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Is it right to ban the burqa?

January 25th, 2010
12:38 PM ET

For several months a parliamentary commission in France has been investigating whether the burqa or niqab should be banned.

A woman is seen here wearing a niqab.

A woman is seen here wearing a niqab.

The creation of the commission came after President Nicolas Sarkozy said the burqa "was not welcome on French soil" during an address to parliament in June of last year.

Sarkozy expressed his dislike for the burqa and was joined by a group of 65 other MPs who asked that a commission be created to investigate whether the Muslim religious dress should be banned.

As we await the release of the report, due on Tuesday, we'd like to know what you think.

Do you think it's fair that the French government is considering a ban on the burqa? Do you think that Muslim women should have the right to display and practice their religion as the please?

Should other religions be subject to a similar ban? Should people of the Jewish faith be prohibited from wearing a kippah in public? What do you think?

Please post your comments or questions below.


Filed under:  General
soundoff (524 Responses)
  1. Saood

    No, religious freedom is a right every one should enjoy. This whole Paranoia from Islam needs to stop. Islam and Muslims were amongst ppl for centuries and this whole 9/11 thing has made ppl turn on their neighbours and ppl you normally smile and say hi to on the street.

    January 25, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  2. D. J Towers

    Ban it!!!!! No place in the western world for it.

    January 25, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  3. Andy

    Why not just make all muslims wear arm-bands and stick them in ghettos! The only way that this would be even remotely fair is if all religious items & imagery were banned. No burqas; no niqabs; no kippahs; no turbans; no crucifixes.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  4. Rafay

    The burqa or niqab is a way Muslim women protect their modesty. If they choose to wear it, it is because they want to keep a curtain between themselves and the intruding and invasive cold world around them. If they are being forced to wear it, then it is certainly not fair for them. Not all Muslim interpretters agree that the burqa is required (in face most do not) but there are those "orthodox" views who believe it is right for themselves. France has proven itself to be less than enlightened when they banned religious clothing in school, so it doesn't surprise me that they would consider such a ban. Thank God for freedom and the USA!

    January 25, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  5. james

    I've lived in France for the past 5 years. As an American, I believe whole-heartedly in civil liberties and the right to live out one's religious beliefs as long as no one is harmed. Unfortunately, French society is not as tolerant as US society. Conformity is a high priority in France. While I personally do not object to religious related attire, the French mentality is such that if you come to live in France, you accept 'Frenchness' in all its forms.
    My response to this question is that I personally do not agree with a person being denied the right to dress according to his/her religious beliefs. I just wanted to explain Sarkozy's reasoning to those who may follow it less closely than I. In summation, history has shown that the more people are oppressed, the more the oppressed resist and ultimately prevail. However, the question we must ask is: are Muslims in France really oppressed?

    January 25, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  6. Sandi

    For security reasons I do not think they should be allowed in any public place...they can still practise their religion within their community and mosques etc, but in this day and age, covering your face puts everyone in danger.....the jewish Kippah is on the top of a persons head, it's not hiding their face so I don't see why they should be banned, yes I know muslims are going to say they are being victimised, but it is mainly people from their faith that has caused all the trouble in the 1st place and they have to accept the scar it has left and the stigma attached to islamic faiths.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  7. Ronald Baron

    They should not be allowed in public, esp. because of our new era of terrorism. Who knows who is hiding beneath this "disguise"! it is also belittling to women and is NOT specifically dictated in the Kouran! it is the contolling men who dictate this in their own self serving enterpretation of the words! give it up, and come out of the Dark Ages!

    January 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  8. lovelyone74

    the only problem I can see with the burqa is that it covers everything but the eyes in many cases. That may pose a security problem in some situations. But it's debatable whether it's really any worse a security problem than normal western baggy clothing worn with a hat, wig and/or sunglasses.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  9. Jim in CT

    Ask -"Should anyone be able to cover their face in public?" Certainly yes, but if security of public places, banks, credit card transactions, etc is required, then the user must be willing to uncover to enter a bank, board a train or plane, make a credit card purchase, gain entry to a building, etc.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  10. WAQAR

    Burqa should not be banned because it is obligatuory on Muslim women to wear burqa and I would like to suggest other women also that they should wear this as it saves them from evils of the society and it will also helps to eradicate the bad things which are happening and rising in the world against women at very rapid pace.

    Moreover we should respect the practices of every religion and I think this is the only way from which we can reduces the ongoing and rising hatred among different religions of the world.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Reply
  11. Edwin

    Head scarf yes; burqa no!

    January 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  12. erialc

    In the words of Sarkozy, just about the only thing I will actually say I agree with him on:
    "The full veil is simply a prison for women who wear it and will make no one believe a woman wearing it wants to integrate.'
    Islamic face veils are 'a sign of debasement that imprison women'

    interesting reading: http://community.feministing.com/2009/06/what-about-the-muslim-women-wh.html

    January 25, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  13. Stephen Rizzo

    I am in favour of banning the burqa in western countries. I am in favour of multiculturalism but: (1) First and foremost you have to respect your host and if your host does not like one of your traditions its you that have to change not your host (2) unfortuantley its not the first time we hear about man wearing burqas in order to do terrorist attacks in Afganistan. Therefore i think that the burqa must not be allowed in european countries.

    And after all, if you want to wear your traditional clothes and live like you lived in your country you are always very welcome to go back from where you came from.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  14. Lee

    The wearing of burqa in public should be banned. Whilst I respect the wearing of a variety of religious headgear in public, the burqa hides the person's face entirely. This "disguise" has been used by Taliban. al Queda, etc. in terrorist attacks. There have been isolated instances where some Saudi men have used the burqa as a disguise to rape and even murder women which they have followed to public toilets in shopping malls for example. Nowhere does it say in the Curan that women should cover up by wearing the burqa, hijab or any other head covering and the Muslim clergy, elders and the men have misrepresented this centuries-old custom as a religious edict in order to subjugate women. It has no place in the 21st centruy!!!

    January 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  15. Saood

    The burqa is not belitting to women by the way and not some 'Man's' self serving interpretation, funny how a woman selling cigs in a bikini is not considered a self serving man defined idea or the whole 'sex sells' ideology' is not frowned upon enough but anytime ones religion wants to protect them from becoming a sexual object people dont even read behind the reasoning for it and want to comment, sad, i hope people who dont know about Islam on here atleast have the sense to be respectful towards it.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  16. Karel Frielink

    Mahatma Gandhi, “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.”

    Why are so many politicians and others stigmatizing, offending and demonizing the followers of the Islam, most of which are less fortunate or indeed very poor people? The Islam itself is not a dangerous and violent religion; only certain radical Muslims are dangerous indeed.

    The vast majority of Muslims reject extremism and violence. Muslims, Christians and people of other convictions can easily live together in peace. The problem is not religion, but misuse of religion to sow hatred and intolerance.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  17. Susan

    Immigrants–in fact all visitors–should respect the ways of the host country and integrate to take advantage of what that society offers. After all, that's why they/we went there! If I went to Jordan I would wear a head scarf out of respect, for instance. So head scarves, yes. Burqas, no. In France and other western countries at least.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  18. James

    In the US, I would oppose this. However, in France they are welcome to do as they see fit.
    As an aside, do any Americans even see this ever being a national issue for us?

    January 25, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  19. Albert Silver

    This sort of thinking is so provincial and narrow-minded it boggles the mind the president of a first-world country such as France could even start such an initiative. Let's ignore the religious connotation for a moment and see what we are talking about: this is a minor piece of clothing. One might as well ban hats, short-sleeves, turtlenecks, or jeans. For those who are stuck with their religious prejudice, what are you going to do if the Muslim world adopts all the above-mentioned items as religious necessities? Walk around naked?? Naturally, if it becomes necessary to show one's face for security reasons, such as an airport checkpoint or other, the item can be lifted, just as we take off jackets, but that is about as far as could be comprehensible. Finally, if he feels it is debasing or oppressive, then he should initiate educational campaigns, not impose his beliefs via bans, otherwise we may as well toss out all the freedoms and justices we fought these last centuries to acquire.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  20. Fapiere

    It's not just a security issues. Wearing the burga/niqab is also a health and safety issue. The full body covering prevents free movement and full vision for the wearer. The long lenth accumulates street filth, which can be carried elsewhere. Long dresses for women went out of fashion for good reason. The billowing folds can be trapped in revolving doors, escalators, and so on. We have banned smoking for health reasons. The same reasoning should apply to the burqa/niqab.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  21. Chris

    Yes, it absolutely should. It is a representation of the subjegation of women's right due to Islamic extremism. In dangerous areas of the world it constitues a way to hide in public and is a saftey hazard because bombs etc can be hid underneath it for suicide bombing.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  22. Henry Robinson

    I have lived abroad from my land of birth for years and in several different countries. My view is that if you emmigrate volutarily to another land and culture you should try to adopt the customs of your chosen destination. However I do think that "banning" is the wrong approach – education would be better.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  23. Random

    Ban it, religion should be your own faith. Not one to show to others...

    January 25, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  24. bader

    Well first of all, if the burqa has no place on france soil, then should so the crusifix, jesus, churches...etc because they all came from middle eastern culture and SOIL.
    if you ban the burqa then it should not stop there and ban everything religious.
    this ban is deliperately chosen just to piss muslims off like did the cartoon drawings before in denmark. if you all know that these types of insults offend muslims very much then why keeping on doing?

    did u see the muslim and eastern world bans jeans, neckleces, bikinis...etc? no because islam respect everyone's religous freedom. then why do not the western world once in their life learn something good from the eastern world...oh sorry your already because you are all christians now (eastern religion)

    January 25, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  25. Anthony

    Freedom to express oneself has a limit. They should be able to practice their religion up to the point where it starts to interfere with society. By this I mean that since the garb hides the face of the wearer it should not be allowed because of the problems it causes in modern society. This absurd crap in the United States where Muslim women want to take photo ID's with the garb should not be allowed either because it circumvents the legitimate purpose of the ID. Since driving is a privilege and not a right they should be forced to conform to the standard or not drive at all. The standard was not arbitrarily set and the reason it was put in place was not to discriminate against them but to serve another purpose altogether. If you disagree then tell me why because as far as I am concerned there is no reason to disagree on this matter.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  26. erialc

    Fapiere, very good and interesting point!

    January 25, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  27. Alanrec

    There is no reason in the world why a women should be debased so.
    This has nothing to do with religion, just jealous dirty old men who don't want women to take their rightful place in society.
    Again NOTHING justifies the wearing of the so called burqa

    January 25, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  28. Meira

    The wearing of full veil by women in Egypt and Syria does nothing to protect their "modesty" in public, on the contrary is it is now publicly acknowledged that sexual harrassment and unrestrained touching women in the streets by strange men is a modern plague. Apparently even the police do little or nothing to help victims.

    The modern fashion for wearing the veil by Muslim females whose mothers never wore it in their Muslim countries of origin, and nowadays even quite young girls, is a form of control of women, and has also become a political statement by female converts to Islam

    January 25, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  29. Michael

    It's an affront to intelligence, insulting to women and runs against principles of a democratic society: BAN IT!

    January 25, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  30. mongo

    Yes, covering your entire face is a safety risk. You need to respect your host nation laws and customs.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  31. Miriam

    I would like to see integralist islamic men covered with that. After few days they would certainly be favourable to the French ban.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  32. Jerome Cazale

    The Bruqa is, put simply, a discomforting symbol of the inequality and subjigation of women to the majority of people. Why exactly do women need to protect their "modesty" in this way, and not men? Is it for God, or is it for men, that women are forced (yes, in many Muslim countries, forced) to wear this? While obviously some Muslim women come to think they "want" it for their religion and speak in support it, if it was suddenly mandated by the Ulema that it wasn't required, would millions of Muslim women REALLY demand its return? Of course not.

    The burqa is also, from a pragmatic point of view, completely unworkable in a modern society. How does a driver's license photo work? Any kind of ID at all? What about identifying potential criminals or security threats? How about if the woman is pulled over by the police (oh, that's right, women aren't allowed to drive in many Muslim countries... cancel that.)

    There is something truly bizarre and impersonal about having no visual interaction with a person say working across the counter at a bank – all so this woman doesn't feel I am somehow violating her "modesty" by just seeing her face? And how does she feel, never having anyone react to her facial expressions, to her personality, to even see her smile? It's a little cruel, right? Just a bit?

    Come on, people – this is not comparable to a kippah/yamulke like this CNN header suggests (that's a little circle thing on the very top of the head) – this leaves two eyeballs staring out from a black sack, reducing the person inside to a possession to be viewed only by her husband. We are all human beings and deserve freedom – and that includes freedom of expression which is not, despite what any defender of this old, old, old world garment would say, at all possible with a burqa. It does not have a place in a modern society.

    Like some of the more extreme, marginal manifestations of Islam that we Western wimps don't like to talk about; honor killings being one of those (notice how it's never a son that is killed?), the juicier details of Sharia Law being another (Stoning? STONING?! Well, okay. only for adultery...) this really needs to be NOT added to the Western Politically Correct list as a "cultural difference."

