Do you think France’s controversial burqa ban is appropriate in this day and age?

On Monday, France officially made it unlawfully for residents and tourists to wear the Burqa in public, if a person did so, they would be fine on the stop. Do you think if people want to immigrant to another country, they should more or less try to blend in with the lifestyle of the country they are either visiting or residing in? Like the old saying, “when In Rome do as the Romans do.”

Answer #1

Yes, I think it is totally appropriate.
. There is in my opinion no legitimate reason for people to obscure their identity behind any face mask. The Burka has been used by terrörists in attempts to evade capture, and by common thieves to avoid identification.
. There is no religious justification for wearing it, and it’s use is frequently imposed by men who wish to subjugate women who are perceived by them to be merely chattels.
. I do not particularly agree with the extreme interpretation of “… when In Rome do as the Romans …” but I do believe in upholding the law as it stands in any given sovereign state - and France is perfectly entitled to protect it’s citizens by enacting and enforcing this law. .

– Best wishes - Majikthise. .

Answer #2

I am torn on this issue. I am loathe to step on anyone’s religious freedom, but the persecution of women by some religious groups is just as loathsome. I think given the choice, most of these women would prefer to not wear such an outfit. It can’t be very comfortable. I know that some think su!cide bombers have dressed up in burkas to to hide themselves and the explosives. But that is extremely rare, and unless you are making it illegal to ever hide your identity, like even a Halloween mask, it seems discriminatory. Bottom line, I guess I am more against than for it. I would rather error on the side of religious freedom.

Answer #3

As a Aussie Muslim myself, I was born into a country where I had every right of freedom of speech. I was taught my religion but I wasn’t forced to follow it. I grew up in a non-Muslim country and everyday I saw people. Different types. Different cultures, religons, colour, race, backgrounds. We are all different. We all follow different things. I respect nuns. I respect Jews. I respect Sikhs. Some wear skull hats, some turbans, some crosses. Everyday I’m surrounded by these people. I don’t look at them and judge that they could be hiding weapons under their attires. But today people are judged on how they dressed unlike how they respect each other. I do agree that it shouldn’t be banned because I repsect individualism and as in the video I’m about to post below, just because someone doesn’t accept their interpretion of Islam, it doesn’t mean they can use laws to violate peoples freedom of expression. The president of France stated that “the Burqa is not a form of religious attire but a sign of enslavement.” Plain racist, rude and biased. I don’t see any respect in such a comment.

Some people say that it should be banned for safety reasons due to the fact that it masks identification. However they are ignorant to the fact that a woman must show her identity during circumstances which are also listed in the video. If you could take the time to please just watch this video of two Muslim womans, one agreeing on the topic and one disagreeing. The one disagreeing with the topic states everything that I would like to say in this answer more thoroughly than I could.

As a result, i can understand the reasons as to why it should be banned and why it shouldn’t. But I can’t say that it is appropriate. It shouldn’t be appropriate at all to ban any type of attire that takes away the rights from a religion. Unless there is a just reason for it to be banned, then I would comprehend.

Just to say, I dont mean to offend anyone as I know topics like this get powerful but this is just my thought and opinion.

Answer #4

I took the time to really listen to this & I feel it would be better if I were to answer this in private.

Answer #5

Why answer in private. As long as the discussion is discussed in a mature manner I do not see why ones needs to hide in funmail. Different opinions on issues and topics actually helps people understand the issues more. The good and the bads, that is what freedom of speech is about.

Answer #6

Thank you all for taking time out to answer this question with such deep and maturity. All the answers as far as I’m considered are the “best” answers…… My opinions on this issue is pretty much for France doing what they feel is necessary. I may not necessary agree with all the reasons behind it. Cookielove, I appreciate your opinion and have no desire to offend any anyone, let alone my own fellow Aussies, as I understand right now in Australia how hard it is to be a Muslim with half the Australian population against Muslims, I can feel your pain in your text…… In general, I do understand not everyone in the Western world follows or understand Islam, but if people look at the whole picture, whether in France, whether in Australia or America, how many citizens are permitted to walk into banks or a top security venue with their motorcycle helmet or balaclava on? Based on that, a person or a minority or major group should never be exempted from the law because of their religious attire.

