France's Face Veil Ban Goes Into Effect Today

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

Women in France no longer have complete control over what they put on in the morning as the controversial full-face veil ban goes into effect today.

The first in Europe, anyone wearning the niqab or burqa in public could now face a fine of up to €150 ($216).

Already, several people have been detained, including two women wearing the full-face veil, who were protesting against the law. Police said the people were detained for joining an unauthorised protest in central Paris. Amnesty International condemns these detentions.

John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International said of the ban:

“Women in France have the right to freedom of religion and expression. They must also be free to protest when this right is violated. This law puts France to shame – a country that prides itself on the human rights it claims to promote and protect, freedom of expression included.”

The law prevents women in France from expressing their values, beliefs and identity and should be scrapped.

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58 thoughts on “France's Face Veil Ban Goes Into Effect Today

  1. If I remember correctly one of the best known slogans of May 68 was 'Il est interdit d'interdir' – It's forbidden to forbid.
    The face veil could be seen as a prohibition (to show your face), which the French government is now prohibiting!
    Having worked with women wearing the face veil, as a Westerner I have found it very disturbing… Not the fact that they were wearign the full burka – I'd take that at 'face-value' (no pun intended!…), like I would a nun's habit, or a Buddhist monk's robes, or any other type of uniform… But the fact that the face is not visible makes it very hard to gauge communication!…
    I experience similar feeligns when working with people who will not take their sunglasses off!.. And I would if I were working with sb who were a surgical mask permanently, or who were a Venetian Mask for that matter!… Or a BALAKLAVA!…
    Whether such INDIVIDUAL choices shoudl be controlled BY LAW is another matter…
    Incidentally, Police in London were forcibly removing BALAKLAVAS from protesters in the CUTS March 10 days ago, and quoting the LAW!!… So there you go, we, in England, are not far from it either!…
    The Face Veil might be a blessing in OUR culture too! We would not be able to DISTINGUISH the Queen from Jordan!…
    I've often thought, what would the world be like if all MEN were 'required' to wear a face-veil as well?
    It would be very interesting: We would not be able to distiguish BRAD PITT from PRINCE CHARLES!…
    For better or for worse!…
    The face-veil IS applied to WOMEN only and that in itself makes it a DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICE!…
    Seen from that angle, the French are just enforcing Anti-Discrimination!…

  2. I'm of two minds about it. I feel really torn. I find it difficult to believe that any woman would voluntarily wear it. So for that reason I am uneasy about punishing the women – I think this needs to be pursued with the greatest of delicacy and understanding.

  3. Really looks like cultural bullying. But if they love the odd looking clothing, then I guess whatever.

  4. The French have a right to choose what kind of
    society they want to live in They want a society without veils that's fine. There are many places in the world which are veil friendly and those who want to live in a society with veils can move there. The French will not stop them." You can't go to Dubai and hold hands or kiss your Boyfriend/Husband in public without being JAILED for it. I don't see AI campaigning to put pressure on Muslim nations to allow me to choose NOT wear the veil when I visit. If I went to Saudi I'd have to suit up. This is CLEARLY about safety rules and regulations, not human rights issues!

  5. so what?! so what if sb wears a burka or niqab or how ever it's called!! so what?! does it make the person worse/better?! why not let everyone wear what they want to?! i mean EVERYONE IS wearing what they want to, but just the muslims are not!!! why can't they?! what the heck is the problem?! if sb wears a short that you don't like than you can't go and prohibit it, just because you don't like it!! i think it's pure rassism and everyone knows it, because everyone's just against everything they don't know and they don't even UNDERSTAND! it's not your problem if i go around half naked or fully closed. it's really not ANYONE's problem. and in this case it's even going into the religion. so what?! a buddist can walk around in a orange sheet and a hinduist with a point drawn on the forehead and a christ can show off with his crucifix everywhere, so why can't a woman, a muslim, wear what she wants to?! that's real DISCRIMINATION!!

  6. If burqa is banned because of extreme expression than what about nacked beaches. Is not it the same extreme expression.France image in the world will be distorted and muslim will also feel unhappy.

  7. As I said before: "It's easier to be a Muslim on the run (covering face)". Bin Ladin and his buddies are likely wearing dresses and veils, running around freely right next door, right now. Time to wake up to real issues.

  8. if i remember correctly, part of the reason for this ban is due to terrorism threats? I thought it was because even men or any sort of terrorists in recent times have been known to take the aid of the burka which no one will question, to smuggle in arms and drugs and weapons, etc.
    Now this is very discriminatory as it obviously targets only a certain portion of the population and especially only women who majority of them, are just innocent citizens wanting to practice their beliefs. Who is right?? The women who want to practice their faith and freedom to have the option to wear a garment if they please or the government who wants to protect its citizens from criminals who can take advantage of this garment? I do not know the whole story but I believe this point was one that came into play when passing this law, sorry if I'm wrong!

  9. Most of the french population agree this new law, the fact of wearing the niqab or the burqa show the refusal to live in society. Because by wearing the full face veils, they hide their identity, they are like anonymous ones.
    Wearing the hood is forbidden so why wearing the niqab or the burqa wouldn't be forbidden ?
    The total freedom in a society doesn't exist, people aren't free for example to go naked in public places, and nobody points this fact !
    And nobody likes to meet anonymous ones, they are like ghosts, they can be thieves, terrorists, prisonners escaped…
    Really if those women want to wear full face veil, they should return in arabic countries like this they will be accepted.
    I am for the freedom, but i'm grateful that in a society there are limits for security of the population, and it would be shameful for us, women to accept that, we are in a country where women are free and don't need to hide them. These muslim women should be conscious of this fact, and after all wearing the veil is accepting to show our identity, but wearing the niqab is not.

