Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Burqa ban set to fly straight through French parliament

Yesterday, the lower house of France's parliament passed a ban on any veils that cover the face - including the burqa worn by many Muslim women. The ban passed with an astounding 335 to 1 vote. The ban still needs to go through the French Senate before it becomes law, but judging by that overwhelming majority, and by the fact that over 80% of the French population agrees with the ban, the measure will fly straight through the Senate.

Now, I'm not a fan of the burqa - it creates an inequality between men and women in those countries where all women must wear burqas, and supposes that women are something that must be hidden from public view, to be seen only by their husbands and immediate families. But my opinions, or anyone's opinions, should not interfere with an individual's right to believe whatever they want, or their right to wear whatever they wish to. As Amnesty International was quoted in this CNN article:

A complete ban on the covering of the face would violate the rights to freedom of expression and religion of those women who wear the burqa or the niqab in public as an expression of their identity or beliefs," said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International's expert on discrimination in Europe.

This appears an effort by the French government to impose their own beliefs on everyone else. France's government stated that:

Given the damage it produces on those rules which allow the life in community, ensure the dignity of the person and equality between sexes, this practice, even if it is voluntary, cannot be tolerated in any public place"

Seeing as France not too long ago passed a ban on wearing headscarves in school, methinks the Muslim population in France is less than thrilled with the decisions coming out of Parliament in recent memory.

Why France is focusing on controlling the lives of its citizens when one would think they have more pressing matters to attend to is beyond me. Then again, the US government is currently trying to put a man away for filming pornography. Moral of the story: the world's a mess.


  1. Good post! To be against something (and I'm definitely against the burqa) doesn't mean you have to favor outlawing it. There are lots of things I personally disapprove of, but I don't want the state making them illegal.

  2. I feel dirty opposing the ban, like a lawyer defending a rapist because he knows everyone deserves a fair trial...


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