Banning of the Islamic face veil

*Lisa* - posted on 05/31/2010 ( 57 moms have responded )

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To some, Islamic veils are expressions of faith. To others, they are symbols of oppression. Either way, they continue to spark debate.

The latest controversy has flared in Europe, where first Belgium and, perhaps soon, France, will pass laws to stop Muslim women wearing the face-covering burqa or niqab in public.

The author of Belgium’s new law argued everyone in public must be recognisable in the interests of security and that the burqa clashed with the values of a free society, which respects everyone’s rights.

In July, the French National Assembly will debate a similar bill to prevent French Muslim women wearing any headscarf that also covers their face. President Nicolas Sarkozy says the burqa is an “affront to French values” and a denigration of women.

Muslim leaders in Europe have spoken out, saying women who choose to wear veils or headscarves will become social outcasts, trapped in their homes, if they’re banned.

“Today it’s the full-face veil, tomorrow the veil,” says Muslim Executive of Belgium spokeswoman Isabelle Praile.

Amnesty International described the ban as discriminatory and as a violation of women’s rights to freedom of expression and religion. “The Belgian move to ban full-face veils, the first in Europe, sets a dangerous precedent,” says spokesman John Dalhuisen.

What do you think? Do you think there is any problem with women wearing a veil in public? Do you think it should be banned?

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Lucy - posted on 06/01/2010

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I think to legislate on this point would be to go too far, certainly.

I'm sure there are plenty of women who wear the full veil for their own reasons, without pressure from others. But I know, through charity work I've mentioned before, that many do not make this choice for themselves. Although the law in most western countries guarantees woman freedom, in practice families and the communities women live in have more impact on them. For many, the reality of ostracism or abuse from immediate family overshadows the abstract notions of freedom offered by the legal system.

I think the solution would be not to outlaw the veil, but to emphasise and promote the idea of choice, especially in schools. I think that the issue of CHOOSING to wear or not wear the veil should be a central part of children's personal and social education lessons at school.

Having said all that, I do think there are some contexts in which the wearing of the full face veil should not be considered appropriate (although I would still not go as far as legislating for this), for practical reasons. An example of this was brought to light here in the UK last year. A temporary teacher, covering for maternity leave, I think, taught wearing the full face veil, as there were adolescent males in the class. There were complaints from several parents that their children were having trouble developing a positive working relationship with the teacher as they felt distanced from her by the veil, and couldn't read her facial expressions. I must say that, in this instance, I can see where the parents were coming from.

Overall, I think that to ensure women who wear the veil are doing so of their own free will, attitudes need to change through education, not legislation.

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It's one thing to talk of the burqua as oppressive in countries such as Afghanistan, where the women have no choice but to wear the full-face veil - they are forced to do it, so the veil is a symbol of oppression. (Well, more than a symbol!)

But in western democracies, women choose to wear the veil as a symbol of modesty and purity. It's more cultural than religious. To tell them what and what not to wear is not only undemocratic, it's a denial of human rights.

Jaime - posted on 05/31/2010

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The burqa/hijab/niqab/veil in it's purity is a symbol of modesty. I think the problem has to do with the religious affiliations, more so than the personal reasons for wearing a head covering. In many other debates we've established that in some cases, religion can go too far and become cult-like in its teachings and expectations. With regard to a head covering, Islamic faith denotes certain authority that is given to a man as the head of his family, and someone to be respected and obeyed. But in saying this, what I have come to realize and what a few Muslims have pointed out to me is that it has to do with the interpretation of this notion of obedience. If a person is able to translate the Quran, they would further read that it is a mutual respect and obedience between the husband and wife and the head covering is a symbol from the female that she is in compliance. Similarly, although a man doesn't have to wear a head covering, he is expected to uphold his vow to respect his wife and family by setting the precedent in which they all follow. Of course all of this is an interpretation from a few people I've had the pleasure of talking to, but it's not realistically what tends to happen. As with all religions, there are many teachings that are taken out of context. The authority and obedience can be taken as a 'right' for a man to have power and physical control over his wife and family...which is why the head covering becomes a mask more so than a symbol of personal modesty. I don't think the burqa should be banned altogether because if we are given freedom of expression then we can't start setting double standards according to a politically-motivated view of 'oppressive' or 'denigrating'. I wouldn't wear a head covering...but then again, I wouldn't exactly call myself modest either.

