France Votes to Ban Full-Face Veils

Advocates for the ban say full-face veils are contrary to French Republican values.

Today the lower house of the French parliament voted 336 to 1 in favor of banning full-face veils.

In response to this overwhelming vote, Amnesty International has issued a statement, condemning the vote.

The proposed law, which must still be approved by the French Senate, prohibits wearing in public any form of clothing intended to conceal one’s face.

A breach of the law would be punishable by a fine of up to 150 Euros (~$190) and/or the requirement to complete a community rehabilitation program. The law also provides for a penalty of up to one year imprisonment and a fine of up to 30,000 Euros (~$38,170) for those who use force or threats to oblige others to cover their faces.

“A complete ban on the covering of the face would violate the rights to freedom of expression and religion of those women who wear the burqa or the niqab as an expression of their identity or beliefs,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s expert on discrimination in Europe.

Advocates for the ban in France have characterized full-face veils as contrary to French Republican values, incompatible with gender equality and a threat to public safety.

States are obliged under international law to protect women against pressure and threats to wear full-face veils.

“However, comprehensive bans are not the way to do this,” said Dalhuisen.

They carry a risk that women who currently wear full face veils will become confined to their homes, less able to work or study and to access public services.

Governments should instead be looking to strengthen efforts to combat the discrimination faced by Muslim women, both in their communities and in the broader societies in which they live.  Their focus should be on empowering women to make their own choices, rather than limiting the range of choices available to them.

Legitimate security concerns can be met by targeted restrictions on the complete covering of the face in well-defined high risk locations.  Individuals may also be required to reveal their faces when objectively necessary, for instance for identity checks.  French law already allows for such limited restrictions.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

74 thoughts on “France Votes to Ban Full-Face Veils

  1. i appreciate the concern of amnesty and will support amnesty as even i believe it is a complete breach of the human rights.If women have a right to wear a bikin ,then women have an equal right to cover them selves.to each his own.it is so dismal to see that in 21st century france is living in an utopian world.and is so orthodox in thinking.They have no right to ban face veil.french women have their right to practise their religion and live their life according to their wish.this is so outrageous to impose such unjustified law on the minority.

  2. I think that AIUSA is completely wrong in this case. I fully and completely support the ban 100%. I don't think that public safety can be adequately ensured if people are allowed to walk around with their identities effectively concealed in public. And I don't think that the "right" of 1,000 women to wear burqas outweighs even one woman being forced to wear one against her will. The burqa demeans and enslaves women, and they should not be allowed in public in any civilized society.

  3. And before anyone says anything about the French Parliament having women members as well, the fact is that: "Only 13 percent of French parliamentary seats are held by women and the prospects for swift change are poor." http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,456999…. That means that 87% of the French Parliament is male. 87% male, and passing laws that make it a punishable crime for a woman to cover herself up, regardless of the reason.

    How about making it a punishable offense for any man to dictate how a woman must dress? That would address the problem Parliament is supposedly trying to address without punishing the "victims."

  4. I dont think you can compare with the wearing of a bikini . A women would not dress that way to go shopping , go to work , travel on public transport ……..
    it is only seen as apropriate in certain places . If such freedom to express and wear what you want was so then why not walk around naked . This is offensive to some people so not allowed.

  5. @matt
    sir..i disagree with you…if you find women wearing a veil being enslaved than i might well say that i find women walking on the ramp n wearing skimpy clothes,women in bikins being enslaved..people have degraded them to a mere commodity…they are selling them selves,leaving their education,caging themselves and allowing them selves being exploited.same way sir.i wont pass a bill against them because it is their right to choose their way of life and i respect it even though i might not go well with thier idea of living.same way sir these french muslim women have thier full right to practise their life the way they want to…And talk of public safety…sir a more rational way would have been to device a way to improve d safety ..i am sure in 21st centry their are better ways to deal with the problem from the core…instead of superficially forcing ppl to listen to them which is definitely not going to help and increase a sense of resentment in the minority ..which may well be bigger problem in the futre…..

  6. As a Muslim woman (a convert, of my own free will, after travels and study), I don't agree with the absolute necessity of the niqab. However, I do support a woman's right to wear it if she sees it as a part of her faith. But beyond this, when looking at the motto of France, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity", I find it completely outrageous that such a country would dare to show the false nature of it's purported beliefs. France has never had such feelings of liberty, fraternity, and especially equality for the many nations that it colonized. Although all colonization is wrong, France's record is perhaps the most appalling of any national empire. Most of those nations have not recovered from France's rape, pillage, and murder—and let's not ignore that many of the people of the Islamic faith came from such colonies.

    If the face veil, or niqab, is dehumanizing, demeaning and degrading to any section of the population, France was the niqab of too much of the world. And not for the sake of God nor for doing something good for the people.

  7. @ john
    sir if not bikinis in a market…then short skirts and almost transparent clothing…..this form of clothing may not go well with lot of mindsets……
    if we are talking of rights here ..then..their should be no double standards…
    oppressing a certain group of people doesn't make FRance a hero..infact the little respect it had in the world is wiped out now…no sensible and civilised person would stand by such outrageous act of human rights violation.

  8. What I find more offensive than bikinis or veils is the fact that we have a group of men standing around discussing what is appropriate or prudent for women to wear or not to wear. I am offended by the paternalistic attitude that many men take, as if it is their responsibility to "protect" women who, in their view, are incapable of protecting themselves.

    What men in general need to realize is that women have the power to choose their own values, to choose their own paths, and, even more basic than this, to choose their own clothes. How dare any man require a woman to dress in a certain way with the intention of protecting her from another man who is supposedly requiring her to dress in another.

    he French Parliament, and even some of the men commenting here, need to realize it isn't up to you to decide what is in the best interest of women generally, regardless of what side you are on. When that happens, we can begin to empower women to dress as they choose, to live as they choose, by giving them options and the liberty to make those choices.

    We are not saving women by forcing them from one form of clothing-related enslavement into another. We are hindering them from exercising their autonomy. A woman is not necessarily liberated because she can walk around a beach half-naked. She is liberated when she is free to walk around a beach in whatever clothing she chooses to wear without comment from the all-male peanut gallery.

  9. And before anyone says anything about the French Parliament having women members as well, the fact is that: "Only 13 percent of French parliamentary seats are held by women and the prospects for swift change are poor." http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,456999…. That means that 87% of the French Parliament is male. 87% male, and passing laws that make it a punishable crime for a woman to cover herself up, regardless of the reason.

    How about making it a punishable offense for any man to dictate how a woman must dress? That would address the problem Parliament is supposedly trying to address without punishing the "victims."

  10. And before anyone says anything about the French Parliament having women members as well, the fact is that: "Only 13 percent of French parliamentary seats are held by women and the prospects for swift change are poor." http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,456999…. That means that 87% of the French Parliament is male. 87% male, and passing laws that make it a punishable crime for a woman to cover herself up, regardless of the reason.

    How about making it a punishable offense for any man to dictate how a woman must dress? That would address the problem Parliament is supposedly trying to address without punishing the "victims."

  11. The veil is not a religious issue – please show me where in the Quran it says a woman must cover her face. A headscarf is one thing, that's no problem for me, but to cover your face is unacceptable under these circumstances. I live in Canada where the veil has not come up as a legal issue. And it's fine, we'll deal with it if it becomes an issue and decide what the Canadians prefer. But in France, the message is that foreigners may come to France as citizens, but they will have to make some cultural concessions, which is completely acceptable when you immigrate.

