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France to consider banning the Muslim Burka and other Islamic clothing

 
 
 
 
 
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President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government is to consider banning the burka and other Islamic clothing which French MPs claim is degrading to women.

In a move that sparked fierce debate, a group of parliamentarians called for an inquiry into the wearing of the head-to-toe Islamic veil in France and whether Muslim women who cover themselves completely in public constitute an assault on French secularism and women’s rights.

In a call that won support from senior figures in Mr Sarkozy’s government, they demanded that a parliamentary commission consider the fate in France of the burka, where the eyes are covered by a fabric mesh, and the niqab, which has an eye slit.

While France’s Muslim Council said the proposal “stigmatised” Islam, a commission is now expected to be established on the urging of the group of 65 politicians led by André Gerin, a Communist MP. Many of the 65 MPs are members of Mr Sarkozy’s Right-wing UMP party.

Mr Gerin is also mayor of the southern city of Venissieux, which has a high immigrant population and where he complains women cover themselves in “mobile prisons”.

“Our politicians need to stop acting so blind,” he said, describing the burka as the mark of Islamic fundamentalism not is tune with secular France.

Luc Chatel, a government spokesman, said that all the options were open, including a ban. “If it were determined that wearing the burka is a submissive act, and that it is contrary to republican principles, well naturally parliament would have to drawn the necessary conclusions,” he said.

If that meant introducing new legislation, he said, “why not”.

The proposal won the support of Fadela Amara, the urban affairs minister and a women’s rights campaigner whose parents were Muslims. “We must do everything to stop burkas from spreading, in the name of democracy, of the republic, of respect for women,” she said, describing the garment as “a kind of tomb for women”.

However, Eric Besson, the immigration minister, said that France – home to five million Muslims – had already managed to “strike a balance” between secularism and religious freedoms that it would be “dangerous” to call into question.

In 2004, the country passed a controversial law forbidding any conspicuous religion symbols from state schools, including veils, which are banned in government offices.

Mr Besson said that people must feel free to wear what they like in France without fear.

Martine Aubry, the head of the Socialist party, warned against “simplistic” responses. “If a law bans the burka, these women will still have [it] but will remain at home; they will no longer be seen,” she said.

Dalil Boubakeur, the rector of the Paris Mosque, said he approved of a commission “on condition that they listen to what the experts on Islam have to say”.

Although he linked the burka to fundamentalists, he said many women chose to wear it to assert their Muslim identity in a society they feel is hostile to any type of Islamic headscarf.

Mr Sarkozy promised to address the question in a speech to parliament on Monday.

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One Response to " France to consider banning the Muslim Burka and other Islamic clothing "

  1. the King of Arabian Gulf says:

    The reasons behind this, you can see in this links…. hope u enjoy :D

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/14827953/Most-Common-Questions-asked-by-NonMuslims-answers-by-Dr-Zakir-Naik-from-QA-of-wwwirfnet

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    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

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