Last July, I wrote about President Nicholas Sarkozy’s comments on the burqa. Since then, a number of steps have been taken towards a partial ban on the burqa that included setting up a panel to discuss the issue as well as a national debate on French identity.
Over the last six months, the panel has been studying the burqa in France and a few weeks ago released its recommendations to prohibit women who wear the burqa from using any public services like schools, hospitals, and public transportation. The panel determined that the burqa is not compatible with the ideals of secularism and French values. Moreover, proponents of a ban assert that the burqa oppresses women and represents a growing faction of radical Muslims. Opponents of the ban argue that it strips Muslim women of the personal liberties they are guaranteed in France and will in fact lead to further isolating these women. Continue reading