    If a 20 year-old goes to the USA, they cannot buy or consume alcohol. Should that be changed to accommodate those who come from countries where the drinking age is lower? No, those are the laws of the land. This is not a religious issue, it's a cultural issue. If you choose to live abroad, even if under duress, you may well have to conform in ways you dislike. I didn't whine about using women-only sections in parts of Asia, even though I take issue with the reasons those sections exist. But that's how it's done there.

    I think AI is wrong on this issue. Requiring individuals to show their face in public spaces is not unreasonable. Requiring people to wear bathing suits on non-nude beaches, similarly, is not unreasonable. It's cultural. To this, you must adapt.

  12. As I understand it, Muslim women are not required by their faith to wear the niqab, only to "dress conservatively." Yes, many women are forced to wear it, bit i believe that it is dictated more by region and culture rather than religion. Likewise, many Muslim women CHOOSE to wear the niqab. Just because a woman wears one does not mean that she is enslaved or oppressed, and assuming so seems grossly arrogant to me. You want to rescue people? Advocate for the Palestinian civilian refugees, most of whom are children and do not have clean drinking water. Or the Vietnamese children who sleep on a blanket on a dirt floor 5 to a "room"- and those are the fortunate ones. How about the Sudanese children 15 and younger, as young as 12 who bear rifles and use them as soldiers for their government-one which is supported by American dollars. Just saying.

  13. Can anyone at Amnesty International please explain me in which way covering your face is an "expression of your identity"? As a neuroscientist I can assure you that all the scientific evidence proves that watching facial expressions is absolutely necessary for empathy.

  14. i appreciate the concern of amnesty and will support amnesty as even i believe it is a complete breach of the human rights.If women have a right to wear a bikin ,then women have an equal right to cover them selves.to each his own.it is so dismal to see that in 21st century france is living in an utopian world.and is so orthodox in thinking.They have no right to ban face veil.french women have their right to practise their religion and live their life according to their wish.this is so outrageous to impose such unjustified law on the minority.

  15. I think that AIUSA is completely wrong in this case. I fully and completely support the ban 100%. I don’t think that public safety can be adequately ensured if people are allowed to walk around with their identities effectively concealed in public. And I don’t think that the “right” of 1,000 women to wear burqas outweighs even one woman being forced to wear one against her will. The burqa demeans and enslaves women, and they should not be allowed in public in any civilized society.

  16. I dont think you can compare with the wearing of a bikini . A women would not dress that way to go shopping , go to work , travel on public transport ……..
    it is only seen as apropriate in certain places . If such freedom to express and wear what you want was so then why not walk around naked . This is offensive to some people so not allowed.

  17. @matt
    sir..i disagree with you…if you find women wearing a veil being enslaved than i might well say that i find women walking on the ramp n wearing skimpy clothes,women in bikins being enslaved..people have degraded them to a mere commodity…they are selling them selves,leaving their education,caging themselves and allowing them selves being exploited.same way sir.i wont pass a bill against them because it is their right to choose their way of life and i respect it even though i might not go well with thier idea of living.same way sir these french muslim women have thier full right to practise their life the way they want to…And talk of public safety…sir a more rational way would have been to device a way to improve d safety ..i am sure in 21st centry their are better ways to deal with the problem from the core…instead of superficially forcing ppl to listen to them which is definitely not going to help and increase a sense of resentment in the minority ..which may well be bigger problem in the futre…..

  18. As a Muslim woman (a convert, of my own free will, after travels and study), I don’t agree with the absolute necessity of the niqab. However, I do support a woman’s right to wear it if she sees it as a part of her faith. But beyond this, when looking at the motto of France, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”, I find it completely outrageous that such a country would dare to show the false nature of it’s purported beliefs. France has never had such feelings of liberty, fraternity, and especially equality for the many nations that it colonized. Although all colonization is wrong, France’s record is perhaps the most appalling of any national empire. Most of those nations have not recovered from France’s rape, pillage, and murder—and let’s not ignore that many of the people of the Islamic faith came from such colonies.

    If the face veil, or niqab, is dehumanizing, demeaning and degrading to any section of the population, France was the niqab of too much of the world. And not for the sake of God nor for doing something good for the people.

  19. @ john
    sir if not bikinis in a market…then short skirts and almost transparent clothing…..this form of clothing may not go well with lot of mindsets……
    if we are talking of rights here ..then..their should be no double standards…
    oppressing a certain group of people doesn’t make FRance a hero..infact the little respect it had in the world is wiped out now…no sensible and civilised person would stand by such outrageous act of human rights violation.

  20. What I find more offensive than bikinis or veils is the fact that we have a group of men standing around discussing what is appropriate or prudent for women to wear or not to wear. I am offended by the paternalistic attitude that many men take, as if it is their responsibility to “protect” women who, in their view, are incapable of protecting themselves.

    What men in general need to realize is that women have the power to choose their own values, to choose their own paths, and, even more basic than this, to choose their own clothes. How dare any man require a woman to dress in a certain way with the intention of protecting her from another man who is supposedly requiring her to dress in another.

    he French Parliament, and even some of the men commenting here, need to realize it isn’t up to you to decide what is in the best interest of women generally, regardless of what side you are on. When that happens, we can begin to empower women to dress as they choose, to live as they choose, by giving them options and the liberty to make those choices.

    We are not saving women by forcing them from one form of clothing-related enslavement into another. We are hindering them from exercising their autonomy. A woman is not necessarily liberated because she can walk around a beach half-naked. She is liberated when she is free to walk around a beach in whatever clothing she chooses to wear without comment from the all-male peanut gallery.

  21. And before anyone says anything about the French Parliament having women members as well, the fact is that: “Only 13 percent of French parliamentary seats are held by women and the prospects for swift change are poor.” http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,456999,00.html. That means that 87% of the French Parliament is male. 87% male, and passing laws that make it a punishable crime for a woman to cover herself up, regardless of the reason.

    How about making it a punishable offense for any man to dictate how a woman must dress? That would address the problem Parliament is supposedly trying to address without punishing the “victims.”

  22. The veil is not a religious issue – please show me where in the Quran it says a woman must cover her face. A headscarf is one thing, that’s no problem for me, but to cover your face is unacceptable under these circumstances. I live in Canada where the veil has not come up as a legal issue. And it’s fine, we’ll deal with it if it becomes an issue and decide what the Canadians prefer. But in France, the message is that foreigners may come to France as citizens, but they will have to make some cultural concessions, which is completely acceptable when you immigrate.

    If a 20 year-old goes to the USA, they cannot buy or consume alcohol. Should that be changed to accommodate those who come from countries where the drinking age is lower? No, those are the laws of the land. This is not a religious issue, it’s a cultural issue. If you choose to live abroad, even if under duress, you may well have to conform in ways you dislike. I didn’t whine about using women-only sections in parts of Asia, even though I take issue with the reasons those sections exist. But that’s how it’s done there.

    I think AI is wrong on this issue. Requiring individuals to show their face in public spaces is not unreasonable. Requiring people to wear bathing suits on non-nude beaches, similarly, is not unreasonable. It’s cultural. To this, you must adapt.

  23. As I understand it, Muslim women are not required by their faith to wear the niqab, only to “dress conservatively.” Yes, many women are forced to wear it, bit i believe that it is dictated more by region and culture rather than religion. Likewise, many Muslim women CHOOSE to wear the niqab. Just because a woman wears one does not mean that she is enslaved or oppressed, and assuming so seems grossly arrogant to me. You want to rescue people? Advocate for the Palestinian civilian refugees, most of whom are children and do not have clean drinking water. Or the Vietnamese children who sleep on a blanket on a dirt floor 5 to a “room”- and those are the fortunate ones. How about the Sudanese children 15 and younger, as young as 12 who bear rifles and use them as soldiers for their government-one which is supported by American dollars. Just saying.

