Monday, April 11, 2011

Liberté, égalité, burqanité

There is a certain irony in the burqa-clad women's campaign for religious liberty outside the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. Our Lady is invariably depicted wearing a sapphire blue hijab, and it's not as though veils are alien to the Judaeo-Christian tradition:
And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself (Gen 24:64f).
The word rendered 'vail' derives from the Hebrew to 'wrap over'; the a-e vowel change occurred when the French 'voil(e)' entered the vernacular. Head (and possibly face) coverings are mentioned numerous times throughout the Old Testament and New. Of course, that was another place and another time: in today's more visual age, obsessed with exteriority and appearance, the face is inseparable from identity: it is a source and expression of the self.

As France today begins enforcement of its burqa ban, His Grace is reminded of his post from more than a year ago when UKIP came out in favour of such illiberal legislation. To save you the trouble of hyper-linking, it is reproduced here in its entirety:

There’s nothing British about banning the burqa

The UK Independence Party have called for a ban on burqas and niqabs – the Darth-Vader-like cloaks which some Muslims believe are ordained by Allah to cover women from head to toe because no part of their body may ever be seen by male eyes, other than those of their husbands, sons or dog.

UKIP declare that a mask which conceals most of the face is an affront British values.

It is difficult to know what UKIP are playing at with this announcement, for it is the most colossal distraction from their core raison d’être, which is to secure withdrawal from the ratchet claws of the European Union. One would think that advocating any other policy which may be a cause of division in their fragile ranks of coalition might be a sure path to self-destruction: UKIP have no divisive health policy, no divisive education policy and no divisive defence, transport, welfare or taxation policies: they simply wish for legislation on such matters to be made by a parliament made up of the directly-elected representatives of a sovereign people.

That is democracy. That is freedom.

And yet Lord Pearson evokes the call to freedom in his desire to ban burqas.

It has echoes of Geert Wilders’ notion of liberty, which begins with the banning of books.

Or of one book in particular.

There is no doubt that ‘everything Muslim’ is hot press across the length and breadth of European Christendom, but Islamism and Islamophobia have got nothing on Islamomania.

And Islamomania is what is driving the sorts of illiberal knee-jerk demands of Geert Wilders and Lord Pearson.

If this is an attempt to broaden UKIP’s appeal and address the concerns of disaffected white working-class voters (as The Times avers), UKIP will need to explain why they are pursuing a more ‘racist’ (actually religio-culturalist) policy than the BNP, for not even they have called for a total ban on burqas.

The BNP have said that such garments should be banned from schools. But no right-minded educator of any religion or none believes that the teaching and learning transaction would not be significantly impeded in a classroom populated by indistinguishable black cloaks.

Inayat Bunglawala, a spokesman for the Muslim Council for Britain, told The Times: “UKIP is supposed to be proud of Britain’s traditions and values, which include freedom of speech, association and religion. The overwhelming majority of women who wear the burka do so out of a sense of religious duty. It is their interpretation of their religion. UKIP have no right to overrule that. It is nobody else’s business.”

And Cranmer agrees.

It is not a burqa which is incompatible with Britain’s values of freedom and democracy, but the banning thereof. Unlike French laïcité, the United Kingdom has no tradition of the imposition of a hard Enlightenment-secularism. We have instead three centuries of progressive freedom of religion, and it was hard-won.

The proper operation of democracy begins with the people, and the collective is constituted of individuals, and these individuals must be free think, free to speak, free to associate and free to wear what they wish to wear within the limits of public decency.

If one wishes to ban the garments of those who wish to cover their faces for religious reasons, one will also need to ban the ghost costume worm by thousands of children at Hallowe’en.

In a free society, one must be at liberty to choose not to conform.

The liberty to conform only to the dress code and outward expression of religion as determined and defined by UKIP is no freedom at all: it is intolerance, oppression and tyranny; it is everything that UKIP professes to abhor about the EU.

135 Comments:

Anonymous Oswin said...

Sorry Your Grace, but I disagreed with you then, as I do now.

The burqa is much more than a mere article of clothing.

11 April 2011 at 16:43  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Good luck with the identity parade.

11 April 2011 at 16:45  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Oswin,

And it is pleasant that we may cordially disagree without either of our expressions being prohibited. Burqas may be much more than 'a mere article of clothing' to you, just as mini-skirts and fishnet stockings may be to some Muslim women. We must live and let live.

11 April 2011 at 16:46  
Anonymous richard said...

Quite right, Your Grace. Scarves, balaclavas, beards, motorcycle helmets. Anti-SARS face masks? Concealed riot cops? Not showing one's facial features in public is not breaching the peace. One thing's for sure, a ban will only reinforce the Muslims' determination to do it if they think they're being singled out because of anti-religious sentiment. Which, in France, they are. If it had been left alone it would have faded away as did veil-wearing from the Chritian inventory.

11 April 2011 at 16:49  
Anonymous Gordo said...

Perhaps we should ban the contents not the wrapping.

11 April 2011 at 16:50  
Anonymous richard said...

The human body's the wrapping. Thoughtcrime it is then?

11 April 2011 at 16:53  
Anonymous Gordo said...

No, I am advocating repatriation of non-whites.

11 April 2011 at 16:54  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Your Grace, mini-skirts and fishnet stockings (harrumph!) have never, to my knowledge, been employed as as a calculated, deliberate insult of a religio-political nature ... not even at the most extreme 'Tarts & Vicars' parties!

Richard: ''If it had been left alone, it would have faded away as did veil-wearing from the Christian inventory'' - I think not! If anything, there has been a significant rise in the wearing of the burqa; either as a result of Islamic oppression, or as a form of self-wear 'flag-waving' here, and in other European countries.

11 April 2011 at 17:03  
Anonymous Dreadnaught said...

Remember the furure when Prince Harry wore a Nazi uniform to a silly boozy do? He was rightly condemned for it and made his apology. What raised the national ire was the affront to our sensitivities for what that uniform represented.

It would be crass stupidity to suggest that the niqab or the burkha are anything less than an affront to British tradition of openness of face and more latterly of the equality of women in society. The first thing that happened when a formerly progressive state such as Iran returned to Islamic 'traditions' was to enforce a womens' compliance with the big cover up on pain of arrest or physical assault by the religious police (muttawa).

http://muttawa.blogspot.com/

HG invokes the words of a dedicated supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood as is Bunglawalla at peril of his credibility in understanding the threat posed to the West by Islamist decsiples such as this.

The restriction of Freedom of speech/dress/association etc are the very things that will top the list of any Islamic State once it feels so empowered.

The advances made by Gemal Attaturk when he took power in Turkey included the banning of Islamic associated clothing and head-covering (hijab) and even the Fez. Now exactly the opposite is being endorsed. He did this because he realised that Islam was 500 years behind the West.

Liberal woolly minded thinking that all Muslims are our friends, is the thin end of the wedge that the Islamists rely on to undermine our freedoms and our society. To see this issue as an attack on individual freedoms and squeal about a breach of a womans' rights (whether it be to walk around wearing a tent) is fatuous and ill informed.

This is the uniform of the 'modern'enemy of society and the Muslims know it - When reported to the 'folks back home' it says how far they have intruded in to our lives and that we are too weak to prevent it.

To an British person this uniform is every bit offensive as was Prince Harry's and it is nothing to do with a sense of misplaced fun or Freedom - quite the opposite,

11 April 2011 at 17:11  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I think I see the point your grace is making , but as one discussion pointed out , the veil is a hinderence in the classroom and goodness knows if the recent london protester violence should take to wearing them and the police could do nothing.
What a hoot bank robbers may have .

That aside there is the consideration of the muslim requirement for modesty of there women , which the man dictates , he can even say wether his wife should work or not , so in some respects womens rights are intertwined with the viel.

but your point is should it be banned , I have never heard a speech from Harriet Harman declaring jihad on those muslim men who enslave there women , stop them from working , wont let them drive a car ,forced marraiges, honour killings , or for that matter how muslim adherents sharia law would treat gay people. Harriet you would have thought would be joyus at liberating these women from a faith that still keeps 40% of muslim women from being english literate.

not a squeak from her in 13yrs of tranny in downgrading christian marriage/adoption , berating bad men yet loosing drinking and gambling laws , and yet nothing for women who by her own standards have less freedom in marriage .

seems very odd to me to have overlooked such a glaring error of inequality in there government ,still whats a few million quid for electoral victory if you dont offend Islam and rubbish christianity.

Should it be banned , yes if your in public roles , you can do what you like in your own home or private life , i just dont think it is on being in a job . face to face i think you will find is more communicative .

11 April 2011 at 17:15  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

YG, there's nothing British about allowing the burka. I think it should be banned. But I also think that all non-Western attire should be banned from public places, together with a requirement to speak English. If the immigrants can't or won't comply, then to me they have no reason to be here.

