A comment on two issues...



Une quéstion Musulmane (a Muslim issue)
France has taken a few legislative steps concerning the Muslim customs, which have appalled a few people. For example, Muslim women are not allowed to wear headscarves in state schools; the government is searching for ways to ban the use of burkas (since it is understood that they “reduce dignity” and France “cannot accept to have (...) women who are prisoners behind netting, cut off from all social life, prived of identity,”) and more recently a Muslim lady was prevented from swimming, in a public pool, in a burkini (image above) due to hygiene purposes (the pool prohibits the use of several kinds of swim wear).
Some defend that it represents an attack to the Muslim culture; but I’d say it is a defence of the European culture and tradition.
The burka (and its derivatives) is a symbol of female repression and submission. Europe has already had its share of repression, in the past; it fought against it and it will not go back there in the name of the so-called cultural/religious respect.
When Westerners travel to most Arab countries they are forced to abide to the Sharia Law; and Western women must cover themselves up (under extremely high temperatures) and cannot travel alone with a man (unless he is either the father or the husband). So, are our culture and customs respected there? No.
I do think, though, that Muslim women should be allowed to wear a headscarf (if they wish so), which would satisfy both ends: the Muslim custom would be maintained and we would be able to recognise their facial traits; their identity. We do not wish them to forsake their religion or/and customs; we simply desire to guard our own values and culture.

The Left issue
The Portuguese left is ashamed of our historical past.
I recently read that our Minister of culture (José António Pinto Ribeiro) expressed the will to open a Museum of Travel (to be called Museum of the Discovery Age); however a Socialist Party-supporter blog [in the person of Leonel Moura], in a poor attempt to be funny, wrote that the minister (by travelling) could only be referring to surfing the web because if he meant to go back to laud the discovery age, and our past deeds, then he should forget about it because Portugal is way ahead of it. I wonder which Portugal this socialist is talking about...certainly not the same I’m in.
First, our national anthem is about the discovery period and it calls upon us to bring back the glory Portugal once enjoyed – this is called pride for our history and a plea to recall that we are grand & capable of anything.
Second, since when are we “way ahead of it”? What glory do we enjoy as a nation (in the international scenery)? We are not even invited to the G20 meetings; but again how could we? If a foreigner wishes to know more about Portugal (under our perspective) it can’t...for our online press is in Portuguese only (even the Germans have English versions of their e-newspapers). The international press only mentions Portugal to speak of Cristiano Ronaldo; the whores in Bragança; whenever our football (soccer) teams participate in the Champions’ League and to stress our failure in dealing with the case of Maddie McCann.

Does the world know that our scientists (from the Nova University) invented the Paper Transistor? Does it know that a Portuguese company (Solar Plus) is a pioneer in the photovoltaic modules (using the Thin-film technology)? No. The mainstream doesn’t...yet it knows that we discovered the path to India, they know our former colonies; they know we (along with the Spanish) were the most vicious in the slave trade and that we performed the worst decolonisation ever in human history.

So, Mr. Leonel Moura should just wake up and smell the coffee...we are not there yet, let alone “ahead”.
Our past serves as a trampoline to a successful future.

“God wills, man dreams, the task is born.
God wanted the world to be whole,
The sea to connect, and no longer divide.
He chose you and you went forth unraveling the foam,

And the white rim went from island to continent,
Clearing up, racing, to the end of the world,
And the whole Earth was suddenly seen,
Emerging, round, from the deep blue.

He who hallowed you, made you Portuguese.
Of the sea and us, in you he gave us a sign.
The Sea was accomplished, and the Empire was undone.
Lord, Portugal is yet to be accomplished!”
("Prince Henry" by Fernando Pessoa)


Image: taken from Daily Mail

Comments

  1. Hi Max,

    I can always rely on your mind to marinate the flavor of thought and intellect. Wonderful photo. She looks so happy and alive.

    I read about the weeks ago and was rather puzzled that all of a sudden France has taken this stance.

    This is an excerpt from the L.A. Times that elucidates it more eloquently that I could ever do.

    "What lies at the heart of the French skittishness toward exotic religious garb isn't pure xenophobia, but rather the country's tradition of assimilation. Far more than most Western cultures, the French are known for insisting that all people, especially immigrants, subordinate their religious and cultural beliefs to a common French identity.

    This approach differs quite drastically from both the United States and the United Kingdom, whose leaders speak eloquently in favor of freedom of religious expression -- even if that expression is extreme by Western standards.

    Sarkozy's motivation -- assuming a reasonable absence of political calculation -- is admirable: No woman should be forced to be hidden behind a veil. Still, many women choose to wear burqas as a show of respect for their religion, not out of subservience. Strangely, Sarkozy has put himself in the paradoxical position of appealing to modern Western ideals of universal human dignity to make the case for antiquated French values. The result is precisely the opposite of Sarkozy's rhetoric: By singling out burqas as an abomination to French culture, the president has reinforced the discrimination faced by many immigrants by contributing to their marginalization. These residents, after all, are simply trying to adhere to the beliefs they held long before becoming subjects of the French assimilation machinery."

    "...a Muslim lady was prevented from swimming, in a public pool, in a burkini due to hygiene purposes (the pool prohibits the use of several kinds of swim wear)."