  24. Can anyone at Amnesty International please explain me in which way covering your face is an “expression of your identity”? As a neuroscientist I can assure you that all the scientific evidence proves that watching facial expressions is absolutely necessary for empathy.

  25. Hi! I wrote an article talking about the ban on the veil a while back. If your interested you can read it at: http://tinyurl.com/34dv9eo

    I think it is an aggressive attack on freedom of expression by a society cautious of change or any threat to 'national identity' (whatever that is…).

  26. Hi! I wrote an article talking about the ban on the veil a while back. If your interested you can read it at: http://tinyurl.com/34dv9eo

    I think it is an aggressive attack on freedom of expression by a society cautious of change or any threat to 'national identity' (whatever that is…).

  27. Hi! I wrote an article talking about the ban on the veil a while back. If your interested you can read it at: http://tinyurl.com/34dv9eo

    I think it is an aggressive attack on freedom of expression by a society cautious of change or any threat to 'national identity' (whatever that is…).

  28. What a hypocricy, what a word "civilised society". What is the definition of civiled society? That it does everything wrong with decietful lame excuses???

    Shame on you civilized society and civilized citizens of France.

  29. France has made a big move we all must commend as lovers of Liberty. These women are not wearing the Borqa outta self will, they are compelled by their Islamic extremist comrades to do it. HAIL FRANCE says the world If u condemn her u ar so ON YOUR OWN.

  30. Hi! I wrote an article talking about the ban on the veil a while back. If your interested you can read it at: http://tinyurl.com/34dv9eo

    I think it is an aggressive attack on freedom of expression by a society cautious of change or any threat to ‘national identity’ (whatever that is…).

  31. What a hypocricy, what a word “civilised society”. What is the definition of civiled society? That it does everything wrong with decietful lame excuses???

    Shame on you civilized society and civilized citizens of France.

  32. France has made a big move we all must commend as lovers of Liberty. These women are not wearing the Borqa outta self will, they are compelled by their Islamic extremist comrades to do it. HAIL FRANCE says the world If u condemn her u ar so ON YOUR OWN.

  33. i find a startling gender division running right down the middle of this blog on this issue.

    All the men but one are ecstatic at france's Islamophobic measure.

    The voices of the obviously antiIslamic men here range from disjointed logic to utter callousness about a minority's rights — a minority now facing the worst forms of xenophobic attacks from the West, & within the West.

    From the men, Derk says that face veils are "totally unacceptable under these circumstances ".WHICH circumstances, he doesn't say, & i'm still in the dark on this point.

    "Foreigners will HAVE to make some cultural concessions, which is COMPLETELY ACCEPTABLE when you immigrate [ my italics ]," he dictates.

    Really ?Like what concessions ? Derk gives the examples of drinking age limits & women – only public sections, irrelevant & comparatively trivial examples which no one ever protests, examples which don't deliberately provoke & attack the deep feelings of a particular faith & way of life — like the French ban was intended to.

    He says this is a "cultural" thing, the need to accomodate to the cultures of peoples you go to live among.

    Ah, what broadmindedness & consideration !!!

    What an attitude of "accomodation" of other ways !!

    Indeed, this particular form of "accomodation" Derk advocates in favor of france's ban is the cowardliest & sneakiest "accomodation" possible.

    For it is an accomodation in favor of the powerful, of the West's bullying white majorities.And accomodation to the politically powerful was always the coward's way everywhere.

    It is an "accomodation" imposed upon & made at the expense of entire nonWestern minorities who fall within the Islamic faith, peoples who are powerless & marginalised within the West politically, culturally & socially, peoples whom the West is targetting & at war with today & finding to be not as pliable & easy to conquer as "smoothly" as it has destroyed, assimilated or neutralised other cultures.

    For the West has always aimed at DESTROYING, ASSIMILATING & NEUTRALISING ANY culture which stands in its way.

    WHEN did the Westerner ever go to any land & then live in harmony with the cultures there ?

    The coming of the Westerner EVERYWHERE AROUND THE WORLD has spelled the DEATH of that culture & the domination of the Westerner.

    Derk will say i am talking about past history, for which he's not to blame.

    But i am talking about this day & time — the process that's happening globally now.

    And it ALWAYS has been thus.

    When the West goes out to the nonWestern world, she calls it "GLOBALISATION".

    When the nonWestern world comes TO the WEST, then it is time for "ACCOMODATION" !!!!

    ************************************

    All the women here on this issue speak firmly, logically, eloquently & yet always WITH DIGNITY on THEIR right to CHOOSE TO WEAR WHAT THEY WILL .

    i'm delighted by my sisters' passionate arguments.. Ms Ashraf on the commodification of the bared female form … Izzy on France's rape of the colonies for centuries … Ms Velado's scathing trashing of the paternalism of "the all – male peanut gallery"…

    You're all powerful, my strong, beautiful & liberating sisters of varied faiths & ways !!

    Long live your solidarity with each other !!!

  34. Though I respect the right of others, both on personal and religious grounds, it would be nice if this was a 2 way street. As a westerner living in the middle east, I am not permitted to drink alcohol, though I know someone who works for a distillery and one of their biggest clients is the Saudi Royal Family. My gym is also under constent threat of segregation.

    France should be able to make the rules in their own country.

  35. i find a startling gender division running right down the middle of this blog on this issue.

    All the men but one are ecstatic at france’s Islamophobic measure.

    The voices of the obviously antiIslamic men here range from disjointed logic to utter callousness about a minority’s rights — a minority now facing the worst forms of xenophobic attacks from the West, & within the West.

    From the men, Derk says that face veils are “totally unacceptable under these circumstances “.WHICH circumstances, he doesn’t say, & i’m still in the dark on this point.

    “Foreigners will HAVE to make some cultural concessions, which is COMPLETELY ACCEPTABLE when you immigrate [ my italics ],” he dictates.

    Really ?Like what concessions ? Derk gives the examples of drinking age limits & women – only public sections, irrelevant & comparatively trivial examples which no one ever protests, examples which don’t deliberately provoke & attack the deep feelings of a particular faith & way of life — like the French ban was intended to.

    He says this is a “cultural” thing, the need to accomodate to the cultures of peoples you go to live among.

    Ah, what broadmindedness & consideration !!!

    What an attitude of “accomodation” of other ways !!

    Indeed, this particular form of “accomodation” Derk advocates in favor of france’s ban is the cowardliest & sneakiest “accomodation” possible.

    For it is an accomodation in favor of the powerful, of the West’s bullying white majorities.And accomodation to the politically powerful was always the coward’s way everywhere.

    It is an “accomodation” imposed upon & made at the expense of entire nonWestern minorities who fall within the Islamic faith, peoples who are powerless & marginalised within the West politically, culturally & socially, peoples whom the West is targetting & at war with today & finding to be not as pliable & easy to conquer as “smoothly” as it has destroyed, assimilated or neutralised other cultures.

    For the West has always aimed at DESTROYING, ASSIMILATING & NEUTRALISING ANY culture which stands in its way.

    WHEN did the Westerner ever go to any land & then live in harmony with the cultures there ?

    The coming of the Westerner EVERYWHERE AROUND THE WORLD has spelled the DEATH of that culture & the domination of the Westerner.

    Derk will say i am talking about past history, for which he’s not to blame.

