The French tragedy
BAN ON VEIL
The recent ban on the veil in France is a disgrace to humanity – a huge disregard to tolerance and death of secularism, writes Rohina Ambasat.
A sudden discussion with a professor compelled me to write. His views not only disturbed me but also made me question as to why he had such views and was it alright if it was obstructing my freedom of expression.
I am compelled to write that France is not a country that is friendly and developed. The recent ban on the veil is a disgrace to humanity – a huge disregard to tolerance and death of secularism. This needs to be explained as to what is the meaning of secularism. To accept each ones religion and be tolerant is secularism. The idea behind the ban is beyond my comprehension. How can being underdressed signify that a race is modern and developed?
Dressing is a personal expression so much so for the brand image and the effort that goes into designing each brand item. The clothing industry accounts for an annual revenue of about $150 billion. Clothing gives a sense of identity and expression of individuality. I’m sure had the veil been a traditional dress such questions and discussion would have never aroused. No society should tell women what they should wear.
An American girl may wear a bikini and it is acceptable (which is unacceptable to some communities) but surprisingly a decent dress is being illegalized. This is not a regional or religious bias but a gender bias. Just because Mr. Sarkozy thinks the world came into existence by mistake but it does not mean that everyone thinks so. This is a move towards a Russian secularism concept. The socialist paranoia is converting it into a pro-communist secularism.
The right to freedom of expression should be removed from the UN bill of rights for expression just does not comprise of under-dressing. To consider that an extra yard of cloth has caused such havoc shows the pity intellect of those who bring up this discussion.
If this freedom is to be restricted Mr. Sarkozy should also now impose a uniform dress code so as to be truly unbiased. Since no differentiation is wanted perhaps France should pass a law against naming and newborns should have a numbering ceremony. Perhaps in the next 40- 50 years we will have a French president who is a random 19678.
What the decision is about is not understood by him or the like. They are uncomfortable with it and have proved that the world cannot live in harmony with different identities. I fail to understand why the UN rights watchdogs are so mum and invisible. It is a deeper issue than just two yards of cloth. It’s about what men want women to wear. It is a new dimension of male hypocrisy that has taken shape. I fail to understand the manliness of the French men where in they want their women to be naked in front of other men. This is just the beginning and I am sure it will further go on as to telling women to cry a liter per week and to laugh two pinches a day. The French government is moving in the wrong direction. Understand that it has reached its peak as in the bell shaped graph and is now moving towards its doom. Its regression will create as much awe as much had its progress.
Had the veil been the sign of oppression how come heir is a revolt and a rebellion against it. Why is a nun’s costume a sign of dedication to god where as the Muslim veil a sign of oppression? Sorry to say but those who so decide are not only ignorant but also prejudiced. Its funny that the so called intellectuals have not understood the beauty of the religion as to be part of the world and be dedicated to god rather than killing all your humanly aspects to be dedicated to God! How does one expect me to believe that a particular group of men do not allow decent appearance in the name of giving respect and being equivalent to men?
Since age’s women have been itemized and been a source of entertainment and leisure for men, the veil obstructs this and forces such men to view them as women and not merely bodies. If globalization has to happen it will not be with the transference of solely money and trade. When the cultural milieu is also as expected as the rest why is it the western culture is held superior to other and others are expected to conform. Globalisation will have equal input of each different identity.
It is not a move towards westernization or standardization but a move towards marginalization of a community which is already a victim of gross misunderstandings. It is seclusion as a result of ignorance and lack of comfort with other communities.
It is a run for nakedness and everyone in the lot is in the run for it have long forgotten who, what and where they are. The society is suffering from over sexualization and sensualisation of everything and anything. The old, the adult and the children have the same discussions without a glint of shame in their eyes. How will it be there? For shame and decency have been made synonyms. In the name of modernity, freedom of expression, education, knowledge explosion all that experts and so on can think of is sex and associated sexual and sexualization of all kinds of entities. And voila a not loud lot is out-lawed! The religion of Islam provides their women with all rights and they do not generally need women rights activist. They are born as much a person as men and yes with different spaces and spheres. Unfortunately most express the latter part and leave out the first. The overt expression of sex in its various avatars has yielded the society to enhance itself more in the animal instincts sphere solely.
Someone once said “open your mind but not so much that the brain falls out”. This in my view aptly describes the France of today. If a community wants the females of their community to be under-dressed I fail to understand how it is out of respect and out of regard of human rights. If the community is so concerned let the women decide. Long time has passed since men are deciding what and how women dress, it's time they stopped. If France is the developed and intellectual country then French men should stop deciding what the French women wear and allow individual decision making by each French women.
As time pass I am sure marriage would be as outrageous as the veil and perhaps it will be the French who lead the flag in it! But it is to be understood that freedom has its different meanings and dimensions as varied as the communities of the world. For Jews- freedom came with the 10 commandments, for Christians freedom came with guidance, for Muslims- freedom came with rules, for Buddhists freedom came with the noble eightfold path and those do not believe even the animal kingdom has it defined rules and space for peaceful coexistence.
Sadly, but this is the beginning of the inglorious days of a glorious nation and all for a bit cloth- how petty.
(Rohina Ambasat is a studen at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi)
Lastupdate on : Wed, 17 Mar 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 17 Mar 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Mar 2010 00:00:00 IST
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