the dissident frogman

18 years and 7 months ago

You Have The Right To Respect The Law ♠ Le Respect De La Loi Est Un Droit

the dissident frogman

Necrothreading much?

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The ban on religious symbols seems to be well on the tracks to become a law, and French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin is so convinced of his rightness that he is biting his (rhetorical) veil tail over the brand new ban:
Everybody has the right to express his faith as long as he respects the laws of the Republic inside the Republic's schools
And there it goes. The rhetorical tail that is.

To the extent of my humble knowledge, the very term "freedom of religion" is never used as such in the extensive amount of texts that constitute the laws of the Republic.
Yet it is indeed, as emphasized by our emphatic Prime, defined as a constitutional right, under the affirmation of the freedom of conscience and of freedom of cult (or worship), as early as in the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man (Art. 10) and later in the first article of the (famous) 1905 law of separation of the church and the state:

For those of you who are zippier than the average French Prime, the conclusion is already obvious.

For the French Primes among you, more explanation might come in handy. So bear with me Jean-Pierre, here we go:
If, as you put it, everybody has the right to express his faith and if, as we just saw, the said expression of one's faith is indeed a right acknowledged and defended by the laws of the Republic, then expressing one's faith inside the Republic's school can't be considered as a lack of respect for the laws of the Republic, for it is indeed nothing but the expression of a right enshrined in the, well... Laws of the Republic, precisely.

Got it Jean-Pierre?

Unless I'm proven wrong, the purpose of the law enacting the separation of the church and the state is not to prevent the citizens from expressing their faith within the Republic, but on the very contrary to ensure that the Republic herself will not favor one cult over the others and infringe the rights of the citizens to choose and express their religion - or lack of - freely.

Ironically enough, as far as the Muslim headscarf and "militant" Islam are concerned, I guess there was enough in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and in the 1905 law to deal with the problem, without trampling on individual's right.

Article 31 already plan for fines or prison for those who:
(...) either by violence or menace against any individual, either by threatening him with the loss of his job or damages to his person, his family or his wealth, had him determined to exert or abstain from exerting a cult, to belong or cease to belong to a cult, to contribute or cease to contribute to the expenses of a cult
Bigots will always be bigots, and one hundred years later, this article seems to be written specifically to protect Muslim women who refuse the veil, and the Muslims of any gender who want to convert to another faith, or simply relinquish their religion.

Yet here comes the juicy part, where I would side with Mr. Raffarin's Vision Of Secularity, if only he was enforcing the law instead of wielding his (rhetorical) tail.

Article 35:
If a harangue pronounced or a writing displayed or distributed in the places where the cult is exerted, contains a direct provocation to resist the execution of laws or the legal acts of the public authority, or if it tends towards the uprising or arming of a part of the citizens against the others, the minister of the cult guilty of it will be punished with a prison sentence of three months up to three years, without prejudice of the collusion sentence, if sedition, insurrection or civil war results from the provocation.
All right. I shall therefore officially call upon the French Power-That-Be:

What the hell are you waiting for to start cleaning the cesspool?

Article copy (alternate language)

L'interdiction des symboles religieux semble être en bonne voie de devenir une loi, et le Premier Ministre français Jean-Pierre Raffarin est tellement convaincu de son bon droit qu'il se mord la queue (rhétorique) sur le tout nouveau interdit :
Tout le monde a le droit d'exprimer sa foi pour autant qu'il respecte les lois de la République dans les écoles de la République.
Et la voilà. La queue rhétorique j'entends.

Le terme de "liberté de religion" n'est - dans les limites de mes humbles connaissances - jamais utilisé tel quel dans l'extensif amas de textes qui constituent les lois de la République.
Elle est pourtant, ainsi que le souligne notre emphatique Premier, définie comme un droit constitutionnel, par l'affirmation de la liberté de conscience et de la liberté de culte, dès la Déclaration des Droits de l'Homme de 1789 (Art. 10) et plus tard, dans le premier article de la (fameuse) loi de séparation de l'Eglise et de l'Etat de 1905.

Pour ceux d'entre vous qui sont un peu plus rapide que le Premier Ministre français de base, la conclusion est déjà évidente.

Pour les Premiers Ministres parmi vous, nous allons nous accommoder de quelques explications complémentaires. Il s'accroche le Jean-Pierre, on y va :
Si, ainsi que vous le dites, tout le monde à le droit d'exprimer sa foi et si, ainsi que nous l'avons vu, ladite expression de foi de tout un chacun est en effet un droit reconnu et défendu par les lois de la République, alors l'expression de sa foi dans les écoles de la République ne saurait être irrespectueuse des lois de la République puisqu'elle n'est rien de plus que l'expression d'un droit inscrit dans les, et bien... Lois de la République, précisément.

Il a compris le Jean-Pierre ?

A moins que l'on ne me prouve le contraire, le but de la loi établissant la séparation de l'Eglise et de l'Etat n'est pas d'interdire aux citoyens d'exprimer leur foi au sein de la République, mais bien au contraire d'assurer que la République elle-même ne va pas favoriser une religion au détriment d'une autre et enfreindre le droit des citoyens à choisir et à exprimer leur religion - ou refus de - librement.

Ironiquement, j'imagine que les Droits de l'Homme et la loi de 1905 contiennent déjà toutes les dispositions nécessaires pour gérer le problème du foulard islamique et de l'Islam "militant", sans piétiner les droits des individus.