    But i am talking about this day & time — the process that’s happening globally now.

    And it ALWAYS has been thus.

    When the West goes out to the nonWestern world, she calls it “GLOBALISATION”.

    When the nonWestern world comes TO the WEST, then it is time for “ACCOMODATION” !!!!

    ************************************

    All the women here on this issue speak firmly, logically, eloquently & yet always WITH DIGNITY on THEIR right to CHOOSE TO WEAR WHAT THEY WILL .

    i’m delighted by my sisters’ passionate arguments.. Ms Ashraf on the commodification of the bared female form … Izzy on France’s rape of the colonies for centuries … Ms Velado’s scathing trashing of the paternalism of “the all – male peanut gallery”…

    You’re all powerful, my strong, beautiful & liberating sisters of varied faiths & ways !!

    Long live your solidarity with each other !!!

  36. France belongs to the France-people who lived and worked the land for thousands of years. the muslims have there own Country.the Franch people are not muslim. the muslims live like this is 2010 BC (before christ -Jesus was born). they stupid and real heathens.

  37. Though I respect the right of others, both on personal and religious grounds, it would be nice if this was a 2 way street. As a westerner living in the middle east, I am not permitted to drink alcohol, though I know someone who works for a distillery and one of their biggest clients is the Saudi Royal Family. My gym is also under constent threat of segregation.

    France should be able to make the rules in their own country.

  38. This ban is a fallacy which will not go unpunished by the faithful. This veil protects our women from the sinful lustful eyes of the western whites and their ilk. My women will stay hidden from their eyes either by clothing or by the walls of my house.

    The Prophet gives we the faithful men power over our weaker sisters. We guide them down the righteous path with the wisdom granted by our maker. They are here for our pleasure and to foster our progeny. France has no right to take away the powers granted to the faithful to keep our women in line.

  39. France belongs to the France-people who lived and worked the land for thousands of years. the muslims have there own Country.the Franch people are not muslim. the muslims live like this is 2010 BC (before christ -Jesus was born). they stupid and real heathens.

  40. This ban is a fallacy which will not go unpunished by the faithful. This veil protects our women from the sinful lustful eyes of the western whites and their ilk. My women will stay hidden from their eyes either by clothing or by the walls of my house.

    The Prophet gives we the faithful men power over our weaker sisters. We guide them down the righteous path with the wisdom granted by our maker. They are here for our pleasure and to foster our progeny. France has no right to take away the powers granted to the faithful to keep our women in line.

  41. Muhammed,

    I think it was about time you were dragged into the 21st century…. needless to say it would be kicking and screaming.

    As a woman living in the Middle East, when I talk to another woman in a facial veil, its certainly not because I am lusting after them, its merely to be friendly and show interest in them as an individual and learn about their culture . I'm sure the same could be said, of fellow westerners who are male.

    I would like to give a little reassurance, that sex isn't on everyone's mind as you may believe.

    Your comments have no doubt strengthened others opinions to have the burqa banned. It's something we call "Digging your own grave"

  42. Muhammed,

    I think it was about time you were dragged into the 21st century…. needless to say it would be kicking and screaming.

    As a woman living in the Middle East, when I talk to another woman in a facial veil, its certainly not because I am lusting after them, its merely to be friendly and show interest in them as an individual and learn about their culture . I’m sure the same could be said, of fellow westerners who are male.

    I would like to give a little reassurance, that sex isn’t on everyone’s mind as you may believe.

    Your comments have no doubt strengthened others opinions to have the burqa banned. It’s something we call “Digging your own grave”

  43. Dear Gina,

    i sympathise with your plight, that you can't drink & be who you are in Saudi Arabia.

    If you live there, you must know the history .

    Hope your history's better at least than Hermine Water's,who believes Muslims live today like they did in 2010 BC — when there was neither Christianity nor Islam !!

    i hope you know Arab civilisations were at once far more enlightened & liberal than Dark Age Europe's, before Europe gave birth to the Inquisition & its spread its flames throughout the West & across the seas to the Americas.

    You must know that Arab / Islamic social freedoms & liberalism gave way only before the INVASIONS OF THE WEST, before whose waves Islam withdrew into itself & gave birth to sterner, more uncompromising forms of thought & practice.

    Even the present rise of politically resistant & socially conservative Islam followed the US / CIA's fomenting of austere, warlike Islamic movements as cards to win the Cold War with ( or so they'd thought !! ).

    Before you abuse Muhammad & try to drag him kicking & screaming anywhere, know your own role in his creation.

    And know he lives right when & where you put him — in the ghettoes of 21st century Europe, in the shadows of your armies & police.

    And the regime of the Saudi royals — is that what you look at when setting your standards for policy making in Europe itself ?

    In Saudi Arabia you suffer constraints on your lifestyle as an individual.

    At most your gym users suffer with you.

    How many gym users DO you have, compared to the millions of Muslim women who will suffer now from this French gendarmerie law ?

    Will France now police islamic women before the eyes of the entire world ?

    Is that the role the manly Monsieur Blingbling will now assume ?

    The Saudi royals run a harsh domestic plutocracy — & they're hated & feared by their own people who'd have LONG AGO overthrown them, ALONG WITH ALL OF THE REST OF THE ARAB DICTATORSHIPS, had it not been for the West's support & use of their barbarous rule IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN ITS OWN ACCESS TO "OIL & ITS RELATED WEALTH", PLUS THE MAINTENANACE OF ZIONIST ISRAEL.

    Again, why make them the Saudi royals YOUR reason to oppress other women, your sisters who do you no harm & whom you say you befriend, the women who will have further reason to hate YOU as well, today ?

    And as for your words to Muhammad — who do you think you are, EUROPEAN, to drag ANYONE kicking & screaming ANYWHERE ?

    Or are you the reincarnation of France's mission civilisatrice among the heathen, who thinks this is still the 19th century when you thought you could d what you liked ( but not even then , you couldn't !! )?

    And you can even suggest the French law, which will only make the present situation worse for the women of Islamic communities instead of allowing for normalisation & liberalisation of their condition in Western Europe — you can even suggest that this law was made partly with the desire to free them ???

  44. Dear Gina,

    i sympathise with your plight, that you can’t drink & be who you are in Saudi Arabia.

    If you live there, you must know the history .

    Hope your history’s better at least than Hermine Water’s,who believes Muslims live today like they did in 2010 BC — when there was neither Christianity nor Islam !!

    i hope you know Arab civilisations were at once far more enlightened & liberal than Dark Age Europe’s, before Europe gave birth to the Inquisition & its spread its flames throughout the West & across the seas to the Americas.

    You must know that Arab / Islamic social freedoms & liberalism gave way only before the INVASIONS OF THE WEST, before whose waves Islam withdrew into itself & gave birth to sterner, more uncompromising forms of thought & practice.

    Even the present rise of politically resistant & socially conservative Islam followed the US / CIA’s fomenting of austere, warlike Islamic movements as cards to win the Cold War with ( or so they’d thought !! ).

    Before you abuse Muhammad & try to drag him kicking & screaming anywhere, know your own role in his creation.

    And know he lives right when & where you put him — in the ghettoes of 21st century Europe, in the shadows of your armies & police.

    And the regime of the Saudi royals — is that what you look at when setting your standards for policy making in Europe itself ?

    In Saudi Arabia you suffer constraints on your lifestyle as an individual.

    At most your gym users suffer with you.

    How many gym users DO you have, compared to the millions of Muslim women who will suffer now from this French gendarmerie law ?

