Voices
in
Japan

have your say

In some countries, there are moves to ban or restrict the wearing of religious clothing and symbols such as burqas, veils, head scarves, skullcaps, turbans and crucifixes in public places like schools

71 Comments

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

71 Comments
Login to comment

IMO the JT question is poorly written. are you talking about public places or private places? public schools or private schools? you list recreational facilities, do you mean private fitness centers or public rec centers and swimming pools? please clarify the question. i think most people would agree that a ban or restriction in a PUBLIC place would violate a person's fundamental right to freedom of religion and speech; unless there is some compelling governmental SAFETY issue at stake. if it's a private place then that's a completely different matter. private places can create any rules that they want to. i mean fitness centers in Japan won't even let you join if you have a tattoo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think that if you are worrying about what other people are wearing, you have too much free time on your hands.

Taka

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No bans in public places. No bans in public schools.

However, private schools, businesses (both working and catering to the public) the old rule applies:

We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service To Anybody.

And if some goofball is sitting in front of me at the movie theater, dude better take off his headdress, or sit someplace else.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have a friend who religiously wears his favourite team's jersey. Should we ban those in public places too?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As long as there's a logical reason, of course. Some people are literally against removing a veil to get a driver's license. And if a school has a uniform, use it or send your child elsewhere. There shouldn't be rules just to be mean, but that's a totally separate issue.

It's worth noting this is small fry. In some countries, you will be put to death for converting to Christianity or renouncing Muslim membership. In others, you could be put to death for remarrying after being widowed, or denying that Mohammed was a prophet. But I guess that's no big deal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In England our religion is the Church Of England with Her Majesty as head. A country should decide which religions to allow to their faith and which not. A cross to signify ones faith within COF may be fine Them minorities that try to change the rules, wear funny clothesd and try and impose daft rules can push off.

If i went to somewhere like Israel and Iran brandishing a big cross and imposing my dress code and beliefs on them , then wallop they would either kill me or lock me up with hard labour.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I generally oppose such moves. The French, among others, seem to believe that wearing such things separates groups of people within a country from each other, and demonstrates more connection with one's religion than with one's citizenship. The feeling is that people should first be French (for instance), and then be Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc. I can sort of understand this line of thinking, but I don't agree with it.

I think a multicultural society where people attend to their own beliefs (and required clothing, etc.) can nevertheless unify and be proud of the country in which they live.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In England our religion is the Church Of England with Her Majesty as head.

Not quite.

In England, the state religion is the Church of England, with the Queen as its head. For many people there, it is not "our religion."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have a friend who religiously wears his favourite team's jersey. Should we ban those in public places too?

Only if it's the damned United.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Reading this I can assume banning is meant anyplace, except maybe in the church you assist or your home..

I believe we each should be able to express who we are and what we believe in...as long as it is not involved with something illegal, or no person is harmed by what you believe in then it is fine...I honestly hate the fact that the countries/governments, want to dictate our lives, next thing you know we will be told what kind of panties we can use...or what kind of shoes you can wear in public..let ppl be themselves!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Poorly written question, but I'd ban burqas or anything else that makes it impossible to see who the person is.

If people want to wear burqas, they should do it in contries that have it as part of their culture. "When in Rome do as the Romans" should apply to everyone. They don't like it when women wear revealing clothes in their country, so they should go with the culture of the country they live in.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

gaijinfo said it best.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nessie, it aint a stae religion sonny jim, it aint teh Soviet Union. Everyone should have the right to choose whether they follow the Church of Englands way.

The other religions that impose ridiculous dress codes should be banned from charitable status, what does they do for anyone anyway? They all stick together either wearing silly caps and clothes ot hiding behind beards or Burkhus and they want us ro respect their wishes. Well rspect mine, and practise your finny religions and dress codes somewehere else, otherwise we should ban them from the dole and housing benefit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ban wearing religious clothing? Wear whatever you want, just don't preach it to me and especially to kids who don't know any better. In Canada, my teacher made us say the Lord's Prayer in Grade 2 every morning and it wasn't until I was much older that I realized that I had a choice not to participate. I don't think they do that anymore though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