    I don't understand that. What are they insinuating? That is such a cute outfit too. Kind of like a wetsuit.

    I think people have deep-seated issues that they are not even aware of about other cultures, religions, nationalities, etc. I know in America that people throw the word, "racism" around freely even if it has nothing to do with a situation. They seem to rely on the word as a crutch to what they don't understand or in some cases they use the word itself as an attack.

    "The international press only mentions Portugal to speak of Cristiano Ronaldo..."

    Thank God for that. (Glancing at a wall of full size Cristiano posters. Sighing) Okay I am back. Yes, that's right, we don't get much news about Portugal, but Cristiano makes up for that. ;D

    "Does the world know that our scientists (from the Nova University) invented the Paper Transistor? Does it know that a Portuguese company (Solar Plus) is a pioneer in the photovoltaic modules (using the Thin-film technology)?"

    Really?

    I think Portugal needs a Hollywood publicist. Who knows, throw it in some films and before you know it Portugal will have it's own star on Hollywood's Walk Of Fame.

    “God wills, man dreams, the task is born..."

    That says it all.

    Oh Max, I can tell that you are fully back. You have filled my head with all sorts of knowledge on Portugal and now I can speak with authority. Thank you.

    Portugal Cheers!

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  2. I too find it cute and I share your view. In my opinion it's alright to allow them to wear burkini.

    *Does the world know that our scientists (from the Nova University) invented the Paper Transistor? Does it know that a Portuguese company (Solar Plus) is a pioneer in the photovoltaic modules (using the Thin-film technology)? No. The mainstream doesn’t...yet it knows that we discovered the path to India, they know our former colonies; they know we (along with the Spanish) were the most vicious in the slave trade and that we performed the worst decolonisation ever in human history.

    Nope, I didn't know that. You know Max, you are so right, the world knows so little about Portugal. Thanks to you for sharing Portugal with us. We are learning. :)

    Glad to hear all is well here. I am fine sweetie. Take care.

    *hugs*

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  3. The French issue is so complex but I can appreciate their desire to see immigrants 'conform' to their cultural traditions (I'm not sure that conform is the right word but couldn't think of an appropriate synonym). At the same time, I see the dilemma that occurs when Governments start tampering with religion and even legislating on religious issues. In most parts of Australia, the right to freedom of expression of religion is generally assumed. However, in my own state, recent years have seen our state Government begin a concerted campaign against religion.

    In simplistic terms, where people were previously free to openly discuss and explore religious issues, the Government decided this was akin to racist prejudice and created a 'Racial and Religious Tolerance' law. This was despite most people feeling that these issues were adequately covered in laws regarding hatred, vilification and This has resulted in the courts being given greater powers to decide what is and what isn't a part of each religion - as a result, some really odd court cases have arisen. One group was sued because of a conference they ran about discussing Islam. In another case, one Christian denomination was (unsuccessfully, I believe) sued by a man because, in a prison outreach programme, they gave him a Bible. This prisoner was, if I remember correctly, a convicted paedophile who had engaged in sexual acts with teen girls as part of his 'religious' activities. He claimed to have found the Bible offensive - had the case reached its logical conclusion, it could have effectively made the Bible illegal in this state.

    So, I sympathise with the problem presented: that France wants to prevent the oppression of women - while some people may desire to practise their traditions within a new country. It's such a complex issue!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Max,

    1- The beauty of diversity is difference; i.e. burkas, veils and alike are perfect for the Middle East Arab countries not for Africa nor Western civilization.
    France does well to set boundaries and if the Muslims have issues with the laws of that country, they should pack and move to their ancestors' nations.
    Muslims' emotional intelligence is rudimentary, hence very touchy people; which is idiotic for it's a common knowledge that in Rome be Roman.

    2- Lefties around the wold are a bunch of awkward people. It is our belief that the crescendo of Muslims in Europe is due to lefty nonchalant governments.
    The left has the ability to change things from lawful to total anarchic; from religious freedom to agnosticism and/or atheism; from freedom of expression into burkas; from freedom of speech into chaos and so on...
    Lefties are incapable of understanding that the past is a nation's backbone and greatness for it defines and sustains (culturally, emotionally, intellectually and ethically) its people as a whole.
    Besides if a country doesn't know where it came from it will easily derail its future.

    Max, good job :)!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Lady A :D!

    Part I

    "I can always rely on your mind to marinate the flavor of thought and intellect. Wonderful photo. She looks so happy and alive."

    *Bowing*! She really does :):

    "I read about the weeks ago and was rather puzzled that all of a sudden France has taken this stance."

    Oh, it is not all of the sudden. France has been having problems with the Muslim community for ages (do not forget that they had a lot of terrorist attacks perpetrated by Muslims, way before the 9/11).

    "This is an excerpt from the L.A. Times that elucidates it more eloquently that I could ever do."

