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Thread: Saudi Arabia not observing the silence

  1. #41
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peadar1987 View Post
    Yup, it would.
    Does that not betray a lack of consideration for basic women's rights though?

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    Seasoned Pro peadar1987's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    Does that not betray a lack of consideration for basic women's rights though?
    I don't think so. I mean, the women who choose to wear burqas are, in my opinion, victims of a horrible ideology that pushes medieval notions of "modesty" and antiquated gender roles, but for all that, it doesn't make it any less true that they feel uncomfortable wearing western dress. It's something that's ingrained in many of them as strongly as wearing a top is for most western women. If they're good enough at their job to make up for the impediment to communication benno mentioned, I think they should be able to wear whatever they wanted.

    We had an Irish teacher in primary school whose face was botoxed so heavily and caked in so much make-up that it was essentially a mask. For all the facial expressions she was able to show she might as well have been wearing a burqa

  3. #43
    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post

    The tolerance argument goes both ways. Are we to be tolerant of their ways without any tolerance of our ways in return?
    I don't really think this is a very strong argument.

    Surely we should decide what is right or not, fair or not, based on our own principles, and without looking to 'balance' their intolerance with intolerance of our own, or being worried about 'giving in' too much.

    There seems to be a hint of tit-for-tat mentality about it, a kind of 'Well if you're going to behave like a dick/child, then I'll treat you like a dick/child' mentality, which I don't believe is how lawmakers should be thinking.
    Last edited by osarusan; 04/09/2018 at 10:39 AM.

  4. #44
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Who's "we" though?

    If it's "native" Irish people deciding what is/isn't acceptable in Irish culture, then I'm fine with that.

    I don't at all hold to the notion that we shouldn't be able to question foreign cultural influences.

    (I think we're on the same wavelength roughly)

    Quote Originally Posted by peadar1987 View Post
    I don't think so. I mean, the women who choose to wear burqas are, in my opinion, victims of a horrible ideology that pushes medieval notions of "modesty" and antiquated gender roles, but for all that, it doesn't make it any less true that they feel uncomfortable wearing western dress.
    There are more choices than just "burqa" and "western dress" when it comes to what to wear in fairness.

    As far as I can see, you (correctly) describe burqa-wearing as a symptom of "a horrible ideology that pushes medieval notions of "modesty" and antiquated gender roles", but then on the other hand you seem reluctant to condemn/ban that. I'm not sure how to square off that contradiction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    Who's "we" though?

    If it's "native" Irish people deciding what is/isn't acceptable in Irish culture, then I'm fine with that.

    I don't at all hold to the notion that we shouldn't be able to question foreign cultural influences.
    If that was a reply to me, I'm a bit confused as to what the last part means - it doesn't seem to be linked to anything I said. Maybe I'm just missing something.

    I don't have any argument with the idea Irish people (through their elected representatives) should be deciding what is or isn't acceptable in Irish culture - but I think that should be standalone decision, and not the kind of tit-for-tat I mentioned.

    If lawmakers want to make a law on something like this (or on anything) I think they need to be able to justify it on its own merits as being beneficial to our society, rather than in comparison with how a certain group of people (Muslims in this case) either in this country or other countries are guilty of intolerance. I think that the argument that 'It goes both ways - if they are going to be intolerant, then we will be too' isn't one that's easy to justify.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    I suppose my point is that we're constantly hearing that we should respect other cultures, but we rarely hear that we should respect our own. So I'm trying to argue against this viewpoint as well as against the burqa.

    I agree decisions of what is/isn't acceptable should be on their own individual merits rather than "just because".

    I think in this case, there is a very clear case to be made both on cultural and etiquette norms (ie the role of facial expression in human communication), and the gender discrimination that it implies.

    I wouldn't be in favour of a sari ban because it has neither of these issues

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    I think in this case, there is a very clear case to be made both on cultural and etiquette norms (ie the role of facial expression in human communication), and the gender discrimination that it implies.
    Tbh I think it would hard to justify a blanket ban as an appropriate measure in a scenario where two women are just walking down a street or around a park while wearing either a burqa or a niqab. Is that really so much of a threat to our culture that a complete ban is proportionate?