    Will France now police islamic women before the eyes of the entire world ?

    Is that the role the manly Monsieur Blingbling will now assume ?

    The Saudi royals run a harsh domestic plutocracy — & they’re hated & feared by their own people who’d have LONG AGO overthrown them, ALONG WITH ALL OF THE REST OF THE ARAB DICTATORSHIPS, had it not been for the West’s support & use of their barbarous rule IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN ITS OWN ACCESS TO “OIL & ITS RELATED WEALTH”, PLUS THE MAINTENANACE OF ZIONIST ISRAEL.

    Again, why make them the Saudi royals YOUR reason to oppress other women, your sisters who do you no harm & whom you say you befriend, the women who will have further reason to hate YOU as well, today ?

    And as for your words to Muhammad — who do you think you are, EUROPEAN, to drag ANYONE kicking & screaming ANYWHERE ?

    Or are you the reincarnation of France’s mission civilisatrice among the heathen, who thinks this is still the 19th century when you thought you could d what you liked ( but not even then , you couldn’t !! )?

    And you can even suggest the French law, which will only make the present situation worse for the women of Islamic communities instead of allowing for normalisation & liberalisation of their condition in Western Europe — you can even suggest that this law was made partly with the desire to free them ???

  45. A Savage,

    You are obviously gunning for an argument.. I have read both your posts again and unsure where yo point of view lies

    I am merely stating the obvious….

    If you choose to live in a given country you obide by the laws of that given land… I have not drunk for many years so to give up drink is no hardship for me, or any other consessions I have had to make with my husband, as I said I choose to live here.

    Maybe you should read Muhammeds post once again.. as a woman which you are obviously not I find his post, grossly offensive if not disgusting, to all women of all creeds and nationalities. I have shown his post to my neighbour, who is a local and she was shocked that a few muslim would pass such a disgusting few point. I can only assume that you think women are as worthless and second rate as he does, if you think he doesn't need to be brought into the 21st century, where women are entitled to vote and their voices deserve to be heard.

    BTW You are only presuming I'm European? I would be Phillipino, Indian Sri Lankan, West Indian or many of the other nationalities who live here.

  46. A Savage,

    You are obviously gunning for an argument.. I have read both your posts again and unsure where yo point of view lies

    I am merely stating the obvious….

    If you choose to live in a given country you obide by the laws of that given land… I have not drunk for many years so to give up drink is no hardship for me, or any other consessions I have had to make with my husband, as I said I choose to live here.

    Maybe you should read Muhammeds post once again.. as a woman which you are obviously not I find his post, grossly offensive if not disgusting, to all women of all creeds and nationalities. I have shown his post to my neighbour, who is a local and she was shocked that a few muslim would pass such a disgusting few point. I can only assume that you think women are as worthless and second rate as he does, if you think he doesn’t need to be brought into the 21st century, where women are entitled to vote and their voices deserve to be heard.

    BTW You are only presuming I’m European? I would be Phillipino, Indian Sri Lankan, West Indian or many of the other nationalities who live here.

  47. France authorities are boasting of their "ideal" values and that this country is a "civilised nation", just recently a french citizen was killed by the police, Arab players like benaarfa, benzema, samir nasri…. who play for french team were not allowed to participate in the world cup simply because they originate from north Africa, and the result was that the team was humiliated in front of the whole world, moreover mosques are frequently attacked by racists there…all these incidents and others demonstrates that france still lives in the darkness of discrimination and is phobic from those who helped her in the second world war……in the same level, they want to see women half naked or naked …..we as muslims don't force anybody to practice or wear whatever kind of clothes…everyone is responsible for his own actions …and no one should interfere in the private life of individuals………….peace.

  48. France authorities are boasting of their “ideal” values and that this country is a “civilised nation”, just recently a french citizen was killed by the police, Arab players like benaarfa, benzema, samir nasri…. who play for french team were not allowed to participate in the world cup simply because they originate from north Africa, and the result was that the team was humiliated in front of the whole world, moreover mosques are frequently attacked by racists there…all these incidents and others demonstrates that france still lives in the darkness of discrimination and is phobic from those who helped her in the second world war……in the same level, they want to see women half naked or naked …..we as muslims don’t force anybody to practice or wear whatever kind of clothes…everyone is responsible for his own actions …and no one should interfere in the private life of individuals………….peace.

  49. Dear Gina, sister, friend,

    Of course you could be Filipino or indian or West indian, any of the peoples who have been DRAGGED by European gunboat, chain & whip into "globalised", "modernised" "time".

    But then you'd have to be a "Europeanised" Filipino or indian or any other "Other".

    By "European /ised" i mean a mindset, a way of viewing & treating the world, whether the world wants it or not.

    You call this process "Progress", "Manifest Destiny", "Globalisation"….

    And, my sister, you show me Muhammad's words. And, believe me, i understand your rage.

    i see him, however, not as anomaly, but as my brother who is a product of a historical PROCESS of withdrawal & selfdefense TRIGGERED by Europe's manifold invasions.

    Islam is proud, unbowing.

    The more she's forced towards something, the more she'll go the other way.

    INTERVENTION ( legalised by the state as "law", or not ) will beget RAGE & COUNTERREACTION.

    Your Saudi neighbor was of course angry when you showed her Muhammad's reaction.

    Give her time.

    Let her see France's "law" in application & action….

    UNIFORMITY of the "law", in a MULTInational, MULTIcultural society ??

    UNIFORMITY of the law, "blind" to historical, political, social, religious & cultural differences in a discontented multinational, multiracial society ????

    This is a recipe for Fascism drawn up in the men's smoking room on the Titanic, moving smoothly at full speed, unaware of what lies ahead in the dark depths beneath, & fast approaching.

    Good luck, mon ami.

  50. Or, better yet, change course, dear Gina.

    France, what does she mean to you, i wonder ??

    To me she's magnificent as revolt, revolution.

    But disastrous as autocrat, coloniser.

    Monsieur Blingbling is bent on a siege.

    But the first prerequisite for it,his rear, isn't secure.

    Europe's in no shape for internal siege or crusade.

    But that's precisely when the ruling elites launch these things.

    And you were talking of people digging their own graves !

    Who that people is depends on who has more to lose.

  51. Dear Gina, sister, friend,

    Of course you could be Filipino or indian or West indian, any of the peoples who have been DRAGGED by European gunboat, chain & whip into “globalised”, “modernised” “time”.

    But then you’d have to be a “Europeanised” Filipino or indian or any other “Other”.

    By “European /ised” i mean a mindset, a way of viewing & treating the world, whether the world wants it or not.

    You call this process “Progress”, “Manifest Destiny”, “Globalisation”….

    And, my sister, you show me Muhammad’s words. And, believe me, i understand your rage.

    i see him, however, not as anomaly, but as my brother who is a product of a historical PROCESS of withdrawal & selfdefense TRIGGERED by Europe’s manifold invasions.

    Islam is proud, unbowing.

    The more she’s forced towards something, the more she’ll go the other way.

    INTERVENTION ( legalised by the state as “law”, or not ) will beget RAGE & COUNTERREACTION.

    Your Saudi neighbor was of course angry when you showed her Muhammad’s reaction.

    Give her time.

    Let her see France’s “law” in application & action….

    UNIFORMITY of the “law”, in a MULTInational, MULTIcultural society ??

    UNIFORMITY of the law, “blind” to historical, political, social, religious & cultural differences in a discontented multinational, multiracial society ????

    This is a recipe for Fascism drawn up in the men’s smoking room on the Titanic, moving smoothly at full speed, unaware of what lies ahead in the dark depths beneath, & fast approaching.