11 April 2011 at 17:21  
Anonymous John Wrake said...

YG,
Your strictures on UKIP would be more reasonable, were government in Church and State more ready to stand up to Muslim militancy. The burqa is not just an article of clothing, but a statement of unwillingness to accept English codes of dress. What would be the reaction of authority if men wore swastika ties?
Ordinary members of English society are aware that there are those who lose their jobs if they make overt display of their Christian faith in their dress or their words.
Let us have an end of double standards.

11 April 2011 at 17:22  
Anonymous Dreadnaught said...

Wise up Cranny you are well wide of the mark here. This is as much an affront to Britishness as was Harry's Nazi uniform - only this is not done for 'fun'

http://muttawa.blogspot.com/

11 April 2011 at 17:25  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Gordo: "No, I am advocating repatriation of non-whites."

Phew. Luckily, my Muslim neice gets to stay here then. :)

11 April 2011 at 17:28  
Anonymous richard said...

Gordo, that's plain enough and honestly stated.
Oswin, you might be right, but putting their backs up by "oppression" - if that's what's causing the increase - is liable to make it worse. If no-one cared about dress codes then it's a waste of time to do it as a protest.

11 April 2011 at 17:29  
Anonymous Sov_Res said...

UKIP's position is clear, in public places where non-Muslims aren't allowed to cover their faces (e.g. with hoodies or crash helmets), Muslims shouldn't be either.

This is called equality.

And there is nothing illiberal, intolerant, let alone oppressive about it.

No one I know classifies deliberate facial concealment as "clothing" but that is what those who would scream "illiberality", intentionally and dishonestly pretend.

As His Grace does just to take a pop at UKIP (for some odd reason entirely unclear to me... yes, I know, they support AV... *sheesh!* get over it already) when the issue here, er, is France.

Poor show.

Societies are held together by a lot more than just the laws that all should supposedly agree to follow.

There are sensitive little cultural threads of gossamer, habits and conventions which people abide by, and which form the true sociological fabric of a society.

Often we do not discover what these are until they are challenged or flouted.

In our own society the burka has revealed that one of our cultural conventions is that we reveal our faces in public. We do this in order to feel safe.

We are now in terms of CCTV the most watched society in the world. The explanation for letting this happen was, "if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear."

I hate that this is the UK I live in, but I recognize that this is the reality of modern Britain.

Muslim women cannot arbitrarily decide to opt out of this reality. They must choose some other way to show contempt for the society whose protection and generosity they enjoy.

11 April 2011 at 17:32  
Anonymous Solinkaa said...

Methinks that if one continues with tolerance for the intolerant, European women of East London will soon not have a choice with regards to what to wear. They will have to cover in order to peacefully go about their daily business. This is what differentiates an all body covering from fishnet tights: Western culture does not impose a dress code of women, yet when you daily walk the gauntlet of men speaking a language you do not understand staring at you in a lecherous manner, and you look around and realise you are one of very few women around with her head uncovered, you begin to fear for your safety, and a powerful sense of displacement you experience causes a great deal of anxiety. It saddens me that voices of European women living in such areas are so seldom heard, and the hostile and threatening attitude of "Asian men" to such women so rarely spoken of. It is all very well to hold on to principles of live and let live, but please let us consider realities on the ground. I find it troubling when I see a five year old girl clad in a hijab, and dread to think this may well become a norm for all little girls in areas of the UK where indigenous population is no longer a majority.

I would say that a full body covering of women is a problem, mainly because non covered women are seen as less then. Nevertheless, I do not think this culturally subversive trend can be reversed with a ban. It cannot be reversed at all. And I think that European women and girls in majority Muslim areas will suffer as a result.

11 April 2011 at 17:32  
Anonymous Bede said...

Wearing the burqa may, generally, be a matter of freedom of choice. But in a bank, a court of law, passing through airport security, or teaching children in a class? I assume that anyone wearing a balaclava would be banned in such places; if so then clearly a burqa falls into the same category.

11 April 2011 at 17:45  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Your Grace: in today's more visual age, obsessed with exteriority and appearance, [where] the face is inseparable from identity: it is a source and expression of the self.

Even nuns left their faces uncovered, though all else was veiled. And that didn't get in the way of their teaching.

Personally, I despise judgement by criteria of decorativeness and expense, and I find it rude and patronising when most people express that judgement. In that light, I'd wear a veil over my face as readily as I wear long skirts and cover-all shawls. God gave us legs to walk around on - we deserve no credit for what they look like.
*********
But - there are some buts.
*************
Honest commentary from those who love is much to be valued. Then who and what we are is counted, what we do matters, and any compliments express love, not cupidity.

There's also the 'other' side. I would not present myself to others as mozzie women do. There's something sinister about those arab face coverings. The women (if so they are) behind them seem to wield power and control from their anonymity; and something aggressive emanates from from the darkness. It flashes from the dark eyes, if they appear. Indeed, the whole black package can appear to be a large, unpleasant, beetle. It tends to hiss, and you can't tell what its next move will be.
******************
So, Your Grace - yes I'd wear a veil: but a light and delicate one that would protect me without threatening others. And I'd remove it whenever necessary to prove identity and sincerity: though I think those qualities also shine from within. Viewers who are sensitive to them will perceive them, whatever the garb.

And that outer garb can include the masks that some adopt as 'Personae.' - Whatever their culture, those who act to deceive need no textile to cover the text or the texture of motives. Skin and bone suffices.

**************
Veil or no veil, then - in the end, beauty springs from within.
The beholder must learn discernment, and also to practice truth.

I think the efficacy of any law depends on the people, and their willingness to make visible what is invisible.

11 April 2011 at 17:46  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

"and it's not as though veils are alien to the Judaeo-Christian tradition"

No its alien to our traditions.

We could try building bridges with these foreign cutoms but everyone knows the Evil Ogre dwells beneath bridges, waiting to pray on unsuspecting pilgrims on their way to our Sacred sites.

11 April 2011 at 17:49  
Anonymous Dreadnaught said...

Cranmer said -

"We must live and let live" -

If only it were so simplistic an issue as this.

Human Rights Watch did this piece a while back and it couldn't happen here some will say; but it already is. Little girls are being dressed this way (Hijab)/hair covering) to go to primary school - it's even school uniform for some.

“You Dress According to Their Rules”

Enforcement of an Islamic Dress Code for Women in Chechnya

http://www.hrw.org/en/node/97046/section/1

11 April 2011 at 17:49  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Having the liberty, in one's own time and space, to wear a veil is one thing but aren't we drifting toward the place where everyone here complains? That is, what do we do about employment law, clashes between notions of rights, and special cases for religionists of one sort of another?

11 April 2011 at 17:53  
Anonymous i albion said...

It is called locking the stable door after the horse has bolted.
Letting hundreds into a country and THEN telling how they must dress?
your havin a laff!

11 April 2011 at 18:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's an ill-thought-out, knee-jerk policy, it's like covering the roads with speed humps, it doesn't actually address the underlining problem, merely the symptom.

And yes, consequently, everybody has to be treated the same as a result, so we all suffer.

Note, that the active wannabe terrorist, when caught and sentenced, receive jail terms in the region of 30-40 years, (e.g. 21/7 'bombers', the 1 tonne CCTV bombers, etc.) our established justice system slips in the 'deterrent message', very precisely, when the political will (threat to their multi-culti ideology) is present.

Likewise, slam the reckless, selfish drivers in the bin for a minimal 5 or 10 years.... and they'll soon collectively wise up.

Same again for the burqa - no flaffing about - can't fit in 'round here? Well it's a big planet with lots of thriving Muslim countries, this is a mere 0.04% of the earth's total landmass (and quite full), here's a pile of dosh and a one-way plane ticket....take your pick, assimilate 365 days a year, or go away and leave us in relative peace. Force them to make the choice, cake or eat it, but not both.

Most Muslims actually like it here, in comparison to the alternative, that's why they don't emigrate. This factor should be utilised, to assist full assimilation. But alas, I hear the distant rhetoric - muscular liberalism - but see no appropriate fruits.

11 April 2011 at 18:03  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

If one wishes to ban the garments of those who wish to cover their faces for religious reasons, one will also need to ban the ghost costume worn by thousands of children at Hallowe’en.

Your Grace, comparisons are only valid when like is compared with like. To equate one of the symbols of a ‘militant and proselytizing faith’ (Churchill) with children’s fancy dress is to delude oneself.

By the way, the militant and proselytizing faith is doing very well in Paris, closing down public thoroughfares at will to worship Allah; see this video. In the interests of a quiet life, the police do nothing; see this video.

11 April 2011 at 18:16  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Just how would a British shop-keeper or hotelier fare, should they wish to exercise their choice, in not wishing to serve anyone wearing the burqa?

It's one way trade, as per bloody usual!

11 April 2011 at 18:22  
Blogger Sue said...

...and there's me thinking that those women come to Europe to escape that male dominated oppression. Do you know how badly women suffer because of this stupid third world religion?

The women who insist on wearing this form of submission are betraying those that have died because of the way Islam treats them.

The veil/hijab/burkha has done more harm to women than anything else in modern times.

It's either a sign of oppression or if done voluntarily, a sign of political/social separation.

