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article imageOp-Ed: France Gets it Right

By Gar Swaffar     Jul 11, 2008 in World
France's Council of State has made a choice which requires assimilation into French society to become a French citizen. They recently denied citizenship to a Muslim woman based on her radical religious practices.
France got this one right, in my opinion: A woman married to a French national was denied citizenship in France despite having lived there for eight years and giving birth to three children.
The reason? She is totally submissive to her husband and her male relatives in all areas. The woman in question wears a black burqa which covers her from head to toes with the exception of her eyes ( although she must not wear it 24/7 since she has three children.)
The French Council of State gave the decision on her appeal last month after an original application was turned down in 1995.
The reason stated by the Council of State is her lack of assimilation into French Society. Bravo to the French Council of State!
A quote from the Reuters story states:
The legal expert who provided a formal report on the case to the Council of State wrote that the woman's interviews with social services revealed that "she lives almost as a recluse, isolated from French society," Le Monde reported. "She has no idea about the secular state or the right to vote. She lives in total submission to her male relatives. She seems to find this normal and the idea of challenging it has never crossed her mind," Emmanuelle Prada-Bordenave wrote.
Well DUH!!!!! Suggesting a person needs to be involved in the society in which they would like to be a citizen is I'm certain a novel idea to some, but seems so common sense as to defy any rational person not being able to understand the request.
The reasoning of the Council of State did list the woman's radical adherence to Muslim sharia law and customs, so of course some of the French legal schmoes are upset since that would on the face of it appear to nullify the freedom of religion clause in the French legal system.
But, nothing can be further from the truth! The woman is not being denied the freedom to express her 7th Century religious belief. She is being denied citizenship because she will not assimilate into the society.
There needs to at some point be someone intelligent enough in government who will stand up and say the obvious, Practise as you please whatever religion you choose, but if that practise runs counter to the best interests of this nation, you will need to practise your religion elsewhere.
It then places the onus of responsibility on the individual to make the adjustments necessary to live as they want too. And that is not discrimination, it is a nation making a choice to ask those who are not citizens to make the effort to become part of the society they are asking to join with. Rather than living in an insular enclave of a foreign society within the borders of the host nation.
As I said, Bravo to the French Council of State for holding the line.
Now, can I get such a common sense approach from my own country of origin, the United States? Seems unlikely for a nation whose elected officials and those seeking office who seem to have an extreme desire for National "suicide by infiltration"
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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