Is Sarkozy right to ban the burga (head covering) in France?

I’m curious…do you guys think that the head covering is a symbol of sexism and supression of women’s rights? Seemingly, that’s the message from Sarkozy, the president of France, as he announced that France would have a ban on burgas.

What do you think? Would you support it if Obama passed such a law…or would it be too close to suppression of freedom?

Answer #1

I think that most people are missing the big picture here. Sarkozy’s goal is not equality of women. As a politician he could care less about that issue. In order to understand what Sarkozy is trying to do you have to know that France is the country with the biggest Muslim population in Europe. This community, by employing its traditions- like the burqa- rigorously due to the nature of the Islamic law -Sharia- and religion tends to remain isolated from the main body of the western societies where Muslims migrate to.

However, this isolation is seen, probably righteously to a certain extend, as a cause for security concern from the western governments and societies. This is because if communities in general and Muslims in particular are kept isolated and do not blend in with the rest adopting the western civilization and its values they will always be susceptible to fundamentalistic ideas and preaches. Thus, giving the opportunity to various terrorist organizations to recruit people to carry out hits within the borders of the society in question. This is what happened in the UK where the attacks in 2005 where carried out by Muslims born and raised in the UK but apparently had not embraced Western values (e.g., life above the command of the any Prophet) as they grew up in a closed Muslim community where they where raised with the same traditions and ideals a Muslim in the Middle East would have been raised.

So Sarkozy in an effort to make Muslims of France to start blend in with the society tries to deprive them of cultural “trademarks” that keep them tied together to isolated communities. It is much more easier for a Muslim woman to blend in with western women if she is not stared at because of the burqa she is wearing. By trying to make those communities to start acting as Westerners he is trying to make them embrace the Western ideas and start identify them not as Muslims who abide to the Islamic law and tradition but first and foremost abide to the values and laws of the Western society THEY CHOSE to live into.

And as a side note: Since women tend to rule families and even in the Islamic world men when falling in love do whatever women ask them to do, if you get the women to convert to western ideas men will surely follow.

As a personal opinion now. YES I do believe that Sarkozy is headed towards the right direction as we have witnessed what isolation of communities may produce and also I firmly believe that if you decide to move to a certain society you have to abide to its traditions especially if these traditions are fundamental to it, as gender equality is in Europe.

Answer #2

It does make you wonder though…how many of these women wear the burqa out of fear of being ostracized by their community vs true desire to wear the burqa and show their pride and belief of their religion?

I agree. But where do you draw the line between coersion and religious freedom?

The whole idea of the burqa came about because desert tribes wanted to hide the identity of women of child bearing age. When invaders came, they would take these women. To offset this, they had all women, young and old, wear them so the invaders couldn’t easily see their age. It wasn’t until later that it became a custom of modesty.

Answer #3

Well this boofhead figures he should read the entire question not just the first part. He asked what we would think if Obama had passed it. But G-d bless you anyway.

Answer #4

As distasteful as the laws in some countriues requiring burqa’s are, they are still soveriegn nations and we (the US) have little we can do internally to change that. I do think it is a gross civil rights violation, and they should be condemned by the international community for it. But I also feel that to take away the choice of women to wear them is a violation of their religious freedom.

Answer #5

Reverse this and ask yourself how long a woman would last “uncovered” in their countries of origin? Would anyone respect my right as a western woman to walk around in “their” countries without a veil? I really doubt it since all women journalist from the Western world are required to wear scarves on their heads in those countries. Why do we have to respect their beliefs in their countries and OUR COUNTRIES when they clearly do not respect our beliefs or culture?

Answer #6

These postings will not benefit us really, unless we look deep into this issue. Sarkozy desires that all women to be like his wife. Probably he suffers from a rare case of phobia when he sees Muslim women dressed in Burkas (completely veiled), the complete opposite to his wife.

This issue relates to two societies, one Man-centric and the other God-centric. When that Western lady went to Iran and covered her head to blend with the other women, She was stepping into a God-centric society which she could not have missed when the Muezzin (caller to Prayer) announcing five times daily on the loudspeakers: “God is Greater/ Allah you Akbar”, clearly placing Man as subject to God.

However, within her home, this woman can adopt whatever values she sees fit so long as these are contained and not promoted to the external society.

I feel many Muslims have understood the West as a Man-centric society with all focus on Man. However, on the other hand, the West has not until now come to the understanding that Muslims societies are purely God-centric where values cannot be tampered with.

Even the State is a subject to God. When Caesar hears the Muezzin call to prayer. He can disobey the call, but he cannot shut down the voice.

If my posting have motivated you to learn more about Muslim societies, then I am sure the gulf which separates will become less.


Answer #7

I think the concept of the burqa isn’t to be sexist so much as it’s intended to protect, as is stated in Qur’an: “”O Prophet, Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their outer garments about themselves. That is better so that they may be recognized and not molested.” [Al-Ahzaab, 33:59]

But France’s involvement in stopping the use of the Burqa goes back to 2004 when they banned it in schools (it went along with a law the prohibited wearing any religious symbols). So I’m not really sure why this is getting buzz NOW when things like this have been happening all over western Europe for some time now.

I can understand his thought that women are forced into wearing them because of their religion and because of what could happen to them if they aren’t “modestly” dressed in their own countries, but I think anytime you say someone can’t actively observe parts of their religion you’re being set up to fail. And possibly even being counter-active. He should’ve made it a request while leaving the power in the hands of women to make the choice to wear them or not. By saying woman can’t wear them he’s controlling them at the same time. I would think that of anyone who supported something like that.