The head covering as symbol of modesty...pretty near impossible in today's society.

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You know it's funny too when we go to the evets, because we are "white" where as most of the people there are from the Middle East area (or their families are/were). No one knows my huby is Muslim unless they ask or he tells them and they are always so confused. Being married to my hubby has really taught me a lot about a faith that I didn't really know a lot about. I knew what the media had force fed me, and though I knew that couldn't be the WHOLE truth, I had no idea just how off the media really was. Sorry to digress, but I just had to throw it out there :)

We just had an event at the Temple last night and I actually asked a few of the wonem what they thought of the proposed ban in Europe. They ALL thought it was ridiculous and takes away the freedom of religion and individual expression of the women who wear them.

[deleted account]

Also, I forgot to mention that my husband is a converted Muslim. He has told me that girls are not required to wear veils until they get their first period. Then they are required to cover up with veils (because that is when they become women), BUT this law only applies to inside the temple. This may be a western tradition that only applies here in CA, but my hubby said that he learned the law that way when he was in the process of converting.



Also, he does not require me to wear a veil (and if he tried I'd hit him...), but when we go to events sponsored by the Temple, then I have to wear clothing that covers me up (no low cut shirts or shorts above the knees). I have to wear the face veil if I want to go into the temple, but most of the events are out in the parking lot. Of course I see a lot of the women wth veils (both with and without the face covering part), but for the most part I have seen that the women choose to wear them and are actually quite proud to wear the veils and represent their faith.

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Suzette - posted on 06/08/2010

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LOL, I've done that before, the arguing while agreeing... being tired completely does that to people! (At least it did in my case, ha!)

Loureen, I don't have the quote from the Quran, my husband read it a couple times. The first was while he was deployed the first time. He read it again when he was back in the States. He told me about what Elisabeth was referring to, and a few other quotes. He doesn't believe it's a peaceful religion at all, but he also believes that there are those who follow the religion without following every letter of the Quran. Much like there are Christians who believe in Christ but do not follow every letter of The Old Testament or The New Testament.

Elisabeth - posted on 06/08/2010

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Lol yes I think we are arguing while agreeing with each other, haha. Silly us.

Charlie - posted on 06/08/2010

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I think your misinterpreting me LOL i think we are having a massive communication fail :D

Charlie - posted on 06/08/2010

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"Also I would like to add that while we are banning them from wearing veails, shall we also ban Jews from wearing The Kippah (skull cap), Christians from wearing the Cross around their neck, Buddists from wearing the monks robe, Nuns from wearing The Habit and so on? If so I better take my cross off...even though it was given to me by my Mother In Law on my wedding day and was blessed in the Holy Blood of Christ (wine, that I got to drink after yipee!) with our wedding rings, just because someone else said that I shouldn't be allowed to wear it."

I completley agree with your sentiments .

Elisabeth - posted on 06/08/2010

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Loureen - From my first post "People don't feel safe when they see someone openly displaying a religion that promotes death of others. I'm not saying that everyone who wears one is planning to kill anyone or someone who isn't wearing a faceveil is capable of doing exactly the same thing, but just something to keep in mind when people mention the security reason." I specifically wrote "People" not "I", People do not feel safe, I don't care. I have said I don't care mannnnny times so far. I also wrote "I am not saying..." which was me expressing that I feel that there is no differance to ones security whether head veils are involved or not. Also I am not saying that there are no extremists, I chose to use the word Terrorist instead. Once again it is not me who is saying I am scared of them it's just that some people on here were asking why is it a security issue for some people, I answered that question. I did not write that I was scared of them. Please read again.

Elisabeth - posted on 06/08/2010

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Also I would like to add that while we are banning them from wearing veails, shall we also ban Jews from wearing The Kippah (skull cap), Christians from wearing the Cross around their neck, Buddists from wearing the monks robe, Nuns from wearing The Habit and so on? If so I better take my cross off...even though it was given to me by my Mother In Law on my wedding day and was blessed in the Holy Blood of Christ (wine, that I got to drink after yipee!) with our wedding rings, just because someone else said that I shouldn't be allowed to wear it.

Charlie - posted on 06/08/2010

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Just like the mass slaughter by Christians in the crusades all in the name of god right ?

Extremists are in EVERY religion , there are people who hide behind their faith to do hateful things and interpret parts of their bible as they see fit we cannot take a minority and use them to oppress an entire religion , i could rattle off a list of heinous crimes committed in the name of god from many religions and the worst of them from the most popular religions in western civilization .

