French burqa ban, Iranian mullets: Faith and the fashion police

By Elizabeth Tenety The Washington Post’s Edward Cody reported Tuesday that the French parliament’s lower house voted 335-1 to ban … Continued

By Elizabeth Tenety

The Washington Post’s Edward Cody reported Tuesday that the French parliament’s lower house voted 335-1 to ban its female citizens from wearing the burqa or similar Islamic facial veils. The legislation imposes a $185 fine or compulsory ‘citizen lessons’ to any woman found violating the measure, which awaits final vote in the Senate.

Do the citizen lessons include tips on how to wear the beret, instead?

The legislation’s advocates say that the full facial coverings undermine French values and oppress women. But in previous protests over the legislation, veiled French women have chanted the mantra “Where is France? Where is tolerance? The veil is my choice.”

(Read more about Islam beliefs on gender and sexuality at Patheos.com.)

In another faith and fashion moment, last week the Iranian government announced a ban on ‘decadent’ Western haircuts in order to “confront the cultural assault by the West.”

On the Iranian chopping block?: The very anti-authoritarian American mullet as well as the manlytail -otherwise known as the male ponytail. Who knew David Beckham, Andre Aggasi and Chuck Norris were so subversive?

Gawker called the mullet ban “a move of government oppression we can sort of get behind” and bloggers had a field day.

But France and Iran’s clash with ‘the other’ in their midsts is profoundly serious.

France struggles to understand and assimilate its Muslim population (5 million strong), while Iran’s religious regime lurches for control over its progressive populace. Both states want to legislate what not to wear, despite the desires of their citizens. In the French example, the government seeks to keep the sacred out of the secular; in Iran, the religious government wants to keep the secular West out of its Islamic state.

Should France and Iran tell their citizens how to dress? What does such legislation say about French and Iranian values? Are the policies oppressive or true to the ideals of the states? What do the fashion police say?

Elizabeth Tenety
Written by

  • PSolus

    One of these things is not like the others,

  • arkns

    Excellent news. Congratulations to the French government. The stupid burqa should be banned by all infidel governments.

  • faith-on-space-ship-earth

    2 of 2Recommendation: Because the Islami Scare, Islami Spread & or Islami Creep & AL TAQiYAH Tricks is a Real & Present Danger under a SHIA & SUNNI owned Atomic Bomb Ummah, That Each none-Islamic KAFIR Nation must Establish a “Religious Int’l Police” [RELINTPO] and coordinate them like INTERPOL in order to flag any secret Islamic Ummah Conspiracy’s or posing some such Religio Pretext Threat Against Kafir Nations!Includes Industrial Espeonage or Mosque Overbuilding Abuse or Secular Judicial abuse or ventriloquist Islamic Trouble in Kafir Nations.QUESTION: HOW MANY Mosques r there in U.S.A.; and Where are They all Located In AMERICA? and WHO is Their registered Owners or 2ndary & or Tertiary+ [Hidden] Owners. Where did the Money Come From; SAUDI ARABIA, Pakistan, Islamic Brigades… Register All IMMAMS & make it Public. Not only 50 best Rabbi’s or Priests etc..iMportant: Each Mosque is a Potential EMBASSY for Espionage Activities especially for the Saudi Arabous’s Sunni WAHHABi-bi’s & their Shia Irani’s AYATOLLAHi Counterparts.

  • abrahamhab1

    Those who wear the burqa freely admit that it is not required by the Muslim Sharia (law). It is simply imitating the dress of their prophet’s wives. Why did the prophet’s nine wives wear the burqa? Those women were living in the same household were visitors were coming in and out most of the day. Omar ibn Khattab, one of the prophet’s fathers in law, must have noticed some irregularities taking place in the tumultuous household that he advised the prophet to veil his wives. The prophet resisted at first then later relented when he further learned that some young men harassed his wives as they sneaked out at night to the outskirts of town to relieve themselves.

