Should Burqas Be Banned?

   By drodriguez  Jul 14, 2009

You may have heard about the latest controversy in France that was brought on when French president Nicolas Sarkozy said that he would ban the popular Muslim covering known as burqas as well as face veils.  Sarkozy stated, "In our country, we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity."

With France being home to 5 million Muslims it is no wonder that a raging debate over women’s rights has begun.  The body coverings worn by many Muslim women has, in the past, been a required garment under the laws of such extremist groups like Al Qaeda.  An article from Paris’ Associated Press reported that since Sarkozy’s recent public statement, the National Assembly in France has put together a committee of legislators to study the wearing of burqas and face-covering veils, known as niqabs.

Jean-Francois Cope, head of the governing conservative party UMP, has also called for a ban on veils.  Cope was quoted as saying, "These clothes exclude women from the national community, deny their identity."  Cope believes the ban on burqas and niqabs should be done slowly in stages.

Still others believe a ban on burqas would be counterproductive for women’s rights.  Suraya Pakzad, executive director of the Voice of Women organization, told Reuters that she understood why Sarkozy disliked the idea of the burqa, but felt a ban on the clothing would be a mistake.  Pakzad said, "I am against the burqa being imposed by force.  But what Mr. Sarkozy is saying is another type of enforcement on women.  No one should be able to compel someone to dress in a certain way."

What do you think of French president Sarkozy’s threat to ban women from wearing burqas and niqabs?

Do you think this kind of ban would be counterproductive for women’s rights?


Make a Comment

Turtleks by Turtleks | Derby, KS
Jul 23, 2009

The goverment should not be allowed to interfere in this manner. No one should be forced to wear or not wear any article against their will. This may help a few minority of women who are forced to wear them, but it takes away the right of those who choose to out of religon and heritage. In the U.S. we beleive in freedom of expression and religon so how could anyone in this country support this invasion into the private life of these women.

weepingwillow256 by weepingwillow256 | ash grove, MO
Jul 23, 2009

NO! It is a distruction of the muslim womans culture, for many women wearing a burqa is a choice. It is demeaning to muslims. All cultures have items that can be considered demeaning. My mother's generation argued that bras, girdles, hair removal and make-up were wrong. Muslim women choose to wear it, in a progressive country like france a woman can easily leave a lifestyle that she does not agree with. Saying that an item of clothing must be banned to protect a woman, shows how little women are truely respected.

Autumn290 by Autumn290 | Oakbrook Terrace, IL
Jul 22, 2009

They should not be banned at all... He is imposing his view on all those women who choose to wear it by choice. I have a lot of friends who wear the burqa/niqab and none of them were forced by their husbands, fathers or anyone and put it on by choice and actually went through a lot with their families for wanting to wear it.

am_i_lost by am_i_lost | Centralia, IL
Jul 21, 2009

I don't feel that banning them will help at all. I thhink that it will imprison them more by husband's and families. Sarkozy is trying to do a good thing but it will back fire on him if he is not careful. I truely feel for the women of these cultures who are more slaves than wives or individuals. But this banning will bring on some awful things for these women especially if they try to leave the home.

hummercm by hummercm | La Mesa, CA
Jul 20, 2009

I think the birqas and niqabs should be banned. How are officials able to identify these women who are covered. How do you tell one from the other in official photographs. Dress like a woman not a slave to the muslim men.

cherylogle by cherylogle | Palm Harbor, FL
Jul 20, 2009

I recall when Al-Qaeda was dis-banned in Afghanistan and they did stories on women there who were incredibly repressed by the government for so long. They still chose to wear the attire in most cases (I didn't see any without it in the report) out of fear. How many times have we gone in and done half a job only to have the government come back again - Saddam, Al-Qaeda, etc. Unfortunately, there are women who have suffered so long under the oppression, they simply don't know any differently and are terrified that they will be punished by husbands who are hardliners to the tradition of keeping women down. We in the US and other countries simply don't understand that having a choice isn't in these womens vocabulary or realm of understanding. Sadly, I'm not sure there's a way around that without support systems. If the husbands are abusive, they will enforce their wives compliance in the home where the law can't see it...

Groovyduo by Groovyduo | LELAND, NC
Jul 19, 2009

I think it being associated with extremist groups hit the nail on the head, and is why the attire is unwelcome by some. I wonder if that is the real reason for the reaction? If so, then folks are hiding behind women's rights (funny how all I've seen is men speak on the the news about this topic). Did anyone bother 'letting' a female speak? Do us all a favor--and I'm being crass--start banning whale-tails instead. FYI: Whale-tail- Thong + low rise pants = showing of the thong's triangle at the back. Nothing like having one of those flapping in your face (especially in a professional setting--been there, saw it and cringed internally).

Annam74 by Annam74 | Harrisburg, PA
Jul 19, 2009

There are personal, religious, and cultural differences that cause us to dress differently. How would we react if our government told us that we can NOT wear a particular item of clothing because it makes us stand out and does not let us be included in the community. We would all be screaming how it is not fair, and we should be able to wear what we like.

debahadi by debahadi | South Charleston, WV
Jul 17, 2009

A woman should not be required to wear a burqa or niqab But neither should she be prohibited from wearing them, if wearing them is her choice. Someone who believes that women should dress in this way would say that it is dressing like this that permits a woman to go out into the community and participate actively in the life of the community, and that by wearing it, she will be treated with respect and dignity. If a woman is compelled to wear a burqa by her husband, father, or other person, a law making the apparel illegal could result in that woman not being allowed to go out in public at all, and thus would have the opposite of the intended effect. When I was in the Middle East, I always wore a scarf over my head, because it led to people treating me with kindness and respect, and resulted in a very good first impression. Of course, that was in an Islamic country, not in the West. These are only outer garments--underneath, the woman is free to wear whatever she wants.

Kimimaro by Kimimaro | Kill Devil Hills, NC
Jul 17, 2009

Each women should be free to choose how she wants to dress period!

littleme by littleme | MARBURY, AL
Jul 17, 2009

I agree with crystalburgard a woman should not have to hide herself it is a free country

CrystalBurgard by CrystalBurgard | N TONAWANDA, NY
Jul 16, 2009

Banning them is just ridiculous. There isnt any good reason to ban them. Are they degrading to woman? In my opinion, yes, they are, as I feel no woman should have to "hide" herself from the public. However,I am not muslim and my beliefs may be different from theirs and if they chose to wear a burqa, no one has the right to tell them they cant. This is a FREE country afterall :)

resa1320 by resa1320 | Mesa, AZ
Jul 16, 2009

I understand what he was trying to do, but I am for giving people all the info and facts and then letting them make their own decisions. Maybe these women still wear them because they believe in what it stands for and maybe not but that should be their decision.

rockermom by rockermom | decatur, IN
Jul 15, 2009

its a cultural thing! if the women don't mind wearing them then let them be! you go girls!

jemappel by jemappel | Rye Brook, NY
Jul 15, 2009

Sarkozy sounds like an imbecile..."cut off from all social life"?! Women who wear burqas still have family and friends! Aside from that, burqas should not be banned...what if we American women were suddeny told "sorry, it's now illegal for you to wear shirts" and we were supposed to walk around shirtless?! It's the same thing to tell women to not wear burqas.