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If french women insist that other women take off burkas, then they must also insist that american women take off their tops at the beach, and nuns can't wear a head to toe habit.

I am completely against abuse of women in any form, but if you CHOOSE to wear a modest garment then that IS "freedom". A burka is worn for the same reasons a nun wears a habit. American women express modesty by wearing a bikini.

I got married in an Islamic country, and until I visited it and talked to the very intelligent women wearing burkas, I felt the same (burkas are bad! men oppress women and make them wear this!), but as General W. Clarke agrees after his discussions with women in burkas, allow people to dress as they wish instead of dictating their freedoms.

the burqa covers the entire face and makes even the eyes essentially invisible. no nun's habit i know of does this. we (society) don't really need or have a right to see your body. but your face...?

the question is really about, i think, the right to completely conceal ones' identity in public.

in this world of security cameras and paranoid governments...and what about "just folks" thinking "hell, there could be any damn thing under there"...

just sayin'.

If we have a rash of burqa crime, then maybe I can see the need for a law, but until then, it sounds like your 'discomfort' is your main justification. And I'm certainly more uncomfortable around other types (crazy people on Hollywood Blvd, etc.) and they are certainly legal.

Other cases: in China, you see people wearing surgical masks. Wintertime in Boston, you see lumps of fabric walking through the snow.

I dunno JB, I think it's a weak argument.

The burqa isn't religious in any case, it is cultural. The text says "be modest" to both men and women, and how that is interpreted is wide ranging. As another random note. the National Geographic pic of the girl from Afghanistan that we all know (the eyes). She has that expression because the photog rudely took a picture of her without asking, while her veil was off.

Imagine this: a guy from Southern France takes a pic of your little girl changing clothes and puts it on the cover of a magazine. See the rub?

Neither our way or their way is inherently better, so as no actual abuse is taking place.


i know it's a weak argument, robinson, i'm just trying to figure out why france is so fired up about the issue. i know their long history of anti-religious coercion legislation, maybe it's really about that.

i have a lot of sympathy for the modesty issue. i find it fascinating that while logically, modest attire should help prevent the sexual exploitation of women, it's those communities that actually enforce it that seem to be the most repressive toward them in other ways.

it's interesting you picked that national geographic photo as an example, since while i think covering the face/eyes is extreme and unreasonable as well as making others uncomfortable, i have to admit- if my daughter had eyes like that, i might want her to keep them covered too. :)

not that they're not totally gorgeous as they are, of course.

perhaps extremely devout muslims should look into moving to boston for the winter.

LOL.. *8)

"The Boston Burka"

It was interesting in Malaysia going swimming with women in head to toe outfits next to Australian girls wearing tiny bikinis.. and the Islamic mothers laugh and play with their kids, and pull out digital cameras and take pictures. Then you see a para sail go by.

Just.. normal.. when you are surrounded by it, you don't think much of it, and I was raised in Kansas.

I was surprised by how accommodating Malaysia was to other religions. Churches and Temples everywhere, Mosques occupy more important positions and are always higher up if there is a hill, as Islam is the state religion. In one day I went to my new families Buddhist temple (to pray to my grandparents), another Buddhist temple, a Hindi Temple (got a forehead dot), a catholic church (prayed in the grotto) and came five feet from being in a mosque, but talked with family instead. And everyone there just... gets along.

Contrast that with a dozen women in burkas in freedom loving central Texas. Yeah... we'll see who is more tolerant.

Anyhoo, have a better one!

It was interesting in Malaysia going swimming with women in head to toe outfits next to Australian girls wearing tiny bikinis.. and the Islamic mothers laugh and play with their kids, and pull out digital cameras and take pictures.

They take pictures of their daughters in burkas?

*8) yes to pics of daughters, but no to burkas. Only ladies of a certain age wear them (7 or 8 in some places, older in others).

I should add that I do believe that the culture there has a 'brain washing' effect on it's population, so youngin's never feel a choice on what to wear. The problem is, so does ours. Young girls here feel compelled to put there bodies on display.


I would tend to say that the civilization with more freedom to think and talk is the better one, but depending on what decade you look at America, we don't always look so hot.


France is not that firedu up about that issue, I can tell you that. Really, most people don't give a damn. The thing is, usually, french people are against any display of religion. That's it. We make fun of Cathonlic extremists becaus they're funny over here, not dangerous. But for exemple, if you wear a cross around your neck, people will take it as something strange, really. They will think you're an extremist. That's the way french people are. I don't have anything against the Burqa. Most people here don't care. But here is the fact: we don't see burqas here! I live in Paris , and last week, for the first time in 28 years, I saw 3 women in burqa walking in the streets of Paris. When you've never seen one, it's impressing, that's all. People will react in diferent ways. But it will never be prohibited to wear a burqa in France. Don't worry.

