October 7th, 2010
01:35 PM ET

Officials rule France burqa ban legal

France's plan to ban the burqa and other Islamic face coverings in public places is legal, top constitutional authorities in France ruled Thursday, clearing the final hurdle before the ban becomes law.

In September the French senate approved the law – making France the first European country to nationally impose such a measure. The legislation was overwhelmingly approved by the lower house of parliament in July. It is scheduled to come into effect in the spring.

French people back the ban by a margin of more than four to one, the Pew Global Attitudes Project found in a survey earlier this year.

Some 82 percent of people polled approved of a ban, while 17 percent disapproved. That was the widest support the Washington-based think tank found in any of the five countries it surveyed.

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Filed under: France
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Shadowlord

    If a woman wearing a burka and LIVING IN FRANCE and NOT Saudi went out in public, nothing would happen to them! The only risk is from their own community, and let me tell you.....if they pysically assaulted her, SHE actually has rights and could press charges and defend herself. I doubt many women would be brutally beaten in France if they chose to unveil, and if they were, it would be the last time their assailant ever did that....have you ever heard of those lovely places called FRENCH PRISONS? Thats where the wife beaters would go.....We are not talking SAUDi here people

    October 7, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • AllofUS

      and if a woman in Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan did not wear her burqa she would have her face ripped off. Now which country is more tolerant with freedoms. I would rather have the freedom to not wear the burqa without worrying about being brutally beaten rather than have the freedom to wear it and worrying about being brutally beaten for not wearing it. It is just not natural to go through life covered up that way - show me another species that does this? Human contact is important and there is nothing human with someone who is covered up.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. esther

    Very good for France, it looks like they realize the real threat Islam and so many muslims living in their country really poses. This is not about the burqa per se, is about trying to subdue the beast of Islam.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Shadowlord

    Curious, you totally miss my point...you claim that the burka is a disgusting costume as if thats an objective fact. it is not a fact, but rather your subjective opinion. As such, it should not be FORCED upon others. hence the meaning of freedom. Look, if you want to ban everythinng you dont like you should do us all the favor of not calling yourselves freedom loving people, but instead call yourselves totalitarianists, or even worse fascists. Thats what happened then.....you had a lack of freedom, where the state actually had the gall to presume they knew what their judgement on personal matters was superior to your judgement, and enforced it.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Shadowlord

    actually, there is no difference at all if its an entire body being covered or a pair on sunglasses....YOU MISS my point. its about the fact that regardless of the size of covering, IT IS NOT YOUR DARN BUSINESS TO TELL ANYONE ELSE WHAT THEY SHOULD WEAR....BIG AS A BURKA OR SMALL AS A TONGUE RING. It is their right to wear what they please in a free country, whether you like it or not. look, i think a bruka is stupid too, but i wouldnt consider for a moment walking up to a free woman in paris and telling her that she should take it off because i dont like it. who the hell am i to thinjk i have that RIGHT. She has the right in this case, not I or you.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      Do you think these women are free??? Have you ever visited one of their countries.....far from free my friend....

      October 7, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • jersey355

      I think your point is valid to a certain degree... However, you can't deny that wearing a burka makes most non-muslims feel uneasy. This is not simply because of the bad fashion statement. It's because one has to wonder what is under that burka... just an ultra conservative, frail old woman that grew up wearing one, or a brain-washed woman or man hiding a bomb that's strapped to their body. It is unfair for the true, peaceful muslim (if any really exist), but that's what happens when you make a name for yourself!

      October 7, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. cuba

    NICE the U.S. should follow thes guide lines... all these muslims taking bout how france is doing what Saudi does HAHAHAAAA.... listen u idiots UR NOT IN SAUDI ANYMORE TAKE THE NINJA MASKS OFF.... yuor women better then other woman that they cant be looked at??? get the heck outta here GET THE SAND OUT OF YOUR HEADS....u woman batter then mine that NO1 can look at her GOOD DEAL FRANCE HOPEFULLY MORE COUNTRY CATCH ON and STOP LETTING THESE PEOPLE RUN THE SHOW.... U ARABS MOVE TO DIFFERENT COUNTRIES WELL LEARN TO ADAPT TO DIFFERENT WAYS....that rockhead thinking is what screwed up race up in the first place... u dont like the rules stay were you came from.........

