Maybe, but the policy does have liberating effects. A lot of young Muslim girls do not want to wear traditional Muslim dress, but are pressured to do so, even at school where they are made fun of by other Muslim students for not veiling, etc. By enforcing dress codes, the option is taken off the table and everyone dresses more or less alike and without divisive religious garb. I support standard uniforms to make it even easier, with no religious icons allowed at all. I saw a picture of a protest at an Iranian university where the students were protesting the imposition of religious codes at their school. One of their signs said, “This is a university, not a seminary.” That’s pretty much how I feel about school at all grade levels. It should be a place of secular learning. Oh and I dislike the idea of religious schools altogether. In Alabama there are hundreds of Christian schools all over the state, many of them some form of Protestant fundamentalist. They manage to train their students well for standardized tests, but also teach them such jewels as young-earth Creationism, the evils of science and secularism, and how to prepare for the Rapture.
[quote=“Someone, somewhere”]By enforcing dress codes, the option is taken off the table and everyone dresses more or less alike and without divisive irreligious garb. I support standard uniforms to make it even easier. [/quote]
I heard the story told of Colin Powell, during Vietnam, being sent to George Washington University by the army to get an MBA. Because he was sent their by the army, he wore his uniform… hardly a popular move at the time on campus. Anyways, one day in the cafeteria, some guy with long lanky hair, Lennon glasses, and a surplus army jacket came up to Powell are started cussing him out for wearing a “baby-killer’s uniform”. Powell looked up at him standing there in his standard issue pseudo-marxist campus wear and said, “Which of us is in uniform?” The guy shut up and walked away.
Ya know, I don’t think it matters much what people wear, so long as they’re able to be themselves and stand tall in their threads. I don’t know whether any particular clothing makes standing tall more or less likely.
[quote]Maybe, but the policy does have liberating effects. […] I saw a picture of a protest at an Iranian university where the students were protesting the imposition of religious codes at their school. One of their signs said, “This is a university, not a seminary.”[/quote] Good on them; they’re right. I’ve also seen French Muslim girls walk up to the school grounds wearing a headscarf, unwrap it, tuck it away, then unroll it, and put it back on as soon as they step off school grounds, and complain about being focused to pay lip service to someone else’s ideological ideal. I think they’re right on the money too.
I’m not dismissing, or discounting the pressures of family and community on minorities groups, and I recognize that some of those girls were likely overjoyed by the chance to take off the scarf, but I also recognize that individuals who feel oppressed in that environment have options available to them; options which mean that the imposition of dominant group norms is not necessarily justified.
I’m too liberal to go too far in forcing anyone to be free just like me. So long as there’s a reasonable degree of choice, freedom from compulsion, and minimal harm to others, what’s there to get worked up about?
You bring up a good point. What about girls who want to wear their hijabs. What about girls who are under no pressure at all, even from their families, but choose to out of religious conviction? Or how about totally secular “Muslim” girls who think it makes their faces more striking?
The problem is we don’t know who is who, and policy-wise it would be impractical to try and figure it out. I think the question becomes which is the greater evil: offending girls who want to hear the hijab, or allowing girls to wear potentially divisive religious garb. I think the wiser choice is to eliminate all religious garb, including crosses or Star or David pendants.
I remember being in high school when President Clinton publicly championed mandatory school uniforms. He went out to Long Beach, California, where the school board had initiated the first mandatory uniform policy in any public school district in the US. Crime dropped 73% in the first year. One of my teachers made us study it and write essays, which wasn’t easy because all the reports were recent and we had to pour through the newspapers in the library archives. Most of the figures were not as dramatic, but they were impressive. Uniforms reduced crime and improved overall academic performance. I have no clue what the current figures say but I suspect those school districts still have the policies and they are doing better because of it.