  10. what an utter waste of time and energy. i don't like offensively smelly people, and everyone has to tolerate that in France. it just simply does not matter what someone wears, or doesn't wear, for that matter. i guess color, race and religion are next??? …which direction are we going? i mean it's France, not Alabama.

  11. I have a little question..Why the people of these countries prevent veil?..Arab countries don't prevent foreign people from acting their religions or habits or traditional..Why does France prevent veil and the Arab countries do not prevent french people from acting their life style however it is sometime against Islam…it is time now for France and other countries to let people do what they want if it doesn't harm anyone..it is time now to respect all religions….it is time now to respect all Black people….it is time now to know about Arab culture…it is time now to respect your self.

  12. If I remember correctly one of the best known slogans of May 68 was ‘Il est interdit d’interdir’ – It’s forbidden to forbid.
    The face veil could be seen as a prohibition (to show your face), which the French government is now prohibiting!
    Having worked with women wearing the face veil, as a Westerner I have found it very disturbing… Not the fact that they were wearign the full burka – I’d take that at ‘face-value’ (no pun intended!…), like I would a nun’s habit, or a Buddhist monk’s robes, or any other type of uniform… But the fact that the face is not visible makes it very hard to gauge communication!…
    I experience similar feeligns when working with people who will not take their sunglasses off!.. And I would if I were working with sb who were a surgical mask permanently, or who were a Venetian Mask for that matter!… Or a BALAKLAVA!…
    Whether such INDIVIDUAL choices shoudl be controlled BY LAW is another matter…
    Incidentally, Police in London were forcibly removing BALAKLAVAS from protesters in the CUTS March 10 days ago, and quoting the LAW!!… So there you go, we, in England, are not far from it either!…
    The Face Veil might be a blessing in OUR culture too! We would not be able to DISTINGUISH the Queen from Jordan!…
    I’ve often thought, what would the world be like if all MEN were ‘required’ to wear a face-veil as well?
    It would be very interesting: We would not be able to distiguish BRAD PITT from PRINCE CHARLES!…
    For better or for worse!…
    The face-veil IS applied to WOMEN only and that in itself makes it a DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICE!…
    Seen from that angle, the French are just enforcing Anti-Discrimination!…

  13. I’m of two minds about it. I feel really torn. I find it difficult to believe that any woman would voluntarily wear it. So for that reason I am uneasy about punishing the women – I think this needs to be pursued with the greatest of delicacy and understanding.

  14. Really looks like cultural bullying. But if they love the odd looking clothing, then I guess whatever.

  15. @Victoria Dennis

    Arab countries surely do prevent foreign people from 'acting their religions or habits or tradional' while they're there. In order to go to UAE or Saudi Arabia etc, a woman would have to cover up and wear local traditional dress- which may well include both burqua and niqab. A single woman is not allowed to travel alone in the country, nor are they allowed to travel with a male who is not a blood relation.

    There have been several high profile cases of (unmarried) couples being arrested for kissing in public while in UAE.

    The point is- both France and UAE have laws which are there to maintain the happiness of the local population. Both are forcing people to adapt their behaviour in a way that is more acceptable to the local population, and to the values of the country.

  16. The French have a right to choose what kind of
    society they want to live in They want a society without veils that’s fine. There are many places in the world which are veil friendly and those who want to live in a society with veils can move there. The French will not stop them.” You can’t go to Dubai and hold hands or kiss your Boyfriend/Husband in public without being JAILED for it. I don’t see AI campaigning to put pressure on Muslim nations to allow me to choose NOT wear the veil when I visit. If I went to Saudi I’d have to suit up. This is CLEARLY about safety rules and regulations, not human rights issues!

  17. so what?! so what if sb wears a burka or niqab or how ever it’s called!! so what?! does it make the person worse/better?! why not let everyone wear what they want to?! i mean EVERYONE IS wearing what they want to, but just the muslims are not!!! why can’t they?! what the heck is the problem?! if sb wears a short that you don’t like than you can’t go and prohibit it, just because you don’t like it!! i think it’s pure rassism and everyone knows it, because everyone’s just against everything they don’t know and they don’t even UNDERSTAND! it’s not your problem if i go around half naked or fully closed. it’s really not ANYONE’s problem. and in this case it’s even going into the religion. so what?! a buddist can walk around in a orange sheet and a hinduist with a point drawn on the forehead and a christ can show off with his crucifix everywhere, so why can’t a woman, a muslim, wear what she wants to?! that’s real DISCRIMINATION!!

  18. If burqa is banned because of extreme expression than what about nacked beaches. Is not it the same extreme expression.France image in the world will be distorted and muslim will also feel unhappy.

  19. As I said before: “It’s easier to be a Muslim on the run (covering face)”. Bin Ladin and his buddies are likely wearing dresses and veils, running around freely right next door, right now. Time to wake up to real issues.

