Debate and Discussion

Banning the Burqua?
ozoneocean at 10:46PM, May 6, 2010
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More and more European countries are banning or calling for a ban on the wearing of the Burqua by women in public.

They have 3 main arguments for this:
1. It's not how they “DO” things in their culture (i.e. it's not French, Belgian etc)
2. Women hiding their faces can rob people and you won't be able to recognise them.
3. It's a sign of religious repression and they should be free of that.


On the face of it, these simple arguments sound sensible… But like most simple things they are not, in fact they are the opposite:

1. There is no “French”, or “Belgian”, or “Spanish, or ”Italian“ way of doing things when it comes to dressing yourself. People don't wear a national uniform, and those form different cultures have always been largely accepted for their distinctive styles of dress.
The truth behind this argument is one of petty nationalism, racism and xenophobia- ”Ew, those weirdy foreigners. They're not like us! We should force them to be!"

2. Anyone can rob you at any time, anywhere. It doesn't matter if they cover their face 5 minutes before they do it, or in the morning when they get out of bed. It'd actually be extremely easy to catch a burqua covered thief because there are a LOT less people wearing them, as opposed to a person who had put on a mask or some other disguise who will just look like everyone else when they remove it. And if a burqua wearing thief removed their burqua then they'd be just as tricky to spot as a normal masked or disguised thief.
The original argument is feeble, one wonders about the people that keep on using it.

3. The burqua is partly a sign of religious repression in Iran and very small parts of some Arab states. Elsewhere it is just cultural dress, the same way a sari or a sarong, or even a business suit are. There are families that would force that style of dress on their female members, but they're a small minority. There are also many families who would force their female members to wear dresses instead of pants, but there's no call to ban dresses…? Not to mention forcing men not to wear them…
The truth here is that the real oppression is political: Forcing women NOT to wear their cultural dress, taking away their freedom of choice.

If people were really concerned by freedom of choice and taking away oppression then they'd make laws and take steps to protect the women from coercion from anyone, to ensure they always had freedom of choice about what they did.

———————————–
Wearing of the hijab is banned in universities in Turkey. Unlike the nationalism and racism in Europe, their reasons were quite different. They wanted to move away from their rural, unindustrialised ways and modernise the country at a fast pace. Getting rid of a lot of older cultural symbols like wearing the fez (for men) and hijab was part of that push for modernisation and shunning the older ways. It's still problematic of course, but I wanted to bring up and example of a move to restrict cultural dress by a Muslim country and one that wasn't driven by secret racism.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
BffSatan at 3:49AM, May 7, 2010
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I agree but have nothing really to add. It seems like a simple open-shut case of “the French are being kinda racist.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:21AM
kyupol at 9:15AM, May 7, 2010
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It shouldnt be banned. Its part of freedom of religion. And banning it sets a precedent as to what you can and cannot wear.

I don't care what kind of clothes you wanna wear… or what kind of haircut you want. As long as you're not bothering me, thats fine.

If you want my opinion on how LAWS should be, I believe that government should be small in size and it should only exist to preserve the freedom of the people (from common criminals and external threats). Therefore I'm libertarian.

But unless you all wanna be like NORTH KOREA go for it.

NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:27PM
Product Placement at 9:36AM, May 7, 2010
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France, Belgium, Holland and few other central European countries have become increasingly anti-islamic over the years so this law is no surprise to me.

One funny thing about this point though…
ozoneocean
2. Women hiding their faces can rob people and you won't be able to recognise them.
This argument was used back when I was kid about these types of mask:


It caused a law to be passed that made wearing a mask like that within city limits to be grounds for reasonable suspicion. Basically the police were now allowed to stop people who were wearing a mask like that and question them. Mind you, they weren't allowed to arrest them, unless they were carrying stolen goods or anything like that but the general idea was that anyone wearing a mask like that MUST be a criminal! Thus it would make sense to question them.

I think that the person who proposed that law must have read one too many comic about cliché bandits. I'm surprised he didn't suggest making a law allowing the police to stop people carrying a huge sack with a dollar sign on it. lol!
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
God of War at 4:19PM, May 10, 2010
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Mike Carey's story “Face” it's about a judge from fantastic world, who has to give a verdict in the case involving race that was using magic to remove women's faces, they we're allowed to wear only in house, after getting married. Woman from that race wanted her face back, claiming she deserves the same rights as men, judge agreed with her, and banned this tradition.
Then he come back home. His daughter told him she wants to become explorer, when she grows up. Judge said she will become wife and mother, as all women. Maybe if she will be lucky, one of her sons will become exploler.

