pretty much nothing to do with secularism or religion. It’s straight up racism/xenophobia/hatred of immigrants.”

      Isn’t this the liberal line? Any policy that we don’t agree with is automatically racist?

      1. My theory is that these liberal types are racist, they assume everyone else is also, but to hide their racism they throw out random accusations.

      2. Even if it were the “liberal line,” so what?

        I don’t think that everything is racist. The French have a hell of a lot of policies that I disagree with that are clearly not motivated by racial animus (just as a for example: their absurdly, stupidly labor-biased, self-crippling laws (you can never fire anyone, we’re okay with 25% youth unemployment)) are clearly not racist. Just stupid.

        But there is a long-standing, deep, and ugly sentiment of… racism may not be exactly the right word, but xenophobia and bigotry against middle-eastern and north african people across most of Europe, certainly including France. This anti-burqa law is of a piece with that entire movement.

        You don’t have to be parroting “the liberal line” to recognize that sometimes, people really are bigots.

    2. Look, the French animus towards the burqa has pretty much nothing to do with secularism or religion. It’s straight up racism/xenophobia/hatred of immigrants.

      I think the french conflate government and culture to a very high degree compared to the US. They want their government to control the media they want their government to control their language.

      1. egalite, baby!

    3. It’s straight up racism/xenophobia/hatred of immigrants.

      For some. Does everything have to be racism? Try cultural exceptionalism. Burkhas aren’t an element of French culture, therefore they should be banned. I seem to remember similar sentiments regarding hamburgers and American fast food once upon a time (maybe still).

  9. Can the French pass a law that requires everyone to use deodorant?

    1. Your right to not wear deodorant ends at the tip of my nose

    2. I’m sure they can, but they shouldn’t.

    3. That wouldn’t be French.

  10. We have the confederate battle flag; they have the Burqa. Kinda sorta the same.

    1. Yeah, I see rednecks in pickup trucks with confederate flags on them getting arrested all the time.

  11. Let`s just ban pictures of Nick Gillespie.

    1. I’ve seen enough of Drew Carey’s grizzled mug too.

    2. Give it up, dude.
      Grow some balls and find a handle you want to keep.
      If you can’t find a reason to disagree, then either leave, or join us. First posted 5/21/10

  12. It’s nice the young woman in the conservative T shirt ad isn’t wearing a burqa!

    1. She’s wearing a burqa below.

      1. d’oh!

  13. Having grown up in a traditional Hindu family in India, I understand something about the domestic pressure for public modesty on girls.

    Minor nitpick, Ms. Dalmia: the burka is not about female modesty, but female invisibility. Even when your teenage self wore those baggy, unflattering clothes your parents insisted upon, your friends could still identify you in a line-up, no? Those clothes were modest, but they did not make you invisible. The burka does.

    1. that is more than a minor nitpik. The Burka is so different from normal head covering and dress associated with various religions as to become different in kind. A burka is something totally different and more sinister and oppressive than a normal Muslim head scarf or stay worn by the Amish.

      1. Indeed. If you, for whatever reason, chose to wear handcuffs in public, should that be illegal?

    2. Even when your teenage self wore those baggy, unflattering clothes your parents insisted upon, your friends could still identify you in a line-up, no?

      Most friends can identify each other by height, and how they carry themselves and move. Hell how many times has someone from behind put their hands over your eyes and you actually guessed wrong who they are?

      If you grew up with a bunch of girls who wore burkas you could tell who is who from a mile away.

      Also even though you are wrong about being invisible in a country like Pakistan for argument lets say you are right. But in France how invisible are you wearing a burka?

      NOT INVISIBLE AT ALL.

      Your argument is all fail.

  14. If the burqa was just a fashion statement would it be banned? Old pictures from the 1950s show that US women often wore veils, gloves, and hats to hide their features, I imagine this was the same in France at the time. This was 50 years ago, shouldn’t this type of fashion be banned too?

    If it’s simply due to the religious association, shouldn’t other religious clothing for women be banned, such as catholic schoolgirl uniforms?

    1. You can’t ban catholic schoolgirl uniforms! That would destroy my favorite sub-genre of porn

      1. Japanese Catholic schoolgirls, here.

    2. Noooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!

    3. The fashion accessories you mention – thin veils of lace or tulle, hats which often had no brim, and gloves – are qualitatively different from the burqa or other forms of the facial veil.

  15. Wow the word atheist only appears once! A record low count. Just out of interest is each and every single person who opposes the burqa an atheist? Are they driven by non-belief? This argument premise has become ominously popular at Reason Mag these lest few weeks.

    1. As an atheist myself I find it amusing how a group that tends to lean to the left seems to have embraced restricting a person’s freedom of expression because it offends their delicate sensibilities.

      Conversely, it’s also amusing to see conservatives arguing to ban the burqa because they want to liberate Muslim women. As if they suddenly became feminists.

      I guess this is just one of those issues that causes a Freaky Friday effect in Team Red and Team Blue.

      1. “I find it amusing how a group that tends to lean to the left seems to have embraced restricting a person’s freedom of expression because it offends their delicate sensibilities.”

        Well, there’s a first for everything.

      2. “As an atheist myself I find it amusing how a group that tends to lean to the left seems to have embraced restricting a person’s freedom of expression because it offends their delicate sensibilities.”

        Your point about atheists aside, I think you’ve got your left and right confused. The left has a long history of trying to restrict freedom speech through censorship, restriction on hate speech, campaign finance, religious speech, etc. Then of course there’s Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, who wrote, “Whether a given category of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs.”

        1. Yes, yes, liberals definitely aren’t as great on free speech and free expression as they say, but on the Red/Blue dichotomy they’re generally on the side of less restrictions.

          1. I beg to differ. Both parties have been known to try restricting free speech, and I don’t see that either party has done so any more or less than the other. I certainly don’t see how the left’s embracing a restriction on free speech can come as a great surprise to you, given their history of, well, restricting free speech.