    October 7, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. OC Mark

    Although I fully understand the reason behind this ban in France, I always become a little scared when government starts to dictate what can and cannot be done in cases such as this. It is the slippery slope that scares me. Who's next? Will Catholic nuns have to take off their habits? Will Jewish men have to take off their yamikas? None of this affects me (at least for now) but I wonder if we will end up with a Pandora's box down the road!

    October 7, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • cuba

      i feel u MR marco but the votes suggest that THE PEOPL also were for this vote.... the country wouldnt regulate it if it wasnt off the wall NINJA SEASON IS WAY OVER my friend...in this case the government has stepped in and DID IT RIGHT....

      October 7, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Shadowlord

    with regard to comparing the unease someone above said they would feel sitting next to someone wearing a burka as they also would sitting next to someone wearing a kkk hood....sure...i understand that. However, unease is not grounds for imposing your will. I abhor the kkk too, but if im unfortunate enough to have a kkk wearing moron sit next to me on the train, I would get up and move. I would NOT try to pass a law demanding they not wear that hood simply because i was uneasy about it. I WOULD pass a law saying that if that kkk hood wearing dolt got PHYSICALLY violent, they should be thrown in jail (but wait...that law already exists). Again, freedom at work

    October 7, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • jersey355

      I get your whole case about freedom, etc.... and it's great! I love living in a free country, but there's a term for 100%, un-constrained freedom, "anarchy". Sometimes countries have to lay down laws to protect what they consider freedom, even if they seem somewhat absurd at times. I think France is just saying, this is our way of life, and you can't take it from us! They certainly have the right to do that...

      October 7, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Perry Mason

      Shadowlord, thank you for being the voice of reason on this board. The ignorance of 2000 years of Western political economy that others have is astounding.

      Mankind is meant for freedom. The calls against "anarchy" are glaringly hollow. As if respecting religous freedom and freedom of dress on public property, for which muslims pay as taxpayers, is "anarchy." The safety issue is equally nonsense in light of common experience and the reductio ad absurdum that results if you apply the logic of banning burquas to other voluntary activities.

      I also want to note to the ignorant among us that anarchy by definition only means the absence of a single compulsory authority with a monopoly on all violence. This of course is the state of the world, even with and among governments; the absence of anarchy is an illusion. Was medieval Ireland or Scotland, or high middle ages europe (with hundreds of city-states, massive decentralization and various sources of non-governmental authority, from merchant councils to the Church) or native american tribal society, "anarchy"?

      Of course not; people simply relied on other sources for authority than the marxist/hobbesian conception of the State. Augustine was right to compare the State to a gang of thieves.

      October 7, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. cuba

    stay in saudi or were ever ur from so u can rock ur ninja gear all day long....if u move out learn a new way of lfe.... get out of that stone age thinkn... IF WE CANT GO THERE AND ACT HOW WE ACT ON OUR COUNTRIES CAUSE IT DISRESPECTS or VIOLATES UR REDICULOUS LAWS ... WELL MY HALALALA FRIENDS THE SAME BACK TO U WHEN U COME TO DIFFERENT LANDS LEARN TO ACCEPT THEIR RULES.....anyway them women play u out cause they r tired of getting beat down t cause they spoke in pulic LOL u guys are CORNBALLS....

    October 7, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Shadowlord

    nice comments cuba...the only problem is, those FRENCH muslims DO like why they live in france vs saudi. Its freedom. Those ARE (ehem, were) the RULES!! Freedom was the rule that attracted them away from saudi. Who are you,acting in the name of freedom, to take it away and tell them to go packing?