And modern militaries know the value of uniforms for maintaining discipline and fostering unity. The uniform becomes symbolic of all the values soldiers cherish: honor, discipline, duty. Imagine if some soldiers insisted on wearing Islamic caps, or Jewish caps or prayers shawls. Or Rastafarians insisted on being allowed to wear their dreadlocks. I think that would be divisive. Muslims or Jews who choose not to wear religious garb when it is allowed would be singled out by their more religious brethren. On the other side, soldiers of different religious persuasions might be less likely to associate with those soldiers. Some self-segregation is inevitable, but conspicuous religious garb exacerbates the situation and fosters disunity.
I say that school uniforms are fairest choice.
[quote=“gao_bo_han”]And modern militaries know the value of uniforms for maintaining discipline and fostering unity. The uniform becomes symbolic of all the values soldiers cherish: honor, discipline, duty.[/quote] Sorry, but this sounds like the substitution of a singular state order for a variety of religious ones. Still not something I’d embrace.
Dad used to be a naval payroll officer and at one point was in charge of a bunch of young guys on some special summer service program. Some went the cadet route, wore the uniform and drilled, while others kept to their civilian clothing and did maintenance work. At the end of summer, when the time came to hand out the cheques, the boys in uniform were pretty pissed off that they were all given the same pay.
Them: “What’s with this? How come those guys, who didn’t put on the uniform, get paid the same as us?”
Dad: “Do you want to live in a country where you have to wear a uniform?”
That was the end of the argument.
Here’s Nancy answering for herself:
[quote]Speaking hours after arriving in Lebanon, Pelosi indicated the Bush administration was singling out her trip to Syria while ignoring recent visits by Republican members of Congress.
“It’s interesting because three of our colleagues, who are all Republicans, were in Syria yesterday and I didn’t hear the White House speaking out about that,” Pelosi said, referring to the Sunday meeting of Reps. Frank Wolf, Joe Pitts and Robert Aderholt with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus.
“I think that it was an excellent idea for them to go,” said Pelosi, who is to meet with Syrian leaders Wednesday. “And I think it’s an excellent idea for us to go, as well.”[/quote]
And HERE a little more forcefully:
Here are some related stories:
If, after reading all that, any of you can continue to sneer about traitorism, “Abu Akbar” and whatever those head-scarves are called, have at it.
Neoconservative philosophy in general is that it’s a bad idea to talk directly to Muslims about anything because it just confuses the issue and we already know everything we need to know anyway. Besides, it just emboldens terrorists to know you want to hear both sides.
My own view is that any time your government starts telling you that hearing all sides of an argument is unpatriotic that you can be pretty sure there’s something rotten in Denmark.
Sure it is.
Saudis don’t count.
Just as the Japanese were considered ‘honorary whites’ in South Africa.
Sure it is.
Maybe it’s not Saudi opinions that neoconservatives are after:
[b]"After a memorial service on the one-month anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani shook hands with Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, and happily accepted a $10 million donation for his Twin Towers Fund, established to aid the victims of the World Trade Center attack. Shortly afterward, Mr. Giuliani angrily ordered that the check be sent back . . .
. . . Mayor Giuliani learned that members of Prince Talal’s entourage had distributed a press statement which also said: “At times like this one, we must address some of the issues that led to such a criminal attack.[/b] I believe the Government of the United States of America should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause. Our Palestinian brethren continue to be slaughtered at the hands of Israelis while the world turns the other cheek.”
And in equally relevant news…
[quote]Justice Souter To Invoke Eminent Domain In Tehran
By Propaganda Department, 4/12/2007, 2:17 pm
…Inspired by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s independent diplomatic trip to Syria, Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court David H. Souter suggested Tuesday that he may also take independent diplomatic trips to the remainder of the “Axis of Evil” countries, and deliver his own message to Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong Il. Justice Souter plans on his message to be “unique”, “inspiring” and a “media-frenzy” which will completely muddle any previous messages sent from President Bush and Speaker Pelosi. “If there’s no longer one branch of government that shapes our foreign relations,” Souter told the reporters, “how come we in the Supreme Court can’t also have our own foreign diplomatic trips? The Constitution defines three branches of government - the Congress, the President, and the Courts - and I insist that I and other Justices have equal rights in formulating and advancing our independent foreign policies on par with the Speaker and the President.”