            1. I never said the left didn’t restrict speech nor am I surprised (merely amused) by them embracing such a restriction.

              My comment was made within the Red/Blue dichotomy in which I think the Blue is generally more supportive of free speech than the Red, even though they’re still highly restrictive compared to groups outside the dichotomy.

              1. But the thing is, the left isn’t more supportive of free speech than the right. They just have different criteria for what should be restricted.

  16. This argument premise has become ominously popular at Reason Mag these lest few weeks.

    Really? I must have missed it.

    1. It’s mainly been on the H&R blog and mostly played out in the comments section. I can’t access the comments section of the everybody draw Mohamed day post (it’s been blocked) but I said something along the lines of “maybe people who fly aeroplanes into buildings are worse than those who tell you you’re deluded” and that resulted in something like 30 responses. Something similar came up a few days later. I’ll go back and have a search for it later. Or any commenters here who remember can do it for me.

    2. Here’s one of them.

      Chris|5.20.10 @ 10:52AM|#

      “…fellow athesists [sic] such as Christopher Hitchens who are cheering French efforts to ban it.”

      THIS is what I meant by fundamentalist atheists, SugarFree.

      Chris was clearly whining about “fundamentalist” atheists on some other post I can’t find.

  17. >>>shouldn’t other religious clothing >>>for women be banned, such as catholic >>>schoolgirl uniforms?

    They better not!!!

  18. For those who defend burqas, do you also believe it would be appropriate for people to run around in public with Scream movie masks and robes on or in KKK hoods and robes? Or, repeating an earlier example, wearing a hood, chain and collar? I could go on and on.

    It is reasonable for a society to place restrictions on certain public dress, especially dress which obscures one’s identity.

    1. “For those who defend burqas, do you also believe it would be appropriate for people to run around in public with Scream movie masks and robes on or in KKK hoods and robes? Or, repeating an earlier example, wearing a hood, chain and collar?”

      Appropriate? No, but I wouldn’t argue for banning any of it.

      1. So you don’t think there are any appropriate limits on public dress or undress? Public nudity everywhere is OK? Wearing ski masks into banks and stores is OK?

        1. No limits set by the government anyways. If a private enterprise like a bank wants to set some rules about no facial coverings or a grocery store mandating pants that’s perfectly fine.

          1. So it is agreed that private enterprises have a right to discriminate against those wearing certain dress.

            But I still disagree regarding the government. Doesn’t the government have an interest in banning public face coverings in certain instances, so that people can be identified? One of government’s accepted basic roles is in maintaining public safety. Isn’t it a security issue if people wear clothing that obscures their identity? Doesn’t this infringe on the rights of others to be safe in public?

            1. “Doesn’t the government have an interest in banning public face coverings in certain instances”

              In certain instances, yes, perhaps. I was under the impression you were for a total public ban, is that incorrect?

              1. I’m not for any public ban on burqas, actually. I was just advancing the argument that the French may have appropriate reasons for such a ban. I can think of a couple reasons – an epidemic of battered women forced to hide their bruises in burqas, a rash of burqa-clad suicide bombers, murderers or robbers for instance. The French aren’t plagued by such epidemics but the former likely exists to a certain degree and the latter possibility could easily materialize.

                I also share Hitchens conviction that the burqa is not a voluntary choice for the most part – as such it is an abuse of women. This is a legitimate argument for a ban although understandably not the most convincing for many libertarians.

                Just playing devil’s advocate, so to speak.

              2. Let Dave keep moving the goalposts!

          2. So you agree with Rand Paul’s assessment of the CRA?

        2. Bristling about public nudity assumes that the only reason people wear clothes is that they have to, and that they would all run around naked if they could. This is the same school of thought that says “If we legalize gay marriage, then we have to legalize sex with animals.”

          I’m guessing that running around naked in public is not a high demand activity and anyone who wants to have sex with animals probably already is.

          But rather than debate the limits that government can place on our actions, just bring up something that most people don’t want to do, and claim that everyone would do it if they could, so government has to step in.

          BULLSHIT

          1. “and anyone who wants to have sex with animals probably already is”

            Not me; I’m still at the office.

            1. It depends on what your definition of “is” is.

              1. Well, in Canada and in some U.S. states its actually perfectly lawful for women to be topless.

                And guess what? Very few women actually do it. Because they choose not to.

                1. True; because while it’s fun to be topless around someone you like; having ugly, fat strangers eyeballing you is dehumanizing, even when you don’t want the attention. Believe me, there are many women who would like to walk around 108 degree Austin weather without tops but would be stared at. The temperate comfort isn’t worth being treated like shit.

    2. It is still a free country, for awhile longer anyway.

      1. What country are you referring to? Certainly not the USA – home of drug prohibition, “obscenity” censorship, oppressive liquor laws and gambling laws, etc.

        1. So let’s pile more on, right Dave?

          1. We’re talking about a burqa ban in France, not here.

        2. You want to censor “obscenity” like nudity in public.

    3. Do you think we should be required to produce our papers for the police as well?

      1. Yeah, how are they supposed to identify you? If a cop pulls you over for speeding, you don’t think they have a right to ask for your photo ID/driver’s license?

        Get real.

        Maybe you can enlighten me on the virtues of anarchy next.

        1. Dear Mr Remmler, go the fuck away.

          Given the current state of affairs where the state owns the roads and requires a permit to operate a motor vehicle on the state-owned roads, then there is a reason for the police to be able demand positive proof of identiy.

          And that has absolutely nothing to fucking do with whether or not a person should or should not be able to wander the streets with his or her identity obscured.

          1. Witty response.

            Don’t like to be proven wrong, eh?

            As for your last statement, again I would disagree. There are instances where obscuring one’s identity endangers public safety. Whether you acknowledge this or not is irrelevant.

