The Ultimate Consequence
21 July 2010
A law banning burqa style veils in public passed French Parliament by an overwhelming margin. This is the most overtly racist act by a first world nation in the 21st century. I know that is a tough thing to say considering all the contenders, but for a nation to approve such a law is absurd. This law has only passed parliament and still has some hurdles to go, but by all indications it should go through and already has the support of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Is this xenophobic culture really what France has succumbed to? The blame cannot rest solely on France as many western powers are moving to adopt similar laws, France has just been the first to move forward with such a widespread ban.
As more countries begin to fall to the culture of fear, the western world is beginning to lose its supposed, ‘moral superiority‘. The argument behind the French law is that the wearing of veils promotes a culture where women are not treated equally. This law promotes a culture where Muslims are not treated equally. Can one really argue that the violent acts of the vast minority of Muslims are not on par with the atrocities committed by the church in the past two centuries? This is not a battle of whose were worse, simply that the acts of a small minority should not lead to widespread hatred.
We as a nation have made great strides in the past fifty years in correcting the mistakes made in our past. We have worked hard to move forward from the hatred and bigotry associated with the civil rights movement and prior. We have created a culture where opportunity is easier for some than others, but available to all. These laws undermine all the work done to fix injustice. Recently Diane Sawyer began a now infamous segment with the question, “Should Muslims be allowed to build mosques wherever they want?”. Should Christians be allowed to build churches where they want? Can a synagogue be on your street? Would you allow a Quaker Meeting House on your block? These questions all have the same validity. How could the separation of church and state along without constitutional right to free practice of religion be impeded by fear?
All nations need to seriously re-look the way Muslims are treated, not by the citizens, but by unjust laws that are meant to debase people. This is especially troubling to me as an American. I love my country deeply and it upsets me to see it turn down a dark corner. Our country was founded by people whose religious believes were persecuted in the same fashion the world is leaning towards now. We need to make a difference and let people know this is not alright. We as a people need to reach out to the Muslim community and let them know there are people in the world who lead with hope and not exclusion.
There is nothing comical or witty about this, it is just sad. This site carries the moniker, ’Morbid Optimism’. I have great hope that we can make this a larger issue and move forward and concentrate on the similarities not the differences. Unfortunately the other option seems to lead to more bombings, more death, and ultimately a war that can never end. We will not convince them and they will not convince us. We can get to know each other, or suffer the consequences.