Political commentary? Where?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:38PM
ozoneocean at 1:04AM, May 11, 2010
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Product Placement
This argument was used back when I was kid about these types of mask:
Traditionally in English they're called “balaclava”, after the battle of Balaclava presumably during the Crimean war when it was very, very cold and the British troops started wearing them to stop their faces freezing off… More recently (last 30 or 40 years) people started calling them “ski-masks” presumably because they didn't know the real name. lol!
I don't know what they're called in other languges though.

I agree- it's silly that someone's foolish fear can result in useful, highly practical clothing being made unavailable to people. That's very much like the cultural ban of the Burqua- legislating against freedom in favour of ideology.
God of War
Mike Carey's story “Face” it's about a judge from fantastic world, who has to give a verdict in the case involving race that was using magic to remove women's faces, they we're allowed to wear only in house, after getting married. Woman from that race wanted her face back, claiming she deserves the same rights as men, judge agreed with her, and banned this tradition.
Then he come back home. His daughter told him she wants to become explorer, when he grows up. Judge said she will become wife and mother, as all women. Maybe if she will be lucky, one of her sons will become exploler.
From your precis, I'd say that story was mainly a critique of masculine authority concerning women's rights and the way it focusses on the superficial instead of tackling the real problems.
Good example :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
Kroatz at 8:12AM, May 11, 2010
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Product Placement
France, Belgium, Holland and few other central European countries have become increasingly anti-islamic over the years so this law is no surprise to me.

I'm from Holland and I have to disagree. In my country we have had one idiot that has given the Netherlands a bad rep, Geer Wilders, a racist bastard. We have no laws against burquas, people can wear them on the streets all they want. We do however have rules about conceiling peoples faces while walking in public. A rule that doesn't discriminate any religion in any way. France and Belgium have been more anti-islamic lately. But be fair, belgium doesn't really count as a country, it just follows france or Holland around all the time.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:24PM
El Cid at 8:07PM, May 11, 2010
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ozoneocean
More and more European countries are banning or calling for a ban on the wearing of the Burqua by women in public.

They have 3 main arguments for this:
1. It's not how they “DO” things in their culture (i.e. it's not French, Belgian etc)
2. Women hiding their faces can rob people and you won't be able to recognise them.
3. It's a sign of religious repression and they should be free of that.
You forgot argument number four: They're a serious fire hazard! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
Rafen at 5:53AM, May 12, 2010
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You all clearly have no idea what your talking about.
Religious freedom? The naqib and the burka and not religious requirements, its merely a cultural thing despite what others may say. Islam only requires women to wear a head scarf. Therefore this doesn't technically break and laws on religious freedom. Finally the term “Muslim” is not a racial or ethnic classification so your point of “racism” is moot.

Secondly you people need to continually remember that as long as the people that the government was tailored to take care of (in Frances case, the French majority or simply the “majority”) support whatever law is being passes in their own borders they have every right to enforce it. I don't see widespread public outcry at the US green-card as a Immigrant bashing device that discriminates against the more challenged immigrants.

The same goes for a Muslim country, if you go to Saudi Arabia you are expected to (by law) dress in a manner they (the Saudis) are accustomed, and as long as their public supports this they have every right to enforce such a law within their own borders.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:59PM
Product Placement at 6:16AM, May 12, 2010
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Rafen
You all clearly have no idea what your talking about.
Well that's harsh. I'm pretty sure that I'm adequately aware of my own local rules, regarding ski-masks. That's my only contribution to this thread :P
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
ozoneocean at 6:19AM, May 12, 2010
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Rafen
You all clearly have no idea what your talking about.
Religious freedom? The naqib and the burka and not religious requirements, its merely a cultural thing despite what others may say.
And you don't read. ;)
ozoneocean
3. The burqua is partly a sign of religious repression in Iran and very small parts of some Arab states. Elsewhere it is just cultural dress, the same way a sari or a sarong, or even a business suit are. There are families that would force that style of dress on their female members, but they're a small minority. There are also many families who would force their female members to wear dresses instead of pants, but there's no call to ban dresses…? Not to mention forcing men not to wear them…
The truth here is that the real oppression is political: Forcing women NOT to wear their cultural dress, taking away their freedom of choice.

