France attempting to Ban the Burka

Sara - posted on 01/26/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )




Apparently, France is trying to pass a law to outlaw the Burka, an enveloping outer garment worn by women in some Islamic traditions for the purpose of cloaking the entire body. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, as a woman raised in Western culture, I find the Burka to be a tool to subjugate women and keep them under the men's rule. On the other hand, I do believe in freedom of expression as well as freedom of religion and I wonder if France has the right to tell someone who wants to wear this traditional garment that they cannot because it is illegal. What do you all think?


Isobel - posted on 01/27/2010




I think maybe the right compromise would be to say it is illegal to FORCE anybody to wear it on Canadian soil???


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[deleted account]

Hmm...This reminds me a lot of the thread on banning minaretts (oh god, I can't spell today, sorry...) a while back. It's a bit different, of course...But my reason for not banning the burka would be that, although it has been used under some regimes as a negative thing enforced on women, I don't think it's fair to tell a woman who really believes that that is what she needs to do that she cannot cover herself. It just seems...Well...Ironic. What it claims to allow is freedom, but what it does in the process is squashes someone's religious code and their right to abide by that code. Seems like an ass-backwards way of preventing oppression.

Jenny - posted on 01/27/2010




I'm also torn on the issue but I do lean more towards the ban it side. Although living in Canada I can see why one would want head to toe women's wear.

Krista - posted on 01/27/2010




That's the tricky thing, Laura. Then you have to define coercion. Some women might wear it because they truly want to wear it. Some women might wear it because they're being coerced into wearing it, but claim that they want to wear it in order to avoid conflict with their husbands -- they would never admit that they're being forced to wear it out of fear of retaliation.

Not that I'm a misandrist, but sometimes I just want to say "Effing men and their effed-up ideas about women...."

Krista - posted on 01/26/2010




I don't think they should ban it, but I can see certain businesses (banks, convenience stores, anyplace prone to robberies) having the right to forbid the niqab (face-veil) part from being worn on their premises. But the regular burka and hijab? No...if a woman truly wants to wear it, she should have the right.

Michelle - posted on 01/26/2010




Agreed. We may not agree with other cultures, but it is no one's place to make laws against someone's culture.

?? - posted on 01/26/2010




I am along the same thinking as you two. The Burka has it's traditional meaning, representation in the Islamic religion. I don't think France has the right to ban the Burka. They will have to impliment a dress code for France.

Lindsay - posted on 01/26/2010




I'm thinking along the same lines as you, Sara. While I personally don't like what the Burka "represents", I still don't think it's right to ban them.

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