PESQUISA: SECULARISMO TRATA AS CRENÇAS DESIGUALMENTE?
dezembro 29, 2010 § Deixe um comentário
THE GAZETTE, 20-12-2010
SECULARISM TREATS FAITHS UNEQUALLY, EXPERTS SAY
BAN ON RELIGIOUS CLOTHING TARGETS JEWS, MUSLIMS
By MARIAN SCOTT
Secularism -removing religion from government and education -penalizes
practitioners of some religions more than others, a conference on a bill to ban
the niqab face veil from schools, hospitals and government offices was told
“It works best with Protestantism. It’s a little more awkward with Catholicism.
It’s quite a poor fit with Judaism and Islam,” Wendy Brown, Heller Professor of
political science at the University of California at Berkeley, said at the
meeting at Concordia University. It was organized by the Centre de recherches
interdisciplinaires sur la diversite au Quebec, a non-profit research institute.
Secularism is based on the belief that the state should be neutral toward
different religions. But in fact, it favours those whose cultural heritage is
Christian, she said.
“All religions don’t comport equally well with that model.
“Muslims who might consider themselves secular are not perceived as such simply
because of the clothing they wear or the fact that they might pray in public. If
a Christian were to do that, we might think of them as a zealot,” Brown added.
She was among academics from the U.S., Belgium, France and local universities at
the conference on Bill 94, which will require citizens to uncover their faces
when giving or receiving government services, whether in hospitals, schools,
day-care centres, universities, social services or government offices.
While it does not specifically mention Muslims, the draft legislation takes aim
at women who wear the niqab -an opaque, full-face veil with a slit for the eyes
-or burqa, a long, veiled gown with a mesh panel over the face.
At government hearings on the bill, some called it a heavy-handed way to deal
with the handful of Quebec women who wear the niqab. Others called on the
government to go even farther by banning all religious symbols from public
But Brown warned that a drastic turn toward secularism would treat members of
different religions unequally. Many Protestants eschew outward signs of religion
anyway, so banning religious symbols would not affect them much. On the other
hand, banning all religious garments would target Jews who wear the kippa
(skullcap) or Muslim women who wear the hijab (head scarf), she said.
Brown added that it is a mistake to equate secularism and women’s equality. In a
presentation yesterday, she contrasted fashion photographs of four-inch heels
with images of modestly clad Muslim women to cast doubt on the assumption that
western women enjoy greater freedom from male influence. “Much of the debate
about burqa and hijab casts us as free, equal, and emancipated and them as
un-free, unequal, and living by the rule of religion, and that’s nonsense,”
Corinne Torrekens, a researcher in political science at the Universite libre de
Bruxelles, said that support for secularism has risen sharply in Belgium, which
became the first European country to ban the burqa in April.
Public hysteria over the burqa superseded longstanding divisions between
Belgians of French and Flemish origin, Torrekens said. “The burqa ban was a
unique moment of agreement.”
But she charged the ban was unnecessary, since only a few dozen women wear the
face veil, and Belgian police already had powers to ask women to remove them.
[Um instituto de pesquisa representado por um professor de ciências políticas da
Califórnia, EUA, diz, inclusive, que o secularismo favorece o catolicismo. Mas
preste atenção no fato de o catolicismo ser mais ‘próximo’ ao modelo cultural
ocidental, e a circunstância de realidade estudada é o Canadá.]