  20. if i remember correctly, part of the reason for this ban is due to terrorism threats? I thought it was because even men or any sort of terrorists in recent times have been known to take the aid of the burka which no one will question, to smuggle in arms and drugs and weapons, etc.
    Now this is very discriminatory as it obviously targets only a certain portion of the population and especially only women who majority of them, are just innocent citizens wanting to practice their beliefs. Who is right?? The women who want to practice their faith and freedom to have the option to wear a garment if they please or the government who wants to protect its citizens from criminals who can take advantage of this garment? I do not know the whole story but I believe this point was one that came into play when passing this law, sorry if I’m wrong!

  21. Most of the french population agree this new law, the fact of wearing the niqab or the burqa show the refusal to live in society. Because by wearing the full face veils, they hide their identity, they are like anonymous ones.
    Wearing the hood is forbidden so why wearing the niqab or the burqa wouldn’t be forbidden ?
    The total freedom in a society doesn’t exist, people aren’t free for example to go naked in public places, and nobody points this fact !
    And nobody likes to meet anonymous ones, they are like ghosts, they can be thieves, terrorists, prisonners escaped…
    Really if those women want to wear full face veil, they should return in arabic countries like this they will be accepted.
    I am for the freedom, but i’m grateful that in a society there are limits for security of the population, and it would be shameful for us, women to accept that, we are in a country where women are free and don’t need to hide them. These muslim women should be conscious of this fact, and after all wearing the veil is accepting to show our identity, but wearing the niqab is not.

  22. Enforcing a law like this is dangerous. It gives precidence for a government to enforce other laws that take away a citizens right to live the way they want. Countries like of the western world like France have always prided themselves in being part of the "Free World". How is this freedom to be yourself?

  23. The article is somewhat misleading in that it suggests the new French law is some kind of knee-jerk reaction driven by anti-Muslim bigotry. However, the law was first proposed more than two years ago and was thoroughly debated in public and the legislature.

    It is also important to understand the reasoning behind the law, which was to protect the dignity of women in general, not to offend the purported dignity of Muslim women. Hiding the face is not required by the Qur'an, and it has become a symbol of the inequality of women in the Muslim world. This misogyny in the Muslim religion is antithetical to the values of the French people as a whole. The French absolutely have the right to make laws that protect their citizens from the symbols of that misogyny in French "public life."

    In addition, one of the reasons for the law was to free women who would be forced to wear the garb by their husbands or other males of their family, but who did not choose to do so on their own. France does not have different laws for men and women, and this law is an attempt to prevent the establishment of different standards under the law by way of cultural norms.

  24. what an utter waste of time and energy. i don’t like offensively smelly people, and everyone has to tolerate that in France. it just simply does not matter what someone wears, or doesn’t wear, for that matter. i guess color, race and religion are next??? …which direction are we going? i mean it’s France, not Alabama.

  25. I have a little question..Why the people of these countries prevent veil?..Arab countries don’t prevent foreign people from acting their religions or habits or traditional..Why does France prevent veil and the Arab countries do not prevent french people from acting their life style however it is sometime against Islam…it is time now for France and other countries to let people do what they want if it doesn’t harm anyone..it is time now to respect all religions….it is time now to respect all Black people….it is time now to know about Arab culture…it is time now to respect your self.

  26. I have mixed feelings about this whole issue. I am a muslim but I do not cover my self head to toe. This is not a muslim thing but more a cultural practice. In the Quran its says to dress modestly. Every muslim country Arab or non Arab country have their own way of dressing. In other countries some women specially the elders wear a light scarf over their head. I do think that no one has the right to tell someone how to dress on the other hand , that country is entitled to their laws as well. But they should not target one religion only. I was visiting my family in Geneva and saw the various coverings of the arab women which I had never seen as they even covered their nose with some kind of metal looking thing and I am a muslim and found it strange. I am not forced to hide my face so this is not an issue of men be-rating a woman and believe me the women are the ones that run the show not the men as all believe! Just my two cents!

  27. France is a secular western democratic country that prizes liberty, equality and fraternity and very stricly enforces a code of separation of 'religion' and state.

    Any woman who wears the full-face veil in France – or any secular democracy – is not professing her devotion to God alone – come off it!! She is publicly staing that she adheres to a fundamentalist and conservative interpretation of Islam which believes in sharia law, does not recognise the basic premises of liberal western democracy, does not agree with the civil right to convert from Islam to another religion or to athiesim, and indeed believes such apostacy deserves death, does not hold with womens rights and the equality fo the sexes under law.

    Thats what this issue is about.

    If this woman believs these things and proclaims them by her dress code she is repudiating the very basis of French democratic values. That is her choice. She needs to recognize that to French people her actions are a blatant rejection of everything the French hold dear. Does she expect them to tolerate her. If she wants to live like that she should move to Saudi Arabia or Iran. She should not expect the French to tolerate her intolerance.

    Too many Muslims are disingeneous when it comes to this matter – they cry ilslamaphobia – it is not. It is simply and rightly telling Muslims that people in the West dont want to live under sharia law – nor for that fact do millions of muslims.

    It is not simply about expressing religious devotion – it is more than that and people need to be honest about it and stop twisting the facts.

    How can people who wear full-face veil in France which means they are rejecting French values – and expect people to accept it?

    Wear the head scarf by all means – but the full-face veil and what it symbolically proclaims – namely a rejection of western values – has no place in a western democracy.