Answer #8

I abhor any state/government that is ‘god-centric’. Whether it be christian, jewish or muslim. No state should have the right to force its people to listen to and obey religious dogma. It is a violation of basic human and civil rights. One day the world will get away from this nonsense, but until then we will continue to have backward countries that put fantasy (belief in god) over the rights of the people.

Answer #9

So, once again, women’s rights are being determined by gasp a man!

If he was really concerned with how these women viewed this, he would have asked for their opinions on it, rather than enforcing a law of his own volition. Yes, he is trying to restrict subjugation, but he is doing that with the heavy hand of law and “he knows what’s best”…that is not the foundation of equal rights.

I would not change my mind even if Obama had enforced this law, because again, he is a man, and as such, does not have the capacity to speak for women.

However, as far as I know, Obama does not defend Sarkozy’s decision, and was quoted as saying: “It is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practising religion as they see fit for instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear”

…that can easily be viewed from both sides, as was intended…dictating what clothes a Muslim should (or may not) wear…

Answer #10

While I think it is a symbol of sexism , making laws banning them is a violation of religious freedom. But having laws that require them is a much bigger civil reights violation.

Answer #11

I think that DWB91 has a pretty good point, however there is a problem when they are lawfully accepted. If somthing like this were to happen I believe that you would have a burqa in every criminals home. They would go to the store dressed as a women wearing that shoot you and you can’t properly identify them.

Answer #12

I believe that the burqa did not start out as a symbol of sexism, but was (and still is) a part of purdah. However the burqa in our every globalizing world has become a symbol of sexism and inequality in the western world, and it is a serious roadblock to sex equality in the societies that enforce/encourage it.

Sarkozy views the burqa through western eyes, and either cannot or does not want to see the religious and societal importance of the burqa. Not wearing the burqa can be seen as unacceptable within the communities that enforce/encourage them, so what would Sarkozy do with the women that are shunned from their communities? Or with the women who wear the burqa out of fear of being shunned?

Although his intentions may be good, his method is very, very wrong.

Answer #13

I’m not from America but personally I think banning the head scarf based on its “sexism and suppression” connotations is just wrong.

SOME women wear their head scarfs because they are comfortable with them than without and they feel proud of their religion and wish to advertise it.

We have some Christians (like myself) who wear a crucifix around our neck as a symbol of our devotion to our religion, so why are the female Muslims not able to do the same and have their head scarfs on !! ….We had nuns who are covered from head to toe in their habits and wimples so are they suppressed? NO… Are they banned from entering cafes and other public venues? Of course NOT !! .

For goodness sake, we wear headscarfs all the bloody time during winter to cover our heads from the wind and cold and have scarfs around our necks even when its summer.

Oi Tseirpeht concentrate boofhead, we are discussing sexism and suppression not security concerns ffs that is another topic altogether.

Answer #14

Seeing as the Muslim extremist groups in this country have caused us a lot of trouble, if Obama passed that law, I would be ecstatic. Unfortunately, we’re all too determined to be diverse to see that these people want us all dead.

This deters more Muslims from moving into France and will hopefully prevent France from having as big of problems with terrorism as they’re having in London.

I’m all for religious freedom, but when your holy book tells you to kill the infidels, you’re not worthy of freedom in my book.

Answer #15

It does make you wonder though…how many of these women wear the burqa out of fear of being ostracized by their community vs true desire to wear the burqa and show their pride and belief of their religion? Yes, I feel it is a violation of their rights as well and should be a personal decision whether to wear it or not. It should also be our (US citizens living abroad due to necessity) choice as to our women having to wear it as well. Seems like their is a problem every way you look at this. What’s the answer that would cover every angle—where everyone would be free to wear or not wear regardless of religion or beliefs?

Answer #16

when your holy book tells you to kill the infidels, you’re not worthy of freedom in my book.


Yep, that’s a massive problem with Christians, too. Everybody seems to convienently forget…the Crusades, the New World invasion (you know, the slaugher of native americans) or Slave trade (slaugher of Africans) OR Timothy McVey, the biggest domestic US terrorist in history prior to 9/11, which wasn’t fully invested, even to this day.

All Christians…the only reason Christian, Catholic, Muslim religions have such a stranglehold on so many countries, today, is that their ancestors went on a killing spree.

God has nothing to do with it and you’ll find zealots in every religion…saying that it’s a Muslim issue is ignorant at best and outright prejudiced at worst.

Instead of saying that, you could say, where governments are steeped in religious dogma and there exists a large number of people living in squalor and that believe they can get to their happy place after death by dealing those different than them a blow…well, you have the Catholics & Protestants, in Ireland, or the Basque seperatists in Spain.

What you DON’T have is specifically a “muslim”’s an issue of equality, nothing more, nothing less, and woeful ignorance.

Answer #17

Unfortunately, I kinda agree with (geez, forgive me–I can’t believe I’m saying this, and I know it will NEVER happen again,but…) Tseirpeht on one aspect.

I feel it is an invasion of their religious rights although there ARE some security issues. Is it true that Sarkozy feels it is a security risk as well (there is youtube video called BAN THE BURKA). In this video am I mistaken in my understand what the speaker is saying,,,or is this the speakers view? I am going back to view this again, but I feel that it could be a security risk. If Obama were to want to ban the burqa I would truly be undecided on the issue due to this. To me it is really scary…and also there’s the fact that although they feel (and many others., myself included) their rights are being violated, my sister-in-law’s husband works in Iran as a contractor When he goes there it us usually for several years so the family moves with him. While they are there, whenever she goes out in public, this American woman is REQUIRED to wear a burqa! So, where are her rights? That point really irritates me. I was apalled when she told us that. Is that wrong as well, or is it “when in Rome…” If that’s the case when they move her, shouldn’t it be the same?

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