    Now about those little black box things with the leather straps that the Jewish teenager was using to pray with on the flight the other day...

    January 25, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  33. Thomas

    Ban it !! Just wait until someone wearing one of these costumes walks into your local shopping center with a bomb hidden inside...
    Booooooooooooooommmm.... you and your family killed or injured.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  34. djamilah

    1-The burqa has nothing to do with Islam. It is a cultural custom.
    The Prophet Mohamed never told women to wear it. He only recommended they should be modest and wear a scarf. In His time, only His wives started veiling themselves, to distinguish themselves from the other women of the tribe.
    2- Unfortunately, the burqa is mainly present in extremist circles, and Egypt has recently declared it was illegal to wear the burqa on campus.
    3-What would men say if they had to wear it?

    January 25, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  35. Michael

    My son cannot color his hair green(creative expression) at his school. He cannot wear certain cloths such as short shorts, tank tops or any goth-like clothing. At work i cannot have long hair(i am a male). I cannot wear bermuda shorts. If i have a tattoo i must cover it. I wear a uniform.

    At work i come into contact with all sorts of people. Women who have the head scarf will barely aknowledge my presence and will look away when i say hello or good morning. Women in Burqas seem to avoid men all-together. How can we function as a community when there is this type of separation.

    Americans are no more tolerant than the French are towards the Burqas, it's just that there is a higher percentage of Muslim women(wearing Burqas) in France. When the percentage increases in the US you will see intolerance. It is a normal reaction in a country where women have fought and are still fighting for equal rights.

    Now, politically, we cannot ban the Burqa. This will have to come from within the Muslim community. I hope that Muslim men, as well, will realize that this a sort of repression of women and that this idea (or islamic law) was created by men in the first place for their own personal gratification. Had they been fair they would have imposed the Head scarf and Burqa on men too!

    January 25, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  36. felix sabiniano

    how can you say hi or hello to someone you dont see or know? how can you say pleasantry to someone so vague? women dress in burqa to protect men from sinning. why punish the women for the weakness of men?

    January 25, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  37. Andy

    Everyone who's said that the burqa is a security risk needs to seriously think about two things:
    1. If Burqas are banned, will suicide attacks by extremists increase or decrease?
    2. If someone really wants to blow themselves (and everyone around them) up, then they will find a way. As in the London bombings, they can just as easily put the bombs in a backpack as hide them under a burqa.

    However, religious tolerance has to work both ways. If I want to say Merry Christmas, I should be able to. If a store wants to display a Christmas tree (or Menorrah, Buddha, etc.), it should be able to...

    And I am all for conforming to the country's ways that you have chosen to immigrate to. Learning the language is key. Adopting it's customs as your own is recommended. It emphasizes a willingness to become a part of the society you have opted to move to, but making a muslim woman remove her burqa is going too far. It would be like forcing a Rastfarian to cut off his dreadlocks, or telling a sikh he can't wear a turban.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  38. Ruth

    Whatever happened to the idea of religious freedom; the separation of church and state? People tend to fear that which they do not understand or agree with. Personally, I think organised religion of all types (Christian, Judiaism, Islam, etc) is what's wrong with the world, but if we live in a democratic country, we must accept the differences.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  39. curiousGeorge

    as many others mentioned.. its common sense..in todays post 9/11 world, covering ones face like that is not acceptable, as a criminal can hide in that.

    every freedom has its limits..
    imagine if i started a religion and say that as per my beliefs , i have to be nude all the time.. its no security threat, except its a biological threat (lot of people throwing up 🙂 )

    January 25, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  40. felix sabiniano

    @ bader

    "did u see the muslim and eastern world bans jeans, neckleces, bikinis...etc? no because islam respect everyone's religous freedom. then why do not the western world once in their life learn something good from the eastern world...oh sorry your already because you are all christians now (eastern religion)"

    have you been to saudi bader? even short is not allowed in saudi. not a cross even if it has nothing to do with religion.

    but go to italy and you will mosque and muslim practicing their religion freely. can you say the same thing in saudi with the christians?

    January 25, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  41. tlahw

    Yes, Ban it. The Koran does not require it. I do not trust people who wear them.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  42. Saajid Ahamed

    Why cant people have the FREEDOM to where what they want. Is this the so called freedom a democracy upholds! I am surprised this is even debated. I think China can boast of better FREEDOM in this situation!!!

    January 25, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  43. Stephanie P.

    I think the burqa should be banned from all non-muslim countries. I dont understand why we should allow women to fully cover their face (although it is NOT a requirement by Islam) while 'foreigners' cant practice their religious freedom in the GCC. Saudi Arabia and Yemen banned the construction of churches, and the overall number of churches in the GCC area is less than a dozen.
    I support freedom of religion, I live in the Middle East as a foreigner, but I dont accept the 'invasion' of Islam in our Western societies, I condemn their religious extremism. If they want to live in our societies, then they should respect our cultures just like we respect theirs.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  44. Chaim

    CNN: if the you are talking about France and Moslems and bueqas: whay in the world should you include the Jewish religion or kipa or else in the article? Do you think people is stupid or should be directed to an "appropiate answer" in relation to any other religion but Islam? The way you present this article is biassed. Why dont you say that in many arab countries it is iligal to wear or show any religion item that is not related to Islam? In fact, you can be jailed for wearing a cross in many countries. Shame on you Islamic paid advertisers.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  45. Thomas Koshy

    No. France is a secular country and feedom to practice religion should be fundamental to democracy. 80 % of all women wear hijab in Egypt. While visiting Egyypt I asked this question to a highly educated professional, wearing hijab and her answer was that youmg educated women wear it as apprecition of Islam a dramatic change since 911. She had no opinion of Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and conveyed this as a religious statement rather than political. French should know better. Tom

    January 25, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  46. erik saltman

    This is ridiculous. It gets really weird when one has to take a picture for identification purposes. Why don't we all wear mask in the name of some organized religion. Then all of us will be equal and we won't have to show our faces for anything. Not even for the security camera at the airports. It would be easier I guess to carry on a bomb. Come on lets get real. Organized religion has no place in politics and should abide by any laws that prevail.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  47. Chaim

    Try to wear a cross in any islamic country and you will know what religion freedom is.......

    January 25, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  48. Hans

    Freedom of speech does not mean that you can shout that there is a bomb in cinema if you want. Freedom of religion does not mean that we should allow female circumcision, public beatings, hangings, lashing and so on. Freedom and respect have limits and restrictions. So with all respect, please, no burqa’s.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  49. Jack

    It should definitely be banned. Those (even Muslims!) who claim the burqa is a religious symbol are wrong: nowhere does the Quran or the Hadith demand such a garment; it is merely an expression of a certain part of Arab culture, and as such merely contributes to the ghettoization of immigrants.

    But there is another important reason, namely that of security. There are well-documented cases where jihadists, i.e. Muslim terrorists, have made use of the burqa as a means of concealing either themselves or the weapons they carried. To ban it in public would be a small, but nonetheless important step in keeping society just a little safer.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  50. Zaki

    Of all religious dress code only the nikab/burqua is actually repulsive, exclusive and aggressive. I personally find it an affront to my manhood and integrity, because it is justified as a "protection" to the weaker lesser half of humanity. According to this understanding of Islam men are not to be trusted to behave in a civil manner when with women. Ban It for the sake of Islam, so it can flourish again with the proper equality women deserve. Islam's renewal will only come with and through the enlightenment of its women. Otherwise it will be reduced to a blight on the human intellect and creativity. as it has demonstrated with 600 years of sterile, steady decline and a continuous string of failed states alarmingly mostly Muslim.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  51. ParisChic

    Well, as a foreigner in Paris, I can say that I support the ban on the burqa, but not for the reasons you might think.... If you look at other muslim countries, like lebanon, turkey, egypt, jordan, iran etc.... the women where a scarf on their head to hide the hair (much like the religious orthodox jewish women do), BUT their face is exposed. It doesn't say in the Koran that a woman has to cover EVERYTHING except her eyes. I think the Burqa is a modern-day oppression that need to be stopped. Yes, everybody has a right to practice their religion, that's true. But there are limits. Some pagan religions require human sacrifice (Mayas and aztecs anyone?); putting things under the label of "religion" doesn't justify them or make them "right". And as an added note, if the the people who want to have burqas on their women don't like it, then they shouldn't be living in France. There are plenty of countries where burqas are the norm!

    January 25, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  52. mary johnson

    I agree burqas should be banned in public, Muslims should practice or express their religious believes in private

    January 25, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  53. silencedogood

    As much as I hate moral relativism, I would ask "right for who?" In France, yes. They have a rigid separation of church and state, a long homogenous culture and a political culture which allows less freedom of expression.

    In America, no. Freedom of religion and expression are ensrhined in our constitution. We have a separation between religion and politics but its a screen door, not a brick wall. We would be within bounds to ban it in photo IDs, court, banks, and other limited places but an outright ban would be unconstitutional.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  54. Alastair

    Not banned, but limited.

    People can't walk into shopping centres with their hoods up, so why should some woman be able to walk in in an even bigger disguise? Because it's her religion? Then let the rastafarians smoke their cannibis!

    The respect they deserve is as much as they give us, and if they are making other people uncomfortable, then it's their problem, because it's not their country.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  55. Sabeeha Ahmed

    some people say that Muslim men hides behind burqas and give terrorist attacks. What burqa was Bush and his troops wearing when they attacked and killed hundreds of thousands in Iraq?
    Burqa has nothing to do with terrorism. In the 21st century, it is hard to believe that some people can't digest the fact that women will dress as they please. if a non Muslim woman happily dresses herself in a bikini, why can't a muslim woman dress according to her wishes? what muslim women wears is their own business. Sarkozy sure must be having better things to worry about!!!

    January 25, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  56. Ahmed from Hershey

    First of a Burqa is not Islamic. It is a CULTURAL phenomenon in some Muslim countries. It stems from an oppressive male-dominated mentality in some countries (that happen to be islamic). So, there is no question about it being wrong (something many Muslims agree on). However, wearing a Hijab (headcover) is Islamic. Now, I am worried that the french government is taking this step in order to ban any sign of Islamic culture in french society, including the hijab.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  57. Joe Public

    Yes, it should be banned...as should crucifixes, stars of David, hindu dots (sorry, I don't know what they're called), yamulkas, nuns' habits, priests'/reverends' collars, etc., etc..

    I'm of the opinion that religion is personal, and I'd appreciate is if you could keep it to yourselves, and not shove it in my face.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  58. simone

    Can't Sarkozy use time, energy and resources to address more pressing issues, such as the very high level of unemployment and homelessness????

    January 25, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  59. Mike

    All religious symbols should be banned. Personally, I am offended by seeing things like a tortured man nailed to a stake.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  60. Karen

    Rafay said, "If they choose to wear it, it is because they want to keep a curtain between themselves and the intruding and invasive cold world around them."

    However, I suggest that wearing a burqa is like wearing a sign on your back that says "kick me." The burqa wearer, in a society that doesn't support Muslim dress, sticks out like a sore thumb and invites criticism. I don't understand why these women desire to have all of the attention that wearing a burqa commands, instead of learning how to live in their new culture.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  61. Cerulean

    The problem is not the robe, it's covering the whole face. That creates mistrust and a security risk. I wouldn't do business with a man or woman whose face I could not see. France should ban covering the face in public places by both men and women of any religion.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  62. WX LI

    Now I learned the true face of so called Western democracy and personal freedom. Western style Democracy = Hypocrisy

    January 25, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  63. Bev Wall

    Yes, I feel the burka should be banned in public locations. Just as a person has to remove a hat and sunglasses to enter a bank, the burka just plain and simples covers to much and in these days and time of terrorisim and the lack of being able to identify a person if something should go astray. I do not feel the kippah falls in the same category at all. It in no ways covers any of a persons face.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  64. simone

    Great distraction from real pressing issues in the country!!! Concentrate on the 300 women clad in a burqa and talk about national identity, great move, if everything else this Government promised to deliver fails.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  65. Rania

    100% should be banned. If they insist on wearing the burqa, then they should return to their own country!!!

    In some muslim countries churches are forbidden to be built. Anything sybolizing other religions is forbidden. So why should the burqa be allowed in western countries??!!!!

    January 25, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  66. simone

    "I support freedom of religion, I live in the Middle East as a foreigner, but I dont accept the 'invasion' of Islam in our Western societies, I condemn their religious extremism. If they want to live in our societies, then they should respect our cultures just like we respect theirs."

    In response to Stephanie's simplistic comments. Yeah, we really respect theirs, our invasion of Iraq is the proof of this.......