    It might be easier to argue a case-by-case ban, with for example school teachers, police officers, or locations such as courts* or city halls, being positions and places where people are forbidden from wearing them.

    * But even then, with witnesses being allowed to give their evidence anonymously/from behind a screen (once their identity has been verified to the satisfaction of the court), there is precedent there which goes against that.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    I don't think I agree. I think it's a women's rights issue and I don't see why we should be hypocritical about tolerating this while trumping gender equality. And I think it's a basic integration issue; you cannot integrate into society if you are not prepared to engage with it at its most basic level. Integration is a big issue with Muslim immigration in particular.

    I see no more reason to limit any ban to places of officialdom than I see a reason to limit nudity to the same places.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    I don't think I agree. I think it's a women's rights issue and I don't see why we should be hypocritical about tolerating this while trumping gender equality. And I think it's a basic integration issue; you cannot integrate into society if you are not prepared to engage with it at its most basic level. Integration is a big issue with Muslim immigration in particular.
    Firstly, I think it's something of a contradiction to bring up women's rights when a ban would limit those rights. Although I suppose your position is that it is for the greater good.

    Secondly, if the ban would come from the perspective of integration, I think we'd need to examine the outcome of any proposed ban on the burqa or niqab regarding integration. Overall, will it lead to more integration, or less? At a simple level - in countries or regions where it has already been banned, do we see more Muslim women in public without that headwear, or do we actually see fewer Muslim women in public fullstop. At a more fundamental level - how is integration measured, and are there comparisons between pre and post-ban levels of integration.

    One of the arguments given against a ban is that it could effectively condemn women to a life indoors, as they will simply not go outside without a burqa or niqab. I don't know how realistic that outcome is, or how widespread it would be, but it needs to be considered.

    EDIT: In light of this debate, I realised there is something a bit perverse about effectively forcing Muslim children* to attend what is (nominally at least) a Catholic school, as something like 90% of Irish primary schools are (many of which have religious names or have a cross or other iconography on the crest).

    *or, indeed, children of any other religion, or no religion.
    Last edited by osarusan; 04/09/2018 at 9:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by osarusan View Post
    Firstly, I think it's something of a contradiction to bring up women's rights when a ban would limit those rights. Although I suppose your position is that it is for the greater good.
    Yeah, the second part.

    I think Muslim integration (or lack of) is generally considered to be a big issue in Europe. (I'm not in favour of open immigration policies at all, but that's a separate issue). So yes, there is an issue as to whether this would impinge women's rights when they are already here. But I think a burqa ban would also send out a signal to potential immigrants about cultural norms expected in Ireland. Don't like it? Don't come here so. Harsh? I don't think so. I think it needs to be considered from both sides.

    BTW, there was a Muslim kid in my class in primary school. He sat out religion, and everything else was grand. You could almost say he was ahead of his time.

    Though the schools thing was actually something which came up in a chance discussion last night - albeit the other way around. There's been a concerted plan to Islamify schools in England by a concerted campaign of complaints from a minority about non-Muslim practices, and of effectively taking over school boards. There's even been a number of school principals resigning after having a Muslim ethos imposed on them. A government report found a "sustained, co-ordinated agenda to impose segregationist attitudes and practices of a hardline, politicised strain of Sunni Islam in several Birmingham schools." That's really worrying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    Yeah, the second part.

    I think Muslim integration (or lack of) is generally considered to be a big issue in Europe. (I'm not in favour of open immigration policies at all, but that's a separate issue). So yes, there is an issue as to whether this would impinge women's rights when they are already here. But I think a burqa ban would also send out a signal to potential immigrants about cultural norms expected in Ireland. Don't like it? Don't come here so. Harsh? I don't think so. I think it needs to be considered from both sides.
    Perhaps we are getting to the heart of the matter here.

    It's one thing to say that it's all about equality and women's rights and challenging an oppressive mentality - that it is actually for their benefit. It's quite another thing to say it might actually impinge on the rights of Muslim women who are already here, but that's acceptable because it's really about creating an environment hostile enough that it keeps them out in the first place.

    You can't really have it both ways.

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  13. #52
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    I think that's a bit of playing the man, not the ball if I'm honest.

