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From Banning Burqas to B&B Bigots


From Banning Burqas to B&B Bigots

Belgium and France have moved to ban the face veil in public, while Switzerland has banned minarets.  Is Europe now putting its own ‘secular’ culture before religious toleration?  When MP Chris Grayling said before the election he thought Christian B&B owners should be allowed to turn away gay couples there was an outraged consensus that such bigotry should not be tolerated.  How should secular societies deal with awkward religious practices and beliefs?  Speakers include: Abid Raja, chair at Minotek; Dr Evan Harris,  Ex MP Liberal Democrats, Nathalie Rothschild, commissioning editor at Spiked-online, Bruno Waterfield, Brussels correspondent, Daily Telegraph.

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Related topics: Civil Liberties, Debates

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Tauras said:

Most of all are focusing on “wear what you want” principle. It may mean that all of them don’t mind that exist something behind burqas. This is one of symbols of ideology and politicaly religious law system with own rules, which is difficult to reconcile with the values of society, especially with equality principles. At the most of cases it is nothing bad to demonstrate some features of cultural dependence. But about what culture we are talking now? It is culture when you are only humble follover? Does it shows a potential of being more open and progressive?. Of course there are more symbols f.e. “halal” and etc. which are forcing us to accept them as “better”. And comparing burqas with gogles or ipods is absolute inadequate and shows that people realise burqa as only attribute of masquerade instead symbol of wide system of human’s manipulation. Things are deeper . Let’s hink carefully about that.

Andy H said:

I’m for religious toleration and against bans on burqas etc. The question at the centre of all this for me is that today an intolerant atheism is used to justify banning things. I am a secular humanist and I’m not about to become a Muslim in order to defend them. I think we have to wrest humanism out of the hands of the intolerant burqa banners.

Sarah K said:

Good point re Respect agenda which is the opposite of tolerance. Silencing opposition to ideas and culture which need to be criticised in the name of ‘respect’ is appalling. Main point though is surely our capacity to challenge, question, offend, oppose or support whatever we choose – ourselves.