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Because it is showily evident:
* That a measure of 3,1415 has a showy geometrical dimension, the head ribbon of the daughter of a professor of mathematics shall only be allowed if the width of that symbolic clothing is limited to 3,1414 or equals a minimum of 3,1416,
* That the golden section is a showy symbolic measurement system for the freemasons, public school shall prevent its children from entering its classrooms when this showy ratio is measured in their outerware or appears openly impressed through those.
Friends of France,
Those are proposals that I let you make available to a minister who seems to me inclined to carry out in a showy way his philosophy to the absurd if I believe the article of Liberation below. (*)
They are all the more showyly useful that this so useful law does not address itself yet to the true problem: the names and first names of the pupils of the public school!
It will however be necessary one day to ensure the secular hexagonalisation of those if one wants to avoid "" our classes being structured according to religious memberships", with the clan of the Catholics here, the one of the Jews there and somewhere else the Muslims ". Isn't it unthinkable that the Pauls, Simones and Pierres can be so easily distinguished from the Alis, Fatimas and Mohameds, of the Davids, Rachels and Simons? For this purpose, I propose that the children are only allowed in the School of the Republic if they carry a neutral first name drawn from the vast choice of the vegetables which grow in the Hexagon: Carrot, Cabbage, Melon, Chicory... (One will avoid politically incorrect Grapes, Apple, Pear or Tobacco that can point out products ostentatiously harmful for the physical and moral health of our children). The names should stress again the traditional soils of the Republic: Picard, Breton, Corsican....
Humanity, protect me from my friends,
(*) Liberation is a paper of the left opposition. This explains a slightly humorous style, but the facts are right.
Luc Ferry spoke of the cross of the Syro-chaldeans, the turban of the Sikhs, the bandanna carried "ostententiously"... and of "hairiness."
Thus the law on secularity wants "by no means to stigmatize one religion". Luc ferry said once again yesterday before the Commission of the laws of the French National Assembly, which interviewed him in company of Xavier Darcos on the bill "relating to the application of the principle of secularity in the public schools, colleges and lycées ". For proof, "the Islamic scarf in all its forms" is not the only one targeted
Let us take, at random, the large crosses, which are also indicated in the text of law. Well, one could meet around fifty of them in the Parisian suburbs, explained Luc Ferry. They are carried by Syro-chaldeans (a branch of the Christians of the East. One was unaware up to that point that it constituted a threat for the one, secular and indivisible Republic). The same for the turban of the Sikhs. As they cannot cut their hair and because they have some more hair at college that at primary school (yes, yes, Luc Ferry really explained it that way), the government favors the idea that they should be gathered under a cap. But a simple net would be less showy, nonetheless than the traditional turban - it is the concept of "invisible turban" (dixit Luc ferry). "Discussions" are on.
The Republic shall be also attentive to attempts at evading the laws, even imaginative ones "The nature of the human being is to create signs", says a wary Ferry. From there it comes that if the bandanna itself is not prohibited, the "showyly" carried bandanna could be regarded as a religious sign. The same for "facial hairiness," the beard in not stigmatizing language. Because Ferry has stressed it: the purpose of the law is not so much the sign itself but the way it is carried "showyly" or not, therefore (there is no doubt that each one will be able to judge it independently of the origins of the pupils concerned, and that a Marie-Chantal in turban will be subject to the same secular rigor that Fatima in bandanna would). Complicated? Let's fall back on the uniform! Christian Vanneste (UMP) did proposed that idea, about which Xavier Darcos answered that "the answer is not excluded" and that "nothing prohibits, now, that the rules of a public school demand it".
The urgency of the Sikhs and Syro-Chaldean threats however has escaped some deputies. So Jean-Christophe Lagarde (UDF) and Yves Durand (PS) said that the law was indeed aimed at a religion, Islam, and at a community, the Arabs. Yves Durand noted that to prohibit the "behaviors" and not only the "signs" indicated the veil. Darcos accepted it by considering "useless" the use of the term "clothing". For Lagarde, "one treats, badly, the only one true problem: the difficulty of the relation of France with Islam ".
Ferry, however, does not base the law on this ground. It comes, he said, in a "rising context of confrontations between the Communities ". It is necessary to avoid "that our school classes organize themselves around religious memberships', with here the clan of the Catholics, there the one of the Jews and elsewhere yet the Muslims". He did repeat that "99 % of the anti-Semitic acts are related to confrontations between the communities", and that their increase, since 2000, " accompany, one can see it clearly, the second intifada". Result: "One witnesses the reflection of an international conflict into the school." Ferry pleads: "I say to the representatives of Islam: do you want our children to fight at school?" This is said without stigmatizing anyone.
