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Should France Burn the Burqa

  • Date Submitted: 03/30/2010 06:13 PM
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Should France Ban the Burqa?  
The burqa worn by some Muslim women is a head- to – toe garment that typically has only a small opening at the eyes. Recently, France has announced that it may soon ban women from wearing the burqa outside the home. A ban could make it impossible for women who wear the burqa to receive any public services, from buying a bus ticket to picking up their children from school. Anyone refusing to remove their face covering will be fined €750 ($1090) {www.economist.com 2010}. It is estimated that close to 1900 women in France wear the burqa. One may believe that the burqa should be banned because it could be taking away a women’s freedom, it is next to impossible to identify who is under the burqa and women wearing the burqa may be isolated from society.
“The problem of the burqa is not a religious problem. This is an issue of a woman’s freedom and dignity,” quoted French President Nicolas Sarkozy {dailygleaner.canadaeast.com 2010}. These women wearing the burqa could be forced by men around them, like their husbands, fathers and/or brothers. For example, French citizenship was denied to a man who was forcing his wife to wear a head-to-toe veil. It was revealed during the inquiry and interview process that this person had forced his wife to wear the full veil {www.france24.com, 2010}. The burqa is a symbol of oppression because women may not be able to express themselves. Women wearing the burqa are looked at as ‘prisoners’ deprived of their identity because they are hidden under the full veil. “There is nothing in the Quran that directs women to cover their faces”, said Imam Hassen Chalghoumi, who runs the Islamic center in Drancy, a Paris suburb {www.cnn.com, 2010}. The burqa was worn in the deserts of Arabia long before Islam arrived, it was meant to protect against the corrosive desert wind and sand {www.csmonitor.com, 2010}. Thus, proving the burqa was meant for the Arab desert wind and not for the use of oppressing Muslim women....


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