France: Ban on full Muslim veils

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Jenni - posted on 09/15/2010

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I don't care if there are only 2000 women who will be affected. This is intolerance and is taking away these women's freedom of religion and civil rights. It's bad enough that they have little rights in their own culture as women, France is going to take away more civil liberaties.
I think this law is utterly backwards. When we, as women, travel to Muslim regions we are forced to wear burkas. Which I find outrageous, intolernant and against my human rights and liberaties (which is probably why i'd never travel there). But should we be that backwards too? Shouldn't we first world nations be setting an example of freedom of religion, civil rights, individual rights and tolerance.

Amie - posted on 09/15/2010

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I agree with everything Sara's said. I also do think some sects of Christianity get a free pass.



Mennonite colonies, Hutterite colonies. Some of these places are atrocious for how they treat their women. It's sickening, men are treated like gods, for lack of a better word, while women are their servants. Like the woman in the next bed when I was waiting to be released after having Caitlin. Her mother was there because her husband couldn't be bothered. Her husband was also her cousin but that's neither here nor there. He sent her mom and his wife here to have the baby, they were from Alberta. I didn't talk to her long so I have no idea why he sent her here but he did. I did over hear some things, which is where I found out the cousins thing.

The women all have to wear dresses. Their hair is kept long but swept up in a bun each day. The men are equally modest but just seeing how a lot of them talk to their wives and daughters turns me off.



It happens, even here but people turn a blind eye to it. A lot of times, I find, they don't want to believe it. They are relatively small sects that live in their own communities who limit their contact as much as possible with the outside world.



The Muslim faith is just an easy target right now.

Jessica - posted on 09/15/2010

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Quoting Sara b. :



This really saddens me. I just dont' think it's right to ban a religious symbol. This feels more like the backlash from Anti-Muslim sentiment that is growing in Europe. Sad



The full veil isn't actually a religious symbol. The only thing in the qu'ran to even hint at support for the veil is a passage saying that EVERYONE should dress modestly and decently. However, this has been taken and twisted to mean that women (only women) should not show any part of their body. That is not what the qu'ran says. It says all, whether male or female, should dress modestly.



I also want to add that the anti-Muslim sentiment growing in Europe is, for the most part, because Islam is trying to force itself on other people/countries, including sharia law, demanding respect and giving none in return. For e.g. the picture of a small black lab puppy that was used as the police mascot in Scotland was banned from being used because according to the qu'ran, dogs are filthy animals and are not to be kept as pets or mascots and because it offends the religion. That's hardly fair to the rest of the town who tried to get the puppy ban lifted but failed because it apparently discriminated against Muslims. That is just pathetic in my opinion. The majority of the country, including most Muslims, were fine with the dog being the mascot. But because a small few don't like it, it is then banned. That is not integrating yourself into the country you trying to live in. That's like walking into another persons home and demanding they bow to your every whim regardless of how petty, stupid or unfair to the people already living there.

Jessica - posted on 09/15/2010

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Lol, I actually agree with the ban to a certain extent. I actually saw a woman get on the bus with a bus pass that had a picture of a woman in the full veil on. She was wearing the full veil as well obviously. But it kinda defeats the point of having a photo on there. I also think that if you want to drive, you shouldn't be wearing the full veil as it would hinder your vision and could cause an accident. I also don't want to talk to someone when I can't see there facial expressions and body language. 90% of communication is lost with these veils. I think that apart from the most compelling argument of women's subjugation, they are detrimental to allowing this person to become and remain a part of western society whilst causing all sorts of unease to others when they are unable to gage that person because they are hidden. How can I be expected to fully welcome and relax someone into my circle when I don't know who they are and can't find out? It's kind of unfair to ask that of anyone.

Tracey - posted on 09/16/2010

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The law may affect muslim women but it actually states that no person may wear clothing that covers their face in public. There is no reference to men / women or any type of religion

As Jedi-ism (from Star Wars) is a recognised religion in the UK I assume that this will also apply to Obi Wan Kenobi & Darth Vader should they wish to visit Paris.