The original French text :
Laicite: Ferry interprete ostensiblement la loi
Donc la loi sur la laicite ne veut «nullement stigmatiser telle religion». Luc Ferry l'a redit hier devant la commission des lois de l'Assemblee nationale, qui l'auditionnait en compagnie de Xavier Darcos sur le projet de loi «relatif a l'application du principe de laicite dans les ecoles, colleges et lycees publics». Pour preuve, «le foulard islamique sous toutes ses formes» n'est pas le seul vise.
Prenons, au pif, les grandes croix, qui sont egalement designees dans le texte de loi. Eh bien, on en croiserait une cinquantaine en banlieue parisienne, a explique Luc Ferry. Elles sont portees par des syro-chaldeens (une branche des chretiens d'Orient dont on ignorait jusque-la qu'elle constituait une menace pour la Republique une, laique et indivisible). Idem pour le turban des Sikhs. Comme ils ne peuvent pas se couper les cheveux et qu'ils en ont davantage au lycee qu'a l'ecole primaire (si, si, Luc Ferry l'a explique comme ça), les ministres conçoivent bien qu'il faille les regrouper sous une coiffe. Mais un simple filet serait tout de meme moins ostensible que le turban traditionnel c'est le concept de «turban invisible» (dixit Luc Ferry). Des «discussions» sont en cours.
La Republique sera egalement attentive aux tentatives de contournement, fussent-elles imaginatives «le propre de l'etre humain est d'inventer des signes», se mefie Ferry. D'où il ressort que si le bandana en soi n'est pas interdit, le bandana porte «ostensiblement» pourra etre considere comme un signe religieux. Pareil pour la «pilosite» la barbe en langage non stigmatisant. Car Ferry l'a rappele : l'enjeu de la loi porte moins sur le signe lui-meme que sur la façon dont il est porte «ostensiblement» ou pas, donc (nul doute que chacun saura en juger independamment des origines des eleves concernes et que les Marie-Chantal en turban feront l'objet de la meme rigueur laique que les Fatima en bandana). Complique ? Rabattons-nous sur l'uniforme ! C'est ce qu'a propose Christian Vanneste (UMP), a qui Xavier Darcos a repondu que «la question n'est pas exclue» et que «rien n'interdit, en l'etat, que les reglements interieurs des etablissements le proposent».
L'imminence des menaces sikhs et syro-chaldeennes a pourtant echappe a quelques deputes. Jean-Christophe Lagarde (UDF) et Yves Durand (PS) ont ainsi estime que la loi visait bien une religion l'islam et une communaute les Arabes. Yves Durand a releve qu'interdire les «tenues» et pas seulement les «signes» designait le voile ce dont Darcos a convenu en jugeant «inutile» l'emploi du terme «tenue». Pour Lagarde, «on traite, mal, un seul vrai probleme : celui de la difficulte de la relation de la France a l'Islam».
Ferry, lui, ne situe pas la loi sur ce terrain. Elle s'inscrit, a-t-il rappele, dans un «contexte de montee des affrontements communautaires». Il faut eviter «que nos classes se structurent selon les appartenances religieuses, avec ici le clan des catholiques, la celui des juifs, la encore celui des musulmans». Il a repete que «99 % des actes antisemites sont lies a des affrontements communautaires», et que leur recrudescence, depuis 2000, «accompagne, on le voit tres bien, la deuxieme intifada». Resultat : «On assiste a la refraction d'un conflit international a l'ecole.» Ferry de conjurer : «Je le dis aux representants de l'islam : est-ce que vous voulez que nos enfants se battent a l'ecole ?» Ceci dit sans stigmatiser quiconque.
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by Editor @ 09:37 PM CST [Link]
Replies: 10 comments
Being a French citizen, I just have some small comments about your page talking about the law on "laicite" in France. First of all, this debate is only by French citizens, by a democratically-elected French government who is carrying his campaign promises. I do not see why this website, although interesting and instructive, should start talking about it. France is not part of the Middle East, is it?
Posted by Julien Levy @ 01/24/2004 12:32 AM CST
It is not just a French debate,it
Posted by tange Jacky @ 01/24/2004 10:18 PM CST
The issue has provoked demonstrations throughout the Muslim world. Sheikh Ikrema Sabri, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, has said that France is making war on Islam.
In fairness, the angry crowds do not seem to know that it is not a general ban on the hijab that is contemplated, but only a ban on wearing it in public schools. Likewise, I am aware that in Saudi Arabia, there is agitation against women who remove the hijab. Freedom of religion must work both ways.
Nonetheless, it is certainly a Bona Fide Middle East issue that has excited demonstrations and newspaper articles throughout the Muslim world, and it is scarcely credible that Julien does not know this. Moreover, while one may support the ban and favor French secularism, it is hardly to be doubted that as reported, Luc Ferry made a parody of himself and of the issues. A news item that is so uproariously funny about an issue that concerns so many in the Middle East is hardly to be ignored.