  • PSolus

    “Should France and Iran tell their citizens how to dress?”All counties tell their citizens how to dress in public; some more than others, some less than others.”What does such legislation say about French and Iranian values?”The Iranian government fears its citizens exercising their individual freedom.The French government fears its citizens losing their individual freedom.”Are the policies oppressive or true to the ideals of the states?”The Iranian policy is true to the ideals of Iran – to attempt to oppress its citizens.The French policy is true to the ideals of France – to attempt to protect its citizens.”What do the fashion police say?”Huh?

  • alisadeghi

    I think the future generations will cry on us. We are just wasting our time, energy and resources for our madness and bad illusions. The humanity is getting sacrificed in all these crazyness and I feel people doesn’t know their role as a human being.

  • BlaiseP

    Indonesia? Malaysia? Morocco? Tunisia? Lebanon was a democracy for a long time, then the Israelis invaded and we all know what happened. Pakistan is a democracy, corrupt as hell but they still have elections.Your premise is wrong.

  • quiet1

    This headline frightened me. I read it quickly and thought for a moment someone was outlawing cheeseburgers. But really folks; if you’re going to outlaw women wearing blankets in public, you really should have some alternative place where they can pursue a normal life, otherwise, you’ve simply created hermits.

  • kkrimmer

    Saudi Arabia NEVER gets in the news for their oppression of women, why is that?The hypocrisy is quite visible, and hypocrisy leads to mistrust.There is also a misunderstanding about cultures. There are many Moslem women who would never give up covering themselves when in public any more than American women being comfortable taking off their bikini tops at topless beaches in Europe. In some cultures women get tattoos and would be outcasts if they didn’t. Who is to say that is wrong? American’s often pride themselves about freedom, but it was 132 years from the ratification of the Constitution before women in America were given the right to vote (1920). They can vote in Iran, Afghanistan today, but not Saudi Arabia (I think the only country that does not allow women to vote in 2009), women cannot also drive or travel without their husbands permission. So why not the outcry, could it be because of oil?(CNN) — Wajeha al-Huwaider picked up her passport, got in a taxi, and headed from her home in eastern Saudi Arabia to the nearby island kingdom of Bahrain — a 45-minute drive that many Saudis take to get away for the weekend.Despite having a valid passport, Saudi authorities at the border sent al-Huwaider home. That’s because in Saudi Arabia, a woman needs permission from her male guardian before she can leave the country. July 10, 2009

  • quiet1

    KKRIMMER, righto.Go Solar.

  • Jihadist

    Severely limiting one’s peripheral vision in an era of motorized vehicles is dangerous as well.Posted by: edbyronadams *******************************************Yes. That would be the niqab, the veil covering the face. Good for keeping sands from one’s eyes in the desert, and quite dangerous for driving or as pedestrians in streets. The niqab is banned in some Muslim majority states for practical reasons of who in the world is that UFO (unidentified female objects – an unflattering slang in Malaysia for women in full hijab and niqab). Off with the niqab is really needed for identification and verification of persons.

  • jailkkhosla

    The burqa should not be banned because it can be potent weapon in the war against Islamic terrorism.In the period between 1970 and 1971 the army of the Muhammadan Republic of Pakistan killed over 3 million human beings in what is today Bangladesh. Then it was called East Pakistan.The Indian armed forces sent its special forces disguised as Muslim women in burqa and infiltrated East Pakistan and eventually liberated it from the clutches of the Muhammadan Republic of Pakistan, But not before 3 million plus Bengalis, mostly Hindus, had been exterminated. Anotyer 10 million Hindus fled to India. The percentage of Hindus dropped from 33% to less than 15%.Leave the burqa as legal. then the police, FBI and CIA can infiltrate the mosques and Islamic cultural centers, CAIR etc and eliminate Islamic terrorism.On the hand non-burqaed denizens have certain rights.ExampleI work in store selling burqas. A Muhammadan woman in burqa comes in buys a burqa and then wishes to use her credit card. I have the right to demand identification and then demand to check the ID against her face.