If people were really concerned by freedom of choice and taking away oppression then they'd make laws and take steps to protect the women from coercion from anyone, to ensure they always had freedom of choice about what they did.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
Rafen at 8:25AM, May 12, 2010
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Someone
The burqua is partly a sign of religious repression in Iran and very small parts of some Arab states. Elsewhere it is just cultural dress, the same way a sari or a sarong….. The truth here is that the real oppression is political: Forcing women NOT to wear their cultural dress, taking away their freedom of choice.
Again you don't know what your talking about, well your understanding is limited :o
Firstly there is no real “freedom of choice” as you have implied. You are simply allowed to make whatever decisions are permissible within the society you are in. Not all choices are “allowed” as you may be aware.
though to be fair this comment
Someone
You all clearly have no idea what your talking about.
was aimed at kyupol … not anyone else, I should have been more specific -_- sorry chaps

Secondly is the culture argument which I did not address enough it seems, in this day and age we often have our governments spit out concepts of “multiculturalism” and justify it with references to ancient civilizations or histories (the most ridiculous of which was the description of Britain of having a “multicultural ancient history with invasions by the Celts of old, the Saxons, the vikings and the Normans, the diversities were minimal and historically irrelevant, each one of these ”cultures“ had common ancestry and they certainly didn't get along, each one attempted to kill/conquer/convert/kidnap/steal form/religiously sacrifice the other), the point being that society (consciously or unconscionably) dislikes differences and works best when all members conform to a certain ”National“ level of culture. Of course we have the Nazis to blame for taking things to far and ruining ”western culture" for everyone else. The point being that the cultural dress such as the Naqib or the Burka belongs elsewhere and not in the Frances ect. And as long as such a thing is displayed the people wearing it cannot identify with the local national culture (french ect.). If differentiates people and this presents a very unique social problem, these might be baby steps that are appearing here but, that's all they are.

Rant over… Sorry
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:59PM
El Cid at 8:41AM, May 12, 2010
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But don't people have a right not to fit in with the majority culture if they so choose? Isn't this like banning mohawks or baggy pants?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
Product Placement at 9:04AM, May 12, 2010
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or ski masks. lol!

Rafen
Someone
You all clearly have no idea what your talking about.
was aimed at kyupol … not anyone else, I should have been more specific -_- sorry chaps
No offense taken. Just a bit of nitpicking of mine. If you start your post with the words “All of you” I have no choice but to think that you're addressing me as well, since I happen to belong to that democratic. If you wish to counter someone's post specifically, it always help to quote him or write something like “@kyupol: I disagree!” That way, there's no doubt about who you're talking to.
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
DAJB at 11:30PM, May 12, 2010
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There is a fourth serious argument, which is that - whilst the Koran may not explicitly require the wearing of the burqua - many Islamic communities and families do interpret it that way. Women within those communities and families are therefore compelled to wear it and it becomes part of a wider system of repression. By passing a law against it, women are at least freed of a very visible symbol of that repression.

Of course, by making it completely illegal, even for those women who do genuinely choose to wear the burqua, it can be argued that one form of repression is simply being replaced by another. It's certainly not a one-way argument.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
ozoneocean at 12:20AM, May 13, 2010
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Rafen
The point being that the cultural dress such as the Naqib or the Burka belongs elsewhere and not in the Frances ect. And as long as such a thing is displayed the people wearing it cannot identify with the local national culture (french ect.). If differentiates people and this presents a very unique social problem, these might be baby steps that are appearing here but, that's all they are.
lol!
I love how you start off all your posts with “don't know what your talking about”. Just a small point but “you're” is a better way to say it.

Your argument doesn't make much sense. When does dressing appropriately to the culture you're in begin or stop? That's clearly a ridiculous notion, especially if you're talking about justifying legislation, which takes it out of the realm of the subjective and straight into the technical.
So then people decided on categories of clothing that aren't allowed and some that are?
OK, Bruquas and niquabs are bad, but Hijabs are ok?
Or Hijabs are bad, but old lady head scarves are fine…
What about Jewish yamakas? Sikh turbans? Maybe They should legislate so it's only legal for French people to wear stripy tight tops, red bandannas, black trousers, a black beret, and a string of onions around their necks while they riding black bicycles and carrying a bundle of French loves under one arm?
I'm sure that would appease all the nationalist closest racists juuuust fine.

The French tried to legislate dress once. A national uniform was proposed during the revolutions… It didn't work out.

And El Cid has a good point about mohawks and baggy trousers- styles that were imported from the US. Are there laws about not having those in public? Why are some styles of dress ok while others are not? I think the answer comes down to pure xenophobia at the bottom, and THAT is the only thing that should be legislated against.

