Ok, sorry for the horrible use of slippery slope but great job France! Ok, maybe not. The law was passed in October but there was a six month period set aside for informing the public. I understand they are mostly doing it for safety but even some of the lawmakers brought up reasons that just make my head spin.
Before I go any further, I want to say that I don’t care who you pray to. ALL religions are the same to me. If you look at history one could infer that all the violence from any one group had more to do with power and control than the love of or relationship with one’s personal deity. Another thing: as much as I’m for the freedom to express your religious views/ customs (as long as they don’t directly harm others); I’m also against laws that ban speech or drawings that ridicule religious beliefs.
So according to CNN, in addition to public safety they give this reason for the ban:
“Given the damage it [wearing the burqa] 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,” the French government said when it sent the measure to parliament in May of last year.
On the surface it looks like the French parliament is on a mission to liberate muslim women. Yes, even the ones who want to wear the garment. Yes, of course some women are forced to wear it, which is completely ludicrous. Check out this comment from a post on The Stir:
I as a Muslim woman don’t have the right to demand other women to dress as I do, and they don’t have the right to demand that I dress as they do. Islam gives us freewill and for ANYONE to infringe upon our freewill to choose how we practice our faith is totally unacceptable, from France to Saudi the authorities have no place dictating what I wear. I find it so offensive that other people try to dictate what I wear or don’t wear and base their demands off of their beliefs without being educated on mine. All of these comments that Muslim women are considered lower than dogs, second class citizens ect, the TRUTH is that’s not what Islam says, the TRUTH is that the Quran requires the respect fair treatment and honoring of women. Get off the chain emails and the Islamaphobic websites. The only oppression that I have EVER gotten as a Muslim women is from non-Muslims insulting my faith and trying to “liberate” me from their false stereotypes and ignorance of Islam.
and this too:
Some women ARE forced to cover and that is 100% totally unacceptable and against Islam. Those individuals who are forcing Islam upon people ARE NOT following our religion. The Quran says that there is no compulsion in religion. As a Muslim it’s heartbreaking when I hear of Muslims being forced to do this or that, oppression and force isn’t what our religion is about, it’s not what Prophet Mohammad pbuh taught us. This evil that is occurring is happening because those individuals doing the oppression and forcing are not educated on Islam, they have been corrupted by cultural practices and extremism. That type of behavior is unacceptable. I will say that I have NEVER known any Muslim women personally who is being forced to cover, or even know personally a Muslim women who knows one personally who is being forced. I won’t say that it doesn’t happen, it does, it’s just a very small percentage. Do some “Muslim” countries have laws in place regarding acceptable dress for men and women in public yes, as does the USA, do some of those “Muslim” countries take those laws too far YES, is that acceptable NO
I think it’s fair to add that there is also a punishment for forcing the burqa or niqab.
Penalties for forcing a person to wear a burqa are part of the law, and they became effective immediately in October.
Forcing a woman to wear a niqab or a burqa is punishable by a year in prison and a 30,000 euro fine (about $43,400). Forcing a minor to do the same thing is punishable by two years in prison and 60,000 euro.
I wonder why they didn’t stop with that. Even so, how do you prove force? Is the French government going to set up some clothing police or walk into people’s homes at the slightest sign of a disturbance just to make sure women aren’t being forced to wear something they don’t want to? Someone else made the comment that [the state] banning the burqa or niqab is: Not as bad as having a religion force you to wear something.
Oh really? Well either way, the very small minority of women who choose to wear it are left without a choice regardless. What kind of liberation is that?