Sorry but i read the quotes again and still i cannot see the quote you are referring too nor can i remember ever reading it , could you clarify , just a simple cut and paste quote .

Suzette - posted on 06/08/2010

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Elisabeth is right actually, the Quran does state those things. However, that dose NOT mean that everyone who follows that faith believes everything the Quran states.

If that were the case, how many other religious books talk about killing people? How many other people, masses of people, have killed in the name of their religion? Throughout history people have been killed in the name of religion, thousands upon thousands. The books that belong to those religions talk about stoning, killing, etc. those who do things that go against the religions.

Do we, as a society, in turn tell them that they can't dress a certain way in regard to what their faith is? No. And these women should be different why? Because there's a war going on and people want to be paranoid and jump to conclusions about every single person out there who happens to have ties to that religion? If we're going to do that then we should, at the same time, become extremists and presume that every Catholic believes the Spanish Inquisition was a wonderful idea regardless of those that were killed. (Sorry to those out there that are Catholic, I know this isn't true... just an example!)

I'm sorry, I don't agree.

Elisabeth - posted on 06/08/2010

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Also I diden't ask why there was so much hysteria, I in fact answered why there was so much hysteria. Perhaps you may of read it wrong.

Elisabeth - posted on 06/08/2010

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As I said Loureen it is not ME who belives this i was just answering why some people, NOT ME, are using it for arguemnts sake towards the security issue. I am not saying that muslims are wrong or that wearing the headveil is wrong I am only saying why some people,NOT ME, are saying it scares them. I wrote many times 'people' I never wrote ' me or I' when it comes to why PEOPLE (NOT ME) are scared of them, I have never been scared of them, I have been inside muslim and middle eastern shops to get spices etc (as my husband is from kuwait and he loves for me to cook him middle eastern foods!), I would never go into a muslim shop if I was scared of them. As I wrote before I don't care what they wear they can where whatever they like and as I also said I am not here to debate the religion. Someone asked if I had an referance to the Qur'an so I gave it to them. Also I wrote "(Terrorists believe that by taking 'unholy' peoples lives they are spredding the work of their god, an 'unholy' person is anyone who is not muslim and soes not follow muslim way)", I made sure I wrote Terrorist not muslims, to try and seperate the two. I'm not the one saying I have a probelm with it, don't attck me, I am infact saying wear whatever you like it makes no differance in my life, come out naked for all I care or in a camel costume whatever anyone likes. I am not opposed to anyone wearing anything.

Charlie - posted on 06/08/2010

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But the thoughts you expressed are WHY there is so much hysteria , thats incredibly ignorant to spout such views when you have never even read the Qur'an

First of all the people you refrenced ( Bin laden , saddam ect ) are extremists , they do not hold the same views of average muslim people , second i have lived with a muslim man and his wife , i have read his Qur'an ( i have a strong interest in all religions and their history ) it is a very peaceful religion that some extremist people , ill informed people and the American government have destroyed .
Like i said earlier thats like saying all Americans are crazy westboro baptist church followers , broad , ill informed and insulting and untrue .

i also do not see anywhere in those quotes where it says the more you kill the more you are rewarded ??

Elisabeth - posted on 06/08/2010

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The number of virgins is mentioned in the Hadith book by Tirmizi, which is one of the six most authentic hadith collections only second to the quran. I am not aware if it is avaliable online on any site but here is the reference anyway, you may be able to check it from a local mosque library, vol 4, chapter 21, hadith no 2687. TIRMIZI may be spelt differently eg tirmidhi or something just like qur'aan, koran etc. Tranliteration is a bit of problem.


All persons - men as well as women - shall be fully rewarded for their deeds and shall not be wronged in the least (Aal Imraan 3: 195, Al-Nisaa 4: 124, Al-Nahl 16: 97, Ghaafir 40: 40);
They shall get all that they may desire and all that they can ask for, as a first gift from God. His blessings would follow subsequently (Fussilat 41: 31); and
They - (men as well as women) - shall have perfected mates/counterparts/spouses ( Arabic: Azwajun Mutahharatun) as a reward of their deeds (Al-Baqarah 2: 25, Aal Imraan 3: 15, Al-Nisaa 4: 57).