    Good luck, mon ami.

  52. Or, better yet, change course, dear Gina.

    France, what does she mean to you, i wonder ??

    To me she’s magnificent as revolt, revolution.

    But disastrous as autocrat, coloniser.

    Monsieur Blingbling is bent on a siege.

    But the first prerequisite for it,his rear, isn’t secure.

    Europe’s in no shape for internal siege or crusade.

    But that’s precisely when the ruling elites launch these things.

    And you were talking of people digging their own graves !

    Who that people is depends on who has more to lose.

  53. Dear Gina and other members,

    I have read your arguements against Said Muhammad's post. After reading your agruments it looks like the above law has been made on the basis of Said Muhammad's post! I do not know this person but the way he has given his remarks this post itself seems to be ficticious, made just to give reason to oppose the muslims.

    Those who do not know about Islam think that men are responsible for the actions of women in Islam. While the fact is that Almighty Allah addresses men and women seperately in the Holy Qur'aan whenever something is told to them e.g. O' MEN, O' WOMEN. So whether a man or a woman he/she is responsible for his/her acts. Also those who say that women are forced to wear hijab, burqa or scarf in countries like France should be prudent enough to think that if this is the issue Frenceh parliament should have made some law against such coerecion instead of banning the dress.

    All that I can understand is that Zionist elements present in the parliaments of countries like France (US and UK) want to create polarisation among muslims and chiritians. Since christians are in majority in Europian Countries any legistlation made against muslims creatS the impression that its from christians. IN FACT ITS FROM ZIONISTS but both muslims and christian start arguments against each other while these Zionist see the quarrel silently and enjoy the drift.

    Regards,

    Abdul Jabbar

  54. Dear Gina and other members,

    I have read your arguements against Said Muhammad’s post. After reading your agruments it looks like the above law has been made on the basis of Said Muhammad’s post! I do not know this person but the way he has given his remarks this post itself seems to be ficticious, made just to give reason to oppose the muslims.

    Those who do not know about Islam think that men are responsible for the actions of women in Islam. While the fact is that Almighty Allah addresses men and women seperately in the Holy Qur’aan whenever something is told to them e.g. O’ MEN, O’ WOMEN. So whether a man or a woman he/she is responsible for his/her acts. Also those who say that women are forced to wear hijab, burqa or scarf in countries like France should be prudent enough to think that if this is the issue Frenceh parliament should have made some law against such coerecion instead of banning the dress.

    All that I can understand is that Zionist elements present in the parliaments of countries like France (US and UK) want to create polarisation among muslims and chiritians. Since christians are in majority in Europian Countries any legistlation made against muslims creatS the impression that its from christians. IN FACT ITS FROM ZIONISTS but both muslims and christian start arguments against each other while these Zionist see the quarrel silently and enjoy the drift.

    Regards,

    Abdul Jabbar

  55. ok…I see many men here stating thier opinion. Yet I don't see many objecting to the low slung tops with cleavage showing at work. Shall there be a ban of covering your knees, or better yet… let's ban wearing the cross. how rediculous… let's call it the way it is… it is racial prejudice hidden under two veils, 1. protecting women 2. terrorism…both are utterly bogus! end of. Freedom is freedom. If the moron right wingers have the right to have arms up saying 'sig heil' on the steps of the colorado capital steps on Martin Luther King day… then religious and social ways of dressing should be tollerated. My gawd are we back in the dark ages??? wake up France!

  56. @ Abdul,

    I appreciated your comments till you began the anti Jewish crap. Any racism is wrong, regardless of mouthpiece. You dear sir, are wrong. It is the responsibility of each man and woman in that parliment who voted for this attrocity, Just like the persons involved with hunting down Jews. Any target of racial, religious or cultural bias is wrong. The ends do not justify the means. I have been a Christian, studied in depth Islam, defend the Palestinians, and defend the Jewish people, now I follow the path of my people that was taken from my ancestors, the native peoples of the Americas. There is NO excuse or reason to block anyone from their heritage, culture, beliefs or actions… other than to harm another. end of!

  57. ok…I see many men here stating thier opinion. Yet I don’t see many objecting to the low slung tops with cleavage showing at work. Shall there be a ban of covering your knees, or better yet… let’s ban wearing the cross. how rediculous… let’s call it the way it is… it is racial prejudice hidden under two veils, 1. protecting women 2. terrorism…both are utterly bogus! end of. Freedom is freedom. If the moron right wingers have the right to have arms up saying ‘sig heil’ on the steps of the colorado capital steps on Martin Luther King day… then religious and social ways of dressing should be tollerated. My gawd are we back in the dark ages??? wake up France!

  58. @ Abdul,

    I appreciated your comments till you began the anti Jewish crap. Any racism is wrong, regardless of mouthpiece. You dear sir, are wrong. It is the responsibility of each man and woman in that parliment who voted for this attrocity, Just like the persons involved with hunting down Jews. Any target of racial, religious or cultural bias is wrong. The ends do not justify the means. I have been a Christian, studied in depth Islam, defend the Palestinians, and defend the Jewish people, now I follow the path of my people that was taken from my ancestors, the native peoples of the Americas. There is NO excuse or reason to block anyone from their heritage, culture, beliefs or actions… other than to harm another. end of!

  59. Dear Abdul Jabbar & Robin,

    i relished both your observations.

    Only want to point out something to you, Robin.

    You are highly inaccurate when you accuse Mr. Jabbar of making an antiJewish comment.

    Since you defend the Palestinians, you must know attacking Zionism isn't the same as attacking Jews.

    Jews themselves have been in the forefront of the fight against Zionism for years, & have been calling for the dismantling of israel.

    In fact many Jews contend that Zionism's virulent form of apartheid & settler colonialism is the prime factor behind the present rise of antiJewish feelings around the world.

    i'm equally surprised when you dismissively brush away Mr. Jabbar's suggestion that Zionist elements are behind France's proposed antiMuslim law.

    With your background of deep study & passion, you should know the Zionist lobby in France is extremely active & powerful, wielding immense influence at the upper levels of French politics .

    This lobby isn't just something to be associated with US politics alone. Their apartheid state is facing global isolation, & Europe is key to counter this current.

    i'm equally grateful to Mr. Jabbar for pointing out that Said Mohammad's might be a fictitious voice deliberately crafted to provoke antiIslamic feelings. When you reread SM's blog in light of Mr Jabbar's reading of it, SM sounds very much like a tailor – made concoction, i confess.

    israeli / US psyops are long practiced in such total fabrications.

  60. Dear Abdul Jabbar & Robin,

    i relished both your observations.

    Only want to point out something to you, Robin.

    You are highly inaccurate when you accuse Mr. Jabbar of making an antiJewish comment.

    Since you defend the Palestinians, you must know attacking Zionism isn’t the same as attacking Jews.

    Jews themselves have been in the forefront of the fight against Zionism for years, & have been calling for the dismantling of israel.

    In fact many Jews contend that Zionism’s virulent form of apartheid & settler colonialism is the prime factor behind the present rise of antiJewish feelings around the world.

    i’m equally surprised when you dismissively brush away Mr. Jabbar’s suggestion that Zionist elements are behind France’s proposed antiMuslim law.

    With your background of deep study & passion, you should know the Zionist lobby in France is extremely active & powerful, wielding immense influence at the upper levels of French politics .