    Stop crying foul. This is not bigotry – its a defence of western secular democracy being eroded by some muslims and their 'liberal tolerant' fellow travellers who accuse anyone of objecting to anything Muslim as anti-muslim or Islamaphobia. Sorry, that simply doesn't wash with me.

    As for her husband comp-laining that now she will be cloistered and home – that's a joke! I would remind Monsieur that when his wife has previously gone out on the street she was not allowed to communicate with anyone who wasn't a family member or of her faith. Clistered? The behaviour and attitude of niquab wearers, thjeir husbands and families cut them off from mainstream social life years ago. And they are the ones who chose to be cut off and did so.

  28. @Victoria Dennis

    Arab countries surely do prevent foreign people from ‘acting their religions or habits or tradional’ while they’re there. In order to go to UAE or Saudi Arabia etc, a woman would have to cover up and wear local traditional dress- which may well include both burqua and niqab. A single woman is not allowed to travel alone in the country, nor are they allowed to travel with a male who is not a blood relation.

    There have been several high profile cases of (unmarried) couples being arrested for kissing in public while in UAE.

    The point is- both France and UAE have laws which are there to maintain the happiness of the local population. Both are forcing people to adapt their behaviour in a way that is more acceptable to the local population, and to the values of the country.

  29. Enforcing a law like this is dangerous. It gives precidence for a government to enforce other laws that take away a citizens right to live the way they want. Countries like of the western world like France have always prided themselves in being part of the “Free World”. How is this freedom to be yourself?

  30. The article is somewhat misleading in that it suggests the new French law is some kind of knee-jerk reaction driven by anti-Muslim bigotry. However, the law was first proposed more than two years ago and was thoroughly debated in public and the legislature.

    It is also important to understand the reasoning behind the law, which was to protect the dignity of women in general, not to offend the purported dignity of Muslim women. Hiding the face is not required by the Qur’an, and it has become a symbol of the inequality of women in the Muslim world. This misogyny in the Muslim religion is antithetical to the values of the French people as a whole. The French absolutely have the right to make laws that protect their citizens from the symbols of that misogyny in French “public life.”

    In addition, one of the reasons for the law was to free women who would be forced to wear the garb by their husbands or other males of their family, but who did not choose to do so on their own. France does not have different laws for men and women, and this law is an attempt to prevent the establishment of different standards under the law by way of cultural norms.

  31. I just do not get it. What are these women doing to hurt anyone else?
    Nothing. So what gives France the right to tell them how they must dress?

    Funny isn't it how West European countries like France and also Switzerland do not forget, with its viscously racist mosque construction ban, like to act all superior and claim they are such perfect democracies and are so quick to preach and lecture other countries on how to behave this way or that, but as soon as some tiny ethnic minority dares refuse to completely assimilate into the dominate culture and has the nerve to insist on honoring in some small way its own traditions, they have to institute these racist oppressive draconian laws.

    Especially funny when you consider that for example in Israel, the Muslim face veil is completely legal and always has been. Not only that but Israel has a publicly funded Sharia law court system with civil servant Islamic judges which rules with full force of law on all matters related to Muslim family law and divorce.

    I cannot comprehend how Israel, with all its history of conflict, can have no problem allowing its large 1 million strong Muslim minority a decent set of basic religious freedoms, yet Switzerland feels so desperately threatened by a tiny tiny Muslim minority it must grotesquely forbid these people from building houses of prayer and France feels it must oppress and humiliate these women and violate their inalienable universal human right to freedom of religion by preventing them from following their religion as they see fit.

  32. The world is witnessing a slow transition from orthodoxy to modernity. The motive force behind this is education. Some persons are trying to reverse the natural process but they will not succeed. Here the question arises whether laws as enacted by France regarding dress code have any role to play in the process? Are these justifiable? I think No. Such laws are xenophobic, chauvinistic and promote hatred among people. If action of Arab countries of curtailing personal freedoms is wrong, that of Government of France is bad. Let transition from outdated rites and rituals to modern and vibrant outlook come in a natural way. Besides to arrest persons who protest against the law is wrong and condemnable. The people must be allowed to give vent to their dissent.

  33. I have mixed feelings about this whole issue. I am a muslim but I do not cover my self head to toe. This is not a muslim thing but more a cultural practice. In the Quran its says to dress modestly. Every muslim country Arab or non Arab country have their own way of dressing. In other countries some women specially the elders wear a light scarf over their head. I do think that no one has the right to tell someone how to dress on the other hand , that country is entitled to their laws as well. But they should not target one religion only. I was visiting my family in Geneva and saw the various coverings of the arab women which I had never seen as they even covered their nose with some kind of metal looking thing and I am a muslim and found it strange. I am not forced to hide my face so this is not an issue of men be-rating a woman and believe me the women are the ones that run the show not the men as all believe! Just my two cents!

  34. France is a secular western democratic country that prizes liberty, equality and fraternity and very stricly enforces a code of separation of ‘religion’ and state.

    Any woman who wears the full-face veil in France – or any secular democracy – is not professing her devotion to God alone – come off it!! She is publicly staing that she adheres to a fundamentalist and conservative interpretation of Islam which believes in sharia law, does not recognise the basic premises of liberal western democracy, does not agree with the civil right to convert from Islam to another religion or to athiesim, and indeed believes such apostacy deserves death, does not hold with womens rights and the equality fo the sexes under law.

    Thats what this issue is about.

