France planning to ban burqas

I don’t think this one’s been posted yet:

The French legislature is apparently anticipated to outlaw the wearing of burquas in public. President Sarkozy has supported this idea and stated that “the burqa is not welcome in France.” A majority of the population (57%) support the ban as well.

The basis for this law, I gather, is that burqas are oppressive to women, and those who support it assume that all women who wear burqas are forced to do so by their husbands (this assumption is addressed at some point in the article).

I’m interested in everyone’s opinion on this issue. Personally, I think it’s an outright violation of the religious freedom supposedly guaranteed by the French government. Keep in mind that this is not even about wearing religious garments in public schools (I believe crucifixes and yamakas were banned in schools as well as headscarves); it is about wearing them at all.

I find two particularly problematic ideas in this legislation. First, it is a blatant example of a government attempting to enforce a state ideology (the opinion that burqas degrade women. And secondly, it may also be a foreboding example of the growing trend of states to reinterpret freedom of religion as freedom from religion; not intellectuals, actual legitimate states. It’s a small step from “protecting women from their burqas” to “protecting people from their crucifixes.”

My gut response is that it would be degrading to a woman to be unable to buy a bus ticket, like she is some kind of unclean refuse. “We don’t serve your kind here.” I got the reference to the bus ticket from the full article.

Maybe, though, a Muslim would perceive it as religious persecution. Perhaps France is worried about protecting itself from something, and that is why it considers such laws? Either that, or all 2,000 burqa-wearing women in France have secretly petitioned the goverment for this law on their behalf.

Living in my neck of the woods (given my culture), it is hard to understand what forces must be driving this issue.

I don’t understand why the women would be banned from wearing burqas. I know many Muslim women, and although they wear veils and not burqas, they do so out of personal choice and not because anyone is trying to oppress them. I know them well enough to know that they would feel naked and embarrassed if they had to remove their veils. Forcing Muslim women to remove the burqa would be much more degrading to them then the oppression that people think they face because of their choice to wear a burqa. If France is going to tell Muslims what to wear, how long will it be until crucifixes, scapulars, and religious habits are banned?

if they pass this as law i bet they will see more riots like a few years ago.

France is a joke.

“The problem of the burqa is not a religious problem. This is an issue of a woman’s freedom and dignity. This is not a religious symbol. It is a sign of subservience; it is a sign of lowering. I want to say solemnly, the burqa is not welcome in France,” Sarkozy said.

This law could also forbid Catholic women from wearing veils at Mass (or proclaiming St. Paul’s Epistles???).

As for the clash between France’s atheistic-secularism and Islam, it’s being echoed through Europe and we’ll probably see it here in the U.S. in the future also.

it will be interesting to see what happens if this law is passed. it could ignite a powder keg because i don’t see the muslims standing meekly to the side and accepting this without protest.

i see the burqa as more of a security threat than anything because you don’t really know who is underneath.

for the women who would not think of going out in public without one, it will be very difficult.

like i said. we will have to wait and see.

France is not planning on banning headscarves or other conservative articles of clothing (so don’t worry about Catholic headscarves), and nor are they even planning on banning the burqua all together. The burqua would only be banned when trying to use public facilities. IE, taking money from a bank, receiving aid from the state, ect.
It would not effect women who want to wear them around their neighborhoods or make wearing them outright illegal.

I agree with the above poster, it is a complete security issue. It is one thing to wear a burqua full time when living in Saudi Arabia, where you have to have a male escort anyway. Living in a secular, modern country like France is different. Carte d’orange (monthly Parisian public transportation passes) use photo ids, as do driver’s license, and other forms of ID needed in public. If you cover your face, how do you know who is truly underneath the cloth or even in the picture to begin with?

I find it amusing that you say this, and then quote some Frenchman about prayer at the bottom of your post.

If it should be legal to enter public buildings wearing a burqa, it should also be legal to enter dressed as a Ninja.

Note, however, that that was not the reason given by the French Government. The president and other supporters of the ban explicitly say that it has to do with the oppression of women. They did the same thing when a women tried to go swimming in a “Burqini” full body bathing suit, and was barred from the pool. In that case, though, at least the pool manager had the decency to give the pretext that it was a sanitation issue. But some politician then went on some rant about women being oppressed and so on and so forth (which I am not saying is false, but just because one’s morality is to the left doesn’t mean its accetptable to legislate it).

I might believe that this is a security issue, or that the burqini incident was a sanitation issue, were it not that the promulgators of these bans make quite clear what they are actually thinking about.

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