Monday, July 14, 2008

Moroccan woman denied citizenship to France because of her radical practice of Islam

A deeply religious Moroccan woman was denied citizenship to France because her radical practice of Islam has been judged by the highest court in the land to be incompatible with French values. This “32-year-old mother-of-three, identified in news reports as Faiza Mabchour, is the first person to be refused the right to become French on the grounds of cultural behaviour.”

My first inclination was to cheer “Way to go, France!” as Tommy did here. But then on the other hand I also had some second thoughts that if the woman chooses this life for herself, and keeps it to herself, is this fair to deny her citizenship based on extreme religious practices? Some would say yes, if there is a possible threat to the society in which the person wants to live but not assimilate. Many consider radical Islam a threat, as do I (just as I consider any other radical religious beliefs threatening to peace and well-being of a peace-loving society).

I have problems with the burqa or hijab in a free society because in the general public and schools, the veils makes it difficult to identify a person. The Amish dress funny and keep to themselves, but they do not disguise themselves so not to be recognized. Same for the whackadoo Mormon cult that has been in the news recently. These religious fantatics are already living here though, and citizens by birth. But what if they are coming from another country with such radical beliefs? Should we deny them citizenship on grounds of being extreme in their religious beliefs or if they are of cultures radically different from our own?

When a woman to is forced to submit to the oppression of her husband and male relatives, IMO that is absolutely not be acceptable. But, what if the woman chooses this sort of life for herself? Even though we object, should we have the right to intervene or discriminate if this is what she freely chooses this life for herself?

Chuck A sent me a link to Acharya S’s article France: “No Woman Enslavement Allowed”

Acharya writes:

Of course, we can expect to hear from those who believe that women should have the “right” to dress and live in this inhumane and oppressive manner. These “liberal” cries appear to be based entirely on the blatant bigotry which supposes that anything done in the name of religion - no matter how vile - is just peachy keen. If, however, a Western, non-Muslim woman were living in a totally submissive state and forced to cover herself from head to toe not in the name of religion, would not the same people be yelling for intervention, to help this woman free herself of her abusive husband and this patent imprisonment? The woman in this current story would be freed and sent to a domestic violence shelter, with protection from the law against her husband - if she were not imprisoned by so-called religious ideology.

What truly “religious” ideology is based on the mistreatment and enslavement of women? How can there possibly be any good, decent and merciful god behind such egregious abuse of human rights? Millions of women around the world are suffering horribly because of manmade cults seemingly designed specifically for the purpose of enslaving them - yet, where is the outcry from the “bleeding heart” segment of society? “Religion” is not an excuse and should never have been an excuse for the abuse of women and the denial of basic human rights. If one is truly a “bleeding heart” one will feel the pain of these women in their daily enslavement in the name of Islam - and one will demand an end to it NOW, no “ifs,” “ands” or “buts” about it. This enslavement of women is EVIL, period.

Fortunately, France has finally grown a backbone and made this moral decision that could open the door to ending this vile abuse in the name of God. No god who demands abusing women is worthy of the name or of any sort of worship. No ideology that believes women to be inferior or mere sexual objects in need of being enslaved and covered up should be deemed a “religion” and be given special status. Any such ideology must either change or die.

What is your opinion on this issue?


Jason H. Bowden said...

"Should we deny them citizenship on grounds of being extreme in their religious beliefs or if they are of cultures radically different from our own?"

Our country is like our home. We have absolute power (as well as the right) to decide which strangers may live under our roof and which may not.

Kudos to the French; they have more courage than wimpy Americans these days.

Stardust said...

Can't these radical islamists find comfy homes in the Arab world? They want to live in the west and condemn it at the same time. I don't get anyone who wants to live somewhere that they hate. If you don't want to be free, then why not just stay where they are at?

Most likely because they love capitalism, but want to cling to their skydaddy beliefs at the same time. They want the good life of having stuff, but want to ensure they will go to the magical kindom where lots of stuff is promised after they die, too.

Religious people want the best of all worlds, real and imagined.

Poodles said...

I think if someone who was practicing marrying children wanted to become a citizen here most of us would have an issue with that. I think this is similar in that if this woman rears her children in the "rules of Islam" as opposed to the rules of France then they are smart to deny her that.

Bifrost said...

"But, what if the woman chooses this sort of life for herself?"

Can any uneducated person that is reared in the society they wish to perpetuate be said to have truly made a free choice? If Islam is all she knows, then how is her choice an informed decision?

Should France have denied her citizenship? It is their preogative; at least they did not deport her back to the abuse she would have received in her homeland.

Stardust said...

Poodles and bifrost, After reading comments and doing more thinking, I am going to stick with my first instincts of "Way to go, France!" If a person chooses to immigrate to another country, then they should expect to assimilate into that society. If they do not like that society then they need to go somewhere else which is more compatible to their radical religious beliefs...or stay where they are.

It seems that since this woman did not wear the hijab in Morocco, then why does she want to wear it in France? To show a sign of defiance against French society? I don't know what her reasons are for suddenly becoming more "devout" in her "religious modesty".

libhom said...

Some Muslim women veil for reasons that sound relatively reasonable. Some do it because they are uncomfortable with what they see as the objectification of women in Western society. Others veil as a way of making a strong stand in favor of being a Muslim.

On the other hand, in Euro-American culture, facial expressions are an important part of communication and building/maintaining trust. Someone wearing a mask has historically been up to mischief at best and looking to harm people anonymously at worst.

Also, the ideology behind the veil in Islam (that women are dangerous and must be covered up and hidden as much from male contact as possible), is hateful and bigoted against the narrow majority of the world's population.

In an ideal world, there would be no religion at all. In countries where there is an assumption of the general population that anyone who is of a non-Christian faith is suspect, you have to wonder how Christian religious extremists are treated. I've yet to read about militant Christian fundamentalists being denied immigration to France, including the ones who go there to proselytize.

I think the whole thing is a complicated mess filled with double standards and other contradictions.

Stardust said...

I've yet to read about militant Christian fundamentalists being denied immigration to France, including the ones who go there to proselytize.

libhom, that is an excellent point. Fundamentalist Christian missionaries are globally immigrating other countries with the intention to "convert" others to their same extreme Christian beliefs and few find anything wrong with that. It would indeed be interesting to know if Christian extremists are held to the same standards and judgments as other fanatics of other religions.