Answer #7

I definately agree with your point. Thanks for understanding :)

Answer #8

Samantha, we all have the right to say & do what we please. If one chooses to answer something in private it is in that person’s right to do so by choice as well and not because they have a need to hide behind something. I just chose to answer that more in private because we are closer & to be frank I am sick & tired of all the drama that goes on when someone says something lately! Cookielove knows where I stand, I am not hiding my views from her, right cookielove? :) It was merely a more friendlier explanation on my part among 2 friends. Besides, my opinion doesnt matter anyways. No one really wants to hear what I have to say anyways.

Answer #9

France should be subject to the will of the French… I respect whatever sovereign decisions they make… as long as it is supported by a plurality of the people.

I am against this infringement of religious freedom. I believe that laws should protect the free will of the people governed by them. Should a woman choose to participate in the sexist practices of a given religion… this is her choice. It is when she is prevented from separating herself from these practices that her civil rights are violated. This is when government is responsible to intervene in her behalf. I don’t buy the argument that the ban is useful in protecting the interests of the female… if so… there are better ways to go about it.

Concern over terr0rism is laughable… made evident by our unwillingness to address the real causes behind terr0rism… and the reluctance on our part to even discuss the arguments made that would implicate western roles in fomenting… enabling… funding… and even directing terr0rist groups. To wit… my question regarding the arrest of CIA contractor Raymond Davis in Pakistan after providing dirty bomb material to Al Qaeda groups receives input from one individual. We are not ready to discuss reality in a mature manner yet… so it is no wonder why we maintain the childish notion that our boogeymen come wrapped in burkhas to hide their hate for our western way of life.

I really don’t understand how this could help deter terr0rism. At least while wearing religious attire… according to the argument that burkhas may conceal weapons… the potential threat is much easier to detect…is it not?

In America… private enterprise may establish individual rules for patrons to follow. If an establishment wishes to restrict the wearing of veils or anything really… they should have that right… and they did in America pre the 1964 Civil Rights Act Title II. This illustrates the warped sensibilities we harbor… restrict free association… and when that opens a door to threat… instead of returning free association… we then remove another guaranteed right to try and prevent the threat. Who wins in this scenario?

I think that this is just an attempt to fuel the fires of an us versus them mentality that the western plutocracy then uses to go into Muslim countries and establish their banks… their oil refineries… their hegemony… as we are witnessing now in Africa.

Answer #10

I agree with the part “I just chose to answer that more in private ……. to be frank I am sick & tired of all the drama that goes on when someone says something lately!” It is ok, I have cop a few spray from people who think it is in their place to tell me off as they took a dislike to my answers because I happen to answer questions or updates outside the square. All I can say, do not let people hold you back, if everyone thinks they are so level-headed and “nice”, that one cannot answer what is on their mind which being set upon, I usually say “fuk them, this is the internet, even in real life people can voice their different opinions and suggestions, if they have issues, go cry a river”. :-)

Answer #11

Arrhhhh, I like your answer as it covers both sides and once again, I have used up all my “likes”. :-(

Answer #12

No worries… the other responses are equally or more deserving. I appreciate the comment though!

Answer #13

Excellent discussion; I wish the tone of all our disagreements were like this.

I strongly oppose the French law. Only one plausible rationale for it has been proposed - that of security, as Majikthise said:

“There is in my opinion no legitimate reason for people to obscure their identity behind any face mask. The Burka has been used by terrörists in attempts to evade capture, and by common thieves to avoid identification.”