Indeed, it is saying, we will not integrate, we will instead invade your shores with our customs and laws. It's purely political, it is not a religious requirement!

11 April 2011 at 18:22  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Bravo Sue!

11 April 2011 at 18:26  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

As usual I agree with Your Grace, as much as it is possible to do so.

Banning things is as a general rule a very bad idea, in this case it is potentially far worse then that.

We are being set up for civil unrest; France seems to have already been so.

I can see some sense in banning the full vail in places where full face motor cycle helmets are currently banned, like post offices, shops, and banks, however we can have no reasonable expectation that this particular ban will stop there.

Confrontation would seem inevitable at some time in the future.

Why would the French wish to encourage so many Muslims into their country, to only then deliberately cause friction between differing communities?

Answer, because they are being controlled by the devil at his most divisive, as is this country, only France are just slightly more ahead of the game plan at this point.

You comments on TUKIP are equally intellectually sound, and observed.

The reason for TUKIP venturing into this kind of utter insanity is simple, the word is SUBVERSION.

In the case of TUKIP, to make the party seem extreme, and therefore to effectively destroy any chance it ever had of wide-spread support from those who loosely describe as leftist, liberal, libertarian, or socialist. Which would constitute, I imagine, at least the majority of voters. The BBC, of course have made mincemeat out of TUKIP over this issue, which should be no surprise to anyone, least of all TUKIPs now utterly SUBVERTED leadership.

I have a suggestion which may help.

Firstly TUKIP must disband, or change its name, and main strategy to The NO VOTE PARTY, or something similar.

The basic policy being that if they can get turnout as much as possible under 50%, on the grounds that we no longer have an effective national democracy worth voting in.

I think it is safe to say that if all UKIP voters stayed at home next time this sub 50% turnout figure across the country as a whole will be achieved.

Therefore it could be argued that we are no longer obligated to abide by laws, rules or regulations the majority did not sanction.

In other words the NO CONFIDENCE in the system non-vote will be evidently the majority opinion.

IMO this opinion is already the majority view, and has been for a considerable amount of time.

Old habits die-hard, like for example voting in general elections, even though doing so is self-evidently a wholly pointless wast of human time, and effort. Given this assertion, it is clear that this particular habit is slowly dying anyway.

This is in many ways playing into the hands of our owners, who long since planned to destroy democracy as we thought we knew it, as many as 2 hundred years ago.

At least by doing the above we are making a point, even though our owners will do there best to completely ignore it.

We are constantly mind controlled into believing that if we do not vote we have no right to complain about the outcome.

This is completely untrue, and must be shown to be so.

The exact opposite is indeed the case. For voting in a system that only pays attention to the will of the people when it wishes to, is worse then pointless as it gives our owners the seeming right to carry on exactly as they are.

If you do not vote, you have far more right to complain about how you are being treated by a system you do not even participate in.

We must as a general rule, try our upmost not to view party politics as a rather over blown version of a MAN U v Chelsea match, simple because by doing so we make the process of elected our next establishment puppet a little less boring.

For the collective effort of not going to the match, buying the T-shirt, or paying your SKY TV subscriptions has a power all of its own.

11 April 2011 at 18:30  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

Fine. BUT I reserve the right to wear mirror aviators and an EDL facemask when around mussies.

11 April 2011 at 18:42  
Anonymous Gordo said...

"Gordo: "No, I am advocating repatriation of non-whites."

Phew. Luckily, my Muslim neice gets to stay here then. :)"

Sure, our own people should be allowed to follow any religion of their choice however odd it may appear to us; Islam, Scientology. Freedom of religion and speech belong to us and without us they cannot exist.

11 April 2011 at 18:50  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Johnny: "By the way, the militant and proselytizing faith is doing very well in Paris, closing down public thoroughfares at will to worship Allah"

Isn't that because there are so few mosques that there isn't really another option if one wants to do it as a congregation?

11 April 2011 at 18:55  
Blogger Richard Finaly said...

It`s not so long ago that women wore hats in church, indeed the women in my church still do, as a head covering since the bible says that a womens hair is her Glory - and since being in church to worship God...God should have all the Glory

Video: Head Covering - An Introduction
1 Corinthians 11: 1-15
http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=5210175219

11 April 2011 at 19:18  
Blogger English Viking said...

The error in Your Grace's argument concerning 'freedom of religion' is that Islam is not a religion.

Why don't we just ban all public expressions of moon-worship, pull down the mosques and repatriate all non UK citizens?

For a start.

11 April 2011 at 19:22  
Anonymous MrJ said...

The main blog seems to be unusually complacent, or should that be complaisant.

The one of January 16, 2010 hit on the heads of two nails:

"... it is the most colossal distraction from their core raison d’être [of UKIP], which is to secure withdrawal from the ratchet claws of the European Union." and "...Islamism and Islamophobia have got nothing on Islamomania."

but both have skirted or avoided issues such as mentioned in the present discussion by Oswin 16:43 and 17:03, Gnostic 16:45, Solinkaa 17:32 and Sue 18:22, and Johnny R's clips of Paris.

The burqa question (like the AV Etc question) is all too readily immersed in sophistical arguments on either side. (As mentioned elsewhere today, the origin of the word sophistry is said to be "1300–50; Middle English sophistrie < Middle FRENCH, equivalent to sophistre".)

11 April 2011 at 19:22  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr English Viking,

Ah, that old chestnut.

And your definition of religion is?

His Grace has posted on this matter many times. But he would be interested (sincerely) to hear your definition, if only to ascertain what other 'religions' you would seek to exclude.

11 April 2011 at 19:25  
Anonymous len said...

The Burqua`s purpose is one of concealment.To conceal the woman`s beauty?, and to avoid lustful glances from the male population (apparently.)

Is it a good thing or a bad thing to conceal oneself?
Well that depends on what ones intentions are.
There are many well meaning and honourable people wearing 'hoodies', most as a fashion statement others for more dubious purposes, so perhaps 'hoodies' should be absolved from disrobing whilst entering stores etc.

All in the name of freedom of expression, Human Rights,Rights of Man, Civil Liberties,freedom of the Individual, even religious freedom( some monks wear hoodies)

Give'hoodies ' a fair deal!

11 April 2011 at 19:37  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ DanJ0 (18:55)—Whether it’s too few mosques or too many Muslims, they’re able to show their strength, their community bonds and they claim territory. It’s a more subtle form of colonization than planting a flag and claiming an entire territory but it is still colonization.

11 April 2011 at 19:37  
Blogger peggy38 said...

Solinkaa,

Could not possibly agree with you more. This is what has happened all over the world wherever the hijab has become a presence.

To all,

When hijab is "sold" to women as the way to show the world that you are a good girl who loves God then what choice is there really for a good girl who loves God? She will think she is freely choosing but how could it be a free choice really? Will she "choose" to be a bad girl who doesnt love God? And what about those girls who refuse to wear it? What are they saying about themselves?

Given that there was never any fight in Christendom over whether women should or should not wear veils, I think it is safe to say that the "honor" component was never an inherant part of the Christian understanding. There may have been times and places where a modest woman set herself apart by her dress but the only theological basis for a head covering in Christianity is as a sign of humility when at prayer (Ex. Nuns wear them always because they are always at prayer.) There is an ocean of difference between a sign of humility and a sign of purity.

A woman who covers her head out of humility may be expressing pride if she takes it off. But a woman who wears a headcovering because she would otherwise be a whore if she didnt is 1) dependent on a piece of cloth for her dignity and value and 2) loses same when she takes it off.

There is a sick set of ideas about women at bottom of this so-called harmless piece of cloth.

Unfortunately we will have to do something about it if we want to preserve freedom for all women. Some sort of ban may be part of the solution, but I think it would be best to win the fight in the arena of ideas.

11 April 2011 at 19:50  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Your Grace: in today's more visual age, obsessed with exteriority and appearance, the face is inseparable from identity: it is a source and expression of the self.
And yes, Your Grace - nuns have been covered head to foot (except for their faces), and their teaching did not suffer.
************
I despise the way our culture judges by appearance, and I find it rude and patronising when most people express that judgement. From that point of view, freedom lies behind the veil --- and I would have adopted it long ago, had it not been 'unacceptable' to our own.

But...
Honest commentary on appearance is much to be valued when it is loving: that is, when what the recipient is and does is what matters. That is, when cupidity is not the motive.
*****************

So I think we need to understand not only what lies under the veil, but also that the outside observer is frequently predatory.

Yes, there is usually some sinister power at work beneath those arab masks: aggression emanates from the darkness, and if the dark eyes show, they flash blackness. Indeed, the whole black package too often resembles a large, nasty beetle; it hisses, and you can't tell what it's going to do next.

But is there not as much to fear from the masks of 'Personae'? Those who 'practice to deceive' need no textile to hide the text and texture of their motives. Skin and bone suffice, culture notwithstanding.

So should not a light and delicate veil be respected? Something the user chooses for the purpose of protecting herself without intending to harm others? One would, of course, remove it when necessary to establish identity and sincerity. And if the wearer radiated goodwill from within - surely those observers whose motives were honest would percieve that?