    October 7, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. timber

    Peace Fries

    October 7, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Shadowlord

    bill, i dont know if i can say it again....well ill try since perhaps my ALL CAPS didnt get the point across...im talking about muslims in PARIS, not saudi.....why on earth would i be opining on this topic for women in Saudi???? That is not a free country....France is. hence the conflict with freedom

    October 7, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roger Blatto

      Shadow – then your definition of freedom would be that anybody can do anything they want at any time? That laws are oppressive in that they limit freedoms. The moment one deviates from the statement above then we have conditions by which people have to live – conditions which are good or bad, an imposition on somebody's freedom. Freedom in many situations cannot be achieved without some form of controls in place. All the French are doing is brining in a control against people wearing masks in public that disguise their faces. What they do at home is there own business and they are free to be submissive or whatever else they want.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. cuba

    hey shodowlord i hear u cuz BUT too much freedom for these people opens unnecassary doors ANYWAY wats the point of this ninja outfit except MORE EXTEREMIST PUTING THEIR NONSENCE TO PRACTICE the EXTREMITIES....if they move follow the FREDOM LAWS ... do u think them women wana be waering that nonsence all year long ???? they look like their dyning in there lol

    October 7, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jordan

    I understand the rational but what was the big issue? Was it really causing a huge problem in France? What if you had a disease and did not want to show your face? Wearing a burqa does not hurt anyone else. Muslims are peaceful and have the right to wear a burqa. Isn't there a better solution? Like being able to provide an ID when asked by police? Or showing your face when going to banks you choose to enter? If you are talking spitefully, you do not know what it means to be Christian.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • cuba

      if u have a disease and dont wana show ur face easy solution STAY HOME!!!!!!

      October 7, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roger Blatto

      Jordan, does your wife (if married), sister, or mother keep her head covered while in Church? If not, then they are not following the new testatment Christian teachings. Oh, that was there culture and only relevant back then most Christians say. France has a culture that since the French revolution has allowed the most freedoms known to the Western world. Before that the country was dominated by the Monarchy and Roman Catholic Church. The reason that Christian women do not wear hats in church is that what was once a cultural expectation is no longer relevant in a free society. Jews back then made there women wear head coverings, and the church was made up of former jews so the requirement was likely to not offend Jews. Today we no longer live under that type of setting thus not hats. In France, no burkas as it is not their cultural norm and a burka is in fact a denial of a woman's freedom to show her face in public.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jordan

      Roger, you are right, society changes and so do religious norms. However to say that all muslim women who wear full burqa's are oppressed untrue. There are muslim women who prefer to wear the burqa becuase that is their religious freedom. They should have the right to do so. If there are women that are oppressed by men and forced to wear the burqa, then thank goodness they live in France so they can take off thier burqa and leave thier husband and probably take her kids with her. I still think wearing a burqa hurts no one and should be protected as a freedom, not taken away.

      To the other commentator, of course I would want to leave my house if I had a diseased face. Yes I would probably want to cover it up too.

      October 9, 2010 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. Peter Wesson, Evangelist for the Chattanooga Valley church of Christ

    This is a blatant violation of religious rights. Muslim women dress the way they do as a matter of conscience and morality. Why does anyone think they have the right to deprive another human being of what they wish to have applied to themselves?

    October 7, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roger Blatto

      Peter, is your fellowship affiliated with the Boston Church of Christ? The reason I ask is that my cousin became of a member of their New York cult and basically lost all of his freedoms in the process. He had to wear a pager so that they could keep tabs on him. He was required to contact his "discipleship mentor" many times a day to ensure he was living right. This included telling this person how many times a week he was sleeping with his wife. The only reason I ask is that if you are from the same sect, then you statement about depriving another human being of what they wish is totally 100% laughable!!!

      October 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Peter Wesson, Evangelist for the Chattanooga Valley church of Christ

    This is a blatant violation of religious righst. Muslim women dress the way they do as a matter of morality and conscience. Why would any human being deprive another of what they wish for themselves?

    October 7, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • doughnuts

      Sorry, but no. There is no requirement in Islam to wear a full-face veil or burqa. Modest dress and the hijab, yes. Burqa, or niqab, no.
      If you really cared about freedom and the rights of an individual, you would be railing against the subjugation of women that those garments represent.

      October 7, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
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