Also:
In the Holy Qur'an , Allah promises Muslims that those who die in the name of God for the sake of humanity and for the truth and rights, they shall be rewarded. Now among those rewards, God has promised that they shall be rewarded with 70 virgins of the Heaven. God also promises in the Qur'an the reward to good men(those who did nice deeds here) of their wives as virgins in the Heavens. e.g if I you are married man and go to Heavens, your wife will be there for you as a virgin. (Terrorists believe that by taking 'unholy' peoples lives they are spredding the work of their god, an 'unholy' person is anyone who is not muslim and soes not follow muslim way)

Anyway this is not an debate about the religion. I was just trying to shed some light on the security issue.

Elisabeth - posted on 06/08/2010

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No I would never read something like that, that's why I don't even know how to spell it! However I do have referance from a muslim man, several of them actually(including a man who considered himself as a islamic (religious) leader. In fact this is what people such as Bin Larden and Saddam Hussein taught their followers. BTW I never said I was paranoid of them, I couldn't care less, where whatever you want in my eyes! It's just some people don't understand why people think wearing a head veil is a security issue.

Charlie - posted on 06/08/2010

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Hmmm i wondering if she has actually read the Qur'an or if this is more propaganda filled "facts" .

Elisabeth - posted on 06/08/2010

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Just something for you to rememeber regarding opinions when it comes to something like this. Did you know that the kuran says that if a man kills another man he will recieve 70 virgins in ;heaven' according to muslim religion, the more he kills the better his afterlife. It also 'counts' if you can get someone else to do it for you, including women. They openly describe their hate for western civilization, so who do you think will be targeted when they decide they want to reap their rewards. People don't feel safe when they see someone openly displaying a religion that promotes death of others. I'm not saying that everyone who wears one is planning to kill anyone or someone who isn't wearing a faceveil is capable of doing exactly the same thing, but just something to keep in mind when people mention the security reason.

Amie - posted on 06/04/2010

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It could very well be. While it's not law for "outsiders" to have to wear them. It does smooth things over if you do. That was my point.

Suzette - posted on 06/04/2010

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Amie, again he can't recall which country but there is one where it is the law for women to wear them. Perhaps it is Saudi Arabia and it was enforced on the female soldiers for their safety so that a war didn't break out over it, I couldn't tell you since he doesn't remember it.

Amie - posted on 06/04/2010

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I never said it wasn't a big deal. It is, to them. Tour guides suggest (especially in certain countries) that once there you buy head scarves and wear loose clothing, that it will cause less friction among the locals. However it is not required.

Afghanistan the burqa was required under the Taliban. It is no longer law though.
Iran requires a coat or cloak the head scarf but no veil. It is being opposed by the female population though.
In Jordan they are slowly coming out of style, the ones that are worn are again supposedly are being used as fashion statements. With Jordan women using colorful and designed scarves on their heads.
Kuwait does have a law for MUSLIM women to wear the hijab.
Pakistan has no laws banning or enforcing any covering.
Saudi Arabia has laws enforcing full coverings for all women LIVING there however it is not enforced on tourists.

Suzette - posted on 06/04/2010

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@Amie,

"Head scarves in other countries are not a big deal. It's not mandatory either. Though it is a sign of respect for their culture when it's done."

Actually it is a big deal in the Middle East. When our female soldiers were in the Middle East and they were passing through there was one of the countries (sorry hubby can't remember which one at this point, it was during Desert Storm) that was ready to go to War with the U.S. over the fact that they were not wearing the head scarves. In some of the countries there it is a law that the females wear the head scarves, it's not just a sign of respect for their culture or religions. It is a law that a female must wear the head scarf, so in those countries it is seen by some people as a sign of oppression. I'm sure that there have been women who have stood up against the law and they've been killed, imprisoned, beaten, etc. for doing so.

However, that is that country in that area. It is not another country attempting to make it a law that they reveal their face when the woman doesn't want to because she feels that it's her right to cover her face, so it's a totally different form of oppression. (At least in my opinion.)

@Sandy,
"To what extent do we give up our customs or beliefs in how we have been living ( safe and free ) to accomodate all other countries."

This is like playing tit for tat. IMO tit for tat is just childish. (I'm not calling you childish, just the tit for tat.) We aren't giving up our way of thinking, we're allowing others to express their way of thinking. How is it that we're giving up our way of thinking by allowing them to express themselves? That's like telling a teenager that they aren't allowed to listen to certain types of music (i.e. rock and roll in the 50s) or paint their nails black or dye their hair black or wear skater clothing or act "emo" because we don't agree with it. And why? Because we don't understand it? Are we next going to go retro back to the 50s era because it's more "comfortable" for us to do so?