First of all to @alfgarnett, Israel is a secular country where any religion is allowed to be practiced freely. You could not be more wrong there. As for the question at hand a full burqa is hardly the same as someone wearing their favourite team jersey or a religious cross. It completely hides a persons identity and I would imagine prevents one from having normal social interaction (perhaps this was the intent of the burqa to oppress women socially), therefore making daily life unnecessarily difficult in a society that relies on face to face communication. Unfortunately, banning the burqa is extreme but a means to fight oppression of such women in a modern society.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes! They should be banned. It is no different to someone traveling to a muslim country and being locked up for wearing half a bikini. Most of these people migrate because of the hardships and oppression of their home country, but bring their crap with them. It has been law for many years to remove motorbike helmets in banks and shops. It's the same thing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I oppose anyone who enters a country and tries to throw their religion down your throat and uses their religion as an excuse. The radical muslims are an example where they expect everyone to follow their beliefs. They complain at schools about religious festivals because the same schools don't observe their own religious festivals and as such many public schools have canceled events to appease everyone. Yet these same people will not complain one bit about the wonderful Easter holidays and Christmas holidays that are on offer. Simply leave your radical measures back in your radical country. If you don't like the way the country that you have decided to set up shop deals with your extreme thinking then simple head back to where you came from. I really hate to see where we will be in 50 years time. They won't be able to hang the cross in churches because it may offend someone. Give me a break!!!!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I support the ban as well. Everybody wants the feedom to observe their own religion which is fair enough, but a line has to be drawn somewhere (and if that line imposes on that freedom, bad luck). Works both ways of course, not only banning the burqas (or other religious symbols/insignia) in Western countries, but Mulsim countries and countries that have different religions also should be allowed to make their own rules.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think its up to every country to decide for itself.

If I go to Iran and get asked to wear traditional clothing, I will happily oblige.

People have the choice of what country they would like to visit or live, so they can decide, and have to accept the rules of that country.

I feel sorry though for the people already living in France who wear religious clothing, the rules were changed while they are living there, now they have to either give up their faith, or their home. Tough choice.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If there are safety reasons for the ban I can understand it. This is limited to certain situations though. I wouldn't want loose clothing in an auto shop for example but at the bank I don't care. Men can wear beards that cover their face and hide their identity so I don't see why a veil is so bad. I think the people that most want them banned are the harcore memebers of other religious groups that just don't want to see other religions being practiced in their neighbourhood.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If we are talking about FRANCE, which has Muslims as their biggest minority group, and you have young Muslims in France attacking Muslim girls for not wearing extreme Muslim fashion, the burqa, veils, etc..going after these young ladies for wearing jeans, make up, lip stick etc..in FRANCE, well I think it is a way to help these young ladies stand up to these Muslim thugs in France and other European countries. If these thugs want to see many burqas, veils, horse whippings in public, well they are free to live with the Taliban etc...in Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc...they do not have to stay in FRANCE, right? No one is forcing them to suffer under evil, infidel, provocative non Muslim culture in France, nor New York, London, Havana, Rio de Janeiro, Acapulco etc... but now I guess the French government will have to try to be fair to everyone, and try to get the SAUDIS to do this??? Try to get a church, buddhist temple etc..in Saudi Arabia??? Impossible! So, we must understand how backwards some cultures are today, and that for example just a few hundred years ago, the French Catholics were slaughtering French Protestants, like now in Pakistan the Shiites cutting the throats of Sunnis or is that Iraq??

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ok Smodgy, I agree with him or her 100%!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

completely agree with Ratpack. In holland we already made many sacrifices to obey the muslims. We now even sell Halal food. Have separate schools for muslims and some work places even have a praying area for the muslims. Where does it end? Im not compeltely against all religious clothing in public, but for example a burqa covers the whole body, I find that too much. I think any religious clothing that covers the complete face should be banned. If you dont like it, by all means go back to your home country and decide again which country you prefer living in.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have a problem with people wearing face covering clothing regardless of their reason. If you walk into a bank with a mask, the guards will grab you and call the cops so why can Mulsim women wear Burqua in secure environments? Today, I was in a DMV office while on vacation in the USA reinstating my vehicle and this guy walks in looking like an actor from Ali baba and the forty thieves movie, white headress, see-through over garments and shotrs with white half knee socks and slippers, WTF, I immediately looked for any large bulges on him like explosives and so did everyone one else. Save the costumes for prayer meetings and don't wear all that crap out on the street please!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I do not mind banning all religious wear if we are going to treat everyone the same across the board and not be biased against Islam only.

Let us also ban Jewish head caps, Christian crosses (I think Italy did, but there is an appeal),etc... from all public places. I am not sure we can.

And if we cannot treat every religion the same, then this process is nothing but discrimination.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nessie, it aint a stae religion sonny jim, it aint teh Soviet Union.

