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5:32 pm - 09/14/2010

French Senate bans burka

Law to take effect in 6 months

The Associated Press

The French Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday for a bill banning the burka-style Islamic veil everywhere from post offices to streets, a move that affects only a tiny minority of the country's Muslim women but has significant symbolic repercussions.

The Senate voted 246 to 1 in favour of the bill, which has already passed in the lower chamber, the National Assembly.
Dissenters have 10 days to challenge the measure in the constitutional Council watchdog, but that is considered unlikely.
Muslims believe the legislation is one more blow to France's second religion, and risks raising the level of Islamophobia in a country where mosques, like synagogues, are sporadic targets of hate. Some women have vowed to wear a full-face veil despite the law.

The proposed law was passed overwhelmingly by the National Assembly on July 13. The green light from the Senate would make it definitive once the president signs off on it — barring amendments and an eventual legal challenge.
In France, the terms "burka" and "niqab" often are used interchangeably. The latter is a full-face veil, often in black. Unlike the burka, it does not obscure a woman's eyes.
The measure would outlaw face-covering veils in streets, including those worn by tourists from the Middle East and elsewhere. It is aimed at ensuring gender equality, women's dignity and security, as well as upholding France's secular values and way of life.
Kenza Drider, however, said she'll flirt with arrest to wear her veil as she pleases.
"It is a law that is unlawful," said Drider, a mother of four from Avignon, in southern France.
"It is ... against individual liberty, freedom of religion, liberty of conscience," she said.
"I will continue to live my life as I always have with my full veil," she told Associated Press Television News.
Drider was the only woman who wears a full-faced veil to be interviewed by a parliamentary panel that spent six months deciding whether to move ahead with legislation.
Muslim leaders concur that Islam does not require a woman to hide her face. But they have voiced concerns that a law forbidding them to do so would stigmatize the French Muslim population, which at an estimated five million is the second largest in France and the largest in western Europe. Numerous Muslim women who wear the face-covering veil have said they are now being harassed in the streets.

Identity crisis

Raphael Liogier, a sociology professor who heads the Observatory of the Religious in Aix-en-Provence, said Muslims in France are already targeted by hate-mongers and the ban on face-covering veils "will officialize Islamophobia."
"With the identity crisis that France has today, the scapegoat is the Muslim," he said.
Ironically, instead of helping some women integrate, the measure may keep them cloistered in their homes to avoid exposing their faces in public.
"I won't go out. I'll send people to shop for me. I'll stay home, very simply," said Oum Al Khyr, who wears a niqab that hides all but the eyes.
"I'll spend my time praying," said the single woman "over 45" who lives in Montreuil on Paris's eastern edge. "I'll exclude myself from society when I wanted to live in it."
The law banning the veil would take effect only after a six-month period.

Full veils 'not welcome': Sarkozy

The Interior Ministry estimates the number of women who fully cover themselves at some 1,900, with a quarter of them converts to Islam and two-thirds with French nationality.
The French parliament wasted no time in working to get a ban in place, opening an inquiry shortly after ,Conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy said in June 2009 that full veils that hide the face are "not welcome" in France.
The bill calls for the equivalent of $198.75 Cdn in fines or citizenship classes for any woman caught covering her face, or both. It also carries stiff penalties for anyone such as husbands or brothers convicted of forcing the veil on a woman. The $39,750 fine and year in prison are doubled if the victim is a minor.
It was unclear, however, how authorities planned to enforce such a law.

"I will accept the fine with great pleasure," said Drider, vowing to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg if she gets caught.



source
ntensity 14th-Sep-2010 09:40 pm (UTC)
The Senate vote was 246 to 1!!?!?! Damn.

Proud of that 1 though.
yami_no_hoshi 14th-Sep-2010 09:55 pm (UTC)
I know! Only 1 person voted against it? That shocked me.

edit for extra question mark that didn't belong, lol.

Edited at 2010-09-14 09:57 pm (UTC)
twowaymirrrors 14th-Sep-2010 09:49 pm (UTC)
246 to 1?? That's just...I don't even have words for how disgusting this is. But good on that one person.
iolarah 14th-Sep-2010 09:50 pm (UTC)
:( I don't think a ban is going to improve anything.
poetic_pixie_13 14th-Sep-2010 09:51 pm (UTC)
I'm eagerly awaiting the white feminists who'll say that this is just 'protecting' Muslim women. Because Muslim women can't decide for themselves what is and is not empowering.

I've known girls who've worn the niqab, they're bright and sweet and aren't poor little brainwashed lambs who need the protection of the enlightened West. The only thing this law does is punish women who are being forced to wear the niqab, they will have to stay in their abusive homes at all times. If you want to help women in this situation have outreach programs, encourage them to participate in the community so they'll have some place to turn if they need it. Instead you're just isolating them even more and ensuring that they'll have no one.
xanax_n_wine 15th-Sep-2010 03:04 am (UTC)
That's the best reply i've read. :)
hotcoffeems 14th-Sep-2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
America *is* bad when it comes to this kind of thing. France, however, is also bad. The reasoning/history behind it is slightly different, but it boils down to the same thing. Both are bad; I don't feel particularly lucky to be a Muslim living in the US in terms of anti-Islamic bigotry.
lissa2 14th-Sep-2010 10:06 pm (UTC)
Hey France, how about banning the barbaric circumcision of 8 days old baby boys in the name of "human dignity and secularism" too?
psychesky 14th-Sep-2010 10:11 pm (UTC)
hotcoffeems 14th-Sep-2010 10:07 pm (UTC)
Va te faire foutre, French Senate. (Yes, I used singular familiar, 'cause fuck 'em).

