The Burka - Update
It snowed again on Tuesday, but no one really cares anymore. We're numb from the ongoing stress of shoveling, transportation delays, school closings, cancellations of everything, alternately severely cold air outside and dry hot air inside, trash piling up on the sidewalks, and minimal groceries. But of course, this is just a temporary inconvenience, not an earthquake, or a tidal wave or any major calamity. Just exhaustion, and the realization that a slight alteration in daily habits produces bodily stress and psychological fatigue. We are quite spoiled.
In my inertia, I put off going back to the situation in France which worsens every day. If the old notion that "something has to give" has any meaning, it does not apply to France. Not yet anyway. France is like me - inert, stuck in a rut, and headed for some kind of implosion unless the adrenal glands are reactivated.
Yves Daoudal has been publishing some excellent articles in his weekly newsletter, available through subscription. Some of them are quite long, but what I like about them is that they cover a whole story from start to the most recent developments, rather than the bits and pieces one gets on a daily basis. The story of banning the burka is one such story. I have spoken of this issue before and I maintain my original opinion that banning the burka means nothing. It is merely an outward symbol of Islamic conquest. Unless Islam itself is banned from French territory, a ban on the burka will serve only to make Nicolas Sarkozy appear to be "tough" on Islam. The world will say he is being true to the principle of laïcité, that he is placing the well-being of the Republic above all else, that he is determined to show the Muslims who is boss, that he cares about the dignity of women, and other similar inaccuracies (i.e., inanities).
In fact, he is deviously working to recast his country, through a new law, not only as a land where Islam will be totally protected from "discrimination", but as a country where the freedom of conscience provided for by the law of 1905 is totally and in totalitarian manner subjugated to laïcité. Where religion itself is subjugated to a "higher" principle, that of laïcité. Today, freedom of worship is guaranteed by the law of 1905 on the condition that public order is respected. Under the new law, hypothetically, freedom of worship will be guaranteed only if laïcité is respected. Changing the wording slightly changes the degree of power invested in the concept of laïcité. It becomes almost the official State religion, superior to any religion. If atheists have no problem with this, how will traditional Catholics feel?
The answer, so far, is that Catholics are not being consulted, nor are they voicing any objection to not being consulted. They are slowly being factored out of any consideration on the values that govern French society. What they think or feel is of no consequence to Sarkozy.
All of this and much more is contained in a new report issued by the parliamentary commission studying a possible law that would ban the burka. (The commission, for your edification, heard testimony from well-known Islamic militant Tariq Ramadan, and from numerous members of the masonic Grand Orient, but not from any representative of the Catholic Church!) If you have read in the English-language press that the burka is banned in France (I have seen such articles), be advised that it is not yet law - it is still in the discussion stages. Sarkozy, using a well-tested tactic, will not allow the question to advance further until after the regional elections this spring.
On a slightly different note, one of the most troubling aspects of the report is the revelation that any ban of the burka will be in fact a quid pro quo that will compensate the Muslims for the inconvenience of having to accept the ban. Their reward? More mosques, more Arabic taught in the schools, hence, more power...
The report mentioned above is available online at the official website.
Meanwhile, this Daily Mail article from January 26, the day the report was issued, gives the surface facts.
I will try to have a resumé of Daoudal's article (with a little help from Le Salon Beige that has done its own resumé) within a day or two.
Note: There are two spellings of burka, the other being "burqa". I had to make a decision about this. In my previous articles I used the "q", but it seems that the "k" version is more commonly used by the English-language press, so I yield to the law of the majority.