  • safiyah111

    I love the kindergarten song reference- Don’t you just love the observation that everything one needed to know one learned in kindergarten. Unfortunately, some of those lessons learned have been forgotten and by many who can ill afford the loss.

  • patmatthews

    Now that America has decided that islam has inappropriate clothing, which religion is next, Buddhist, aethists, or any other non-christian religion?The slipery slope is here, and as a Buddhist I am offended and find America has lost their way. First torture and now dress standards that effect religious beliefs. I guess you can say we are the new Colinization force of the world. How SAD for the rest of us that are not Christian, as we are next to be regulated by the Christians value system that allows for their peole to c0ommit killing, inequality, sexual acts against children and the list is long for Christian rights and values that hurt humanity, more so than an article of clothing.I would prefer we bann child molestation by religious leaders before we ban religious attire worn by adherents.

  • abu_ibrahim

    O Elizabeth, here is what Thomas Jefferson wrote: It does me no injury for my neighbor to wear a burqa, or a hijab, or cutoff jeans. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.It does me no injury for my neighbor to have one wife, or four wives, or no wife. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.Bastille Day, O Elizabeth, today is 14 July, it is Bastille Day, Frenchmen, Frenchwomen, Français, Françaises, this is supposed to be the day when you celebrate Freedom, Liberté, Revolution of 1789, throw off the Church’s yoke, écrasez l’infâme, tear down the Monarchy, storm the Bastille, for Freedom.Frenchwomen who are Muslims, ¿where is your Freedom on this Bastille Day??? Voltaire, he railed against Church tyranny imposed on French people, ¿where is today’s Voltaire to rail against Secular Feminist tyranny imposed on Frnech people? Huh??Canada, too, «Bill 14», they want to ban-the-burqa, ¿what is this? it is anti-Muslim prejudice, anti-Muslim bigotry.Anti-mask laws, ¿do you know where they came from, O Elizabeth? They came from the fight against the Ku Klux Klan, the Ku-Kluxers, they hid behind masks, they burned homes, they whipped people, they lynched people, all the while they were hiding behind their hoods and masks, Ku-Kluxer racist terrorists. Innocent Muslim women, they wear burqas, they wear hijabs, ¿have these women burned homes, have they whipped people, have they lynched people? Of course not! They have not picked your pocket, they have not broken your leg, Thomas Jefferson, were he alive today, he would tell the French Parliament, «You should be ashamed of yourselves, you are stifling Freedom!»Tyrannical Secular Feminist tyrants, they are just as bad as Voltaire’s Church tyrants or Louis XVI’s Monarchist tyrants or Pakistani tyrants who persecute Ahmadiyya Muslims in Pakistan (or should I call it «Najistan», persecution is not «pak», it is «najis», unclean).Rouget de Lisle, were he alive today, he would tell the French Muslim women, «Aux armes, citoyennes! Formez vos bataillons! Marchons, marchons, qu’un sang impur abreuve nos sillons!»Happy Bastille Day!

  • abu_ibrahim

    «Now that America has decided that islam has inappropriate clothing, which religion is next, Buddhist, aethists, or any other non-christian religion?»O Pat Matthews, it is not «America» that has decided that Islam has inappropriate clothing, it is France that has decided that. France, not America!America, it was America that decided that Janet Jackson (not Islam!) had inappropriate clothing, it was the American FCC that decided this, indecency, «wardrobe malfunction», now the FCC has been rebuked.Janet Jackson, she can now wear what she wants, Muslim women, they can wear what they want, this is America, this is why so many Muslim brothers and sisters come to America, they can wear what they want, Freedom.«The slipery slope is here, and as a Buddhist I am offended and find America has lost their way. First torture and now dress standards that effect religious beliefs. I guess you can say we are the new Colinization force of the world.»O Pat, please do not insult our America, the only American «Colinization force» was General Powell, and he is no longer in office.

  • shewholives

    Congratulations France! Those Parisiens must of tired of having to buy a new car every few years. Can’t blame them.