The Church of England is the officially established religion of the state. So yes, it is a state religion. The head of state is the head of the religion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How did this social (not religious) custom get started? By men too psychologically insecure to let other men glance at their wives? I can't see how it has anything to do with religious beliefs at all, and certainly has no place in 21st century society. I'll go along with Kronos about banning other costumes as well. Practitioners of all religions, take note: if you take the trouble to examine the teachings of your creed, you'll almost certainly discover that they do not mandate going to such extremes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Koran, Islam's holy book and treated as the word of God, tells Muslims - men and women - to dress modestly.

It's not just women who have to cover up, men have to as well, but only from their belly buttons down to their knees.

The Koran is more strict on women, who should cover every part of their body except their face, hands and feet.

So why do some Muslim women choose to cover up their faces too with veils?

The Koran is hundreds of years old and was written in the language Arabic. Some Muslim experts think there are different ways the Koran can be read and understood.

In othes like the UK it is up to the Muslim woman to decide for herself, whether she wants to cover up fully with the niqab, as an expression of her faith and Islamic identity, or not.

source...http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_6050000/newsid_6054200/6054244.stm

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Have you ever wondered what these woman actually think about the practice? Some of them feel more secure being under their robe. This could be through people always telling them that they should be wearing robes but some may not be. I know for sure there have been more than a few days that I wish I could be dressed like that to avoid peering eyes and creepy glares...and Im not even hot!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would prefer men cover up as much as possible, women dress more freely. I don't want to see men.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think that some people take it to ridiculous extremes. I dont like gobernaments promoting one religion, in special if it discriminate others. But also I dont like the idea of gobernaments telling us that we cant carry a cross or a hat or a veil if we go to a public place.

Let me make an example: an NGO promoting the japanese culture in Argentina asked my mother to talk to some people explaining about buddhism Zen, but they told she that she cant go with religious clothes. The concept of tolerance and learning about something different seems to be lost here.

In place of a secular state that allow free religion, is like some people want a secular society, where religious traditions are standarized to conform a dress code that they dont find offensive to their eyes. Whats next? Every temple in the city dont have to look like a temple?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Simple when you move to a country (as I did her) you accept to live by their rules.

In publicly funded schools and facilities all religious attire and talk should not be acceptable for many reasons but the main ones are that governments should remain neutral when it come to religion and as we all know there are some religions that inevitably will come into conflict with each other and by displaying your beliefs you will inevitably have the others do the same until we finally have a clash!

AS for private they can do as they please.

I public well that is where things get tricky.

I as a non-religious or religious with out restriction on how I dress have limits on certain things.

I cannot wear sunglasses, hat, scarf, or a helmet when applying and having my picture taken for a drivers license or passport, and when I am requested by immigration or the police to show my ID they must be able to compare this ID by looking at my face.

This is commonsense but some groups feel that this infringes on their religious rights and would not even accept such small concessions and even tried challenging the rules thus pushing the government and other into a more hard line stance.

In the private sector it become even more unclear and things get murky even here in Japan most convenience store, Banks, etc.. have signs up that say they will not serve you or not to enter with full face motorcycle helmets or scarfs/bandannas covering your face but some how some group feel it should be acceptable that someone enter the facilities with head to toe covered as their religious right.

This no face cover is for security the employees and customer in order to reduce or prevent crime and is again commonsense.

How you practice you religion in your own home, Mosque, Church, Temple, Shrine or Synagogue is your business but when out in public you need to conform to the laws and costumes of where you are living.

If that conforming means that you must carry a picture ID, passport, license or bus pass (yes many places have monthly passes with photo so you cannot share it) and that you must uncover your face so that those who must confirm you identity can do so, well that is though luck those are the rules that everyone else must follow so must you!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't think any woman living in France would find it hard to complain to authorities if she is forced to wear the hijab. France is basically denying a religious practice to observing Muslim women in the guise of helping them without being asked for. What a hypocricy in a so called 'free' country! The reality is that Europe in general and France in particular cannot tolerate rise in practicing Muslims as they see it as a threat to their own materialistic ideologies. Ironically the 'tolerant' Europe cannot tolerate another ideology in its midst. Why don't give people a chance to think and decide on their own if you are really that 'open minded'? We are entering into an age where the beginning of end of materialistic ideologies has begun as they have failed to provide internal/ spiritual peace to people. Obviously, materialisitic and lust loving people would hate it!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

submittoGod; Interesting handle very telling.

When was the last time you were in France?

What I can tell you from my last visit is this, in certain areas of some cities are virtually no go zones because even if a woman is not Muslim she will be clearly harassed if not physically attacked if she is not "properly" dressed and even if you do call the police no one in the community will point out the perpetrator, either out of sympathy for them or fear. (this was some time ago and my friends say it has gotten worse)

The same has started back in my home city in NA where the first to do this were the Ultra Orthodox Jews who wished the roads in their neighborhood closed to traffic on the sabbath and that women who were not "modestly" dressed be barred from passing in "their" area along with a few other demands that were clearly and rightfully rejected.