    January 25, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  67. Thomas

    Ban it. This is not about religious freedom, it is about respecting the laws of a nation. If a religious practice conflicts with a law meant to protect the public, then the law takes precedence. In the US one native American group won the right to buy and use hallucinogenic mushrooms for religious reasons. Fine, they don't smoke it in public or walk around in public after using the substance.Do whatever you want in your own homes and churches/temples/whatever with regards to religious practices. But don't pretend your religion gives you exemption of public laws.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  68. Don-Ray Richard Orwig

    I feel it should be left to the citizens of the particular country in question to have a vote to decide whether it should be banned or not.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  69. Nick UK

    I have worked and lived in the Middle East extensively in recent years. I always abide by local law and customs, these include:

    1. No wearing shorts in public
    2. Not wearing a crucifix
    3. Not posessing a Bible
    4. Having magazines (mainstream such as GQ) confiscated at the Border
    5. Not drinking in Public, in some cases not at all
    6. Not walking bear chested away from the official beach
    7. Not walking or talking with women

    So...in my view the banning of the Burkha would be no different. I for one am sick of the imposition of Islamic codes on my society. In some area of Britain even the Christmas tree is banned for fear of offending!

    Ban it ban it ban it!

    January 25, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  70. udo mauske

    Wearing a burqa is not required by the islamic religion. It is a traditional
    way of "hiding" women from men in ancient societies in order to protect
    the women. In western societies women do not risk agressions for
    not being covered. Wearing burqas has become a symbol of militant
    islamic political views und as such they have nothing to do in secular
    western societies. Freedom of religion is not infringed by banning
    burqas in public.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  71. toccata69

    The niqab (and burqa) is no more a way to "protect a woman's modesty" or "to assert one's religion". It is has become a political act.
    The message conveyed is "I hereby reject the western democratic culture where equality between men and women prevails".
    It's a remnant of tribal cultures where women were considered a tribe's treasure to be preserved from other people's (mainly men...) sight.
    We fought hard to overcome those attitudes from the past to achieve a (relative) equality between men and women, to build a society into which a woman has no need to hide to feel safe for men's desires.

    Western democracies should feel confortable asserting that some of their values are superior to tribal values and act accordingly to preserve them.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  72. PM Palmer

    Keep the customs from your homeland, but indoors in the privacy of your own home. I have been to many countries and I MUST abide by the rules of that country, so be it in France. Most immigrants have two passports if you do not like the way things are run in your new country, then dig out that other passport of the country you fled for a better life and go back home. One country then it MUST BE ONLY one passport.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  73. peter

    I have nothing against moderate Muslims, they have the right to live and pratice their religion in peace. My worry is that the is that all the low life thieves, murders and rapists have the same right to hide themselves in public....how can they be identified?

    January 25, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  74. Majed

    I don't think it should be banned, unless it poses a security risk (like at airports, banks..etc.)

    As for those who say that women who wear burqa should respect the local culture, they need to consider that Islam is not only for immigrants. There are French Muslims too. Asking the minority to look and dress like the majority is not fair.

    January 25, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  75. Farhan Ahmed

    The first things to note about this topic which we are talking about is, banning somthing which is orderd by Allah , the creator everybody, not only muslims but also non muslims. Allah's order is to be followed by eveyone. The good thing is that Allah has given us so much of space that we have free will to obey or disobey untill the last day. Also amazingly we are also able to discuss if we should ban or should not ban Allah's order.

    May Allah have mercy on us.

    January 25, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  76. Dan

    It's a symbol of oppression against women;

    Its a sad attempt to prevent adultery.

    Why is it okay she sees my face, but I cant see her face?

    If I was a store owner of a security guard, I would cringe each and every time I saw a person wearing that dreadful thin.

    Sorry, but it is wrong on so many levels I can not even list them all.

    Ban it, this is the 21st century and Muslim men should find a different solution to their infidelities rather than laying the entire burden on the woman and making their life burden and burqa free.

    January 25, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  77. Thomas

    I thought France was a democracy that allowed freedom of religion. This move is just plain bigotry.

    I can't believe this doesn't violate their constitution.

    January 25, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  78. Marks

    Fapiere, or what ever your name is ? PLEASE

    Well said, Albert Silver.

    January 25, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  79. gavin

    Many women are bullied into wearing it by their husbands. I live in Bahrain. Most Saudi women who come over to bahrain for shopping can't wait to take it off and they dread having to put it back on again. Dont fall into the trap of thinking that the ban goes against women's wishes. More often than not it is the men who require their wives to wear it.

    January 25, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  80. james

    As an old Mongol proverb states "if you drink their water follow their ways", in short if you move to a new land to live you adopt their customs in public, what you do in private is your business. If you want to wear a kilt move to Scotland or Ireland. A turban move to India. A burqa to a predominately old school Muslim country. If you move to a democratic country then dress normally, not like something out of the middle ages. Christians went through this same type of control from the corrupt leaders of the catholic church up through the middle ages before they threw the yolk of oppression off their necks. The Muslim faith is one of the newest religions and has not yet matured enough for the followers to put their religious leaders in their place yet. It will take a concerted grassroots effort for people of the Muslim faith to tell all the corrupt inmans to go take a chill pill and dress the way they want to. It has nothing to do with what God or "Allah" wants, it is all about control on the part of the corrupt Muslim leadership. God has not dictated what anyone wears, it is man that has come up with his own twisted interpetation.

    January 25, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  81. Marks

    Who said france was a first-world country, stop it.

    Bunch of French-Fryed-frogs-and-F........

    January 25, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  82. Stephanie P.

    Simone, funny you would pick my comment out of the dozens available so far!
    Excuse my "simplistic" reasoning, but may I humbly say that I dont see ANY link between religious freedom and invading Iraq? Iraq, Afghanistan and so on were used for oil, not in an effort to push Christianity or Judaism in the region.
    The Quran does not require women to wear niqab or burqa, it was imposed by radical imams in the GCC and became a worldwide trend with the spread of religious radicalism. I would NOT want to see women walking around in Paris wearing burqa.
    Being French, I'm expressing what I want/don't want in my society. As a French citizen, I have the right to oppose a growing radical religious society in my country. They are free to do whatever they want in the Middle East, they should consider going back to their homeland if they can't deal with our rules.
    Again... Excuse my cogito of a simple mind...

    January 25, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  83. Cygi

    Well everything you say is all well and good, provided the muslim men cowards that have to dress like women to perform their terrorist acts would respect that ideal, religious freedom that is specific for the women, but they dont. they have to hide behind the Burkha and anything else they can use all in the name of religious freedom. wake up people, or soon enough you will be forced to wear them yourselves, when they take over.'As they use the name of religious freedom to defeat us.

    January 25, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  84. Sharon Rickard

    I live in a neighborhood in California, while improving, still has a lot of gang, weapon, drug, prostitution and other difficult activities. After living here for a few years, I have learned to better understand my neighbors and be aware of body language and so on. I know nothing about Muslims. How do I read the body language of someone approaching me that I can't even see? Of course, this is probably not the problem in France, but how do you balance the needs of various traditional communities with current threat?

    January 25, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  85. An American in Qatar

    Sarkozy says the face veil "is contrary to our values and contrary to the ideals we have of a woman's dignity." I think what's contrary to our values and women's dignity is for the government to tell women what they can and can't wear!

    I live in the Middle East and work with many women who wear the face veil. The idea that these women's veil is a sign of oppression is a gross stereotype that belittles them much more than a piece of cloth ever could.

    January 25, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  86. chandy

    To be fair with everyone in society, we should ban all clothings. We should only wear uniform dictates by Paris to protect as from environment. All other clothings are evils. They create too much controversy.Let go nude.

    January 25, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  87. Rollande Curney

    Absolutely, I personally witnessed a woman driving a car wearing a burga. How ridiculous. She cannot see on either side of the car. When in Rome, do like Romans, just like they ask us to do in muslim countries.

    Rolland

    January 25, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  88. marcia

    ABSOLUTELY,it should be banned. If you are in a country that bans the burqa and you don't like the ban....then leave and go to your homeland that loves the burqa. In fact...if you are a burqa lover,stay in your Islamic country and don't bother other people!!!

    January 25, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  89. Ricco

    When you choose to move to another country you should be willing to follow their cultural ideas. If you are a citizen or working towards citizenship then you need to conform. If I went to a muslim country to live I would be expected to wear something on my head were I a woman – and I am not a muslim... PLUS, I would do it so as not to stand apart and make life easier for my family. There are too many people moving to foreign countries that are not willing to give up the culture they left behind. They need to try the new culture – they might just like it!!! Ya left your old culture for a reason – if you don't like the new culture, then you need to go back home where it's better... Be happy and stop complaining!!! Don't expect the world to change just for you!!!

    January 25, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  90. Ian NYC

    Do it. Just because the west is quite liberal compared to the east doesn't mean we have to be tolerant of everything...

    January 25, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  91. Jorge

    Obviously the burkha is in direct violation of many basic human rights-equality between genders being the most severly hurt with it. The burkha basically devoids humanity, value or dignity, in which they are no longer human beings, but mere property of muslim men who have the right to do whatever they want and please with them-selling them, beating, raping,coersing them to do whatever they wish including killing them(honour killings).Any person who deffends the burkha is as mentally and spiritually sick as the mass-murdering pedophile, thief, rapist, looter, charlatan muhammad was who made up this most evil religion of islam to serve his own materialistic sick interests,greed and evil lust!

    January 25, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  92. Jojo

    Like most people here, respect the culture and norms of the host country. Multiculturalism DOES NOT WORK. Assimilation is the way to do it. I left Asia to be an American which means that I have to and want to adapt to the American way of life. If you don't want to, then might as well go to where you came from.

    January 25, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  93. Eve NJ

    Burkha should protect woman?Wearing burkha in public is not protecting in my opinion at all .Its like a red light for lets say those "bad guys"."Here she comes","what's there"?Every one looks and point a finger.
    Also It's a human nature to be afraid of something we can't see.Woman wearing burkhas are like a living ghosts.Its scares us and brings too much unwanted attention.

    January 25, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  94. André.F.rochon

    One must not forget that the civil liberties the state takes away to a certain group is an opened door for taking away other rights to other groups.

    It seems that these days all kinds of excuses are made to restrict our freedom. This is not only the case in France. In the U.S. and Canada security is often taken as an excuse to limit our freedom. Soon we will have to accept being seen naked before bording a plane.

    I always believed that being free imposes a certain risk that we should be willing to take. In fact freedom has a price but it seems that our respective governments are not willing to take the risk and imposes upon us all kinds of restrictions. In that regard one might come to the conclusion that extermists groups are succeding in their fight against democracy.....

    January 25, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  95. elliott james

    ban it. it doesn't promote equality in relationships and is a sign of submission.

    and for the follow on statement to that point, "but we should be free to wear what we want!?!" – refer to previous answer.

    people in the west need to learn 2 things about Islam
    1) its history. not really any different to Christianity, but there still stuck in the old testament, so to speak.

    2) how rapidly the world population demographic is becoming islamic. there wont be the need for religious wars in future, islam will out populate everything else.

    be like the swiss and ban building islamic buildings!

    January 25, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  96. Joan

    By all means ban it. It is a symbol of submission to men. The claims of "religious modesty" are nonsense. If women don't have the sense to emancipate themselves from this outdated, male, tribal idea, then the government needs to do it for them. I agree with the comments above suggesting that, if they don't like it, they are welcome to go back to wherever they came from.

    January 25, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  97. Marks

    In Ghana west Africa, it is a big taboo to use your left hand to eat, shake hands, or evan to wave at a person. Now I am left handed, but when I'm in Ghana I have to respect the hoste country and the traditions it has, and use my right hand to do the above. its called respect.

    When I was young my mother used to tell me, if you see a man living in a tent or a palace and he asked you to remove your shoe's before you enter and you don't whant to then you should not enter.

    January 25, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  98. P.Mattei

    No burqa, no invasion of the retrograde maltreatment of women in our countries! There are already so many problems for women to solve even if we are supposedly free!!!
    If some women want to be transformed in slave ghosts, let them go in their countries...But I doubt there are not flocks of them!!!
    If they want to come in our countries, let them behave like free and responsible human beings!
    Men must stop to praise their superiority and to beat their wives! Basta!!!

    January 25, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  99. Tired

    I'm tired of providing freedom to those who do not offer the same in their county. When Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and Jews are not persecuted in the Muslim world then they can have freedoms in ours, other leave!!

    January 25, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  100. Gufi

    Jain monks walk about from town to town naked in India. Would this be allowed in America?

    January 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  101. Thomas S

    It should be banned, it cannot be compared to say a crucifix or a kippah. But hey, i might aswell start running around the city with a balaclava on, and refuse to take it off. I doubt anyone would appreciate that and its basically the same as a burqa; except far more revealing.

    January 25, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  102. Ana S

    It should be banned! Modesty can be shown in different ways. There are different expressions for Muslim women to show their respect, but burkas are indeed a way to force them to hide, not to be seen and therefore not to be noticed. If you are not noticed then you dont accept your freedom and are submissive. If you are submissive then you are accepting to be abused and neglected. This is no choice in any Western country.
    Among religions who wear distinctive clothes, Muslim burkas are the most intrussive to individuality and freedom. The concept in itself is the same (religious attire) but the intention and the result is completely different. I dont agree that women must be submissive and neglected and to me wearing a burka is the acceptance of submission and neglect. Ban the burka.