  • dnrdan0113

    In a free society, what you wear is personal choice and government has no business dictating what you can and cannot wear. On the other hand, there are places and times when some clothing, a veil perhaps, is inappropriate. For example, at an airport security line. Other than a few examples, democratic governments (European, North American, or Asian) need to stay out of what people wear.

  • wdalton1us

    This isn’t about fashion, religion or anything other than public safety.

  • tbarksdl

    It’s amazing how many people believe that if they don’t like something, they have a right to have a law passed outlawing what they don’t like. Especially, of course, if they make a valid argument explaining why the thing is offensive. Of course the burqa is offensive. Of course its historical antecedents as an explicit requirement of Islam are suspect. Of course, the burqa symbolizes women’s oppression.

  • deelynn16

    I feel the same about burkas as I do about ski masks, I don’t feel safe in a shopping mall or bank when the person next to me is wearing one. They have no place in the west.

  • asoders22

    This is about the burqa and it is about islam, or rather the intolerant, narrowminded parts of islam. I agree it’s not difficult to oppose the burqa ban along the lines of freedom to choose – and the irony that the penalty for oppressing women through the burqa will be taken out on the burqa-clad women themselves. But this is always the problem when democracy and humanism is defending itself – where does it draw the line? At some point you will have to to come down to basic values that are just that: Values. You will have to say that one system is actually better than another.

  • asoders22

    This is about the burqa and it is about islam, or rather the intolerant, narrowminded parts of islam. I agree it’s not difficult to oppose the burqa ban along the lines of freedom to choose – and the irony that the penalty for oppressing women through the burqa will be taken out on the burqa-clad women themselves. But this is always the problem when democracy and humanism is defending itself – where does it draw the line? At some point you will have to to come down to basic values that are just that: Values. You will have to say that one system is actually better than another.

  • LeeH1

    “The niqab is banned in some Muslim majority states for practical reasons of who in the world is that UFO (unidentified female objects – an unflattering slang in Malaysia for women in full hijab and niqab). Off with the niqab is really needed for identification and verification of persons.”We Americans called the covered Iraqi women SCUDS, after the name of Sadam’s short ranged missiles that didn’t work, and the homely and unatractive women of his country. Most of the Arab women in full burqas are incredibly homely women, and use the coverings not to hide themselves from strangers but to prevent horror to young children and public repulsion to most men.This is one reason why so many Arab men never see their wife’s face until the wedding- the parents of the girl would be afraid he would back out. Most men would.And the burqa is why Arab men have four wives- it is hope over experience; that once out of four chances he would get a cute one.Also, many Arabs like child brides, and don’t want Westerners to see how young their wives really are, so they cover them up in black cloth like a dishonest Roman Polanski (Polanski’s not dishonest; he’s just a creep and child rapist).

  • jjedif

    If someone wants to walk around in public and isn’t bothering anyone, I can’t see why the woman should be able to wear such a sack over her head if she wants to.However, if the person is being served in a public place, at the bank, using a credit card at a store, or in any of the numerous other places where for security reasons the person’s identity needs to be verified, the woman MUST show her face.And, of couse, if the police need to know who’s present at or near the scene of a crime, the veil MUST come off.

  • cmecyclist

    What about the women who don’t want to wear the burqa but are beaten if they don’t and beaten if they speak out about it?

  • whm99

    Assembling different parts of this essay provides an alternative for bagging one’s wife in a burqa. If islamic men don’t want other men to look at their wives they should make their spouses wear mullets. Here’s another solution: Dress to your islamic heart’s delight in one of those wonderful islamic countries you work so hard to stay out of.

  • tianyisun

    Why didn’t the authors include clothing restrictions in the USA in their discussion? Remember the baggy pants prohibition somewhere in Florida? I got a 3 day suspension from school for letting my hair touch the top of my ears, although that has been a few years. And after living in France for a couple of years I find the ban on topless bathing at nearly all US beaches to be just a bit puritanical.Oh CMECYCLIST, do you think that husband who beats his wife for not wearing a burqa will stop just because she can’t wear it in public? and the last time I checked wife beating was against the law in France so they could be prosecuted anyway.