The line you take reminds me strongly of the Dreyfus Affair during the 19th century in France, where what was ostensibly a murder trial was in reality an antisimetic witch-hunt. The anti-dryfusians covered their antisimetisim in rhetoric and false justification in that instance too. I do not say that you at heart anti-Islamic, but I do say that those behind the laws are.

DAJB
There is a fourth serious argument, which is that - whilst the Koran may not explicitly require the wearing of the burqua - many Islamic communities and families do interpret it that way. Women within those communities and families are therefore compelled to wear it and it becomes part of a wider system of repression. By passing a law against it, women are at least freed of a very visible symbol of that repression.

Of course, by making it completely illegal, even for those women who do genuinely choose to wear the burqua, it can be argued that one form of repression is simply being replaced by another. It's certainly not a one-way argument.
I believe I fully addressed exactly this point in the third and last part of my original post :)

God Of War also posted about a book that referred to this aspect of the issue: superficial measures do nothing to address the REAL problems of repression.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
DAJB at 2:51AM, May 13, 2010
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ozoneocean
I believe I fully addressed exactly this point in the third and last part of my original post :)
Yes, you did. I missed that! Apologies.

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
Kroatz at 2:15PM, May 13, 2010
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Well you all CLEARLY don't know what you're talking about.
Comidion.deviantart.com
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:24PM
Orin J Master at 8:28PM, May 13, 2010
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Kroatz
Well you all CLEARLY don't know what you're talking about.

back under the bridge, you.

the underlying problem is that it's incredibly hard to do the right thing in cases like this. either you cater to what the terrorists want and oppress the people they're trying to radicalize and recruit, or you take the high road and tell people “don't worry, we've got security well in hand in spite of this little mess. no, we can't tell you what we're doing to protect you, but a few people using it to commit violence isn't justification to make religious expression against the law.” whoever's on the other side of politics would eat you alive for years over that.

the fact the UK doesn't seem to actually believe individuals have a right to privacy or freedom doesn't help. you guys should revolt! i mean, the food they serve over there alone deserves rioting in the streets in complaint.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
JoannaSlinky at 2:18PM, May 16, 2010
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In some US towns, sagging jeans that show underwear are banned - and also in the UK, via ASBOs. Hoodies are banned in some shopping centres.

On a much much broader front, it was Islam that declared policy war on the West, through their desire for ‘Islamification’… so if countries like France respond to this, maybe we shouldn't be surprised. Just a thought.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:10PM
Yvain at 3:28PM, May 16, 2010
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Just because we should not be surprised by stupidity does not mean we shouldn't criticize it.

I understand why they did it, but I still think that it is really stupid.

I mean, its like renaming French fries freedom fries. No one would ever be dumb enough to do that………wait.

Seriously though, people need to leave Islamic Culture the hell alone.


BTW: The arguments they presented are really dumb.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:53PM
mlai at 2:20AM, May 18, 2010
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It should be banned, but not precisely because it is a Middle Eastern cultural dress.

The plain fact is, hiding one's face while in public is a very antisocial and disruptive behavior in Western society. It's something you do not do in respectable Western company: burkas, ski masks, pantyhose masks, handkerchief masks etc. Only Michael Jackson got away with it, and that's because you can recognize him from a mile away anyways.

You cannot claim religious/cultural freedom and hide your face, just as you cannot claim cultural freedom and walk around the public naked. It's OBSCENE to hide your face. It' not about race/ethnicity. You can be white and blonde, and ppl will still look at you weird if you hide your face.

If you don't agree with this Western cultural custom, don't immigrate there. Or GTFO. Simple.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
God of War at 2:41AM, May 18, 2010
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mlai
It should be banned, but not precisely because it is a Middle Eastern cultural dress.

The plain fact is, hiding one's face while in public is a very antisocial and disruptive behavior in Western society. It's something you do not do in respectable Western company: burkas, ski masks, pantyhose masks, handkerchief masks etc. Only Michael Jackson got away with it, and that's because you can recognize him from a mile away anyways.

You cannot claim religious/cultural freedom and hide your face, just as you cannot claim cultural freedom and walk around the public naked. It's OBSCENE to hide your face. It' not about race/ethnicity. You can be white and blonde, and ppl will still look at you weird if you hide your face.

If you don't agree with this Western cultural custom, don't immigrate there. Or GTFO. Simple.

I think you just said that 90% of superheroes are obscene.
And last stateent seems actually racist. That sort of behavior only fuels conflicts between different cultures, while we should work for peace and friendship with all other cultures and work together to archieve common goals.
(Yes, I feel wierd, talking about peace with God Of War nickname.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:38PM
mlai at 4:43AM, May 18, 2010
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Superheroes = vigilantes.