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Dana - posted on 09/17/2010

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Oh, I don't really care if someone is considered "Christian bashing". I actually don't think anyone is bashing Christian's, I just think everyone has an opinion. It just seems as if when Christian religion is talked about then, it's the whole gambit of, oh there isn't even a God, wish the Christians would quit forcing their views on us...yada yada yada. Then with Muslims it's a whole different story.
Yes, I do believe there's a God or a higher power. When it comes to what is said about Christian's I really don't care. I feel more I'm more non- partisan than most when it comes to issues of religion.

Isobel - posted on 09/17/2010

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and Dana, I think that we generally talk about how women are treated by religion in general...the only reason Christianity seems to get focused on is because people try to claim it isn't true...then we have to prove it is.

I, for one, believe that all religions are equal...I think that comes across as offensive to many Christians (not you, but I'm just sayin) and then my attempt to prove that all religions are equal comes off as Christian bashing...does that make sense?

I'm sorry if it feels that way...I'll try my best to be conscious of it when I'm posting

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Sad thats not fair on Muslim people.How can they have the right to stop them from doing that.Its taking away there rights.Just goes to show the way the world is going.:-( if many dont want to wear it the should not have to but if you want to wear it wear it..its a choice i feel should be left to the people themselves..it shouldn't be made by anyone else.

Isobel - posted on 09/16/2010

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I would've felt better if they had simply made all the sharia laws, specifically against french law...so that any time a woman came forward as a victim of sharia law, they could throw the book at the person who had abused her.

Jessica - posted on 09/16/2010

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Quoting Paige:

I completely agree. This is an abuse of power because a minority of that religious faction did harm. Why punish the whole group because a few chose to do harm? I think this should and will be fought hard because this is against a person's civil rights

Quoting Tracey: The law may affect muslim women but it actually states that no person may wear clothing that covers their face in public. There is no reference to men / women or any type of religion
As Jedi-ism (from Star Wars) is a recognised religion in the UK I assume that this will also apply to Obi Wan Kenobi & Darth Vader should they wish to visit Paris

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@Nikki S

I completely agree. This is an abuse of power because a minority of that religious faction did harm. Why punish the whole group because a few chose to do harm? I think this should and will be fought hard because this is against a person's civil rights.



EDIT to add



@Jessica B

You have a valid point about their drivers' license. If France wants this bill passed more for identification purposes, then they could probably edit the bill so that it allows them the freedom to wear the burqa except for any ID's that need a photo including passports. Nice little compromise there, I think. You can wear your burqa all you want, but in the case that you get into a major traffic collision, we can at least properly identify who you are?

ME - posted on 09/16/2010

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This pisses me off...if they want to fine men who FORCE women to wear the burqa, that I can get behind, but you cannot reasonably forbid women from wearing what they want!

C. - posted on 09/16/2010

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I don't see that as such a huge problem. There are other styles of Muslim headdresses that you can wear that don't cover everything but the eyes.



Here's a link of the different types:

http://jadmadi.net/blog/wp-content/uploa...



We had a Muslim girl in our middle school for a couple years and they banned the Burqa and Niqab, but she could wear the other headdresses. Her family were devout Muslims and she wasn't offended by the rule.



Personally, I agree with Jessica B and how it defeats the purpose of having a photo ID if they are wearing a full veil and it would definitely be distracting while operating a vehicle (if you noticed the picture in the link, the woman was pulling her Niqab down with one hand so she could see clearly to drive with the other hand.)

Stifler's - posted on 09/15/2010

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There's some VERY interesting comments on this. I agree that the ban is just a violation of human rights to wear what we like. I also agree with the sentiment that women being told to wear this by religion is merely oppression of women by making them faceless in those veils.

Amie - posted on 09/15/2010

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It's not acceptable. It is their choice to choose it though. We may not like it, we may never agree with it but it is their choice.



Yes some are forced to conform to their parents/families religious views. Are forced to behave/dress this way so as to not embarrass the family.



