I love when this kind of thing happens. I ask for a few suggestions for names for this blog, get great suggestions, then have a story like this crop up. Maybe the name "From Where I Sit and How I See It" is the best description. Here's the story: France has made it illegal for Muslim women to wear their veils and hide their faces. The women do it as a sign of respect to God...and they view this law as an attack on their religious freedom. Whew....okay. You sure we're ready to jump in on this one? Oh, yeah....I am, and here goes.
This is a French law. In France. Now, there are two ways to view this (as there are with ALL subjects), however I see it one way. I do not want to believe we should single out a particular race or religion for the troubles in the world. None are. If asked, however, who the majority of terrorists are in this world, what answer do you get? C'mon, be honest. We are all more concerned with terrorism from the Middle East than anywhere in the world. The unrest in that region has everyone on edge and wondering what will happen next. So, let me say again - this is a French law. They, as a country, have a right to pass any law they choose. We, as the rest of the world, can only hope that the people in the government are smart enough to pass only laws that make sense and are rational. If you don't agree with it, either don't go to France or don't wear a veil.
As I said, I watched as a few Muslim women protested that this was an attack on their religious freedom. They want to argue that the government has no right to pass such a law. I have to confess, I've thought (more than once) when foreigners in the US complain that things should be a certain way, "If you don't like it, go home." Classic example? I find it an insult that we have to 'Press 2'....for anything. I'm sorry, but every one of us has ancestors that came from a foreign country. Whether Irish, German, Italian, English.....everyone was a foreigner. The history of Ellis Island tells us that many of them came with a few meager dollars, hopes, and a dream. There they are - the key words: HOPE and DREAM.
Our ancestors came to this country, not asking for anything other than an opportunity. They asked that they could come to a land that offered them the chance to do what they do best whether it was mend shoes, bake bread, sell groceries, or offer protection. Those were the Italians....and Don Corleone could offer WAY good protection. Again, however I digress. Seriously, our ancestors wanted to start a life where they could make a better living for their families and be a productive part of a new society. Our Constitution was written for these people and they asked for nothing, other than that chance, in return.
Let's be honest, folks - the majority of people coming to this country now are still filled with hope. Unfortunately, the hope is that they can live in a place that, unlike their home countries, will allow them to act in almost any fashion they choose...then scream discrimination when any of us finds fault with it. They are filled with hope that we will support them or, when they support themselves they can do it in any manner they choose. Think drug problem.
I will admit, I am generalizing. I realize, too, that is patently unfair. I also realize the days of us walking down a dark street at 11:00 at night with no fear whatsoever is something that cannot be done in most any neighborhood anywhere. Yes, I am overstating things, overgeneralizing, and casting untoward aspersions at many. Some will say unfairly. I think we can all agree, though, that since 9/11/2001 our world has changed and our innocence has been taken. We, as a country, were raped that day and we will never be the same. The unrest in the Middle East and in many other parts of the world came home to us that day...and we will never be the same.
This was quite a long rambling, and for that I apologize. To oversimplify with my initial point - if you don't like it here, you can always go home. What's that? it's worse there? The quit bitchin' and deal with it. These are our laws and are designed for what is best for our country.
'Til next time.....