  • Kingofkings1

    What if country X decided that all clothing worn by women shows they are subservient to their family, and would only tolerate naked women in their state? Why stop at the burqa?

  • AskgharZa

    It is strange for Muslims to be complaining. Because they give no choice in dressing or even practising your religion (if you are non-Muslim) in their nations.

  • edbyronadams

    The first thing that jumps to mind regarding clothing restrictions is the ban on public nudity which has some religious connection but probably has broad support across religious lines. Then there are security issues which reasonably could deny people the right to wear masks in public including the burqa or a veil. The burqa could also be banned because of safety issues since it severely limits peripheral vision. Currently my state makes me wear a seat belt in a car on the same grounds.The issue of the oppression of women is complicated but it is hard to see how banning oppressive clothing gets to the root of that problem.

  • AskgharZa

    The video just release by Times Sq. bomber says Muslims will spread Islam all over the world by any and all means.

  • Chops2

    Lets be honest, the mullet is bloody awful

  • abrahamhab1

    The burqa and Hijab are mostly political statements. They say “We reject the dominant culture.” Muslims do not distinguish between politics and religion.

  • cmecyclist

    tianyisun,It’s a rhetorical question. It’s about our attitudes and behaviors to our children and others. It shows how little respect we actually have for each other as special human beings ESPECIALLY women. It’s just that people try to control others’ behaviors at all levels because of fear and anger.

  • abrahamhab1

    The leaders in the West are trying to ban the niqab or full attire veil by following a civilized manner; dialogue among the different parties, voting and consulting their supreme courts etc. I have a suggestion of a much easier and tested route; follow in the footsteps of Attaturk, the father of modern Turkey.

  • Secular

    Where is the protest from the so called western pro-burqa lobby against the Saudi Government’s ritual issuance of Abayah to their cherished female guests to wear in the public. Like they did for Maureen Dowd. These folks that are crying wolf about French racism are in actuality the biggest racists there ever were. Their agenda is slow islamization of the west. French should actually deport them back to the paradises they came from.

  • HillRat

    America is all about secular assimilation and widespread tolerance of culture, religion and lifestyle. Sometimes, the practice or culture of a religion, culture or lifestyle has been circumscribed as part of that assimilation. This is no different that what’s happened before here. Polygamy in the 19th century is just one example. There are others.Wearing the burqa is something not commanded by Islam, but rather a cultural tradition held by some. Hiding oneself completely, as is fully exposing oneself in public, is not acceptable in American culture and lies outside the tolerance level of what it means to be American. It should be banned outright here.

  • rannrann

    To compare the French banning of the face covering burqa with the Iranian religious laws of dress that the Iranian women must abide by is comparing apples to oranges. They are two different things.The full faced burqa covering that has become a problem in France is a problem that was imported from the many Muslim immigrants deciding to call France their home and bringing with them their desire to express their religious beliefs the same as they do in their home Nation. France has decided it does not want this import to become the norm in their Nation and it has every right to do so, the citizens of France have a right to say no to this imported expression of a religion and culture. France is offering a home to these immigrants, but with stipulations which it has every right to do.Iran is a Nation ruled by religious laws that the citizens of Iran put in place themselves by their revolution in the late 70’s replacing a problematic democratic government with this restictive religous one.If the US were to find itself in the same situaion as the French you can bet we would do the same thing and we would demand our government take action just as the French government has done.Good for the French for standing up for defending it own rights as a Nation.

  • CharlesGriffith1

    The usual missing-of-the-point here. It’s currently “popular” to bleat, whine, shout, and curse about “th’ deprivation of human rights” ad nauseum in the media, because that assertion always is good for readership. The reality of this burka situation is that the Muslims/Islamists are delighted at the publicity. The reality which should be closely examined is the inch-by-inch, nose under our tent, gradual assertive and spreading nature of Islam in the West. This isn’t about “religion” and “th’ State” in our accustomed western civ. syllabus; it’s every bit about the state of the Islamic Caliphate being gradually reestablished using the various small shoehorns of issues of permissiveness. Inch by inch. In other words, the Muslims/Islamists are using our own senses of constitutional procedures against us. This is called “Lawfare”We must not let ourselves here in the West be duped by this obviously subversive Islam.