Now the same thing is happening in areas that certain Muslim groups have settled in but unlike the Orthodox Jews who accepted the governments decision these people now harass and threaten all who try to even pass through what they claim as their area.

And as I mentioned they also are claiming (and suing the city) discrimination because fully veiled women cannot obtain or use monthly transit passes because they (or perhaps their husbands) refuse to show their face on the mandatory photo ID or show the bus drivers or ticket agents at the subway station!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

limboinjapan: thanks for commenting on my post. I agree there may be problems out there but my point is directed to the way solution is being devised by the French government. Can you explain how the complex issues prevailing in French minorities be resolved by banning women from wearing what they want to wear? Were the women of Orthodox Jews banned from wearing their religious attire in NA? I can hear brawls taking place every now and then at nightclubs and pubs, but you would never hear that all the pubs are banned to operate! I am sure the French government is capable in addressing minority issues in a positive way if it wants to. Nobody wants trouble for nothing. Everyone wants to live in peace. However, if you look at the bigger picture at the global level there is far too much negative talk about Islam and Muslims now than ever before leading to mistrust and problems that we are facing today. I don't think the French government is sincere in resolving the issue - it has already generated enough friction and polarization between the masses - now it wants to reap the results in the form of votes! Who are we fooling here? I was born and have lived in India (perhaps with the largest Muslim minority in the world) for most part of my life. We know what this is all about.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

submittoGod; You write but say nothing positive informative or how these governments should respond other then suggesting they give in to the will of god and I don't need you to write that specifically because your own words make it quite clear.

"We are entering into an age where the beginning of end of materialistic ideologies has begun as they have failed to provide internal/ spiritual peace to people. Obviously, materialisitic and lust loving people would hate it!"

Most of these countries have tried many times to come to a compromise some like the Dutch have made many special exemptions only to be asked for more and more and finally they have decided that more exceptions will just get them more demands for more so they now find that banning ALL forms of religious things in publicly run places is the only way to end the demands.

I ask you this (and I have lived in Islamic countries so careful with your reply) Would you think it would be acceptable for my girlfriend to walk around in shorts and a T-shirt and for me to have a glass of wine (actually don't drink medical reasons but you get my point)with my dinner in and Islamic country?

I once walked the streets freely in Yemen and many other predominantly Muslim countries but now I wouldn't even transit through them and this is on the advice of my Muslim friends who live in those countries.

My mother was walking home in my home city with my sister and as they walked the same way as they have done since we were children they were chased by a group of Muslim men and told not to pass that way again unless they covered up, my mother is in her 70's and my sister is a mother of 4 in her mid 40's and not the type to dress anywhere near overt.

Is this what you call freedom and tolerance?

And to answer your question on the orthodox Jewish women no they are not band from wearing religious attire but they do not cover their faces they only veil their heads and any Muslim woman doing the same will have no problem on with the transit pass either.

But public school ban all visible forms of religious attire and that is why most (if not all) orthodox Jewish children go to private schools. If you do not wish to accept the rules that all the rest must follow then do like them any make your own schools.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

submittoGod; I have lived (not just visited) in India and Pakistan and I have seen first hand the treatment and rights of the minorities in both countries.

And I'm sorry if this offends you but the treatment and rights of the Muslim minority in India is by far BETTER than the treatment of the non-Muslim minorities in Pakistan.

If I were to put this on a scale of 1 to 10 India would get a 6 and Pakistan a -5

I would suggest this: If the Muslim communities wish for acceptance of their ways in non-Islamic countries then first push for at least a minimum of religious tolerance (forget acceptance for now)in Islamic countries and once the non-Islamic countries see this, then maybe they will be less reactionary and less suspicious of Islamic movements.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here is a more appropriate comparison Muslims are complaining about not having the freedom to wear religious clothing in publicly funded schools and buildings but at the same time they will defend the fact that if I travel to Saudi Arabia with a Bible or a crucifix in my luggage I could face arrest, seizure, and deportation even if it is just for my own use.

It is just plain hypocrisy

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Religion is always a hot topic because it is firmly rooted in beliefs. A religion's guiding document is believed to be holy because it represents the word and teachings of God. The fact that those documents have been authored and modified over the years by mere humans is ignored because, it is devoutly BELIEVED that those humans were guided by the hand of God and did not subject the holy documents to personal or political prejudices during their authoring/editing. If you are one of those who believe such, then the holy documents are ABSOLUTE LAW and override any laws a government on Earth might write.