    This lobby isn’t just something to be associated with US politics alone. Their apartheid state is facing global isolation, & Europe is key to counter this current.

    i’m equally grateful to Mr. Jabbar for pointing out that Said Mohammad’s might be a fictitious voice deliberately crafted to provoke antiIslamic feelings. When you reread SM’s blog in light of Mr Jabbar’s reading of it, SM sounds very much like a tailor – made concoction, i confess.

    israeli / US psyops are long practiced in such total fabrications.

  61. Dear Robin,

    I assure you one thing that I cannot hate or harm anybody for his religion may it be jew or anyone else. In fact I cannot imagine so. I agree with you when you say "Any target of racial, religious or cultural bias is wrong".

    Since you have interest in the people of other cultures, religions and of course human rights you should be knowing that the religion of jews is Judaism not Zionism. Zionism is an underground political movement/alliance of greedy people. They do not surface themselves and guise under cover of Judaism. Religious personalities of jews themselves condemn Zionists.

    Their greed for power and wealth is the main cause of wars and injustice in the whole world.

  62. Dear Robin,

    I assure you one thing that I cannot hate or harm anybody for his religion may it be jew or anyone else. In fact I cannot imagine so. I agree with you when you say “Any target of racial, religious or cultural bias is wrong”.

    Since you have interest in the people of other cultures, religions and of course human rights you should be knowing that the religion of jews is Judaism not Zionism. Zionism is an underground political movement/alliance of greedy people. They do not surface themselves and guise under cover of Judaism. Religious personalities of jews themselves condemn Zionists.

    Their greed for power and wealth is the main cause of wars and injustice in the whole world.

  63. To all of the people arguing on here, you all have great points. I applaud each of you for giving out ideas to ponder.

    As a Christian woman in the US, it is expected that I be an extreme bigot with much to say against other religions, races, cultures, etc. However, given that I have many good friends who are not Christian, nor my race, nor share the same culture that I follow, I have seen different views on different things. I feel as if you are all veering from the point, which is that basic human rights (which America quite frankly claims to be built on) have been harmed by this bill being passed. A woman should always be allowed to choose what she wears, whether their religion dictates it or not.

    Someone asked earlier where in the Quran does it say that a woman should be covered, and I think this will answer that.

    Qur'an (24:31) – "And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known."

    It's long, but it's there. This verse shows that they cover themselves to keep the eyes of men away. Keeping the perversion of sin away is quite fundamental to many religions, and the Islamic religion happens to push it to extremes that others don't. But what religion has a stronger following, Christian or Muslim? I myself don't believe that beauty should be hidden by such extremes, but to each his own, right?

  64. To all of the people arguing on here, you all have great points. I applaud each of you for giving out ideas to ponder.

    As a Christian woman in the US, it is expected that I be an extreme bigot with much to say against other religions, races, cultures, etc. However, given that I have many good friends who are not Christian, nor my race, nor share the same culture that I follow, I have seen different views on different things. I feel as if you are all veering from the point, which is that basic human rights (which America quite frankly claims to be built on) have been harmed by this bill being passed. A woman should always be allowed to choose what she wears, whether their religion dictates it or not.

    Someone asked earlier where in the Quran does it say that a woman should be covered, and I think this will answer that.

    Qur’an (24:31) – “And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known.”

    It’s long, but it’s there. This verse shows that they cover themselves to keep the eyes of men away. Keeping the perversion of sin away is quite fundamental to many religions, and the Islamic religion happens to push it to extremes that others don’t. But what religion has a stronger following, Christian or Muslim? I myself don’t believe that beauty should be hidden by such extremes, but to each his own, right?

  65. @ said muhammed , it is because of men with the the arrogant, deranged and narcissistic mind set as expressed in your comment—-why myself and many others are pro the ban which France has voted to impose. To me it is like banning slavery, child abuse etc
    @Abdul Jabbar you do not believe that the post by Said Muhammad could be authentic. Of course it is possible that you are correct in this instant, nevertheless I personally know people with just exactly that kind of mind set, and it is the whole reason why women are required to wear burqas in the first place . Of course not all Moslems require it, but it is still used as a weapon to oppress and control women in certain Moslem communities including in France. Even though slavery is still thriving and legal in certain parts of the world and female circumcision is also still legal and practiced in other parts of the world, France, like any country has the right to make their own laws. No country is perfect and free of human rights abuses of some kind, but at least it is a step in the right direction. I do agree and admire the thoughts of those here on this blog who would prefer France (and wouldn't it be great all other countries) would pass strict laws against coercions and domestic threats by husbands and other people to force a woman to wear a Full-Face Veil. I whole heartedly believe that in general it is a much better idea to address the issue with the perpetrators of oppression instead of the victims. For example in Sweden they have successfully greatly reduced prostitution and “sex slave trade” by making laws against pimps and customers instead of prostitutes. They are offering help and ways for prostitutes who want to “get out” of “the trade” to have ways to do so, instead of criminalizing them. So France’s law is by now means “perfect” , but still better than allowing men to force women into wearing something against their free will. What is the matter with some of you people, do you really believe that most of these women are CHOOSING to cover their faces? Most of them are coerced via fear and shame by their husbands and family. PLEASE look a little deeper than the thought “the France government does not allow these poor women to wear what they want to”. It’s also not a religious issue, it’s a cultural man made requirement created by Moslem men, please check out that truth. I am certain that most people including myself are completely okay with women wearing veils and/or long garments for purpose of modesty and of their own free will. @ Marcelo: I believe you truly express the truth here when you write: “Can anyone at Amnesty International please explain me in which way covering your face is an “expression of your identity”? As a neuroscientist I can assure you that all the scientific evidence proves that watching facial expressions is absolutely necessary for empathy.” Exactly ! Maybe that is one of the essential reasons why empathy for women in cultures were they have to cover their face appears to be so much less than in other cultures. Moreover, the burqa has little to do with “religious freedom” it is merely a mostly Saudi Arabian (and some other countries) custom which only confirms male dominance and is referred to as the "the woman’s grave" (yes, google that expression) .

    And the government is right in regards to safety for the common good. It’s not just about terrorism, but would we allow men to walk around in a park or walk into a bank with a ski mask showing only their eyes ????? Men are not the only people who commit crimes, notwithstanding a man could also easily pose as a woman. And then there is one more VERY IMPORTANT fact why the new law (while flawed) is very important : Women who live in Muslim communities in France and often those who are merely visiting are often violently attacked in some instances even murdered. In some countries (like Afghanistan) it is a men’s “right” to rape a women if she is not wearing a burqa (she will not even receive help from police or any kind of justice) . Let's address that issue first of all ! I really don’t understand how Amnesty Int. (I usually agree with most of your stands) or anyone with a heart and intelligence can be against the law to ban burqas (other than wanting it to be improved in fairness) When we first abolished slavery in the US the laws surrounding the issue were clumsy and not so fair at all, it took time, but at least a first step. Amnesty International, let France make their own laws and focus more on protecting the dignity and human rights of children, women and men all over this planet !

  66. @ lubna ashraf : Of course women have "a right to cover themselves up" just as they have a "right to wear a bikini" as you put it. This law ONLY reqires that women are not allowed in public to cover their faces (except their eyes). A woman can still wear a veil and/or long dress. But the two facts remain: Most women are coerced/forced/compelled via threat/shame by their husbands and family to wear a burqa. It's about a women's right "NOT to wear a burqa" just like hopefully a women wearing a bikini was not forced to do so by her husband or family or (as it is still the case in the western world, the other extreme) to wear a bikini out in public. Also, woman –or man– who wear their swim suits or less into a restaurant or bank or so would most likely be stopped from entering or asked to leave. A man walking around with a burqa -or ski mask only showing his eyes, trying to enter a bank or a park would most likely also be stopped ( unless on a ski slope). Out of common sense men don't usually try to do so (unless robbing a bank or attacking someone in a park), if Moslem men were walking around with burqas/ and or ski masks the law would have been past long ago. —The fact remains, it is a chauvinist oppressing custom used to oppress women, not the supposed "religious" desire of women to demonstrate their modesty.