    Thank you for the excerpt. But I disagree; I lived in France and I didn't see this "tradition of assimilation"; I didn't feel any pressure to be assimilated. In the neighbourhood I lived there were Chinese, ultra-Orthodox Jews (with the peyot), Muslims (from several countries), Africans, Italians etc all living together in harmony and each speaking their own language (sometimes).
    The French are the one of the most respectful people I have ever come across with (they respect & learn from other people's religion, culture; the social integration there is very good [better than in Portugal] even though they used to be hermetic to anything coming from the US and the UK) but...they are not willing to compromise their national identity and values. Are they wrong? No, they are not.
    I have been an immigrant, and I have always respected the nations where I lived in, while keeping my own Luso-identity (at home).

    "This approach differs quite drastically from both the United States and the United Kingdom, whose leaders speak eloquently in favor of freedom of religious expression -- even if that expression is extreme by Western standards."

    Swu (I believe you have seen him here) has told me about the erosion of the American identity (immigrants not respecting the national anthem/flag; not speaking English etc) and it seems like France does not want to see the same thing happening in their country.
    About the UK...they also have had the debate about banning women from wearing burkas (it was even said that they were a threat to national security); and I am rather curious to see how it will end after the conservative party wins the elections.

    "Still, many women choose to wear burqas as a show of respect for their religion, not out of subservience."

    True. The problem lies when they force all women to wear them. And most (who wear them) are forced to put them on.


    To be continued...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lady A,

    Part II

    "The result is precisely the opposite of Sarkozy's rhetoric: By singling out burqas as an abomination to French culture, the president has reinforced the discrimination faced by many immigrants by contributing to their marginalization. These residents, after all, are simply trying to adhere to the beliefs they held long before becoming subjects of the French assimilation machinery."

    I understand where you are coming from; however you should understand that France has approximately between 5 to 6 million of Muslims who (a few years ago) wanted, in the name of preserving their identity, to implement practices in France that clash with European values and national law: female genital excision; honour killings (ex: women being mistreated or killed because they ashamed their family); and kidnaps (when Muslim men marry non-Muslim women they'd often kidnap their children and take them back to their ancestor's land). Now they have added national security reasons to implement these measures (as all Europe should have): many times men hide under the burkas to commit crimes, because Muslim women cannot be frisked that easily; Muslim women, in Europe, wage wars for Al-Qaeda, and wearing a burka makes it harder to identify them.

    Immigrants must learn how to be responsible and respect the country that hosts them; and part of being responsible is: to be legal, pay taxes, pay social security; learn and speak the language of their host; respect the local law; integrate themselves in the new culture; avoid to offend their hosts and be happy.
    If they are not willing to respect these...they should go back home (and this applies to all immigrants, of all religions and nationalities).

    "I don't understand that. What are they insinuating? That is such a cute outfit too. Kind of like a wetsuit."

    They also forbid swimmers from wearing shorts in the pool for example (and they have a sign at the door announcing it); so I do not think they were trying to insinuate whatsoever...
    Yes, it is a cute outfit for the beach perhaps.

    "I think people have deep-seated issues that they are not even aware of about other cultures, religions, nationalities, etc. I know in America that people throw the word, "racism" around freely even if it has nothing to do with a situation. They seem to rely on the word as a crutch to what they don't understand or in some cases they use the word itself as an attack."

    Indeed, the word "racism" is often misused (not just in America, but everywhere). I think people have learned how to manipulate public opinion by using this word...but I ask people to think before reacting to the sound of it...

    "Thank God for that. (Glancing at a wall of full size Cristiano posters. Sighing) Okay I am back. Yes, that's right, we don't get much news about Portugal, but Cristiano makes up for that. ;D"

    LOL LOL LOL do you like Cristiano Ronaldo? I know you don't get much news about Portugal...and it is Portugal's fault.

    "Really?"

    Yes, really. I'd send you the link where it speaks of it, but again...it is in Portuguese only *nodding*.

    "I think Portugal needs a Hollywood publicist. Who knows, throw it in some films and before you know it Portugal will have it's own star on Hollywood's Walk Of Fame."

    You are right! It does need it! LOL LOL that was a good one "it's own star on Hollywood's Walk Of Fame" LOL...

    "Oh Max, I can tell that you are fully back. You have filled my head with all sorts of knowledge on Portugal and now I can speak with authority. Thank you."

    LOL did you miss me? Aaah, you are so kind...no, I haven't yet...but I will and then you will be truly able to speak with authority :D! I promise!
    You are welcome, darling.

    Lady A, thank you ever so much for this superb comment; I adored it :D!

    Cristiano Ronaldo Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey Liza :D!

    "I too find it cute and I share your view. In my opinion it's alright to allow them to wear burkini."

    Headscarves can be rather cute indeed. There are some gorgeous ones.
    In a beach perhaps, because in that exact pool they do not even allow men to use shorts...

    "Nope, I didn't know that. You know Max, you are so right, the world knows so little about Portugal. Thanks to you for sharing Portugal with us. We are learning. :)"

    You see? I know it does, usually the world thinks we are a Spanish province *nodding*. Aww, you are welcome, sweetie :). And I am glad you guys are willing to learn about Portugal :D!

    "Glad to hear all is well here. I am fine sweetie. Take care."

    Thank God you are fine :D! You too!

    *Hugs*

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is an interesting debate. Bottom line, government has no business legislating what we choose to wear in the name of our beliefs. It has been proven over and over again that morality or cultural standards cannot be effectively legislated.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Fikalo :D!

