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Burkini Bans, Muslim âEUR~Hygiene,âEUR(TM) And The History Of The Holocaust


World  (tags: Jewish - Christian - Muslim - Hindu - Si, Xenophobia, Islamophobia, incitement, hate speech and actions, bullying, racism, double standards, human rights, personal freedom, society, stereotyping )

Eleonora
- 755 days ago - huffingtonpost.com
Anya Cordell, a renowned (Jewish) American author, phrases eloquently and succinct what I've been saying since so many years ...



   

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Eleonora Oldani (37)
Sunday August 28, 2016, 2:36 pm
This is the full text of the article for ease to read. BUT please also go to the website and follow the various hyperlinks in Anya Cordell's article. It's worth your time ... and reflection!


Burkini Bans, Muslim ‘Hygiene,’ And The History Of The Holocaust

There are a lot of issues associated with swimsuits; ask any woman. But the newest is hysteria over what some Muslim women are wearing; too much fabric, beyond that required to barely cover genitals, buttocks, and bits of breasts. Teeny bikinis on women, (and speedos for men), are fine. On some beaches in the world, nudity is fine. Wetsuits are fine. Concealing hats, dark glasses, caftans, and sarongs are fine. It’s fine for those who have had skin cancer, or who just don’t want to burn, or for non-Muslims to cover themselves, in any fashion, for any reason.

On multiple beaches in France, and in other swimming venues, elsewhere, however, ‘burkinis’ or modest swimwear some Muslim women choose to wear, are now forbidden. By law.

The rationale that has been given is partially......Wait for it: “Hygiene.”

But it’s clear the ban has nothing, whatsoever, to do with any aspect of “hygiene”. It’s almost absurd to state the obvious: No one is going to police the cleanliness of anyone’s bikini or speedo (Ick!). The ruling is, rather, a nod to those who are anxious or traumatized, or who want to punish and ban all Muslims from sight, because somehow this knee-jerk reaction feels satisfying at this time.

“Hygiene”, with a ‘wink’, to designate a tainted “Other”
These policies cast a vague aspersion of an undefined, but unmistakeable, whiff of defilement; that the clothes of Muslims are contaminated, and will contaminate those who merely look at them, let alone if the ‘contamination’ is dispersed into water. Obviously, the fabric of a Muslim woman’s bathing costume is not scientifically unhygienic. For a sub-class of people, however, it’s not necessary to give valid reasons. The excuse is so transparently illogical that everyone knows the real message. Say “hygiene”, with a ‘wink’, as the mayor of Cannes and others have, and everyone can translate what is really being conveyed. The aspersion being thrown into an already charged Islamophobic climate, is that Muslims, themselves, are tainted.

This is classic casting of the “Other” as unclean, unsavory, filthy, even contaminated; which has, historically, made it possible, even easy, to view separation from, and, eventually, eradication of, such designated groups as a “cleansing”. The term “ethnic cleansing”―for genocide―is rooted in the construct of some group being inherently, irredeemably unclean and, preferably, eliminated altogether.

There are precedents, in our country, for the notion that some people must be prevented from ‘tainting’ swimming or drinking water. Of course, drinking fountains and swimming pools were not ‘contaminated’, as many had widely believed they would be, once the offending groups, i.e., blacks, were allowed to swim and drink, as other humans freely could. We’ve just watched a black Olympian medal in swimming, a rarity because so few blacks historically accessed swimming pools. And we’ve watched numerous Muslim women athletes compete and succeed in their preferred garb...no big deal.

But France has invoked its historic notions of secularism, related to “equality and fraternity”, in this matter. I’m not French and won’t attempt to parse their law and culture, but it’s evident that exclusion of anyone not uniformly secular (whether clothed or barely clothed) creates a less tolerant, less equal, and less fraternal culture, contributing to misinformation about, and marginalization of whomever is deemed “Other.”

France has also banned hijabs from public schools and decreed the skirts of Muslim public school girls must be suitably short(!) If the trend continues, French beaches might require nudity, or―as someone cleverly commented―people could be arrested “for indecent non-exposure”. Bans for students wearing religious garb are truly insidious, forcing those who cannot afford private school tuitions to forego public education, or relinquish their belief system, and effectively removing a percentage of Muslims from public space. Is it surprising that these policies foster bitterness and resentment throughout large communities?

For context, imagine forcing nuns and priests to wear clothes they deem immodest. Some Sikh males would sacrifice their life over cutting their hair or removing their turbans. Religious precepts that one should grow hair or beards are not limited to Sikhs and Muslims. It also practiced by observant Jews. There are horrible photos of Nazis, viciously chopping the beards of Jewish victims.

The burkini ban is not trivial. It’s a slippery slope that bars people, who have harmed no one, from being welcome, or legally allowed, in civic spaces. No one believes that cleanliness is the reason, except those who want to believe that Muslims are inherently dirty, and that ‘dirty’ is code....for “undesirable”. Does the phrase “Dirty Jew” resonate? It was purposefully crafted to shape opinion, leading to the annihilation of a people, who were also, initially, banned from public spaces.

Who belongs at the beach?
But many French are angry, shell-shocked and traumatically stressed, as are people in other locales who have been victimized by terror. They want safety and justice. They want their loved ones and their towns as they were.

If they can’t have that―which they can’t―they want to go back to the beach....and find some respite. They want to listen to the waves, or feel the sun, or gaze upon the exposed flesh of the bodies they like to look at, and ignore or belittle the exposed flesh of the bodies they feel superior to.

They don’t want to see Muslims there, at least not Muslims who can be identified as such. (Though it is convenient that hijabs and burkinis make it easy to know whom to deplore and exclude.) It is perhaps worse when Muslims, who are not in identifiable garb, wander among the ‘clean’ folk, surreptitiously ‘tainting’ the water and the scene.

How about yellow crescents?
For Muslims who are not instantly identifiable, would it, perhaps, be a good idea to ‘tag’ them? A yellow crescent might do the trick. Maybe tattooed, along with an identification number, or, implanted, as a chip?

Those who would exclude Muslims from the beach forget that vast numbers of Muslims in France, and elsewhere, have been primary victims of terrorism. They forget that Muslims are a part of the community, presumably paying taxes that maintain it. They forget that Muslims, too, lost their loved ones to terror, and also seek some small respite at the beach. But that is not to be. Instead, some of these people are to be victimized again, made to feel unwelcome, inferior, unclean, and excluded by their own local governments, as well as by those people who agree with the policy, or who ‘go along’, or who don’t object, or who simply ‘mind their own business.’

The history of ‘going along’
This history of ‘going along’ is well-known, and very dangerous.

I live in a neighborhood to which Orthodox Jews have been progressively migrating, some might say “encroaching”, as the community has shifted from predominantly Catholic, to mixed and secular, and now, increasingly, to an observantly Jewish population. As a secular Jew, I still feel somewhat marginal, although the neighborhood now hosts ‘my people’, many Jews who likely carry our people’s Holocaust memories or associations, whether we are secular or observant.

The Orthodox women wear long skirts, long sleeves, and cover their natural hair with wigs, in their own practice of modesty. Do their husbands, or the fact that they are born into patriarchal Orthodox families, dictate these choices? Certainly, there are women in all cultures, influenced or directed to wear something modest, or immodest, by someone with power over them. And we are all under the sway of the fashion industry, of media, and those who gain from manipulating our choices and purchases.

Many Orthodox men in my community wear yamulkes on their heads, and fringes beneath their shirts. Some grow long locks of hair at their ears. Some dress in the anachronistic long black coats and fur hats of their Eastern European ancestors, even in summer. To me, the men in their black hats and garb look hot, stand-offish, insular, and, I admit, rather off-putting.

I have to also admit that, in general, these men look free. Because they are. They are free to dress as they choose, at least according to the law and to the norms of our culture. They certainly don’t ask my approval. If I have any feelings about it, I am free to not live in this neighborhood, or free to deal with my issues in the privacy of my own head. An argument made by those who deplore Muslim garb is that Muslims so dressed represent some sort of encroaching indoctrination of everyone. No one dressed modestly, whether Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Mormon, or any other religion, has ever tried to tell me how to dress, and I’m fairly certain that this is widely true elsewhere, and in France.

My town council has not decreed the proper length of Jewish womens’ skirts, or mens’ hair. If there were to be civic debate about this, I am certain the discussion would be fraught with raised voices and raised emotions, that would, very quickly, and rightfully, veer into evoking the Holocaust.

Standing up
So, why, I wonder, is it that Jews, everywhere, France included, aren’t front and center; fighting for a principle that is equally critical to our own history and our own rights? Will the next Anne Frank be a girl in a hijab, hiding from the locals, writing of her longing to walk safely in the world, as a commenter to a piece I wrote predicted?

