Post with 36 notes
So I stated earlier this week I’d try to get to a post about why I support the burqa ban in France. One thing that is important to note right away is exactly what the law is and what it is enforcing. The law results in a ban on the wearing of face-covering headgear, including masks, helmets, balaclava, niqābs and other veils covering the face in public places, except under specified circumstances. The ban also applies to the burqa, a full-body covering, if it covers the face. The law also imposes stronger penalties on someone if it can be proven they forced someone else to wear a veil or face covering.
There are various reasons that I personally support this measure but the reason that France most pushed as their reason is the issue of public safety. The fact that people should not be able to walk around in society anonymously with their face covered. It prevents people from having any type of social identity and severely hinders social interaction. Women are exempt from the law when traveling in a private car or when in a place of religious worship, so this only pertains to other public areas. Some people have said any form of telling people what they can or can not wear is totalitarian but even in our society we will not allow people to walk around freely in public naked. We should and do often try to avoid the extremes.
It has been pointed out by many opponents that this seems to directly target the female Muslim population of France. I would have to agree that it is strongly directed at them as well, but not unfairly, as a matter of protection. France has taken an important stand against allowing this type of treatment of women. It does not want this type of treatment imposed on anyone but it is most important to protect those that would not otherwise be given the choice. Young Muslim women of France imposed by their families to cover their face out or brutal religious “tradition” can finally have a face and interact with society. They would not be allowed to cover their face at school, but at home unfortunately they may still be forced to cover themselves.
Not just the young Muslim women of France but any woman who has had this brutal tradition imposed on them by others will be protected. Any woman who is afraid to speak out against the religious tradition of her ancestors for fear of repercussions. Of course that brings about the question of those that chose freely on their own to wear it. Unfortunately it is undoubted that they are having that taken away from them. For me I see it as being important enough to protect those that need the protection that it outweighs the imposition it will place on a few. That’s often the reason laws are created, to protect the minority and those that aren’t able to live a free life. Really thought, what is it they are all being asked to do? Simply uncover their face. This is not an outrageous request by any means and is something that they ask of every single other citizen of France.
Another less important aspect is the integration of people into French society. France wants people to incorporate into the French way of life and be able to identify as French. Many times the Muslims communities looking to cover up their women are looking to keep a separate identity amongst themselves from the rest of France. France wants people to seek cultural integration, to become a part of France. Allowing women to be covered head to toe in large cloth bags is not part of France’s culture and not something they are looking to condone. I applaud France in making an important step, a needed step to put down their foot firmly and say they will not allow this form of oppression to continue on in any way they are able to effect it. Perhaps this is an early step in an important journey for Muslim women to be able to step out of the shadows of oppression imposed upon them.