    January 25, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  103. bright godwins, southern nigeria

    when u get 2 rome behave like the romans, christians accept whatever condition given to them in saudi arabia, now the french feel it's not right in their society, y all diz questions? pls! pls!! let us make it an issue, it is not allowed in france, if accepted, let it be, period!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 25, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  104. Khan

    I understand that Quran mandates modesty in dress, both for men and women. How one interprets "modesty in dress" is subject to interpretation. Yes Burqua can be a security concern in certain settings, but so can certain other types of dresses eg. hoop skirts, baggy pants, clothings covering certain parts of normal and abnormal anatomy ( bosoms, buttocks, pregnant bellies, obese bodies etc.) The solution seems simple enough!

    January 25, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  105. g.triver

    BAN IT....The West IS in a war against Islamic terror (not to mention several Asian nations and even China as well). It is ironic and hypocritical of the Muslim world, which has methodically been whittling down Western freedoms of speech and expression through terror and intimidation (as with Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist), to impose the most draconian limits on Westerners in their own societies and yet insist on freedom of "religion" here. Many Islamic regimes have "morality police" who go out to enforce strict Islamic dress and behavior–even beating people. The crucifix and Jewish skullcap are a non-issue by comparison. Bringing a bible into Saudi Arabia has been illegal, and just within the past few weeks some 6 or 7 Christians were murdered in Egypt. The West has EVERY RIGHT to assert its own laws and restrictions. If you read the news interviews with Islamic activist women who are involved in trying to liberalize their own societies (often at the risk of death to themselves), many are the MOST forceful advocates for banning this symbol of female oppression. Remember, women are looked at more as male possessions in these societies. Many Islamic women will wear the burka who do not wish to but will be terrified to defy their male spouse. She will say she prefers it out of fear in many cases. Even many Muslim schoolchildren have been murdered in "honor killings" by Muslim families for not wearing a head scarf and looking "Islamic" enough, defying a parent. Banning the burka would SEND THE STRONGEST MESSAGE TO THE MUSLIM WORLD that our roots ARE Judaeo-Christian and that we reject the control of women. Things have even gotten ridiculous–in Florida a Muslim woman went to court claiming "freedom of religion" to wear a FULL burka and not have her face shown on her driver's license photo! Islamists ARE attempting to ultimately implant brutal Sharia Law on Western societies and they are open about their goals. We must assert OUR right to protect our own culture and freedoms. They can wear whatever they want in the privacy of their own homes.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  106. Thomas S

    bader:

    "did u see the muslim and eastern world bans jeans, neckleces, bikinis...etc? no because islam respect everyone's religous freedom."

    No. For example all women have to wear a burqa in Saudi Arabia (despite religeon, culture background etc.). If the police see you even revealing your ankles they whip you until youre properly covered. So if we should take your advice our police should whip anyone with a burqa on until they have taken it off.

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  107. Jorge

    The burkha is an insult towards all human rights, equality,freedom..it is a backward barbaric and inhuman imposition from retrogade culture and immoral religion-islam- on poor innocent brainwashed wimen who simply must accept is as "divine" and "mandatory" when it is indeed satanic, evil and disgusting, It turns wimen into ghosts, cattle ,objects or worse.It must be fought and BANNED outright everywere! The burkha reflects the pathetic muhammeddan misconception and chauvinistic ideas that wimen are ^"inferior" to men,"defficient in intelligence ","ungrateful" ,"sinful" and "impure"..like if wimen were all 100%"evil" vagina that "tempts" and "currupts" men and that therfore must be oppressed and contained for the sake of a sick evil religion of PURE EVIL-islam!

    January 25, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  108. ana baena

    It should not be banned.
    People must respect others customs.
    I am a Roman catholic but I deeply respect others religions.
    France should never interfere in a use that can offend girls and women from other countries.
    It shows intolerence and lack of education for their future generations.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  109. NAVAS

    The burqua is not a religious sign! It's only worn in Afghanistan, Saoudi Arabia, ect... Nothing to do with the Coran either. In fact, most of the women who do wear it are Salafists. They symbolize a sectarian view of Islam. That's why I do hope the law banning the burqua will be promptly passed. Moreover, the demands from these salafists are something I would oppose. For instance, in some hospitals, they refuse their wives to be examined by a male doctor, some of them refuse to sit next to someone eating pork. Sorry, when in Rome do as Romans do. You don't have to eat pasta every day but you must respect the customs of the country you live in. I wouldn't dare walk half naked in Marrakech, in Sudan or elsewhere. ( in Santa Monica,maybe.....not too sure about that either!) .Au revoir§

    January 25, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Reply
  110. Goes211

    The problem in France is that statistics show more than half the muslim women wearing the burqua are of french nationality. So the 'if you don't like it here go back to your own country' position makes little sense.

    It does however bother me that I'm not allowed in certain places of the world, in the name of religion. As a non-muslim, I am not allowed to travel to Mecca, in fact I'd risk the death penalty. I would like to see it, because it is part of the world culture, much like the Vatican. Unfortunately, muslims don't see it that way.

    But it's not because others enforce nonsense rules that we should do the same. It all goes back to education. Educate people and the problem will go away.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  111. Murtado

    Ban it! Burqa is a sign of female subjugation and islamic law (shariah) domination.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  112. Emmanuel Meggison

    But first of all, see all suitable for wear and in a condition to be worn, if the particular ones in question, the burqa, niqab, etc., are decent or oversimplifiedly standardized in appearances. They are so harsh that they are not to be compare with that of other faiths. The people who wear this costume-like whether burqa or niqab, would know by now the world see them better than they see themselves as if they are standing in front of a mirror. The burqa or niqab family has to call for a designer to help them make ones that would conform to modern in style or banned, as some have the burqa or niqab on body to conceal proof of guilt.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Reply
  113. xinellum

    Sure, if you ban Yamikas, rosaries, nuns, prayer wheels, priests, rabbi's, or any other item or person associated with every religion in the world. If you ban one, ban them all, unless you live in a apartheid state. We decry religious freedoms being restricted in every place in the world, but we single out the Muslim religion. I would be embarrassed to call my self a Christian or Jew and be calling for banning someone else's religious symbolism or to deface, mar or disrespect it. That is the problem with the world. Be like me or be dead and that is why the world we live in is torn into pieces. Hey Christians, is that what Jesus taught? Hey Jews, is that what your religion stands for? Your mentality is that a certain population should all be stripped of their religious identity, and forced into camps, oh thats right, Hitler already did it, it was called the Holocaust and now everyone, including Israel, wants to commit another Holocaust against the Muslims. We live in a sick world at a sick time, with some very sick people leading it.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  114. AgAta

    Muslim women don't have the right to display and practice their believes as the please. The way the live and dress is imposed by the religious doctrine and policed by the fanatical Muslim men. Western society should be free from religiously imposed and controlled ways of living. The culture that holds women as a lesser kind should not be respected, as they don't respect themselves.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  115. lukanof

    Respect of people religion is fundamental to the peace co-existence of humanity. If muslim chooses to wear Burqa and christian chooses to wear cross and the jew chooses to wear whatever, it must be respected. They only affiliating with their religion.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  116. John R.

    I agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY with "James" IF you want to be a part of NORTH AMERICAN SOCIETY with all it's benefits and RULE OF LAW you leave all this nonsense about SHARIA LAW trumping all else and all of these tentlike garments ending in 'AB'(hijabs and niqabs etc and burqas ) back where they belong.IF you don't like this PLEASE DO NOT immigrate here.We just do NOT need this BS.
    First off they scream about "PROFILING" BUT,remember this.IT WASN"T LITTLE GREEN MEN FROM ALPHA CENTAURI who murdered 3000 people on Sept 11 2001.it was Arab crazies who did it IN THE NAME OF ISLAM.MORE musilm whackos have bombed the London buses and tube and tried to blow up airliners FILLED WITH innocents ALL IN THE NAME OF ISLAM.
    SO,DO NOT PROTEST"PROFILING".REMEMBER WHY "PROFILING" is necessary.IF only ONE innocent life is saved by"PROFILING"notwithstanding all the howls of"outrage" that's fine by me and anyone who is SANE.It's unfortunate but NECESSARY and muslims brought it on themselves on account of the actions of some of them.
    It was NEVER women who wanted these tents it was MEN who want to hide their CHATTELS from the eyes of others."Harem" mentality in other words.
    Any religion that condones splashing Sulfuric ACID in the eyes of little girls wanting the education that MILITANT BACKWARD MUSLIMS DENIED their mothers is NOT needed in any FREE and modern society.
    IF YOU WANT YOUR NIQABS AND HIJABS AND SHARIA LAWS STAY WHERE YOU BELONG.France has always been a bastion of democracy and tolerance.They have been PUSHED too damned far by all the immigrants they granted succour to.Again,IF that's the life they want,STAY IN YOUR THIRD AND FOURTH WORLD cesspits and enjoy life back in the 8th Century.We just do NOT need your nonsense in the western world.By all means pray any way you like but leave the rest of that baggage where you wanted to LEAVE for a better life.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  117. udo mauske

    Most Moslems who come to democratic countries enjoy their
    new freedom as often they were persecuted in their native countries. Therefore they should not begin to infringe on this freedom by demanding new limitatitions such as requiring burqas for
    Muslim woman. Their religion is not demanding it and every
    statement to the contrary by Muslims proves that the person does not know his own religion.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  118. Uschi

    I am in two minds about the burqua question. On the one hand I would like to have it banned as Islamic countries do not respect our Western ways at all. On the other hand I have always been outraged when a government interferes with my private life. Thus I suggest to leave it up to the French and for my part, I will not travel to an Islamic country because I am not willing to give up my way if behaving.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  119. peter whitaker

    I am afraid Saood and Waqar, amongst others, have seriously misunderstood the whole point. I have lived as a foreigner in numerous countries over the last 40 years, and I have always accepted the rules, regulations, tradtions, languages of the country that has kindly allowed me to live and work there. It is not up to outsiders to critize their hosts or change peoples way of life – try standing in the center of Riyadh and calling for an end to the Royal Family, or demand women's rights- you will not get far, and yet these same people seem to think they have the right to come European countries and demand changes to our traditions and ways of life. As one comment quite rightly stated- if you don't like it where you are, then go somewhere else – Yemen, Somalia, Iran, North Korea,Afghanistan – are all wonderful examples of countries that will receive you with open arms and you will enjoy all the liberties these countries will surely guarantee you – unlike France, England,Germany etc where people are horribly oppressed.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  120. An American in Qatar

    This is ridiculous.

    In every culture, there are parts of your body that you show to everyone, and parts of your body you don't show to everyone.

    For some Muslim women, their face is a part that's considered private.

    Why does that frighten and threaten us so much? Why should we care. She should have the right to decide.

    If I moved to a country where women all went topless, I wouldn't want them to make me take my shirt off. I should have the right to cover the things I don't feel comfortable covering.

    Everyone's saying the burqa is a sign of female subjugation. On what grounds do you say that? Am I subjugated because my culture tells me not to show my breasts? No. Is a Muslimah subjugated because her culture tells her not to show her nose? No.

    Not everyone dresses like you do. Not everyone WANTS to dress like you do. Get over yourself.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  121. Serendib

    If people can run around half naked, why cant they coverup. Its democracy and human rights which the west boasts about. People must be free to dress as they like without politicians interfereing.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  122. Karen Stromquist

    All I know is that Jesus doesn't care what you wear. He's more interested in our salvation, both men's and women's. I show my love for Him in my actions and not in what clothes I wear. I find personally the burqua to be degrading but people should have the right to wear one if they so choose. I remember when I was young the nuns used to wear habits and isn't that really the same as a burqua?

    January 25, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  123. Sue

    Wearing a burqa should not be banned.

    If a ban is to be put in place, it should be more generic such that it does not discriminate against women or a particular religion. It should be general such as "no more than 25% of your face covered", or "Eyes and nose must always be visible".

    This would also cover ski masks and scarves that cover the face. This might not be a popular ban on a cold winter day, but it is the only way to be fair and non-discriminatory.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  124. gerry

    Yes I think the burka should be banned in public places.
    It is a symbol of discrimination against muslim women, and its religous significance has been exagerated as a means of controlling the seemingly uncontrollable sexual urges of muslim men.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  125. Ace

    Bottom Line.

    1. You come to someone else’s house (country), you follow their rules.
    2. Its a security risk, plain and simple.
    3. If you don't like it, go back to your own country. If it was so important to you and such a wonderful place, you wouldn’t have left.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  126. Serendib

    Security issues should be dealt with at the point of entry by the authorities not by curbing personal freedom.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  127. barbara in PA

    First off, I am a white female convert to Islam. I became Muslim after years of reading and asking questions. I was single, not dating, when I became Muslim (for those who think maybe I was "persuaded" into it or "brainwashed" somehow by a husband). I am married now, but we met many months AFTER I had become Muslim.

