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I was very surprised to learn that roughly 80% of the French public supports this law, though I have to wonder how many people were polled. While many people may believe that the burqa is an oppressive measure against women, isn't it even more oppressive to deny a woman the right to wear a burqa if she chooses? If she is forced to wear one, that's a different matter, but if it is her religious/personal choice to wear one, I don't think any one should have the right to deny her that choice. I sincerely hope the U.S. don't join in on this law.
I've heard/read that this issue has more to do with immigration and culture than religion. France is really clinging on to the idea of a pure, French, secular culture. Some people are afraid that the migrants from North Africa will somehow pollute or change the Frenchness of France. Banning such a blatant display of a different culture/religion is an attempt to homogenize or restore French culture.
This debate is concurrent with debates about loosening or tightening immigration laws.
In the end, the state is mapping politics onto women's bodies.
Wearing what they want to wear is not imposing their beliefs on you. You telling them what to wear is imposing your beliefs on them. That is something that the middle east countries do, but I thought the western ideologies felt that was an inappropriate use of government power.
There is no doubt that this is a complex issue and one that is not likely to go away anytime soon. With a growing number of immigrants form Africa and other heavily muslim populated areas moving to Europe there is no doubt that there is going to be a clash of the cultures. There are a couple things to consider. 1) A you are right that this is a French cultural issue. The french government is no say "you cant practice your religion" they are saying that "you have to be French first and a Muslim second" and the head scarf is not worn by traditional french women. 2) It is not just the head scarf that is banned. This law also includes the wearing of anything showing your religion. for example a necklace with a cross on it would be banned in the same way as the head scarf. 3) I don't think we have to worry about this happening in the USA because of our first amendment. As this law goes into affect we will have to see what the effects are in Europe and around the world.
I actually used this as an example of the weakness of feminism in my reflection paper. I believe that the burqa is NOT solely feminist issue, but that it is a religious and cultural issue, and to that affect, not an issue at all. I can't stand hearing the French government say that they just uphold women's rights and that is why they can't wear the burqa. It makes me sick to think that you have to be French before Muslim just because you live in that society. This video and whole debate makes me so mad. I like how mcfado67 puts it when they compare it to the cross or hijab. Those aren't banned, so neither should the burqa.