So if a holy document says "women shall be covered up", then the completely devout women will cover up regardless of what some paltry government says.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

submittoGod:

First you completely ignored the fact that in Europe and my home city the men in these areas are not just asking that Muslim women be veiled but that all women passing in what they claim to be their area be covered.

Secound: "can you tell me which religion promotes drinking wine and wearing skimpy clothes? Do you think it is a RELIGIOUS observance?"

I do not think that shorts and a T-shirt on a woman could be considered "Skimpy" seen many women dress that way in churchs, as for drinking wine YES many Christians do it every Sunday at mass!

Third: "Western/ European countries have claimed themselves as "open and tolerant"

Open and tolerant does not mean you can do as you please it means you must follow the laws and customs like everyone else France for one has had the ban on religious items in schools for many years (at least since the 1950's)(they also banned priest from wearing their cassocks in public) and everyone (Jews, Christians and others) followed it, the controversy only arose when Muslims refused to follow what everyone else had accepted for years.

Forth; "Were any of these 'compromises' made at the cost of rule of law or public discomfort."

What is the point you are trying to make that if it doesn't discomfort it's not a compromise?

Why should any group get something that is not offered to others just because they think they have the right given to them by god?

Why should they have prayer time (no one gets smoking breaks anymore in Europe) and prayer halls separate eating facilities?

I was raised in a very culturally diverse place and lived and worked with many people form many countries and religions and some classmates and coworker despite being observant Jews never got separate eat rooms and the Sikhs who could not wear the proper safety gear were not permitted to work in the areas that required it no special "deals" were made for them and they never asked for it. Why because they understood that they lived in a secular society and those were the rules that everyone lived by.

You confuse "Tolerant and open" with freedom to do as you damn well please and that is not the meaning, the meaning is that you can practice your religion without fear of oppression or interference as long as you follow the rules of society.

And those rules are simple you must not wear any religious items in school or at work in a publicly run facility (Christian, Jew or Muslim) you must uncover your face on entering a bank or store, you must uncover your face for a Drivers license/Passport photo and you must not drive a car with you face covered (BTW the last 3 have been law in most countries for decades and is also the law in Japan).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We are wasting time on this . What people should or should not wear. Let people wear whatever they want.

Freedom of speech is there.

Don't you think there should also be freedom ,to wear whatever clothing of choice, be it religious or not ??

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My stance would be to ban all religious clothing and symbols, and then ban the religions themselves.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think many here have lost the meaning and the focus of the proposed ban.

Some have claimed women's right, other religious freedom, some it it social adherence, some seem to think it is some sort of total ban.

The fact are simple, the ban would only apply to certain places and most of these places would not accept certain things anyway.

For example if I were to try and enter my child's school with my face covered and without showing proper ID I would be stopped and refused entry.

If I were to try and get my drivers license without uncovering my face for the photo I would be refused my license.

If I were to drive my care with my face covered I would be stopped by the police and given a fine.

If I were to try and request my childrens's "kosekitohon" without photo ID with my face covered I would be denied it.

I would probably also stopped from even entering the ward office if my face was fully covered.

Banks, convenience stores, department stores and many other places would refuse access to me if I had my face fully covered.

And here I am talking about Japan.

These are the rules and most of these rules are also the same rules in other countries and must be respected by all to claim exception on the grounds of religion is not only unfair to all those that follow the rules but also sets a bad precedent and opens the door to more radical demands as we are now seeing in the UK and Kenya where some are asking for equal recognition of their religious laws.

In many if not most of the countries looking to put this ban into law they have for years requested that everyone follow the rules but certain groups have continuously refused and more to the point they have even attempted legal action against public entities and private businesses (such as Bank, convenience stores,etc..) that have rules against covered faces.

So the governments find themselves in a position that one group refuses to follow the laws and rules so they find that the only solution is to create a law that will enforce those rules and give protection to private businesses in the enforcement of their own rules.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"can you tell me which religion promotes drinking wine and wearing skimpy clothes? Do you think it is a RELIGIOUS observance?"

It is irrelevant whether or not these practices are religious.

This kind of special pleading is the problem. Irrational beliefs shouldn't be rewarded with special concessions and certainly not simply because they're irrational.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Can you tell me which religion promotes drinking wine and wearing skimpy clothes? Do you think it is a RELIGIOUS observance?"

The religion of Party!

We also allow the drinking of beer, whiskey, saki and other types of sprits! Freedom to drink and wear whatever you want.