    "At the same time, I see the dilemma that occurs when Governments start tampering with religion and even legislating on religious issues. In most parts of Australia, the right to freedom of expression of religion is generally assumed. However, in my own state, recent years have seen our state Government begin a concerted campaign against religion."

    It is indeed a complex issue and quite a dilemma. Religion should not be attacked, however burkas are an exaggeration of what dressing modestly really means (and modesty is what is required of Muslim women). Wearing a headscarf is complying with the Muslim religion, and we know that that individual is a Muslim because of the way she wears her scarf. But a burka is not only a sign of repression but mainly an issue of national security (for obvious reasons).

    "In simplistic terms, where people were previously free to openly discuss and explore religious issues, the Government decided this was akin to racist prejudice and created a 'Racial and Religious Tolerance' law."

    Really? I didn't know that...

    "One group was sued because of a conference they ran about discussing Islam. In another case, one Christian denomination was (unsuccessfully, I believe) sued by a man because, in a prison outreach programme, they gave him a Bible. This prisoner was, if I remember correctly, a convicted paedophile who had engaged in sexual acts with teen girls as part of his 'religious' activities. He claimed to have found the Bible offensive - had the case reached its logical conclusion, it could have effectively made the Bible illegal in this state."

    Oh Dear Lord...*nodding*. That man is evil that is why he found the Bible offensive...

    "So, I sympathise with the problem presented: that France wants to prevent the oppression of women - while some people may desire to practise their traditions within a new country. It's such a complex issue! "

    I hear you! But I still think that Muslim women can practice their traditions while wearing a headscarf, no one would ever stop them from doing that because European women (in villages, in Latin countries at least) also wear scarves (although they wear it a bit differently).

    Fikalo, thank you so so much for this fantastic comment (I learned things I didn't know); it is always a pleasure to see you here :D!

    Cheers

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  10. Hi Circulus Ciceronis :D!

    "1- The beauty of diversity is difference; i.e. burkas, veils and alike are perfect for the Middle East Arab countries not for Africa nor Western civilization."

    I agree.

    "France does well to set boundaries and if the Muslims have issues with the laws of that country, they should pack and move to their ancestors' nations. Muslims' emotional intelligence is rudimentary, hence very touchy people; which is idiotic for it's a common knowledge that in Rome be Roman."

    But you know what is the most interesting thing? It's that the lady that brought up the burkini issue is an European French convert to Islam and after she accused the pool of practising segregation she said she's considering leaving the country...maybe she should if she forgot how the traditions + values in her own country are.
    Yeah, they are touchy. But they should recall what it is done to Westerners in their ancestors' nations.
    I agree: In Rome be Roman.

    "The left has the ability to change things from lawful to total anarchic; from religious freedom to agnosticism and/or atheism; from freedom of expression into burkas; from freedom of speech into chaos and so on..."

    It is so true! But so true...*nodding*

    "Lefties are incapable of understanding that the past is a nation's backbone and greatness for it defines and sustains (culturally, emotionally, intellectually and ethically) its people as a whole. Besides if a country doesn't know where it came from it will easily derail its future."

    Thank you for catching my drift!

    "Max, good job :)!"

    Thanks, guys :D!

    C.C, thank you a million for your outstanding input: you convey my point in utter perfection :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello Mark :D!

    Welcome to the MAX!

    "This is an interesting debate. Bottom line, government has no business legislating what we choose to wear in the name of our beliefs. It has been proven over and over again that morality or cultural standards cannot be effectively legislated."

    Thank you *bowing*! I agree with you that governments should not tell us what to wear or not; however, in this case (burka), I agree with France.
    I believe Muslim women should be able to wear a headscarf, if they wish to do so (for after all it is part of their religion to dress modestly); however burkas are not specifically mentioned in the Al-Quran so it is not based in a belief but rather in a tradition to repress women (outside the desert context - since this garment was invented, way before Islam, to serve as protection against windy conditions in the desert; and Europe presents not such climatic conditions).

    Plus, European values and customs must be protected; the same way Arab nations protect theirs (which is quite valid).

    Mark, thank you for your input; it was a pleasure to have you here :D! Know that you are always welcome here!

    Cheers

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  12. Ciao Max,

    The problem with Muslims is that they are more focused on displaying their pettiness (gratuitous victimization) instead of sharing, with the world, the greatness of their culture: what a shame *nodding*...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Max,

    Part I

    I feel so special that I get a two part response. You are an ace politico.

    "Oh, it is not all of the sudden. France has been having problems with the Muslim community for ages (do not forget that they had a lot of terrorist attacks perpetrated by Muslims, way before the 9/11)."

    I remember.

    By living in France, you have first hand and multi-cultural experience that cannot be refuted. Your experience sounds very positive. I think Americans have the stigma of frankly being Americans, especially when they travel to foreign countries. I don't think our track record is as pristine as it could be.

    "The French are the one of the most respectful people I have ever come across with (they respect & learn from other people's religion, culture; the social integration there is very good [better than in Portugal] even though they used to be hermetic to anything coming from the US and the UK) but...they are not willing to compromise their national identity and values. Are they wrong? No, they are not."

