Banning burqas: France’s secular dogmatism

French president Nicholas Sarkozy wants to ban burqas–the head-to-toe covering worn by some very conservative Muslim women. The burqa, he says, is a symbol of “enslavement,” adding: “I want to say solemnly that it will not be welcome on our territory.”

Sarkozy has never been one to doubt his own infallibility on all matters, or to worry himself about feminist causes when it comes to his personal life–tossing aside his wife and the mother of their two children for another woman, then divorcing her, and finally taking up with international sex kitten Carla Bruni.

But France’s secularism, or laicite’, is virtually a religion, and this could be seen as a religious war–though Sarkozy denies this:

“The issue of the burqa is not a religious issue. It is a question of freedom and of women’s dignity. The burqa is not a religious sign. It is a sign of the subjugation, of the submission, of women.”

Well, read up on the French Revolution, or rather its ugly aftermath, and the efforts to establish a French religion of rationalism, and you’ll see Sarkozy is talking through his chapeau. The problem is he favors Christianity, specifically the traditions of French Catholicism. So what would he say about the full habit? It’s easy to denigrate Islamic traditions, and his speech was well-received. No surprise, as France has a large and increasingly conservative Muslim population.

But is there enough difference in these two coverings that one would be legal and one outlawed?

Burqa 1.jpg

Nun's habit.jpg

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posted June 23, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Um, could the difference have something to do with the fact that no one is being beaten or divorced or disowned by their family, etc., these days, for choosing to be a nun? And, even in the days when women were being coerced into convent life and nuns actually dressed like that, the habit meant something plainly different, in that the burqa defines a relationship to society and a specific man that is intended for all women?

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Your Name

posted June 23, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Not even close, David. What you are saying is insulting to sisters who did, and often still do, wear a full habit.
Muslim women are compelled simply by the fact that they are muslim to wear a Burqa. Nuns and sisters choose freely to join an order that requires a habit. They do so to represent detachment from the world and dedication to being “a spouse of Christ.”
Big, big, difference.

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posted June 23, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Apart from the fact that you can actually see the ‘nun’s’ face (a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence, shurely – ed.), there really isn’t much of a difference. Both pictures depict (alleged) women who have been forced by a male heirarchy to cover up between 97 – 99% of their bodies.

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posted June 23, 2009 at 1:31 pm

And both in the name of ‘God’ too.

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posted June 23, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Husband, excellent points…both are covered, and in the name of “God”.
I just wonder how Sarkozy would enforce the ban on burqa’s? Have the police run around taking them off the women? It is a religious thing, no matter what it represents to him and others. Maybe the Muslim community will just leave France!

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Rick Morren

posted June 23, 2009 at 3:10 pm

Bravo Mr. Sarkozy. The wearing of a Burka is not required in the Quran. The Burka must therefore be seen as a symbol of women’s oppression and radical Islam. As such it should not only be banned in France but on the whole territory of the European Union.

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posted June 23, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Does anybody see a difference between something that is mandated by a faith and something that is voluntarily embraced as part of a vocation?
Women who are superiors of orders choose the habits (or lack thereof) that they wear, not the hierarchy. Was Mother Teresa oppressed when she wore her habit and was honored by the Pope or addressing the United Nations? How about Teresa of Avila or Therese Lisieux when they were declared Doctors of the Church? Why must the Church always be reduced to a gender power struggle?
You are insulting the women of the Church when you compare their vocation with female oppression.

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Frank Clyburn

posted June 23, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Well I think that France and the new president in particular sees that the covering of the face enables terrorists to hide under them…. Hard to identify someone with a mask on their face…. I think in is in a way profiling and rightfully so! More power to him if he can get it done…. it’s doubtful tho….

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Your Name

posted June 23, 2009 at 6:02 pm

I don’t know about the outfit on the left, but the one on the right definitely SHOULD be banned!
“Maybe the Muslim community will just leave France!”
Europe is way too dependant on immigrants to do the work, pay the taxes and take care of the rapidly aging indigenous population that has not replaced itself over the past 50 years. If the Muslims leave, disaster will prevail throughout Europe.
Besides, there is a fat chance that they will leave. Many are 2nd and 3rd generation residents/citizens of the countries in which they reside. Why SHOULD they leave?
I think Sarkozy should tread very carefully in this matter. He could have an ongoing in-the-streets rebellion on his hands throughout his country if he actually tries to enforce this rule.

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Your Name

posted June 24, 2009 at 11:17 am

Probably the next thing we will hear from the muslim world is an order to kill sarkozy, just as they did when salmon rushdie wrote his book “satanic verses.” Again, they will proclaim it in the ‘name of god.’

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posted June 24, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Unfortunately Neither Sarkozy, nor many of the people who has commented know what Islam is and what is the dress code for Woman.
Allah states in the Holy Quran:
“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things) and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornments except only that which is apparent (like palms of hands or one eye or both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer dress like veil, gloves, head cover, apron, etc.), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their son’s, their husband’s sons, their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sisters sons or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And beg Allah to forgive you all O believers, that you may be successful.
Commentary of the above verse: –
(And not look freely at the faces of the women who are not their sisters, daughters, mothers or wives).
Here is a law of inward purity of the strictest kind and a peace of very sound advice to the tempted. This injunction puts a full and complete stop to lusting with the eyes and the maxim, if acted upon, does and must serve as a most powerful agent for the prevention and control of sexual extremes. Islam is not at all enamoured of free and restricted intermingling of the sexes and of the mixed gatherings at bridge tables and supper tables and in schools, colleges, clubs, cinemas, and public parks. It exists upon segregation of the sexes and bans altogether lewd literature, lewd pictures and lewd cinemas.
Bible: – “But I say unto you that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Mt. 5:28)
This bans altogether every form of nudity whether under cover of naturism or in the name of health and efficiency. If this were the universal practice, how different would have been the record of sexual morality all over the world!
Law of Hijaab
The law of Hijaab requires that the whole female body (from head to feet, including the face) be concealed in the presence of ghair mahram (with whom marriage is permissible).
A woman should not emerge from the house unnecessarily. If she has to, due to some need, then she should cover her face and body with the outer garment e.g. ‘Burqa’, so the face and shape of the body are not exposed. It should be kept in mind that the outer garment should be of simple quality and the eyes should be covered with a net or cloth so as not to be a cause of attraction. The veil should not be put on in such a way where the outer garment is of good quality or thin cloth or wrapped round the face so the shape of the nose are exposed.
Allah says in the Holy Quran,
“Oh Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veil) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
Abu Hurairah radiyallahu anhu reported Allah’s messenger sallallahu alaihe wasallam having said this, “Two kinds of people would be in the worst situation in Hell. First, those officials who would carry with them whips looking like the tails of cows and they would use them for whipping people. Secondly, those women who would be naked despite wearing clothes (due to wearing see through and tight clothes) who would attract strangers (men) towards them and will themselves be attracted to them. Their heads will be on a side like the humps of fast camels. They will neither enter Paradise nor would they even smell the fragrance of Paradise which will reach for distances.”(Abu Daud)
I think we all google if we do not need anything. When It comes to Islam, just google it and you will find the answers and references directly from quran and hadith.
What could be more demeaning to woman than divorcing her and the getting in affair with other woman with no marital bond? Sarkozy yet advocating the rights of woman, and himself humiliating it?
Also, Woman does not wear it with force. they do it because Allah (GOD) has commanded them to do so. Check out ocuple of these videos and you will learn more.

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posted June 25, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Sarkozy had relatives die in the Holocaust, and it wasn’t because they were Catholic.
This is an ethnic war of one small tribe–their name escapes me–against the pan-Arabists.

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