            1. bullshit

            2. Not listening in on your phone calls endangers public safety. Let’s get to it.

    4. None of those things should be illegal.

    5. For those who defend burqas, do you also believe it would be appropriate for people to run around in public with Scream movie masks and robes on or in KKK hoods and robes?

      Yes and i have seen it in public places many times. the vast majority of americans do not give a shit. What is your problem man?

  19. Just out of interest is each and every single person who opposes the burqa an atheist?

    I don’t believe so, but it’s hard to answer your question definitively.

    My experience with US atheists is that most are self-described liberals or progressives whose political orthodoxy requires them to parrot feminist talking points. Atheism is more common among leftists than rightists. I’ve never felt unwelcome in libertarian circles as an atheist, but I’ve been made to feel distinctly unwelcome in many atheist circles whenever I raised any libertarian talking points.

    Burqa opposition is very strong in GOP-base circles, such as Freep. This is often framed as an argument about security, but the commenters frequently manage to work in both anti-muslim sentiments, and chest-thumping christianism, thus revealing their true motives.

    Ironically, Hitchens is the most centrist of the major public atheists.

    BTW, NK, have enjoyed your commentary, here.

    1. That’s not the case in Europe, there seems to be an equal spread of atheism (and anti-atheism) on the left and right. That’s because religion and politics are not often conflated. I think atheists in America have tended towards the left recently (recently as in the last 3 or 4 decades) because the right has tended towards religion. Let’s just say that the American right doesn’t exactly make atheists feel welcome.

      Although religion and politics are generally distinct in Europe concerns over Islamic terrorism have been changing that recently ? and I think that’s what’s going on in France: not phony secularism and militant atheism but a legitimate fear of encroaching Islam. Although I’ll admit that I have no idea how banning burqas is going to help; it just seems like another ridiculous sumptuary law (like banning of hooded sweatshirts in the UK). All I’m saying is there’s no need to drag atheism into this.

      1. And for the record the government does not have the right to ban burqas, KKK outfits, swastika armbands etc, no matter how repulsive many people may find them and banning burqas is not going to stop death threats when people draw Mohamed cartoons.

        1. Nobody here is actually arguing for an outright ban although some are arguing for a public ban.

          Don’t you think it’s reasonable for places of business or parks to ban certain outfits? KKK outfits and other outfits can be more than repulsive. They are threatening. They infringe on the right of others to feel safe in public. Don’t the rights of others matter? Or do the rights of freaks or radical Islamists trump the rights of all others?

          1. I find your comment threatening and want it banned.

          2. No one has a “right” to feel safe. You have a right to bear arms or hire a body-guard to follow you around everywhere you go and that may or may not make you feel safe depending on how paranoid you are, but you definitely do not have a right to feel safe.

            Yes, the rights of others matter. No, the rights of freaks and Islamic radicals do not trump all others. What you seem to be blanking-out is that no one violates anyone else’s rights by wearing clothes of any fashion and nobody has a right to dress anybody else up in outfits that they find more appropriate. Even though my fiance does it all the time.

            1. There may not be a constitutional right to “feel safe” but there is a generally accepted societal expectation to “feel safe.”

              So, for that reason, there are laws against harassment. I could come up with many examples of threatening behavior, including the wearing of some outfits in many situations, which would constitute harassment and would be rightfully prosecuted. This protects more liberties than it infringes. It is the OPTIMAL libertarian approach.

              Frankly, we probably should have more laws against harassment – this might prevent instances such as the recent SEIU “protest” at a bank executive’s home. His most basic freedoms, his and his family’s right “to feel safe” and live their lives, were obliterated. How does that square with libertarianism, eh?

              1. They were clearly trespassing.

              2. There may not be a constitutional right to “feel safe” but there is a generally accepted societal expectation to “feel safe.”

                Those are in no way, shape, or form the same thing. A “generally accepted societal expectation” doesn’t even come close to a constitutional right, let alone an inalienable right. An example of a “generally accepted societal expectation” is that everyone eats dinner sometime between 6 and 9 PM. Does that mean there should be a new dinner law that says everyone must? If you try to eat dinner outside of that time period you will be fined? Restaurants may only serve customers at that time period?

                Call this a strawman if you want but it has as much merit as what you are arguing.

          3. the right of others to feel safe in public

            Nobody has a right to a feeling.

            Even if they did, it would be impossible to enforce such a right without developing mass-produced mind-readers.

            And even if those mind-readers were developed, then I wish you luck allowing everybody to feel safe as you call some set of people “freaks” and others “more than repulsive.”

            1. No, people don’t have a literal “right” but a reasonable expectation not to be threatened or harassed. Certain dress can be threatening.

              I wish you luck in a world where it’s acceptable to threaten people because, gee, there’s no right to feel safe.

              Why restrict the right of people to run around with a fake bomb suit or brandishing knives at people or running around a playground in a Freddie Krueger mask? Because, after all, nobody has a right to feel safe.

              Give me a friggin break.

              1. You talk about harassment and threatening, but is it reasonable to claim someone is threatening simply because of their dress? I don’t think it is if you really believe in a free society. My understanding of harassment is that it requires some sort of action, not just because you wear a swastika and sit on your porch. You would advocate having someone arrested simply because they dressed up like a klansman and just stood harmlessly around? If so, then the real threat is you.

                1. Ok, how about a guy who puts on a ski mask, a freddie krueger mask, or a ninja outfit (or many other guises) and sits near a park playground (or stands outside your house)?

                  You would advocate allowing some lunatic to do so?

                  You would be against laws which at the very least, discourage such threatening behavior?

                  If so, the real threat (to common sense) is you.

                  You prefer unlimited freedoms for some at the expense of basic freedoms for others.

                  That’s anarchy not libertarianism.

                  Why are there so many delusional anarchists here? I thought this was a libertarian board.

      2. Let’s just say that the American right doesn’t exactly make atheists feel welcome.

        That is the understatement of the decade.