Why aren’t huge coalitions of all people who choose to dress in accordance with their cultures, their religions, even their own fashion sense, standing against policies and laws, which are a slippery slope to oppression, discrimination, and even destruction of entire groups of people?

The big conversations being played out in our current media characterizing all, or almost all, Muslims, are based in absurd ignorance, including shrill claims made by non-Muslims, spouting forth about matters of which they have no understanding. But just because something is repeated, or shouted, does not make it true, no matter how convincing it may seem.

Good information
Where can we get good information? How about authentic sources? If you are not Muslim, how many Muslim women who wear headscarfs have you met, befriended, and asked to share their personal reasons and choices for what they wear?

How many Muslims, or Jewish men in yamulkes, or people who wear crucifixes, or Sikh men who wear turbans as an integral precept of their religion, (which is utterly distinct from Islam), do you know, before making general judgments about them? How many people―who were born into whatever families, cultures, ethnicities, and religions in which they landed, and who are, like you, trying to make their way in this world, to be productive and happy―do you make snap judgements about, based on some superficial feature or stereotype?

Where have you derived your ideas about the autonomy and stature of masses of Muslim women? After Donald Trump made absurd, ignorant comments about Ghazala Khan, a gold-star mother, too grief-stricken over losing her son to speak in front of millions of people, Muslim women worldwide, many who choose to cover their heads, created the #CanYouHearUsNow campaign, highlighting some of their awesome accomplishments.

Women who choose to wear burkinis include doctors who might save the life of someone you love, include scientists seeking cures for cancer, include people who would eagerly share information of any impending act of terror, if they knew about it.

Does it matter that whenever groups are profiled and smeared, innocent people are inevitably harassed, hurt, sometimes even killed, by those who take the cue that hatred is now sanctioned? Does it matter that teasing and bullying of Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Arab and South Asian students is now rampant, and that our children routinely witness this? Mean and intolerant behaviors, trends and policies are, in themselves, virulent contagions, which impact everyone in a culture―perpetrators, victims and bystanders. Ask an entire generation of Germans. Is it acceptable that large numbers of innocent people have been victims of assaults, and even murder, by Islamophobic and xenophobic perpetrators?

Beach bags vs burkas
Those who purvey the most facile, superficial anti-Muslim stereotypes the hardest are those who have the most to gain. And they don’t care about the impact and consequences. They are garnering votes, or viewers, or selling their books, or collecting huge speakers’ fees. They are happily scapegoating Muslims because it is convenient to have a group to blame for deep and complex problems our societies face, or because some vestigial aspect of our tribal origins clings tenaciously to having an “Other” to target.

Are we humans advancing, or regressing to barbarity? In answer, please do not cite, in comments, the barbaric acts of individuals and tiny percentages of people, to justify wholesale labeling and smearing of vast groups of humanity. Obviously there are vile, destructive evil-doers among us, of every ethnicity, religion, and color; people who commit horrific, despicable atrocities.

People who can just as easily pack an automatic weapon in a beach bag, as under a burka.
Our job is to deplore the real acts of the real perpetrators of terror, of every stripe, and to work against becoming a culture that bounces stereotypes, fear-mongering, incitements, hatred, and atrocities back and forth, exacerbating trauma and destruction, until we are universally submerged in it. Yet it’s obvious that there are people who get off on the idea of a ‘clash of civilizations’, who exhibit satisfaction, even glee, over any tragic events they can use to justify their positions.

Taking innocents’ eyes, for innocents’ eyes taken; volleying destruction back and forth
There are those who justify taking innocents’ eyes, for innocents’ eyes taken. (Those who perpetrate this are not innocent.)

Can we not agree to condemn the destruction of innocents, anywhere, in any circumstances; also to not glory in our victimization when we are targeted, or revel in victories that involve the innocent sacrifice of others? We take full offense when the following behaviors are directed at us. Can we concede that it is equally offensive and inciting to others, when we casually or purposefully direct these same behaviors to ‘their’ side?:

- smearing entire groups
- disregard for innocents, or intentional targeting of innocents
- generalized destruction, dismissively termed “collateral damage” to innocents
- holding entire groups responsible for independent actions of individuals, over whom the groups have no control or influence
- fomenting of generalized stereotyping, fear, suspicion and hatred
- incitements to mass eradication, whether by anonymous online commenters, general populations, media pundits, politicians or leaders

Tragically, we’ve been all-too-easily indoctrinated to engage in such stereotypes and behaviors. Our human fellows have fallen for perpetrating and justifying the destruction of innocent Native Americans, blacks, Armenians, Jews, gays, Roma, Bangladeshis, Cambodians, Bosnians, Tutsis, and...the list goes on. We are masterful at spiraling animosity and hate, at fomenting war and annihilation, even inciting the destruction that ricochets back to ourselves, in response to the tensions, animosities and grievances we stir in the world.

Relinquish our role as bystanders and take serious matters seriously.
What we desperately need is to think, hard, about the role we must play, to foster creativity and cooperation on this planet, so that it, and we, its inhabitants, may survive.

Most of us need to relinquish our role as bystanders, and to take serious matters seriously. Burkini bans―far from trivial―are really about indicting all Muslims. They are the latest element in the smearing of every Muslim which has become normalized, accepted, and purposefully nurtured in our time. They are cynically calculated incitements to whole new chapters of intolerance, exclusion and hatred, which slide toward even deeper levels of destruction.

If you think I am overstating this, just read the hateful comments, including calls to genocide, that currently pile up under any article about anything to do with Muslims. And visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in person or online, and note the individual and incremental stepping stones of policies and legislation that led, inexorably...to the Holocaust itself.

Author’s postscript on being an ally against this oppression:
A question: In those places where hijabs are banned, can women who have lost their hair, perhaps from cancer treatments, wear a headscarf? Further: I’ve been considering what I would do at the beaches where the ban is in force―as a non-Muslim, and as someone who believes this policy is wrong, dangerous, unjust, and hypocritical. I I were male or female, wearing any sort of coverup or wetsuit, I might put a sign on it: “This is my burkini”. Or, I might either buy a burkini and wear it, to test whether it is only Muslims who are are to be banned and penalized, or whether a secular Jewish woman, who just likes the fashion, or wants full sun protection, would be equally held liable. Are the French police checking the religion of those wearing burkinis? Are there now to be religious tests for who may enjoy the beaches?

Or, I might improvise some similar beach fashion; leggings, a long-sleeved tunic, and a wrapped headscarf or hood, to test the arbitrary policing of the policy. If multitudes of non-Muslim women, who object to these laws, wore burkinis, or parts of burkinis (just the tunic, or the outfit minus the head cover), or improvised variations of similar costumes, somewhat akin to the Danes who wore yellow stars to support their fellow Jews under the Nazis; it would expose and interfere with this arbitrary and hypocritical ban, purportedly targeting women on the basis of what they choose to wear...in actuality, targeted because of who they are. Imagine the police, comically perplexed by an array of all sorts of variations of this look, trying to sort out all the arbitrary permutations of this unjust policy. One can imagine it as quite comedic, if it were not so insidious. Someday, when this is history, people will recall those who interfered with and stood up to injustice and intolerance.
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Sunday August 28, 2016, 2:40 pm

Please also read her articles:

Where the Anti-Muslim Path Lead – or Will the next Anne Frank be a girl in a hijab, hiding from the locals, writing of her longing to walk safely in the world?

Would You Let a Muslim Save Your Life?
 

. (0)
Sunday August 28, 2016, 2:59 pm
I aree. we walk aroung practicly naked and not one work. I think they should send a burkini to dumpsters wife
 

Darren Woolsey (218)
Sunday August 28, 2016, 3:20 pm
We're the only species who "wears" any form of swimsuit, if we do, to swim.

We've the only species who engages in territorial warfare with other species and our own, over issues such as the above.

A shame we've not evolved any further than this.
 

fly bird (26)
Sunday August 28, 2016, 3:36 pm
wet suits are ok - scarfs and wet suits?...

thanks for the post, saved to read the links, later.
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Sunday August 28, 2016, 4:02 pm

Thanks Daryl, Darren and Jess!

Darren - we are actually "evolving" backwards if at all ... we keep repeating the same war atrocities time and again and expect a different outcome ... insanity in its purest form. The outcome can always only be hate and rejection by those who are aggressed, oppressed and/or rejected.

Is this much ado about nothing ... or is this the literal tip of the iceberg and there's more to it? You all know me quite well meantime and also know that I'm no friend of covering up and sure not for religious reasons (which are often questionable).

