French Parliament Overwhelmingly OKs Ban on Burqas

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The French Parliament overwhelmingly approved a ban on wearing face-covering, burqa-style Islamic veils today in an effort to protect French values and culture that has slipped away in recent years, as the country’s Muslim population grows ever larger.

Proponents of the law say face-covering veils don’t square with the French ideal of women’s equality or its secular tradition. The bill is controversial abroad but popular in France, where its relatively few outspoken critics say conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy has resorted to xenophobia to attract far-right voters.

The ban on burqas will go in September to the Senate, where it also expected to pass.

Spain and Belgium have similar bans in the works. France has the European Union’s largest Muslim population. 5 million of the country’s 64 million people are believed to be Muslim.

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13 Responses to French Parliament Overwhelmingly OKs Ban on Burqas

  1. Rachel says:

    I’m all for diversity and multiculturalism but imagine if 2 million French-Muslim women got their drivers license pictures taken wearing that garb? You couldn’t tell Hanna A. from Hanna W. and this becomes a true security issue for local law officials. These gals need to learn to adapt to local customs or remain in the old country.

  2. Pechanga says:

    I remember arriving in Marseilles in 2002. We rented a car in Genoa, Italy, and planned to drive all the way to Barcelona, Spain. It was my “trip of a lifetime.”

    In any event, I had practiced my pigeon French for months before we left the USA. I was thrilled to have a chance to try out my “lingua franca” on the locals.

    Man, was I surprised to hear very little French and a lot of Turkish, Farsi, Arabic spoken. I almost forgot I was in France. Marseilles felt more like Tunisia.

  3. Harry says:

    When you move to a new country, you adapt and you change. If you don’t want to do this, why relocate in the first place?

  4. bradfrmphnx says:

    According to an article I read recently, Islam will be the number one religion in the United States within about ten years. How will we deal with this? I believe it will be another divisive issue.

    I’m not sure the French are right here, but I’m not altogether sure they are wrong either. Consider that in the USA we are allowed to worship as we please. That means if they want to wear burkas, they can wear burkas. Our country wouldn’t have the balls to tell them they couldn’t. Soon all bank robbers in the USA will be wearing burkas.

  5. ZarathustraMike says:

    I knew there was a reason I liked the French……….

  6. Aunt Peg says:

    This nonsense surfaced in Dearborn, MI a few years ago. Women of the Muslim faith went to the DMV and refused to remove their face cover.

    The matter went to court and naturally, the state of Michigan backed down, allowing the Muslims to have drivers licenses with face veils.

    There are dozens — possibly hundreds of women in Dearborn, MI now with the same picture on their ID.

  7. Mets Fan says:

    “Soon all bank robbers in the USA will be wearing burkas.”

    ROFL! It’s just a matter of time!

  8. Greg Equality Lengkong says:

    Drag queens can’t dress as Dolly Parton, Cher, or Lady Gaga when they go to the DMV and get their picture taken for their drivers license.

    So if our drag queen sisters have to revert to their male self for official pictures, Muslim women don’t deserve special treatment either.

    Sorry girls but fair is fair.

  9. ultragreen says:

    I’m against any general ban on burqas in the United States — it unnecessarily violates freedom of religion. For security-related reasons, however, they should be issued driver’s licenses without the burqas. Even free speech has certain limitations imposed on it via various court rulings.

  10. ZarathustraMike, I’m with you. As a woman, I find this head to toe garb offensive. As an atheist, I’m tired of having to accommodate sky god enthusiasists. And I’ve read that some criminals have used burqas to hide themselves already.

  11. Pingback: Burqa and the Left, from Secularism to Religious Right. « Tendance Coatesy

  12. @rachel: Out of the 5million Muslims in France, only 2000 wear burqas/niqabs. Secondly, this issue is not about driver’s licenses or IDs – france had not allowed any religious articles of faith in drivers license pictures for several years. This issue is about government stepping in and intervening for the first time in how someone can or cannot dress (given that he/she is wearing something) in public.

    Thirdly, for all those that wish that Muslims would stay in their own countries, you need to advocate to your governments to stop attacking and supporting wars in the middle east. People don’t migrate to countries where they are judged, over-policed, criminalized and have their basic civil liberties of practicing their religious freely limited for no reason. People are being pushed out of their countries and forced to immigrate because they are literally under attack.

    You want this to stop? Advocate for the wars to stop.

    And stop claiming you’re all for diversity and multiculturalism. Let’s call a spade a spade.

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