    I've made a reply which covers why I'm opposed to it, why I don't think it really holds that it should only be banned in some places, why it's a barrier to integration, why I don't think there's a huge issue with Muslims attending Irish schools based on personal experience, and why although the burqa itself may be objectionable but not a threat to our culture (a bit like Rovers fans ), that there is a potential cultural threat from immigration intolerant of our customs (as the example of schools in England being targetted with the aim of installing a relatively radical Muslim ethos hints at; I am having to make assumptions in linking the type of conservative Islam which favours burqas with the issues Operation Trojan concerns, but I don't think it's unreasonable), and so I have no problem with this disparity in customs being nipped in the bud.

    I think that's a detailed reply, and while I absolutely don't think you have to agree with it, I think a reply should at least address some of those points. But yours doesn't.

    I don't see any contradiction in saying that the burqa can be banned for two reasons; both for women's rights and to keep conservative Islam and its values - which are quite nasty by our standards - from taking root in western society.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    I think that's a bit of playing the man, not the ball if I'm honest.
    That wasn't my intention.

    To deal with your last point first:
    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    I don't see any contradiction in saying that the burqa can be banned for two reasons; both for women's rights and to keep conservative Islam and its values - which are quite nasty by our standards - from taking root in western society.
    I think there is a clear contradiction in the suggestion that banning a burqa is something that will improve their quality of life, empower them, etc (effectively being done for their benefit), and is also something that would ideally act as a deterrent to their immigration in the first place. You obviously don't, so maybe we will just leave it at that.

    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    I've made a reply which covers why I'm opposed to it, why I don't think it really holds that it should only be banned in some places, why it's a barrier to integration, why I don't think there's a huge issue with Muslims attending Irish schools based on personal experience, and why although the burqa itself may be objectionable but not a threat to our culture (a bit like Rovers fans ), that there is a potential cultural threat from immigration intolerant of our customs (as the example of schools in England being targetted with the aim of installing a relatively radical Muslim ethos hints at; I am having to make assumptions in linking the type of conservative Islam which favours burqas with the issues Operation Trojan concerns, but I don't think it's unreasonable), and so I have no problem with this disparity in customs being nipped in the bud.
    Operation Trojan is a concern, I absolutely agree. No religion should be allowed to infiltrate or influence the ethos or practices of state schools. Although in Ireland this has already happened, as Catholic schools are, as I said about 90% of all primary schools, so I do think it's somewhat ironic to be talking about the danger of religious influence in schools here. I suppose it happened so long ago in Ireland, and is so normalised, that we don't even consider it the case.

    And in Ireland we have our own Dr Ali Selim, of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (ICCI), who pipes up every now and then with a request for some accommodation or other, such as segregated PE classes, or broadcasting the Call to Prayer as well as the Angelus. He is generally ridiculed and shuts up for a while, and retreats to Clonskeagh Mosque, where, in case you didn't know, there is a school called Nur-Ul-Huda, where students learn to recite and understand the teachings of the Qur'an.

    I get your argument about the problem with non-integration of Muslims. I get your argument about the perils of a conservative or even extremist branch of Islam getting some kind of foothold in the country. I get your argument about the problems with large scale immigration. I understand that you think something needs to be done about these problems.

    But what I don't get is what role you think banning the burqa or niqab plays in addressing these problems. Because that's the discussion we are having here.

    And I don't see what impact banning them would have. As I said previously, how do we predict or measure these things. How do we measure levels of integration, and try to assess the impact that banning them would have on improving levels of integration. To what extent will banning them impact on conservative or extremist branches of Islam getting a foothold in the country. Is there any evidence to suggest that they would have any effect?

    Because without that evidence, I think it is very hard to justify, and a blanket ban would remain a disproportionate measure. Perhaps it's because of the striking visibility of a burqa or niqab, that it seem to me to be a fairly symbolic thing, and maybe that's the appeal of it. As you said, it shouldn't be done 'just because'; there needs to sound justification for it.

    But I am not convinced that the reasoning behind it is all that solid, if we move beyond that symbolism.
    Last edited by osarusan; 05/09/2018 at 8:26 PM.

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