Noted this on the BBC website http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8480161.stm

 

A French committee has recommended a partial ban on Islamic face veils. What I thought particulary interesting is that the report also says that that anyone showing visible signs of "radical religious practice" should be refused residence cards and citizenship.

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I could be wrong here, but isn't it quite similar to the ban in Turkey on face veils?
(U.S. citizen) This is a very thorny issue. Once again religion is making everyone else deal with its idiocy.
If the women are wearing the full veil and denied services in public, doesn't that stand to further disenfranchise those this decision is seeking to help to equality?
Dressing my son for the bus stop today I realized only his eyes are showing and his coat is long and loose, could they cry foul because of extreme cold? Just because the argument is unfair, does not mean it would not be used.
On the other side France was invaded by Germany's 3rd Reich and much of Europe has been harassed by the Muslim population demanding special treatment; I can see the justification for them pushing to keep the extreme version of religion at bay. Moreover, the fullness of the covering makes using for illicit activity a very real possibility.
Can more of our European community members help out with this one? What about our Ex-Muslims? It's been brought up before, but did not get enough participation from those who live in the areas that would interact with rule or understand the religion from the inside, to help me better understand it. I'm selfish that way, it really interests me and I would love your help.
Here in the UK, we've had a couple of cases in the news recently where believers have been asked to remove religious items. One that comes to mind is a British Airways worker who was told to take off a cross she was wearing when she dealt with customers. I think it would be safe to say that the general response in the press was that it was a fuss about nothing, but some people got really uptight about it. (You can guess who).

Whilst there are a minority in the UK who would approve of this type of legislation, I'd suggest that multi culturalism is too ingrained into the UK. As such this sort of ruling just wouldn't work here.

I've also lived and worked in France and can sort of understand why this might work there. It's hard to define the difference, but there most definitely is one. Whereas the UK is multi-cultural, France is much more secular. If I remember correctly, they also have a much higher percentage of recent immigrants than the UK.
In the Netherlands there was a political debate about the subject because 2 female Muslims were told by their university that they should not were a face veil because it hindered teacher student interaction.

A face veil is often seen as a barrier that hinders communication and integration as well as social acceptance. Although I can't deny that a lot of the people who would be in favor of a ban are also quite racist (in the Netherlands at least) it's not racist or anti-religious by definition.

(the lack of) integration of Muslims of foreign origin, especially women is a concern for a lot of people in Europe because in almost all areas of integration they seem to be behind compared to other ethnicities. This is in part because they live their life more segregated from society, for instance Muslim women in general don't participate much in (social) activities outside of their own ethnic group.

A ban on a face veil would be a small step, and by itself would have little effect on the integration of Muslim women in society, but it's a step in the right direction and I believe it to be necessary for further the process of integration.

At the moment, I believe there are around 1000 women in the Netherlands who wear the face veil every day. It has been on the decline for a few years, although the growing number of Muslim schools seems to have a detrimental effect on this decline.

The problem is not the face veil, it's the lack of integration of a small group of society. The face veil is both a contributor and a direct result of this lack of integration. I would argue that we should try to fight the underlying cause of this problem, not just the symptoms.

much of Europe has been harassed by the Muslim population demanding special treatment

In my opinion that's not the case at all. Most Muslims integrate into society very well, their religion seems to provide plenty of room to fully participate in all or most aspects of society. There are definitely problems with integration, and sometimes cultures clash with horrible results. Usually these are the actions of individuals with extremist opinions, which do not reflect society in general. Or at least not in my experience here in the Netherlands.
This is where media bias comes in and why I'm so thankful to get more direct information. The coverage we get is in terms of things like the Danish cartoon issue or the UN Blasphemy resolution etc.
Your more balanced response and correction is appreciated.
secularism > multiculturalism I hate the idea of anyone being told not to wear something that they wish, but at the same time I get tired of watching Europe's multi-cultural experiment continually give in to religious cultures.
I'm okay with requiring the removal of religious garments when it comes to safety issues. Otherwise, my opinion is not fully formed yet. To me, it is similar to arguments for and against school uniforms.

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