    I have known a few French people and they are the complete opposite, but I won't paint the whole culture one way or the other because we each have different experiences.

    "Swu (I believe you have seen him here) has told me about the erosion of the American identity (immigrants not respecting the national anthem/flag; not speaking English etc) and it seems like France does not want to see the same thing happening in their country."

    It is true (the erosion) and I can totally respect and applaud the French for taking a stance and saying, your favorite phrase that I love, "Oh hell no!" (That phrase makes me laugh every time.)

    "The problem lies when they force all women to wear them. And most (who wear them) are forced to put them on."

    That is very unfortunate. I refer back to your favorite phrase mentioned above.


    To be continued...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Max,

    I thought I could make my response a two parter too.

    Part II

    "I understand where you are coming from; however you should understand that France has approximately between 5 to 6 million of Muslims who (a few years ago) wanted, in the name of preserving their identity, to implement practices in France that clash with European values and national law: female genital excision; honour killings (ex: women being mistreated or killed because they ashamed their family); and kidnaps (when Muslim men marry non-Muslim women they'd often kidnap their children and take them back to their ancestor's land)."

    I know France has a high Muslim population and I wouldn't want this debate to end up on my desk if I were in the French government. I would not know how to solve it.

    "Now they have added national security reasons to implement these measures (as all Europe should have): many times men hide under the burkas to commit crimes, because Muslim women cannot be frisked that easily; Muslim women, in Europe, wage wars for Al-Qaeda, and wearing a burka makes it harder to identify them."

    I understand that dilemma.

    "Immigrants must learn how to be responsible and respect the country that hosts them; and part of being responsible is: to be legal, pay taxes, pay social security; learn and speak the language of their host; respect the local law; integrate themselves in the new culture; avoid to offend their hosts and be happy.If they are not willing to respect these...they should go back home (and this applies to all immigrants, of all religions and nationalities)."

    Hear. Hear. Max for president of the world. ^5 I don't know what happened to your running mate SB, but I am sure if he is not available, we can get LS.

    Okay, now I get it, they only want people to wear acceptable swim wear - nothing else.

    "Indeed, the word "racism" is often misused (not just in America, but everywhere). I think people have learned how to manipulate public opinion by using this word...but I ask people to think before reacting to the sound of it..."

    I am with you on that. ^5 ^5 (Double high 5)

    "LOL LOL LOL do you like Cristiano Ronaldo?"

    I like his name and he is easy on the eyes. ;D

    "LOL did you miss me?"

    Of course we did.

    "Lady A, thank you ever so much for this superb comment; I adored it :D!"

    Thank YOU for the education.

    Cristiano Ronaldo Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  15. MAX:

    I absolutely support France's crackdown on Muslims. A friend of mine who lives in Paris says that French culture is literally disappearing before his eyes. And it's all due to the Muslim's stubborn efforts to set themselves apart from the rest of the culture.

    It's even happening over here. I read in the paper a few years ago that a Muslim woman wanted to take her driving test in full burka. A burka that even covers up her head and face! Thank goodness the Department of Motor Vehicles refused to give her a test. She sued, but I don't know the outcome.

    The world is getting weirder and weirder.

    Happy trails.

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  16. I probably should've provided some info about the Religious / Racial Tolerance laws. They sound a lot more useful and good than they seem to be in practise...

    Info -
    http://www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/publications/RRTA%20materials/understanding%20the%20RRTA.asp

    http://www.saltshakers.org.au/issues/racrelig-tolerance

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Dux :D!

    "The problem with Muslims is that they are more focused on displaying their pettiness (gratuitous victimization) instead of sharing, with the world, the greatness of their culture: what a shame *nodding*..."

    So true! Muslims have a beautiful & rich culture (I love Arab music and dances) and it is a shame that they waste time on victimising themselves *nodding*...ils me font honte (en tant que un être humain)!

    Dux, thank you so much for your input; it is always a pleasure to have you here :D!

    Cheers

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  18. Hi Lady A,

    Part I

    "I feel so special that I get a two part response. You are an ace politico."

    LOL you are special (you know that); but in this case I had send a two part response because Blogger has imposed a comment length now (4,096 characters max) *nodding*...but they should know that we shall not be silenced LOL...
    Ah, you are too kind *bowing*! I am far from being one ace politico...but thank you for the compliment :D!

    "By living in France, you have first hand and multi-cultural experience that cannot be refuted. Your experience sounds very positive. I think Americans have the stigma of frankly being Americans, especially when they travel to foreign countries. I don't think our track record is as pristine as it could be."

    I am aware most of people do not have positive experiences with the French (not even some French people LOL) but I was lucky I guess.
    I know what you mean. I think people became used to stigmatise Americans as if they were perfect *nodding*. America had problems just like all countries did - no country is perfect. None. We can criticise this and that about a particular government, however to single out a certain nation to the point of targeting and blaming them for every single problem in the world is just stupid - where does accountability fit in all this?
    No country's record is as pristine as it could be, period.

    "I have known a few French people and they are the complete opposite, but I won't paint the whole culture one way or the other because we each have different experiences."

    I can imagine, girl. I see what you mean...

    "It is true (the erosion) and I can totally respect and applaud the French for taking a stance and saying, your favorite phrase that I love, "Oh hell no!" (That phrase makes me laugh every time.)"

