Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday Night Music 4 12 11

 do what thou wilt

France's asinine ban on face coverings -- that is, Muslim veils -- went into effect today. The first lucky prize winner was a 27 year old woman who went into a Parisian shopping center in Muslim dress, rather than choosing one of the many other clothing options that France has to offer.

Like, say, stark naked -- a state of affairs President Sarkozy's wife was quite comfortable with in her modeling days.

For her troubles, this lucky young lady has won the opportunity to pay a 150 Euro fine (about $216 in real money). Either that or she can attend classes on French citizenship.

No doubt they'll skip over the bit on Liberty, Equality, and Brotherhood.

Why France? "Why not?" say apologists for this bit of friendly fascism. After all, this is the same country that banned all clear signs of religious affiliation in its public schools not more than seven years ago.

Isn't this just the next logical step to making sure France is keeping Church and State separated at all costs?

But what cost? What harm does it really do to allow those who believe that their God desires a different, higher level of modesty from them to follow that dictate? You can't force the tenets of feminism and so-called gender liberation upon those who think a higher being says otherwise.

That said, it's with some grim satisfaction that I read the police can fine those who force women to wear veils double... but good luck getting anyone to cop to that one.

But let's face it -- all arguments about security and separation aside, the real problem is that far too many in France are far too fearful of the specter of a silent invasion of Muslims. Within a generation their numbers have grown quite a bit, and brought with it the sort of things that your average beret-wearing, horse-eating Monsieur and Mademoiselle weren't really expecting to see when they went into the city for a night at the theater.

Religious diversity and all the messy things that go with it, in other words. "How dare they be Muslim in our country!"

How dare they indeed.

The lights are going out all over Europe in that regard. Burqa bans, minaret bans, stoppages on mosque construction. It's as if those pasty white fellows are finally deciding that they've had enough of a suspicious religious minority they don't understand, nor care to, be fruitful and multiply in their lovely communities.

If it sounds a familiar concept, it should -- substitute "Jew" for "Muslim" and you have Europe before WWII turned the noxious, everyday oppression of a religious minority into something altogether different.

Are we so different over here, in America? I'd like to think the answer is yes, but then I need only look at New York City to see that, even here, there are those who think religious freedom is only for them and theirs.

Just today, in my place of daily -- usually happy -- toil, I discovered that Robert Spencer has a new book. It's called the The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran.

The tagline is "He read the Koran so you don't have to," which seems to be the general level of discourse on the matter. Don't trust, let us fill you with fear. Don't think, let us do it for you.

Don't explore, let us pick your friends.

In a perfect world, we would all accept one another for our failings and successes, so long as those things caused us no harm. We would treasure our differences as well as our similarities.

We would seek friendship over strife and trust over suspicion.

We're nowhere near any of that. Even the best amongst us still cling to bullshit slogans like "tolerance" instead of speaking of the only true way to handle non-lethal differences -- namely acceptance.

Even the best are nowhere near good enough for the task at hand -- building a better world for those who will inherit it from us, and giving them an example to emulate and improve on, rather than run screaming away from.

Much like France seems to be hoping its Muslim population will do to it.

But it's Tuesday night, and that means music. Maybe this isn't the best song to talk about what I'm getting at, here, but I see your true colors, and that's why I love you. So don't be afraid to let them show.


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