    What I don't understand, is how people are saying that covering up is so "old world" and sets women back hundreds of years; do you not think for one minute hawking beer wearing a bikini is neandrathal thinking? Do you REALLY think women would come up with a sales pitch like that?? The USA uses sex to sell EVERYTHING, from cars, to beer, to shipping containers (yes, I saw a billboard ad with a girl in a tank top, with "NICE" written across her chest....and the company was a shipping container company. WTH?!?!?), but no one sees the repression and subjugation of women in that.

    Women/girls here (USA) have such body image and self esteem issues, it's becoming epidemic. Celebrities are now considered "fat" at a size 2 or 4. Everyone is nearly naked on most television shows, and yet.....we just keep feeding the junk to our kids and letting them think that low riders jeans, cropped tops and all your "goodies" hanging out is what is NORMAL.

    While I wouldn't wear a burka, I'd take covering up and wearing an abaya (long black dress) any day over walking around mostly naked, with men oogling me in a way that you KNOW what is running through their mind.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  128. inam

    Nuns cover their heads even in the public all over the world, what is the justification for that?, I am not justifying burqa here. personally I don't like burqa,

    January 25, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  129. Frank

    Ban it. Parading one's personal faith in public is in poor taste. If you soiled your underwear, would you display it? Same thing. No kippah, no cross, no burqa. Keep your dirty backward trouble causing religions to yourselves and the world will be better off.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Reply
  130. An American in Qatar

    Are we really going to use the fact that some Muslim countries don't respect expats' personal freedoms as an excuse to deprive Muslims immigrants of personal freedoms? That's sad.

    Saying "If they come to our country, they have to follow our rules" is all well and good, but it doesn't justify our MAKING UP rules just to exclude them.

    If you think that human rights and personal liberty are good foundations of society, then let women wear what they freaking want to wear. If you don't value those things, then maybe you're the one who should be shipped off to a country that likes to tell its residents how to live their lives.

    January 25, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  131. MRC

    In general the notion of outlawing a particular style of clothing, whether chosen because of religion or not, is ridiculous. Granted one has to draw a line somewhere in terms of not being outragelessly offensive but the fact that some segments of society are bothered by something simply because of prejudice should not be a guideline.

    I understand the argument that many women are forced to wear burqas and that is very sad. But violating the rights of women who choose to wear this of their own accord in order to give others the ability to avoid wearing it is not a solution. Two wrongs do not make a right here.

    January 25, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  132. smart

    There should be a total ban on Burqa, if not let me ask, are western women free to wear what they wish to wear if their are in Arab world, without covering their head or face ? To them it's the law of the land and must be obeyed, them why should they struggle with another country's law. If you are not pleased them(France) go back to your country.

    January 25, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  133. Tooba

    the french seem too pompous!
    just because they feel uncomfortable around women who cover up, they think they should just get rid of the dress completely.
    i preach tolerance. and i have nothing against the french, personally.
    i am a muslim, i wear a head-scarf and not a burqa. most girls my age around me do not cover up at all. that doesnt bother me much. I What i do is my choice, and what they do,their's. Why cant Sarkozy say that? Its like him saying "we dont like the colour orange. No more orange clothes from monday"
    Tolerance Mr Sarkozy, tolerance.

    January 25, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  134. Brian

    I don't see why it should be banned. Security reasons? Don't make me laugh. Is there any better way to draw attention to yourself than to wear one? The 9/11 hijackers hid in plain sight, so I don't think a burqa is threat. The real threats are people who want to dictate how others should live their lives – whether it's terroists or goverment fear-mongers.

    January 25, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Reply
  135. Shyam

    I can understand if the Niqab is being banned for security reasons. But if the reason behind this is religious, it is wrong. Agreed that many of the Islamic countries enforce the burqa, but they are not proper democracies with full liberties for its citizens. Is france one of them?

    January 25, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  136. Ed Leaders

    Ban none...or ban all. There should be no tolerance. There are very good reasons for banning this type of attire. Identification being the primary.

    January 25, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  137. Ed Leaders

    But.. I would not go so far as to suggest this should be a public ban. It should be a private ban. Cities, states, businesses etc. have different rules for different reasons. Respecting ones freedoms should be secondary to security.

    These nutjobs punching at religion are the reasons we have a right to bear arms in the US.

    January 25, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Reply
  138. Rob

    Even in the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC of IRAN, though "by Law" women have to carry headscarfs, the full face has to remain oncovered, the only exclusion is a diplomat and his or her family. So, if its a security factor: OK. But not if they want to forbid the head cover, for then: what happens to the freedom of religion/ opinion... especially in France "the land of Freedom, Brotherhood and Equality".

    January 25, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Reply
  139. JR

    When in Rome, do as the Romans, or in this case, the French. Heck, it's their country, why should they change their culture to accommodate yours. If Muslims don't like the laws or cultures of the French, or any other country, don't go there! Find somewhere more suited to your culture and belief.
    As a side note, Muslim countries ban many things that the Europeans consider normal practice, and you never hear them complaining, or even read it on the news, so why shouldn't the Europeans have the same right???

    January 25, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  140. David

    I am an American and I live in Cairo- as I have now for three years. I believe what will most likely happen is countries like France will not make it illegal to walk down the street in a burqa (as I am sure that violates some part of their constitution) but they will allow private store owners to make their own decisions about allowing it and they most likely will ban it in public places. Thus, getting what they want.

    But Egypt is also thinking about doing the same in some places such as Universities (where there have been cases of guys dressing up in burqa's and sneaking into girls dorms.)

    If people are not happy with this, they must understand that they are always welcome to go home. As harsh as that may sound- try letting people know you are Jewish in Cairo, or see how much attention you get when you where a cross. So all in all, I believe many of the arguments I see on international news stations truly are somewhat one sided by complaining that they are not allowed to wear something when in their very own country it is not SAFE to wear something of a different religion

    January 25, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  141. Alex

    It all boils down to the question whether Muslim women wear this dress because they want to OR whether they are pressured or even forced to wear it by their husbands/fathers/brothers/imams... In a free society people must be able to wear what they want – it's none of the state's business. Personal freedom is one of the major pillars of western society and we must never give it up!!! But the government has to make sure that personal freedom and freedom of choice is granted to everyone – without exception. I personally don't think that a ban of the burka is doable without infringing on those basic rights. If the burka is a symbol of oppression other means have to be installed by the French government – means, which will eventually equip women with the personal & legal power to stand up against those who demand this clothing from them, and still let those who want to wear it have their free will untouched...

    January 25, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  142. Shirley

    I want women to have a choice about how they display their bodies. Each culture has their own expectations and they change. In the United States in public I am expected to wear a bra–a practice that other cultures have no expectations of me doing. I think it is hypocritical to suggest that covering ones face if one chooses is worse than requiring women to always cover their breasts.

    January 25, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  143. An American in Qatar

    smart asked: "let me ask, are western women free to wear what they wish to wear if their are in Arab world, without covering their head or face ?"

    Yes, they do. I'm a Western woman living in the Arab world, and I don't cover my head or face.

    Apparently I now have more freedom of dress on the Arabian Peninsula than I have in France. Doesn't anyone else find that embarrassing?

    January 25, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  144. Diana - Toronto

    They should take it even further – anyone turning up for immigration in one of those outfits should be immediately turned away. I don't think of them as religous but as a symbol of female oppression. To try and pretend they are religious symbology is realing pushing the envelope.

    January 25, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  145. ahmad

    I do not believe the burqa or any other religious aparrel should be banned in so far as it does not run contrary to any existing Laws. The individual's right to 'dress up" is as inalienable as others rights to "dress down". What needs to be confirmed is are they wearing it on their volition? else we will be oppressing them by having them remove it against their will.

    January 25, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  146. S. Front

    Simple: you go to a muslim country and you SHOULD were that. Understandable. Therefore, in NON-muslim country, they should wear dresses and jeans. FAITH IS NOT SHOWN BY A DRESS BUT BY ACTS. That dress is ridiculous. Havent realized that we are in year 2010 AC and not BC?? If they want to be in european soil then they have to adjust to EUROPEAN traditions.... or try to go to Iran or Afganisthan and have yourself uncovered or get drunk and dance in public... let's see where the f human rights will be... "In Rome do like the Romans"

    January 25, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  147. PA

    I'm French, born and raised in Saudi Arabia till the age of twelve, i have friends of all colours and religions , but the burqa, its evil, Forcing (cause face it, thats what it is 90% of the time) women to cover themselves up, is a crime against humanity. i dont accept people waling around the street in skimasks, so why should religion be an excuse to hide from society. i went to Saudi, and i respected the laws and customs, my mother put on the veil, and my parents stopped drinking, so why do people think they can abuse of europe under the concepts of freedom? we want to be free of criticism from immigrant populations who dont like us bieng european! No to the burqa, it is discriminatory towards women, irrespectfull of the host country, and just plain untrustworthy cause you dont know who's under it.
    I dislike Sarkozy, but he's right. We're in France, no Saudi Arabia

    January 25, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  148. Some Sanity

    This discussion is insane!!!

    January 25, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  149. poop

    Many Muslim countries force ANY woman to wear a burqa in public. Whats the difference if France is forcing their women to NOT wear one in public? The bottom line is...if you don't want to do what a country tells you...DON'T live or visit there!

    January 25, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  150. Lee

    If a referendum is held, and public opinion indicates that the burqa should be banned for security reasons, then so be it

    Perhaps we could also ban people from wearing baggy clothes, with hooded jackets, and certain bandana colours associated with gangs!

    That is also a security reason isn't it?

    January 25, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Reply
  151. pete

    never,never,never,never, give them the freedom to wear burga in public. They should aide by the United States Of America's laws. These people require us to wear a burga when we come into their country, these people are all terrorist to me in the name of their distorted belief in their religion.

    January 25, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  152. Maggie

    I think it should be banned. They are in France and should respect their culture. Any other country makes you follow their traditions. They always say if you visit a country you should know their traditions so you don't insult them.

    January 25, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  153. Jan

    I am all for religious freedom but it should cut both ways. If the worshippers of islam are to be allowed to wear any clothes they like maybe the islamist countries should allow for wearing bikinis and allow women to make the choices they deserve in first place.

    January 25, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Reply
  154. Roger

    It is as correct as banning mini skirts and bear arms in muslim nations. I absolutely agree with the rights of both parties.

    January 25, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  155. Sebas

    As long as religoin has a hold on mans primitive mind there will be separaration, hatred and conflict amongst humans, just look at our history..... Its really simple

    January 25, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  156. Roy

    Oh come on people! Religous freedom is only granted in the pretence that practicing your religion will not impede upon another person's security/rights. When the Islamic Muslim Extremist decided to start dressing themselves so no one could recognize who they were that became an infringement on my freedoms and rights and threatens my security. BAN IT!
    For those who arge against this, if I start a religion and say that part of my religion is to walk around with a grenade launcher that is armed.... is that ok? If not, why not.... is that threatining your security? How is people disguising themselves not the same?

    January 25, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Reply
  157. Maralyn Dorcey

    Yes, the Burga should be banned in public . If you want to live in a country that does not believe in certain rites, then you should move to where those rites are respected. The burga is a hiding place for hamrful equipment as it more intensly covers the head and in some case the entire face. Thank you

    January 25, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  158. Angela

    Freedom in not conditional! Freedom is not based on Religion. Freedom is being free to be oneself. We teach our children they are individuals, and free to be who they are. By banning peoples choice to practice their religion or follow their beliefs, we are taking away their right to be free, their right to be who they are.

    Muslim is not synonymous with Terrorist. If you are a Muslim you are not always a Terrorist. Remember The Christian Crusades, the Inquisitions, and the force conversion to Christianity during colonial expansion. At one point you could have viewed Christianity as synonymous with Terrorism.

    Banning religious clothing, practices or beliefs, it has to be all or nothing! Ban all religious clothing and practices in public places, no wearing of any form of religious symbols.

    However, there are moments where we have to reveal our faces for security. As long as those who wear the face coverings are willing to expose their faces for a moment for the purposes of identification in situations that require providing ID.

    Oppressed people will rise, and the will wise with a vengeance. The people of France rose up from oppression and won, the American Revolution was about oppression. The U.S. Civil War was about Oppression, The change in power and government of Russia in the early 1900's was due to oppression of the people.

    If we really want to stop, reduce terrorism, the best thing we can do is understand Islam, understand their cultures and be accepting of those who practice Islam in our countries, not judge them, not assume they are terrorists, but welcome them. There are extremists from all walks of life and all beliefs, and some choose to be violent, but that does not make all who believe evil. When a Christian commits murder, we do not assume all Christians are evil, and that the religion should be banned.

    Freedom is not conditional to only those who think like me, who act like me.

    January 25, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  159. Liz

    Personally, in the western world it should be banned? Why, well a few good points have already been made that we as society, don't see what is under the burqa so don't blame the rest of us for being a little paranoid when we see but don't see you coming. Secondly, being from Canada, my five year old gets scared to death when she sees someone coming towards her wearing one. I explain it over and over again, but is so distresses the child. I'm not for everyone being the same...we all should be individuals and yes, I do come from a free country. BUT if you choose to move to Rome..do as the Roman's do. We are now having to have separate classes for swimming etc etc. How much more do we need to give in to make them feel comfortable in our countries and society. You chose to move here, so why would you insist on having the same in Western society when you know well in advance...this is NOT the same as where you have come from. Don't frown upon my children because they wear shorts and t-shirts and show skin. And as one writer wrote..It's not in the Koran...so why do it. Besides, if the men from that culture had any control over his "feelings" there really would be no need for it.