    LOL you remember my favourite phrase...! :D

    "That is very unfortunate. I refer back to your favorite phrase mentioned above."

    It is indeed. LOL...

    To be continued...

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  19. Lady A,

    Part II

    "I know France has a high Muslim population and I wouldn't want this debate to end up on my desk if I were in the French government. I would not know how to solve it."

    Girl, neither would I...it is simply too complex *nodding*.

    "Hear. Hear. Max for president of the world. ^5 I don't know what happened to your running mate SB, but I am sure if he is not available, we can get LS."

    LOL LOL that was a good one LOL: only you ^5. SB was caught up by his professional life. LOL LS is a great idea, but he should leave his Bible at home lol...

    "Okay, now I get it, they only want people to wear acceptable swim wear - nothing else."

    Yes.

    "I am with you on that. ^5 ^5 (Double high 5)"

    ^5 ^5.

    "I like his name and he is easy on the eyes. ;D"

    LOL LOL women do seem to find him "easy on the eyes" LOL *nodding*.
    I still remember him when he was a kid, so...I see him with different eyes...but I am a big fan of his mother lol (strong woman).

    "Of course we did."

    Aaah, you rock!! :D

    "Thank YOU for the education."

    You are too kind, darling *bowing*...thank you for the exchange of thoughts :D!

    Weekend Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hey Swu :D!

    "I absolutely support France's crackdown on Muslims. A friend of mine who lives in Paris says that French culture is literally disappearing before his eyes. And it's all due to the Muslim's stubborn efforts to set themselves apart from the rest of the culture."

    *nodding in agreement*...

    "It's even happening over here. I read in the paper a few years ago that a Muslim woman wanted to take her driving test in full burka. A burka that even covers up her head and face! Thank goodness the Department of Motor Vehicles refused to give her a test. She sued, but I don't know the outcome."

    Say what? This is the problem: these women think they are in Saudi Arabia or something *nodding*. It is time that Western countries check themselves, that's all I'm saying.

    "The world is getting weirder and weirder."

    And too permissive too...

    Swu, thank you so so much for your input (mainly the excellent example you have brought here), my friend :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Fikalo,

    "I probably should've provided some info about the Religious / Racial Tolerance laws. They sound a lot more useful and good than they seem to be in practise..."

    Thank you!! I will read it carefully :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is really a difficult issue and I'm not sure where I stand.

    I used to consider headscarves as a symbol of oppression. Then I moved to Canada, which is a multicultural country respecting everyone's faith and culture. Therefor, it's very common to see women wearing headscarves, as well as Sikhs etc. I got used to it and I must say that all women I have seen without exception had a modest scarf (just covering the hair) with make up, western clothes etc. So I see it as a way to show their faith but on the other side, they seem to be very free.

    So I really don't mind headscarves. Now, things are different with the burka and the whole black dress covering everything. I'm not fond of that. I don't think it's a compromise between tradition and beliefs, and the culture of the country they live in. But headscarves... to me, it's almost like wearing a crucifix (or a star of David etc.) actually.

    Now, the French really value secularism (North America, not so much). So in France, any religious debate becomes a huge deal. It's not so much about defending French values, but rather keeping religious neutrality in the society. I don't see any racism there.

    There will always be a debate between the state and religion if the former wants secularism. You can't rule on people's right to believe and show their beliefs yet the line between that and respecting secularism is a thin one.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Max,

    Every time I visit here really you take my mind to the other prism of the stark realities of the world we live in...of the diversity of our cultures...somewhere we all love to talk about modernization and living in a global village but still our practices, customs and thoughts remains in our pre-historic days...adaptability is required in this world...somewhere hardliners and stereotypes will have to melt in the prism of modern realism and all of us should strive to unite as one...the more our world is advancing, I believe the more we are moving backwards....nice reading!

    ReplyDelete
  24. So France doesn't believe in freedom of religion....


    I love this swimming suit! I'm not Muslim, but if I were, I would definitely wear this! I can't imagine how this would pose ANY hygiene problems! That's just an excuse by narrow minded people

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Max,

    About govs general behaviour, well in the perspective of democracy as we know (power money corruption and show off), its not easy to preserve countrys values... but nowadays what are coutry or society values? I think who try to answer the questions: what do we want after all? segregation of society or a mix of it? For the way i look at it, the last enhancements of society evolution are to mix all persons and cultures in all countrys (and this is nothing new), less borders etc. nevertheless, that leaves us with the law of the stronger one... it has always been like that. But this doesn't means that each everyone of us wants to be "cultured" by other, but means that we should have the choice to choose.
    If we want to live in a certain society, we should adapt to it rather than putting sand in the gears (in rome be roman). Maybe if we dont agree with some issues we certainly should take a stand: by discussion (incremental) or revolution (disruptive), but as i said before this is nothing new...

    Regarding Portugal... well this is a warm country in did...in general left portuguese wingers have never been great entrepeneurs, so that does't surprise me, Portuguese have a long and proudly heritage and had an important role in the world. Well things change, but thats not a drama, it is a drama if we keep on staying under the banana tree waiting for tomorrow... (lazyness), but eventhoug its a great country to live with a general peacefull society (at least that, thank God!!!).

    all the best MAX!

