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Thread: Protesters Arrested As France’s Burqa Ban Goes Into Effect

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Protesters Arrested As France’s Burqa Ban Goes Into Effect

    On Monday, France's ban on wearing the burqa and niqab in public goes into effect, and 59 people have already been arrested for holding an illegal protest. Some women are refusing to abandon the veil, and insist that the law violates their rights.

    CNN reports that protesters were arrested in Paris on Saturday for refusing to leave the scene. Five were held overnight because they didn't have proper identification, and two are still in police custody. Authorities say the group wasn't granted permission to demonstrate because they are known Islamic extremists and could have provoked dangerous counter-demonstrations. A silent protest march has been approved for Monday morning.


    Only about 2,000 women wear the burqa or niqab in France. Starting tomorrow, they'll be fined 150 euros ($215) or sentenced to community service for covering their faces in public. Those who force a woman to wear a veil face a 30,000 euro fine (about $43,400) and up to a year in prison.

    French politicians have argued that the veil hurts national unity, and is a safety concern. Last summer, before the bill passed, Jean-François Copé, leader of the French National Assembly, explained in a New York Times op-ed:
    This face covering poses a serious safety problem at a time when security cameras play an important role in the protection of public order. An armed robbery recently committed in the Paris suburbs by criminals dressed in burqas provided an unfortunate confirmation of this fact. As a mayor, I cannot guarantee the protection of the residents for whom I am responsible if masked people are allowed to run about.
    The Irish Times reports that a memo sent from interior minister Claude Guéant to police chiefs said the law, "would not prohibit the covering of one's face with a motorcycle helmet, a bandage, a welding mask, a fencing mask or a fancy dress mask." So the criminals who dressed in burqas during one isolated crime may want to look into what counts as a "fancy dress mask."


    Police have been told they do not have the right to remove a woman's veil, and the law will not be applied near mosques. The ban applies in public spaces, but not in private homes, offices, or cars.


    President Nicolas Sarkozy has been accused of pushing the measure to win favor with conservatives before the 2012 election. He responded to criticism of the law, saying,
    "Nobody should feel hurt or stigmatised. I'm thinking in particular of our Muslim compatriots, who have their place in the republic and should feel respected." Mr Sarkozy said France was "an old nation united around a certain idea of personal dignity, particularly women's dignity, and of life together. It's the fruit of centuries of efforts."


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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    If you live in a country you have to obey their rules.
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    Elite Member faithanne's Avatar
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    I hate the burqa and everything it stands for, but it's not up to me to tell someone else what they should wear. So long as I'm not forced to wear it, it's none of my business if someone else wants to.

    And the security concern is bullshit. I see dozens of Asian tourists walking around Sydney in surgical masks - what's the difference? Why is one a security risk but the other is encouraged to ward off disease? They both have the same effect.

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    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McJag View Post
    If you live in a country you have to obey their rules.
    Exactly.

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    Elite Member SuriCruise's Avatar
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    I think the fine for forcing a woman to wear one is great, the other fine meh. I don't like the burka and what it stands for but I'm not going to force people not to wear it. Personally, it would make me uncomfortable to be surrounded by people in burkas though - NOT because of any religious or cultural factor, but because it could be anyone under there and they could be doing anything. It would make me nervous the same way anyone walking around day to day in full head to toe costume would. There's a reason you can't wear hats or hoodies in the bank, being able to hide your identity makes people nervous and is a great way to get away with things. Just based on being able to identify people, I think it's good they've banned it.
    And so, I will keep fighting to make the US a more progressive, multi-cultural country, and my fight starts on GossipRocks - mikesandy

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    Silver Member Working Girl's Avatar
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    Good job France.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    i'm all for the headscarf ban in france - in public schools. kind of like they have in turkey (which is a country with a muslim majority but secular laws) - the separation of church and state understood as a physical segregation.

    the burka ban in public places though... confuses me.
    on one hand, i'm all for individual rights and we're talking about telling people what to wear in public spaces (not the same as state-run buildings such as schools) and i'm not down with that on an intellectual level. but on the other, i fucking hate the burka and i'm glad they banned it.
    so i'm having a hard time reconciling my diverging opinions on the matter.
    Last edited by sputnik; April 11th, 2011 at 09:20 AM.
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    Gold Member Snoopy's Avatar
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    I feel the same way as Sputnik.

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    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    when in Rome... if you don't like it, move on. tough shit.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1973 View Post
    when in Rome... if you don't like it, move on. tough shit.
    Think this sums it right up.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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