******
So then: Veil or no veil, beholders must learn discernment, and must themselves practice truth.

So I think the efficacy of any law lies in the willingness of the people to make visible what is invisible.

The Sphinx belongs in the desert.

11 April 2011 at 19:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice one. Make it seem that UKIP are more patriotic than the British National Party. Yeah, right. Must be another election coming...

11 April 2011 at 19:59  
Anonymous Watchman said...

Personally I agree with Sue that wearing a Bhurka or Hiab etc is a symbol of accepting male domination and submission to the same. It's another symbol of the archaic supression of women by the arrogant chauvanistic Male of the species that Islam has made 'law' like so many other anti female rules that Sharia enshrines.
Fear is the dominant factor that stops these subjugated women from demanding emancipation and equality, so perhaps the French have performed a great service of "Equalitie, Liberte" if not Fraternitie to these unfortunate women, if they don't buckle and give in to the undoubted backlash of men, who are basically fearful of allowing women to have rights too.
there is no excuse for these awful shapeless garments. And hiding ones features is often associated with criminal intent, as many violent demonstrators have proved.
A woman can dress in a fashionable but decent way, smart, respectable and demure.
But I fear that this bullying has gone on so long that it will not be easily defeated, only time will tell. One can but hope.

11 April 2011 at 20:04  
Blogger peggy38 said...

Just wanted to highlight the difference between Christian and Muslim understanding of head covering. Judging from many of the comments here its seems there is some misunderstanding leading to false equivalence.


"The only theological basis for a head covering in Christianity is as a sign of humility when at prayer (Ex. Nuns wear them always because they are always at prayer.)

There is an ocean of difference between a sign of humility and a sign of purity.

A woman who covers her head out of humility may be expressing pride if she takes it off. But a woman who wears a headcovering because she would otherwise be a whore if she didnt is 1) dependent on a piece of cloth for her dignity and value and 2) loses same when she takes it off." (quote from my comment above)

Please lets be well informed about why Christian women, particularly nuns, wear a head covering. It is not the same as the reason why a Muslim woman wears one.

11 April 2011 at 20:09  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Well I think all that whining about male domination and misogyny is way overdone (and that's putting it nicely). It's presently fashionable because the theory suits the franco-german claptrap, divide and conquer, fragmentation, motive.

I bet you'd find those Arab women are good and bad, like all the others. Whatever the culture, women are at least as deadly and predatory as men. Some of the nastiest people I've ever met are women - and God help other women who refuse their jurisdiction, etc! So it's six of one and half... And baddies, of whatever gender, reproduce accordingly.

11 April 2011 at 20:27  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"And baddies, of whatever gender, reproduce accordingly."

Except gay baddies like me, cause of the decline of Western civilisation, at least as a general rule anyway. ;)

11 April 2011 at 20:35  
Anonymous BnS aka MrJ said...

peggy38_Thank you for making the point in the way you have and for repeating it. To my mind, this is the essence of the issue today, and needs to be tactfully acknowledged and acted on in the face of ignorance and malice.

11 April 2011 at 20:37  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

I completely agree with your line of argument Cranmer.

Leave the British Muslim community alone to sort this one and make their own decisions. What right have we to impose restrictions on clothing?

What gives us to right to project our prejudices and perceptions onto them?

Isn't wearing any religious symbol an offence in secular France?

11 April 2011 at 20:46  
Blogger Jim McLean at Acoustic Village said...

It is a shame that Cranmer - of all people - should compare the burqa and its banning with that of childrens halloween costumes. His Grace knows that the burqa - more than any other piece of clothing - is a symbol of a religion, behaviour and a culture that is not compatible with Britain and her values.
We can all find "innocent" and innocuous comparisons about anything...it does not make the wrong right.

11 April 2011 at 21:00  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Moon is the measurer

Judas Iscariot was the "thirteenth" apostle, the thirteenth tribe of Israel was the only tribe left without land.

Christ was crucified on Friday the thiteenth and arose to become of the order of Melchizedek.

Melchizedek was born of no mother or father as was the thiteenth month said to be born of itself.

Our Julian, Gregorian calendars are the corruption not the Moon.

11 April 2011 at 21:06  
Blogger Jim McLean at Acoustic Village said...

To Last dodo....Why should we not have the same right to impose restrictions on clothing? Do we complain when we go to a Muslim country and adhere to their restrictions imposed on us? Are you saying it is acceptable for others to project their prejudices and perceptions onto us? Or are they not prejudices and perceptions becuae they are exotically foreign?!

11 April 2011 at 21:06  
Anonymous Watchman said...

Non Mouse.
Agreed that Muslim women are good and bad, that goes for the whole human race, including the men.
But for one gender to impose such a restrictive law of dress on another is in my estimation an abuse of freedom and human rights. An abuse that is endorsed by the females standing, or lack of it under Islamic Sharia Law, which denegrates them to little more than chattels and the possesion of men.
These poor creatures are little more than slaves who suffer under a repressive law that subjugates them to the will of the male, to do his wishes, or suffer the consequences. The dress code is a symbol of this slavery just as the prison uniforms worn by convicts once marked them out as felons.

11 April 2011 at 21:08  
Blogger Jim McLean at Acoustic Village said...

In case you think my comments are phobic in any sense, I would stress that we should also impose restrictions on our own clothing when out in public or in public office. If a skinhead in bovver boots and an "I LUV UK" T shirt walked, with his mates, up the street of Luton...would it be reasonable for the muslims and other asians in that community to infer from the appearance of these guys that they are probably racist? It is clear that a dress choice is an outward sign of inward values.....

11 April 2011 at 21:13  
Blogger English Viking said...

Your Grace,

My definition of religion is irrelevant.

My definition of Islam is a socio-political (or sociopathic, take your pick) system of intimidation and indoctrination with self declared designs on world domination, using murder, deceit, rape, torture and extortion as and when it sees fit (mostly all the time) to achieve this goal.

The Bible speaks of religion, so, because you asked me so nicely, I will use this touchstone as my definition.

'Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.' James 1 v 27.

The reader could ask themselves whether Islam fits into James' understanding of the things which are pleasing to God.

11 April 2011 at 21:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,

You don't seems to have an opinion here other than that you wish this all was not a problem, and, could we all not just get along please, other than if we happen to be approximately on the same side, in which case, no-one or nothing every is good enough to be associated with us.

I think you need a better role model... here is a real Christian, a lady who is taking what she believes far more serious than you do... watch and learn:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qeyrp-V3Jvc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LCLDjPNpf4

11 April 2011 at 22:58  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Jim McLean at Acoustic Village said...
To Last dodo....
"Are you saying it is acceptable for others to project their prejudices and perceptions onto us?"

Course not. That's the whole point of the rule of law and liberal (pluralistic) democracies. People are free from the prejudices of others.

Wasn't that long ago when the christian world was obsessed with witches. When facing a crisis within our 'culture' and attempting to define 'Britishness', it's tempting to focus on 'enemies' without and demons. Easier than admitting we've lost our way.

Instead of trying to 'protect' poor Muslim women from their men, I think we should get our act together first.

11 April 2011 at 23:22  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Watchman - doubtless you know more of these 'poor creatures' than I do. The few I've met have been as arrogant and convinced of their own superiority as any western female. An Iranian girl did tell me, however, that once the women get home and take off the 'garb' - personal appearance and style are immensely important. They're every bit as bad as our lot.

As for being 'chattels' - I have no idea. I always understood that some sort of trading goes on with regard to marriage; perhaps it's more obvious and entrenched than our own. But the very strong-minded, assertive types I've met can't be total exceptions. If they disliked the system they'd have done something about it by now.

It's not for us to force our way onto them. The problem is that they want to force theirs onto us. Apparently the desert is no longer big enough.

11 April 2011 at 23:35  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Noting (as midnight approaches) that the title of today's blog was

"Liberté, égalité, burqanité",

and that under this an earlier blog (for another context) with the title

"There’s nothing British about banning the burqa",

was reproduced after the paragraph: "As France today begins enforcement of its burqa ban, His Grace is reminded of his post from more than a year ago when UKIP came out in favour of such illiberal legislation. To save you the trouble of hyper-linking, it is reproduced here in its entirety";

it seems that Cranmer has been skilfully non-committal about the merits of the policy of the French Republicas he sees it and of what may be imagined to be the present or future policy of the United Kingdom.

But he has given the opportunity for comments for or against, in the usual way.

It looks as though few have concurred with Last Dodo (20:46) who stated "I completely agree with your line of argument Cranmer."

11 April 2011 at 23:57  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ non mouse (23:35)—If they disliked the system they’d have done something about it by now.

But the system is divinely ordained: ‘Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other … As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them.’

To add insult to injury, Allah describes women as fields to be ploughed: ‘Women are your fields: go, then, into your fields as you please.’ Wafa Sultan analyses the verse in A God Who Hates: ‘A woman, therefore, is like the land—the dirt … Can the dirt decide how it is plowed [sic] and planted? For fourteen centuries Muslim women have been the dirt of Islam that Muslim men have trod on and planted in their role as farmer.’