        1. It’d be cool if atheists in the US who have become leftists by default could switch over to the libertarian side ? a religious right is a very ugly thing to see in a civilized country.

          1. Leftist-statist-atheists aren’t too pretty either!

            1. Agreed. I went to an atheist meet-up group where a guy tried to convince me he thought Obama was an atheist–even though the guy goes to church every Sunday and has been for the last 20 years. Talk about faith.

              1. Well I’ve tried to explain once that it’s not some gene that all atheists have it’s the anti-atheist attitude of the American right. Go to an “atheist meet up” in Europe and you’ll find a great diversity of opinion.

      3. Let’s just say that the American right doesn’t exactly make atheists feel welcome.

        That would be just a tad pathetic if one’s political views were dependent on being made to feel welcome.

        1. Try going into a typical US right meet up and tell everybody there you’re an atheist. I’m sure you’ll encounter much squirming and before long somebody telling you that you’re not wanted there any more. Excuse my hyperbole but I’m sure some Jewish people agreed with some of the Nazi party’s ideology but the whole “we hate you because you have no morals, are undermining Christian values, are to blame for communism and we want to kill you” attitude might have put them off. OK maybe the “we want to kill you” part is left inside their heads, but does the rest of that ring any bells? Is it really pathetic that people are driven away from one group when they receive a reception like that?

  20. Dalmia’s observations on the relative tolerance of a polytheism like Hinduism to the unwavering intolerance of monotheisms (in various states of zealousness) is something I have noted over the past year or so, and thought about more and more.

    Monotheism by its nature says only one religion, one god (or version of that god) is correct, and all others are apostate. By its nature, monotheism seeks a monopoly on religious thought. It is worth noting that in Western antiquity – before the dominance of monotheisms – religious tolerance was much more widespread. Conflicts between religious orders were always secondary to conflicts between political states. Indeed, tinkering with pantheons and the protocols involved were used as political tools for state-to-state relations (I’m thinking of the Greco-Egyptian Serapis specifically).

    As a result, when we think of “Western” antiquity we are actually thinking of a place that geographically doesn’t exist anymore. After monotheism swept through the Roman Empire, it fractured in two (Eastern and Western), each developing its own flavor of centralized Christianity. After the Muslim conquests (and the Arabic-cultural chauvinism demanded by Islam) a great deal of what we all consider to be Western antiquity became a different world cut off from natural connections with the “West” we understand today.

    Very “Western” places like Alexandria, Ctesiphon, Parthia, Berenice, and Bactria became utterly alien places to a traveler from say, Gaul, after the religious nuts had drawn their respective political maps, permanantly shattering a collective foundation of “Western” civilization that was thousands of years old. A great tragedy that places like China avoided in their own evolution.

    Religious nuts blow.

    1. Of course where you can run into problems is if one of those religios nuts is right.

      1. Statistically speaking, they (monotheisms) are more than likely all far more wrong than right. Their collective actions through history as political actors certainly don’t suggest any divine inspiration whatsoever.

    2. Wrong, but I’m sure you’re used to it. By definition, monotheism is merely belief there is one god. There are multiple monotheistic religions. Polytheistic or atheistic religions or ideologies can be every bit as certain they are right and everyone else is wrong. This is a human trait and has exactly nothing to do with what the specific belief system in question is.

      1. Historical patterns of these various religious sects don’t indicate as virulent a provincialism amongst the polytheisms as the monotheisms.

        I would like to see some examples from you that indicate polytheisms have exhibited as protracted (1000 years plus) and endemic hatred of other religions as exhibited by the monotheisms in their collective conduct. I don’t see any, am curious where you see them.

  21. Shikha, you have simply not understood the difference between european and sub-continent secularism. European secular traditions have grown to eschew religious identity politics whereas Indian traditions are religiously pluralistic and are based on identity politics. So you see european secularism as a competing identity, but in fact it encompasses the diverse religious communities and is not divided from them.

  22. Whatever France does is their business. The US government has no business banning burkas. But, that doesn’t mean that the things are in any way defensible. Just because the government can’t ban something, doesn’t prevent civil society from calling something what it is.

    1. True; the comparison to a KKK hood isn’t a terrible one.

  23. So, do we show tolerance by not banning burqas, and by allowing private businesses to refuse to serve anyone wearing a burqa?

    Or does official tolerance only extend to facilitating primitive superstitions, and not to permitting private property to remain, well, private?

    Somebody help me out here.

    1. Banning private enterprises from being discriminatory in their practices is an evil that has already happened.

      Banning burqas to liberate women that may or may not want to be liberated from their own religious beliefs is an evil that has not happened yet.

      It can be really hard to undo the evils of the past, but we can at least strive to prevent new ones from happening in the future.

      1. Seconded.

    2. So, do we show tolerance by not banning burqas, and by allowing private businesses to refuse to serve anyone wearing a burqa?

      “No shirt, no shoes, no service.” Sound familiar? If there is a remotely decent rationale for it, I don’t see any reason this could not also include “no burkhas”. I’m sure someone would insist it was some kind of unconstitutional discrimination. I wonder how far up the courts the case would go.

  24. “This becomes obvious when one compares their attitude toward the burqa to that of India’s secularists, who would never dream of banning it.”

    That is not because Indian secularists are tolerant of all religions out of a sense of “live and let live”. Indian secularists will never dream of of banning the burqa because then they will lose the votes of the Muslims. Indian secularists dare not reform any archaic aspects of Sharia Law (e.g. Men can have four wives but women cannot have more than one husband etc etc). Indian secularists care more about appeasing Islam rather than be tolerant of all religious viewpoints.

  25. I agree with the ban. If I travel to the Middle East wearing shorts and a tank-top, I would probably be arrested. Why can we not apply our own set of rules regarding how to dress? If I have to follow the code in other countries, then anyone living in France or any other country should abide by the countries’ dress code. If you don’t like it, then go back to where you came from!