Party on Garth!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Its a joke that they are even considering this sort of talk at such levels. I think it would be easier to change the meaning of public places, than to say exactly how I feel about such people who insist on such laws.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While there are places, situations where religous preferences (veils etc) should be set aside, people should not be restricted from wearing religous symbols etc. As long as people do not try to push their religouse beliefs on me, telling me I am a "sinner" etc, everyone has the right to express their religouse beliefs.

This is a quick message with more to follow after I read the comments from other people.

There are many religions, and we have different names for the same God or Supreme Being we believe in, but there is only one God.

OkiTaroSan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BREAKING NEWS: People who want to wear head veils and other clothing that conceals the face do not have to live in western countries or nations like Japan. They can live in the Middle East or other countries that permit it if they don't like the rule. Why do we have to change our society for them? Especially when it does nothing to improve or enrich society as a whole.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Covering the face with a burqa hides the identity, its a security risk so outlaw it. Turban or skull cap or cross doesn't hide the face so who cares.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think countries are sovereign and can choose to pass whatever law they wish so long as it fits within their basic laws.

On the issue itself I find myself divided. On the one side I feel people should be able to express themselves as they wish so long as they don't infringe on others' freedoms. On the other side is that some of these countries are addressing issues about intimidation and oppression (where religion is the vehicle of that oppression). So, in some way, I feel that these measures are in a way removing a tool of oppression --so in balance it seems good.

Of course, I would wish people would just become enlightened and forget about religion(s) altogether.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The topic is very general, western countries started different new laws on this matter for different reasons and purpose.

I will just talk about the one where I have some knowledge, France.

First of all, there is no problem to carry a shirt saying "I love to be muslim", or wear any kind of religious symbol in public area. But you can't do this in school or administration.

In France religion and the state is separated, we made a revolution and million people died for that so newcomers have to understand this. It's in our constitution, so newcomers can complain as much as they want : it's not going to change.

So in matter of religion, we know we can go crazy very fast (St Barthelemy...), it doesn't oppress believers : it protects them against stronger communities.

But there is no problem to go in private Muslim or Catholic schools...

And to be honest most of newcomers have zero problem with the rules. Same with the muslims. A majority want to be accepted and think that the muslim religion is more than "wearing a piece of tissue". We just build a giant Mosquee in Marseille, I don't think it's fair to say we oppress muslims.

The thing is that we have small communities of extermist muslims who want their wives to live like in Saudi Arabia (but who love western evil way of life somehow...).

No problem for them if they want to do it at home and if their wife freely decide to choose this path. A majority of us, hate this but we "tolerate" it (doesn't mean we get it).

But they can't do in on the street. Why? Not only because a burqua is a symbol of extremism, but because you can't see the face of people. So it's really simple in fact. The only day they can wear burqua is for Carnival on february (no joke).

How can you prove your identity if you hide your face? How can you go in the bank if you hide your face? How can you take the plane? How can you be sure this person is really the one you think?

So technically, it's not possible to live wearing a burqua in France if you go outside your appartment. But they can live in a jail at home like in Saudi Arabia is this their way of life: you can live in hole as long as nobody force you too...

Another thing is, this law is supported by a large majority of French, because between you and me it's pretty sad to never see your neighbour. Also, when as people said before, more and more extremist are threightening your wife, mother, sister daughet: so it's better to have a law to bring peace than people taking care of them by themself (which is pretty close to happening). Also the neo-nazis in France are not against it (Burqua on the street is the best advertisement they would hope for).

The good news is, you can be naked on many beaches while it's forbidden in most areas on the planet.

So welcome in France and take out your dress :D

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How 'bout a tattoo of a crucifix?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wish the guys at Disneyland standing in front of me wearing their Mickey Mouse sorcerer's hat while they watch the show would kindly remove theirs as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some pretty close-minded comments here... these people come to your country wearing the clothes they want to wear, breaking no existing rules or laws, and you want to create a new law to prevent them from wearing what used to be completely legal??? I can understand safety violations but making a new law just based on the "when in Rome do as the Romans do" philosophy doesn't sound fair to me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Can any body tell me what are the countries? countrys in the west are against to Islam ? what is the reasons to avoid the burqas , the head scarves

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So if the women can't hide their faces in public, does that mean the police special units also can't hide their faces with balaclavas? (glad I double-checked the spelling... I almost typed in a European dessert) After all, we can't see their faces so they are a security risk... and they're OPENLY carrying firearms!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's all about being sensitive.

