French Elections/Politics

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Re: French Elections/Politics

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:04 pm

Been a lot of articles in the UK, when not going hubba hubba, expressing unease about rising anti-Semitism/anti-Muslin feeling in France. Particularly after footballer Anelka performed a Quenelle (it's fans say anti-system, critics say anti-Semitic gesture) after scoring in England and it caused uproar in France.

Is this something we are only picking up and highlighting due to Anelka/Quenelle or is this something other countries and the French worry about?

Also curious about gender theory.
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Re: French Elections/Politics

Unread postby Jordan » Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:39 pm

No, it's been a concern in France for awhile. The BBC reported an article not too long ago of a comedian being censored in France because of anti-Semitic content he wanted to use.

It ultimately comes down to an issue of free speech. There is a lot of latent hatred in France against Jews. France has a history both of anti-Semitism and benevolent tolerance of Jews in alternating amounts (the Dreyfus Affair being a manifestation of conflict). I guess that's another way of saying that the country has a long Jewish history. However, I believe that although such signs are disturbing, it is much better for people to air out their anti-Semitic feelings and sentiments. Therefore, I believe more strongly in free speech than censorship and think it was wrong for aforesaid comedian to have been censored. I think it is wrong for the government to impose limits on free speech to deal with anti-Semitism in general. To be honest I am unfamiliar with the details of the football incident you spoke of so I have no idea if it is related to anti-Semitism, actually. If it is, however, it is not necessarily a "new trend" in France.

Although Semitism ought to include Muslims by definition, I have been using the word anti-Semitism to refer to feelings of antipathy toward Jews and Judaism. However, I believe anti-Muslim sentiment is high in France as well. This is a different issue but has to do with substantial amounts of immigration by Muslims into numerous parts of Europe. This has resulted in a reactionary (and most would agree, disturbing) backlash in most countries and, I would imagine, this includes France.
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Re: French Elections/Politics

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:01 pm

No, it's been a concern in France for awhile. The BBC reported an article not too long ago of a comedian being censored in France because of anti-Semitic content he wanted to use.


Dieudonné M'bala M'bala? He is the Quenelle inventor and Anelka's friend so that is why he has been getting a lot of attention over here.

I don't think banning helps either and it seems to have allowed Dieudonné M'bala M'bala to fan the flames some more as a "victim". Put things in the darkness and it risks adding lustre, victim-hood or grievances that by the time your ready to talk about them, it is our of your control. Get it out there and there is a chance you can do something to combat it, to expose the flaws in the argument though one can never fully destroy something like anti-Semitism.

Although Semitism ought to include Muslims by definition, I have been using the word anti-Semitism to refer to feelings of antipathy toward Jews and Judaism.


I find most people use different terms for anti-Muslin stuff.

However, I believe anti-Muslim sentiment is high in France as well. This is a different issue but has to do with substantial amounts of immigration by Muslims into numerous parts of Europe. This has resulted in a reactionary (and most would agree, disturbing) backlash in most countries and, I would imagine, this includes France.


It is a problem over here. Muslims are struggling with the sense of the alien, the strange that people seem to feel about them, I still remember how some UKIP leaflets I read a few years ago pretty much bashed Muslims and Turkey as not-European, not British, not like us.
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Re: French Elections/Politics

Unread postby Jordan » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:26 pm

Alright yeah, I did not know the context behind this story very well. So it seems that the censorship of that comedian and the football player story are related. That's interesting.

I agree with everything you said about exposure vs. secrecy.

I think the reactionary concerns with Muslims are common across Europe. There are a lot of cultural differences between the Islamic culture of many* of the new immigrants and Western culture as it has evolved in Europe. But it is still important that Europe protect freedom of speech and religion for Muslims. I dislike laws that do things like ban hijabs or minarets. I think that's discriminatory bigotry. I remember hearing a story which I found inspirational of a school for children in Germany that was teaching a mixed class of Germans and Turks both German and Turkish and trying to teach about both cultures. I feel that better understanding and tolerance, along with the safeguarding of Western European values of civil liberty, are the answer rather than bigotry. Bigotry is going to arise and exist simply because of the scope of immigration and the cultural differences among the new immigrants, but hopefully it will dissipate as time goes on.

*-Trying hard not to generalize here as I have met many many secularized and assimilated immigrants from Islamic countries in Europe as well. I think it is also a two-way street and as time goes on, there will be parts of European culture that incorporate the cultures of the new immigrants. Of course if you go to let's say Germany you don't have to look far for a kebab stand.
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Re: French Elections/Politics

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:45 pm

Dieudonne M'bala M'bala has been banned from the UK which seems to be happening quite a bit. Public Safety seems to be the catch-all for "ban any extremist that we don't want to speak here".

There is going to be differences, example the image of Prophet Muhammed on a shirt or on a cartoon being offensive is going to baffle most in England. Of course, people demanding sackings and even death threats for it is going to harm the Muslim community immensely.

But it is still important that Europe protect freedom of speech and religion for Muslims. I dislike laws that do things like ban hijabs or minarets. I think that's discriminatory bigotry


Agreed

I remember the Turkey problem and the the political relief coming across the airwaves when the German football side flourished after some time in the dumps with young Turkish lineage players to the core and Muslims in the team. Lots of talk how that might help integration, might help people come to understand each other, might make them seem normal part of Germany.
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Re: French Elections/Politics

Unread postby Jordan » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:24 pm

I agree that the problem comes from both sides. For example, in the example you gave about depicting the Prophet Muhammed, I feel that this is an expression of free speech and should be protected. It is very important in my opinion for Western countries to protect their own civil liberties and apply them to all their citizens. I do not think Dieudonne M'bala M'bala should have been censored either. In a truly free speech environment, there will still be some complainers but they will have no legitimate reason to complain about bias or bigotry. For example, if M'bala M'bala was censored and the people drawing Muhammed cartoons were not, here would be a reason to suspect funny business. Yet if both are allowed to speak freely, and the groups that dislike their prejudices are also allowed to voice their rational concerns, then society is truly free.
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