But the French law does not prohibit people from obscuring their identity behind any kind of facial mask. In the USA, many states ban the wearing of disguises in public places. These laws were adopted after the Civil War mainly to deprive the Ku Klux Klan of the cover of robes and hoods for their terroarist activities, yet it was not merely Klan robes and hoods that were banned, but rather any public concealment of one’s identity that could serve similarly criminal purposes.

The French law, in stark contrast, bans only burqas. Such a ban is nothing more than religious, and to some extent racist, bigotry.

Answer #14

I agree with you Hayyim, discussions on FA, should be done in a mature manner without members resorting to name calling or putting others down because their opinions differs from themselves (the word ignorant is used way too many times on FA when someone does not like an answer) ….. Now back to your comment, the France government had numerous reasons for banning the Burqa. Two of the reasons I agreed with (as mentioned above) and the other was employment. Women wearing the Burqa limited themselves to what jobs they can do. I understand one need to hold onto their religious views and customs, but when you enter another country and call that country your home, you should at least adopt the lifestyle of your new country more or less and that includes employment. If a person’s religious attire prevents them from landing a normal decent job that anyone can get, then we have issues. Take for example, a Muslim person who want to work behind a counter at a retail shop as they enjoy customer service, this person cannot expect the business owner to hire them as they are in their religious attire (in their Burqa), especially if they know their customers prefer face to face interaction when they come into a shop to buy stuff. If the business owner refuses to hire them, the person then can turn around and say they have been discriminated based on their religion and the shop owner is a bigot. It is a catch 22, business owners will loose out.

Answer #15

Thanks for sharing the employment point. That never crossed my mind. Great answer!

Answer #16

Thanks Cookielove. :-) For some strange reason this year I’m really into reading up about other countries politic and everyday news. It is the first thing I do when I come online, going straight to these online newspapers, especially about France, China, USA, UK, Asia and the Middle East. (21 going on 41 as my partner tells me :-P )

Answer #17

Samantha, you say you agreed with two reasons above, but the only one I see is the security vs. disguise reason. What’s the other? Regarding employment: 1) If the employer has no work-related reason for refusing to hire someone in a burqa, then yes, that is discrimination and should not be permitted. If the burqa interferes with performance of the job, as in some (not all) customer service positions, then it’s a legitimate reason not to hire them. That’s the legal distinction generally made in the USA, and I think it’s correct. 2) Everyone limits themselves as to what jobs they can do by the life choices they make. There’s no good reason for such choices to be mandated by law. 3) You may believe that I should adopt the lifestyle of my new country, but that does not and should not obligate me to do so. I live my life according to my own principles and commitments, not yours. This is not a hypothetical question for me; there are things that I do for religious reasons that violate the cultural norms of the majority culture where I live. Which goes to show that there is no such thing as a country’s lifestyle, because people in all countries have, to a greater or lesser degree, different lifestyles from each other. I consider it a gross injustice for the state to coercively impose lifestyle choices when there is no compelling reason why doing so is socially necessary, merely to accomodate the prejudices of the majority - whether I am in that majority or not.

Answer #18

Very well said Hayyim…. I agree completely.

Answer #19

Well discussed Hayyim. The other reason is not in the post or answers above but from the feedback of the France people who are speaking to the media. I do believe the France government did the right thing as it is what the people of France wanted. Even though the ban has encountered such high profile protests, the government took a risk and did what they needed to do and France’s banning of the burka is enormously popular with the public. In general, a government that listens to their own people is what I think is a good government should be.

Answer #20

Oops, grammar issues here, French people and French government.

Answer #21

Popularity is not justification for anything, particularly something as culturally biased as this issue is. Remember slavery and Jim Crow laws in the US were popular at one time…

Answer #22

Cannot argue with you there Jimahl as you are more knowledgeable on politic and religious issues than I ever will be. It certainly has been a very interesting discussion, I wish there were more of these questions then the same crap over and over on here, like “Should I dye my hair this colour?…Should I go overseas to study?….Is my boyfriend cheating on me”…”What if I’m gay because I fancy my girlfriend”.

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