BUT this is not the point. The point is we're moving slowly towards a "Nazi" society the difference being that this time it will be the "green crescent" instead of the yellow, pink or brown star of the 1940's. THAT is unacceptable. It doesn't matter who is at the receiving end: Jews, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindu, Buddhists, ... Such is simply not to be accepted against any race or religion in our today's societies.

Having said that I also believe that everybody has the choice and the right to wear what he/she is comfortable with/in. It sure is not right to force a woman in public to partially undress and violate her privacy ad dignity. It is especially deplorable if this happens by "law enforcement" and in front of her child. As much as it is not right to force women to cover up in the name of a (misinterpreted) scripture - see the Jewish and Muslim Orthodox women.

Yes, we have a long way to go even if we manage to get rid of the politically motivated agenda driving this hype in Islamophobia.
 

Sheryl G (360)
Sunday August 28, 2016, 4:31 pm
I noted and will have to get back to this as a long read and I must start to get my granddaughter ready for her bedtime.
 

Angelika R (143)
Sunday August 28, 2016, 6:16 pm
My comment just took a dive..gone-not repeating now, only this: A French High Court STOPPED the ban on Friday. Thanks Eleonora, excellently written piece.
 

heather g (46)
Sunday August 28, 2016, 7:32 pm
Thanks Eleonora and "Well Said" to Anya Cordell. How very embarrassing for those women who were so embarrassed by the actions of the French police. As for 'Hygienic Reasons', there is no other group of people who are so particular about personal hygiene....
Whenever I come across a racist comment about someone else's ethnic dress or religion, I ask them whether - if they were born in that particular country - what do you think your mode of dress or type of religion would be. Normally, considering that possibility, makes them reflective and quiet.....
 

Rose Becke (141)
Sunday August 28, 2016, 10:20 pm
Yes they stooped the ban
 

Rose Becke (141)
Sunday August 28, 2016, 10:20 pm
Stopped I meant
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Monday August 29, 2016, 12:00 am

Thanks Angelika - I put that note in Evelyn's article last Friday; some people still have common sense it seems. The fact that those people are at the same time judges makes it even better - LOL!!

Top French court rules burkini bans violate basic freedoms
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Monday August 29, 2016, 12:11 am

Hi Heather - nice to read you!! I like your reasoning and argument - we truly all forget that it's just a pure coincidence where we are born and who we are ... whish more people would reflect on this.

As for hygiene: I absolutely KNOW that what I'm saying now is wrong as it is a generalization at its best but ... in Switzerland we say that one recognizes French people easily ... "just take a sniff and you know" ;-(. They have the reputation that especially the women don't wash their hair for an entire week and ooze this ugly stink which only unwashed hair can produce. I know it's wrong but ... that comes from the older days (and I've met a few where this was applicable). Also if someone asks "did you have a French shower" ... it just means still today "did you put on some perfume instead of taking a shower?".

All prejudgments based in the old days - but they have their roots.

I remember some years back the 7 yrs old grandson of an Egyptian friend came and sniffed at me! I wondered what this was all about and he said: "How come you smell so nice and don't stink?". The puzzle got solved when he explained to me that they were on a 6 weeks vacation in the US and the EU and he always had to stand in the shower and wash after being to the toilet because there were no toilet showers anywhere! "Imagine" he said "they only clean with paper!!"

He was of the firm believe that, hence, they all stink and didn't want to even shake hands anymore. That has changed but he still can't understand that people in other countries don't wash routinely after having been to the bathroom ... but call the Arabs "dirty" (not only the Muslims).

 

Lona G (67)
Monday August 29, 2016, 12:56 am
The first mayors to impose the Burkini ban said they did it because they wanted to protect Muslims from extremism because the burkini, like the burka were suppressing Muslim women. When Muslima protested that wearing them was a personal choice, the next arguments were the hygiene argument as quoted here and the secularization argument stating that the French want to safeguard their beaches from religious expressions. The first is of course ridiculous as these burkinis are made of the same material swim garments are made of, the second was met with derision in the social media in France where people started to post pictures of Catholic nuns paddling in the waves dressed in much heavier garbs than burkinis, and wearing clearly visible crucifixes. It goes without saying that no nun was ever fined or made to bare her arms when appearing on the beach in religious garb.

No matter which arguments they come up with, French authorities can't hide the fact that each and every one is hypocritical and made up to hide their true anti-Islamic intent in order to please both the (far) right in France and the (socialistic) government who uses the same scare tactics a right-wing governments use and have people believe that all Muslims are potential terrorists.
 

Sandra Penna (135)
Monday August 29, 2016, 4:07 am
Thank you very much for sharing, dear Eleonora. And for the update, Angelika.
 

Angelika R (143)
Monday August 29, 2016, 6:21 am
Back now, I will just add that what we have or had here is mere Muslim witch hunt extended, this time focussing on the females. All for the same old purpose to keep the 'war on terror" alive.

As for your little Egytptian smart ass, Eleonora ;-), on their Europe tour, obviously they must have skipped France, the land of bidets!
 

Abo r (107)
Monday August 29, 2016, 10:20 am
Noted thanks for posting it is worth reading and others to understand that hygiene , cleaning, hand washing are main principles of public health and for prevention and control of transmitted diseases.... it is heal;th practice .
 

SuSanne P (193)
Monday August 29, 2016, 10:26 am
I've been reading the Burkini insanity for awhile now and it sickens me, whichever reason they hide behind. I must say I lived in France for 3 years and didn't experience what you shared. I must admit while staying in hostels that the bath was always FILTHY :) I had to bring my own cleansers every day before attempting to draw H2o. Fortunately for me I usually had a very nice place to stay with friends and friends of friends in the most amazing places, with very clean accomodations. A bit offtrack.
 

SuSanne P (193)
Monday August 29, 2016, 10:27 am
Forgive me...Thank you Eleonora and so happy to hear your puter problems are being resolved...hopefully they will continue!
 

Judy C (91)
Monday August 29, 2016, 9:47 pm
Thanks for this article, Eleonora. I've been a bit surprised to find such intolerant attitudes in France reaching the level of actually creating laws that discriminate like this. It is so against France's traditional principles. I suppose though, that anywhere that we find humans we do find racism and bigotry. Thanks for the other links, too.

I posted an article a couple of days ago about the French judge's ruling on lifting the burkini ban, as well as protests against the bans, here:

http://www.care2.com/news/member/864072146/4007400

Some 30 cities have enacted anti-berkini rules, so this issue will continue to be a struggle.
 

. (0)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 6:38 am
TYFS Eleonora. I wonder something, beyond the Burkini (which I favor use): With the danger of solar radiation, if a person's body would be covered by protection of one's health ... this would be forbidden? In the 20s of the twentieth century; was frowned show the body on the beach in swimsuit covering the whole body, now a person (in this case a woman) is required to show everything (and the more, the better). Freedom!!!
 

Roberto MARINI (88)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 8:03 am
I think we should not ban burkini
 

Birgit W (160)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 12:35 pm
Outrageous! Leave these poor Muslim women alone. First they are brainwashed by their religion what they are allowed to wear, and now by Western men too. They should have a right to wear their burkini and cool off too and have some fun with their families.
 

Ken O (55)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 12:37 pm
My personal feeling is this: In the land of the Muslims they stifle anything concerning women, their looks, their rights, they can't even go out shopping without a male relative. If that's the way they want it we can want OUR way here. We don't appreciate their ways and we don't need them here.
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 12:57 pm
Sorry - I haven't had much time to follow this thread as we're preparing to travel back to Switzerland for a break. Here's an interesting article which puts matters a bit in perspective.

French minister: enemy seeks to divide Muslims, non-Muslims

France’s Min of Interior Cazeneuve got it right. We must stop allowing ourselves being pitted against each other in the interest of an ulterior agenda. Instead – as I’ve said ever so often over the past years – we must take two steps back and ask the eternal question “Cui Bono”? It doesn’t serve a country nor a religion nor an ethnic group if we go at each other. Everyone is ultimately the loser. So … who does it serve?!
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 1:02 pm

Thanks Lona – “No matter which arguments they come up with, French authorities can't hide the fact that each and every one is hypocritical and made up to hide their true anti-Islamic intent …”

You’re correct; we were told as kids if we came up with more than one “excuse” … the more excuses the more likely it is not true. I’ve come to learn throughout my long life that this is always the case. See also my posting of Tuesday August 30, 2016, 12:57 pm

E.g. if hygiene were the reason then nuns, orthodox Jewish ladies, those with skin problems and so on … should be banned too. Or is it that being Muslims makes the whole garm “unhygienic”?!
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 1:05 pm

Thank you Judy – personally I don’t believe that it’s the burkini per se. This is just something which could be grabbed as another excuse. If one follows the France (and Europe’s) events closely and connects the dots – as Angelika does! – one can see the bigger picture. The EU has to be reigned in to walk in lock-steps again – it’s as simple as that. Unfortunately people accept all too readily and easily to be blinded by propaganda and fear (real or perceived) and lose their rationale. Understandable in a way but not the least helpful.
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 1:08 pm

Angelika - would love to send you a Galaxy of Stars: *******************************

You nailed it: "... what we have or had here is mere Muslim witch hunt extended, this time focusing on the females. All for the same old purpose to keep the 'war on terror" alive."