    G

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi! Before commenting I did a little research on this issue.

    Going on a survey conducted in France in 2003 which reportedly found that 77% of girls wearing the hijab said they did so because of physical threats from Islamist groups, I find the French leader's attack on the burka, although likely to incur the wrath of civil libertarians and die hard Muslims, a way of protecting those who wear the burka from similar attacks.

    This thought is backed up by Rama Yade, the Muslim human rights minister, who said she would be open to a ban if it was aimed at protecting women who wore a burka against their will.

    As far as I am concerned, it should be up to our fairer sex as to whether they wear it or not and not man.

    Take Care,
    Peter

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hey Max! I'm back here. Thanks for visiting again sweetie. I am fine and I had a great weekend. I hope you did too. Take care.

    *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hey Max I like your compromise with the headscarf, since I have visited another culture like China it's opened my eyes to different ways and beliefs and the way governments try to protect it's culture but it seems the French Government is going too far on this one.

    Very cool, I didn't know about the transistor or Thin Film technology and way too bad about only Portugal language for the online Press.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Max, I agree that allowing head covers is a good compromise, and I think that Muslim countries could likewise, try allowing some compromise to accommodate the traditions of Westerners who visit.

    And I agree that at least in America, we know little about Portuguese culture. We should know more!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Zhu :D!

    I must say that I never considered headscarves as a symbol of oppression, because in Africa women wear scarves to cover their hair; in Portugal (well, in Latin-European countries) women also wear scarves (mainly in small villages)...so, they can be worn rather stylishly; don't you think so :)?

    "So I really don't mind headscarves. Now, things are different with the burka and the whole black dress covering everything. I'm not fond of that. I don't think it's a compromise between tradition and beliefs, and the culture of the country they live in. But headscarves... to me, it's almost like wearing a crucifix (or a star of David etc.) actually."

    I agree with you.

    "Now, the French really value secularism (North America, not so much). So in France, any religious debate becomes a huge deal. It's not so much about defending French values, but rather keeping religious neutrality in the society. I don't see any racism there."

    I know (yet France takes advantage of all Catholic holidays to have a break lol). I do not see racism here either (but you know people, they use this word to stir emotions).

    "You can't rule on people's right to believe and show their beliefs yet the line between that and respecting secularism is a thin one."

    I agree that the state cannot rule on people's rights to believe and show their beliefs, but foreigners must respect the rules of the countries they go to: it is that simple. One can believe, one can show that it believes, but one cannot impose a dress code that has nothing to do with religion (but with tradition perhaps, as odd as it may seem).

    Zhu, awesome comment! Thanks for having offered us the French point of view in all this :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hey Kalyan :D!

    "Every time I visit here really you take my mind to the other prism of the stark realities of the world we live in...of the diversity of our cultures..."

    *Bowing*...

    "somewhere we all love to talk about modernization and living in a global village but still our practices, customs and thoughts remains in our pre-historic days...adaptability is required in this world...somewhere hardliners and stereotypes will have to melt in the prism of modern realism and all of us should strive to unite as one.."

    So true, adaptability is required...the question is: to which side?

    "the more our world is advancing, I believe the more we are moving backwards....nice reading!"

    Again, true. Thanks, mate :D!

    Kalyan, superb input!! Thank you ever so much, my friend :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi D!

    :D

    "So France doesn't believe in freedom of religion...."

    Yes, it does...but it also believes in separation of State from the Church.
    I lived there and I interacted with people of all faiths (Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Catholics, etc) and they were quite free to profess their beliefs. However, what is being discussed here has partly nothing to do with religion: burkas are not in the Quran, so they are not a religious symbol.
    On the other hand (and this is where I disagree with the French government), headscarves do fall in the category of "dressing modestly" (as mentioned in the holy book) thus, if women choose (I stress the word "choose") to wear them they should be allowed to do so freely.

    "I love this swimming suit! I'm not Muslim, but if I were, I would definitely wear this! I can't imagine how this would pose ANY hygiene problems! That's just an excuse by narrow minded people"

    LOL you do? It is cute indeed, but I wouldn't wear it (not in western countries at least).
    It poses a hygiene problem because it looks like a garment, its fabric is not suitable perhaps (the pool admistration also forbids western men from wearing boxers or long shorts - they must wear a proper swim attire).

    D, thank you so much for your input; it is always a pleasure :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi G :D!

    "About govs general behaviour, well in the perspective of democracy as we know (power money corruption and show off), its not easy to preserve countrys values... but nowadays what are coutry or society values? I think who try to answer the questions: what do we want after all? segregation of society or a mix of it? For the way i look at it, the last enhancements of society evolution are to mix all persons and cultures in all countrys (and this is nothing new), less borders etc. nevertheless, that leaves us with the law of the stronger one... it has always been like that."

    *nodding in agreement*....

    "But this doesn't means that each everyone of us wants to be "cultured" by other, but means that we should have the choice to choose"

    Yes!

    "If we want to live in a certain society, we should adapt to it rather than putting sand in the gears (in rome be roman). Maybe if we dont agree with some issues we certainly should take a stand: by discussion (incremental) or revolution (disruptive), but as i said before this is nothing new..."

