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Old 01-15-2011, 10:45 AM
issue 37
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: South Wales
Posts: 1,244
Re: Dutch on verge of getting most right wing government in the EU, in dutch history
Originally Posted by human151
If you're going to move to a new country atleast respect the culture of the country your moving to.... I went to London recently and say many muslim women walking around with the black costume all over their body and face. Even if you disagree with me, you must admit this is disrespectful to the established culture.
Oh come on Chris, does it really matter whether clothing is or is not considered respectful to a country's "established culture"? (whatever that is)

This isn't North Korea where fashions have to be officially sanctioned.

The only thing I particularly give a stuff about are intolerant values, medieval attitudes, exemptions to the rule of law, and hate - ie. I don't want to see the propagation of those things, least of all where I live. And if the full veil is being forced on the woman, then yes I give a stuff about that. If someone is demanding an exemption from a legitimate rule (e.g. hygienic dress code in hospitals, facial visibility in certain situations, etc) because it's "not their culture" or "their religion insists otherwise" (and if a reasonable and satisfactory compromise can't be reached), then yes I give a stuff about that - and I would have no problem saying "Sorry, but adapt, or bugger off!"

But do you know what? I really do not care one way or the other whether someone wears something different to the established culture, eats something different to the established culture, or celebrates something different to the established culture.

And here's the crux: it doesn't matter whether the person deviating from the established culture was born here or whether they emigrated here from Abu Dhabi. Once they are living here, the same FREEDOMS apply. Including the freedom to take part in customs and traditions of a birth country or any other country.

The logical extension of that is that a woman of Pakistani origin should have the freedom to wear traditionally Pakistani clothing.

Do you see what I'm saying?

Assuming I'm not denied the freedom to wear a sari (should I feel the itch), then neither should an immigrant be denied that same freedom just because that particular garment may have originated in their country of birth.

IF there is a sense that immigrants are bringing their culture - their dress code, their recipes, and so on - from their birth country to their new country - then so what? If people like it, the country will embrace it (e.g. curry, Britain's unofficial national dish). If not, it will remain a minority phenomenon.

And that's entirely as it should be.

The full veil, I think it's safe to say, has other issues tied up with it - issues that have been raised in another thread like security, subjugation of women, and so on. And I suppose on a more fundamental level there is something understandable about the desire to see another person's face, at least in some circumstances. But those issues should be debated and evaluated quite separately to the issues of immigration and multiculturalism. They should, in other words, be debated on their own merit.

Unfortunately, most of the debate - at least in the right wing dominated press - is taking place at a very tribal level of "these funny-looking foreigners bringing their funny ways to our country."

Most of it is ill-disguised racist and xenophobic nonsense.