Thursday, July 07, 2005

We're With You



Just wanted to take a moment to say, we had no greater ally after September 11th than the people of Great Britain. And I know they'll have no greater ally after today than the United States of America. Our flag flew in London then. I think it's only right we show their colors now.

10 Comments:

At 1:43 PM, Blogger charlie said...

Thanks, that's really kind.. I was so shocked about today as i live in London, i knew it would happen it was just a matter of time.
What or who might they target next?
They've done the most obvious places. Any ideas?

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

Charlie,

I couldn't guess. The possibilities are endless and horrifying to think about. I do think, saddly, we'll see more of this.

 
At 2:55 PM, Blogger Jdeer165 said...

Only a guess as to possible future targets, but Italy and Denmark are possibilities as they are allies with us in Iraq. I also wouldn't rule out France, since they have laws against Muslim women wearing head scarves.

 
At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

jdeer,

hate to quibble over details, especially since its not really relevant to the thread topic, but Muslim women are not banned from wearing headscarves in France.

The law you speak of bans the wearing of headscarves by children in school. It also bans crosses (like on a necklace or pin) and the little beanie hats worn by Jews, sorry cant remember the correct name for them. This dress code was passed to protect children from increasing violence in Frances public schools, and doesn't single out Muslims, although they protested like it did.

 
At 4:14 PM, Blogger J. James Mooney said...

Anonymous I must protest not what you said but the picture you painted. This legislation is clearly aimed at the northern African immigrants that France is having a large influx of. As the literacy tests for voting during the late 1800s and early 1900s didn't specifically mention blacks, it was an effort to stop them from voting, this is an attempt to keep the "French Culture" intact by forcing the minority to conform to the majority in their secular approach to life.

 
At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Mooney,

"French culture" is largely Catholic based. The entire country shuts down on Catholic holidays, government offices included. I would say that you are gravely mistaken if you believe the French to have a secular society, much less to "force the minority to conform" it.

Again, the law was passed (after considerable public debate) to combat violence in schools perpetrated against muslims and jews. Many US schools, public and private, have dress code requirements as well.

You can disagree with the law, if you like, but the original comment I corrected was that Muslim women are banned from wearing religous apparel, which is incorrect. Muslim children are banned from wearing religiuos apparel -in school- as are catholic and jewish children. If a US school district found that religious items were causing similar disturbances in our schools I would not be surprised to see the same action taken.

 
At 5:13 PM, Blogger J. James Mooney said...

Then we must be speaking of different French Culture (let's lose the quotes shall we). The Catholicism of yesteryear is all but gone in France as they believe Religion should be a thing of the past in progressive societies. An excellent article on this appeared in the WSJ a couple of months ago, here is an except

"Practicing Christianity in Europe today enjoys a status not dissimilar to smoking marijuana or engaging in unorthodox sexual activities--few people mind if you do so in private, but you are expected not to talk about it or ask others whether they do it too. Christianity is considered retrograde and atavistic in a "progressive" society devoted to the good life--long holidays, short work hours and generous government benefits."

Enter our not so welcomed guests from the south. How dare these Muslim express religion in public the French would all but say. The point is this, no I don't support the law I find it oppressive, and yes you are right it could be MORE oppressive . . . but is that the point?

Lastly, I would be outraged if a similar law was placed in America, why punish the victims of the crime by restricting their first amendment? Surely you can think of a better solution . . . like punishing the criminals?

 
At 6:05 PM, Anonymous JimRomano said...

Mr Mooney,

My personal experience with France, more specifically Paris, are that the French identify themselves as a Catholic people. I myself am Catholic, and attend mass infrequently at best. Would the WSJ editorial staff describe me as secular? Maybe they would, (I do support complete seperation of church and state) but that is a separate topic.

Low attendance in Catholic churches is not limited to France, but the writer of your opinion article would link the worldwide phenomenem to progressive values, which are certainly not also held by the WSJ editorial page.

As far as Muslims being welcomed in France, that is a complicated history. France was allowing immigration in the late 19th century, well before most European nations. The French people have mostly held the Muslims in contempt, and have discriminated against thier muslim countrymen in many ways. There should be a distinction drawn between the French government, which has not encouraged racism towards muslims (or jews) and the French people. Not all French hold racist views, but certainly some do. The marraige of muslim/jewish settlers in French society has not gone well. The muslims live mostly in the poorest sections and have a hard time finding employment outside thier own enclaves. This has been attributed to not only French bigotry, but also to Muslim intolerance as well.

It is a complicated issue for sure, but one has to also recognize that France allowed huge numbers to immigrate, something it didn't have to do. They have had thier own problems with the Muslim world historically, most notably with muslim resistance to French colonialism in North Africa, in Algiers, etc, problems we seemed to have learned nothing from. That they have allowed the population to become 10% muslim is in itself commendable, I think, and indicative of a tolerant government.

You don't have to support or not support the law that applies to French school children and what they are allowed to wear in French school. Its a French law that doesn't concern you or I except that it was portayed incorrectly in the original post. You can be outraged, but we do have similar laws already on the books. Public safety outweighs religious freedom in the US too, as is evidenced by state laws that requires Muslim women to be photographed without a veil for a drivers license, which is against their religion.

I do not feel that France will be a target of Muslim extremism in the near future, and if they are, it will not be because of muslim women and their head scarves. The militants have clearly identified thier targets in recent years, and the US and Britain have been chief among them.

All that being said, I would like to return this thread to its original course, which was to offer condolenses to the British people, who have suffered a horrible attack today. The British have been our best ally, and I think will continue to be. I agree we should fly the Union Jack-

 
At 7:00 PM, Blogger J. James Mooney said...

Indeed, God Save the Queen.

 
At 8:51 PM, Blogger Jdeer165 said...

My apologies for misrepresenting the French law regarding the wearing of Muslim headscarves.

And to remain with the original topic of this post I want to express all my support and sympathies to the British people. We have had no better ally than the English. We stood with them in WWII and we stand with them now, as they have done for us. To take a phrase heard after 9/11 Today we are all Londoners.

 

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