Marisa’s advanced English class

write an essay based on this article

Posted by marisadedios on February 8, 2008

I have found this article in EL PAIS, FRIDAY FEBRUARY 8. I would like you to read it and write a discursive essay giving your opinion on the issue. Send me an email before the 18th, OK?

Popular Party pledges curb
on use of Muslim headscarf
Immigrant, leftist groups deride “integration contract” plan

The Popular Party would restrict
the wearing of Muslim headscarves
if it wins the general election
on March 9, adding to the
plan to make immigrants sign a
so-called “integration contract”
announced earlier in the week,
the party’s security spokesman
announced Thursday.
Ignacio Astarloa said the PP
will soon make public proposals
to prevent the Muslim headscarf
from being an “element of discrimination.”
“We want to defend equality
between men and women and
stop it from being an element of
discrimination in schools or any
other place in society,” he said.
“Practices cannot be allowed to
develop that break the central
principle of equality between
men and women.”
The PP’s proposal echoes
French legislation introduced in
2004 banning the wearing of the
Islamic headscarf and other
“overt” religious symbols in public
schools. That law was widely
seen as intolerant of religious
freedom in a country that maintains
a strong secular tradition.
In Spain, where Catholicism
was once the only permitted religion,
the proposal is likely to be
viewed not just as intolerant but
openly racist, especially after the
PP argued on Wednesday that immigrants
should be made to sign
a contract in which they would
pledge to “learn the language and
adhere to local customs.” “For
the PP there is no integration
only assimilation… these proposals
are reactionary and comparable
to those of the far right in
Central Europe,” United Left leader
Gaspar Llamazares charged.
“Are they going to expect us to
watch bullfighting and take siestas?”
quipped Miguel Fonda Stefanescu,
the head of Fredom, an association
of Romanian immigrants.
Many see the PP’s proposals
as an effort to appeal to white
low-income voters ahead of the
elections, particularly in working-
class suburbs of major cities,
traditionally happy hunting
grounds for the Socialist Party,
but which have experienced high
levels of immigration in recent


8 Responses to “write an essay based on this article”

  1. Almudena Tarín said

    Immigration is one of the main issues of the election campaign. While the Popular Party would restrict the wearing of Muslim headscarves arguing it is an element of discrimination, the Socialist Party consider this question not just as intolerant but openly racist. And this is not all, because the PP also wants to make immigrants sign a so-call “integration contract” if it wins the general election.
    From my point of view, religious symbols don’t have to be present at schools. We live in a secular state, so heardscarves would have to be taken away of schools, as crucifixes were some years ago. On the other hand, I consider the “integration contract” not necessary because there is a legislation that regulates all citizens, including immigrants who enter Spain. The ‘points-based’ visa system for immigrants would be based on how much an immigrant’s skills are needed by Spanish businesses and how strong the ‘historical ties’ of their countries are to Spain, but I think this is more a dividing measure than a measure to coexist peacefully in our country. The Popular Party not only doesn’t believe in ‘multiculturalism’, but also tries to cause confrontation.

  2. veparsan said

    In my opinion, nowadays the election campaign has become in a kind of political show in which all the parties fight to be the most polemic. They have forgotten to do the best for the people and they are always arguing to oppose to the other parties. Inmigration is one of the most polemic subjects in this country and that’s the reason why all the parties speculate about this issue. Each party tries to convince one sector of population: the Popular Party wants to convince to the right wing and the PSOE wants to convince to the lefties and so on. Because of that, they adopt this radical points of views.
    The dispute about the use of Muslim headscarves is only one strategy to win votes from the different sectors of population. I agree with Almudena when she says that religious symbols don’t have to be present at schools because we live in a secular state. But, on the other hand, in the article 16 from the Spanish Constitution it’s said that all the people has the guarantee of ideologic and religious freedom if there isn’t a breach of the peace.
    To sum up, there are a lot of different points of views and interpretations of the law and we have to respect all of them: there are opinions for all tastes. The only thing we shouldn’t allow is this political circus during the elections. We should do something about that because the population needs to take control about the decitions in this country.


    Legislative election in Spain will be held on March, 2008, and all the parties, especially Popular Party and Socialist Party, are going to have a very hard election campaign. So Popular Party has promised that if it win the general election it will restrict the use of Muslim headscarves and other religious symbols. With these pledges it pretend to attract the will of many floating voters attention. These measures are not new because they are based on a recent French legislation from 2004. That law was seen as intolerant of religious freedom in the past.

    In my opinion this is an awful and unacceptable imitation because in our country, many decades ago, hundreds of Spaniards had to go out to work to other lands and they were respected in their differences in those countries. What is more, in Spain, many cultures coexisted with different ideas and different religions during Middle Ages. Then Christian people, Muslim people and Jewish people lived in peace for years and they changed their wisdom and culture. So different people share their best things.

    On the other hand, Popular Party has highlighted that if it win the general election it will make immmigrants sign an “integration contract”. It consist of knowing Spanish costums, Spanish culture and Spanish traditions, and it will include the obligation of total obedience to Spanish laws. However, PP do not say anything about respecting foreign differencies or peculiarities. In my personal point of view it is an unnecessary fact because they have to obey our laws without signing any documents, as each citizens have to do. Finally, I believe that the increase in intolerance would be banished.

    To sum up, parties have put their cards on the table and people have to chose the best offer. Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets!

  4. fernandobustamante said

    As everybody knows, we are going to see one of the most fought electoral campaigns of the last decades and both, PSOE and PP, parties are going to do all their best trying to convince the floating vote that, at the end, could mean the difference between winning or losing.

    During the past weeks, we have been being witnesses of all kind of proposal that seem more a competition of sales in a supermarket than a real electoral manifesto.

    In my opinion, we have to be very careful with the immigration policies. I don´t think any “Integration contract” can help immigrants to feel more integrated in our society or can keep them far away from marginality. The best way to accept foreign people is being tolerant with their customs and culture and offer all the opportunities we can give them such a well paid work or the most important; a good education.

    And speaking about education, our Constitution describes our country as a secular State and at least in the state schools every religious symbol must be banned in order to assure an equal education for every child despite of their country of origin.

    The variety of races and cultural values is now a reality in Europe. These immigrants represent a new challenge for governments that must aim to integrate both, socially and culturally, and avoid to use them just as an electoral claim.

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