    January 25, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  160. armando malaya

    women who considered themselves as islam should wear there religious attires or burqas only in there places of origins especially in the middleast. if these people visits or migrated to other countries they should not wear it since they are in a foreign land much more in western countries. the french govt is right when they informed the public that burqas have no place in their land. other people when they visits countries in middleast are warn in advance to be careful with their traditions....tit for tat...

    January 25, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  161. Andrea

    If it is for fear of a security breach, yes. If it is because of religious intolerance and ignorance- absolutely not. As far as a burqa being degrading to women, that is certainly not so. It would be degrading for those women to NOT be able to wear their burqa. I know many Muslim women, and it is their choice whether or not they wish to wear a hijab or a burqa – no one else's choice. I suppose it isn't degrading for us Western women to pose nude for Playboy or make hundreds of thousands to have sex on camera for nasty perverts to watch?? Personally I think it is the Western women who are being degraded, but that is a different argument. People need to have all the facts before lashing out at another religion – and getting information about Islam in the news (which of course comes from a Westerner's point of view) hardly counts.

    January 25, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  162. Dana

    What has this world come to??? This is the reason the practices of religion is losing its credibility and dignity amongst citizens of this world! We should all be free to practice any religion we please without the possibility of offending someone else's personal objections or fears. When we stop trying to control each other then we would be able to accept each other individually. This ignorance is killing our world!!!!

    January 25, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  163. Ralph

    Why should a Muslim women be allowed to wear a burqa in France when a French women isn't allowed to show her hair in Saudi Arabia or Iran? I think the media should be more concerned about the injustice done to non-muslims in muslim countries before pointing fingers at the logical reaction to this lack of freedom.

    January 25, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Reply
  164. PattiLu

    Those who wish to practice their religion by wearing face coverings and body coverings should move back to the eastern countries where this is common practice. If they wish to enjoy the life and privilege of living in a Western culture, then they should adapt to western culture in dress and language. My grandparents did!

    January 25, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  165. Wingman

    In the name of tolerance and understanding, let's allow Muslim women to dress the way they please in France, or in any other western country...the day French women, or any women from a western country, can dress the way they desire in any Muslim country.

    Today, most non-Muslim women living in Muslim countries do not have the freedom to dress as they please. They comply with local laws, as should Muslim women do in France, or in any other country they decide to live in.

    January 25, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  166. Mays

    Let muslim women wear a tent if they want to as long as I can see their face and their hands. I would certainly be uncomfortable riding in a bus with someone covered from head to toe not knowing if it's a man or a woman, unsure if they have a bazooka hidden inside.
    I know muslim women who wear the burqa because their husbands/fathers/brothers require them to do so. How do we ensure that they are wearing the burqa on their own volition because they love it and not because they are being forced to do so?
    Should it be allowed if men decide to put on a burqa and if there is no religious requirement?

    January 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Reply
  167. Rajan

    Burqa, as the meaning of the word suggests, is a veil and in the name of religion it has over the years become just that...a cover, which is often forced by the fundamentalists on the modern muslim women as one of the ways to show them down, a false sense of superiority. It should not be acceptable in the modern western society...one because it is a clear symbol of suppression and inequality between the sexes, which goes totally against the western world values of fairness and two because it poses a security risk by possible use to mask identity in public places.

    January 25, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Reply
  168. ann c

    I think that it should be banned. with the threat of terrorism around the world, why should one religion be allowed to cover their faces. if they don't like it - go back to your original country where it is accepted!!!!

    January 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  169. gerald paul

    The issue should be whether people have a right to have their face covered in public; if they do not then that part of the burqa goes.

    January 25, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  170. Dereck

    Ban it and all outward displays of religion. Faith is a personal matter – keep it that way. Displaying religious attire is simply a way of prosyletizing and stating that "I'm good – you're not".

    January 25, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  171. Brian

    Burqas are symbols of men dominating women with a piece of clothing which is reasoned on a basis of religion. If the women of the culture enforcing such coverings must be worn cannot understand this injustice, then they have more worries than not being able to go in public in France. Beyond simply respecting other's religion and allowing them to dress as they please, if we allow these coverings, suicide bombers in an attempt to thwart early detection and conceal their identity will wear the same coverings. Due to the state of our World at this time, we must give up such inherent liberties such as wearing a burqa, as to be able to participate and utilize our societal advances. If not, we are leaving ourselves wide open to would be bombers and their excuse to wear garments completely covering the face.

    January 25, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  172. Angela

    If a woman chooses to wear it it is her right to wear it. Don't forget the crusades!

    I used to show a lot of skin, I thought it was freedom! But now I cover myself from neck to toe, rarely showing skin, and I actually, personally, find it more liberating. People pay attention to me, not my breasts or my sexuality, but to the person I am. I am not Muslim, though i have studied the religion. If I knew how to wear the head scarves I probably would. Not because I am oppressed, or someone is forcing me, but because I find them beautiful, and liberating. As a woman I should have the choice to either cover myself or reveal myself. As a Western Woman I am proud to say I have that freedom. I have the freedom to choose my clothing.

    For U.S. citizens arguing for banning the head coverings,you need to read our constitution, and be reminded our country was built on Freedom of religion, many many of our ancestors came to this country for the right to be free, the right to practice their religion as they saw fit.

    Fear is not a reason to ban something. Terrorists want us to act in fear, they want us to be scared.

    I have Muslim friends, and they are just like me. they enjoy traveling, studying, and working, some of them cover themselves, others do not. It is their choice.

    If I went to Iran or any other Muslim country, I would respect their wishes to dress modestly, not out of of fear, but out of respect for their beliefs and laws. These countries are Religious countries, their religion is in their law, they do not view themselves as secular. We in the Western World there is freedom of religion. Freedom of choice.

    And for those of you arguing that because the Mulsim world asks we cover ourselves, then we can force them to uncover, you sound like a big sibling saying "My little sibling is mean to me, why should I be nice to her/him?"... IT is simple because the older sibling is old enough to know better. WE know better than to ban religious freedom, we know better than to infringe on others rights.

    Would I be a terrorist if I chose to cover myself from head to toe? No, I would still be a patriot, I would still support my country, and the troops of my country, and thankfully I live in a country of freedom that lets me be who I wish to be.

    MLKJ had a Dream.... His dream was for all to be free, and equal.

    January 25, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  173. Nicholas P

    No, it should not be banned. But, perhaps the bigger question should be to what degree is a "mandate on secularism" able to be carried out before it eclipses ,say, a "mandate on liberty"? I would warn against such an eclipse.

    January 25, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  174. yesitis

    Andy- Crucifix's aren't used to hide someone's identity. And what's to stop an extremist from pretending to be a woman and using that to hide their face?

    January 25, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  175. Alex

    Its perfectly fine to ban the berqa. Clothing has nothing to do with the message of god, its about control and it disgusts me. Its about force. In DC where I live. Every summer when its 100 degrees the men of the girlfirends or wives force them to wear the buqa while they are wearing shorts and sandals. Its for pure domination and control over another human

    January 25, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  176. Arlene Krieger

    I support a partial ban. A covered person, especially covering the face represents potential danger to any society. You never know who and what is hiding under the Burga. It should be banned on all forms of public transportation and in all public places. People wearing the Burqa should be prepared to be searched in all circumstances with the exception of their own religious institutions and in their homes. Of course to a westerner the burqa represents the supression of women's right and it's a very offensive garment. I personally get a sick feeling when I see a woman in a Burga and there are plenty of them around here in the Washington DC area. I always think that there could be a bomb under that Burqa.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  177. Ardavan

    It shouls be banned. It is dehumanizing.
    I also disagreewith argument that "we should be tolerant or respecting of other culture". Female genital mutilation is also a cultural practice in some part of the world, should we respect and tolerate that in the west as well?

    January 25, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  178. JDTaylor

    I believe in respect for other peoples beliefs but if they wish to visit or live in another country, they should abide by the laws or customs of that country. Other wise do not visit or live in said country.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  179. jerry

    It should be okay to wear in Middle Eastern countries, but anywhere else it should be banned. How would the Muslims feel if I ran around town wearing a T-shirt with the cross worn by the Crusaders to the Holy land ?

    January 25, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  180. katc

    The burqa is a symbol of male domination over females. Females are reduced to less than full human status, required to hide part of themselves. What if a religion demanded that you wear a scar from self-inflicted razor wounds, would that be "religious freedom"?

    January 25, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  181. Ethan Wright

    The major problem with peoples view on this whole situation is that we as Americans know what our rights are in the United States. The country that is banning this is France. I feel that it could be a safty issue not a religious one. Like mentioned in the main article this face covering is ment to show submission to the male. It's not something that I feel is directly connected with their religion. I say ban it.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  182. David

    An all out ban may not be the answer, but it is also foolish to say that everyone should be able to express their religion. It has been shown that people interpret the bible/koran or any other religious text as it suits them.

    The government has banned religious expressions in the past because it goes against some overall need of society (we can't do human sacrifice in most countries). It would be wrong to ban it as a religous symbol, but if we were banning face coverings that would be different. People in America have been stopped and asked to identify themselves if they are walking down a street with a ski mask on.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  183. Brooke

    No I don't think it should be allowed. When in Rome do what the Romans do. Likewise, when in MY country wear what I wear. When in yours wear what you wear. This goes for the national language also. I don't think we should have to be told to speak and sometimes learn Spanish when our national language is English. Learn it and speak it. We have gone way too far off the deep end accomodating those who haven't become American or what ever country you are from.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  184. Cathy Horan

    ABSOLUTELY ban it! And I wish all Western countries, including the U.S., would. "Piety" and "modesty", my hind foot! You don't notice Muslim men wearing them.

    The concept comes from a very dim and deranged view of women - that they are all Jezebels seeking to destroy men through their lust.

    It also posits a very deranged view of men - that they are unable to contain their lust.

    For GOD's sake, let's have a more positive view of humankind and its worth, dignity and self-control.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  185. a muslim here

    As a muslim, I think and always thought that the Burqa is cultural and not religious. The Burqa has no place in today's modern societies, and most Muslim scholars (El Azhar included) have declared it a non-islamic garment. As was explained by some people on this forum, it is a remnant of tribal cultures (mostly from central Asia).

    What bothers me however is not banning the Burqa, but:
    1) people being persuaded that it is Islamic,
    2) having Sarkozy ride a wave of popularity because of it,
    3) that women who wear this thing do not realize how much of a disservice they are doing to their own religion.
    4) that this issue is being blown out of proportion.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  186. Melissa Morse

    If the burqa is in defiance of a constitutional promise of secularism, then yes. And those that have a problem with it should move to a place where it's allowed. It is a religious symbol; however, people should not be allowed to wear crosses on their neck, if the burqa is outlawed.

    I think national security is at the root of this and if people who wear burqas can't understand that, again...either they ALL stand publicly with the country to denounce Islamic militancy or just leave and go somewhere where the burqa is required. And enjoy the endless patriarchal repression that the hood stands for.

    Al Queda has a problem with this? Oh please. Then they shouldn't have intruded upon the world with their terror. Frankly, THEY started it!

    January 25, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Reply
  187. Bondi

    No, the burqua can not be fairly banned. The burquas is a religious symbol just as the cross, star of David, yarmulkes and other tokens / icons of the various faiths. To ask the question: "ban burquas?" is the same as asking the question: "ban all religious symbols in public?". We can not remove the churches, the synagogues, the temples of all sorts. We not ban all jewelry that includes a cross or a star of David. It is just not realistic. France has strong laws prohibiting religious discrimination – to ban just the burqua is racial discrimination if we don't ban all other symbols.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Reply
  188. WYATT IN LA

    It is France...let Frenchmen decide. Personally, I don't think any government has the right to dictate what its citizens wear. It is a personal choice if someone wants to wear a blanket over their head for whatever reason! If it is sacred to the wearer, then let it be. Just don't try and tell me that I have to wear one...or my wife or daughters have to wear one to satisfy another's religioius fervor or sensibilities. There is too much government interence in everyone's life as it is!

    January 25, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  189. Hoppy

    Don't ban the burqa...instead make Moslem men wear them too. This will sort it out quicker than banning it for women.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  190. Kerri

    I say ban it. It is totally a sign of subservience to men and is used as a way to demean women in the Middle East. There is no place in the Western world for this, if they want to wear it so badly they can movie somewhere that it is acceptable.

