Re: Belgian Minister Finds Not All cultures Equal

From: Chris Taylor (
Date: Mon 18 Oct 2004 - 22:50:29 GMT

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    Funny how often those who would lay claim to a liberal democratic viewpoint are so intolerant and dismissive of what they perceive as illiberalism. Maybe M. Dewael would benefit from asking some of his
    'free' burka-wearing citizens how they feel about it? What about balaclavas -- are they next? Bikinis all round? Maybe it's security paranoia; "Butt naked and free -- no bombs on me see!" :)

    Liberte, egalite, caffe latte. Chris.

    Van oost Kenneth wrote:

    > _ After his call to ban all religious inspired kerchiefs from public places
    > and houses, P. Dewael, Minister of Home Affairs, again tackles some
    > Islamitic customs. Without mentioning Islam as such, he says " that all
    > people are equal, but not all cultures. "
    > As the liberal he is, he is not keen on the fact that women are due to
    > cover all of their body with for example the burka.
    > He can 't bear the fact that women are kept indoors and aren 't allowed
    > to follow language- and other courses in order to finally fit in. And he
    > don 't
    > accepts a religion that don 't recognises that there must be a seperation of
    > Church and State. He claims to belief in diversity, but retains the notion
    > that ' foreigners ' should know where their bounderies are.
    > " That is something we should be clear about, and it is far more important
    > than just knowing our language ."
    > Dewael says, that the question should be raised again of how tolerant our
    > society should be for lines of conduct of other cultures. Some of those
    > practices, boil down the overall level of Western society.
    > " That [ they] acknowledge no seperation between Church and State is
    > really inconsistent with their stay in our mids. That they still work with
    > forced marriages and with depriciations of liberty, can 't no longer be
    > tolerated."
    > Some comments,
    > " It hurts that still people see adepts of the Islam as fundamentalists !
    > I am too against the oppression of women and I know there is still a lot
    > to be done to reverse such a view, but that ain 't much to do with Islam.
    > We have to search for the deep rooted misconceptions of such things,
    > of one is in fact that people were total ignorant dropped into a far indus-
    > trialised society ! " says Cemal Caudarli.
    > Sami Emmni argues that " all cultures are indeed equal, but are on the
    > other hand " different '.
    > For Nahima Lanjri, involves the fact that our society isn 't that keen on
    > open up its doors for immigrants and specially Islamitic ones, more than
    > a bias of truth. Immigrants don 't have and aren't giving eqaul chances.
    > << For me, however, all of this will not meet the point.
    > The ' truth ' idiom is inwritten down into our Western/ Flemish history,
    > we are the third most racistic region in Europe, which is a fact of
    > political instigation of which active and passive subjects are recog-
    > nisable as our own far more than those things which only can be
    > appreciated and / or accepted ( tolerated), like the colour of the skin,
    > language, religious practices, dialects, surnames, etc...
    > What we in a certain way apply to, to get our society going can be
    > pointed as universal_ of which the subjects aren 't direct recognisable
    > as socialists, democrats, ecologists, etc but of which the values we
    > hold can and could be of a greater value for all of us.
    > We can only hope that one day all people will meet those values, like
    > liberty, equality,etc_ we hope that once the Islamitic world will hold
    > itself against those, although they have to and must understand that
    > not all people can and will be ( want to be) someday a proven Muslim.
    > But neither must we _ seen from our own democratic point of view_
    > disregard the fact that societies can and will be different.
    > Regards,
    > Kenneth

      Chris Taylor (
      HUPO PSI: GPS --
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