A Guest Post by Rafi G.
(cross posted from LII)
A Muslim minister in the French government was behind the rejection of citizenship, which was later upheld by the High Court of France, of a Muslim immigrant applying for citizenship.
the reason for the rejection?
Because she wears a burqa. While claiming religious needs as the reason for her wearing a burqa, the French Muslim minister says the burqa has nothing to do with religion, rather it is a form of forced submission and is like a prison. She says that the woman cannot possibly integrate into French society while wearing a burqa and her practice of radical Islam is not cohesive with French society and its norms.
On the one hand, being raised with Democrat (rather than Republican) values, to me this is reprehensible. To discriminate against someone just because of what she wears? They did not see in her behavior anything specific linking her to radicalism or anti-French sentiments. What if a religious Jew wants to become a citizen of France - will they reject such an appilcation as wll, because the applicant wears tzitzis and a kippa, or a hat and jacket, or a shtreimel and long coat?
On the other hand, having seen the effects of radical Islam, after seeing the effects of radicalism in general, both by living in an ever increasing radical society of frumkeit, and by living in the Middle East in general, it seems to me to be a good move, even if it impinges on this individuals personal rights. By giving too much in the way of freedoms and rights, by being too liberal with people who are anti-liberal, that is how it came to be that radical Islam has been gaining power in Europe, and even in the USA (though less so). The threat is real, so perhaps certain liberal rights need to be curtailed in order to fend off the deterioration of any specific nations identity.
If this court decision will be one that deters radical Islam from gaining a foothold in French society, perhaps it is worth curtailing her rights, and perhaps France made a good move, from the nations perspective.
I wonder if either the USA or Israel would be able to get away with rejecting someone for such a reason....