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France’s burqa ban: Do you agree?

France’s burqa ban: Do you agree?

The ban on Islamic veils has been passed by the French Senate, and could be active in six months.

September 15, 2010 2:00 by

Given the widespread public support, it was almost inevitable: France’s Senate has overwhelmingly approved a bill that would see the Islamic full veil banned in public in the country. The BBC reports that the bill, which was approved by the lower house of parliament in July, will come into force in six months time if it is not overturned by constitutional judges. The vote was 246 to 1 in favour of the ban.

The ban has strong support among the French public, and was backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy himself. He has described the veils as “Walking coffins,” according to reports. The law would carry a fine of 150 euros for women who break it, and 30,000 euros and a one year jail term for men who force their wives to wear the veil. Spain and Belgium are debating similar legislation.

There is still a chance the constitutional court could declare the ban illegal, or that it could be overturned by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which France is bound to follow. But it seems France’s statement of intent has been made.

Where do you stand on the issue?

It could be argued that France’s laws are her own, and they are governed by the majority will of the people. If it is the will of the majority to ban these items of clothing, then the law must inevitably be passed and – if not respected by all – at least obeyed.

On the other hand, the ban could be considered an infringement of civil liberties. Shouldn’t people be free to wear what they like? And beyond the law itself, what about the motivation behind its enactment? Why does a majority of the French public feel so moved on this issue? After all, estimates put the number of women who wear the veil in France at a mere 2,000. Is it all down to Islamophobia?

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  1. Miss Anne Thropic on September 16, 2010 6:25 am

    The people who complain about this in the UAE are generally the same people who complain that expats and visitors don’t respect the laws here…

  2. George on September 16, 2010 6:43 am

    Yes I agree with it. Women should not be treated like a perishable commodity in an educated modern world. But scantly dressed women in UAE especially in Dubai who venture out with ultra mini skirts are a sign of moral degradation. This must be stopped at any cost. If these scantly dressed women were in Tehran, they would have received instant reaction and would have learned a lesson.

  3. Miriam on September 16, 2010 8:55 am

    France or any other nation has the right to make the rules and demand that people obey them.

    The article asks: “Shouldn’t people be free to wear what they like?”

    Certainly they should within reason. However, Muslim women are NOT free to wear what they like. To claim otherwise is a lie. The Islamic veil is at once a garment of oppression and one of superiority. It is not appropriate in free, democratic societies.

    No woman is free to wear what she likes in any Islamic land, whether she is Muslim or not. It is an infringement on civil liberties that when one visits an Islamic country people, non-Muslims especially women, must dress according to Islamic laws and cultural norms, be that the full burqa or simply what is considered “modest.” The Saudis give female visitors a government issued abaya while men can dress in comfortable, western clothing. Female reporters covering the Pakistan floods or Afghan war must wear a tent like garment and a veil, while men can wear whatever they choose. Even Angelina Jolie must cover herself according to Islamic rules, despite the fact that she is there to help, she is insulted by having to wear a black tent, while the men can dress as they desire.

    Many a terrorist has dressed in female robes to commit his crime or even escape.

    Why is it that Muslims demand that the world follow their rules on their turf and when they travel to non-Muslim lands they STILL demand that everyone follow their rules? Why is it that Muslims who come to the West refuse to obey and respect Western laws and customs?

    In the West people want to see facial expressions. It is offensive to see a woman covered like a piece of meat, owned like a slave by some man. Men who cannot behave themselves will be arrested, unlike in the Islamic world where every attack on a woman is considered her fault while the man walks free.

    Those who want to wear a burqa should live in dar al Islam!

  4. Phil Anthropist on September 16, 2010 11:34 am

    I totally agree with the ban on the veil. If these people wish to live in France and enjoy all the benefits that brings, they must integrate and not live apart from the nationals of that country. Wearing of the veil is a divisive action and sends the signal that the wearer does not want to integrate into the society in which she now lives.
    If people want to dress and live like they do in their countries of origin, I suggest they go live there.

  5. Miss Anne Thropic on September 18, 2010 4:56 pm

    George, mini skirts in public is the least of Dubai’s worries. More obscene is the trafficking of women for prostitution and the often absurd and disgraceful judgements in rape cases. Punishing women Iran-style – a country where people are publicly hanged from cranes for certain crimes – is a completely disproportionate response to a mini skirt. If you don’t want to look at a woman’s legs, look the other way and control your urges.

  6. El Pipita on October 16, 2010 9:37 pm

    I really think everyone should atleast read into Islam before doing things like banning the hijabs. I read about it, like what the religion ruling says, and it’s up to the woman whether she wears it or not. No man has a right to force his woman, and whilst I don’t believe it should be banned, I feel that the men that do force should get a fine.
    And for those arrogant people that cant be bothered to read about Islam and it’s views on woman, I will enlighten you and Islam give women much more freedom, give them more rights and better lifestyle then those who do not practice religion and those who go make themselves slags.
    Ask yourself one question, if your walking say down a street, and you see a woman who has decided to cover herself in the Islamic way, your definitely not going to keep looking at her in a evil way, or in a perving manner are you? Yet if you see a woman whos got say a mini skirt and a short t-shirt, whos willingly showing her body legs and parts, shes prone to things like rape and men looking at her in lust isn’t she?
    Can you really be suprised that there’s a lot of cases of rape in countries like France? Spain? Belgium? U.K??

  7. Andrew on October 17, 2010 10:21 am

    El Pipita, I’m more interested in how a society actually acts in practice, as opposed to what some the religious theory is.

