Friday, 16 July 2010
Unveiling the French
Today it has been revealed that the French Lower House has voted to ban the Niqab and the Burka in public spaces with a majority of 335/1! You can read the full story here. From what I gather that doesn't mean the law is passed yet but looks like it will be meaning that a woman cought wearing one will be fined £125, and any man cought forcing a woman to wear one will be fined very heavily.
If I'm honest I'm not completely sure what I think about it but my gut reaction is annoyance. The French are well known for thier atheistic society and I wonder whether they are using this as one step closer to ban or highly control religious though. May be I'm just being paranoid.
With that said I have some sympathy for the French. They, as do we, live in a society where we learn a lot about a person through thier face and genuinely see it a rude and uncomfortable not being able to see someones face. It also makes security very difficult; just think about being called to a police line-up with women in a Niqab. Fundamentalist Islam Guess who is a very difficult game!
However, I think it is a shame to say that the French has nothing to learn from wearing the Niqab. Nicole Ameline, a UMP MP, says in the video that she thinks this is a good message to the women of the world that France is clear on its values. I think she is awfully wrong. The message it give is that women must conform to thier ideals, not to thier own. I personally think there is a lot to be said for the concept of the Burka and Niqab. It goes too far I believe but the idea that a woman should be modest and valued for who she is, not what she looks like is to be admired.
I hope that a happy medium can be found; not a ban, nor a open field. I think education must play a part, both for those who wear the veils, but also for the rest of the French that they may understand each others views better. Perhaps a happy medium can be found for security too. Not so sure on what that may be but thats why I'm not in politics.
Till Next Time!