    If this woman believs these things and proclaims them by her dress code she is repudiating the very basis of French democratic values. That is her choice. She needs to recognize that to French people her actions are a blatant rejection of everything the French hold dear. Does she expect them to tolerate her. If she wants to live like that she should move to Saudi Arabia or Iran. She should not expect the French to tolerate her intolerance.

    Too many Muslims are disingeneous when it comes to this matter – they cry ilslamaphobia – it is not. It is simply and rightly telling Muslims that people in the West dont want to live under sharia law – nor for that fact do millions of muslims.

    It is not simply about expressing religious devotion – it is more than that and people need to be honest about it and stop twisting the facts.

    How can people who wear full-face veil in France which means they are rejecting French values – and expect people to accept it?

    Wear the head scarf by all means – but the full-face veil and what it symbolically proclaims – namely a rejection of western values – has no place in a western democracy.

    Stop crying foul. This is not bigotry – its a defence of western secular democracy being eroded by some muslims and their ‘liberal tolerant’ fellow travellers who accuse anyone of objecting to anything Muslim as anti-muslim or Islamaphobia. Sorry, that simply doesn’t wash with me.

    As for her husband comp-laining that now she will be cloistered and home – that’s a joke! I would remind Monsieur that when his wife has previously gone out on the street she was not allowed to communicate with anyone who wasn’t a family member or of her faith. Clistered? The behaviour and attitude of niquab wearers, thjeir husbands and families cut them off from mainstream social life years ago. And they are the ones who chose to be cut off and did so.

  35. In some things one eventually has to take a side and say: "I'm sorry, what you believe is just wrong". Some things appear obvious, like slavery, but maybe only in hindsight. Sometimes the people in charge are on the wrong side and making the wrong call, and sometimes it's not about the issue in question, but about what happens if you do nothing – "the road to hell is paved with good intentions".

    To some extent this is about maintaining order in society. If everyone turns up at work looking the same and obeying the rules, and only behaves differently at home in their own community things work fine. As soon as someone decides they want to be different in public they are going to be either a threat or a downtrodden minority.

    For myself, as an atheist, any argument based in religion is bogus, I can see where this comes from, but at the same time I can't see how this particular law is going to achieve much but appease the right wing. Most second generation immigrants to the West abandon hard-line religious behavior, you achieve more by insisting on integrated schools.

  36. I just do not get it. What are these women doing to hurt anyone else?
    Nothing. So what gives France the right to tell them how they must dress?

    Funny isn’t it how West European countries like France and also Switzerland do not forget, with its viscously racist mosque construction ban, like to act all superior and claim they are such perfect democracies and are so quick to preach and lecture other countries on how to behave this way or that, but as soon as some tiny ethnic minority dares refuse to completely assimilate into the dominate culture and has the nerve to insist on honoring in some small way its own traditions, they have to institute these racist oppressive draconian laws.

    Especially funny when you consider that for example in Israel, the Muslim face veil is completely legal and always has been. Not only that but Israel has a publicly funded Sharia law court system with civil servant Islamic judges which rules with full force of law on all matters related to Muslim family law and divorce.

    I cannot comprehend how Israel, with all its history of conflict, can have no problem allowing its large 1 million strong Muslim minority a decent set of basic religious freedoms, yet Switzerland feels so desperately threatened by a tiny tiny Muslim minority it must grotesquely forbid these people from building houses of prayer and France feels it must oppress and humiliate these women and violate their inalienable universal human right to freedom of religion by preventing them from following their religion as they see fit.

  37. The world is witnessing a slow transition from orthodoxy to modernity. The motive force behind this is education. Some persons are trying to reverse the natural process but they will not succeed. Here the question arises whether laws as enacted by France regarding dress code have any role to play in the process? Are these justifiable? I think No. Such laws are xenophobic, chauvinistic and promote hatred among people. If action of Arab countries of curtailing personal freedoms is wrong, that of Government of France is bad. Let transition from outdated rites and rituals to modern and vibrant outlook come in a natural way. Besides to arrest persons who protest against the law is wrong and condemnable. The people must be allowed to give vent to their dissent.

  38. In some things one eventually has to take a side and say: “I’m sorry, what you believe is just wrong”. Some things appear obvious, like slavery, but maybe only in hindsight. Sometimes the people in charge are on the wrong side and making the wrong call, and sometimes it’s not about the issue in question, but about what happens if you do nothing – “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”.

    To some extent this is about maintaining order in society. If everyone turns up at work looking the same and obeying the rules, and only behaves differently at home in their own community things work fine. As soon as someone decides they want to be different in public they are going to be either a threat or a downtrodden minority.

    For myself, as an atheist, any argument based in religion is bogus, I can see where this comes from, but at the same time I can’t see how this particular law is going to achieve much but appease the right wing. Most second generation immigrants to the West abandon hard-line religious behavior, you achieve more by insisting on integrated schools.