Some people came ages ago settled down in your country, lived here, contributed to the growth of the country, paid taxes, made it their home. Some even come today with loads of money and pump it into your economy. That's all good. The moment they try to assert their religious identity without harming anyone, you have a problem. I can understand security risks when the face is covered. But you need to take the people in confidence by clearly explaining to them the risks. For example, how many times has a person in veil been involved in a harmful activity? Probably never - even if so, I bet you, it would be much less than drunkards driving at high speed and viping out an entire family with a head on collisions. When the country's President goes on record and blurts out that "burqa is not welcome in this country" it is the intent of the ban that is in question. I did not sign an undertaking that I have to follow social norms when i immigrated to this country. Social norms are not the law of the land. As long as I am a law abiding citizen, I don't necessarily have to follow social norms (such as drinking - at least I am saving tax payer's money by avoiding accidents and destroying innocent lives). France has a large Muslim minority. It can utilize this great resource by being a little sensitive to their religious needs. Believe me it will be much appreciated and you will end up with proud citizens ready to give their best. However taking a negative path will lead to negative results. Keeping people together is an art the leader of the country should possess. However, someone who has divorced three times himself can't be expected to lead the country in a positive way. Negative approach is a sign of weakness - I am sure France has many critical issues to solve than asking a few hundred people to lift their veil. When leaders have no solution to these problems they tend to divert people away from real issues.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For the handful people who want to force others into wearing any type of clothes within free France, put them behind bars and decipline them. I don't think the French police is so weak, it can't get its hands on a handfull of people. For women who want to wear the veil, arrange female officers to identify them at public places whenever required. If this is too much a financial burden, put some levy/tax in Muslim populateded areas and recover the cost. I am sure they will gladly pay. Banning the veil is not going to solve anything. It will only create resentment and more problems.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Political parties who harness hatred can never succeed in the long run. The Republicans tasted defeat in the US and the BJP lost all of its colors in India. So some lessons to be learnt here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

submittoGod; You really do have an agenda because this is what your 4th post that you bring up alcohol which has nothing to do with this but seeing you like the subject so much the consumption of alcohol in most countries is restricted to designated places and your home so if you wish to continue make a comparison of the veil and an alcohol then fine you should not have a problem with veils also being restricted to designated places and home!

"I can understand security risks when the face is covered. But you need to take the people in confidence by clearly explaining to them the risks."

A: Been done on multiple occasions and those involved refused to even consider any compromise stating Religious rights!

"For example, how many times has a person in veil been involved in a harmful activity? Probably never"

You maybe correct on this but here is the problem if you say or make and exception for one then you have others that will claim (and rightfully so) that if a Muslim woman can Drive a car go to the bank etc.. with their face covered then why should they be fined or refused service.

Rules and laws only work when they are applied equally if not society breaks down but I fear from your previous postings that that is what you feel or wish will happen to western Society

submittoGod at 11:18 PM JST - 14th July: "We are entering into an age where the beginning of end of materialistic ideologies has begun as they have failed to provide internal/ spiritual peace to people. Obviously, materialisitic and lust loving people would hate it!"

"I did not sign an undertaking that I have to follow social norms when i immigrated to this country. Social norms are not the law of the land. As long as I am a law abiding citizen, I don't necessarily have to follow social norms"

Well you had better read your agreement again because most countries do have a clause that states new immigrant will follow the laws and be socially responsible, but then you are ignoring the fact that it is the law in France at least, no religious items or clothing in public schools or that you have your face covered while driving and a few others.

"For women who want to wear the veil, arrange female officers to identify them at public places whenever required."

WHY?? Why should France or any other place have to implement such a system? Why must they (we) change are ways to suit you?

My country is one based on immigration and people who have immigrated from all over the world Europe, Asian, Africa, etc.. moved there and accepted the laws and customs as they were, the only ones making demands for special treatment are those with hard line religious beliefs (Orthodox Jews, Conservative Muslims and Ultra fundamentalist Christians).

When they or their parents immigrated or the converted to those faiths they knew the rules and laws so why must we bend over backwards to make exception for them.

I am not Japanese and not religious but if I was and I demanded Christmas off for myself and my children (off from school) I would rightfully be refused. Why because it is not the social norm.

As I have stated in other post my son have food allergies that could be very dangerous but the schools do not give him anything different on the days were they serve the food he is allergic to so he must either bring his own lunch or just eat what he is OK to eat.

Now we have some new students of Muslim faith and instead of doing like everyone else their parents are demanding that their children be exempt from the standard school uniform (Girls) and that special meals be prepare and separate eating areas be setup on days that they serve pork.

Why do they feel they have this right?