Hmmm.. the Boing Boing Apple link... Not sure I agree with the Anti-Apple rant there. I think Apple is safely legal in its decision according to the contracts that have been sent to them... this was my reply on that site:


Apple wants to make money, and they do 'bad' things to make sure they make money. They won't make you OS/2 & Linux fans all weepy by open sourcing the whole thing. They would rather... make money.

Personally, the iPhone is the only phone I've ever loved. I hate consumer technology and the yearly tech lesson that comes with it. I want easy. At work I learn new tech every effing day and I'm tired of trying to keep up with teenagers' need for a cooler phone. I want easy. I want simple and I don't care if Apple pisses off the 3rd party app community to do it.

Face it. You aren't their market. I am.

I agreed to their crap terms of service and they gave me exactly the product and limited freedoms I agreed to pay for.

And frankly, Apple pisses me off. I made software for them ONCE.. never again. Gave us effing drivers the week before we went gold. But the iPhone makes me happy and I take it everywhere. My wife just bought an iMac and I hate its fluffy OS.. but.. love the iPhone, crap restrictions and all.

And, I agree that adding value to public data complicates copyright, at least according to my training, but only a judge can technically decide.

like your "enforced toplessness" idea though.

ah, on second thought, maybe not.

The burqa isn't religious in any case, it is cultural. The text says "be modest" to both men and women, and how that is interpreted is wide ranging.

just from my own experience with different streams of judaism, i can't agree with this. the interpretation IS the religion.


Interpretation = Religion..

Yeah, very true Johnathan and I agree.

...Like modern Christians that look nothing like Christians from 500 years ago, and don't actually follow the rules in the old testament (stoning, etc).


Why do Atheists have to talk about Atheism? Because they live in America.

I live in France. Here is the Atheist's Paradise. Nobody ever talks to me about god. Never. Nobody ever tells me what to think about god. Sure, they do it on other subjects. But not on this one. God is nowhere, churches are empty.

careful, redizdead. you might tempt norm to move to paris from utah. the culture shock might kill him.

I'll join Norm in Paris. I'm pretty sure i could handle the shock.

However, I blog with some Frenchies who live in France, and believe me that the French Christians argue with the French atheists. The main difference is that French Christians aren't fundamentalist wackos.

french christians are mostly catholic, right? in what way are they not "wackos"?

oh, i know. it's because the french anti-religious tradition makes them too paranoid to do anything other than argue (like, for instance, manipulate the legal codes).

that actually makes sense.

to bad the french muslims don't see it that way.

Yeah, most of the French Christians are catholics. They believe in God, but they're not political about it. No arguing about prayer in schools, teaching intelligent design and all of that crap that we have to deal with here in U.S.

All of the French Arabs I know are not Muslims. Extremist Muslim bullshit is not tolerated in France which is clearly a secular country.

All of the French Arabs I know are not Muslims.

i assume you mean by richard dawkins definition and not by their parents definition. i mean, really. i don't know if you're being obtuse or merely throwing down on the side of individual liberty (me too, me too) but the category of french non-muslim arabs must be pretty tiny statistically.

No, I'm not being obtuse. I've met a lot of French arabs and believe me that they're no different than any of the other French. This is not to say that there aren't a fair number of Muslims living in France, but they better not fuck with the French government because France is strict about keeping religion out of the public square.

I did meet one Berber Muslim asshole living in France, but he was not French. He was just living there. You have a whole lot of French with an arabic background who are atheists. If you ever went to France you'd understand.

i know, those fucking berbers, right?:)

political correction: i've never met a berber, nor do i really know anything about them. i like the bit of their traditional music i've heard and based on this i don't think their native language is exactly arabic, and i've wondered for a long time if they're actually arabs. going to google now...

The Berbers are definitely not Arabs. The Berber asshole I met spoke Arabic and even sang to me some of that traditional music. He had a beautiful voice and I like what he sang. But when I said that he didn't look like an Arab, he got all offended and shit and exclamed that he was a Berber and defintely not an Arab.

Was he ever a little macho Muslim fundamentalist creep though..


I realize now that the clumsy way that I was tossing around stories made it seem as though i was saying Berbers were Arabs. And though they're technically not Arabs, they're so similar to me that the cultural difference is negligible. This kid had light colored hair, though, and greenish colored eyes, but rather dark skin. Handsome little asshole.

And completely off topic, but i wonder why it is that I have to sign in again every single time that I pull up 1gm? I use moveable type. I click the "remember me" box and I answer "yes" to the having Internet explorer remember the password, but noooooooo, I have to retype name and password every damned time!

i wonder why it is that I have to sign in again every single time that I pull up 1gm?

me too, but not all the time, it's weird. dungeonmaster?

glad to hear your experiences as a cultural ambassador added so much spice to your life, JoAnn :)

Fun exchanging thoughts with you jonathan. You have a good sense of humor which tickles my funny bone.



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