“Iran on Sunday criticized French President Jacques Chirac’s ‘extremist decision’ to back a ban on Islamic headscarves and other conspicuous religious signs at schools.” This from AFP, with thanks to LGF.
It’s amusing to see the government of Iran calling any other entity “extremist,” but it gets worse: “‘We regard this as an extremist decision aimed at preventing the development of Islamic values’ in France, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said in his weekly press conference.”
You know, I think Asefi is right. This decision is aimed at preventing the development of Islamic values. That is, Islamic values like government according to the Sharia, under which non-Muslims and women live under institutionalized oppression. Islamic values like stoning for adultery and amputation for theft. If those are the Islamic values that the French hope to prevent by banning the hijab, I’m all for them.
“This decision goes against civil rights and will undermine the image of France in the Islamic world,” he added.
I expect that it will. I also am well aware of the terrible persecutions that non-Muslims in Iran have suffered under the rule of the Islamic Republic. If Asefi really cares about civil rights, let him fight to bring them to Iran.
That said, I must also note that civil rights, as has been said in other contexts, is not a suicide pact. The proposed banning of the Jewish kippa and Christian crucifix along with the hijab is just silly multiculturalist posturing. Neither of them constitute a statement that one supports the overthrow of French secularism. It is a pity that the French don’t have the courage to acknowledge that there are significant elements of the French Muslim population that are totally opposed to secularism, and that since no such populations exist in the Christian and Jewish communities, no across-the-board action is necessary.