And BTW at first the schools did make concessions on the uniform for the girls but then came even more demands for an even more "conservative" uniform and then came the veil demand rightfully so the school said no enough was enough.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OkiTaro

There are many religions, and we have different names for the same God or Supreme Being we believe in, but there is only one God.

Is this the common argument against the reality that not all religions can be correct (to plead that everyone is actually worshipping the same deity)?

If so, not only is there nothing to support such a statement, it cannot be correct. Not all religions are monotheistic so the claim must be false.

Or were you just saying that your god is the only god?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think that one needs to identify the reason for the proposed restriction:

Safety and security - I can't wear a motorcycle helmet into a bank because it's a safety risk. Extending the ban to other face coverings like burqas, veils and head scarves is just common sense and isn't discriminatory just because the offending article happens to be a religious symbol. That's just crazy talk. That's like saying that wiccans should be allowed to carry their ethaine (a ceremonial knife used to perform religious ceremonies and a symbol of druidic faith) on airline flights. Don't be bloody ridiculous.

Religious equality - This reason simply doesn't float with me. It's like a diabetic child insisting that because they can't have chocolate neither can anyone else. That's just stupid. Just because muslims' religious clothing poses a security risk doesn't mean that everyone else should be denied their religious symbols.
0 ( +0 / -0 )

When in Rome, do as the Romans do... or somesuch. Don't like it? There is sure to be at least 1 country where your ideals are welcome, along with the clothing etc you choose to put on your spawn.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

If that were strictly adhered to, we'd still have only JTB, and there'd be no HIS or any other discount travel agencies. Thanks to the gaijin in Japan who bucked the system, we have other choices than JTB.

As far as the ban on people with tattoos in swimming pools, sentos and onsens, this is ridiculous. What they should ban is people who don't properly wash their bodies before entering these places.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Everyone's tired of ancient religions cramming their rules down everybody else's throat and that's a huge part of this movement. Why should one religion rule supreme over all the others ? Having women cover their faces and heads is merely a two-thousand-year old barbaric way of forcing women to grovel to the unbridled egos of men. It is so obvious it is laughable yet everybody cowers. I'm sick of it. Let's all tear each other's faces off over whose invisible best friend is better than the others'. That makes sense !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Adding crucifiex and scullkaps to the issue is just a way to obfuscate it to make it politically palatable. The only issue is, of course, radical islam and the efforts to make it dominant in Europe. If it were not for radical islam, we would not even have this discussion.

And yes, the symbols of radical islam, like the tented women, ARE political and not merely harmless religious symbols. Note that in islamic countries which are moderate (like Turkey and Azerbaijan), the tenting of women is forbidden. Because those government of course know the issue and what happens when you let the mullahs rule.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

WilliB: "Adding crucifiex and scullkaps to the issue is just a way to obfuscate it to make it politically palatable. The only issue is, of course, radical islam and the efforts to make it dominant in Europe. If it were not for radical islam, we would not even have this discussion."

Yes and no the banning of religious symbols and clothing in France's schools and civil servants has been in place for many years (50 or more) crucifixes and yamulke Cassocks and roman collars, etc.. and everyone accepted it.

The recent issue only arose when a certain group of Islamist refused to do like everyone else or even compromise, so as always when face with this kind of uncompromising situation people end up imposing more draconian measures often to remedy the situation only to later ease those measures once things have clamed down or they are no longer needed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No state has any business telling people what to wear or what not to wear. Nor does the state have any justification for preventing people from commenting on what other people wear or believe through so-called "hate crime" laws and other restrictions on free speech. The state's job is to protect Danish cartoonists and writers of Satanic Verses from violent reprisals from medieval god-botherers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A non-issue. I just don't like that this is an issue. Let people celebrate and wear what they want. If it's workplace on regular hours and such just stop being so selfish and do your job. Same with cops, firefighters, and whatever ... why stir up trouble for hokey nonsense that will just upset people.

Do as your need calls for. Nothing to do with Romans. Stop crying and just work, pay taxes, and celebrate with your own community.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is never a good thing for governments to meddle in religion. One can pretty much rate how good a nation is to live in by checking into how many laws exist to regulate religious activities and traditions.

Propaganda excuses aside, it is clear that France is attempting to make that country unattractive to Moslems without ADMITTING its intent. Bias plus deceit plus legal meddling ... this is not good for a nation that often bills itself as the birthplace of liberty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is two different point of view about the coverings for the women. One side says it is a form of abuse and the other side says it is part of their religion. The third point is that women head and face coverings is a security issue.

Syria bans full Islamic face veils at universities @http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jV_-6kvuvHLoKhskSm80Smyln5vAD9H2BJEG0

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites