Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Should the French deny citizenship on the basis of Religious practice?

First I agree that a country has a right to impose what laws it wishes for granting Citizen ship. In the case of France though they are violating their own concepts of tolerance. They are different from other European countries in this respect. It is not that the other countries are happy about the Burqua or Naqab, it is just that they wish to respect the beliefs of their Citizen or even those who wish to be their Citizen. France has a much bigger issue than just disciplining 1900 of it's citizen. This is the problem of showing intolerance to people for their beliefs about something as simple as a dress code. In every other way these 1900 people may well be the most law abiding citiizen.

The bigger issue here is that France has a misunderstanding about these practices being degrading to women. You or I may feel that women cavorting topless in public is more degrading to women. Again this is not a matter of individual values, a very large number of women wear a Hijab or other covering out of religious conviction. In Iran women wear the Chaddor but go about their duties as freely as any French woman. Clearly the French are looking at a very small minority and making up their minds about the beliefs of 1.2 billion people. I find this to be irrational and arrogant. It is as stupid as the Taliban blowing up Historic Statues because they think poorly of statues.
France more than any other Secular state has raised secularism to the level of a State Religion and that too an intolerant one. Let me make another point. Why would you or I not think of emigrating to France? Simple because our country was never colonised by France. People who wish to become French Citizen are people from countries which were previously colonized by France. These countries were not only colonised but robbed, raped and left impoverished. Their Citizen want to live in France because France has a better standard of living partly because they ( the French) set back these countries many generations of prosperity. Why is it that UK absorbs the West Indians, the Pakis, The Nigerians, and it must not be easy, and the French look down upon the Algerians?

This is not just about France but the whole of Europe is having issues absorbing their Muslim Minorities. In this respect the US and Canada have done a much better job. The Muslim Minorities that emigrate to Europe are not as well educated and are themselves resistant to merging into the host country culure.
In many respects they are like the Mexicans in America, who are becoming a headache for America for very different reasons. Like The Mexicans in America though, the Muslims are becoming a very sizeable minority in Europe. Some projections show that in 25 years they will become a majority.
Unlike America though, this thought is driving the Europeans crazy. The image of Muslims as terrorists is not helping matters either. There is an implied invasion from within which may cause the French if not the Eurpeans to close their borders and make citizenship qualifications more rigorous. Although you ignore this point but this is not a French problem, the French are just handling it differently. If any one has more reasons to be truly concerned it is the British who have Muslim British Citizen, wanting to blow up trains, bridges and buildings. In the UK it is not an issue of an "eye sore" but real issues of home made terrorism yet they have so far resisted pointing fingers at their minorities.

Maybe the French are right and the British and Americans wrong, I merely wish to point out that so far the French have come up with a solution which is different from the rest of secular thinking.

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