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No Liberty, No Equality, No Fraternity: The Death of French Secularism


No Liberty, No Equality, No Fraternity: The Death of French Secularism

Hanane Karimi

In Nice, less than a month after the Bastille Day attack on the Promenade des Anglais, which killed 86 people and was claimed by the Islamic State group, something quite odd happened. The city mayor, like mayors in many other towns on the French Riviera, issued an order to ban the wearing of burkinis. This decree targets a piece of non-revealing swimwear worn by some Muslim women when they go to the beach.


With Le Pen and France it's the Muslims.
With Trump and his Storm Troopers it's the Mexicans and the Muslims.


This is also how I view it; and it must be loudly exposed and opposed:

"France's Jewish Association for Peace is not afraid to compare how the Republic is treating Muslims today to the way its Jews were treated during the Nazi occupation. The fact that Muslims are banned from some public places reminds us of a time when signs reading “No Jews or dogs allowed” were placed at the entrance to parks, restaurants and coffee shops."


There's an analogy in your remark to that of Western militarists who also used the ploy of chivalry (at the point of an army's bayonets) as raison d'etre for invading Afghanistan.

ANY and every patriarchal religion--particularly as practiced by its fundamentalists or conservative "true believers"--oppresses women.

That means that Christianity HARDLY has a leg up in this "rescue" operation. It's unfortunately true that the patriarchs of Christian fundamentalism have more in common with the Taliban than either sect would like to admit.

Western imperial forces cannot rescue people from the beliefs they've been taught to respect since childhood.

That is not Western Nations' job.

Besides, what Muslim woman who's witnessed the footage of so much Western-engineered carnage of Arab nations (with how many million murdered or turned into desperate refugees) is going to trust the West to act as their liberators?

You know little about Feminism or women's rights.

So your call to liberate women is as phony as a 3-dollar bill. And it's no doubt a new MEME dreamed up by some Think Tank which wants yet more cover for yet greater acts of naked, brutal imperialism... which is NOT good for women, by the way.


How mangled can you get?

This is the Religious right's version of blaming the female rape victim FOR the crime.

You have no idea what "God" says. It's men repeating lines from old books that have been copied (and changed to suit the ruling oligarchy) for many centuries.

That patriarchal religions drawn up by men and for male privilege turn around to use Feminine qualifiers for religion that turn "her" into a harlot is just so much more evidence of the seldom examined misogyny that underscores EVERY patriarchal religion.

You've made an effort to separate "good Christians" from those put to odious political uses.

Are you aware that just as the Pentagon recruited Psychologists to preside over its torture programs and grant them the imprimatur of social science's nod of approval; that the Air Force has recruited Christian chaplains whose central job is to convince young drone pilots that it's perfectly in keeping with what Jesus would do, to drop lethal ordnance on women, children, wedding parties, and anyone who can be--after the fact--defined as an enemy combatant (because he's a young male in "the wrong place at the wrong time")?

When religions are used as a pretext for mass murder, one has to really face what an EVIL they have (for the most part) become. Religions have more often divided the world and made the case FOR war than brought people together.

Of course there are exceptions; but the exceptions don't stop the wars that the dominant group uses religion(s) to engineer.


How can Muslim women liberate themselves, end body shaming, be able to drive, wear whatever they want without fear of being beaten, not have acid thrown in their faces, become educated, fight honor killings, etc. if they do not challenge the status quo?

On the other hand, what concern is it to authorities how anyone dresses or not, or does whatever one wants to without hurting others?


Females have very little power in systems under patriarchal control.

How can women "fight honor crimes" when it's the dominant patriarchal culture that enacts them?

Have you ever seen the film, "Not Without My Daughter"? It's the story of an idealistic American woman who meets an Arab man in college. She marries him and at one point he invites her to return to his land of origin to meet his family.

Once she is there, she is TOTALLY under the control of a culture that doesn't even let women drive or go out without a chaperone.

It's a cheap trick for people in this forum to make light of the cultural, economic, religious, social, political, and even military controls that force people to adapt to the cultures in which they find themselves.

All this talk about rebellion or "why don't they" is unbelievably callous and shows a mortifying lack of insight (and empathy) into the realities that define the lives of others.

Racism cannot stop until white patriarchal bastions of law and order stop deploying it.

Sexism and misogyny can't stop until MEN stop abusing women.

The person who's being oppressed is in NO position to stop the oppression.

You've essentially propped up the argument that women deserve their oppression because from your perspective they're not doing enough to stop it.

Do you happen to recall "The virginity tests" done to the young women who dared to protest during Egypt's "Arab Spring"?

How would you like authorities to poke at your genitals and decide it's their right to determine if YOU are a virgin?

Too many men who feign progressive values don't have the empathy of a phucking ant!

If YOU represent the U.S version of a Progressive male (or Arby, Matt Heins, and the rest here) it's no wonder that our nation is in the sorry state that it's in.

ZERO empathy! And Emotional Intelligence, that "other I.Q." cannot BE taught.


Tell that to Malala.


Speaking of "strange beliefs of their ancestors":

Every day in the United States, 3000 infant boys are subjected to routine genital mutilation ("circumcision").

Unlike an article of clothing worn by an adult, this is a severe permanent bodily modification imposed on men without even a pretense of consent.

The burkini ban is clearly absurd and unconscionable. Ditto for forced genital mutilation, irrespective of gender.


Right. So every female should expect to get shot in the face. That is your standard?

Ridiculous and articulated by a white guy typing comfortably from his computer.


There is NO question that solidarity helps.

But how many who claim to be Progressive CARE about Blacks?

And how many males (my "Diane Fossey field work" in THIS forum is not encouraging on the matter) care about women's rights or gender parity?