La raison d’être should never be overlooked ... or "Cui Bono"?!

 

John De Avalon (36)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 1:12 pm
I don't see any issue with Muslim women wearing a burkini at the beach if they want to.

The only proviso being Muslim women not feeling or being intimidated by other Muslims should they want to wear a regular swimming costume.
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 1:28 pm

Ken – I’d highly recommend you take a trip to some Muslim countries and look around and talk to the ordinary people, incl. women (except for Saudi Arabia and to a lesser extent Iran). You’d be in for a positive surprise. You reflect the (what I call) typical “Pamela Geller propaganda picture” of Muslim countries and behavior without having ever set foot into one. I’m confidently saying this because would you have been in one – either Arabic Muslim country or Asian or African or Eastern European – you wouldn’t make such a generalized and wrong statement.

Just as an example: the only country were women can’t go out without a male chaperon is Saudi Arabia – the closest bed buddy of your country. The only country were citizens (male and female) are enduring and suffering the clearly twisted and wrongly interpreted “teachings” of Islam (Wahhabism) is Saudi Arabia – the closest bed buddy of your country. Not only that – but the regime is actively supported by the US in its successful attempt to export this warped version of Islam! Could you come up with any good reason why such an oppressive regime is chosen to be the closest Arab ally to the US … and lately to Israel?!

As I said in other threads so often: we demand that we can live our culture in the Muslim world and want to walk the streets in tank tops and shorts revealing ¾ of our bodies – and we do as can be seen in the Gulf Countries, in Egypt, in the Levante and in the Maghreb States. We also demand that places of (Christian) worship are built in purely Islamic states – which the Gulf States complied with as a quick Google Earth will show you.

BUT if those people who were forced to implement partially and accept fully that we can live OUR culture in THEIR lands come to our countries and want to wear their Hijab (head scarf) and their “burkinis” then we’re up in arms and cry foul. Interestingly though we never single out Orthodox Jewish women who have the right (in my opinion) to wear their Tichl (head scarf very much like the Muslim hijab) or go fully covered to the beach!

You also seem not to have read the highly interesting article by Anya Cordell otherwise you would have realized that it is not really about Muslim women but that the issue of banning burkinis has a much wider (health) impact on non-Muslims.

You say “…we don't need them here.”. Fine – then maybe we should consider to leave their countries too rather than to keep aggressing them?! Obama alone has in his seven years of Presidency attacked and bombarded seven Islamic countries for no reason. That seems to be fine with you?!

But more important: what do you do with all those American citizens who chose to become Muslims? Do you want to export them to somewhere? Kick them out à la Trump? And what do you do with those Orthodox Christians, Jews, Hindus and Sikhs who equally cover in public? Or is it that you hypocritically only focus on Muslims for ulterior motives?

Would be interesting to read your take on all these questions.
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 1:33 pm

John - a Green Star for your comment!

Men should really stop telling us what to do and what to wear ... or not to wear. It's high time that they stop treating us like little kids and accept that we can judge ourselves what's good for us - not always the best maybe but so what! - and that we're adults who have a right to live our lives in self-determination. This includes what we wear, who we speak to and what we do with our lives.

This goes for the fundamentalists on both sides and of all religions. We women don't do this to you men either, do we?!

Oh well, there might be women who keep the hubbies too close to their chests ... but that's a different topic ;-).
 

Janet B (0)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 1:35 pm
Thanks
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 1:38 pm

Those who know me a bit closer know that I don't appreciate covers for religious reasons (mostly misinterpreted) - but I do accept other people's choices. It's not for me to judge as long as I'm not forced to follow suit.

The beaches of the Maghreb States, Egypt, the Gulf States, Israel and the Levant are the best examples how both can co-exist and enjoy the day at the beach sun-bathing next to each other without fuss and problems ... and without intimidation. Why can't we do again the same in Europe? It used to be no problem ...
 

Lois Jordan (63)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 1:45 pm
Noted. Thanks, Eleonora.
I thought the article asked many good questions. Specifically, I likened the burkini to nuns wearing their habits to the beach---while some would stare, it would never be prohibited.
 

Roger G (148)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 2:18 pm
gee what a lot of misconceptions and unrelated things brought out in this article, linking the holocaust with the wish of the French people to live in peace in their own country is absolutely horrendous and unbelievable !
The writer obviously does NOT know much about France and its history otherwise she would know about the long history of religious wars fought in France and would understand why French people do NOT want anymore proselytism in French public places, especially not the proselytizing of a world domination ideology called Islam, and even less after the long strings of islamists terrorist attacks against French people that started in 1995 and never stopped...
It is easy to mock and condemn French people for their wish to defend their own culture and history when you are safely in your home thousands of miles away, but when you had members of your families taken from you by mad barbarians who pretends to practise a religion, then you see the world and those who want to promote a barbaric ideology that oppress women as enemies who need to be dealt with.
The rampant Shariatization of Western countries has to be fought against with any legal means and that is what our mayors on the Cote d'Azur are doing and NO ONE has any right to tell them that they should NOT defend themselves against the proselytism of those barbaric murderers who are decapitating French citizens in their own homes and churches !
 

Roger G (148)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 2:26 pm
and BTW to write that ANYONE has stopped the ban of the burkini on French beach is wrong, it has NOT been stopped.. read the Conseil d'Etat text in full please if you can...
It concerns only ONE town Villeneuve Loubet, and it does NOT concern any other towns and the mayors decree in these towns still stand and proletizing the world domination ideology is still being fined in 24 others towns

And another comment made by a French lawyer on the Causeur website is that the Conseil d'Etat advice can be refused by any other local judge, so the legal fight to ban burqa/niqab/burkini and any form of religious proselytism is still ON
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 3:04 pm

Roger - thanks for your valid comment although - sorry for me saying so - you miss the point which Anya Cordell makes or tries to make. It is NOT about proselytizing - it is about the Muslim women having the very same rights to cover up like the Orthodox Jewish women are allowed to or the Hindu and Sikh as well as the Christian nuns and those who have health problems when they're going to the beach. THAT is her point.

I believe that those who have read the related articles know that the ban as such is not stopped and that legal actions are pending against many town who have such bans in place. What Interior Minister Cazeneuve said makes sense IMO.

The political aspect you bring in has its merit but this thread is not about the broader political implications.

I'd highly recommend to also read The Muslim Brotherhood’s divisive dress code for women by Nureddin Sabir (a Muslim) who confirms what I've said further up in my comment to Ken (Tuesday August 30, 2016, 1:28 pm).

Incidentally - the Muslim Brotherhood are those that PM Cameron saw fit to defend in 2014 by saying that "they are a threatened minority deserving of our protection" although they vowed to burn Egypt if they can't rule it. And they still burn and terrorize it until today ... and still have their HQ in London!

Other than the Military-Industrial-Complex - the one and only who profits from this "War on Terror" as Angelika noted further up - nobody has an advantage of the carnage that's going on in specific countries. So which one should we fight - the "end-user" (those women who want to wear modest clothing - although only Muslim women are singled out!) - or those who create and fuel those situations which become so unbearable that people lose their rationale thinking?

Which one leads ultimately to success in having one day peaceful countries around the world? Bigotry, hypocrisy and beating the wrong people - or fighting the instigators?
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 3:07 pm

Roger - I forgot. Please pay attention to the second last paragraph of the above linked article.

"As one political commentator points out, the broader context in which the observance of the so-called Islamic dress code is taking place is “the growth of a political and highly ideologised version of the faith (backed up with petrodollars from Qatar and Saudi Arabia)” that is “often associated with belligerence at best and barbaric violence at worst”. This, he argues, “renders the notion of choice quite meaningless”."

Again it is Saudi Arabia as well as Qatar; Qatar being the biggest military base of the US and a 100% puppet of the US Admin as well as a strong hole of the Muslim Brotherhood. Still no question marks?