    If I were to go over to the Middle East wearing a short skirt and a tank top, would I be accepted? No. Do unto others... you know.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  191. Joel Miller

    This is a ridiculous assault on the right to free expression, pure and simple. What is the use of having a secular democratic society if its just as oppressive as the theocracy it has replaced? Are you going to stop French Christians from wearing crosses or Jews from wearing yarmulkes? Will the French stop supporting infrastructure that keeps the big Cathedrals functioning? Why unnecessarily provoke the Islamic world when we can show them how better religious tolerance trumps their extremist sharia law in every way.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  192. Dr. Lewis

    This is not an issue of religion. Its an issue of woman's rights. If male Musims want to live in a free society then inherently by their choice to do so they also give their females TOTA and absolute freedom.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  193. Dan

    BAN IT, at least in public because a secuirty risk for everyone else!!! When in France abide by their laws. Should also be banned in USA in public.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  194. niceguy

    Covering of the face with a mask or anything else that is capable of hiding the identity of an individual in public places should be banned. Those who choose to wear such items in public places know what they are doing and how other people feel about it. Its a shame that some religions have proven to be dangerous to be near and public out cry for personal safety will continue to increase. People who live their life in extreme ways should do so in the company of others with compatible beliefs. Why do they always want to force others to accept their life styles.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  195. SelurDog

    I wonder if the people who would complain that a secular France would try to ban the burqa, also complain about injustice towards other religions in the Muslim world, such as trying to wear a t-shirt in Saudi Arabia/Mecca that says "Jesus Loves You" or "I'm A Jew, what about You?"
    We should make a deal, stop cutting off people's heads and you can wear burqas.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  196. Katy

    It is unfortunate, but if they insist on wearing what is a custom, not a religious, symbol burque then perhaps they need to reconsider their choice of country. Just because it has become a custom to wear the symbol doesn't make it a religious one – in fact I don't believe it is called for in the Koran is it.

    When one emigrates to another country then they have made a very real and conscious decision to alter how they live, and they must make changes so that they can become part of their newly chosen home. It is not up to France, or any other nation, to adjust to their customs but instead for the emigree to make necessary adjustments.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  197. Robert

    I can only think of one reason, other than prejudice, why France would ban burqas: the women who wear them asked for them to be banned because, for whatever reason, they are forced to wear them. I seriously doubt this is what happened, which leaves government-sanctioned prejudice.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  198. Nick

    This issue is not an attack on religious belief, it is an attack on an oppressive way of thinking. These women are delegated to the position of property. They do not have names, or faces they are simply another thing in the lives of the men who are "The only ones who really matter" in the minds of those who practice this barbaric form of "Expression". Do not look at this as an attack on Religion, there is no attempt to attack religion whatsoever here. This is a matter of human rights and dignity.

    Islamic women are beautiful, and they are proud, and they are dedicated and never in my life would I ever doubt their faith in their religion. I do believe that, like western women, there needs to be a time when Islamic women stand up and start demanding the same respect and dignity given to the men.

    The Burqa is not a symbol of faith. Just as the Shackles that are synonymous with slavery in the U.S. the Burqa itself is a symbol of an oppressive culture which feels women should be treated as little more than the property of their men. I feel the french are attempting to stand up for women's rights and any attempt to say they are doing otherwise is an attempt to distract from the real issue here.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  199. P.A.

    I dont know if its "nice" to suddenly ban, but i LOVE the idea, because political correctness is ruining us WAY WAY WAY MORE than anyone can imagine, and a sophisticated country like France gets a kudos from me for nipping it in the butt and saying STOP THE MADNESS. Freedom is nice, but when people push it too far, slice and burn it to hell.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Reply
  200. Chad

    .....sigh..... of course the burqa should be banned in all civilized countries. It is not a religious symbol and even if it were people should be protected from religion the same as you have the right to practice whatever fantasy story you believe in. I wish people would stop using their faith to justify intolerance for their own political and financial gain. Religion is a tool that has been used to justify every war in history as well as discrimination towards women and gays. It is the year 2010 time to evolve and leave the stone ages people!!!

    January 25, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  201. POD

    Let me say this.....I am as tolerant of Muslim women wearing burqas in secular society as Muslims are of western women NOT wearing them in their societies.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  202. Cardinal

    France has as much right to ban the burqa as muslim governments have to make outsiders follow their rules. I have yet to see Al Qaeda threaten any middle eastern government with retaliation because western women aren't allowed to drive, or are forced to wear a garment covering their head, etc. Muslims need to stop behaving like spoiled little children, and if this is what it takes to get that message across...so be it!

    January 25, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  203. Joy

    For a forward thinking country, you sure are moving backwards in your thinking. What's next, remove all crosses because the parliament has become atheist??? Who are they hurting wearing what what is part of their culture. Since nudity and pornography is so prevelant, I guess people will be allowed to go naked in public places as long as the parliament agrees. Narrow-minded thinking is so over.....

    January 25, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  204. jack

    It's an insult and I'm tired of being insulted by the presence of such outrageous behavior. The very moslems that condone this horrid costume would flog a woman to death if she under dressed to the same degree that these women over dress.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Reply
  205. RK

    I'm not a muslim, but I have worked and trained many. I'm not afraid of them nor do I discriminate against them. From what I have been told, the burqa is strictly cultural and has nothing to do with religion. Nobody should be forced to wear such a thing. I don't think the women want to wear it. I think they are forced to by laws in some Islamic countries.

    As far as al Queda's threat. That's it boys. Kill many innocent people just because they aren't like you and don't believe what you believe. Get over it. It's not about religion, it's about your need to excercise control over everyone. If it weren't this or Israel, it would be the truth. It's not going to work. Pretty soon, everyone is going to see you for what you really are. Contol hungry, wannabe dictators. True muslims would not kill innocent people on purpose.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  206. Mach4

    It should be banned absolutely without any reservation and the violators should be deported back to their oppressive countries.
    If they can't abide by the law of their adopted land, they should pack their garments and leave. They want the freedom that the west enjoys.
    They are taking advantage of and abusing this freedom.
    If they really want to wear their garments, why can't they go back to their respective country. Are they not been "contaminated" by the Christians or the christian countries they adopted?
    They are trying to impose their religion on the west, today their burqa or whatever, tomorrow their miserable, oppressive, draconian, demonic sharia laws. Deport them all.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  207. Dan

    This is idiotic. What you're banning essentially is a style of dress. As long as it doesn't harm anyone else, who cares if these women wear burqas? There is a cultural stigma attached to wearing the burqa, yes. However, banning the burqa will just serve to reinforce the power behind it. But living in a free society could actually start a revolution against it by these women. This assumes of course that these women actually feel oppressed. And if they don't, wear it all you want.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  208. patsy

    The old saying of "When it Rome..." probably applies to France more than any other European country.

    And France is an extremely secular country.

    France is quite different from the US, and we have no right to determine their norms. It appears that in France immigrants are expected to assimilate and conform to the norms of their new country. It's their business, not ours.

    Muslims are not prohibited from practicing their religion: an outward symbol, which deliberately sets them apart from the norm, is being prohibited.

    In addition, the full body covering is a potential threat in these strange times.

    Any Muslim who thinks France is a place where he cannot freely practice his religion is quite free to relocate to another country that he might find more congenial. There are several in the Middle East alone, I believe.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  209. Eugene FRANK MD

    Each religion has its idiosyncratic aspects, not a great problem with a skull cap, cross or turban: but when those aspects contravene the security and cohesiveness of society, and those religionists seek the advantages of the society, while at the same time demanding to be allowed to be an exception, that is not only hypocrisy, but domination. We all make trade offs to integrate into, and thereby partake of the largess society offers. Defiance, by the refusal to accept that contract, is so inimical to the common good, it will foster chaos and anarchy by empowering defiance in any dissenting group. To subvert the common good, no matter what guise that subversion assumes, is a rose by any other name.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Reply
  210. Detente

    The Quran does not require the burqa. Primitive tribal traditions are the driving force behind the burga. Primitive tribal societies sometimes ought to be left to their own culture and traditions. Especially when they live in their own traditional and historical lands and are isolated from the modern world. When they live among other cultures, they are not automatically entitled to keep those traditions. Cannibalism is a rite practiced in some isolated societies, it cannot, nor is it, accepted in the modern world. There is no religious aspect to the burqa.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Reply
  211. Badakshi

    What will happen with the thousands of French woman traveling to Arab muslim country and they impose the law that western woman should have burka if they travel there? I think it is dangerous politics and who play this game they are not intelligent people. To be honestly burka almost disappear but because of some orificial polits it become headache for normal people.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  212. AnaBeth

    Yes, ban the burqas-for security reasons

    Don't like this ban-go to another country!

    January 25, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  213. CT USA

    what happend to ability yo choose? This is crazy, let the people wear what they want to wear!

    January 25, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  214. Joan

    IT REDICILOUSE TO SEE WOMEN CLOSING THEIR FACES ALL OVER THER WORLD, NOW! IT IS A THREAT TO OUR SOCIETY, THEY ARE COMING ON US! CAN'T YOU SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR FREEDOM HERE ?
    WE ALL HAVE TO FIGHT THIS TERRORISM, INTERNALY & EXTERNALY !

    January 25, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  215. Mat Chavez

    Wearing a ski mask would arouse suspicion by many. Why is this different? Wear whatever you want around your head, but without seeing someone's face, you cannot communicate with them, nor read them. They are not ninjas or bank robbers; let's not make everyone uncomfortable for it.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  216. paranel

    I am not Moslim but It is part of their religion to cover up that way, then be it. If it is Ok to run around in a see thru dress or topless and be so objectified, then it should be ok to cover up fully if one wants to, how could that harm you or me ? I don't like it but I try to respect this stranger next to me on the street which I know nothing about therefore have no reason to hate.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  217. Steve Sacharoff

    I'm totally without any religious beliefs but I do believe totally in both freedom of AND from religion- It's almost inconceivable to me that France – a country than since 1789 has called itself a democracy would even consider limits on personal freedoms such as bans on niqab { veils} or skullcaps or crucifixes or other religious symbols and deny public services such as bus service to people who choose to wear them- I also believe than anyone -relative or not- who would coerce someone else to adopt such symbols should be prosecuted by the state- Partially this is { in my opinion} a backlash to the immigration from Muslim countries- Countries which in most cases are former French colonies – A reaction which in many cases is more " racial " than anything else !

    January 25, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  218. Greg

    I believe in the burqa ban. It is a tool to repress women, whether or not it is an item of religious meaning. It is juat another way islam/ the muslim faith makes women subservient.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  219. daniel

    absolutely, it should be banned. culture is all about a shared language, shared values, morays, living within the laws and common daily "things" that make a society what it is. muslims worldwide do not in anyway condemn the murderous villians who follow their so called religious laws. france, and all countries have an obligation to their citizens to see that the fabric of their society is not torn apart because a small few want to run amuck. as an american i strongly support freedom of speech and expression; however, not when it stands for terrorism and mayhem. if you don't like the culture in which you have chosen to move into, then simply go back to your own homeland and live within your cultural norms. it is sad that standing up for ones country and its values is somehow racist. ridiculous.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  220. macy

    Ban it.

    We can't wear certain things there.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  221. noname

    burgas are a symbol of ignorance, of male insecurity, jealousy over his woman in the middle east. Why would an intelligent, modern woman want to wear this hideous thing? It makes them look primitive and totally out of place in the western world. If you want to wear it then go back to your place in the middle east, no one will mind there. Actually, you might get lashed for not wearing it right?

    January 25, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  222. charles

    BAN IT,,,MUSLUMS TREAT WOMEN LIKE PROPERTY,,,,,GET EM OUT OF THE MIDDLE AGES!!!

    January 25, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  223. Robin

    Yes! Ban that archic symbol of oppression. That has no place in the modern world, it wasn't even an orginial part of Islam just added later because the men could not protect the women. Islam as a whole will never move in to the 21st century until things like the burqa are removed.

    That isn't religon, its an insult to women.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  224. Albion

    It is a symbol of religious extremism – pure and simple – and for those who say otherwise, they are deluding themselves and lying to the rest of the world.

    Religious or political extremism endangers everyone.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Reply
  225. Mark

    It should be allowed. Whether the Burqa is an issue of religion or submissiveness is up to the Muslim society to decide and debate among themselves. A person should be permitted to wear whatever clothing they wish so long as it is not fundamentally offensive to others. Even then, that would be highly subjective and protected by our first amendment in the U.S. (Obscenity IS subject to bans within each state).