I don't judge people based upon their religion, as Amie stated. I don't judge people based upon what they wear, whether it's "emo" fashion or tattoo'd sleeves or 'gangster' wear or 'prepster' fashion. If I did that I wouldn't have half the friends I do have or I wouldn't associate with half the family I have. I definitely don't judge people by what music they listen to, if I did it would be the same as above. And to say the above is any different than religious garb is ridiculous in my opinion. It's truly not. The adage of judging a book by its cover is exactly what's taking place with this. Take a few minutes to read the context, get to know the person, some will surprise you... others, as with some people, will fit the stereotype. I find that stereotypes do exist for a reason, however, I have also found that many people don't always fit that bill.

Amie - posted on 06/04/2010

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It's not a huge accommodation. No one is saying every other person has to wear the face veil.

What is being said is the ones who want to wear it and are doing so because of their religion, should be allowed too.

Head scarves in other countries are not a big deal. It's not mandatory either. Though it is a sign of respect for their culture when it's done.

There is nothing wrong with them asking to reveal their face for security purposes. But in their day to day life? Why is it needed? Are people that paranoid?

I don't need to see a person's face to get to know them. I'm not going to be automatically suspicious just because of religious garb. If more people would view it that way and less like it's a security issue (which it's not IMO) maybe then maybe it would be more accepted. Never mind the bunk bs that they are doing it to ensure their freedom. LOL!!! Trust me, they left their home countries because of freedom issues.

Sandy - posted on 06/04/2010

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I do not have anything against religion, what people want to believe in spiritually is their business. I also have nothing against person of any religion wearing what ever clothing deemed to be a necessity for that religion. All I was saying is that we as a country need to be able to keep our country safe and if that means that someone must reveal their face in order for us to identify to whom we are associating with then I say so be it. However, if you come from a different country and the one that you are wanting to come to has a policy that states you must reveal your face for identity, then I dont think that is an infringement on their religious beliefs.
If we are to go to certain countries, we are required to wear head scarves, and with knowing that if we want to go then we comply. Just remember how many wars are started due to religion. To what extent do we give up our customs or beliefs in how we have been living ( safe and free ) to accomodate all other countries.

Suzette - posted on 06/03/2010

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Ugh Loureen, I'm SO glad that the media doesn't portray the Westboro Baptist as the average American. But you're right, that's exactly what it would be like.

Charlie - posted on 06/03/2010

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The media is the biggest tool for propaganda and people unfortunately eat it up and do not question it , It says a lot about the decline of Independence and education in western culture where we all obey "the box" and lack the ability to think outside of what is force fed to us through the media .

It would be like if the media only ever showed extremist westboro baptist church and portrayed that as your average American and we just accepted it because that is what the trusted media told us to believe .

Suzette - posted on 06/02/2010

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I agree, thank you Holly, it's nice to hear that there are women who are living with their Husband's that are in this faith. It's also nice to have the facts backed up that not all the women in the Muslim faith feel oppressed by their chosen religion and the traditions of such religion. I hope that people soon realize that banning something like this is only suppressing others' rights.

Lea - posted on 06/02/2010

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Yes, it is similar to a nun's habit in that it frees a woman from having to think about her appearance. How many minutes or hours a day do you spend getting ready and how much money do you spend on your appearance? Did you see Chris Rocks documentary on Hair? It makes wearing a scarf look like the sane thing to do!

Lea - posted on 06/02/2010

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I posted this before, but Oprah did a show on women around the world and a Muslim woman who chose to wear a veil said that it was to her more liberating. In her view having to spend more time having to look good for men (makeup, hair, etc) was oppressive. I have to say it really opened my eyes to see it that way from their perspective.

Charlie - posted on 06/02/2010

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Thank you Holly , Its great to hear from a woman who is actually living as a wife of a Muslim man :)

[deleted account]

Who is to say that a woman is oppressed other than the woman herself? I heard this story on NPR the other day and it just irked me. In it they said "We are looking at the ban to provide better free expression for all" but my question is: So, aren't they taking away the women's right to free expression by saying what they cannot wear?

