Woman, 28, stopped by police in shopping centre car park north-west...


I know we've discussed the rights and wrongs of the burqa ban endlessly before, but Monday was an historic day in France and deserves some notice. 

In my opinion all legislation is a crude mechanism for controlling human behaviour, and there's always an inbalance between competing public goods, but I welcome the burqa ban.

I know there's a small minority of French women who feel their right to express religious freedom by covering their faces has been trampled on. I'd support their position if there were incontrovertible evidence that all women who wear face veils "for religious reasons" do so entirely of their own free will. In fact, I feel really pissed off when I see a few privileged women whingeing about their "right" to wear what they want when they know damn well there are millions of muslim women all over the world who are forcibly (and often brutally) denied that very same right. They should be ashamed of themselves. 

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Some have said this is just an excuse of a reason. To me this is the only real reason. I don't know if any banks would be stupid enough to let someone do transactions with a face mask, but you can't count on people to have common sense. There are places where the burqa should absolutely be not permissable and businesses should have the right to refuse service to people who won't identify themselves. I don't see the reason for outrage from liberal non-Muslims; this isn't the first restriction ever made on what people can/can't wear, and it's the kind of thing that I don't really want to stick up for even though I don't share the reasoning for the ban (promoting equality instead of security risks).
Good point, Jim. I hadn't thought of that angle.
The Burqa could be worn for non-religious reasons including sun protection and the avoidance of skin cancer and also cross-dressers would find it useful in hiding masculine features whilst maintaining a feminine aura. Likewise the Burqa has been successfully worn by armed robbers and people fleeing the country to avoid  arrest. Personally, I think the French lawyers will come up with some interesting arguments for their clients.

Les Athees Napoleoneinne - VikingTrance

'La supériorité de Mahomet est d'avoir fondé une religion en se passant de l'enfer.'  -  Napoleon Bonaparte

The burqa is not even a religious item; it's a cultural inheritance from the bedouin cultures of the Arabian peninsula and forced upon a growing number of women, so the "it's a violation of my religious freedom to ban it" claim is false.


I have to agree with Hitchens who argued that we should be able to see who we are dealing with.  Similar items such as ski masks which hide the wearer's identity are banned in many places.  If you want to wear a burqa in your own home, fine, but when you're standing next to me in line somewhere I think I ought to be able to see your face.


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