Ban the Burqa in France?

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



Regions & Themes


Middle East

Interview with Sufi Scholar, Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Inside Islam’s Colin Christopher recently sat down with Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Professor of Islamic Studies at The George Washington University. Born in Iran in 1933, Dr. Nasr studied metaphysics, geology, and philosophy at MIT and received his doctoral degree from Harvard University in the history of science and learning. A polyglot and author of over 50 books, Dr. Nasr is considered by some to be a Renaissance man. Primarily interested in Perennial thought and Sufism, Dr. Nasr explains his views on Islam, Sufism, and universalism.

Q: Some say that one can be a Sufi and not Muslim. What do you say to non-Muslims that embrace Sufism as non-Muslims? Continue reading