  • Davidd1

    We ban cliterectomies in the US partly because they’re cultural rather than religious. France is correct to do the same with burqas – and for the same reason.

  • shalshah

    The French should allow the Burqa, except for the face covering. In Islam, to know a woman’s identity is mandatory. The government should compromise to keep both parties happy. No point in taking a way a person’s religious identity if they choose to display it.

  • wolfcastle

    At least the USA can say that we’re not as racist as the French….

  • twm1

    We ban cliterectomies in the US partly because they’re cultural rather than religious. France is correct to do the same with burqas – and for the same reason.Posted by: Davidd1 | July 14, 2010 9:55 AM== No, we ban cliterectomies because they represent physical mutilation. The analogy between this and controlling details of peoples’ clothing is absurd. Laws which regulate specifics what people wear are fascistic and supporters of this who claim to oppose “islamo-fascists” show themselves to be have about the same mentality. I cannot comprehend why women would want to wear these things, but I don’t claim that my preferences must be those of everone else.

  • slim2

    If wearing a swastika on your arm in public or a using a snippet of a Nazi speech as a ring tone on your cell phone can land you in prison, it isn’t much of a stretch for the state to ban the burqa as just another symbol of a “religion” that also is responsible for an increase in public disorder in Europe. Europeans well understand when religions get the upper hand, whether they march under the banner of the Cross, the Crescent or the twisted cross, really bad things happen.

  • patricklaforrest

    These issues strike at the essence of freedom. Yet, freedom in any nation is not absolute, rather, it is fundamental. Does denying women the right to wear a burqu erode at the rights of all women in France? Or, does allowing the Burqu to be worn in public expose French liberties to the tyrany of Islamic fundamentalism. Inherent in Islamic fundamentalism is the desire to eradicate the precious freedoms that many men and women have fought and given their lives for. I side with the French government on this issue. The Burqu is more than just a cloth covering one’s face. It is more than just an expression of religious and personal freedom. It is a symbol of tyrany.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    IN the United States, there is a Native American religion during which nudity is required for certain rituals and during which it is highly desirable during certain periods.In compliance with American laws, adherents do not go about nude in public.Should they not be permitted to? Is it not racist and bigoted to deny them the right to practice their religion?And they are not alone. There are other religious groups which embrace naturism, for example.Should OnFaith not be rallying to their side?Where are the protests? Where is the outrage?

  • bob29

    How can we even be having this conversation in America? The burka is stupid and from the comments apparently not even required by Islam. It also is exactly the type of religous expression this country was founded to protect.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    The best argument I’ve read against the burqua was put forth by a blogger who called it an act of “indecent exposure.” Brilliant.

  • twm1

    In 1923 Mustafa Kamal Attaturk issued a proclamation banning the wearing of the burqa by all women in Turkey. He later discovered that the women of Turkey simply ignored the order. He then quietly and without fanfare issued what he termed as an “addendum” to the order that he named “exemption to the veil ban orderPosted by: abrahamhab1 | July 14, 2010 8:56 AM –Attaturk was a legitimate genius. He was sure a lot smarter than the French law makers and some of these fascistic US bozos advocating the US do the same as the French.

  • scruffy1

    It’s true that all governments legislate what is and isn’t “appropriate” attire for its citizens. I can’t walk around naked in the supermarket, fine. I get it. What I don’t get is why a woman in France can’t choose to wear a blanket with eye holes, or why an Iranian can’t cut their hair a certain way. Where’s the threat here? Where’s the danger posed by silly haircuts and religious garb?