 

Darren Woolsey (218)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 3:12 pm
Let's simplify this ludicrous situation. . .

Would any woman take a shower or bath, wearing a burkini?
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 3:30 pm

Hhmmm - Darren ... I do remember my time in a Catholic School where we girls were forced to take showers in swimming suits ...

But no, in the privacy of their own home nobody would do that. But what's this got to do with how one wants to appear in public?

E.g. I love to walk around extremely lightly dressed once our employees have left the house and we're alone. But for sure I would not walk around that way if we're not alone at home nor when I go on the streets or even on the beach. Even in Switzerland I'd be arrested for "indecent exposure" - LOL.
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 3:30 pm


If the West in general and the United States in particular, left the Arab and Muslim world alone and in peace, we would most likely never see all those terrorist attacks, which are rocking the world from Indonesia to France. There would be no Mujahedeen and its mutation into al-Qaeda; in Afghanistan or elsewhere. There would be no traces of the ISIS (or ISIL or I.S. or Daesh or however you choose to call it), in Syria, Iraq, Libya or anywhere else.

And the super-conservative Wahhabi Islam, that outdated, freak Saudi mutant, would remain in the religious schools of the ultra-regressive Kingdom, instead of gaining ground all over Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Secular Islam
But the West embarked on a brutal, Machiavellian path: it decided to destroy socialist Islam – that (historically) moderate, compassionate and progressive religion. It smashed once secular Egypt; it overthrew the government in socialist Iran and then in near-Communist Indonesia, implanting in all these places horrifically degenerate and fully outdated religious concepts. It used extremists to destroy healthy patriotism and socialism. Like the Brits in the 19th Century (“You can control people’s brains, while we will control your natural resources”), the West embraced Wahhabi teaching, because it was able to guarantee full obedience, dictatorial (pro-Western) governance and oppressive feudalism.

Islam has been used and abused, manipulated and virtually stripped of its essence. The process has gone so far that two leading Iranian scholars, during my visit last-year to Teheran, declared to me: “In so many parts of the world, the West created an absolutely new religion. We don’t recognize it, anymore. It has nothing to do with Islam.”

“If the West in general and the United States in particular, left the Arab and Muslim world alone and in peace, we would most likely never see all those terrorist attacks, which are rocking the world from Indonesia to France…”

Correct. Like a naughty, spoiled and heartless child, the West, after destroying the Soviet Union, painstakingly constructed its new enemy – “militant Islam” – so it could continue indulging in its favorite activity, which is perpetual conflict, endless wars and plunder.

It is as simple as that.

The greatest oppressors of the Muslim people, those in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Indonesia have all been closely allied to the West. The most terrible terrorist “Muslim” organizations, from Al-Qaida to ISIS, have been created, armed and supported by the West and its cronies.

In Europe and in the United States, the “fear of terrorists” is fully exploited by the Western regime—a global class alliance plutocrats, in actuality, with headquarters in Washington, where the main military and media muscle reside. It still clings to power mainly thanks to such fear implanted in the brains of ‘ordinary people’.And what about the “War on Terror”? Yes, there really is such war, but the West is not the one who fights it. As this goes to print, the war against terrorism is being fought by Russia, Iran, China, Syria, Hezbollah and their allies!

The West is still closely collaborating with the terrorists. It miraculously ‘avoids targeting them’ when ‘fighting wars against them’; it financially supports some and trains others. It criticizes and antagonizes those who are actually fighting the extremist militant groups.

Extremists have been unleashed, like Rottweiler fighting dogs, against almost all progressive governments in the Middle East, but also against China and Russia. Extremist Muslims, extremist Christians, even extremist Buddhists!

In turn, the politicians in the United States are regularly supported, financially, by the regimes (including those of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, etc.) that are spreading, relentlessly, throughout the world, the most intolerant and grotesquely violent religious concepts.

Despite their essential servility and cowardice, even some North American mainstream media outlets are now actively discussing various schemes involving the financing of the Clinton Foundation by Saudi Arabia (alongside several leading transnational corporations and Wall Street’s largest banks).


Please read the entire article here: Hillary Clinton Is Spreading Islamist Extremism, Hillary’s Saudi Sponsors Support Terrorism
 

Lenore K (0)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 5:16 pm
ty
 

Peggy B (43)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 7:29 pm
TYFS
 

Colleen L (3)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 10:55 pm
Good information. Thanks Eleonora
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Tuesday August 30, 2016, 11:05 pm

Good afternoon, dear Ros - I love your 1:1 comparison. Similar can be observed in the Southern Bible Belt in America. I remember back some years when one had to cross over into another US State to get that "bedevelished" alcohol. Luckily it was only a 2 mile's drive - LOL. If people really knew what Sharia entails they would realize that what we're told through propaganda has nothing to do with Sharia but everything with the warped and twisted interpretation of those extremists which are bedfellows of the United States of America. But it would demand that people have the interest to read a bit more in-depth about it.

You may also want to check this article

 

Darren Woolsey (218)
Wednesday August 31, 2016, 12:59 am
Eleonora, my simple question with analogy, was to broaden the attitude and layers within which we view and perceive our bodies and dress, depending on location.

So you have private, public, then you have the images/voyeuristic layer, then you have cultural/societal attitude, then you have religious, then you have the press/media mechanism, then you have social media with its instant reactionary automatism which because of its global proliferation, means SOME are exposed to what they otherwise wouldn't have been.

All for wearing a bit of clothing on one's skin. Or not. . .
 

Heidi Gail N (60)
Wednesday August 31, 2016, 1:54 am
Thank you so much for this article. Very important.
Noted and shared.
 

LucyKaleido S (82)
Wednesday August 31, 2016, 4:43 am
I agree -- the burkini ban is far from trivial.

Even if everything the author says about the pseudo-rationale of hygiene is true and spot on, the basic problem with her article is that it is based on a fallacy: ‘hygiene’ was not the first or even the main reason for the mayors of those sea-side towns banning the ‘burkini.’ The reason cited for banning burkinis was to avoid disrupting public order (the peace) because of the violent reactions of anti-burkini groups who did, in fact, seriously disturb the peace. The men who caused ruckuses & brawls in Corsica & on the Riviera are the sort of paranoid xenophobes who claim that Muslims are 'taking over' France & annihilating French culture! These are the ignoramuses who probably vote far-right extremism. But Sarkozy stands for the same thing, so they can still vote for the so-called 'Republican right,' and still be racists!

And who ever suggested banning mini-skirts because they purportedly 'cause' rape? The very same mentality has been at work here: it isn't burkinis that disturb the peace, it's the people who express their outrage at Muslim practices who have disturbed the peace in every burkini case.

The ‘hygiene’ argument only works in swimming pools, where, for example, men are not allowed to wear baggy, boxer-shorts-style swimming trunks that come down to mid-thigh or the knees. My partner, as any man at a French swimming pool, has to wear what they call, I think, a brief.

Breaking news in France this past Friday afternoon, August 26th was that France's highest court, the Conseil d’Etat, had ruled against the anti-burkini municipal order in Villeneuve-Loubet, near Nice. It was then thought that the one case they ruled on would set a precedent to strike out the other burkini bans passed by 30-odd French mayors. However, the article which I linked to on a different post on Friday 26th --"France's highest court suspends burkini ban in test case" - "Suspension concerns single ban in southern town but is likely to set precedent for other places that prohibited full-body swimwear" – has been “disappeared ” from the Guardian site and the link that took you there (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/26/frances-highest-court-suspends-burkini-ban-in-test-case) now takes you to “French rightwingers call for extension of burkini ban” – “Undaunted by the suspension of the anti-swimwear decree in a Riviera town, former president Nicolas Sarkozy and others want a nationwide prohibition”. And another Guardian article titles, “French mayors refuse to lift burkini ban despite court ruling” @ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/28/french-mayors-burkini-ban-court-ruling

So the French Conseil d’Etat decision has not at all put an end to the polemic.

Yet, it is important to see exactly what the court said, as reported in the Guardian : “The state council ruled that the mayor of Villeneuve-Loubet did not have the right to ban burkinis. The court found that the anti-burkini decrees were “a serious and manifestly illegal attack on fundamental freedoms”, including the right to move around in public and the freedom of conscience. The judges stated that local authorities could only restrict individual liberties if there was a “proven risk” to public order. It ruled that a proven public order risk had not been demonstrated.

“Crucially, the judges ruled that without any risk to public order, “the emotion and the concerns arising from terrorist attacks”, especially the attack in Nice on 14 July in which a lorry driver killed 86, were “not sufficient to legally justify a ban”.