    Exactly!! Excellent input!

    "Regarding Portugal... well this is a warm country in did..."

    lol it is warm, that cannot be denied...

    "in general left portuguese wingers have never been great entrepeneurs, so that does't surprise me,"

    LOL so true...

    "Portuguese have a long and proudly heritage and had an important role in the world. Well things change, but thats not a drama, it is a drama if we keep on staying under the banana tree waiting for tomorrow... (lazyness), but eventhoug its a great country to live with a general peacefull society (at least that, thank God!!!)."

    Absolutely. I so agree with you...and that is the issue here: the Portuguese keep on leaning against the banana tree dreaming about a tomorrow where they do not have to work much to build (when in Portugal, of course; because when they are abroad they work their butts off and help foreign nations to build their power). Again, I agree...it is one of the best countries to live in, very peaceful (thank God!).

    "all the best MAX!"

    Thanks, Gallardo!!!

    G, thank you ever so much for this outstanding comment: I just felt like standing and applauding every word you said! You should replace our Prime Minister ;)!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi Peter :D!

    "Before commenting I did a little research on this issue."

    That is why I adore you! Let's hear your thoughts...

    "Going on a survey conducted in France in 2003 which reportedly found that 77% of girls wearing the hijab said they did so because of physical threats from Islamist groups, I find the French leader's attack on the burka, although likely to incur the wrath of civil libertarians and die hard Muslims, a way of protecting those who wear the burka from similar attacks."

    Yes. That's how I see it (the burka issue).

    "This thought is backed up by Rama Yade, the Muslim human rights minister, who said she would be open to a ban if it was aimed at protecting women who wore a burka against their will."

    And there are many women who are forced to wear it against their will. I do not believe this is an attack to Muslims, I really see it as a means of protection against Islamist (i.e. radical men) viewpoint of how women should dress and behave.

    "As far as I am concerned, it should be up to our fairer sex as to whether they wear it or not and not man."

    If they choose to wear the headscarves they should be allowed to do so; but if they choose not to wear them they should be able to do so as well. Now, the burka...no way, Peter...not on our yard.

    Pete, superb input!! Thank you so much for having taken the time to do some research before commenting and for having shared your thoughts with us :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi Liza :D!

    "I'm back here. Thanks for visiting again sweetie. I am fine and I had a great weekend. I hope you did too. Take care."

    It is always good to see you here :D! It's my pleasure! Aaah, music to y ears :)! Yes, I did too (thank God), thanks!

    Thanks for having dropped by and *big hug*!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hey Bob :D!

    "I like your compromise with the headscarf, since I have visited another culture like China it's opened my eyes to different ways and beliefs and the way governments try to protect it's culture but it seems the French Government is going too far on this one."

    People must be free to practice modesty (specially if they are following a religious advice), so yeah...the headscarf is more than acceptable (however the burka is out of context in western countries [since we do not have deserts, nor desert storms], not to mention the fact that they are not mentioned in the Quran). Well, the French have gone too far in relation to headscarves, but not in what concerns the burka (in my opinion).

    "Very cool, I didn't know about the transistor or Thin Film technology and way too bad about only Portugal language for the online Press."

    Yeah, it is cool (it is a pity that no one knows it though *nodding*). It is awful and shameful!

    Bob, thank you so so much for your amazing input!! I loved it :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hey Lynda :D!

    "Max, I agree that allowing head covers is a good compromise, and I think that Muslim countries could likewise, try allowing some compromise to accommodate the traditions of Westerners who visit."

    Absolutely!! But they don't and it is not even politically smart.

    "And I agree that at least in America, we know little about Portuguese culture. We should know more!"

    Portugal should let people know more!! And hopefully it will soon (I am hopeful lol)...

    Lynda, my darling, thank you so much for your comment :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  38. Max, my dear you brought up again some good points here, which reminds me this. When I dealt with Japanese customers here in Canada, I had to do everything their way, meaning greeting, bowing, etc, all the cultural stuff. Then later I dealt with Japanese, but this time we were the customers. So guess what, we again had to abide to their tradition. This tells you how strong their culture is and how paranoid we are to offend theirs, to sacrifice ours. Max you are full of great ideas, have you ever study philosophy? And if not, then you know it all....Have yourself a great weekend my friend. Anna :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi Anna :D!

    "Max, my dear you brought up again some good points here, which reminds me this. When I dealt with Japanese customers here in Canada, I had to do everything their way, meaning greeting, bowing, etc, all the cultural stuff. Then later I dealt with Japanese, but this time we were the customers. So guess what, we again had to abide to their tradition. This tells you how strong their culture is and how paranoid we are to offend theirs, to sacrifice ours."

    Us, in the Western world, suffer from some sort of guilt and thus we decided that our traditions, values and culture are to be sacrificed as a form of apology - rubbish!

    "Max you are full of great ideas, have you ever study philosophy? And if not, then you know it all...."

    lol you are too kind, girl. Yes, I have studied philosophy in school (many moons ago): it was one of my favourite subjects.
    Oh no, I do not know it all...I am far from it!

    Anna, thank you so much for having shared your experience with us :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete

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