    1. “Why can we not apply our own set of rules regarding how to dress?”

      Presumably because we’re libertarians and don’t generally like the government telling us what to do.

      1. But just because we don’t generally like the government telling us what to do, does that mean we can’t EVER have standards that can be enforced?

        Are there no limits?

        I submit that there is, and complete covering of the face in public is one of them.

        1. Why? You have pretty much admitted the answer is “just because”.

          I really don’t give a good holy damn if the burqa offends you or makes you feel in danger – you do not have the right to tell people what they can wear. And if you cannot do anything other than throw the canard about nudity up, well, sorry for you.

          1. “I really don’t give a good holy damn if the burqa offends you or makes you feel in danger – you do not have the right to tell people what they can wear.”
            Actually in the context of a plebiscite in an ordered society, with a carefully designed legal framework, he does. Do you have some other conception of a “right” that you’d like to share with us.

          2. Actually I listed two reasons.

            One, I believe it’s ok for society to set limits on acceptable behavior/dress. I think complete face covering, or complete nudity falls outside those limits.

            Two, I think there are security risks involved with complete face covering (not so much with nudity).

            If you don’t like thos reasons fine, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t provide them.

            Since this is a social issue, there isn’t really any objective way to determine the outcome.

            You feel like it’s an unacceptable abridgment of freedom, I think it’s an abridgement that is justfied in the cirucmenstances.

            Failing to find agreement, we will probably resort to might makes right (majority rule).

            1. If the nudity thing doesn’t get you, we can also compare it to other type of conduct that are not acceptable in public

              sex
              overly loud music
              drunk in public
              etc

              These are things that are ok in private, but we put limits on in public. I’m ok with that. If that makes me a statist, well, I really don’t care about your labels.

              1. That whole list is a list of bans that “keep the peace”. There is nothing inherently unpeaceful about a burqa (which kinda cuts against your lame nudity points).

                1. That whole list is a list of bans that “keep the peace”.

                  How does having sex in public disrupt “the peace” as long as the participants are quiet about it? It’s somewhat subjective. Why could not the same reasoning be used vis a vis burkhas?

                2. So you don’t buy into the arguments about subjugation of women or inability to identify a person?

                  Why don’t I throw out another example? How about a religion which advocates leading women around publicly in cages? That’s not disturbing the peace. It’s really just a different form of burqa after all. We wouldn’t want to infringe on the freedom of women to be voluntarily caged would we?

                  Now that I think about it, I’m starting to feel more and more sympathy for Hitchens’ view.

            2. Cool – it “offends your sensibilities” and you throw around “security risks”.

              I don’t have any tolerance for people like you, who make up the flimsiest excuses to oppress things that hurt your delicate constitution.

              1. That’s ok, I will tolerate your intolerance.

              2. Is it fine for me to wear a fake dynamite belt, like the ones suicide bombers use?

                The Police or other people better not bother me, or else I’ll sue them – the belt is fake, after all.

                See what this kind of fundamentalist “libertarian” position leads to? Libertarianism doesn’t mean not taking into sccount the potential harm someone’s clothing style csn create. You can’t punish the potential terrorist after he has blown himself up and killed many other people.

                The same kind of reasoning goes with the burqa.

                1. Why would Sting, Andy Summers, Stewart Copeland and Henry Padovani be bothering you?

                2. Great point. The reality is that optimal libertarianism requires limits on some freedoms to protect other freedoms.

                3. What a false analogy.

                  Wearing a fake suicide belt will rightly get you arrested in much the same way that waving a replica gun around will. Wearing a burqa threatens no one, apart from those so insular that they cannot see past their own noses.

                  No fundamentalist libertarianism contradiction here. Move along.

              3. And yet you defend the muslims?

        2. There are always limits. Such as uncovering your face for a mugshot.

          A public ban is not a reasonable limit however.

    2. If you travel to Saudi wearing shorts and a tank-top, you’ll be beaten and arrested. On the other end of the spectrum, you will be at most harassed by obvious leering and whistles if you travel to Dubai or Abu Dhabi or Doha or likely Cairo, Marakkesh, etc. dressed that way.

    3. Oh, please.

      Let me be the first to say that the Saudis shouldn’t arrest people for wearing shorts and a tank-top. But, “Those guys are doing it too!” was a fucking terrible excuse when I was five. It hasn’t magically gotten better.

  26. Good article, but I’m not convinced this issue has anything to do with religious freedom.

    The burqa stems more from Middle Eastern culture than the religion of Islam. There is nothing in any of the primary Islamic religious texts, including the Quran, that requires women to cover their faces, not even in the tenets of Sharia law.

    Women are actually forbidden from wearing burqas in the grand mosque in Mecca.

    1. Interesting point. Thanks for the insight.

      Whether it’s mentioned in a “religion” or not, however, doesn’t seem relevant to me. Any irrational delusion can be labeled a “religion” but that doesn’t give it any legitimacy. The state really shouldn’t recognize “religions” since this is an artificial label which can be arbitrarily applied to just about anything. I could make up Dave’s religion which endorses all sorts of activities and it wouldn’t have any less legitimacy than “established religion.”

  27. I also agree with the ban. I saw a woman driving an SUV in a burqa in Chicago. She couldn’t see. Frightening. No burqas anywhere in the free world. It is an abuse of women.

  28. I thought it was a pretty good article until I got to the whole “monotheism” vs. “polytheism” comment. That seemed totally off-base and pointless. The concept that a historically polytheistic society is somehow more tolerant than a historically monotheistic one has no basis in reality that I can see. I’ve been to India to and it certainly has its share of cultural biases, just like anywhere else. I don’t think the French law has anything to do with a faith background. It looks like a classic anti-immigrant attitude that is pretty common in a lot of places. And probably on an anti-islamic attitude as well.