“Villeneuve-Loubet, where locals and police told media they had only seen one or two burkinis in the past two months, will have to immediately withdraw its ban.”

Since someone said in their comment here that the high court’s decisions needn’t be obeyed, it’s important to note that that ISN’T true, according to the Guardian!

I agree entirely with the French high court that banning burkinis violates ‘fundamental freedoms.’ Whether you take nuns as the example, or people in wet suits, or people with sensitive skin that needs to be protected from the sun’s rays, there is just no justification for prohibiting women concerned with their modesty from wearing a burkini. It is obviously targeting Muslim women because they are Muslim, as everybody has said.

The burkini has become the rallying cause for all those in France who feel threatened by Muslims and Islam; who believe that French society is undergoing ‘Islamization;’ who want revenge, to ‘get back’ at Muslims in general for the terrorist attacks of a handful. They see women wearing burkinis as an attack and/or a provocation. How a woman’s need to be modest & covered up on the beach can be interpreted and twisted --by supposedly rational & democratic political leaders-- into proselytizing & attacking ‘French values’ is beyond me. Or rather not – instead of setting an example for the French public of practicing democratic values, practicing religious tolerance, and learning to live together with our differences, they are cashing in on Islamophobia and playing up to illegitimate populist sentiment. And it is very dangerous because the bans and the pro-ban political leaders are feeding a terrible rift in French society, allowing the antagonism and the hostility towards Muslims to grow and develop --- and fester! Instead of helping people distinguish between Islamic terrorism and ordinary Muslims, they are giving right-wing extremists and ordinary citizens the green light to express their misguided, unjustified and unjustifiable hostility. It is all shameful.

A French journalist I like very much, Claude Askolovitch, told the ‘story of the week’ last Friday evening on a TV political discussion program I enjoy. It was two stories, in fact – one, the awful story of a Muslim woman from Toulouse, who took her children out for a day at the beach in Cannes, wearing summer street clothes and a simple head scarf, & ended up surrounded by three policemen, getting fined and being forced to remove her head scarf, while her poor children cried and their ‘neighbors,’ other vacationers on the beach, applauded the police intervention. And a similar story in Nice, where police forced a woman to undress. If you understand French, here’s the video @ http://sites.arte.tv/28minutes/fr/les-plages-de-la-discorde-28minutes. He says the stories & photos, published in the UK press, have made France the laughing stock of the Anglo-saxon world, as well considered hateful, and that France is now compared to Iran whose police infamously scrutinize and monitor what women wear, though in the opposite way.
 

LucyKaleido S (82)
Wednesday August 31, 2016, 4:58 am
The public debate here has reached such depths of stupidity that I am ashamed!

"French PM suggests naked breasts represent France better than a headscarf" - "Manuel Valls faces criticism for comments regarding Marianne, a symbol of republic, in context of continuing burkini ban row"

Just the beginning is enough!:

"The French prime minister has drawn criticism for suggesting that naked breasts are more representative of France than a headscarf, in the latest flare-up of the bitter political row over the burkini.

"Manuel Valls, who clashed with France’s education minister over his support for mayors who have banned full-body swimsuits from beaches, gave a rousing speech on Monday night in which he hailed the bare breasts of Marianne, a national symbol of the French Republic.

" “Marianne has a naked breast because she is feeding the people! She is not veiled, because she is free! That is the republic!” he thundered at a government rally. ../... .../... "

Good grief! Is that what French democracy is all about???
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday August 31, 2016, 6:38 am
Glad to see some sense being written for once instead of all that 'Muslims are out get you' rubbish
 

Winn A (179)
Wednesday August 31, 2016, 6:58 am
Cover up or not to cover up. It's up to the person to decide. NOT a government!
 

Janet B (0)
Wednesday August 31, 2016, 1:08 pm
Thanks
 

David F (39)
Wednesday August 31, 2016, 1:47 pm
Excellent article. Well done! Thank you.
 

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday August 31, 2016, 3:05 pm
I'm getting a clue all this hype and media hysteria might well serve the side purpose to distract from all the more serious French actions going on, such as in Libya, Mali etc. , while the French involvement in Syria has almost disappeared from the media.

As for the hight court's ruling, the Conseil d'état wording, cited by Lucy, is absolutely in line with our German reports of the story. It was explained that by the authorization of the Conseil d' état this ruling of suspension would AUTOMATICALLY apply to all other local courts and offices where a ban had been announced, however, in each of the other cases aside from Villeneuve-Loubet any challenge of this ban would need separate judicial proceedings.
 

Darren Woolsey (218)
Wednesday August 31, 2016, 3:24 pm
Yes. . . arguing over dress and its cultural/religious implications, WHILST people are being exploited by traffickers and people smugglers coming from WAR-torn countries is rather ironic.

We have several here who paint the rosiest picture of Israel they can, whilst Palestinians and Gazaans suffer.
 

. (0)
Wednesday August 31, 2016, 10:17 pm
Who really should care what they wear as long as they wear something. This of course does not in any way imply that they actually wish to wear those atrocities. As for the excerpt from the Hillary Clinton article I just had to laugh at the idea that the war against terrorism is being fought by Russia , China, Iran , Syria and the Hezbollah idiots and their allies. I thought surely this must be an Onion piece and they just forgot to include ISIS and North Korea along with those other terroristic nations/orgs. But alas, I then began to suspect someone was actually stupid enough to believe that BS. Very scary.
 

Margie FOURIE (148)
Thursday September 1, 2016, 2:45 am
Thank you
 

LucyKaleido S (82)
Thursday September 1, 2016, 6:31 am
You could definitely argue that the hysteria serves to distract the public from other more important issues, but the media are simply reporting what each & every politician has to say, and it never ends!

Don't forget, either, that the French presidential election is going to be held very soon: in April and May 2017, so we're already in a sort of election fever. Like in the States right now, where every statement by Clinton & T-rump gets a headline. So that means that every French political personality, proclaimed candidate or not, feels he’s got to position himself on this issue.

What worries me is that very few are taking it from the 'civil rights' angle and defending the women's right to wear what they please, making it sound as though the objective were to 'out-FrontNational' the far-right Front National party. Everyone is afraid that the party's leader, Marine Le Pen, could win the election. Thus, those making the biggest noise, i.e. getting the most media coverage, are presidential hopefuls coming out pro-ban. It’s the demagogy, playing into the populist views that’s upsetting.

The only audible voice against the bans came from within the government: Moroccan-born French Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the first woman in that position and a feminist, came out against the bans early on, calling their multiplication ‘unwelcome,’ resulting in the letting loose of verbal expressions of racism. She called it a ‘dérive politique’: ‘Dérive’ is difficult to translate because it contains several meanings & connotations, whereas in English you have to choose between the idea of ‘excess’ and ‘going off in an undesirable direction’ or ‘deviation from the norm’ or an ‘aberration.’ She was the ONLY person (whose views got media attention) to recognize the increase in bans as “a problem because it raises the question of our INDIVIDUAL FREEDOMS.” PM Manuel Valls wasted no time publicly criticizing and rejecting her views, saying her objection on the basis of racism was a mistaken interpretation. He said the full-body swimwear represented “the enslavement of women.”

Since I don’t watch TV news very early in the morning, I’d missed the reaction of the Left Party (Parti de Gauche, PG) leader & Left Front coalition presidential candidate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who burst out in an angry tirade when asked his position. I wish I could translate it all, but it would just take too long… well, I ended up translating most of it! I regret that he refused to enter the fray, disgusted by the ongoing hysteria & out-of-proportion attention the burkini subject is getting, while important issues remain, as Angelica says, ignored in the ruckus. He did make a few important points, though, like criticizing the exploitation (Muslim) women's bodies are being subjected to in the interests of political combat & posturing.

He started out --with mounting exasperation-- “Puh-leeze, let’s put an end to all this! France isn’t going to spend all her time discussing religious clothing! Today we’ve got the problem of milk (the low price farmers get for their milk), nobody’s talking about it! We’ve got the problem of the start of the school year (meaning the cost for families of equipping their children), nobody’s going to talk about it! We’ve got the problem of unemployment and so on and so forth… These are the big issues. I’m not saying that it isn’t a serious issue using women’s bodies to create a kind of emblem for political battle. But let’s be intelligent, let’s not fall prey to provocation… ”

“The lessons of secularism, the one-upmanship from one after the other, I don’t want to get involved in that.”

“Let me say to all religious leaders that there are no instructions, whether from Muhammad, Jesus or Moses, about swimwear. Enough is enough! … I’m not at all convinced that God was concerned about hair or body hair. It’s now high time that we all respect each other and consequently adopt an attitude that makes religion tolerable for everyone. And how many people in this country don’t have one (a religion) and are fed up with constantly being provoked on these questions?”