  39. Well, everyone is confused and no wonder as it is so complicated indeed.
    To make it simple the issue need to be adressed to a context, which is a terrorist poluted western world. France is agressively pursuing the brave choice of security and lesser tolerance to dangerous and antisocial religious or cultural practices. It is controversial but not if one focus on the core issue. It is no longer about who wears what and how he is feeling about it but simple procortion and security measure. Ask the victims of terrorism what do they wish for, they will tell you.Guess the answer…
    Western world have tolerated different practices, including the full veil for a very very long time and it is blowing in our faces now. Just like with mad dog that bites your hand when you try to feed it. In off is in off. Sentiments and gentle approach did not do the trick and it have gone out of hands. What do you think the government can do to protect us???They are limits to what they can do without offending anyone. It just is not possible without some restrictions. Unfortunately it does hurt and it does point into the innocent, stubborn and simply stupid woman that resist changes, for them it will also be better in a long run. Why resist? The old fashion restriction of wearing a full veil is been lifted and now they will be able to feel free and equal to everyone as they have a perfect excuse not to practice strict muslim rules. Perhaps they do not have much of a choice, so there we go, now they are assured of that. Someone did a favour to them.
    Forcing them to show the faces is a normal practice and a requirement for everyone. How on Earth did they pass the borders???? We all have to have very specificaly taken photos for Gods sake! Do the muslim woman gotten special tratment till now? I think this is wrong. Maybe that's why we have no control over our world as we let in whoever is under the veil without any control over it? Equality? YES PLEASE , FOR EVERYONE.
    Human Rights?What about the rights to be safe? FOR EVERYONE.
    The jurisdiction of a muslims is fully accessible in their countries and they can practice what they want there. Free expressions are often fatal to westerners, we all know that. They punish people for who they are and for the cultural expressions thypical to them. What HUMAN RIGHTS SAY ABOUT THAT?

    Lets wake up and stop dreaming. What comes around ….
    It is time we put an end to been slaughtered with approval.

    I agree totally, that woman will be targeted to enforce the ban and it seem painful but it will be benefitial in a long run. How else ensure that the danger and antisocial coverage of woman (only) faces will stop in Europe? Any better ideas? I mean without spending a fortune? Slow education perhaps would be a better option but it would cost. Why should WEE pay for that?

    THere is plenty of countries where full veil is very welcomed and everyone unhappy should consider going to live in such countries, France or the rest of Europe are not having any obligations to incluide anyone that do not comply with their laws as the law is usualy made for everyones benefit. I hope you will agree, that in this case it definitely is a measure of preventing the most serious of crimes.

    Prevention as well as a battle for better integration and possibility of including everyone into a society. If someone do not want to socialise why is here as it must be very painful to be isolated?
    I hate hurting anyone but feel it is nessesery for the better future. We do not throw out anyone but put a demand upon them and the choice is yours ladies, that wish to wear full cover. I am sure this is not the most violent act towards those very women.

    By the way, to contradict the other comments, we do not exactly tolerate prostitution or nakedness in public. There are laws forbiding all such attitutes, so do not attack us as you have no right to make up stories without solid founds. It proves once again that you do not belong here as you do not know much about our laws and culture. We do not go around naked as it is punishable by law!

    I am european and want Europe to be european friendly and safe for europeans. Of course for everyone else as well but! they have to prove it they are with us and not against us. Create your laws in your lands, leave ours to us.

    We all to soft on other, less developed countries and we do feel for the few woamen that will be distressed but it will improve the relationships with the people that will decide to carrry on living in France. Try not to move to the to other countries of Europe as the restrictions will be spreading further hopefully soon.

    I remind! It is not an attack it is a DEFENCE!

  40. Well, everyone is confused and no wonder as it is so complicated indeed.
    To make it simple the issue need to be adressed to a context, which is a terrorist poluted western world. France is agressively pursuing the brave choice of security and lesser tolerance to dangerous and antisocial religious or cultural practices. It is controversial but not if one focus on the core issue. It is no longer about who wears what and how he is feeling about it but simple procortion and security measure. Ask the victims of terrorism what do they wish for, they will tell you.Guess the answer…
    Western world have tolerated different practices, including the full veil for a very very long time and it is blowing in our faces now. Just like with mad dog that bites your hand when you try to feed it. In off is in off. Sentiments and gentle approach did not do the trick and it have gone out of hands. What do you think the government can do to protect us???They are limits to what they can do without offending anyone. It just is not possible without some restrictions. Unfortunately it does hurt and it does point into the innocent, stubborn and simply stupid woman that resist changes, for them it will also be better in a long run. Why resist? The old fashion restriction of wearing a full veil is been lifted and now they will be able to feel free and equal to everyone as they have a perfect excuse not to practice strict muslim rules. Perhaps they do not have much of a choice, so there we go, now they are assured of that. Someone did a favour to them.
    Forcing them to show the faces is a normal practice and a requirement for everyone. How on Earth did they pass the borders???? We all have to have very specificaly taken photos for Gods sake! Do the muslim woman gotten special tratment till now? I think this is wrong. Maybe that’s why we have no control over our world as we let in whoever is under the veil without any control over it? Equality? YES PLEASE , FOR EVERYONE.
    Human Rights?What about the rights to be safe? FOR EVERYONE.
    The jurisdiction of a muslims is fully accessible in their countries and they can practice what they want there. Free expressions are often fatal to westerners, we all know that. They punish people for who they are and for the cultural expressions thypical to them. What HUMAN RIGHTS SAY ABOUT THAT?

    Lets wake up and stop dreaming. What comes around ….
    It is time we put an end to been slaughtered with approval.

    I agree totally, that woman will be targeted to enforce the ban and it seem painful but it will be benefitial in a long run. How else ensure that the danger and antisocial coverage of woman (only) faces will stop in Europe? Any better ideas? I mean without spending a fortune? Slow education perhaps would be a better option but it would cost. Why should WEE pay for that?