12 April 2011 at 00:17  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

MrJ said...
" ... it seems that Cranmer has been skilfully non-committal about the merits of the policy of the French Republicas he sees it and of what may be imagined to be the present or future policy of the United Kingdom."

Did we read the same piece? I thought the article was absolutely clear on the (in)appropriateness and (de)merits of the French law both there and here.

12 April 2011 at 00:32  
Anonymous Kelso said...

I won't address the current issue, I just want to brag that the most popular toast at my dinner table is: "Damn the French!". We try hard to say it every night. France - America's Oldest Enemy.

12 April 2011 at 00:34  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Re: the difference between the traditional habit and veiling of nuns, and the mozzy notions. Certainly, there will be a difference nowadays; but nuns did inherit traditions that are more arabian/middle eastern than they are 'western.' Christian roots are, after all, Hebrew: Judaic.

So the nun's veil is not simply a question of humility - which is anyway about who is dominant. Nuns are supposed to be pure: the three knots on the Franciscan cord, for example, represent the vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience (yes, for the women too). Furthermore, nuns are not only about purity, they are Brides of Christ who wear his wedding ring. A nunnery, then, is an harem of Christ's: especially if it's an enclosed order.

As I say - they may have modernised/westernised themselves since I last thought about it, but the origins of religious enclosures are Middle Eastern.

A good deal of Medieval Romance (Marie de France, e.g.) reflects those contexts, and it reflects on their relationship with the secular world. The stories might even owe something to the Arabic influence on France which dated from 8th-century Saracen invasions.

The difference would then be that Christian enclosure was (meant to be) about purity for love of God. If mozzies developed purity by mandate of men, then that's where we diverge and/or conflict. That and the later Reformation, of course.

Arguably, one of the effects of the latter was to lead young men and women away from the coenobitic lifestyle.

12 April 2011 at 00:52  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I rather liked the PMs take on council red tape for street parties , that aspect was most refreshing.
We now hear a leaked email from lib dem council leader titled "labours surge up north" is causing nervousness , Nick Clegg is being removed from lib dem leaflets. This perhaps doesnt sound quite true and maybe shows somthing about AV and its poisenous politics as the no2 choice gets a bashing to ensure the discredited socialists keep afloat.
No one has hardly bothered to mention the former PM Gordon Brown ,in a speech in the USA seemed to admit he got it wrong on bank regulation , citing that he didnt realise how interrelated these banks were . I thought mmm thats funny I seem to recall one Tony blair defining globalisation as the new world order of interelated finance. I note he also didnt mention the gold sell off , now that the new Sir John Vickers report has said more capitalisation is required , mmm funny that , what did Gordon say at the time was it somthing along the lines of could make more money in shares and investments , well I never, so not only was he wrong on regulation , he was wrong on capitalisation and blew our money on the very instruments that were not bust proof or even the nations capitalisation to weather a downturn/bubble.
Yet the banking report seems a tad lite on the history of HBOS , for now that good old boring building societys and mutuals , are now thought as a bit less prone centralised busts there may be some reflection on how one of the most succesful mutual building societies aka Halifax ended up in the biggest loss venture at the debt swap casino in the clearly wrong HBOS/Loyds merger . mmmm let me think who was chancellor at the time and despite having praise from all his party as the greatest chancellor ever , didnt know it would legg the british tax payer into a bust , that Labour still claims was the banks fault.

So was a boom created by breaking up and merging the old secure building society business , centralising retail and ensuring cheap globalisation world goods came in (and cheap workers)to keep inflation low , but created unemployment as manufacturing was finished .

I dont know about a labour surge up north , they should be carefull it may just be a crowd gathering to lynch the socialists/corrupts .

12 April 2011 at 01:03  
Anonymous Oswin said...

His Grace was just stirring things up a little to redress the balance, after his koran burning piece. He likes a few sparks to fly; it's damp, smouldering, slow-burning wood that upsets him most. :o)

12 April 2011 at 01:05  
Anonymous Oswin said...

For a UK resident wearing the burqa it is just another version of giving it the old two fingers ... two fingers to the rest of us. They do it because WE don't like it; and neither do THEY us!

12 April 2011 at 01:12  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Dear Mr. Rottenborough @ 00:17 - I know you know more about it than I do. Yet I cannot pity their women --- they've accepted it for so long, they must like it that way! The choice is theirs. And, as I say, (middle) eastern females tend to be assertive in their talks with me! [Perhaps because they believe their way is superior? I suppose there could be some fear at work...]

Me - I'm just a lass whose education stems from the Yorks. tradition...:) One who also has a strange English accent (RP).

12 April 2011 at 01:14  
Blogger peggy38 said...

Non Mouse,

No, nuns wear the habit because of what the Bible says. Its that simple. Its about humility while praying.

You are mixing issues. Yes, nuns are supposed to be chaste. Yet it was Jesus who affirmed the inherant value in women, prostitutes and adulteresses. In other words, women did not have to do anything, be anything, dress anyway to be fully valued by Jesus. This overturned the ancient Middle Eastern order, that a woman was a person with infinite worth outside of marriage or any legal code. This is why nuns were among the worlds first feminists in a sense, in the Christian sense ie giving up power and pride in order to gain much much more.

At no time has it been the case that a nun who wanted to change her mind and take off the habit has been devalued as a human being inviting herself to be raped and abused.

It truly has been two different things all along. On the one hand a God-given value that cannot be decreased or increased by the thoughts or actions of any human being. On the other, a value that is dependent on behavior and dress, something conditional, temporary, that can be taken away.

I don't know your beliefs but I suspect they have their origin in the idea that all religions are essentially the same so why make a fuss about any of them. But this attitude may have deadened your mind to any evidence of real difference. Truly the unconditional value of individuals found in Christianity vs the conditional/situational value of individuals found in Islam is some of the strongest evidence that the two faiths are not only different but in many ways polar opposites.

12 April 2011 at 01:20  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Likes sparks to fly? :) surely not a spark is somthing that goes in the general direction of a force or wind . I rather think his grace is somewhat more , how shall I say guided. LOL:) Nighty night and dont let the wee beasties bite .

PS no he is not the messiha , but I think you would want him as a special advisor .

12 April 2011 at 01:25  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Peggy, if you are really as limited in your understanding of veils and nuns as you are wrong about my beliefs, then this discussion is pointless!

RC nuns educated me on the significance of their habits and veils, vows and wedding rings.

Perhaps the NT passage you reference is that which also excites feminazis(1 Cor. 11:4-15). However, St. Paul actually supports older tradition or law, but adds another dimension. Indeed, Christ Himself said that He came to fulfil, not to destroy [the Law]. (Matt. 5:17 KJV) And, having indicated that a woman's hair is her "power" (10), St. Paul ends his passage: "Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord./For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also of the woman; but all things of God (11/12).

On your other points - I am reminded that even secular Anglo-Saxon women wore veils, out of modesty and custom. Like Hebrew women, they tended also to be rather strong-minded: women in warrior tribes carry responsibilities. In those days, too, it mattered who the father was.

Suffice it to say that the symbolism of veiling/unveiling is more complex than you admit. And I refer only to its occurrence in history, literature, and etymology.

I have other things to do than trace it all, and so must stop now. In any case other people are probably fed up with it!
Good night.

12 April 2011 at 03:11  
Blogger peggy38 said...

non mouse, OK so if a nun takes off her habit she is inviting rape?? Tell me where in the Bible or in Christian tradition that this is spelled out. Where is the tradition that women must cover or else lose their honor and dignity. Of course not. You won't find it. But Muslim women who veil will all proudly tell you that without the veil they cannot have honor, dignity or respect. They will tell you that they wear it because they love God and guard their honor so that men with their lustful thoughts won't take it from them. But the implication of that for women who don't wear it is that they are asking for it. This is somehow feminist and empowering? These are warrior women?

So go ahead and trace the clear and present Christian tradition about women and their clothing that is equal to that. Show me the Scriptures. Show me where in the New Testament that Jesus ties the worth of a woman to her clothing?

I think you are missing my point if you think my views of the nun's attire is simplistic. But it is not the same as the reasons that a Muslim woman wears hers. I also have some research skills and I can read. I don't know many nun's personally but I have read their own words. So I am not ignorant.If you read my comments closely, I said that women had covered for many reasons in the past but in Christianity this was not enshrined in some divine honor code that if it is violated the woman becomes damaged goods. Nowhere in Scripture, except in one passage is it recommended that women cover their heads, and then it is a matter of humility before God. The purpose of a nun's head covering is as a symbol of prayer not to keep her magical hair juju rays inside so that men won't be bedazzled by it. Or because it is the possession only a jealous Christ who alone should see it.

I have talked to and read the testimonies of hundreds of Muslim women. I know why they cover. Because if they do not they are by obvious implication, bad girls, who don't care about their honor and don't really love God or their husbands. It is not the same as why nuns cover. Or are you saying that nuns are as messed up as that? Are nuns hiding from men? Is that why they become nuns to protect themselves from men? Show me the nun who says that she must cover herself head to foot just to be appreciated as a person or to be safe from strange men and their thoughts? If you think that is why a nun wears her habit then you are sadly mistaken.

