Friday, April 2, 2010

Will the burqua be banned?

The Interior Affairs Committee in the Belgian Parliament has unanimously supported a Bill that would ban the burqua in public. The Bill is now going to a full debate and vote, probably before the end of this month. This may be the first step towards a European country actually banning face veils but there is some way to go.

In the meantime, as the Wall Street Journal points out, there seems to be little fuss in Belgium. Most of the Muslims there are from North African countries where women tend not to be veiled (thus making nonsense of the argument that the niquab is in any way a religious symbol).
Catholic bishops came out against the ban, citing freedom of religion, as did Muslim community leaders. But they were unable to muster a strong enough front—indeed, many of them agreed the ban could contribute to integration.

Belgian lawmakers argued that the veils can hide criminals, imprison women and segregate society. (One backer even compared women who wear face veils to dwarfs subjected to dwarf-tossing.) The ban would prohibit face veils in nearly all public places, except for special occasions such as Halloween. Violators could be fined up to €25 and imprisoned for seven days.
The European Commission
said that they were concerned at the move, but initially it was a matter for member states, but they would be watching the issue and examining any bill put before the Belgian lawmakers very closely as it may fall foul of EU anti-discrimination policy.
Well, we wouldn't want to discriminate against people who prefer gender apartheid to freedom and equality.

In France, where most of the Muslim population are also from North Africa, the debate goes on. President Sarkozy, backed by Prime Minister Fillon, has said that the burqua was not welcome in France. However, there has been a set-back to the proposals to ban this all-enveloping garment:
France's highest administrative body warned Tuesday that a total prohibition on full-body Islamic veils in public risks being found unconstitutional in a setback to President Nicolas Sarkozy's goal of an all-out ban.

Even a limited ban on the full-body veil would be difficult to enforce, the Council of State said in a study of the legal possibilities for a broad application of a ban on burqa-like garments that was commissioned by Prime Minister Francois Fillon earlier this year.

A total ban risks violating the French constitution and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the report said.
Once again, one has to wonder at the mentality of people who solemnly proclaim that the depriving Muslim women of basic rights or even of participation in the society around them is somehow an affirmation of human rights.

4 comments:

  1. As I understand it, the legislation under discussion in Belgium is not to ban the burqa, but to prohibit the masking of the face in general. Were such a bill to presented to Parliament at Westminster, I would resist it as it would infringe my individual freedom and right to privacy.

    I am amazed that a supposedly libertarian party like UKIP has even proposed such a dotty idea.

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  2. Actually your a non-Muslim and male, so you have no right to mask your face in public, so you had better start resisting now, go out on the street and parade around in a ski mask, you will be advised by the boys in blue to remove it, idiot...

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  3. Face masks prevent sensible and accurate public social intercourse at best. At worst they are either sinister, criminal or a deliberate political provocation. I support a face mask ban in public places. I am rather sick of people coming to my country and demanding that I change to suit them. This would not be tolerated in their, or their parents, original country. If they really don't like our society there is a remedy: go back, or for 2nd, 3rd etc generations to emigrate to their forbears' country.

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  4. Pardon, the above post (Guest) is by Budgie.

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