Y tu tambien, Barcelona.
foutu 14th-Sep-2010 10:08 pm (UTC)
chiming in on this particular comment because my username is related.
angelofdeath275 14th-Sep-2010 10:36 pm (UTC)
It makes some level of sense to ban it in government buildings or whatever

Why would it make sense to ban it there.
evewithanapple 14th-Sep-2010 10:11 pm (UTC)
mollywobbles867 14th-Sep-2010 10:14 pm (UTC)
mollywobbles867 14th-Sep-2010 10:13 pm (UTC)
Ugggggghhhhh. wtf.
sashwizzled 14th-Sep-2010 10:18 pm (UTC)
That's so ridiculous. I can understand asking women to remove it in some limited circumstances/places - but making them? That doesn't give women dignity, it strips the vast majority of the basic human right to wear what the hell they want, and forces a small minority (whom this law is supposedly 'in support of') into remaining permanently in the abusive homes where they're made to wear them.

It's claiming to try so hard to be woman-empowering, and yet it's made a full turn back into misogynism. And it's disgusting.

Edited at 2010-09-14 10:20 pm (UTC)
angelofdeath275 14th-Sep-2010 10:35 pm (UTC)
It is aimed at ensuring gender equality, women's dignity and security, as well as upholding France's secular values and way of life.

OH. MY. FUCKING. GOD. WHAT IS GOING ON WITH FRANCE.

Forcing the Roma to move out, and now banning burka-style Islamic veil ~*in the name of equality*~ because the little Muslims need the guideance of the whiteies!!
erinpuff 14th-Sep-2010 10:45 pm (UTC)
Fuck this bullshit.
militsa 14th-Sep-2010 10:46 pm (UTC)
This manages to be misogynist, xenophobic and paternalistic all at once. Nice fail!

Maybe I shouldn't be, but I'm actually kind of amazed that this vote was so close to unanimous.
neev 15th-Sep-2010 12:59 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's like there's a fail-Olympics going on and no one told us. I guess that's just about a perfect 10.0 for France... Good job at sucking? <:/
zombie_process 14th-Sep-2010 10:59 pm (UTC)
Not surprising. Can't wait for 2012.
urban_stoop 14th-Sep-2010 11:13 pm (UTC)
Boum, c'est le fail. (Obscure references nobody gets FTW?)

This PISSES ME OFF, and also- I have never heard from anyone who supports this, including my übersmart but überconservative political theory professor whom I usually respect on an intellectual level, even if she's WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING, how there's a difference between forcing women to wear a veil and forcing women not to wear a veil. Because guess what? There isn't one.
urban_stoop 14th-Sep-2010 11:17 pm (UTC)
Also, back when this was being debated in spring, I got a hilarious email from a friend of mine who works in Paris, and she was all: "The only women in burkas I ever see are rich Saudi wives on shopping trips, so nice job firing up the economy there, Sarko." Snark aside, it is worth noting that burkas/niqabs are not very common, and this is classic scapegoating targeting a tiny, tiny minority. And this is really what the French government spends time and money on? It's not my tax dollars so I probably shouldn't care but ARGH. SO. MUCH. HATE.
abee 15th-Sep-2010 12:02 am (UTC)
Can we have a bitchslap at France, please?
youkiddinright 15th-Sep-2010 12:15 am (UTC)
Can we not use the term "bitchslap" ?
silly_cakes 15th-Sep-2010 01:24 am (UTC)
No.
pennieblack 15th-Sep-2010 02:31 am (UTC)
It is aimed at ensuring gender equality, women's dignity and security, as well as upholding France's secular values and way of life.

A law banning clothing aimed solely at women = gender equality.
Assuring women that their own judgement and choices aren't good enough = dignity.

Nice to know.
celtic_thistle 15th-Sep-2010 02:45 am (UTC)
What a bunch of ethnocentric, sexist bullshit.
livinghope 15th-Sep-2010 03:40 am (UTC)
Source link is broken :(
yami_no_hoshi 15th-Sep-2010 04:07 am (UTC)
sorry about that. Fixed!
nycscribbler 15th-Sep-2010 11:30 am (UTC)
France, don't you have better things to do? I mean. Seriously. Setting aside the xenophobia, racism, paternalism, and shades of twisted misogyny, by your estimate this affects 1900 people. There wasn't business slightly more pressing than playing with less than two thousand lives?
angry_chick 16th-Sep-2010 12:39 am (UTC)
Look at all these dumbasses in this thread trying to make it about them, and/or remove attention from the fact that France just passed a fucked up law.

It's not about you. It's really not. If you don't like that, then shut the fuck up.

Jesus Fucking Christ.
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