Burka ban

It is well known that the French are resistant to adopting other cultures, and make every effort for its citizens to complety assimilate into French way of life, but their cultural determination reached new heights last week when a draft law was submitted in Parliament stating “nobody, in places open to the public or on streets, may wear an outfit or an accessory whose effect is to hide the face.”

This law is thinly veiled (no pun intended) as an attempt to prevent women from donning Islamic burkas:

The measure is supported by President Nicolas Sarkozy who declared Islamic dress as “not welcome in France,” and branding the face-covering, body-length gown as a symbol of subservience that suppresses women’s identities and turns them into “prisoners behind a screen.”

Those supporting the law (aka non-Muslim France) view the veil as symbolic of a radical branch of Islam, and seek to remove it from society as part of a fulfillment of France’s aim to separate church and state.

Interestingly, it is estimated that only 1,900 women wear this veil in France, and those interviewed state it is of their own volition. Apparently, the burka is viewed as a nod to their culture, and can be used as either a tool of seduction, or protective shield conveying modesty and respect.

While I understand the strong reaction the burka evokes within non-Islamic communities, I can’t help but feel that this law encroaches on freedom of expression. What next, ban the kippah? roman collars?

Just sayin…

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