Tuesday, February 10, 2004

So wrong

This is so wrong. The French national assembly has voted overwhelmingly to ban head scarves and skullcaps in public schools. The justification for this fascist law is that "the ban would help to keep classes from dividing up into 'militant religious communities.'"

This beggars the imagination. Do the French really think that everyone won't know who the Muslim and Jewish kids are even if they aren't wearing headscarves and skull caps?

And wouldn't banning Jews and Muslims from public school entirely would be even more effective? But, oh, you'll still have Jews and Muslims flaunting their religous regalia in other public areas. How long before France decides it needs a final solution to the Muslim and Jewish problem?

There is no difference between forcing a Muslim woman to not wear a headscarf and forcing a Jew to wear a yellow star. It's not about separation, it's about individual freedom. When the government gets into the business of deciding what people may and may not wear it takes its first steps towards fascism. When it makes those decisions based on items of clothing associated with religious and ethnic groups it takes its first step towards Nazism.

On a related note, immigration officials in Maine have begun raiding ethnic supermarkets looking for illegal aliens. Local officials have begun advising all non-citizens to carry their immigration documents at all times. No, I am not making this up. It is true. In the United States we now have people living in fear of government officials stopping them on the street and demanding to see their papers. Of course, citizens who have dark skins or accents should probably also carry their passports with them at all times to avoid being mistaken for an alien without documentation. How long before no one but whites will be able to walk American streets without fear of being hauled away? And how long after that before no one will be able to do so any more, and "the home of the free" will just be an abstract memory?

If this sounds alarmist you should go read some histories of Berlin in the early thirties.

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