Friday, September 28, 2012

About The Latest French Stance


Archive: Al-Hayat , 2003/12/28

There is no doubt that any progressive Arab should bless the French president in his attempt to protect France's secularism.


Salman Masalha || 
About The Latest French Stance

Finally, French President Jacques Chirac spoke out on the issue of hijab, the Islamic veil, in French public schools. He stated his opinion about the non-negotiable principle of secularism of the French Republic, the principle of state and religion separation, and the banning of religious symbols in French public schools and public sectors. This stance was expected to draw harsh criticisms by Arab fundamentalists, and close Arab circles. But it is worthy noting that when the French minister of education decided to ban all religious symbols from schools in 1937, nobody opposed this decision, as there was no large Muslim community in France as it is the case today.

There is no doubt that any progressive Arab should bless the French president in his attempt to protect France's secularism. The hijab, which is imposed on girls as a result of social pressures, is based on nothing more than the sick vision of those imposing it, and those supporting their views. Those people see the entire female body, even that of a six or nine year old, as something only sexual, a sin that must be hidden. The real sin is in the minds of those men, and of the ones supporting them, since these are the ones who must put a hijab over their minds. The principle of separating religion from state is the very concept that ensures the evolution of all societies, and must be preserved from any change or from being stripped of its meaning; and yet, this is exactly what these people, who consider themselves responsible of the ethics and behaviors of society, are doing.

There are liberal and secular Arabs, and even religious ones, not to mention Arab women who have long strived for the abolition of the patriarchal society, who must not fear to raise their voices. If Arabs tried separating religion from state in their countries, like the French Republic did, there would not have been momentous migration waves towards more secular and civilized countries. If Arabs succeeded in adopting this strategy as a guide, their societies would have literally changed, and they would have stayed and lived in their countries without having to leave in search for better living conditions or for individual freedom. If Arabs had succeeded in this, the Arab woman would have been socially and politically liberated from the chains of the idiotic Arabic patriarchy, and would have participated in building a more evolved and open Arab society. If Arabs had done that, the image of Arab societies would have been very far from this political, social, and cultural downfall and void that we have been facing for decades, not to say for centuries.

We must reflect upon what is being said in this issue. Is it a coincidence that all those criticizing the French president, are of those who cry over collapsing Arab dictatorships? And isn't this reality a flagrant proof on the essence of those people, and their social, political, and cultural backgrounds?

We must state our opinions truthfully and directly. The illusive invitations we are hearing are nothing but preconceived ones that aim on belittling women in Arab societies on all aspects. This is why all enlightened Arabs must send an appreciative letter to French President Chirac for his point of view. The best way for the progress of Arab societies in Arab countries, not to mention that of Arabs living in Europe and elsewhere outside the Arab World, starts exactly from this point: considering the state of the woman. And the solution to the development of Arab societies is nothing else than to liberate women from their patriarchal enslavement.
*
Published: Al-Hayat, 2003/12/28
***
For Arabic, press here



Share:


Facebook comments:
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Middle East
  • The Arab world's quagmire

    Only a society that can engage in introspection and self-examination can emerge from its dark past and march confidently to a different future. Otherwise, it will continue to sink into the same marshy swamp.

    Read more

    A Feeble Middle East

    The West learned on its own flesh that this region conducts itself by other codes. Iran has continued to entrench its standing by means of its religious ideology. The toppling of Saddam Hussein shattered the illusion of the existence of a unifying “Iraqi identity” and gave an encouraging shot in the arm to Iran, which is forging ahead.

    Read more

  • The decay in the Arab world

    With great sadness, it can be said that in the absence of a sane civil alternative, the Arab world will continue along this path.

    Read more


    Neither Arab nor Spring

    The vicissitudes that have, for some reason, been collectively dubbed the "Arab Spring" are neither Arab nor Spring. One can say that they are actually living proof of the identity crisis and reverberating bankruptcy of Arab nationalism.

    Read more

  • another title

Israel - Palestine
  • Our troubles come from us

    And so we have reached a situation in which every Arab is concerned with his own problems and everyone talks about what preoccupies him personally – that is, his own troubles.

    Read more


  • Never-ending tragedy

    The Israeli right, in all its forms, wants exclusively Jewish control over all of the Land of Israel. To the Palestinians who live in this space, it promises residency – temporary, of course, on condition that they keep their heads down, accept their designated status and behave accordingly.

    Read more
  • Solomon’s Mosque

    Religion, every religion, is the No. 1 enemy of nationalism. But under conditions of tension, such as tribal warfare, these polar opposites combine into a toxic soup that consumes all common sense.

    Read more


Racism
  • They see not, nor know

    The term "neutralize" is very popular with people who have served in the security and expulsion forces. The question to be asked is, What did the poet who spoke of "neutralization" mean in this plan?

    Read more

    For Jews only

    From the moment the pundits followed in the footsteps of the politicians, both large and small, they carried this noxious melody everywhere. They were part of legitimizing the illegitimate in Israeli politics.

    Read more

  • With yearning soul

    The Zionism that aspired to establish a "Jewish home" in the Jews' "ancient homeland" did not take into consideration the fact that the land was not empty. It thus adopted the principle of population transfer, based on the same ancient biblical tradition.

    Read more

    Rabbis of the Dry Bones

    Racism surfaces when a society loses its self-confidence and turns to seeking ways to defend itself against what is different and perceived as increasingly threatening.

    Read more

  • الحلم

    حلمتُ:
    أنّي في سجن جدران بيضاء
    حيث لا يعرفني أحدٌ، وأصواتٌ
    تختفي في الرّدهات، وأضواء تستنشقُ
    جمجمتي اللّاهثة.
    ...
    تتمة الكلام


Press photo to Email

Classic

***
Jazz




Site Archive

Selected Topics

 
Essays
  • The pit and the pendulum

    In those days, we did not drink four goblets of wine, because everything that gladdens the human heart is not a part of our custom.

    Read more

  • Welcome Back to History

    Islam, like other imperialist ideologies, still needs enemies to flourish. Enemies have served Islam in the past as fuel for its wagons. Without enemies Islam declines and stagnates...

    Read more

  • another title

Poetry
  • Balkrishna Sama

    Man Is God


    He who loves flowers, has a tender heart.
    he who cannot pluck their blooms,
    has a heart that's noble.

    Read more

  • Martin Niemöller

    First They Came

    First they came for the Communists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the Socialist
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Socialist.


    Read More

  • Salman Masalha

    The Song About the Child

    Boston Gospel Choir

    Text: Salman Masalha
    Composer: Stephen Feigenbaum


    listen

TOPICS