No nuns do not cover for these reasons. Muslim women do.

A nun knows that her dignity, worth and respect come from God and cannot be taken away from her even if she were to take off her habit. This understanding of a woman's inherent God-given worth comes to us not from anyone else but Christ.

12 April 2011 at 05:09  
Blogger peggy38 said...

PS non mouse,

If and when, God forbid, one of your female relatives is assaulted by Muslim men who see her as a "bad" girl because she is uncovered, I wonder if you will be talking about how empowering the Muslim veil is for Muslim women and how the ideas at the bottom of it are no different than the Christian tradition of veiling.

12 April 2011 at 05:12  
Anonymous IanCad said...

There is a wonderful logic in the US First Amendment. It is perfectly OK to burn the Koran or any other book. It is quite legal to burn the flag, and also, to waddle around in a burqa if such is your wish. There are no constraints on speech. You are perfectly welcome to insult, damn or offend anyone to your heart's content.
That is as it should be. Saves a lot of inconsistent dialogue.

12 April 2011 at 06:04  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Peggy - Sorry you've misunderstood. I don't have time to go over it all again.

12 April 2011 at 06:24  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

IanCad: "There are no constraints on speech. You are perfectly welcome to insult, damn or offend anyone to your heart's content."

How does that work with threatening behaviour? That is, can using insulting words ever be considered as threatening behaviour in your country?

12 April 2011 at 06:46  
Anonymous Village explainer aka MrJ and BnS said...

peggy38: Thank you for the explanation at 12 April 2011 05:09

PS to MrJ_11 April 23:57:

"Liberté, égalité, [fraternite'] burqanité [islamique]"

trans.: Liberty, equality, [islamic] berkanity [brotherhood]

....sophistry is said to be "1300–50; Middle English sophistrie < Middle FRENCH, equivalent to sophistre"... that is, about the time of Thomas Aquinas, William of Ockham and other Scholastics (of Paris and elsewhere in Europe) (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15636a.htm
Sorbonne)

berk: ...person who is easy to take advantage of (googlesearch) cp. use of "dhimmi" in sharia law.

[Village explainer: ".....Gertrude Stein once told him: 'Hemingway, after all you are 90% Rotarian. Can't you. he said, make it 80%. No. said she regretfully. I can't.' Of Ezra Pound her criticism is even more cavalier: 'She said he was a village explainer, excellent if you were a village, but if you were not. not.' (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,746058-4,00.html)]

12 April 2011 at 07:17  
Blogger Elwin Daniels said...

It is not about religious attire. It is about concealing the face.

I have no problem with veils, crosses, skull caps, badges, slogans on T shirts (even if highly offensive to me)or nose, eyebrow and lip piercings (although I find them ugly and stupid, like most tattoos.)

People must not be allowed to conceal their faces in public, this applies to balaclavas too. The only exception should be bona fide Morris dancers blacking up for a performance.

12 April 2011 at 10:19  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

I agree with you and acknowledge the qualifications that Bede mentions (for example, I would want to see my accuser).

A blanket ban will be unenforceable.

It would play directly into the hands of those who follow the Prophet of the Moon.

12 April 2011 at 10:24  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

It’s a difficult issue, on the one hand the ability to express one’s religious (or any other) identity should be a given in a free society. However covering the face is problematic because that is how we identify each other. You have to remove a crash helmet before going into a bank for obvious reasons and I expect legislation that will force protesters to reveal their faces when demonstrating. So with some reservations I am with France on this one, no facial covering (for whatever reason) in a public place. Religious belief should not be used to justify any behaviour that threatens the common good.

12 April 2011 at 10:40  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

I think, for once, we should follow David Cameron's lead and hug those who wear burqas. I'm sure that would have a significant effect.

12 April 2011 at 10:58  
Blogger Elwin Daniels said...

There was a burqa wearing woman on the train last week. A slit to see through, and 4 (beautiful) children all obviously under 10. She looked about 26 but I couldn't be sure due to the coverall.

Lots more of the same in the centre of the town where I live. Its called demography and its about will. Current rate of doubling= decisive bloc vote by 2030 and Islamic republic of Great Britain by 2040.

I suspect although I can't prove that the Deity has justly afflicted us here in Britain with blindness to what is happening to us in order to punish us for our apostacy in rejecting our Christian heritage, by proving that not all religions are the same and that when you drive out good religion, you don't get 'rationalism' you get bad religion.


Probably the trend to Islamification is irreversible already. Serve us right.

12 April 2011 at 10:59  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Mr D Singh -- a blanket ban. Very funny. Ha-ha-ha!

12 April 2011 at 11:00  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Elwin Daniels, there is nothing wrong with balaclavas. They don't conceal the face. The full face is exposed in a balaclava. It is ski masks that leave just eye-holes.

12 April 2011 at 11:03  
Blogger English Viking said...

To all rambling about nuns and nonsense,

The only Nun in the Bible is a man, It was his name. He was the father of Joshua.

All other clap-trap about orders and habits and vows etc, etc, is exactly that - claptrap.

12 April 2011 at 11:44  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ IanCad (06:04)—It is perfectly OK to burn the Koran

That’s what Derek Fenton thought, too, but it got him sacked from his job, condemned by a state governor and labelled a ‘creep’ into the bargain.

12 April 2011 at 11:59  
Anonymous Oswin said...

English Viking:

''Rambling about Nuns and Nonsense''

What a superb autobiographical title!

I can see it now, plastered across the double-windows of Waterstones :

'The Memoirs of a mad, bad, axe-wieding fiend!' Published by Claptrap & Bloodaxe Books. :o)

12 April 2011 at 13:07  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Is this so abhorant to us because we're now used to seeing women leaving very little to the imagination?

Look around the average high street and it's not burka clad women you'll see. No, it's women with dresses that are no more than belts. Tops that cover little more than the shoulder. The 'image' of women projected by the media is increasingly sexual. Even young girls are sexualised. Wander around when the pubs close on a weekend and you'll get a flavour of the morals of this 'christian' country and the consequences of our dress codes.

Leave each community alone to address it's own issues, I say. And lets start tackling the problems of the 'liberated' western cultures and leave Islam to sort out its own problems of 'equality'.

12 April 2011 at 13:19  
Anonymous Oswin said...

The Last Dodo:

You interest me strangely, oh stuffed one! Much of what you say is wholly valid, but yet you forever seem to miss the essential point.

Is it that you are you an alarmingly 'nice' person; or perhaps just a tad disingenuous?

Why is it that you appear to embrace ethnic diversity within Britain; against all, and continued, contra-indications to the efficacy of the circumstance?

12 April 2011 at 13:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For once the French have got it right in fighting the degrading practice of the burka. It's really all centred on accepting that male and female are made in the image of God. Just as Christ is the human face of God so we recognise our being made in God's image through seeing each other face to face. Women and men, not men only.

The entire edifice of Islam is built on the subservience of women to men beginning with the polygamist prophet with his teenage bride.

Sadly it's all too little and far too late for Europe to be saved from turning into Eurabia.

The only unifying ideology that could withstand islamicisation - the Christian faith - is stultified by Rome and emasculated by the Reformed.

The Mohammedans are here with their hotchpotch of warped Judaism and heretical Christianity. They are pandered to by the political and religious elite who betray their own people through their complicity with Mohammed's tribal fetish.

They will breed us out within three generations and two thousand years of Christian civilisation will be gone.

Notre Dame will be turned into a mosque just like Hagia Sophia was in Constantinople and those who still maintain the faith of Christ will be reduced to the position of the Copts in Egypt - persecuted and dispossessed.

Mark 13:26

12 April 2011 at 13:48  
Blogger English Viking said...

Oswin,

Lol :-)

12 April 2011 at 14:25  
Anonymous Village explainer aka MrJ and BnS said...

Oswin: My experience in followng this blog for no more than a few weeks (including links supplied and further searching and reading) is to have become better informed about the problem of Islamism generally and more particularly in this country and in mainland Europe (including constituent states of the anomalous treaty organisation which has taken the name European Union); and, thanks to Ann Bernhardt, in the federal republic of the United States of America.

But it is also surprisingly evident how difficult others (not only commenters here) find seeing beyond pretty much what main stream politicians present.

Commenters here would not expect or wish to agree completely with Cranmer or each other, but it can be a pleasure to see the patience of one of the better informed when responding to others who have yet to catch up.

And this morning's homily "In praise of Oxford" has already attracted 18 comments.

12 April 2011 at 15:30  
Anonymous Oswin said...

15.30:

Is that YOU Mr. Dodo??? Are you so many faceted then? Or am I missing something here?

12 April 2011 at 15:49  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Anonymous @13:48 :

A truthful vignette; & can't be faulted!

12 April 2011 at 15:54  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Oswin: 15.30 is veritably Village explainer aka MrJ and BnS, but you seem to read me as a parody of Dodo, which, given my other comments adressed to Dodo others and at large is odd. Another old fogey, perhaps.

