France’s lower house of parliament has approved a ban on wearing burka-style Islamic veils (AP)

Reposted from the Belfast Telegraph

France's lower house of parliament has approved a ban on wearing burka-style Islamic veils (AP) 
France’s lower house of parliament has overwhelmingly approved a ban on wearing burka-style Islamic veils, part of a determined effort to define and protect French values that has disconcerted many in the country’s large Muslim community.

The ban will now go to the Senate in September, where it is also likely to be approved. Its biggest hurdle is expected to come at the following stage, when France’s constitutional watchdog scrutinises it.

The issue has been debated across Europe, and Spain and Belgium have similar bans in the pipeline.

France has Europe’s largest Muslim population, about five million of the country’s 64 million, but while ordinary headscarves are common, only about 1,900 women are believed to wear the face-covering veils.

The main body representing French Muslims believes such veils are not suitable in France, but it fears the ban will stigmatise all Muslims.

Malika Hamidi, director general of the European Muslim Network think-tank, voiced concern that the ban’s backers are “playing up a feeling of fear of Islam” at a time when Europe is concerned about its changing identity, struggling to manage its diversity and dealing with an economic crisis.

In Tuesday’s vote at the National Assembly, there were 335 votes for the Bill and just one against it. Most members of the main opposition group, the Socialist Party, walked out and refused to vote, though they in fact support a ban.

The Bill bans face-covering veils everywhere that can be considered public space, even in the street, but the Socialists only want it in certain places, such as government buildings, hospitals and public transport.

France’s government has insisted that assimilation is the only path for immigrants and minorities, and last year it launched a grand nationwide debate on what it means to be French. The country has had difficulty integrating generations of immigrants and their children, as witnessed by weeks of rioting by youths, many of them minorities, in troubled neighbourhoods in 2005.

At the National Assembly, few dissenters spoke out about civil liberties or fears of fanning anti-Islam sentiment. Berengere Poletti, of President Sarkozy’s party, said face-covering veils “are a prison for women, they are the sign of their submission to their husbands, brothers or fathers.”
Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/french-parliament-backs-burkas-ban-14875607.html##ixzz0tf8W1pVi

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About lorrystdavid

I'm a retired guy who loves to get involved in community affairs and issues especially when I feel there is some injustice involved or that I have a valid point of view. I still believe that the pen is mightier than the sword although lately, I am wondering if this is still true.
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2 Responses to France’s lower house of parliament has approved a ban on wearing burka-style Islamic veils (AP)

  1. phildange says:

    You know, there are only, or mainly, American people who make a fuss about that . You must understand people in France, unlike in the States, don’t give a great importance to religionds . In fact in a common French mind, religions are often suspicious . And it’s opposed to social French background to exhibit one’s religion. Even Catholic public activities are considered with irony, or hostility, by half of the population .
    This comes from the first French Revolution. As the Church has always acted as an essential ally of the rich and the powerful, French Revolutinaries had to fight it strongly . In France all religions are tolerated, but in a private sphere. It would be a scandal if a religion could interfer with any State or Local administration . For many a Frenchman, watching the new US president using the bible is an image of a delayed population, not freed of sort of primitive superstition .
    French mind has been educated in separation between religion and State. I think for a French free mind, seeing a women humiliated in the name of what is considered as a primitive belief is annoying . And in public space it’s seen like an agressive militantism. By the way, in the rest of Europe except maybe the UK since people there are more submitted to American way, people don’t care about this French law , because they are not so concerned by religions, or they wonder if it would be better for their country too .
    Ah , there’s no lower house of Parliament . France is not UK . It’s the Parliament . The Senate is secondary in France . Legislative power is primarily run by the Chaber of Deputies, the Parliament . Iwonder about the knowledge you have on the country you’re speaking about .

    • lorrystdavid says:

      I am not speaking about anything here – just reposting a position that I think is interesting and important.

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