  • Itzajob

    I continue not to understand why this is a religious matter.The only people I’ve ever seen in New York wearing full cover are men. I have seen them a couple times even on the subway, and frankly, I think it’s a security issue. I’ve also spent a lot of time in the Balkans, and men are known to wear burqas while robbing banks and committing other crimes there, just as they wear Halloween masks here.I don’t see any civil liberties issue in prohibiting people from wearing masks or other face cover in sensitive public places like public transit facilities, schools or government buildings – or even on crowded city streets. Similarly, people absolutely, positively should not be permitted to hide their face while testifying in court or posing for a driver’s license. Religion has nothing to do with it.

  • prowlerzee

    Way to report HALF the story, Washington Post. You trying to be a tittering fashion snark, Elizabeth Tenety? Because you obviously are no journalist. Go to BBC for REAL NEWS, people. The women are fined a small amount and take a citizenship class if they break the burqa ban, but the HUSBANDS are fined a severe amount and sent to jail for a year if they force their wives under the cloth shackles. Good for France! Maybe while the medieval husbands are cooling their heels in jail, the unshackled wives can go from citizenship education to jobs and join the 21st century. We should do the same. Immediately.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    I can’t walk around naked in the supermarket, fine. I get it.Posted by: scruffy1In compliance with American laws, adherents do not go about nude in public.Should they not be permitted to? Is it not racist and bigoted to deny them the right to practice their religion?And they are not alone. There are other religious groups which embrace naturism, for example.Well, are we not on a slippery slope here?

  • Three3

    The basic lead-in by “Elizabeth Tenety” reads as if it were written by a room of chimpanzees who had just learned to cut and paste.

  • chatard

    When I walk into my bank, there is a sign posted on the front door that reads “Please remove hoods and sunglasses.”

  • tomguy1

    Wolfcastle said: “At least the USA can say that we’re not as racist as the French….”This has absolutely nothing to do with race. It may be about religious freedom, cultural norms, security, personal liberties, or any number of other things depending on how you frame the issue, but one thing it simply isn’t about is race.A person of any race can wear a burqua (or not, as the case may be in France). In fact, you can’t even tell what someone’s race is when they are wearing one!

  • dennisnickell

    Its time to ban ALL religion. Religions are for the mental midgets of the world. All they do is promote hate and ignorance.

  • twm1

    This isn’t about fashion, religion or anything other than public safety.–If that were the issue, why single out the burka? Obviously, there is not reason, so singling out the burka clearly has nothing to do with public safety.

  • jrussell1

    I am curious. Doesn’t France have any laws about walking into banks or other public places with the person’s face covered? I know that some years ago (well prior to 2001) law enforcement in many states and local jurisdictions were passing laws that prohibited persons from walking into public businesses and banks with their face covered, which is reasonable. Wouldn’t this type law also apply to the type of burqa that hid one’s face? I don’t see where that gets into a freedom of worship issue since they would still be able to worship as they choose. A burqa could easily be used by the wrong type of person to commit an illegal act. If any of you out there could help me with my questions, I would be much appreciative.

  • PSolus

    “Well, are we not on a slippery slope here?”When, exactly, are we

  • MarkDavidovich

    It is natural that the Head of the French State Philippe Pétain would approve this law.

  • Jihadist

    ……..meanwhile, the vuvuzelas, which can be blasted up to 127 decibels, is called the sound in praise of, and for God, (among other things) by some South Africans. And the UAE’s religious authorities has a fatwa out that if the vuvuzelas are loud enough to damage hearing, vuvuzelas are haram (forbidden). So, to to keep them vuvuzelas below 100 decibels as anything above that can can damage a person’s hearing. So, perhaps subseqeunt fatwas that jackhammers, lawnmowers, motorcycles revving, concerts, screaming, jets taking off are not above 100 decibels? Vuvuzelas – the sound of and for God for some; the sound of hell for some others.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    “When, exactly, are we not on a slippery slope?”Evidently, it’s a steep slope.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    CORRECTION to previous post:Meant to write:Evidently, it’s NOT a steep slope.