Quite a few people focus on Capitalism but long after the 8-4 or 9-5 shift is done, it's typically the FEMALE who shoulders the responsibility of managing the home, the care of the children, the laundry, the food preparation and food shopping, and so much else.

And one in 3 women will know abuse--from a male (often, a husband, father, boyfriend or uncle) during the course of her lifetime.

I just don't see the kind of empathy that crosses over Interest Zones.

And too often, the same white male dominators talk a good game but continue to abuse their girlfriends and do nothing for Black Justice or Hispanic Justice, etc.


Divide and conquer, baby, divide and conquer,
That's the way the oligarchy stays in power.


Bias article... A whole part of the story is not at all explained in this article. And that's very sad because "omission is a lie". I don't have time to explain right now -it's late- I was just irritate enough to reply as a protest. Ok just a little...What kind of idea is behind burkini? what kind of society? Are we talking about the french authorities intolerance or about a "cultural" trend that frightened a lot of mueslim themselves. Wahhabism... because complete hiding of women come from there.And wahhabism have nothing to do with tolerance: they kill everything that think differently... even mueslim. So... OK... that simple cloth (created by an Australian woman) seems to be very innocent. It is not. It's a political claim and everytime you capitulate to that type of provocation (and right after terrorist attack in Nice, we can consider that as a provocation) you loose. As the Egyptian editor and activist Aalam Wassef said "Let's not be naive about the symbol of this clothing". But we are, all around the world because we feel guilty and because we unite ourselves in a confortable indignation that social network help to spread at top speed with pictures and stories out of context and of course killing reflexion. I think that the person who wrote this article should read Élisabeth Badinter the intellectual and french feminist. She's against the burkini, with intelligence and profound reflection.
Sorry for my english and type errors !


Yeah, but you do realize that your position would be considered anti-semitic, don't you?



Modesty is not a "cultural trend" - it is a tradition that people have the right to follow. Full body cover at beaches can arise in totally non-religious situations - for example South and East Asians who want to keep their skin light. Yes, I find the western-cultural-imperialist racism behind this behavior to be objectionable. But as a light complected western person I am in NO position to express that objection!

Next, you Europeans will be banning anything but nudity at the beach, right? Even here in N. America, self-appointed "bathing suit police" are guarding a piece of beach on Toronto Island in Lake Ontario - harassing anyone who enters the beach who isn't naked!


Catholicism has lost power in France thanks to French secularism.


When a high level of scrutiny is applied few nations escape the definition of terrorist states.
As Chomsky as said, and I am paraphrasing here, “that if international law were applied the last 5 US presidents would be in prison.”
So, carrying out nationalistic agenda's is inherently full of acts of terrorism that are denied.


Irrational as the burkiniphobia may be, it is hardly surprising after the mass killings at Nice and Paris, and has been limited to a few localgovernments. This does not mean that French society has abandoned its core values.


I am a staunch anti-religionist and grant no quarter to the absurdity of religion and its symbols in the public square. Unfortunately here in the US each and every taxpayer by law at every level of government is forced to subsidize religion of all stripes and their venues. The so called tax exemption, conferred upon the ubiquitous free loading organizations euphemistically called houses of worship, cannot escape their original intent as organizations founded to capitalize upon basic human fear of death and its unknowable consequences beyond our last breaths in order to controls us as highly manipulated masses for the purposes of the powerful few. One only has to look at the founding of the Roman Catholic Church to understand that The Council Of Nicea produced a "church" that was 66 2/3% political in that it won the favor of the Emperor Constantine to have an "official religion" that forgave him his "sins" and created a power base for the so called bishops that survived Constantine to serve first the tyrannical monarchs of Europe for a thousand years. The Divine Right Of Kings legitimized such tyranny as the foundation of Western Civilization and justified the rape, pillage and plunder of both human and natural resources for the benefit of the very few. The Catholic Church aided and abetted the only form of economy humanity has ever known, Monarchial Capitalism, and accepted the tribute that its practitioners (The Monarch and its 1%) placed in its coffers. The Catholic Church in order to aid and abet the rise of Western Monarchies and its own prosperity plunged civilization into The Dark Ages from which we have yet to fully recover from. In short the Catholic Church in the name of religion institutionalized ignorance. See right wing US christianity.

I am offended by the fact that each and every taxpayer in the US must subzidize the dark arts of any religion and its negative manipulations of the human psyche by its so called voices/interpreters of the word of the ubiquitous gods that are the scourge of peoplekind! I am offended by any religious garb that clearly symbolizes the fact that religion still wants us to live in The Dark Ages and that includes any and all religions! Yes I do believe that others have a right to be consumed with the foolishness of religion so long as they allow me to be exempt from their self-imposed foolishness. And therein lies the problem - religionist are, for the most part, consumed with saving those of us who reject religion for our innate beliefs and/or non belief in some sort of supreme being. Especially here in the US it seems the right to not believe in a supreme being is not read into the First Amendment!

The burka flap is just another distraction from the real issue: the inherent destructive force of patriarchal religions upon our society and women in particular. We are not arguing over the "required garb of women" by religions but in fact whether or not we as a people should defer to the ancient babblings of schizophrenic old men from a time in which peoplekind was even more ignorant of the world around us than we are today!


"Beliefs can be wonderful, as in believing that humanity is overall good. Beliefs can be benign, as in believing the Red Sox are better than the Yankees. Beliefs can also be devastating, as in believing your god wants you to fly planes into buildings—but no matter how good a belief makes us feel or how good the potential outcome of a belief can be, it does not affect the truth of the belief— ." - Bo Bennet Ph.D.