As for the security issues, I can kind of understand that, but I think they are just hiding behind that reason as an excuse to push the ban through. In my town, wearing the hood up on a hooded sweatshirt is now illegal in malls, but that is because it has been PROVEN to be a security issue (i.e. people putting their hoods up and robbing stores - the cameras can't see hte faces of the people because of the hoods). BUT, I cannot see how the Government that is trying to ban the veils has proven there is a security threat. Have multiple women wearing full face veils robbed a bunch of stores? I don't think so as I am sure it would be all over the news.

[deleted account]

Ava said:

"I also have to disagree with the above poster, because there's no guarantee that the woman doesn't wear the veil because her over-bearing husband forces her to under the threat of beating or death, which is the same threat they get in Afghanistan."

Ava, there's no guarantee that she does, either. I used to work in a suburb that had a high percentage of Islamic families, from various cultures. The women I chatted to were certainly not hen-picked, they had opinions, they had respomsibilities and minds of their own. Sure, there might have been some women who wore the full burqa at the behest of their husbands, but I know at least 2 white Australian women who have to wear what their husbands tell them. You can make laws because something MIGHT be the case.

Also, Ava, you said you would have a problem if nuns were wearing their outfits in public - I was taught by nuns, back in the days when their outfits were far more medieval than today. Yes, it was a choice, but their outfit s were pretty confronting sometimes, especially to a primary school kid!

Same with women in democratic countries who CHOOSE to wear the burqua - whether it's for religious or cultural reasons, it's exercising their democratic rights.

It would be criminal to deprive anyone of their rights to wear what they choose.

Suzette - posted on 06/01/2010

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@Ava,

"The difference between this and 'buddhist robes' or a 'turban', is that neither of those are symbolically offensive."

That might be your view but there are those out there that consider those religious garments "symbolically offensive," I'm sure. And even for those that do consider any of those garments symbolically offensive, it doesn't make it right to ban them. Others are not to say what is right or wrong for another culture, religion, or person. It is up to them and what they choose. Unless it is harmful to another human being or group of human beings. As Jamie stated, basing this on the historical practices of the religion isn't right.

Jamie, who has had contact with the Muslim community, stated that according to her resources women do not start wearing these garments until the age of 18 and they're not forced to do so. How is this offensive? They choose to wear them for whatever reason, they CHOSE that.

It's like what Jamie stated about the swastika, it wasn't originally a symbol of hatred.

Even the U.S. Military allows exceptions for religious reasons. I'd have to get back to everyone on specifics, I can't remember them all right now, but there are quite a few.

Jaime - posted on 06/01/2010

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This whole debate over whether or not to ban the burqa has got me thinking about other symbols or words or anything that historically carried a positive or peaceful connotation only to be destroyed at the whim of a culture or race or political leader with a narrow-minded, controlling agenda.

I'm not sure how many people realize that the swastika was not originally a Nazi symbol:

http://www.newsfinder.org/site/more/swas...

It started out as a symbol for life and good luck...and now it's a harsh reminder of one man's stronghold on entire countries that he felt didn't fit his idealized mold of humanity in looks, form and status. Hitler brought about the genocide of entire nations of people all because he craved power and control...he used the once-comforting swastika to symbolize his rein, his power and the destruction of individual and social freedom. Today we are not taught about the original intentions of the symbol, we merely focus on the cohesion of racism and hatred that has transformed the swastika into something we fear. I think it's much the same with the burqa...it's not intended to be a symbol of oppression but because of even ONE incident...the mole hill becomes a mountain that is impossible to see past or climb back down. I think, as someone mentioned earlier, the only way to help people understand the burqa and its importance in some cultures, is to educate...not legislate!

Jaime - posted on 06/01/2010

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According to my sources, a Muslim woman does not have to wear a head-covering until the age of 18, and she has a choice as to whether or not she wears it...at least that's here in North America. I know a few Muslim women that do not wear a head-covering, but still practice their faith and live peacefully and happily with their families. Typically the man is the head of his family, but I have found that Muslims that immigrate to Canada become more relaxed about the burqa and opt for modest clothing instead of the robe and veil. That's not to say that all women of Muslim faith should follow suit, just an observation I have made having known a few Muslim families and having worked closely with a Muslim man who could not be further from the stereotype of 'oppressive husband'. I don't think that women should be made to take their head-coverings off...unless it is a security matter as some have already said. Not every woman wears a veil because she's forced...and to take away their rights and freedoms because their historical practices have left a bad taste in 2010 society, is to determine that a person can only have rights and freedoms that coincide with the ideals of normalcy and progression. It's clear that there are women that are forced to wear the veil, but given the fact that North America serves as a diverse nation, we can't make it okay for some and not others just because we say so. I can't speak for other countries, but it goes without saying that a person's individual rights trump any political agenda to try and modify the means of exercising religious freedom. We don't have to like it but we do have to accept it if we want to uphold the laws that protect rights and freedoms.