L'article 31 prévoie déjà des amendes et des peines de prison pour ceux qui :
(...) soit par voies de fait, violences ou menaces contre un individu, soit en lui faisant craindre de perdre son emploi ou d'exposer à un dommage sa personne, sa famille ou sa fortune, l'auront déterminé à exercer ou à s'abstenir d'exercer un culte, à faire partie ou à cesser de faire partie d'une association cultuelle, à contribuer ou à s'abstenir de contribuer aux frais d'un culte.
Les bigots seront toujours des bigots et cent ans plus tard, cet article semble être écrit spécifiquement pour protéger les femmes musulmanes qui refusent le voile, et les musulmans des deux genres qui veulent se convertir à une autre foi, ou tout simplement abandonner leur religion.

Puis viens la partie franchement juteuse, où l'on me verrait volontiers embrasser la Vision Séculaire de M. Raffarin, si seulement il faisait appliquer la loi au lieu de se manipuler la queue (rhétorique).

Article 35:
Si un discours prononcé ou un écrit affiché ou distribué publiquement dans les lieux où s'exerce le culte, contient une provocation directe à résister à l'exécution des lois ou aux actes légaux de l'autorité publique, ou s'il tend à soulever ou à armer une partie des citoyens contre les autres, le ministre du culte qui s'en sera rendu coupable sera puni d'un emprisonnement de trois mois à deux ans, sans préjudice des peines de la complicité, dans le cas où la provocation aurait été suivie d'une sédition, révolte ou guerre civile.
Parfait. Je me dois donc d'interpeller la Force Publique française :

B* de Dieu, qu'attendez vous pour commencez à nettoyer la fosse d'aisance ?

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the dissident frogman

I own, built and run this place. In a previous life I was not French but sadly, I died.

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Comments thread (3)

1245 - Damian Bennett

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It is a shame but no accident that this bill is lumbering toward law, lacking only the Big Man's hen scratch. With majorities of 276-20 (Sénat) and 494-36 (Assemblée nationale) this bill hasn't advanced by some sort of parliamentary sleight o'hand. The sparse law can be found here: http://www.senat.fr/leg/pjl03-209.html That such a puny thing could be so misconceived and so defective is not a little amazing. First, nowhere does this law enumerate any offending religious articles or behaviors. What can these be? Privately making the sign of the cross? Humming Salve Regina? And just what is the government contemplating for next year's Ash Wednesday, when Catholics display their distinctive sign of mortification? Why has Ash Wednesday never conflicted with the infamous French secular tradition before this bill? Second, at what point does mere apparel "manifestent ostensiblement une appartenance religieuse"? The hijab worn by an atheist has no religiously expressive power. Are atheists to be denied permissible secular fashion expression? If so how are the Republican Mutawwa'in to discern whether it is a pious Muslim or a fashion maverick atheist behind the hijab? Wearing white is sacred to Shintoists, wearing red to the neo-sannyasins of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Are these colors to be forbidden some and not others? Just where does the offending religious quality reside? Clearly there is nothing inherently religious in attire or signs or colors themselves. Third, why does this law only pertain to French schools (scil., "Dans les écoles, les collèges et les lycées publics...")? The French tradition of secularism, which is relentlessly invoked to justify this bad law, seems writ very small. Does the tradition not extend to the civil service? Does it not apply in the public halls of the French government? If not, the question becomes just what harm is being wrought in the schools by wearing the hijab that wouldn't be wrought in the civil service? Again, that such a puny bill could be so poorly thought out and badly crafted is not a little amazing. How sad that French secularism cannot withstand basic freedoms. DGB

1246 - david orland

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As with opposition to the Iraq war, the veil controversy is not about what it pretends to be about at all. Banning the veil in public schools is simply a way for the government to seem to doing something about the failure of integration while in fact doing nothing at all. Not only is the proposed law, as you point out, inconsistent with constitutional protections on freedom of religion, it also singularly fails to deal with what is in fact the real problem: the presence in France of between 5 and 8 million Muslims. And that, of course, is not going to change anytime soon.

1247 - Michel Behna

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(Speaking as one raised Christian Lebanese) Well, it is not quite the "religious freedom" issue most impugn. Students of history will remember where, when, and under what political circumstances the garment in question came from. The locale is the country of Lebanon, and it is the early '70s (really started to gain heavy acceptance in '72) and during the (basically) civil war between the Christian Lebanese and the Shiites. The Shiites wanted to differentiate between "their" women and anybody else's. The solution? The Hijab. Now the Shiites could rape and kill women without worrying about if they actually were nonShiite women. "Good" Shiite women were wearing the hijab, and the rest were targets of opportunity. Nobody complains about suppression of religion when the Catholic nuns are forbidden to wear the formal habit, although the countries that do forbid it have a lot more egregious restrictions on Christianity than any western country does on Islam (even considering France to be a western country, at least until the RIF take over). The Catholic Church recognizes that it is not a sin, or admonished against by God, for a nun to not be wearing the habit. It is recognized as a CULTURAL expression of faith, and an organizational requirement (when allowed by law) and external testament of faith that does not preclude nuns from being there, and the suppression of the habit itself is, of itself, not considered a suppression of the Catholic faith. The habit was a protection from certain excessive behaviors toward women that the culture was not willing to forbid in regards to the treatment of "regular" women. Behaviors from flirting with, to pinching, manhandling, and "stolen" kisses were behaviors that were not really prosecuted when performed against women (in general). Nuns were given the protection of the habit to protect those women as out of bounds to that behavior. The Hijab was, like the habit, to provide the same protection; but, like the habit, only to those wearing them. Behaviors from assault, to rape and murder, are condoned by those cultures when performed against those not a noticeable part of the Muslim religion and visibly complying by the wearing of the habit. Behaviors that even France seems to recognize are not appropriate to allow to be committed against women just because they are not part of the "Religion of Peace". France seems to recognize that they will be inciting massive retaliation from the rest of France if they allow the RIFs to start that same cycle of raping and murdering nonMuslim women for the crime of not following current Islamic cultural requirements.