…While in Tehran, Justice Souter plans to invoke eminent domain rule and acquire the entire Iranian territory on legal grounds without a shot being fired. “Since it appears that all the world’s citizens are guaranteed rights under our Constitution, they must therefore be also subject to our law,” he said. “And if the Common Good™ is the law of our land, it gives me the right to perform a compulsory expropriation of any land as long as it is devoted to ‘public uses,’ which in my book means generating tax revenue for government programs. Instead of advancing American hegemony by Bush’s militaristic devices, we might as well give peace a chance and advance American hegemony by progressive means.”
…House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized Souter’s planned trip to Iran, saying that an unauthorized visit by a representative of a different branch of the U.S. government sends mixed signals to the region and to the government of President Ahmadinejad. “The American people have spoken, and I clearly remember them saying that they wanted me, Nancy Pelosi, to represent this country on the foreign arena, impairing U.S. President’s foreign policies. I don’t recall them saying anything about Judge Souter,” Pelosi said.
“As a compromise I might include Souter into my next trip to Tehran - on condition that he doesn’t get in the way and wears a flowery print headscarf, so that people will think he’s me and I can take credit for whatever he says,” she added. “And no ‘eminent domain’ tricks! The last thing we want is victory, let alone hegemonic expansion.”
…President Bush dismissed planned foreign trips by representatives of other branches of the U.S. government as “no great shakes.” At the very best, he said, “that’s going to disorient the evildoers and make them lose resistance to our foreign policy. At which point we’ll just send in the Marines.”
[color=red]The Peoples Cube[/color][/quote]
Well, TC, just like with the Washington Post political re-write story, you’re completely ignoring my post in spite of its rather obvious relevance to the topic. You can keep going on as if I’d said nothing, but the fact remains that several Republican congressmen did exactly what Pelosi did without anyone crying foul, not to mention the fact that Pelossi had given Bush prior notice of her trip.
The hypocritical outcry of Democratic treachery and coddling terrorists or terrorist sponsors is just another example of the crass, highly-typical partisan opportunism that characterizes this administration and its supporters.
Dear Lad…I did address your post regarding the “re-write” of the story. Quite explicitly.
While I may ‘ignore’ your continued message of “I hate Bush”, I do not ignore you.
But I do respond with all the seriousness your threads deserve.
Lovely weather for the 2007 Tainan International Marathon race today. And commercial fishing in the coastal waters of Brunei will be halted beginning next January.
Well, this is now a discussion in the wrong thread, but I responded quite explicitly to your quite explicit response in the “re-write” thread, and you quite OBVIOUSLY ignored the logic in that response, just as you have done above in this thread. Perhaps I should thank you - one could infer from this that my logic is simply irrefutable.
Too bad there isn’t a “Taking a bow” emoticon… I’d have posted it several times right…
HERE HERE and HERE
"On April 7, ending a seven-day visit to Israel, I finally got an interview I had sought for a year. I sat down in a Palestinian Authority office in Ramallah with a leader of Hamas, the extremist organization that won last year’s elections. This leader pushed a two-state Israeli-Palestinian solution and deplored suicide bombers. But officials in Washington seem not to want to hear Hamas calling for peace.
No fringe character, this was Naser al-Shaer: education minister and deputy prime minister in the new coalition government. Shaer signaled that the regime recognizes Israel’s right to exist and forgoes violence – conditions essential for talks about a viable Palestinian state adjoining Israel – even if Hamas does not. “We hope that it is going to be a matter of time,” Shaer told me. “But there is a big chance now.”