It's not my business though, if they do not wish too and want a way out. I will fully support that. I went to Uni with a woman from Afghanistan. She was happy to be here because she got away from all the happenings there and she had her freedom. I also see middle eastern (not sure which country they're from and I'm not about to ask) women working alongside their husbands, brothers and friends at the corner store near my house. None of them wear any head cover but they are fully covered in other respects at all times. The hardest thing I've had to, personally, deal with is the men. I do not know why but none of them wear deodorant. If more then one of them is there and it's a hot summer day, the smell just hits you. ick.



I feel much the same way about the colonies too. I do not agree with it but that is their choice. If they want to leave, thus cutting off themselves from their families (in almost all cases) and friends forever. I would be there to support them and help them find their way too.



No it's not easy for a lot of them. I fully support any and all programs to help them find their freedom and peace. No one should be forced to do anything against their will. Which is why I will not support this bill. For those that do wear the veils for themselves it is imposing others' views and wishes on them.



As for CoM's as an entirety, I doubt it but for the debate boards, the majority around here seem to be liberals and that pulls some sway on the opinions they have.

Dana - posted on 09/15/2010

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I'm talking about on here, on CoM. We've talked about how women are treated in Christian religions with disdain but, when it comes to Muslims it seems to be more acceptable.

Heather - posted on 09/15/2010

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I don't really agree with France passing a law stating women CAN'T wear the burka in public, but with the current rise in female "homocide" bombers I understand why there is a fear there. Personally, the French government is full of cowards imo because they would rather ban something than address the deeper issues. Unfortunately, I think this law will just punish muslim women more. Now their husbands will NEVER let them out of the house because they can't be covered completely. They'll become shut ins and the men won't care because it doesn't effect them. It's very sad.

Sara - posted on 09/15/2010

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I don't think that Muslims get a free pass. I personally find the burqa offensive as a woman. I don't agree with the subjugation of women in Islamic culture. I do, however, believe that people, no matter their religion, have the right to display religious symbols or religous traditions in public; to wear a yarmulke or grow their hair long or for women to dress in long skirts. No matter what I may think of those religious practices or traditions, the government, IMO, has no right to tell someone that they can't wear something.

Sara - posted on 09/15/2010

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To me, disagreeing with it ideologically is not the same as disagreeing with it legally. Legally, I think people should be able to wear what they want. Ideologically, I don't agree with it.



And isn't it a religious symbol if it is associated with a certain religion? Like I said, it may not be mandated by the Quran, but it is a cultural tradition of people of the Muslim faith. Honestly, I think all of this goes a lot deeper than a face veil, it's more about the current political climate in France.

Dana - posted on 09/15/2010

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I think that if this were the Christian religion doing this, many would call it oppression. I still don't get,and never will get, why Muslims get a pass when other religions get torn apart in discussions. I'm not just talking about this law banning the veil, I'm talking as a whole.

Jessica - posted on 09/15/2010

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Wearing something as a sign of your faith does not make it a religious symbol.

I think your right that the veil is seen as a symbol of opression because, for the most part, it is. Someone mentioned that in the UK a girl went through the courts so she could wear a veil at school. Just a few weeks later, that same girl made a statement saying that she didn't actually want to wear it but was told by her father and brother that she had to. She also told the world that it was her brother who made her pursue the issue legally. Now I'm not saying that she speaks for all the veil wearing Muslims but it does make stop, think and reconsider your view. My mom works in community adult education in a Muslim dominant area. She comes home saddened every day at the fact that these women are excited, yes excited, that their husbands are allowing them to attend an ESOL (English for Speakers Of another Language) course.She gets too many calls everyday from husbands asking to put their wives on female only courses and alot of them want to escort their wives whilst they are there. 90% of the women who attend still refuse to take off their full face veils as it might anger their husbands (who aren't there and would never find out). There was one woman who came into the course one day absolutely ecstatic because when her husband wanted to take their kids to Macdonald (hardly halal) his daughter refused to go without her mom and so he ALLOWED her out of the house for the first time in months that wasn't for escorted food shopping trips and an English course.