If you understand French, here's the video (+ tapescript) of Mélenchon speaking on TV channel France 2, August 25th.
[In the 2012 French presidential election, Mélenchon was the candidate representing the 'Left Front' coalition (Communist Party of France, Left Party, Unitarian Left), & my favorite candidate. He unfortunately came in fourth place, with 11.10% of the vote ... behind François Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Marine Le Pen. But, then, the winner, François Hollande, received only 28.63% of the vote.]
 

LucyKaleido S (82)
Thursday September 1, 2016, 6:36 am
Sorry, Angelika, I mispelled ur name.
 

LucyKaleido S (82)
Thursday September 1, 2016, 7:47 am
And then, misspelled misspelled!
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Thursday September 1, 2016, 5:06 pm
Great comments, Lucy and Angelika - thanks.

Especially thank you Lucy for all the insight and details of the scene in France! Very much appreciated. I'm already with one leg (almost) at the airport, hence, just a quick comment on the following paragraph from your posting:

"The reason cited for banning burkinis was to avoid disrupting public order (the peace) because of the violent reactions of anti-burkini groups who did, in fact, seriously disturb the peace. The men who caused ruckuses & brawls in Corsica & on the Riviera are the sort of paranoid xenophobes who claim that Muslims are 'taking over' France & annihilating French culture! These are the ignoramuses who probably vote far-right extremism. But Sarkozy stands for the same thing, so they can still vote for the so-called 'Republican right,' and still be racists!"

In other words: because those thugs and bullies can't be controlled (or maybe they don't want to control them - who knows?) by the authorities they go after those Muslim women who decide to cover and/or wear burkinis ... says a lot for the thugs and the authorities.

And again my stupid question: if the very same people would go against Orthodox Jewish women who do the same at the beach and in public as Muslim women ... or the Hindu and Sikhs ... what would the reaction of the authorities and the "innocent bystanders" be? Would they also applaud and cheer on the thugs and the police?



 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Thursday September 1, 2016, 5:10 pm

Donn - you categorically state that: "This of course does not in any way imply that they actually wish to wear those atrocities."

What do you base your assumptions on? Real facts or "Pamela Geller" style propaganda?

I can't follow your logic: "As for the excerpt from the Hillary Clinton article I just had to laugh ..." where does Killary Clinton come into play?
 

Sarah G (109)
Saturday September 3, 2016, 2:35 am
It is a bit disingenuous to claim that a woman is being oppressed by not being allowed to wear a religious garment designed to proclaim and enforce her inferior status to the world, and that the adherents of a religion engaged in violent and vicious attacks in which people are tortured, beheaded, and burned alive are somehow being put upon. The sophistry and mental gymnastics are staggering.
 

Arild Gone for now (174)
Saturday September 3, 2016, 4:02 am
This Burkini fuzz is just smokescreen for how Arab men are behaving toward their wife's and daughters.They decide whom to marry,what to say or not,"Honourkilligs" etc.etc.
How much of women's rights respected in the Arab World???
 

LucyKaleido S (82)
Sunday September 4, 2016, 2:19 am
Friday, Sept 2nd -- "Burkini ban: United Nations condemns French laws for 'fuelling intolerance and stigmatisation of Muslims' - 'These clothing bans have increased tensions and may undermine the effort to fight extremism' " @http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/burkini-ban-united-nations-condemns-french-laws-for-fuelling-intolerance-and-stigmatisation-of-a7218611.html

Excerpts:

"Rupert Colville, a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, welcomed the State Council’s finding that prohibiting beachwear worn by some women to cover the face and body was a grave and illegal breach of fundamental freedoms.

"“We fully understand - and share - the grief and anger generated by the terrorist attacks carried out in France in recent months,” he told a briefing in Geneva."

"“However, these decrees do not improve the security situation but rather fuel religious intolerance and the stigmatisation of Muslims in France, especially women.

“By stimulating polarisation between communities, these clothing bans have only succeeded in increasing tensions and as a result may actually undermine the effort to fight and prevent violent extremism.”

"Despite arguments made by French officials over hygiene and a supposed risk to public order, Mr Colville said women choosing to wear a burkini “cannot be blamed for the violent or hostile reactions of others”, adding: “Any public order concerns should be addressed by targeting those who incite hatred or react violently, and not by targeting women who simply want to walk on the beach or go for a swim wearing clothing they feel comfortable in.

“Nor can it be claimed that such a ban on beachwear is necessary on grounds of hygiene or public health.”

"He also dismissed arguments made by supporters of the ban claiming it supported gender equality by combating restrictive clothing, saying “humiliating and degrading” law enforcement cannot enhance freedom."
 

Darren Woolsey (218)
Sunday September 4, 2016, 12:20 pm
Agree with Sarah G. above.

If men had to endure the same kind of thing, you can bet your bottom [insert currency of your choice] that things would change.
 

Lenore K (0)
Sunday September 4, 2016, 2:06 pm
ty
 

LucyKaleido S (82)
Monday September 5, 2016, 4:48 am

Darren, I think you've either misread Sarah G's comment... or else, I misunderstood your position on this.

Sarah G claims that Muslims are all ISIL supporters (totally, but TOTALLY false) and that Islam per se is "a religion engaged in violent and vicious attacks in which people are tortured, beheaded, and burned alive."

The actions of ISIL -just like those of Al-Qaeda before it- do not represent the fundamental and traditional teachings of Islam, as the vast majority of the over 1.7 billion Muslims worldwide, a fifth of whom (19.9%) or 321.9 million in the Middle East-North Africa region, seek to practise it.

Now, I can't figure out how it could have escaped anyone's attention that the vast majority of ISIL/ISIS's victims have from the very start been MUSLIMS! When ISIL launched their major offensive across Syria into Iraq in June 2014, and, with the collapse of the Iraqi army, captured vast swaths of northern Syria and Iraq, declaring the establishment of their 'Islamic State,' WHO -could you please tell me!- were the THOUSANDS of VICTIMS in both Syria and Iraq? Whether soldiers or policemen killed in battle, or unarmed civilians from towns and villages annexed to the caliphate and executed by ISIS/ISIL forces, we are talking about MUSLIM VICTIMS! Even before the offensive into Iraq, hundreds of soldiers and civilians were killed when ISIS seized the town of Palmyra that May, to cite just one example: it was reported in the UK Daily Mail as "Syria's bloodiest mass-execution" ! The estimated 400 victims, including women and children, were MUSLIMS!

"ISIS has executed more than 10,000 people in Iraq and Syria since declaring a 'global caliphate' in June 2014, MailOnline has learned," and reported in Sept. 2015.

"The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which has secret sources inside ISIS territory, said 3,207 have been killed in that war-torn country.

"Another 7,700 were executed in Iraq, according to the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks ISIS violations.

"The soldiers and civilians who have been beheaded, shot dead, drowned, blown up, stoned to death and thrown off buildings for violating ISIS's twisted laws all contributed to this mammoth death toll.

"The figure does not include the thousands more who have been killed in battle and suicide bombings - or the innocent people mown down by ISIS extremists as they tried to flee."

And the Jordanian Air Force pilot, Moaz al-Kasaesbeh, burned alive in a steel cage by ISIL jihadists, was also a Muslim! The BBC reported, "Lt Kasasbeh's family urged IS to spare him, stressing that he was a devout Sunni Muslim. The pilot's father, Youssef, told reporters: "I pray that Allah will plant mercy in their hearts and they will release him."

How can anyone in their right mind accuse Muslims, first and foremost ISIL victims, of being allied with the perpetrators or belonging to the jihadist group that commits atrocities against them ?

If Muslims are necessarily pro-ISIL, why have we been experiencing a MASSIVE REFUGEE CRISIS? If Muslims and ISIL are the one and the same, why are Muslim families leaving everything they own to escape?? Why are they taking life-threatening sea and land routes, enduring incredible hardship, hunger, exposure to the elements, while pregnant or with small children?

Don't you watch or read the news????

..............................................................................................................................................................
[as of 2015, over 1.7 billion or about 23.4% of the world population, are Muslim, according to a well documented Wiki article @https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_world ; and 321.9 million Muslims live in the Middle East-North Africa region, as calculated in 2010 by the Pew Research Center @http://www.pewforum.org/2011/01/27/future-of-the-global-muslim-population-regional-middle-east/]
 

LucyKaleido S (82)
Monday September 5, 2016, 5:40 am
Sara G also said that the burkini is a "religious garment designed to proclaim and enforce (Muslim women's) inferior status to the world" -- the Burkini is not the same thing as a burka (or burqa), does not cover a woman's shape so completely and does not cover the face !