Banning a full-piece head-covering because of a potential security risk makes sense...banning the entire covering not so much.

Charlie - posted on 06/01/2010

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Australian Muslim, Susan Carland talking about the burqa ban on Channel 10's, The Circle.

Once again people are taking the extremist version of this religion and using it to blanket a whole religion and who is to blame for this view , the media , yes thats right they have shown you the rednecks of the Muslim world and you ate it up , Islam is actually a very peaceful religion when followed correctly .

Jenny - posted on 06/01/2010

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I'm torn. I do support freedom of dress, regardless of the motivation. On the other hand the veil is representative of hiding women and no woman should hide their beautiful selves for religious, cultural, personal or any other reason. I wish the practice would fade away on it's own but I think I would vote to ban it if pressed.

Ava - posted on 06/01/2010

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The difference between this and 'buddhist robes' or a 'turban', is that neither of those are symbolically offensive. Also, I WOULD have a problem if nuns were wearing their outfits in public---and their religion said they had to, and their culture/religion dictated they had to respect their husbands and families by doing so. But, they don't. Nuns are women that choose to be celibate and have no oppressive influence by men to wear such things. It's a hard thing to regulate, it can't really be so black and white. But there are a lot of places they should NOT be worn. Even if it is not an out-right national ban (albeit I can see if it offends the fundamental morals of a country and cannot fault France for wanting to do so), then at least individual businesses like international airlines SHOULD be banning them.

Suzette - posted on 06/01/2010

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@Sandy,
"If you are so proud of your religion then show your face and prove it."

I'm not a religious person, at all, I'm more agnostic than anything. However, with that quote, it's like what Loureen said, "a violation of to these womens right to religious expression, next we remove a Sikhs turban, a Jewish kippa, Buddhist robes."

Should we next tell the Pope that he can't wear his robes because if he were so proud of his religion he would wear regular clothing? This is a part of expressing their religion. Just as every other religion expresses theirs. Just because other cultures express themselves differently, some without special articles of clothing, does not mean that these religions are wrong and the others are right.

Telling them that they can only wear it in their home or at their place of worship is like telling a Christian (or any other religion) that they can only carry their book of worship with them in those places. I know plenty of people who carry their bibles with them everywhere they go.

I do agree, if it is actually for security reasons, such as at an airport where they need to have their face seen, that is a different story.

I also agree with Loureen, "I think there is a time and place where we should step in to stop harmful practices but this is not one of them .
Really this is western culture and medias fear mongering its people to hate simply to fuel this "war." .."

Charlie - posted on 06/01/2010

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I watched a Muslim woman on TV discuss this very topic , she asked if people also had a problem with nuns wearing a habit and full gown , should they be banned too ?



She went on to say that they are not oppressed nor do they "have to " wear the veil or hijab , they do so out of faith for their god , in the same manner people get their kids circumcised to show their faith , far worse IMO but that is a different debate and not just simple clothing .

I think it is a violation of to these womens right to religious expression , next we remove a Sikhs turban , a Jewish kippa , Buddhist robes .



I think there is a time and place where we should step in to stop harmful practices but this is not one of them .

Really this is western culture and medias fear mongering its people to hate simply to fuel this "war"

Ava - posted on 06/01/2010

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If she's doing it because there will be dire consequences back home, and out of 'respect for her family', or whatever, that is a form of oppression. Unless she wears it because she likes to, and likes to be in it, and she's only doing it out of motivation of fear of consequence (including disgracing her family or actual punishment), then that is oppression.

Sandy - posted on 06/01/2010

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I believe that if the full face veil or burqa is a religious statement, then by all means go ahead and wear it, but only in your home or at your place of worship. If you are in a different country than your own and there are security reasons for asking the women not to wear them, then I think that it should be respected of these women not to wear them. Male strong arming in these Islamic countries is sickening, I dont believe that three quarters of these women were these full face veils or burqas because it is their religion, but wear them as it is a sin to see the flesh on the necks of the women as it is a turn on by the men, thus if the woman were to be raped because the man saw her flesh on her neck, then it would be her fault. This to me is very barbaric. If you are so proud of your religion then show your face and prove it.