  29. Many of you who are missing the big picture here. The real issue is probably not whether burquas should be allowed in France (or other Western conuntries) or not. The real issue is can a tolerant society continue to exist while tolerating significant minorities/minority groups that seek to overtun the existing tolerant society and replace it with an intolerant one (kind of like the intolerant societies in practically every Muslim country in the world throughout history).

    We continue to tolerate Islam and other intolerant ideologies in our midst (KKK, neo-nazis, etc…) at our own peril. These groups basically enjoy the freedom of speech to say ‘Ok, since we are too weak now to use violence we will not use it; once we have enough power or can get away with it we will then use violence or other forms of illegal cooercion to impose our intolerant beliefs on others’. Of course while saying this in public they organize violent plans in private and some of their more courageous/impatient members conduct these acts of violence.

    1. good points.

      Also to be noted, is that it’s often not the orignal immigarants that are becoming militant, but the later generations.

    2. You’re right; let’s get rid of the First Amendment.

      1. Oh yes, because that’s the only solution. It’s either complete anarchy, or complete subjucation.

        1. Exactly; the road to serfdom.

    3. It is an interesting question whether Western society can survive the invasion of intolerant Muslim culture. One encouraging bit of news is that high Muslim immigrant birth rates in Western countries have been dropping to native Western rates over time and that many later generation Muslim immigrants are less devout.

      I do think that politicians and the media need to stop showing deference to Islam just because it’s labeled a “religion.” Islam espouses violent ideas and is directly responsible for much violence against Muslims and non-Muslims. It espouses violence against women and their subjugation. It espouses intolerance of competing ideas or “religions.” It even advocates death for its critics. It’s arguably a cancer on the world. Would Nazism have been more acceptable if it were called a “religion?” Would it have deserved the same deference accorded Islam? I think not.

      1. Dave

        Where do you get your information that later generation Muslims are less devout?

        Surely the more recent terror attacks (both failed and successful) in the US and the UK show that it is recent immigrants who become radicalised and fundamentalist.

  30. I know lets liberate women by telling them by threat of violence what they can wear in public.

    Fucking brilliant.

    1. Nicely said.

    2. You see nothing wrong with a religion that dictates women can only go out in public while wearing a tent and eye holes? Yeah, brilliant.

      Why don’t you wear a burka outside for a few weeks this summer and let us know how liberating it is?

      1. You see nothing wrong with a religion that dictates women can only go out in public while wearing a tent and eye holes?

        In France you do not have to be a Muslim. The state will and does protect poeple who choose to leave a particular religion. Furthermore there are plenty of Muslims in France and else where that do not wear a burka.

        So no I see nothing wrong with women choosing the religion they want and choosing how they observe their religion.

        And the fact that a state allows those choices and will protect individuals from violence and threat of violence when they make those choices is the definition of liberation.

  31. The big picture here, I fear, is Libertarianism, taken to it’s logical (?) conclusion.
    You guys almost have me…then, reality shuts the door. This continual attempt to pick flyshit out of the pepper damns you to the fringe of the nutball nether region. You seem to never allow common fucking sense to distract you from your religious pilgrimige.
    Hasn’t Rand Paul’s recent yank-back by reality tempered your sip at the kool-aid cup? Or is Goldwaters’ legacy of merely harping at the edges of reason your version of success?
    The very advance of this Islamic threat is due to the West being increasingly unwilling to meet it with any conviction or balls, and here you are seriously (?) discussing the “rights” of a third century culture to walk around masked, after it has demonstrated, by action and/or aquiesence, it’s committment to your destruction.
    Afuckingmazing!

    1. Yes, I know – practicing this thing called “tolerance” and “respect for the exercise of rights” is soooo third-century.

      you want us to use violence like they do – to squash things that offend our sensibilities.

      1. I’d much prefer you squash things that threaten you, your culture, your sovergnity, your country and your fucking life.
        There is a reason every country this “culture’ has existed in has eventually had to put the boot on their neck, in many cases in self defense.

        1. Let me know when those things show up. Until then, both children dressed up for Halloween and women year round will be able to walk around with sheets over their heads. I see ’em every day – so what? Is it a magic sheet? Is it like Towlie? Sheetie? A terrorist plot to infiltrate the country with a 5th column of anthropometric sheets? Oh, save me!

    2. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that this needs to be repeated, but would someone please inform Indonesia and Malaysia (and Dearborn, MI) that they are complicit in any acts of violence against the West because they are part of a “third century cutlure”.

      1. “culture”…damn fingers.

      2. I live in Dearborn. I’ve actually rubbed elbows with this “culture”. Scares the shit outta me,and many others, though most have the same disease you have. Unimpressed myopia.
        Most I have interacted with….H.A.T.E you. There were crowds in fron of Mosques on Dearborn streets following 9/11, and they weren’t hanging black crepe.
        You guys have to get out more.

        1. Hi. I’ve been to the Middle East, where, apparently, they “H.A.T.E.” me.

        2. They probably hate you ’cause you’re a dick.

        3. Unfortunately you’re preaching to mostly deaf ears. If they don’t understand the nature of Islam by now, they never will.

          As a libertarian, I prefer to live and let live. Islam opposes this philosophy. In fact, Islam’s version would be best expressed as “live and help die.” So it is a threat to libertarianism and tolerant Western civillization.

          1. Tolerating the intolerable is our first big mistake.

            Ban the burqa, save the cheerleader, save the world.

  32. “It is because their secularism has been shaped by India’s dominant religion?Hinduism?whose non-monotheistic ethos allows the space for multiple faiths. In this sense, Hinduism is perhaps more profoundly in sync with liberal tolerance than monotheistic faiths.”

    That’s a good point. There is a certain inherent tolerance in polytheism compared to monotheism – people are allowed a choice, even if from an unappetizing menu.

  33. Wait…You came into contact with another culture and got “scared” Well then, obviously, you’re some kind of crypto-fascist. See how easy that was? Hyperbole is the currency of this forum. Just get used to it.