  67. @ said muhammed , it is because of men with the the arrogant, deranged and narcissistic mind set as expressed in your comment—-why myself and many others are pro the ban which France has voted to impose. To me it is like banning slavery, child abuse etc
    @Abdul Jabbar you do not believe that the post by Said Muhammad could be authentic. Of course it is possible that you are correct in this instant, nevertheless I personally know people with just exactly that kind of mind set, and it is the whole reason why women are required to wear burqas in the first place . Of course not all Moslems require it, but it is still used as a weapon to oppress and control women in certain Moslem communities including in France. Even though slavery is still thriving and legal in certain parts of the world and female circumcision is also still legal and practiced in other parts of the world, France, like any country has the right to make their own laws. No country is perfect and free of human rights abuses of some kind, but at least it is a step in the right direction. I do agree and admire the thoughts of those here on this blog who would prefer France (and wouldn’t it be great all other countries) would pass strict laws against coercions and domestic threats by husbands and other people to force a woman to wear a Full-Face Veil. I whole heartedly believe that in general it is a much better idea to address the issue with the perpetrators of oppression instead of the victims. For example in Sweden they have successfully greatly reduced prostitution and “sex slave trade” by making laws against pimps and customers instead of prostitutes. They are offering help and ways for prostitutes who want to “get out” of “the trade” to have ways to do so, instead of criminalizing them. So France’s law is by now means “perfect” , but still better than allowing men to force women into wearing something against their free will. What is the matter with some of you people, do you really believe that most of these women are CHOOSING to cover their faces? Most of them are coerced via fear and shame by their husbands and family. PLEASE look a little deeper than the thought “the France government does not allow these poor women to wear what they want to”. It’s also not a religious issue, it’s a cultural man made requirement created by Moslem men, please check out that truth. I am certain that most people including myself are completely okay with women wearing veils and/or long garments for purpose of modesty and of their own free will. @ Marcelo: I believe you truly express the truth here when you write: “Can anyone at Amnesty International please explain me in which way covering your face is an “expression of your identity”? As a neuroscientist I can assure you that all the scientific evidence proves that watching facial expressions is absolutely necessary for empathy.” Exactly ! Maybe that is one of the essential reasons why empathy for women in cultures were they have to cover their face appears to be so much less than in other cultures. Moreover, the burqa has little to do with “religious freedom” it is merely a mostly Saudi Arabian (and some other countries) custom which only confirms male dominance and is referred to as the “the woman’s grave” (yes, google that expression) .

    And the government is right in regards to safety for the common good. It’s not just about terrorism, but would we allow men to walk around in a park or walk into a bank with a ski mask showing only their eyes ????? Men are not the only people who commit crimes, notwithstanding a man could also easily pose as a woman. And then there is one more VERY IMPORTANT fact why the new law (while flawed) is very important : Women who live in Muslim communities in France and often those who are merely visiting are often violently attacked in some instances even murdered. In some countries (like Afghanistan) it is a men’s “right” to rape a women if she is not wearing a burqa (she will not even receive help from police or any kind of justice) . Let’s address that issue first of all ! I really don’t understand how Amnesty Int. (I usually agree with most of your stands) or anyone with a heart and intelligence can be against the law to ban burqas (other than wanting it to be improved in fairness) When we first abolished slavery in the US the laws surrounding the issue were clumsy and not so fair at all, it took time, but at least a first step. Amnesty International, let France make their own laws and focus more on protecting the dignity and human rights of children, women and men all over this planet !

  68. @ lubna ashraf : Of course women have “a right to cover themselves up” just as they have a “right to wear a bikini” as you put it. This law ONLY reqires that women are not allowed in public to cover their faces (except their eyes). A woman can still wear a veil and/or long dress. But the two facts remain: Most women are coerced/forced/compelled via threat/shame by their husbands and family to wear a burqa. It’s about a women’s right “NOT to wear a burqa” just like hopefully a women wearing a bikini was not forced to do so by her husband or family or (as it is still the case in the western world, the other extreme) to wear a bikini out in public. Also, woman –or man– who wear their swim suits or less into a restaurant or bank or so would most likely be stopped from entering or asked to leave. A man walking around with a burqa -or ski mask only showing his eyes, trying to enter a bank or a park would most likely also be stopped ( unless on a ski slope). Out of common sense men don’t usually try to do so (unless robbing a bank or attacking someone in a park), if Moslem men were walking around with burqas/ and or ski masks the law would have been past long ago. —The fact remains, it is a chauvinist oppressing custom used to oppress women, not the supposed “religious” desire of women to demonstrate their modesty.

  69. @ Regina

    What a pity! Aren't your viewpoints self-contradictory:

    1. On one hand you say that France (means any country) should be allowed to make its laws, on the other hand you do not want to allow individuals to wear the clothings of their choice.

    2. On one hand you say that men force women to wear burqa on the other hand you are adovating a law which is forcing woman not to wear the same.

    While those who are affected by this law say that its a matter of religious importance you are trying to impose you viewpoint that it is not. It's just like instead of condemning the high-handed white collar criminal you start hurting and condemning the the aggrieved party.

    You say that "In some countries (like Afghanistan) it is a men’s “right” to rape a women if she is not wearing a burqa" This is such a cruel statement and very very objectionable one. This statement shows how powerfully media is spreading disinformation about muslim countries that citizens of western countries believe such big lies, such baseless statements so easily.

    I want to tell you and other members of HUMAN RIGHTS NOW that rape is considered more heinous crime in Afghanistan and other muslim countries than it is considered in France and other European countries.

    I strongly believe that muslims who have rich norms and values need to counter the negetive propaganda made to decieve the citizens of western coutries. At the same time I will request you and other members of HUMAN RIGHTS NOW to always differenciate between propaganda and facts otherwise the warmonger elitists will increase the drift between Eastern and Western countries for their vested interests.

  70. @ Regina

    What a pity! Aren’t your viewpoints self-contradictory:

    1. On one hand you say that France (means any country) should be allowed to make its laws, on the other hand you do not want to allow individuals to wear the clothings of their choice.

    2. On one hand you say that men force women to wear burqa on the other hand you are adovating a law which is forcing woman not to wear the same.

    While those who are affected by this law say that its a matter of religious importance you are trying to impose you viewpoint that it is not. It’s just like instead of condemning the high-handed white collar criminal you start hurting and condemning the the aggrieved party.

    You say that “In some countries (like Afghanistan) it is a men’s “right” to rape a women if she is not wearing a burqa” This is such a cruel statement and very very objectionable one. This statement shows how powerfully media is spreading disinformation about muslim countries that citizens of western countries believe such big lies, such baseless statements so easily.

    I want to tell you and other members of HUMAN RIGHTS NOW that rape is considered more heinous crime in Afghanistan and other muslim countries than it is considered in France and other European countries.

    I strongly believe that muslims who have rich norms and values need to counter the negetive propaganda made to decieve the citizens of western coutries. At the same time I will request you and other members of HUMAN RIGHTS NOW to always differenciate between propaganda and facts otherwise the warmonger elitists will increase the drift between Eastern and Western countries for their vested interests.