Tuesday, 13 July 2010

French MPs approve bill to ban the burka

The Telegraph tells us:
"French MPs vote in favour of banning burka

French MPs have passed a law banning Islamic face veils from public areas amid warnings it poses constitutional problems and risks being overturned in the courts."

France24 expands on this:

"French lawmakers have approved a controversial draft law that would ban face-covering Islamic veils from being worn in public spaces. The bill will now go to the French Senate, which is expected to approve it in September."

Oh dear.

Liberty vs secularism  vs. multi-culturalism vs assilimaltion vs.feminism vs.cultural preservation/freedom.

It's all in there (and there's only one of these that I'm not usually too keen on...).  I know that French-Sikhs there are worried that they and their turbans are next in France.

Expect a blog-shower on the subject. I shall catch up later - back to cooking dinner for the family (who said feminism is dead...)


Plummy Mummy said...

Why would Sikhs be worried, I didn't think Sikh women wore full veils.
The legislation covers burkas and niqabs only.
Or is it the worry that anything that marks a citizen as being different is potentially at risk of being banned e.g. the turban?

bob said...

Re Plummy Mummy, the first ban attempt in France, the one in schools, targeted "ostentatious religious symbols" and Sikhs, for obvious reasons, lobbied hard against that.

I hate the burqa, but it is interesting to see how the proponents of a ban are so promiscuous in finding reasons, some of which un-intentionally target others - keeping civic spaces secular, security concerns, the oppression of women, ease of communication. Which kind of makes it clear that these aren't the real reasons - Islam is.

Raven said...

It's the more wider banning of their turbans that the Sikhs are worried about. There is in place already, I believe, a French law which bans pupils in public schools from wearing 'conspicuous' religious symbols (eg. Muslim hijab, the Jewish skullcap or the Sikh turban).

I agree with Bob's points on the burqa. I don't like that women wear it, BUT, even more I don't like they are banned from doing so.

Raven said...

I meant to add that the sikhs have just lost an appeal about the turban ban - article here. Includes ironic photo of Sarkozy standing next to the turbanned PM of India, Manmohan Singh, while answering questions about the ban...

Plummy Mummy said...

ah thanks for the clarification. It will be interesting to see what happens elsewhere in Europe. And also how long the stance by the UK govt (that bans aren't british) will last.
I also wonder what the stance will be towards nuns who also cover up their hair and wear obvious symbols of their religion. So Bob, you may be right that it's an attack on Islam. I guess in this day and age, you have to be pretty brave to wear a burqa or niqab as it very clearly states which religion you belong to. Brave or stupid. Not sure which one it is.