    1. And I can only imagine them,bravely stumbling down a smoke filled tower stairway, shaking like a dog shitting a peach seed, changing their tune…..late.
      Hyperbole indeed. This is a “culture” that literally declared war on you 20 years ago and some are still timid about yanking a mask.

      1. Yep. I remember when I used to annoy my left wing friends by saying that liberalism was the graveyard of nuance. But then I started poking around in here. I’ve have to install a seat belt in my office chair to keep from falling out.

    2. Straw man much?

      1. Straw PERSON. Can’t we at least be PC around here?

        1. Straw individual. Lets be better libertarians.

  34. France is attacking the Islamic religion. Their excuses for doing so are thin.

    The middle eastern islamic culture has proven to be incapable of coexisting with other cultures. In fact the various sects within Islam have proven they aren’t capable of getting along.

    Common sense would tell us to kick them the hell out of our countries and put them on probation. Once they can stop killing each other over relatively minor doctrinal differences, we can discuss accepting them again.

    1. Exactly. What the muslim immigrants call “tolerance” is what we would call slavery. What about self-defense? If someone is attacking you, you defend yourself, right? The muslims in the west don’t hide their agenda of establishing sharia. They openly and shamelessly murder anyone who criticizes them. This is not the time to sing kumbaya and talk about non-coercion. It’s time to stamp out a major threat to our liberties.

  35. Where did the Little Green Footballers come from?

    1. What, someone has your seat?

      1. Does this mean I’m an LGFer? WTF?

    2. I think it is the same guy screaming over and over using different names…..and Jeniffer.

  36. So, the burka is fine. Ok, I get that. The women can wear what they want.
    Clitoral circumcision ok too? How about separate bussing for muslim children? How about a separate school system too? Hell, let’s just let them institute Sharia Law in Dearborn–it’s a free country right? Free to destroy your own tolerance in the name of tolerance.

    1. You clearly don’t understand the difference between actual crimes (genital mutilation) and freedom of expression. That’s sad.

  37. Here it is once again, Indian secularists trying to lecture French society! Indian could afford to live in a hell of anarchy and poverty, but not French! They are European, just remember that….proud people who knows how to defend their values against invaders. Indian particularly North Indian are the product of defeated culture, now morphing as Indian Congress led democracy. And do not drag proud Hindu dharma to your debate. While India is dying, Islam in India is rising! Indian like you may not consider it as a threat, since you are half muslim anyway…..your national language HIndi is half Arabic, and when you go around in Delhi, you see all proud Islamic architecture…..so, do not lecture like a Hindu….talk straight, I know you want to support Islamist, so talk like a true Islamist. Do not hide behind the Hindu veil

  38. Folks,

    I read Shikha’s article and your comments with much interest and I agree fundamentally with your thirst for freedom, including self-expression. I do disagree with the twist against religion that the media has raised with regards to the burkha and many other past issues such as terrorism.

    I met and befriended Muslims in college in my home town in northern France. I learned the profound cultural difference between folks from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia. I had the chance to travel to Sumatra in Indonesia. I do not see any difference between Muslims and Christians folks as far as fundamental human values are concerned. Why does the media try so hard to rekindle religious wars?????

    Yet you might recall the random bombings in France in the mid 80’s. I lived in France then and learned, just as every French (and German, and English?) to cross the street when a car was parked alone, not to drive on a paper bag in the street, always worry, report unattended bags etc. This is something Americans have never known, until the September 11 attacks.

    9/11 was a horrible act of terrorism but so was the destruction of Lebanon in the early 80’s, which the media did not comment much on, so is every kid that puts on a backpack bomb, but Yasser Arafat was still given a Nobel price, so is every Iranian woman threatened because of her higher education after the Ayatollah Khomeini took over, but Jimmy Carter and Francois Mitterrand did not seem offended. How can you defend the right to wear a burkha in a western country but close your eyes on all the Iranian women who had to flee their country because of their education level? Yes, their lives are threatened! What about the Muslims who are slaughtered when they convert to Christianity? Yes it happens every day but, oh no, the media does not mention it!

    There is something else going on. Why did the Spaniards burn their whole country in the fifteenth century to get rid of the Mores? Jeez, history repeating itself?

    I would not blame the Muslim religion, though. There has to be something else but it is hidden in many layers of our societies. Meanwhile, back at the farm, it is a good idea for an immigrant to want to become a part of its new culture? and observe rather than criticize its new country. Likewise it is a good idea for citizens of a country to enforce the sovereignty of their mother land and defend their parents’ heritage. I grew up in France and I did have to fight my way to school against small bands of immigrants from North Africa on occasion. Why?

    I am now American by choice, not by birth, I pledged allegiance to the Flag and to the Country, like many other immigrants and, possibly your ancestors. I do not understand why some people think they do not have to, whether in the USA or in France, and why does the media supports them?

    Oh, and back to the burkha, it does pose a threat. How do you know it hides a Muslim woman? Do you have X-Ray vision?

    1. ” it is a good idea for citizens of a country to enforce the sovereignty of their mother land and defend their parents’ heritage”

      This alone will throw several commenters here into fits of madness.

      1. But not me.

    2. You know a great deal of your fellow Muslims would like to institute Sharia law in the US if possible. It’s not an insignificant percentage. I find it difficult to trust the Muslim faith when you have groups like CAIR refusing to take a strong stance against terrorism, and the Muslim Student Alliance supporting the leader of Hamas’s desires to have all the Jews move to Israel so they can be exterminated more easily. In the Koran there is also a passage that suggests that there will be a time when the trees yell out something like – Oh loyal servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come kill him. It is clear that many of your fellow Muslims take these deranged statements to heart.

      I’m not saying you can’t be a moderate Muslim, but I would like to see a stronger condemnation of the extreme elements, as would be expected of any other faith. Your post seems typical of Muslims in that it ignores the very existence of extreme elements, which is intellectually dishonest and cowardly IMO.