Let me suggest that you take a look at what the designer & manufacturer of the burkini, Aheda Zanetti, has said in her op-ed published August 24th in the Guardian:
 

LucyKaleido S (82)
Monday September 5, 2016, 5:41 am
My comment got cut off; I'll try again:

Sara G also said that the burkini is a "religious garment designed to proclaim and enforce (Muslim women's) inferior status to the world" -- the Burkini is not the same thing as a burka (or burqa), does not cover a woman's shape so completely and does not cover the face !

Let me suggest that you take a look at what the designer & manufacturer of the burkini, Aheda Zanetti, has said in her op-ed published August 24th in the Guardian:
 

LucyKaleido S (82)
Monday September 5, 2016, 7:50 am
Once again, my comment got cut off; I'll try one more time:

Sara G also said that the burkini is a "religious garment designed to proclaim and enforce (Muslim women's) inferior status to the world" -- the burkini is not the same thing as a burka (or burqa), does not cover a woman's shape so completely and does not cover the face !

Let me suggest that you take a look at what the designer & manufacturer of the burkini, Aheda Zanetti, has said in her op-ed published August 24th in the Guardian:
 

LucyKaleido S (82)
Tuesday September 6, 2016, 3:28 am
There is a whole different way of looking at this and it has nothing to do with sophistry or mental gymnastics: Why deny women the pleasure of a day at the beach when their modesty requires that they not expose their bodies the way Western women do? It is NOT a calculated means of FORCING Islam DOWN ANYBODY's THROAT! Why is it impossible for some people to accept that? Why don't I feel that these women are threatening my freedom to worship at the church, synagogue or temple of my choice, or not to have any religion at all? Why wouldn't I feel anger sharing a beach with them? Why do I feel anger at the bans and the police forcing women to unclothe against their will?

Please take a look at what the designer & manufacturer of the burkini, Aheda Zanetti, said in her op-ed published August 24th in the Guardian:
 

LucyKaleido S (82)
Tuesday September 6, 2016, 3:30 am


Aheda Zanetti's op-ed published August 24th in the Guardian:
 

LucyKaleido S (82)
Tuesday September 6, 2016, 3:40 am
How is it that some British women got the message & held a ‘fun’ demonstration against the French bans? “Burkini ban protesters stage beach party outside French embassy” complete with sand, deck chairs and a lobster-shaped lilo : some are Muslim, others aren’t; some wear burkinis, some bikinis & others street clothes, but they're all standing up for women's rights together! “Protesters gather outside the French embassy in London for a ‘wear what you want’ beach party. … One woman says she is ‘standing in solidarity with Muslim women’ and others hold banners reading ‘Islamophobia is not freedom’.” Here’s the article + video https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/25/protesters-throw-beach-party-protest-in-london-against-burkini-ban
 

Darren Woolsey (218)
Tuesday September 6, 2016, 4:09 am
Hi Lucy,

I agree completely that NOT ALL Muslims ARE ISIS supporters. ISIS is a death Sect/Cult. I come from Bradford, England, where we have a large Muslim community. They are mostly friendly, we have little issue. My next door neighbor is also Muslim. If ALL Muslims were murderous creatures, I would be in fear for my life. . . . ERRR, not.

I mentioned the male perspective, as whenever something is put in place, it's usually through agreement BY or WITH men. With few exceptions, our Westernized world is dominated and controlled by Patriarchy.
 

LucyKaleido S (82)
Tuesday September 6, 2016, 7:08 am

Thanks for clearing that up, Darren. And it isn't only in our Westernized world, either, if you think, for example, of FGM. Even if the mother's push for the removal of their daughter's clitorises, it's because they know that their daughters won't find husbands if they let them remain intact & therefore 'impure.' At least, that's how it's traditionally been and I don't know to what extent the many laws & campaigns against FGM have influenced the practice and the mentalities behind it.
 

LucyKaleido S (82)
Tuesday September 6, 2016, 7:11 am
Aheda Zanetti, the designer & manufacturer of the burkini, doesn't see it as a bow to patriachy, though. Her op-ed published August 24th in the Guardian:
 

LucyKaleido S (82)
Tuesday September 6, 2016, 7:13 am
Aheda Zanetti, the designer & manufacturer of the burkini, doesn't see it as a bow to patriachy, though. Her op-ed published August 24th in the Guardian: "I created the burkini to give women freedom, not to take it away" - "The burkini does not symbolise Islam, it symbolises leisure and happiness and fitness and health. So who is better, the Taliban or French politicians?"

 

Roger G (148)
Tuesday September 6, 2016, 6:36 pm
so who is better, The Taliban or French politicians ?
Does anyone truly needs to ask the question ?
Or does she truly believe that the Talibans are a better fit for Western democracy than French politicians ?
LOL ROTFLOL LOL
 

Darren Woolsey (218)
Wednesday September 7, 2016, 12:12 am
Depends whether you place your faith and trust in some "suit" sat in an office with a bunch of other "suits" signing papers with pens, passing legislation into law that grants powerful corporations the rights to exploit, control and dominate ordinary working citizens, or whether you have some sympathies with actual Sects and Cults, that fully and firmly believe in the rightness of their cause.

BOTH ARE EQUALLY DANGEROUS. BOTH have blood on their hands, by proxy, or otherwise.
 

LucyKaleido S (82)
Wednesday September 7, 2016, 2:14 am
Hi, Roger! Excuse me for pointing out that you missed her point! ...perhaps on purpose?
What she means is that French politicians are no better than the Taliban, because BOTH infringe on women's freedoms: both impose dress codes, oblige women to wear a certain type of clothing while criminalizing another (or others), & prevent women from wearing what they want. The Taliban also prohibited women from engaging in sports, dance, etc. French politicians similarly prohibit women from engaging in sports & swimming on beaches, since some Muslim women would do so only if covered up properly and/or wearing a burkini.

Funny you should mention 'suits', Darren -- it reminds me of a comment I read in a Guardian article, "Women in burkinis and men in suits" @https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/29/women-in-burkinis-and-men-in-suits:

"No woman in a burqa (or a hijab or a burkini) has ever done me any harm. But I was sacked (without explanation) by a man in a suit. Men in suits missold me pensions and endowments, costing me thousands of pounds. A man in a suit led us on a disastrous and illegal war. Men in suits led the banks and crashed the world economy. Other men in suits then increased the misery to millions through austerity. If we are to start telling people what to wear, maybe we should ban suits."
Henry Stewart
London

Yes, indeed, men in suits have blood on their hands!
 

Darren Woolsey (218)
Wednesday September 7, 2016, 7:59 am
Yes, it's Men In Suits that are the dangerous creatures in our world.
 

Jamie Clemons (282)
Friday September 16, 2016, 1:29 pm
The Burka and Burkini are designed to humiliate women and to force them into submission. These swim suits should be outlawed because they oppress women. Its not an issue of religious freedom it is oppression to allow muslim men to treat women like they should be covered head to toe.
 

Angelika R (143)
Sunday September 18, 2016, 5:15 pm
Darren,not to forget the women in suits, particularly a certain ONE, spelling maximum danger to the world!
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Sunday September 18, 2016, 11:49 pm

Bingo, Angelika - is it indicative that those "ladies" are not seen in a dress or skirt but only in "men's" attire?! LOL!!
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Sunday September 18, 2016, 11:53 pm

Jamie Clemons - "Its not an issue of religious freedom it is oppression to allow muslim men to treat women like they should be covered head to toe."

Amazing how blind one can be ... I have to conclude it's OK with you that orthodox Jewish men seemingly do the same to their women?! I say "seemingly" because it obviously doesn't occur to you that Jewish and Muslim women might do this simply because they believe it to be the right thing and don't want to show their more or less naked body to the public.

And I'm being nice in excluding the Christian nuns and ordinary Christian women who do the very same for the very same reason ...

Honi soit qui mal y pense ...
 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Sunday September 18, 2016, 11:54 pm

Jamie Clemons - I forgot to mention the Hindu and Sikh women who do the same - but I assume they and their "plight" fly under your radar anyway ...

 

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Sunday September 18, 2016, 11:58 pm

Lucy - I'd love to send you a galaxy of stars for your comment of Wednesday September 7, 2016, 2:14 am:

************************************************************************

Spot on!!!!
 

LucyKaleido S (82)
Thursday September 22, 2016, 8:31 pm
I would LOVE to receive a galaxy of stars! A Milky Way just 4 me! Molte grazie, Eleanora.
 
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