Wednesday, July 2, 2014

European Court of Human Rights upholds France's burka ban saying it doesn’t breach human rights law; Court dismisses complaint that law is discriminatory and a 'breach of religious freedom', I would have rendered the same verdict!

Dear All

Do you know what a human right actually is?

Do you know the legal difference between 'I want and I am entitled too?'

Lots of people don't know, even in politics.

British politics is going through a change, not among the political parties but among the people of the United Kingdom. 

Down in England recently, Westminster Government Ministers have said that council business must be conducted in English, this because Asian people were using another language in the council chamber. It is mooted that the law may need to be looked at to enforce this. 

As well that on the European continent; attitudes are changing as people start to re-think identity.

In France, there has been an early move towards this by the introduction of a burka ban.

So, do the French authorities have a case in law and does this breach the rights of Muslim women?

The French Government has a duty to uphold human rights, but they also have a duty to ensure national security.

As I understand it that falls under 8.2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The European Court of Human Rights has said that France's ban on the burka does not breach human rights law. An attempt by a British legal team to reverse France's burka ban was dismissed as the Court ruled it wasn't discriminatory and a 'breach of religious freedom'. 

There are many Muslim women walking about without the burka, without wearing even a head scarf or veils of any description. 

So clearly wearing a burka is a cultural thing and not a religious one, therefore it cannot be a breach of religious freedom.

And therefore by definition not a breach of human rights!

What if a Muslim woman wished to wear a burka in her house, is that reasonable or a human right?

The answer is Yes, that would fall under right to privacy, that is a human right, what she does legally in her own home is entirely her own affair, and is safeguarded in French law. 

However once in public, the privacy issue doesn't apply, the judges at the European Court will recognise this easily.

The test case brought by an anonymous 24-year-old university graduate was always going to fail.

This was a case of 'I want not I am entitled too'!

The European Court of Human Rights said the right of ordinary people to 'live together' was a 'legitimate objective', and that Muslim women wearing face coverings threatened it.

Unsurprisingly the case collapsed, the ban wasn't 'degrading' and a 'breach of religious freedom' as the 24-year-old university graduate stated and her lawyer should have known this, and advise her so.

Her British lawyer Tony Muman told the European Court at an earlier hearing that the woman is a 'perfect French citizen with a university education. She speaks of her country with passion. She is a patriot'.

This isn't relevant in law, if she was an imperfect French citizen without a university education, the Court would still return the same verdict. 'Bad' people have the same legal rights as 'Good' people in the eyes of the Court; because the Court is and must always remain neutral. 

This is why justice and public faith in it is the cornerstone of any society. If one person is right and a hundred against them is wrong, the rights of a wronged person will still be upheld.

With this judgment, the ruling will likely to encourage other countries to adopt burka bans in countries such as Italy and Holland, Belgium and parts of Switzerland have also introduced bans.

France has the biggest Muslim population in Western Europe, and many believe that society has an agenda against them. I would say that this isn't true of all of French society; a French Muslim would be seen as just as good as a French Catholic or French Protestant in the eyes of the French people. 

The problem is integration, integration has nothing to do with restricting religious freedom which is an argument used by some Muslim groups to claim some sort of 'special rights' above what the ordinary citizen is entitled too.

In the UK, it said that plans for a burka ban have also been mooted by backbench MPs and other politicians, including members of the UK Independence Party. Is a ban likely, not in the near future, this is because ordinary people still haven't grasp that the only way they can take back their democracy is to vote for other political parties and break the hold of the mainstream parties. 

Ukip has made a breakthrough at the European elections, whether that can translate into Westminster success remains to be seen. A lot of their policies although populist in nature really do need a critical eye cast over them.

So, what about Scotland would the Scottish Government introduce a burka ban if it was introduced in England?

Given the history of the Scottish National Party leadership sticking two fingers up to Westminster possibly not!

Scotland is rather poor politically, which is why people need to start thinking about taking their vote elsewhere and turning their backs on politicians who claim to represent them but in fact only represent their own parties interests.

Alex Salmond was talking about self evident truth some time ago, another self evident truth in Scotland is that some politicians appear to have been 'bought and sold for Punjabi Gold'.

Given the burka ban in France, I wonder if anyone is selling used ones on Ebay, two customers could be Alex Salmond and unpopular Nicola Sturgeon post independence defeat?

The European Court of Human Rights got the test case right, not a breach of human rights, 'breach of religious freedom' or degrading treatment.

I would have rendered the same verdict!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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