12 April 2011 at 16:53  
Anonymous IanCad said...

DanJO @ 06:44
A threat has to mean an intent to harm. There is a grey area emerging re: cyber- bullying.
BTW. I am a British subject.

Johnny Rottenborough @ 11:59
In most states an employer may fire at will. No cause needed. However, if his first amendment rights were violated, as seems likely, he may sue for that. The oafish governer, by his political grandstanding, has likely secured Mr. Fenton a tidy settlement from the taxpayers.

12 April 2011 at 16:56  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Mr. J @ 16:53:

In sooth, I don't think it necessary to be ancient, in order to be confused by yourself/selves (?) ... @15.30 & 16.33 are beyond me entirely. I'm a simple soul me; probably ace thick too ...sighs ...

12 April 2011 at 17:13  
Blogger Kilsally said...

Video: Head Covering - Your Questions Answered - Rev John Greer - Free Presbyterian Church
http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=12270551529

12 April 2011 at 17:26  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Oswin_If you say so but the use of Village Explainer and BnS were explained when introduced. I should not wish to confuse other commentators, and maybe will continue only with MrJ.

Why mention 16.33? "Oswin said...er - shouldn't that read 'Lo-Spo' ?"12 April 2011 16:33"

Let LoBoS aka LobotomySpoon82 speak for himself (although I now see has mentioned me in one of his despatches).

12 April 2011 at 17:29  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Oswin said...
"The Last Dodo:
Why is it that you appear to embrace ethnic diversity within Britain; against all, and continued, contra-indications to the efficacy of the circumstance?"

Sorry Oswin but you'll have to translate this for me!

Not sure I "embrace' ethnic or religious diversity, afterall I'm a Roman Catholic and would prefer a little bit more unity. However, it's just the way it is. Other cultures, religions, denominations and races are here.

My main point is that this diversity represents such a threat because 'Christian Britain' is no longer Christian. We abandoned the core beliefs when 'liberation' and 'freedom' came along with the pernicious 1960's.

Abortion, divorce, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, contraception, and IVF are all, in my understanding of Christ's message, opposed to His teachings. They are seen as 'normal' and acceptable by the average person today and to speak against them in public sees one labelled as odd, at best.

I fear we rage against Islam so much because we are so luke warm, if not ice cold, about our own traditional values. Islam is a perverted distortion of the Old and New Testaments and it's imposition on billions worldwide is surely frightening. That's for them to sort out and not us. If they want to wear hoover bags it wouldn't be my business.

It's all this paranoia about Islam becoming a majority religion and Christians being reduced to a minority that I find slightly amusing.

However, the decline of Christianity is more frightening and deeply, deeply disturbing. Mind you, wasn't a great apostasy predicted?

And NO I'm not 'Mr J'.

12 April 2011 at 18:20  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ The Last Dodo (18:20)—It’s all this paranoia about Islam becoming a majority religion and Christians being reduced to a minority that I find slightly amusing.

With a British Pakistani birth rate of 4·7 and a White British birth rate of 1·7, it’s inevitable that Britain will become Muslim.

❛The Muslim population in Britain has grown by more than 500,000 to 2·4 million in just four years, according to official research collated for The Times. The population multiplied 10 times faster than the rest of society, the research by the Office for National Statistics reveals. In the same period the number of Christians in the country fell by more than 2 million.❜

❛The United Kingdom is expected to have the largest increase in the number of Muslims in Europe in the next 20 years. The number of Muslims in the UK is projected to almost double from 2·9 million in 2010 to 5·6 million in 2030. By 2030, Muslims are expected to make up 8·2% of the UK’s population, up from 4·6% in 2010.❜—The Pew Forum

12 April 2011 at 18:42  
Blogger Ernst Stavro Blofeld Ambassador to Vedics and other medical professions + Tiddles said...

Oswin said 11 April 2011 17:03

Not far from Ernst is a muslim family, pleasant enough people but I have notice something very peculiar.

Whilst going to school or playing with other non muslims children, they wear the headscarve, however whilst playing among themselves or other muslim friends, no headscarve is required.

I think you will find they are telling us they have no desire to mingle with us but need to show themselves and others that they are superior to non muslims..by a simple piece of clothing.

As they are on benefits and receiving council housing as asylum seekers from Somalia (what on earth that country has to do with GB as part of some colonnial past I find hard to imagine), Ernst presumes people come to this country in particular, for what they can get but not especially because it's Britain or they want to become British.

Serves us right, really.

Ernst

12 April 2011 at 18:49  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Some godless heathen said: "As they are on benefits and receiving council housing as asylum seekers from Somalia (what on earth that country has to do with GB as part of some colonnial past I find hard to imagine)"

If they are asylum seekers then they'll be housed by the UK Border Agency rather than the local council and they'll be getting support to buy food and essentials i.e. about £35 quid a week for an adult. The housing is usually fully furnished and bills are paid. The support is because they're not allowed to work here, you see, while their application is considered. As Somalia is a dangerous, war-torn country, they're nominally here as refugees though how they got here is a mystery. Perhaps they've travelled here because they speak some English or they have heard we are a tolerant nation or they have family or friends here already. Hope this helps.

12 April 2011 at 19:08  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Mr. Dodo ?) @ 18:20

Sorry for confusing you with a clumsily constructed sentence. One back for me then eh?

I have never, myself, felt the urge to appear semi-simultaneously as myriad others ... perhaps I should get out more; is it a new fashion perhaps?

I note that Johnny & Ernst have already addressed the whole ''missing the point'' issue.

12 April 2011 at 19:21  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Johnny Rottenborough said...
"@ The Last Dodo (18:20)—
By 2030, Muslims are expected to make up 8·2% of the UK’s population, up from 4·6% in 2010."

Hardly a majority!

Guess 'we' need to rediscover christianity and return to traditional family and reproduction values. I've done my bit - four, healthy breeding adults all conceived naturally, and raised in a hetrosexual, divorce free, abortion free household.

12 April 2011 at 19:25  
Anonymous Seigmund Freud said...

@ danjo 12 April 2011 19:08

Dear danjo

You appear to be displaying classic neocrasstic sarcastical tendencies, very common amongst the emotional damaged caused by paternalistic failure during childhood and casting this blame on older figures you class as similar.i.e. your father.

Try not to put these failings onto the shoulders of others who have never met you or indeed, would spurn the opportunity, if it presented itself, by your displaying these tendencies so frequently.

Siggy

ps

Your obsession with religion and the religious is worrying..hmm

12 April 2011 at 19:32  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

You were showing your true colours again, that's all. ;)

12 April 2011 at 19:37  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Mr. Dodo - please disregard most of my last comment, I no longer know who asked what, of whom, or when ... my comments pertain to someone, somewhere; but I have since lost the will to live ...


Mr. J, who mentioned L'Spoon? Oh don't bother, I'm away for a stiff drink!

12 April 2011 at 19:48  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Johnny - excellent! Or rather, perhaps not? :o(

12 April 2011 at 20:11  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Oswin—Glad you liked it.

12 April 2011 at 20:17  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Very good.

However ...

http://www.unhcr.org/4d8c5b109.html

Sadly not as glamorous or tuneful as yours though, Mr R.

12 April 2011 at 20:19  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ DanJ0 (20:19)—Too late for London and too late for Birmingham.

12 April 2011 at 20:31  
Anonymous MrJ said...

The Last Dodo_At least you and I know we are not each other, but Oswin seems to have lost track, somehow. Let's hope he comes back all the better from his drink break. We are now well into the drama discussion which Cranmer started today.

12 April 2011 at 20:40  
Anonymous Seigmund Freud said...

@ danjo 12 April 2011 19:37

and you seem to have problems giving answers to parts of questions that you cannot answer by answering something else that wasn't requested to be answered....any questions?

Why are you spelling your name differently. Problems below the surface, perhaps, wanting to rise and be spoken about?.
A lack of firm belief in life can do this to the easily confused and bewildered.

Siggy is always here to help the afflicted and those crushed by life's little disappointments. ;-o

Hope this helps you too.

Siggy :-)

12 April 2011 at 22:16  
Blogger Ernst Stavro Blofeld Ambassador to Vedics and other medical professions + Tiddles said...

HandJOB said

Lets play a little game of 'Know the muslim family'.

If they are asylum seekers then they'll be housed by the UK Border Agency rather than the local council (WRONG. Housed by council NOT UK Border Agency as granted asylum) and they'll be getting support to buy food and essentials i.e. about £35 quid a week for an adult( 1 father and mother, 3 sons 19-25, 2 daughters 8 and 14 and two sons 3 and 7 and another child on the way). The housing is usually fully furnished and bills are paid (Council house was empty and they received housing items courtesy of local church 'Those horrible christians', even though they are muslim and do not attend their church. Heating work, etc is paid via council for sub contractors.). The support is because they're not allowed to work here (Father claims benefit but disappears early morning, coming back late on evening..Ernst has seen him collected by van at local roundabout, his young wife must receive child benefit for 4 children plus one due shortly, the elder boys claim incapacity benefit but Ernst has seen two working cash in hand at local asian fastfood fried chicken shop...They panicked, Ernst smiled and took his chicken and walked out..It is not Ernst's job to report people but if the system fails, its not Ernst's fault) you see, while their application is considered. As Somalia is a dangerous, war-torn country, they're nominally here as refugees though how they got here is a mystery (Hmm, first port of call, isn't it..The country you arrive in. Perhaps they swam here, all the way from Somalia?) Perhaps they've travelled here because they speak some English (LOL, BIGTIME) or they have heard we are a tolerant nation (With a very generous benefit system and free housing, unlike Europe) or they have family (NO) or friends here already (NO). Hope this helps.
(Hope my explanation shows you talk complete Sh%*e, as always.)

