France banning the Veil (Burkha) in public

So, some of you may have seen that France have banned the wearing of a Burkha by the Muslim community in public, at the charge of £125 fine if caught!


Its obviously quite a controversial topic as some say;

“Its their culture, leave them be. You cant take away some ones religion.”
Where as others say
“It makes people feel uneasy especially after the ‘recent’ events 9/11, 7/7 etc etc…
They may be hiding something.”

My view is…
The latter, if they are comming over to our country then they should live by out laws and what suits us and makes us feel most happy, if we are in their country we obey their cultures like, wearing decent length clothing, not drinking to an extent, not making ‘sexy time’ in public.

Then again, who are we to stop them practising their religion?
Im torn, in reality, i dont know what i think.

What are your opinions?

i agree with it but also agree that it counts for full face balaclava’s and some of them face covering hoods.

seeing as the muslim council in france want it too i dont see why its a big problem.

no1 whoever or wot you are should be allowed to walk about in everyday society covered from head to toe.

The Bhurka and the Niqab being banned has nothing to do with religion, it is cultural and it is degrading to women, whether the women involved understand that or agree or not is irrelevent to the fact that it is degrading.

I agree that it should be banned but I think only in certain circumstances. You can’t drive with it on, you can’t get on a bus with it on or train, you can’t use any public services such as Council offices with it on etc etc. I also think private places should have the right to ban clothing that entirely obscures your face in the same way that a Bank can ban you from wearing a crash helmet when you enter.

totally agree!!

bang on m8.

I agree with the first paragraph. I think an all or nothing approach is all that will work with regards to implementing the change though.

You can’t go around banning clothing that a person chooses to wear . . . be it a woman or a man, for religious, cultural or any other reason.

It’s completely against every law confirming free speech, freedom of expression, freedom of movement etc. In who’s opinion is it degrading ? Yours ? How do the woman feel who wear them . . . ? There has been a constant stream of women, many of them young, in the media over the past few months saying how they choose to wear it as it makes them feel part of their community, gives them a sense of belonging and gives their husbands confidence in their fidelity.

If some women are being forced to wear it then the people forcing them need to be educated . . . it’s not for me as a Christian to tell a Jew or a Muslim or an Atheist what he should be wearing.

Nobody tells bikers what to wear, other than a helmet, culturally Harley riders wear their kit, sports bike riders wear something else and so it should be . . . both free to choose.

Boy, how narrow minded, bigoted and selfish can you be to want to dictate what people can wear ! Strewth . . . Women are hounded enough in society wrt fashion without adding to it by telling them what they can and can’t wear :sick:

The worst part of your post is ** “whether the women involved understand that or agree or not is irrelevent”** . . . just shows where you’re really coming from. You’re doing it for their own good eh ? They’ll thank you when they’re older or when they realise ? These little women, not as clever as you are they . . . they need somebody like you to tell them what to wear, how about what to eat, when to eat, when to speak and when to keep quiet ?

Kaos, are you really a time traveller form the 1800’s or just really ignorant ? :ermm:

Personally I feel a bit uncomfortable with this, because it appears to be legislating to stop people expressing their religious beliefs and/or cultures.

It is worrying, because this follows on from the New Zealand governments prohibition on the kosher method of killing animals for meat. Therefore observant Jews in New Zealand now have difficultly in getting kosher meat, as it is not only whether an animal is kosher or not, but how it is killed that determines it’s kosher status.

This method of slaughter (called shechita) is also under threat in this country and is a major concern to observant, strictly kosher Jews (of which I am one).

Therefore I am concerned when I see other peoples religious practices and conventions under attack, because of the implications for my own beliefs. There have been periods in Jewish history where Jews were forbidden to perform circumcision (not because of a liberal agenda, but as a form of oppression) and that is why this is a very rocky road.

I realise that there is an argument that there are some acts that are performed in the name of religious beliefs that are hard to defend; such as female circumcision and I also appreciate that some people consider the burkha to be a form of oppression against Muslim women, I am also aware that certain people consider circumcision of an 8 day old boy to be barbaric and yet it is a fundamental and important act to people of the Jewish faith. So my question is where is the line drawn where the views of our society over-power the views of minority cultures living in our society. My concern is that this line can be moved further and further in favour of the views of the liberal, secular view as more and more legislation is passed. Could this be the thin end of the wedge? Is it possible that there will be enough ground-swell that the slaughter of animals without stunning in this country becomes out-lawed? Will Jewish people be forced to break the law to contine their religious practices?

Having had many discussions on forums in the past around religion and religious beliefs, I am fully aware that not everybody will agree with my point of view, but hopefully I can offer an alternative view to provide some insight into what concerns there might be about the recent law change in France and New Zealand.

Great posts by Steve and Waxy!

Personally I’m not keen on seeing women completely veiled - but that’s my opinion and I’m not going to force it on anyone.

I think if you look at the statistics not that many muslim women go in for the full veil -

‘In 2009, the French equivalent of the FBI reported that the practice of wearing a veil was “marginal.” There appeared to be only 367 women in all of France who wore the niqab. A second police agency confirmed the initial report. Subsequent work increased the estimate to a maximum of 2,000 women’ (New York Post)

I think this law is more about fears in Europe about the presence of a significant muslim population and the question of multi-culturalism v national identity in a period of globalisation, set against the increased tensions between the muslim/arab world and the west post 911/Iraq/Afghanistan - than it is about the problem of a relatively small number of women covering their hair and the lower part of their faces with a bit of fabric.