*Lisa* - posted on 06/01/2010

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I can see what you are saying Jamie-Leigh. My friend wears it out of respect for her husband and her culture really. If she were to not wear it in Saudi Arabia, there would be massive consequences. She isn't really 'oppressed' but just being respectful to her family I guess.

Ava - posted on 06/01/2010

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I think full face veils should be banned, but not veils all together. The problem with allowing them is that those faces will have to be shown on passports and IDs, and to confirm an identity the woman will have to lift her veil anyway. To the muslims, it's similar to flashing your tits here. Either way their rights are going to have to be violated on a daily basis. I think women can choose to wear veils if they want to, but full face veils can pose a security risk. If they're that concerned with wearing full-face veils, they can move to a country that allows it. It is an offensive practice to a lot of cultures/societies. You CAN'T please everyone. If we were to respect everyone's views, female circumcision would be legal and other abhorrent practices would be too. Maybe it sounds cruel, but in this instance you have to go for the lesser of the two evils.



I also have to disagree with the above poster, because there's no guarantee that the woman doesn't wear the veil because her over-bearing husband forces her to under the threat of beating or death, which is the same threat they get in Afghanistan.

[deleted account]

Who has the right to tell another adult what to do and what to wear? I can understand banning it in some buildings where security is an issue, but not in society as a whole. I don't personally agree with face veils, but I do support an individual freedom (providing it isn't pushed onto those who don't want it) even if it's unpopular with most of society.

Marabeth - posted on 05/31/2010

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i think the reasoning behind the law is stupid, if anything saying 'it was the woman covered with the veil' is more descriptive than 'brown hair, blue eyes.' obviously national security is not that hindered. it's a woman's right to wear a veil if they want. from what i understand in their religion women wear the veil in front of men who are strangers or are merely not family members to keep temptation and impure thoughts at bay (someone correct me if i am wrong!). can you imagine someone saying you can't wear a floor length skirt because we have to recognize your ankle size in the name of national security? don't you think that would feel pretty dirty, the government telling you to uncover something you really don't feel comfortable uncovering? not to mention it conflicts with your religious views.

Jaime - posted on 05/31/2010

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Lisa, from what you've described with your friend, she might not be physically forced to wear the head covering, but she doesn't like it and it's not necessary, so why do it? Out of respect for her husband so that he's not frowned upon for "letting" his wife be so free...that is the very root of oppression. If she chooses to wear the head covering as a symbol of her modesty and her purity to her family and her faith, that's not the same as wearing the head covering to prevent the embarrassment of her husband for allowing his wife to have free will and choice. I'm not at all suggesting that your friend is an oppressed wreck...I'm just pointing out the very contradiction in that mind-set that has sparked the controversy over the head coverings to begin with.

*Lisa* - posted on 05/31/2010

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I think that they are only trying to rule against women wearing the face veil that only shows their eyes for security reasons. The hejab that only covers the hair and leaves the face visible is not being ruled against.

I also have known many women who actually choose themselves to wear the face veil. In most cases, the women do not feel oppressed at all, it's purely cultural. One of my close friends is from Saudi Arabia where the laws are really strict, but she is quite liberal and talks freely about how annoying the head covering is. She only wears it out of respect for her husband because he would be frowned upon by the other men of their culture for letting his wife be so free.

I think they shouldn't outlaw it at all. It's their personal right to wear it. Most of the time it's the women who choose to wear the face covering, rather than being forced to.

Jocelyn - posted on 05/31/2010

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It's one thing to ban them for security purposes (ie having your face shown on your passport) but for general everyday life? I think it's ridiculous.

Sharon - posted on 05/31/2010

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I wanted to add that i think there need to be modifications to allow these women to wear their veils in court or rules that ban them outright.

Sharon - posted on 05/31/2010

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This is NOT freedom of religion. Sad.

I agree that it is a form of oppression but these women live in relatively free countries (or totally free as I understand them) and can choose to marry outside their faith or marry somene who practices a relaxed form of their faith.

They can ask for protection from the police if they choose to go against their strict families.

but these women choose to stay, choose to continue to practice their faith. That is none of the governments' business.

I read an article where the woman interviewed claimed that the veil is about modesty, not oppression.

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