  • haveaheart

    “Should France and Iran tell their citizens how to dress?”I’d be a lot more comfortable if France had passed a law banning the wearing of any face-covering apparel in public by either gender.Such legislation would cover the wearing of ski masks and balaclavas by males (as well as females) and reinforce the notion that this law isn’t directed at Muslims but is intended to keep the society transparent.

  • alia1

    It is true that the burqa is not required by Islam, but instead is at times expected by culture. Instead of a Western country banning the burqa, the change needs to come from within Muslim communities, otherwise it will be seen as a Western imposition. Furthermore, it will have to be gradual, as it takes time to shift cultural views.

  • rcubedkc

    Actually, it’s time to ban the muslim. Long past time in fact.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Such legislation would cover the wearing of ski masks and balaclavas by males (as well as females) and reinforce the notion that this law isn’t directed at Muslims but is intended to keep the society transparent.Btw., Sarkozy has asked the Council of State, the highest French court, to rule on the constitutionality of the ban.

  • Catken1

    Practically speaking, the best way to get people to cling desperately to a religious or social custom is to have government ban it. The best way to get rid of an oppressive religious or social custom is to allow it to exist, pay as little attention to it as possible, and surround it with a free culture.Honestly, guys, the burqa may indeed be unnecessary, oppressive, even un-Islamic – but it’s still un-American to ban it. And it’s also unproductive, in the sense that you’re only going to make a big deal out of Wearing the Burqa – it not only becomes a sign of adherence to a particular tradition, but of Noble Martyr’s Adherence to Embattled Tradition In The Face of Tyranny and Persecution!, which is much harder for outsiders to counter or for adherents to put down when they get tired of it. If our lifestyle and form of dress really is better for women – and I personally believe it is – then we don’t need to lift a finger to ban a single thing. The free market will take care of things, eventually.I do note that I see a lot of Muslim families walking around where you can see the generational shift – Grandma might be wearing a veil, Mom has on a simple headscarf, and Daughter looks like any other American child or teenager.

  • PSolus

    “Honestly, guys, the burqa may indeed be unnecessary, oppressive, even un-Islamic – but it’s still un-American to ban it.”Are you accusing the French of being un-American?

  • BlaiseP

    A few thoughts:*Wearing the burqa today is making not a religious statement but a political one

  • Davidd1

    TWM1 wrote:

  • solsticebelle

    Good for France.The burqa is a blatant symbol of female oppression. It has no place in ANY free society.Unless, of course, MEN require THEMSELVES to wear it too. But gee whiz, guess what? Only WOMEN are required to wear it! What more proof do you need that its ONLY purpose is to control women and treat them like chattel?

  • Montedoro

    The burqa should be banned in public places because it:1) is contrary to our principle of gender equality. The burqa has no place in civilized society.

  • Jihadist

    The burqa is a blatant symbol of female oppression. It has no place in ANY free society.*******************************************Yes. Female oppression of male misogynists, male sexists, and fashion diktats. Perhaps the burqa is also a female reaction against all that by Muslim women who freely chose to wear them. Wearing a burqa beats having to keep up with London, Paris, New York dictates on correct winter, spring, summer, autumn fashions. No white shoes after Labour Day? Hats a must for Ascot? Torn jeans “in” now? Enough to drive any woman anxious and financially broke in keeping up with the trends. Never mind. The burqa ban in France is a French support for its fashion industry. Muslim women must now openly advertise French fashion designers’ apparels they wear under their burqas to keep them clean from French doggie poo in the streets of Paris, and from the smell of cigarettes smoked so much in public places in France.

  • Nabihah

    Please check out

  • BlaiseP

    Read somewhere that only 2,000 women in France wear the burqa, so a ban does not really affect many Muslims. Islam requires However, IMHO the state has no business legislating what–and what not–to wear unless the clothing is dangerous to the wearer and others. Or causes public outrage (I guess nudity would fall here). And the burqa is certainly not in any of these categories.

  • socaloralpleazer

    The tenets of Islam are inconsistent with a civilized constitutional form of government; therefore, the argument could be made that a constitutional amendment to ban the observance of Islam within the United States is both justifiable and desirable.