I stand by my last statement. When in Rome, do as the Romans. You don't immigrate to another nation and then ask its people to compromise their existing culture and customs to suit yours. That's not immigration that's invasion.

Same goes for the USA trying to impose its political values on the Middle East. Same goes for the Spanish forcibly extinguishing the culture of the South Americans during the colonial age.

When there is a direct cultural conflict between the native and more dominant population and the new population, the former one morally and lawfully should have the right of way. Trying to be too soft on that, only leads to disruption.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
God of War at 5:57AM, May 18, 2010
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mlai
Superheroes = vigilantes.

I stand by my last statement. When in Rome, do as the Romans. You don't immigrate to another nation and then ask its people to compromise their existing culture and customs to suit yours. That's not immigration that's invasion.

Same goes for the USA trying to impose its political values on the Middle East. Same goes for the Spanish forcibly extinguishing the culture of the South Americans during the colonial age.

When there is a direct cultural conflict between the native and more dominant population and the new population, the former one morally and lawfully should have the right of way. Trying to be too soft on that, only leads to disruption.

I respond by quoting El Cid:

El Cid
But don't people have a right not to fit in with the majority culture if they so choose? Isn't this like banning mohawks or baggy pants?

We cannot force anybody to wear what we find ok and prevent him from wearing what he/she chooses to.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:38PM
El Cid at 7:08AM, May 18, 2010
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mlai
…The plain fact is, hiding one's face while in public is a very antisocial and disruptive behavior in Western society. It's something you do not do in respectable Western company: burkas, ski masks, pantyhose masks, handkerchief masks etc. Only Michael Jackson got away with it, and that's because you can recognize him from a mile away anyways…
Let's not be disingenuous here, we all know why this is an issue, at this particular point in time, and it has nothing to do with what you just mentioned. If the burqua were invented by Western youngsters and became a popular fad among them instead of Muslim women, then we wouldn't be here talking about it right now. It has nothing to do with the cloth itself and everything to do with what it stands for, or at least what people see it as standing for.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
El Cid at 7:12AM, May 18, 2010
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mlai
I stand by my last statement. When in Rome, do as the Romans. You don't immigrate to another nation and then ask its people to compromise their existing culture and customs to suit yours. That's not immigration that's invasion.
It’s true that you can’t take all of your cultural traditions with you. For example, if it’s the norm in your country to marry off your twelve year old daughter to an uncle, then that’s something you’ll have to do without when you move to the most developed countries. The same is true for migrations within a country. For instance, if I move from Texas to New York City, I imagine I’d have to give up my guns. But we’re not talking about anything that’s just intrinsically incompatible with the fabric of Western society here; we’re talking about cultural dress. It makes no more sense to ban burquas than it does to ban ranchers from wearing hats when they visit the city or banning city slickers from wearing khakis when they come visit their folks out in the boonies. Allowing people to retain their identities (cultural or otherwise) is a sign of mutual respect.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
Product Placement at 7:22AM, May 18, 2010
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El Cid
If the burqua were invented by Western youngsters and became a popular fad among them instead of Muslim women, then we wouldn't be here talking about it right now.
Well… I have to point out now that the very same thing DID happen in my country, by referring to my ski mask example. Iceland can be very cold during winter so some people opted to wear face covering clothes as they walked outside. The law that was passed reflected the public opinion where such behavior was considered to be distrustful. I myself will admit that while I find the law to be borderline stupid and have used ski-masks when hiking on mountains, one of the first things that pops into my mind when I see someone walking around the streets with a mask like that is “criminal”. It's subconscious stereotype branding, I know but hard to change the hardwiring in your head.
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
El Cid at 8:31AM, May 18, 2010
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That's an interesting parallel, but I think the two are only superficially similar. No one actually thinks they're going to be robbed by an old lady in a burqua.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
Product Placement at 9:02AM, May 18, 2010
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El Cid
No one actually thinks they're going to be robbed by an old lady in a burqua.
Yet it's been known to happen. Granted, the example I'm providing with has male robbers, dressing in burqua. That's the problem with robbers. They don't care about historical value of the cloth. All they care is that it's a face covering peace of fabric. Nobody is gonna say “Curses! If I can't use a burqua, I will never be able to hold out a store, ever again”. Ban the burqua and they're just gonna move over to the next thing that can hide their facial features.

I'm curious about the history of the Burqua. Ski masks were created out of the practical value of protecting the wearers face in a cold, windy climate. Was the original idea behind the burqua to protect faces in a sandstorm?
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM

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