Tuesday, January 26, 2010
France and the Burqa...Again
Read the story here.
So we all know by now that France has an issue with the niqab.
What does everyone think of this? France has given several arguments for this stance, the strongest one that it is impractical. However, to me it seems more related to Islamophobia than France actually having an issue with it. If France didn't have other issues with Muslims, then maybe their position would seem more credible. But certain incidents such as banning the hijab and burning cars seem to kind of weaken their position.
Nasr Hamid abu Zeid: "This is why I believe that it would have been possible to solve the problem - if there really is a problem - in another way. This law has provoked many reactions among Muslims in French society and throughout the Islamic world. This can only lead to increased tensions in relations."
Moroccan writer Tahar Ben Jelloun: "When someone wears the headscarf in school, for instance, it is a deliberate decision to not take part in certain kinds of classes as for instance sports or biology. The headscarf is - to my mind - the triumph of ignorance. The laws of laicism, that is, the separation of state and religion is very, very important."
Egyptian filmmaker Safaa Fathy: "The French government is attempting to prevent the growing radicalization of Arab and Turkish Muslims who live in suburban areas. There, young girls of only eight years old are already forced to wear a headscarf. What we are dealing with here is a political-religious movement, which I witnessed emerge and grow in Egypt at the end of the 1970s and the start of the 1980s. I support the existence of a law that protects girls from the pressures brought to bear from within the Muslim community, as this concerns a community that forces women to wear the headscarf. The headscarf is a sign of a woman's membership in the Arab-Islamic community."
Her last comment is very interesting. From your experience, is there a lot of pressure on young girls to veil, from their families, communities etc?
What does everyone think about women who are nurses, doctors, etc wearing a niqab to work? Is it impractical, or does it not make a difference?
And how do you feel about France wanting to ban the niqab? Is it their right? Or is it an infringement on the rights of their Muslim citizens?