It’s just the old story of mainstream politicians who fear losing their share of the vote to right-wing populist parties - if they are not seen to be keeping the Jews (1930s) or Muslims (2010) in ‘their place’.

This kind of atmosphere in which certain groups are demonised and legislated against always develops in periods of international conflict and recession - when national insecurities are magnified.

On the other hand I personally think that cultural sensitivity is a two way street - e.g. muslims should appreciate and understand the western view on these things and repond appropriately - e.g. with a simple headscarf rather than a full veil - in the same way that a western person would dress modestly in a muslim country.

But this is a matter that should be left up to the individuals common sense and judgement and should not be a subject of legislation.

The bottom line is - is that unless a certain practice can be proved to be hurting or infringing the rights of other people - then it should not be targeted by punitive legislation.

i wish i could get some people i know to WEAR a veil!

ugly bastards :wink:


I have a question for you Waxy, if you do not mind.

You suggest that you would have to break the law to observe your religion, does your religion require you to eat meat or does it only say that you can only eat meat that is Kosher?

I see your point, but there are two additional things you should consider:

  1. nobody has ever complained when under the rain I kept my helmet on in the short walk from the bike parking slot to my office. Yet after turning away from my bike I was not identifiable in any way. Why is this perfectly normal for bikers, and not for others?
  2. if the aim is to prevent women oppression, then this law is 100% counter-productive: oppressed women that are forced into a Bhurka will still be forced into it, they will simply disappear from the streets, loosing the freedom to get out when their oppressor (being husband, father, brother or whoever) is not around. In many cases, it is clear that this measure will just make the situation worse, much worse, in terms of gender equality for the women involved.
    I have little time, so I will not enter the subject of how and why what you want from the society POV is to favour integration and mutual understanding, and how this kind of restrictive measures do not help because they may be perceived as impositions (almost always, I fear).

So in summary, my POV is that this measure is marketed as anti-oppression but it’s really about keeping the small-minded white electors happy. Therefore, I am strongly against it.


Yeah, and I sort of wish the opposite. There are some real cutties where I live in Tower Hamlets and I’m sure those that cover themselves up are just as hot!

this is an interesting and difficult topic. On the one hand, my personal view is that people should be free to do what they want. On the other, the wearing of a full covering does place the wearer at a distance from the community and must limit their involvement in that community.If the wearing of a full veil - or any other observance - is dictated by religon - and by that I mean spelt out in texts or globally respected wherever the religon is practiced - then it should be allowed, not prosecuted. If, however, the observance is cultural - local to a community or region - the traditions local to the place the person lives should be respected.

In this case, since (I believe) the wearing of a full covering is not specified in the Koran and is not universally adopted wherever Islam is practiced, it may be seen as a local custom based on regional traditions rather than a religous observance.

People living permanently away from those traditional regions should use another form of covering: one that does not isolate them from the rest of society.

That said, I’m still not comfortable legislating against the wearing of the full veil. Like I said, difficult.

Don’t mind at all… :slight_smile: No, you are not required to eat meat as part of your religious observance. However any meat that you do eat must be have been prepared in the kosher way. Therefore even though a cow is a animal that Jews are permitted to eat, if it is not killed in the prescribed way and prepared, then it is not kosher. Even if an animal has been killed in a kosher way, if on inspection it appears that the animal was a sick animal, then it is no longer considered kosher for consumption. Hence the reason I can’t just buy my meat from Tescos. HTH :slight_smile:

but the wearing of a burkha is not religious and a lot of the women who wear it do it to make a point/pi55 society off.

is it true that the burkha is banned in turkey too which is a muslim country?

The real question is whether religion should give some sections of a society immunity to the norms, morals and ethics of that society to which all the other members are held.

To the example of Kosher meat. Should the personal desire to eat meat prepared in a certain way allow one group in our society the right to cause pain and suffering to animals. When another group in our society had their right to cause pain and suffering to animals rescinded. On the basis that one is a part of a religious activity and the other was not.

My answer is no. Replace religion with culture and the answer remains the same.

How very enligthened of you.Perhaps you can expand on what these “norms” are that you speak of. I think you might find that there a different norms between different cities in this country. So whose “norms” do you adopt?Not quite sure where you got your information from regarding “pain and suffering” caused by the kosher method of slaughtering animals, but research appears to suggest the opposite is true, but then you knew that right?

Wow some brilliant views and interesting things to read.

They said on the news, whether its true or not, that there is a very wealthy man in France, Muslim might i add, who said Muslim women are to ignore the law and he will pay all fines Muslim women receive.

In a perfect society (yeah right…) i dont mind it, they keep them selves to them selves normally, but in the cases where the burkha is being used to manipulate people and decieve, then i think it should be banned. Like at Heathrow, where i believe it is actually banned isnt it?
The 9/11 bombers apparently wore burkhas did they not?
Or i may be thinking of the attempted xmas 09’ attempt.