Yes, women should be allowed to wear the veil if they want. But the majority (in my personal experience) don't want to but still do.

Lucy - posted on 09/15/2010

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Caitlin, what about the French women who have always lived in France and have always worn the veil? Should they move else where? Not a criticism or a stroppy comment, by the way, a genuine question!

Sara - posted on 09/15/2010

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It may not be a mandate of Islam to wear the veil, but to the people who wear it, it is a sign of their faith. I feel we need to examine the deeper judgments that lurk beneath our culture's "concern" for Muslim women. We interpret "the veil" not merely, or even principally, as a sign of what ails Muslim women. It seems rather to reinforce prejudices we hold about the inferiority of Muslim tradition as a whole. As a culture, I think we have the inclination to interpret the veil as a proof of an innate backwardness in Islam. I just think that if someone wants to wear the veil, they shouldn't be limited by their government to do or not to do so.

Caitlin - posted on 09/15/2010

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I'm 50/50 on this one. If you want to wear a veil, don't move to france, how about that.. Since it's a modesty thing, not a requirement of the religion, I don't see it as being discriminatory.

Tracey - posted on 09/15/2010

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The face veil is not part of their religious requirements. We have had several court cases in UK about school girls wanting to wear this for religious reasons and the schools refusing to accommodate them as it is not a religious neccesssity and on health and safety grounds.
I find it offensive but there are other items of clothing I also find offensive.

Dana - posted on 09/15/2010

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I've always found myself completely torn on this issue and I do mean completely. They've been working on this for a while now (I think we talked about it last year in PDM) I still can not decide one way or the other, since I see and agree with both sides of the issue.

Petra - posted on 09/15/2010

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Banning the veil altogether is pretty hard-core and a violation of their freedom to practice their religion. But, I think removing the veil for the purposes of identification is a good thing - how can you positively ID someone when their face is covered? A legal requirement to remove the veil for government issued ID and instances where you're required to verify your ID is okay, IMO. Personally, I find the whole religious notion of having to wear the veils grossly misogynistic, but it is a part of their religion and those who are fundamentalists or devout practitioners should be able to wear them freely. What's next, banning turbans or yarmulkes?

Tracey - posted on 09/15/2010

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From a different point of view, my son is autistic and has hypersensitivity to noise. He often covers his entire face and head to block out what is to him an overload of sounds, sights etc. Would he be arrested under this ban?

Sara - posted on 09/15/2010

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This really saddens me. I just dont' think it's right to ban a religious symbol. This feels more like the backlash from Anti-Muslim sentiment that is growing in Europe. Sad.

Lucy - posted on 09/15/2010

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I think that there are certainly times and places where the full face veil is not appropriate, but to legislate to ban it completely in all public locations is outrageous.

When a woman wearing the veil goes through customs, of course she should be expected to show her face. Similarly if she seeing her doctor/dentist, or is a teacher at work in the classroom, or is sitting a driving test. There are plenty of circumstances in which it is necessary to see someone's face for proper communication or to verify that they are who they say they are. But if a woman chooses to wear the veil walking down the street, shopping, sitting in a cafe with her friends etc, why should anyone have the right to stop her?

When and where to wear the veil is a matter of common sense and individual choice, not a matter for the law to be concerned with.

Kate CP - posted on 09/14/2010

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I don't like it. Yes, it protects women who are "forced" to wear them but many women WANT to wear them. Live and let live, I say. :/

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I don't care what other people wear. It's not my business to care and I don't know why politicians make it their business. A woman should have the right to dress in a way that doesn't make her feel uncomfortable. If showing her face makes her uncomfortable then who am I to argue with that? Banning the vail is just as bad as making a woman wear one.



Plus, I hate any law that punishes the law abiding. Why should law abiding people forfit their rights just because a small minority have abused them?

Nikki - posted on 09/14/2010

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While I am not religious, I respect the rights of others to have their own beliefs, I think this is an abuse of power, discrimination against a religion because a small minority have used the religions name to do harm.

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