When I returned to Washington last week, I sought the reaction of Bush administration officials (who refuse to have any contact with Hamas). I asked to talk to Elliott Abrams, the deputy national security adviser who is most influential in policy on Israel. Abrams was once a fellow Cold Warrior and friend whom I have defended, but an aide let me know on Thursday that Abrams would not talk to me about Hamas. A senior State Department official also showed no interest in what Shaer said."
lets see how this works…
[quote]Press Briefing by Elliott Abrams on the President’s Bilateral Meeting with President Abbas
Press Filing Center
New York, New York, 11:05 A.M. EDT
MR. JONES: This is Deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams here to discuss the President’s meeting with Mr. Abbas today.
MR. ABRAMS: Thank you. The President met with President Abbas for about 40 minutes, including interpretation, today. This was their fifth meeting by their count. The President began by welcoming President Abbas and telling him that we continue to view him as a man of peace, as a leader who is seeking what we seek, which is a Palestinian state, that will live – a democratic Palestinian state that will live in peace and security with Israel.
The President commended him on his efforts to find a way out of the very difficult Palestinian political situation now, that is having a government that has not gained international legitimacy and has not committed itself to the criteria that the international community has set out, namely recognizing Israel, abandoning violence and terrorism, and agreeing to respect all previously signed Israeli-Palestinian agreements. The President welcomed his efforts and told him, we certainly hope they succeed in producing a Palestinian government with which we and others in the international community could work.
President Abbas expressed happiness in meeting the President now for the fifth time, and commended him on his General Assembly speech yesterday. He reiterated his own strong commitment to building a Palestinian state. He was encouraged by what the President said yesterday to the General Assembly, including the statement that it was one of the great objectives of his administration to succeed in doing this. (more at link)
whitehouse.gov/news/releases … 920-2.html[/quote]
[url=http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/834418.html]Iran providing direct military training to Palestinian militants
By Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondent, and The Associated Press
Iran is helping Hamas upgrade its military capabilities by providing technology, funding, and direct military training to Palestinian militants throughout the Middle East, Israel Defense Forces GOC Southern Command Yoav Galant said Wednesday.[/url]
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, greeting Hamas leader Khaled Meshal in Tehran on Tuesday. (AP)
Abrams was brought in to deal with Hamas. He’s doing it. Want some news about Hamas snipers and thei daily war on Palestinians as well as Israeli non-combatants? I got that is ya want to go down that path spooky.
Abbas is something of the invisible man in your links – no quotes, nothing in his own words. Just Elliott Abrams telling us what Abbas said, how happy he was to be there and how much he liked George Bush’s speech and was encouraged that his might get his own “state” someday.
Nary a discouraging word filters through, which is something from a man representing three million stateless people whose homes and land are in the process of being expropriated because they’re the wrong religion, who have no right to pass freely in and out of their Orwellian ghetto with its double digit unemployment, endemic malnutrition and ever present eye-in-the-sky surveillance drones watching their every move – when they’re not shooting at them.
Spook, one problem with listening to Hamas politicians in the West Bank and Gaza is that, even if they are sincere and not just telling Westerners what they want to hear in order to get the aid flowing, they are not in control of the entire movement. Hamas is like the IRA; it has the politicians out in the open sounding reasonable, and the hard men in the shadows (Damascus, in this case) who are busy loading the guns.
Amen. Excellent points all.
“Ballot Box in one hand and the Armalite in the other” but then again having some way to talk to eachother (indirectly) regardless of their intentions is useful
If it were not for Sinn Fein, SDLP, DUP etc, do you think that the UVF or INLA would ever have come to an understanding with both the British and Irish governments?
Aren’t you at least interested in hearing what they have to say – in their own words – rather than filtered through someone else?
My observation is that neoconservatives want to control the dialogue, limit what people hear from the ‘other side’ in the Middle East, because it challenges their simplistic, jingoistic version of the facts.