    THere is plenty of countries where full veil is very welcomed and everyone unhappy should consider going to live in such countries, France or the rest of Europe are not having any obligations to incluide anyone that do not comply with their laws as the law is usualy made for everyones benefit. I hope you will agree, that in this case it definitely is a measure of preventing the most serious of crimes.

    Prevention as well as a battle for better integration and possibility of including everyone into a society. If someone do not want to socialise why is here as it must be very painful to be isolated?
    I hate hurting anyone but feel it is nessesery for the better future. We do not throw out anyone but put a demand upon them and the choice is yours ladies, that wish to wear full cover. I am sure this is not the most violent act towards those very women.

    By the way, to contradict the other comments, we do not exactly tolerate prostitution or nakedness in public. There are laws forbiding all such attitutes, so do not attack us as you have no right to make up stories without solid founds. It proves once again that you do not belong here as you do not know much about our laws and culture. We do not go around naked as it is punishable by law!

    I am european and want Europe to be european friendly and safe for europeans. Of course for everyone else as well but! they have to prove it they are with us and not against us. Create your laws in your lands, leave ours to us.

    We all to soft on other, less developed countries and we do feel for the few woamen that will be distressed but it will improve the relationships with the people that will decide to carrry on living in France. Try not to move to the to other countries of Europe as the restrictions will be spreading further hopefully soon.

    I remind! It is not an attack it is a DEFENCE!

  41. Muslims in my country think Westerners are naive and spineless idiots to tolerate the full-face veil and insist on the fact that it's not religious but cultural and that it only regained popularity in the 80', thanks to those same Westerners. They didn't quit their country to face that same problem in the West.

    If I wander in the streets in underwear or with a pumpkin on my head I will be arrested, if I protest "illegally" for whatever reasons, I will be arrested. So it's the same law for everybody. If in USA, it's legal to protest anywhere and anytime, even at funerals, it's not how it works elsewhere. Some persons would think they did it on purpose, especially because they knew they were going to be arrested and that would shock the poor naive Westerners.

  42. Muslims in my country think Westerners are naive and spineless idiots to tolerate the full-face veil and insist on the fact that it’s not religious but cultural and that it only regained popularity in the 80′, thanks to those same Westerners. They didn’t quit their country to face that same problem in the West.

    If I wander in the streets in underwear or with a pumpkin on my head I will be arrested, if I protest “illegally” for whatever reasons, I will be arrested. So it’s the same law for everybody. If in USA, it’s legal to protest anywhere and anytime, even at funerals, it’s not how it works elsewhere. Some persons would think they did it on purpose, especially because they knew they were going to be arrested and that would shock the poor naive Westerners.

  43. I like all the above comments, some with reservations.
    I wanted to add that from resent observation I realised that the very women beed discussed are in fact quiet enjoying the chalenge. I see no victims types among them and in fact they did convinced me and should think most other ignorant people that they know exactly what they are doing. Even more! I see them as fighters against the very countries that have hosted them!
    This new law should have been implementad long time ego. I been naive and believe lots of others.
    Thank you for the lectures about extremists, This is obviousl;y clear attck on the West and France is not alone. They are known suicide bombers among woman as well as men, let's not be naive. No more at least.
    Those women have taken advantage of the good life in the west and have grown to hate it anyway. That's why they are challenging the law!
    They are educated, self asured and very agressive, so let's open our eyes wide and be fooled no more.
    Perhaps in their countries they are mistreated but in the west they are bloosoming and turning against the feeding hand.
    I hope the rest of the west follow Belgium and France and soon. We need to resist the opression in our own land.
    Who did not yet realised that it is not an innocent alternative dressing should research.

  44. I like all the above comments, some with reservations.
    I wanted to add that from resent observation I realised that the very women beed discussed are in fact quiet enjoying the chalenge. I see no victims types among them and in fact they did convinced me and should think most other ignorant people that they know exactly what they are doing. Even more! I see them as fighters against the very countries that have hosted them!
    This new law should have been implementad long time ego. I been naive and believe lots of others.
    Thank you for the lectures about extremists, This is obviousl;y clear attck on the West and France is not alone. They are known suicide bombers among woman as well as men, let’s not be naive. No more at least.
    Those women have taken advantage of the good life in the west and have grown to hate it anyway. That’s why they are challenging the law!
    They are educated, self asured and very agressive, so let’s open our eyes wide and be fooled no more.
    Perhaps in their countries they are mistreated but in the west they are bloosoming and turning against the feeding hand.
    I hope the rest of the west follow Belgium and France and soon. We need to resist the opression in our own land.
    Who did not yet realised that it is not an innocent alternative dressing should research.

  45. If Voltaire was around today, whom do you think he would champion ?

    The government, or the women wearing the face veil ?

  46. If Voltaire was around today, whom do you think he would champion ?

    The government, or the women wearing the face veil ?

  47. In my veiw for what its worth France has a right to impose the restriction for the following reason.

    If you were to go to Africa there are some peoples who's culture is such that a man exposes his Penis, women are topless. Would you allow those people to walk the streets of Paris in such attire ?

    Of course not, if you travel to another nation you respect their culture and their values. In Western society it is considered very rude and disrespectfull to show your genitals in public places, as indeed it would be considered illegal for a women to walk around the streets topless.

    As part of Western society seeing someones face is part of a cultural interaction. You look people in the eyes when talking to them, and you guage their intentions from the expressions on their face.