  39. “they were enough to send my budding feminist consciousness into paroxysms of rage”

    Why do feminists always regress to their emotions as justification for their ideology? It is unnecessary, and it makes it more difficult to respect them.

    It sort of makes me think their motivations are more along the lines of: “I’m a feminist hear me roar,” rather than legitimate advancement of woman’s rights.

  40. I don’t know if a ban on any traditional item of clothing is right. But I do know I understand, even if I do not fully support, the reasoning.
    The Burka is not just a token of a religion. It is a symbol of oppression and control- the woman who refuses it risks being a target for violence. Let’s not kid ourselves, this is a fact. This puts the French government in a difficult spot. Since they cannot monitor the family dynamics of each and every woman in France and determine which is wearing a Burka because she wants to, and which is doing so because her brother and father will beat her if she doesn’t, securing the freedom of one group necessarily involves denying it to the other. Either group 1 is free to wear the burka, or group 2 is free to cast it off- social realities at the moment prevent both. France has opted to secure the freedom of the second group. Perhaps when muslim men no longer feel they have to physically and violently enforce the dictates of their religion, it will not be necessary to ban the burka.

    We will know when that day is here, because when they protest, the common phrase “Death to…” will be replaced with “We disagree with…”

  41. The burqa should be banned in public. There are many ways to dress modestly without wearing a burqa. It IS a symbol of female oppression and should be banned. Male muslims should not be able to rely on the government to enforce their rules by “allowing” this. It would be like the government covering scarification of the genitals of infants and children in HCR because it is the custom in some African villages. This is true ignorance and forces all others that have religious differences with Muslims to deal with those wearing a burqa as “the other.” They deserve no more respect than an ordinary person without a burqa. Muslims use the burqa in two ways; to demean women and to “protect” them from non-Muslims, which is just another way of objectifying and isolating them.

    1. Save me from the magic terrorist sheets!

  42. Sorry, you’re deadly wrong. The burqua has no place in a western society that values women’s rights, whether women want it or not. Is beating your wife ok if she agrees? Is having multiple wives ok if your wife agrees? Is giving a woman a clitoridectomy ok, or cutting off her hand for stealing, or stoning her for adultery, if the women involved agree that their tradition calls for it? Nonsense. The burqua “choice”, i.e., the “choice” to cut off, completely, one’s public “face”, has no place in any society based upon western values.

    Plus, the notion that most women want the burqua, absent being raised in the sadistic mysoginy that pervades many traditionalist Islamic communities is laughable.

  43. People what do you expect? France is a Nanny State country: they ban and regulate just about everything else, so this is only a logical step.

    Also anyone can wear what they want, I dont really care, but my tolerance stops when someone starts filing “human rights” complaints like they do here in Canada when the professor demands that you take off your mask in linguistics class so she can see your pronunciation.

  44. Reason works for some but not for others.
    I guess if my wife wore a chain and ball around her neck that would be O.K.? Only if she out of fear would say Yes I want to wear it?
    Muslim world is mainly about descendent’s of a ruling class and slaves. Yes slaves. Young women are for sale in every Muslim country. Recently, a Saudi prince married a 10 year old girl. I am sure these women have a lot of say.

  45. Thats literally what happened in Montreal. This woman was taking a free taxpayer-funded (French/English)language course for new Canadians at a university. Professor tells her that she needs to see her lips moving to teach her how to pronounce words. She demands that this be done specially one-on-one at the back of the classroom while all male students must look away. Professor tells her this is ridiculous and she will be treated like everyone else or she can leave the class.
    Woman files complaint to “human rights commission” on the grounds that her “religious freedom” has been violated.

  46. Secular extremists and religious extremists both think the same. They think well if everyone thought the way that I did everything would be ok.

    Religious extremists think that if everyone was a Muslim or a Christian etc. Then there would be peace and harmony in the world. Secularists think that religion is the source of all the wars in the world. But the forced secularism of the USSR or Cuba are just as violent as the force religious extremism of Afghanistan under the taliban

    1. Uh, so many misconceptions in so few lines. Or straw men beaten to unrecognizable heaps…?

      “Religious extremists think that if everyone was a Muslim or a Christian etc. Then there would be peace and harmony in the world.”

      Mostly no. Even Islamic extremists do not justify their quests by “peace and harmony”. These buzzwords of the hippie generation do not really carry much weight beyond the narrow Western intelligentsia. The main goal of most extremist ideologies is dominance, pure and simple. “Peace and harmony”, if uttered at all, are just a mental trap for gullible Western intellectuals (“The useful idiots”, as Stalin once called them), and are usually not a serious part of the real ideology at all.

      “Secularists think that religion is the source of all the wars in the world.”

      No. Secularists generally think that it is bad idea to let clergy have power in state affairs. Given the Western history since peace of Westphalia (1648), no serious thinker can claim the above quote about “religion is the source of all the wars in the world”, so why you?

      Nevertheless, religion plays a huge role in many military conflicts of the Islamic world, this is also a pretty straightforward fact and can’t be denied.

      “the forced secularism of the USSR or Cuba are just as violent”

      The main problem with USSR or Cuba was/is totalitarian, state-worshipping ideology. That is not a direct consequence of the secularist component. If you draw the diagram “violent / non-violent” and “secular / indifferent / religious” regimes, you will find plenty of examples for each section.

  47. It’s a tough call. A free society strives to allow people to express themselves as they wish but we are dealing with an Islamo-fascist culture. They will use freedom to further their agenda but they have no regard for it.

  48. The burqua has no place in a western society that values women’s rights, whether women want it or not. Is beating your wife ok if she agrees? Is having multiple wives ok if your wife agrees? Is giving a woman a clitoridectomy ok tools sale

  49. Vous aimez le Ku Klux Klan? Normal que vous d?fendiez le port du hijab et de la burqa…

  50. So why does France feel the need to do this?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.