    “Islam” might give women freedom, many of its believers however do not. Everything else you said sounds like it came from some marketing brochure.

    As for your question, I don’t look at people “in a (sic) evil way, or in a perving manner” – but whatever floats your boat. Furthermore, if the way a women dresses is in your belief a justification for rape – sounds like you have self-control and impulse issues.

    Can you really be suprised that there’s a lot of cases of “honour” killings in countries in the Gulf and the likes of Pakistan?

  8. Yousuf Cherin on October 17, 2010 10:06 pm

    I fully agree with the banning of burqas in public places. If some people believe that women or men should be allowed to whatever they feel like, will the society in general agree to seeing women in half naked dresses. No Muslim can exercise her own rights. If a Muslim man can marry at least four times, for obvious reasons, why don’t they permission to women to follow the men??? Men can marry as many times as they want and they can divorce women as they buy and sell sheep. Is it fair?

    If burqa is considered as a shield for women, then why are rapes more common in many of the Islamic countries? 90% of Muslim women wear burgas due to compulsion by their husbands, father or brothers or boy friends. If Islamic women are given freedom to choose their own dress code, most of the burqa factories all over the world would have to be closed down.

    A decentt society should never compel their women what they should wear and what they shouldn’t.

  9. Miss Anne Thropic on October 18, 2010 8:36 am

    El Pipita, wearing a mini skirt is not an invitation rape. And a covered woman isn’t immune to rape either. At least in most European countries, if a woman reports a rape she is taken seriously and doesn’t run the risk of ending up in jail herself for adultery. I am convinced rape is hugely under-reported here because women are scared that they will end up as the criminal. That is simply unacceptable.

  10. Seb on March 9, 2011 12:26 pm

    Well, first of all, the law is not against Islamic Veil. The law prohibits ANY person from having a FULLY covered face in public. So most Islamic veils are allowed, Christian nun’s uniform are allowed, etc.

    Journalists (and French people as well) have turned it into an “anti-Burqa” law because those days, talking about Islam in France is, well, very popular for electoral reasons. And personally I find this very damaging for our society.

    So it’s wrong to point the finger on some people because of their religion in a non religious country, but it’s also a matter of public safety in France to ensure that no people has its face totally covered in public.

    As for the consequence to tourisms, well, except for the Champs Elysees maybe, you don’t get to see many women fully covered anyway; must be because they stay at their hotel? So impact, hum, null?

    Fortunately enough, even if Mr Sarkozy is our President, he doesn’t represent what France has to offer to tourists.

  11. Calvin on March 10, 2011 3:20 pm

    We have to think in a non religious and mature way, about this very “controversial” subject.

    First, if it this the law, there is no specific anti-religious law in a laical democratic country (not to mention France was the first country to guarantee liberty of religious belief).

    This law is a matter of security reason, not mentioning any religion or culture. It is a matter of security dress code.

    At the opposite, for those who does not know it, there is a law for banning public nudity”, and those who dare to swin or go to the beach naked, are not allowed in public beaches, they have to go into specific area.

    As i remind, in Saudi Arabia and many other countries, it is strictly banned for women (local or tourist) to go around dressed according to their willing or their usual nationality dress code.
    If they do not respect that law, they could be banned from the country, or face jail imprisonment, and sometimes worse.
    As far as i know, single women are not allowed to enter the country without a husband or man to guarantee their behavior.
    This is the law in those countries, and tourist that did not want to respect that, should strongly consider to go some place else, because it is a matter of respect .

    So in France, there are laws too, it is not allowed to drive without a driving license and 18 years old for example, even if not long ago, at the age of 14-16 in Saudi Arabia, you were allowed to drive a car (as a boy) (women can’t drive, at any age).
    Neither you are allowed to walk down the streets with a saber, even if in Saudi Arabia or Yemen… it is not considered as a weapon, but at a costume ornament…

    There are thousands of differences between each countries and each culture, we have to accept and respect them… both ways if we want to live in peace.

    Nobody is right or wrong, question of culture, but this has to be kept in mind in both ways, and the people of different countries must not take it personally as anti-religious or anti-whatever…. it is just and simply a law. Read it, respect it, and make an effort to understand why it is this way.

    Best regards to all of you.

  12. Zouzou on March 13, 2011 7:09 am

    France is becoming a racist state with an athoritarian regime that needs to be removed. Nepotism is the norm for Mr Sarkozy. Personal vendeta, is another option well used. So the ban is no more than that. France should be inclusive, accepting differences, respecting others. It is turning away from all it believes in and all that defined it’s DNA because of a single man. The UAE should boycottnbuying French defense material, and technology.

  13. mandy baldwin on March 28, 2011 1:21 pm

    el pipita – how dare you call women who aren’t smothered “slags”? just because you have a filthy mind and can’t control yourself from wanting ro rape girls, don’t assume NORMAL men feel the same way. it isn’t “evil” to admire a beautiful woman or a handsome man; our bodies are meant to be admired! why is it that you freaks who say you live your life according to god’s rules, are so afraid of his creations? learn to behave yourself – and no, I don’t HAVE to learn about Islam – the arrogance is all yours, if you live in a non-muslim country and don’t follow the customs of the majority. there are NO free, liberal, tolerant, democratic, modern islamic countries – they are all backward, oppressive and violent, with a mindsiet which died out in the rest of the world in the 12th century. shut up, learn our ways, or ship out. This is the top of the iceberg – people have had more than enough of you, taking, then whining, then threatening. Half the governments of Europe are now Far-right/right wing; you nutters will have to come into line with civilisation or get back to your islamic hellholes.


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