Posted by Moderator @ 01/25/2004 01:26 PM CST
True, I am no French and I was not writing that France is preparing a racist law. Racist, it isnâ€™t.
Still, such a law is an easy way to address the most visible problem of the immigration without touching at its roots: education, job discrimination, ghettoisation in Â« cites Â» around the big cities. One could say it is a veil thrown on problems of immigration that are not specifically French.
Ami has already answered why he thinks this French initiative canâ€™t be ignored in speaking of the problems of the ME.
THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN in todayâ€™s New York Time writes:
Luc Ferry is a conservative philosopher. He and others in the present French government dream of turning back many freedoms won since 1968, source of all evil for them. Some French politicians of the majority are even considering going back to the uniform in the public schools! Just to ban the veil? Donâ€™t make me laugh!
The situation is quite absurd.
The law of 1905 is quite good enough if one had the courage to use it to separate the State from the Religion: religious symbols canâ€™t be worn by public servants; ceremonies are specifically banned from the public buildings.
It is so true that several French Great Lodges didn't advocate changes to the 1905 law. They can't be suspect of pro-*religion bias.
Problems come only when you want to go from public servants to general public.
And sorry, the Â« laicite Â» as they built it in 1905 had for intent to free the republic from the Church encroachments, not to prevent the citizens and residents of France to believe in God, whatever name they give to it.
Posted by Paul Fays @ 01/25/2004 09:04 PM CST
don't worry, at the end it'll be the Jews', I mean of course Zionists' fault anyway ;)
Posted by Miranda @ 01/26/2004 04:50 AM CST
Since introducing myself boldly to MEW on this topic posting from Ghent,Belgium I delved deeper into the content of this site. Some very strong stuff there, and again Pauls pointing out Friedman broadens the debate to its actual field, although I am not sure I know the Europe Friedman is talking about.Being Flemish makes me as european as they come, most people here speak several european languages-french, german, english-and have a broad outlook on matters of opinion. And we know about matters of politics also,living where, so to speak, they count politicians by the square meter.
Posted by Jacky tange @ 01/26/2004 10:44 PM CST
To expand by analogy on the fact that integration, education are the main items for women rights and secularism, the following report show that when they are educated, women choose to fight for their right.
Also, that in that case, the veil is not the point they start with.
Also in the West, feminism did start by the education of women.
In Europe, the matter concern immigrants and integration becomes as important as education.
Saudi women demand women's rights from crown prince Abdullah
A group of Saudi women demanded in a petition signed by more than 300 Saudi women, from various
The petition read that "the woman is in need to get her own legitimate and civil right, starting
The women signatories of the petition, academics, intellectuals ,and employees from various parts of
The petition also called for opening the doors before women in government ministries and
The petition said that in order "in order to achieve these ambitions effectively, we suggest the
Posted by Paul @ 01/28/2004 09:01 AM CST
Some more comments in reply to Jacky.
The topic is important, but perhaps this is the wrong article for presenting it. Luc Ferry made a parody of himself, and Paul made a better parody, so I thought it was good to post both. Ferry, however, does not represent the proposed law very well.
The "pluralistic society" doctrine dictates that within a society, there should be the greatest variety of opinion and of individual freedom of expression. That seems to be what you are advocating. However, you are inconsistent in applying it.
Muslims marched in protest against this proposed ban on their freedom, and you support them. In Saudi Arabia, women cannot get driving licences, and worship in faiths other than Islam is greatly restricted. I do not see, however, that anyone in Belgium or France has organized demonstrations regarding freedom of worship in Saudia or in Pakistan, where a Christian school was firebombed, or that the matter causes much concern in Europe. In Bangladesh, we have a journalist who is in jail for opposing Islamist fundamentalism. I do not see a great concern over this problem among the French or Belgian people. So we have to consider, who are the enemies of the open society, and what threats to the open society should get primacy?
If you want to understand the current problem, it may not be so relevant to study Sufism, but rather to study Said Qutb and Mawdoodi, and to find out what they have to say about democracy and about women. It is more relevant to compare Qutb to Karl Popper than it is to compare Harper Lee to Potok.
The French Republic decided that they would have a secular society. In the "pluralistic society" of nations, perhaps it should be their right to decide how they define their society and how it should be run.
It is interesting that you mention Turkish Islamic people. Did Ataturk have the right to ban the veil and the fez? Do young Turkish girls wear veils in school?
Posted by Moderator @ 01/28/2004 08:10 PM CST
Thank you for replying to my remarks.
Posted by Jacky tange @ 01/28/2004 11:02 PM CST
At the risk of being terribly out of bounds,taking up so much webspace.
Posted by Jacky tange @ 01/29/2004 07:38 PM CST
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