Mulitculturism and Veils in France
I was interest in todays class about the talk on Multiculturism and its role in the world. This intrigued me because I am in another class where we were recently talking about France and its decision to ban all conspicuous religious symbols including the veil worn by Muslim women, the Jewish Yamaka, and the Christina cross or crucifix. The French believe such a ban will eliminate multiculturism and will unite every citizen under a French symbol. They believe that by eliminating all of these symbols people do not separate themselves from other French citizens and these citizens are attempting to fit in with French culture rather than France adopting other cultures. Many French politicians along with Muslims themself believe that the veil is emasulating to women and further demeans them in the eyes of Muslim men. They believe that the secular notion that France has adopted should be understood and upheld for every French citizen not placing anybody's religious beliefs above anybody else. On the flip side, many Muslim believe they are wearing the veil out of free-choice and that they should be allowed to express themselves as they feel necessary.
I feel that banning these "conspicuous" religious symbols is ridiculous because I don't feel that people wearing a veil, yamaka or crucifix identify themselves as superior to others because of this religious symbol. They wear them because they are proud of their faith and they believe in their faith. A nation-state such as France will always be France because of its history and it has always been the same way. I do not feel they need to be worried that the nation will converted to a Muslim or Jewish state but rather they should be worried about the consequences of this ban and the uproar it will cause if people are banned of wearing something that is often times required of their faith. However, I realize that the French have a right to do whatever they like with their laws I just worry that the abolishment of such articles will further intensify distinctions between religious groups and will only foster more racist tensions.