    For me the veil was initially introduced by men who were insecure and were worried that someone might run off with their wife. By locking her up at home and covering her with a veil hopefully nobody would get a glimpse and therefore be encouraged to make a play. In addition the penalty of death by stoning was also an effective means of keeping your wife faithfull.

    Unfortunately these values do not fit in with a Western culture, and although its not really any of our business what they do in their homelands, it certainly is our business when it is happening in our countries.

    The solution for all travellers is "When in Rome do what the Romans do" if you do not like that, then dont travel..

  48. In my veiw for what its worth France has a right to impose the restriction for the following reason.

    If you were to go to Africa there are some peoples who’s culture is such that a man exposes his Penis, women are topless. Would you allow those people to walk the streets of Paris in such attire ?

    Of course not, if you travel to another nation you respect their culture and their values. In Western society it is considered very rude and disrespectfull to show your genitals in public places, as indeed it would be considered illegal for a women to walk around the streets topless.

    As part of Western society seeing someones face is part of a cultural interaction. You look people in the eyes when talking to them, and you guage their intentions from the expressions on their face.

    For me the veil was initially introduced by men who were insecure and were worried that someone might run off with their wife. By locking her up at home and covering her with a veil hopefully nobody would get a glimpse and therefore be encouraged to make a play. In addition the penalty of death by stoning was also an effective means of keeping your wife faithfull.

    Unfortunately these values do not fit in with a Western culture, and although its not really any of our business what they do in their homelands, it certainly is our business when it is happening in our countries.

    The solution for all travellers is “When in Rome do what the Romans do” if you do not like that, then dont travel..

  49. I personally agree with the ban… to me it's like banishing FGM – which is a practice also practiced by Muslims and African tribes that basically means cutting off a woman's labial lips and clitoris for "cleanliness" – as surprising as that might sound it is also defended by "tradition". I think any action that reduces abuse done to women by "tradition" or religion should be applauded. In Islam countries, women are punished for *not* wearing the niqab… so go France, even symbolically, on the contradicting responses.

  50. I personally agree with the ban… to me it’s like banishing FGM – which is a practice also practiced by Muslims and African tribes that basically means cutting off a woman’s labial lips and clitoris for “cleanliness” – as surprising as that might sound it is also defended by “tradition”. I think any action that reduces abuse done to women by “tradition” or religion should be applauded. In Islam countries, women are punished for *not* wearing the niqab… so go France, even symbolically, on the contradicting responses.

  51. We're not talking here of individuals or travellers.

    We're talking of a resident community.

    We're not talking of a widespread custom.

    We're talking of a few hundred sisters who veil.

    This is spotlighting the few to misrepresent the whole or the many.

    This is mislabelling entire Muslim immigrant communities as being culturally "backward" & "barbaric".

    This is teaching "Muslims" for being out of place in an "enlightened" Europe crusading to free womankind…. by attacking a scattered handful of women.

    This is also lobbing the ball right back into the court of radical Islamists.

    Establishment bullies.

    Do they come any other way, anywhere ?

    Talk of "soft" targets.

    BlingBling Sarko … who publicly refers to himself in the third person as "the idiot" in all culture matters…. has finally found the issue to become the toast of intellectual, humanitarian Europe.

    Liberte.

    Egalite.

    Sororite.

  52. We’re not talking here of individuals or travellers.

    We’re talking of a resident community.

    We’re not talking of a widespread custom.

    We’re talking of a few hundred sisters who veil.

    This is spotlighting the few to misrepresent the whole or the many.

    This is mislabelling entire Muslim immigrant communities as being culturally “backward” & “barbaric”.

    This is teaching “Muslims” for being out of place in an “enlightened” Europe crusading to free womankind…. by attacking a scattered handful of women.

    This is also lobbing the ball right back into the court of radical Islamists.

    Establishment bullies.

    Do they come any other way, anywhere ?

    Talk of “soft” targets.

    BlingBling Sarko … who publicly refers to himself in the third person as “the idiot” in all culture matters…. has finally found the issue to become the toast of intellectual, humanitarian Europe.

    Liberte.

    Egalite.

    Sororite.

  53. This is inhumane in terms of what france has done. They have no right to prevent religious rights of the Muslims.

    France is a free country and if any Muslim woman do not want to wear the Hijab, they can obviously stay without + run to a cop shed if a Husband insists that she should. but, if a Woman wants to wear on her own will, it should be allowed as it is a religious cause. You don't see India telling Niganta's to wear cloths in india only because it is a religious thing. A french cannot go naked on the streets of India just because the law is lenient on Nigantas.

  54. This is inhumane in terms of what france has done. They have no right to prevent religious rights of the Muslims.

    France is a free country and if any Muslim woman do not want to wear the Hijab, they can obviously stay without + run to a cop shed if a Husband insists that she should. but, if a Woman wants to wear on her own will, it should be allowed as it is a religious cause. You don’t see India telling Niganta’s to wear cloths in india only because it is a religious thing. A french cannot go naked on the streets of India just because the law is lenient on Nigantas.

  55. France did it because they are racists. They just want the Muslims out of their country because they fear bombs – which is right in a way.

    But, now, they should not point fingers at any other nation calling them racists.

  56. France did it because they are racists. They just want the Muslims out of their country because they fear bombs – which is right in a way.

    But, now, they should not point fingers at any other nation calling them racists.