Old Ernsty, my boy.

12 April 2011 at 22:57  
Anonymous BFS said...

Your Grace, I hyper-linked this blog post before you reposted it today, as it expressed what I wanted to say so well

12 April 2011 at 23:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Dodo said:
"I've done my bit - four, healthy breeding adults all conceived naturally, and raised in a hetrosexual, divorce free, abortion free household."

Really? And I thought you had been all alone for 400 years and are still seeking a mate.

13 April 2011 at 00:38  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Anonymous said:
"Really? And I thought you had been all alone for 400 years and are still seeking a mate."

Ooooops - maybe I exagerated. Wishful thinking; a bird can hope!

MrJ said...
"The Last Dodo_At least you and I know we are not each other, but Oswin seems to have lost track, somehow."

Mr J - are you Oswin?

13 April 2011 at 02:47  
Blogger LoBoS aka LobotomySpoon82 said...

Well I'm definitely not DanJ0 as I haven't a clue how to interpret art.

13 April 2011 at 07:00  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"If they are asylum seekers then they'll be housed by the UK Border Agency rather than the local council (WRONG. Housed by council NOT UK Border Agency as granted asylum)"

Then they're not asylum seekers, you moron, they're refugees. Lordy, you're a Daily Mail reader I suppose if you write stuff like that. I can't be bothered reading the rest. If I wanted to read crap like that then I'd go on the website of said paper where there are hundreds of people just like you. All pretendy-Christians without basic human kindness I expect because Christian is just a badge for the English and Proud types there.

13 April 2011 at 08:45  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

No doubt with a bit more strife looming, William will be back again shortly, like a whippet after a rabbit. Don't see sight nor sound of him normally. ;)

13 April 2011 at 08:51  
Blogger William said...

Did someone say rabbit?

13 April 2011 at 08:59  
Blogger William said...

Thanks Danj0 - it's always nice to be missed.

13 April 2011 at 09:14  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

:)

13 April 2011 at 09:49  
Blogger Ernst Stavro Blofeld Ambassador to Vedics and other medical professions + Tiddles said...

"Then they're not asylum seekers, you moron, they're refugees". I see you are unaware of the difference between past and present tenses or past or present status.

Do you know why you are a handjob.?

because you are too big a handjob to realise 'you are a handjob'!

Bye Bye Handjob ;)

13 April 2011 at 10:31  
Anonymous Seigmund Freud said...

"Do you know why you are a handjob.?

because you are too big a handjob to realise 'you are a handjob'!"

and he seem to have problems giving answers to parts of questions that he cannot answer by answering something else that wasn't requested to be answered....any questions? QED.

Very sound logical reasoning and therefore I, sadly, concur.

Siggy

13 April 2011 at 10:37  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Mr. Dodo @ 02:47

No, Mr.J. is not me. I have enough trouble being myself, than to further obfusticate via multiple identities.

Regards, Mr. J (ooops!) :o)

13 April 2011 at 12:21  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Ernst(/Siggy/Anonymous): "I see you are unaware of the difference between past and present tenses or past or present status."

Oh dear. That scraping sound? That's the bottom of the barrel, you know. Nowt left by the look of it.

13 April 2011 at 13:43  
Blogger Ernst Stavro Blofeld Ambassador to Vedics and other medical professions + Tiddles said...

HandJOB sneered 13 April 2011 13:43

As if Old Ernst would descend to your level of multi-faceted/personality blogging.

Ernst leaves that to the 'pathetic', who use it to encorage themselves in their vacuous arguments.

A tad sad when you have to revert to this but as you are you..LOL

Old Ernsty

13 April 2011 at 14:40  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

I suppose without the IP addresses associated with 13 April 2011 10:31 and 13 April 2011 10:37, we won't know 100% but there can't be much doubt given the content there and also the reference to past comments, can there? It's not as though it's unexpected either really.

13 April 2011 at 15:05  
Blogger Ernst Stavro Blofeld Ambassador to Vedics and other medical professions + Tiddles said...

HandJOB wimpered 13 April 2011 15:05

What, like DanJO and William..rabbit, rabbit. LOL. :0)

Old Ernsty

13 April 2011 at 15:27  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Ernst, you're nowt but a buffoon. I expect the blog owner adopts a character as a literary device to give the blog its form and to properly distance his real-life from it. The 'His Grace', the third person speaking, and the formal language; it's smart and quite funny as it goes. You roll up and try to ape the idea and style, and it pretty much falls flat on its face. Give it up, there's a good lad. All of them, I mean.

13 April 2011 at 16:43  
Blogger Ernst Stavro Blofeld Ambassador to Vedics and other medical professions + Tiddles said...

Dear HandJOB

"Ernst, you're nowt but a buffoon." Is that girlie tantrum the best you can do ? LOL.

"I expect the blog owner adopts a character as a literary device to give the blog its form and to properly distance his real-life from it." Bet he doesn't but that he actually wonders how that great churchman would have addressed his congregation of C of E if he were alive today and adopts this to enlighten and inform via a blog!

"The 'His Grace', the third person speaking, and the formal language; it's smart and quite funny as it goes." INDEED and very informative from a christian perspective. Why Ernst frequents this blog!

"You roll up and try to ape the idea and style, and it pretty much falls flat on its face. " LOL BIGTIME. I take it your real name is MR ****** DanJO. What a HandJOB you are.

"Give it up, there's a good lad. All of them, I mean."
Never, my little handjob of a twerp, whilst there are intellectual halfwits like yourself.

Hope this helps!

Ernsty.

ps

That ain't you in pic wearing the ghost outfit carrying the lantern, before you go out trollin the 'exotic' bars of Brighton, is it?
Love the nail varnish! Trust you 'pulled' in that get up?

13 April 2011 at 21:50  
Blogger Ernst Stavro Blofeld Ambassador to Vedics and other medical professions + Tiddles said...

A post note.

"The 'His Grace', the third person speaking, and the formal language; it's smart and quite funny as it goes."
"You roll up and try to ape the idea and style, and it pretty much falls flat on its face."

Ps

A word to the wise..'His Grace' is not the real Archbishop Cranmer, Ernst is not..oops, it's a habit..I am not really Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Well spotted, you genius!

;o)

13 April 2011 at 21:59  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"A word to the wise..'His Grace' is not the real Archbishop Cranmer, Ernst is not..oops, it's a habit..I am not really Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Well spotted, you genius!"

What's that actually trying to achieve? "DanJ0 is praising the Cranmer literary device in the context of the blog but not the pointless Blofeld one in the comments so I can pretend he has not realised that both are just literary devices at all and laugh about his apparent stupidity there despite his actually using the term literary device!" Bizarre. It's beyond eccentric rambling. It's like reading the comments of an affronted 10 year old.

14 April 2011 at 07:47  
Blogger Ernst Stavro Blofeld Ambassador to Vedics and other medical professions + Tiddles said...

HandJOB the Genius stomped his likkle feet @14 April 2011 07:47

Your comments, as regularly displayed on this blog, have all the literary ability of a foot stamping five year old and if it were to be analysed, it is the equivalent of using colouring crayons to formulate arguments for the grown ups to read. Tragic!

Your comments would be shown in their best light 30 yrs ago by Tony Hart on Vision On under kids drawings..DanJO aged 5.

What exactly is the point of HandJOB's self inflated ramblings, that never actually 'Hit the spot, intellectually'
or give satisfaction to his readers.

Ernst can imagine you rubbing your likkle hands after each comment, thinking 'Look at that, what a clever person I am, how can people not be impressed'. Whereas your comments bare all the classic hallmarks of a 'Supreme Handjob'. You must go through an awful lot of kleenex whilst tapping away.

Nothing to boast or write home about, is it?

Ernsty, my poor, sad, little boy. ;o(

14 April 2011 at 11:50  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

It's all too easy sometimes.

14 April 2011 at 12:32  
Blogger Ernst Stavro Blofeld Ambassador to Vedics and other medical professions + Tiddles said...

HandJOB the Genius smarted 14 April 2011 12:32

...isn't it just! Thanks for being allowed the space and posts to show what a numpty you are..

Old Ernsty

If that was cyber bullying of the elderly, you failed miserably..LOL.
If anyone tried to intimidate old Ernst, they would receive a much warmer reception than English Viking could ever hand out.

14 April 2011 at 13:13  

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