    That said, for security reasons, the woman wearing a Burqa must be fully prepared to come under scrutiny, i.e. searches, when in sensitive security situations such as airports, presence of political leaders or any other local situation were bad-doers may take advantage of a Burqa to conceal a threat. Again, this situation would be subjective and most likely would never be fully agreed upon by everyone.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  226. Fred

    Why the media is not asking if it is Saudi, Iran or any other Muslim country's right to cover Millions of women by force?
    No Burqa should not be allowed because of many reasons;
    First it is a symbol of women slavery, even if they are wearing by their choice.
    Second, Terrorists are already using Burqas to cover their attacks easily, now it is on their agenda to push for this . It is sad that some people are buying on it.
    Burqa is the end of civilization

    January 25, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  227. Henry

    Many say that muslims are against radicalism. Well, so far, I have not heard of muslims complains or denunciation of christian persecution in most arab/muslims counyries. Christians are killed in Pakistan/Egipt/Irak/Turkey/Yemen/Somalia by muslims. Christians are persecuted by muslims in Iran/Saudi Arabia/Argelia/Morocco. And now, even though their own rights are not even respected in their own countries, they claim they are being persecuted in Europe, that their human rights are being denied.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  228. Mary

    All individuals have the right to express themselves with what they wear. Be it clothing connecting you to your faith, or a Metallica t-shirt to show your solidarity with a genre of music. Law enforcement should be there protecting those who don't want to wear the covering, not placing a ban on all Muslim women.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  229. lee

    OMG YES YES YES
    OH HOW I WISH THE USA WAS NOT SO 'POLICALLY CORRECT".
    I get so tired of not being able to call a spade a spade.
    The Muslims are not compatable with the rest of the world. It is too bad but so TRUE! They are stuck back in time about 1000 years. It is time to either get with it or stay in their own countries. The ignorant and backward, pedophile(the men are disqusting), middle east-Saudi, Iran, Irag, Afgan, Africa, Southeast Asia-where ever these people live-STAY THERE!!!!
    We are freedom loving people-ALL THE PEOPLE INCLUDING FEMALES. We should allow any woman who wants to leave it behind and be free to come to any of the Western countries. Especially any little girl who does not wish to be married at EIGHT or TEN to a grownup man

    January 25, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  230. Zoomom

    Irrelevant. The law of the land is the law of the land. No one is making you live there. No one is making you emigrate there. If you don't like it, LEAVE. No other "religion" is allowed to hide behind masks. What's next – accepting the KKK on grounds of religion? If Wiccans started wearing capes and pointy hats everywhere, they'd be crucified, too. If you want to be accepted as a citizen of a country, then you need to BLEND IN with its citizens. I don't care who you interview, the burqa is a symbol of slavery modern society should not accept.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Reply
  231. Aimee

    As a young woman, I trained in a Catholic cloistered monastery. When strangers were admitted (plumbers, other workers), we wore a big opaque square, the center of which was at the top of our heads, that fell all around one's body to knee-length. What with the habit, we were truly covered! Although we could see quite clearly through the cloth, we were invisible to the outsiders.

    Were we oppressed? No. At that time in history (40 years ago), it was seen as a symbol of our chosen cloistered life. Every woman there chose to live that life. And a merry bunch we were, too, with the "great veil" getting a lot of jokes.

    Bottom line: If a woman choses to dress that way, it should be her right. But always, in the end, it is about men (and other women) telling her how she MUST dress. Talk about oppression. If a woman wants to wear a burqa, who is harmed?? Give it a rest.

    Are you going to tell nuns they can't wear their habits? Are you going to tell priests they can't wear their cassocks?

    This is just silly.

    January 25, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Reply
  232. Casimir

    Personally I think burqas are demeaning to women, but banning them is asinine. It makes sense to ban burqas while driving or when it poses some kind of safety risk, but to ban them in public is like banning the color red or banning sweaters. Are kippahs next? How about the veil? Turbans? Then what if the pope comes to France?

    Sarkozy is a demagogue looking for attention and burqas are an easy target.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  233. Bob

    Let the people of France decide what is best for France. If they don't want religious clothing there, so be it. If it offends Muslim women then they can contact their elected officials and solve it in a peaceful manner.
    I for one am tired of "political correctness." We go out of our way to inconvienience the many to please the few. All we are doing is in the long run is frustrating everyone. Our (the USA) system of "not" profiling a certain group but "randomly" checking individuals at airports, seaports, etc. is a failure. Last time I checked it was Middle-Eastern men aged 17-40 who were performing acts of terror, not elderly couples from West Palm Beach, Fl. Can we PLEASE start watching our enimies a little closer now??

    January 25, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  234. Ravi M. Kaushika

    Why cant the muslims in this posting ask Saudi Arabia to let non-muslim women wear their clothing – not bikinis, but fully clad clothes. why cant these pseudo secular muslims around the world ask saudi arabia to relax their clothing standards for non-muslims. if they cannot, then they can shut up.

    it is high time some leaders asks muslims to toe the line in the host country.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  235. Olga

    Burka is the symbol of male dominance in muslim countries.
    Period!

    January 25, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Reply
  236. Tod K

    So France is talking about "freedom" from "subservience" for French women, but will not give such women the right to choose whether or not they wish to wear them? Is that not forcing such women into "subservience" of the country's fierce atheism? Just when it seems hard to fathom that a modern democracy could go so far to strip religious liberty from its citizens, it goes this much further.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Reply
  237. Mds

    Open your eyes-this is not about religious rights! These women are being religiously abused, shamed and oppressed by the male Muslims.
    Allow the women to be free of the garmets even if it takes the law.
    And if al Qaeda or the Muslim men don't like it-come to America the beautiful and we will put a " Boot in your ass"

    January 25, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Reply
  238. Ryan

    I agree with "james". Sarkozy is only doing what he thinks he needs to in order to maintain accordance with the French Constitution.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  239. disgusted independant

    It is not a religious symbol. It is a cultural item. It is not in the Koran. It is a symbol of the patriarchal Arabian society, not religion. I am continually amazed by people who ascribe religious meaning to purely secular items. Are these people just stupid or stubborn and stupid?

    January 25, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  240. Khizer Subhani

    After reading all these comments i've come to realized how un considerate humanity has become in the past years. Do you hear yourselves, talking about how this is a health issue or its not far. When did humanity get infested with all this selfishness. And for all of you who say the burquah is not required in Islam. You shame all of us Muslim. Please do your reading accurately than speak upon such a big matter. I feel ashmaed that such injustice and crude people live in our society to be up for such a unnecessary ban. People talk behalf of these women as if they know the whole history, as if they have heard their stories, as if they have ASKED THEM HOW THEY FEEL. What happen to the good old days when people passed love to eachother not hatred. Being a younger individual of society and understand this fact why can't all of you older folks understand.

    May Allah give all of us Hadiath.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  241. Jim

    This is one of those circumstances where i can smugly proclaim that the United States is the freest country in the world. There could never possibly be a ban on the burqa in public here. That's all that matters in any discussion here in the US on this subject. Thank God I live in a country with the Bill of Rights.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  242. Dawun

    Personally, I'd ban all religions. But then again I'm not a very tolerant person. However, the burqa is a blatant obstruction of 'human rights', something I'm not too fond of either. Chad and POD beside me both make very good points as well.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Reply
  243. James

    I can't believe this is even a question. The Burqa is a religious symbol that the women of the Muslim culture choose to wear. It is no more of a problem then a Jewish person wearing a yamika or a Christian person wearing a WWJD wristband. To deny them their religious freedom would be against the constitution in this country. People that think that it should be banned are anti-american and anti-constitution. It is too bad that they are trying to pass this law in France

    January 25, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Reply
  244. Joe

    France is absolutely correct. No burqas should be worn in western countries. It is not a religious requirement for Muslims. If Muslims want to live in western civilized countries, they need to follow the customs and culture of those countries. Muslim countries require the same consideration from foreigners in their countries.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  245. Euroskeptic

    France should just man-up and do what they really WANT to do, and just ban all religion period. The French Republic has never liked religion and never will.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  246. SDL

    Unfortunately, the main reason for the proposed ban is not listed in this article. I read it in the article that provided a link to this one. the reason they are proposing the ban is because the Western World, along with France, views the Burqa as a sign of repression that women must deal with in the Muslim world. The fact that a woman would wear a bruqa is seen as for two reasons in the Western World:

    1) The woman is pressured by fear to wear the burqa
    2) The women who wear it are brainwashed into thinking they should hide themselves from the rest of humanity, and somehow that will make them pure and please allah.

    Islam does not specify that a woman wear a burqa, that is the interpretation of different members of sects.
    I live in Raleigh, North Carolina. I was in the grocery store a few years ago when a woman came in wearing a burqa. She was walking behind some dude that was holding his head up high with a pompous look on his face. I felt offended to see such a spectacle and realize that oppression of women was happening in my neighborhood. I would be all for banning the burqa in the US as well. There are also many security issues concerning this, especially when you let women get their driver's lisence wearing a burqa. Or even if they must show their face to get their lisence, then what is the point is they never show their face to verify that they are the person in the picture, when confronted, or when using credit in the store.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  247. Jim

    People should educate themselves before making statements. First of all, the burqa is not a religious requirement or symbol. It is a cultural holdover imposed on females by misogynists who believe that even the face of a woman can incite men to rape. It is simply disingenuous to pretend it is a religious right.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Reply
  248. James

    The quote that wraps all of this up for me is this:

    'The problem of the burqa is not a religious problem. This is an issue of a woman's freedom and dignity. This is not a religious symbol. It is a sign of subservience; it is a sign of lowering. I want to say solemnly, the burqa is not welcome in France.'

    That is a quote from French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The quote is so contraditory to itself, and the president's point, that is boarders on comical. If in fact he does not believe the issue of wearing a burqa to be a 'religious problem', then he cannot argue that it goes against the republic's strict secularist policys. At the same time, the president states that the problem is in fact a problem of women's rights. His words were 'a woman's freedom and dignity'. So explain to me how denying a woman the right to choose to wear a particular article of clothing is expading on woman's rights?

    Personally, I don't agree with Islamic teacings. I don't think the burqa is something a woman should wear, because I do in fact see it as a symbol of submission. However, it is incredibley hypocritical of any republic, reguardless of that nation's tolerance of a particular religion, to forbid the wearing of a piece of clothing in the name of 'a woman's freedom and dignity'. If a woman should choose to wear a burqa, that is her choice.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Reply
  249. Carrow

    Sad that a country once so dedicated to the protection of faith is now reduced to thinly veiled religious persecution.
    Women in the Republic of France are equals to men in every way, if they choose to wear the burqa, that is their decision. For a country that holds itself to be a vanguard of progressivism and civil liberty.
    There is a difference between tradition and repression that the French government and apparently some of the commentators on this article, don't seem to grasp.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Reply
  250. Gilbert

    Ban the burqa. Covering women that way is ridiculous. That sort of thing has no place in western society. Better to stop in now than later.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  251. Roger Stuart

    Shakespeare had it right. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Muslims are not required to move to, visit, or live in France. When western women visit muslim countries, they are required to wear clothing that the muslims consider respectable in their culture. Some, but not all, Muslims who migrate to the west seem to feel that their culture and religious symbolism is superior and that their host country must conform to their culture. Let France make rules for France.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  252. Cecil Cartright

    Ban the burqa. I would feel differently if Muslim countries presented themselves as being open and tolerant of all religions. If they welcomed all faiths with open arms, then I would not want to impinge in their affairs. But the fundamental Islamic mantra is that all other religions are wrong. By going to other countries and NOT respecting the cultures of those countries, they are sending a very clear message. I applaud France for sending a message back – if you want to live in France, respect their culture.
    If someone wants to wear a crucifix or a small hat or an arm band, I have no problem with that. But if a man walks into my shop wearing a black ski mask... that sends up a big red flag in my mind. Think about it.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  253. Mike

    It seems strange that in an attempt to expand the rights of Muslim women, they will restrict their rights by outlawing some clothing. To me, the underlying justification for a law like this would be for security purposes. If that is the case then they should call it for what it is, instead of hiding behind "humanitarian" reasons. There are women who do like wearing them (Not sure why but that is their choice, except soon to be in France).
    I think France needs to rethink this if they are worried about the women, after all, the radical Muslim males will fault the women over this and place them between the law and an Ass of a husband. What will they do when women start getting assaulted for not wearing what the country says is illegal to wear???????

    January 25, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Reply
  254. John Desaulniers

    Yes, it is permissable for France to ban the burqua and any other symbol that says publically, we don't adhere to your secularist state.
    If a person wishes to express their religious association, let them either go to a country where it is permissable, or do it in their religious gatherings. But no religion should be imposed like second hand smoke on the spiritual well being of others.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  255. kursad

    There should certainly be a total ban on the Burqa.
    I am writing from Turkey, a country where the overwhelming majority of the population practices Islam. I was also born Muslim but do not practice any religion. I think the issue is that of whether rational, secular legislature has precedence over regilious law and tradition.
    There has never been any society governed by mass religion (smaller movements excluded) where totalitarianism was not the norm. If we all wish to live in peaceful societies then rational rule-making must be the standard.
    I think the burqa should be considered a compromise of public security through the concealment of identity,therefore banned in public. Everyone should have the right to express their sprituality,
    including garb, as long as it is not a public security risk or is obscene,as defined by secular legislation.
    I also propose a new topic of debate, which is the Muslim holiday of sacrifice. This is a very big and urgent issue. Many millions of animals are being degorged every year, frequently with avoidable pain to the animals and waste as well. Everyone should be made aware of this, and I certainly would side with those looking to reform, if not to retire this tradition.

    One should also reflect as to why so many people around the world, mostly Muslim but not exclusively so, steer so far away from that which is reasonable and which would actually give them so much greater liberty of worship. Many people are simply so caught up in an intense rage and indignation trip, constantly lashing out to wreck immense havoc.

    Islam is expanding without pause and will be increasingly omnipresent, whether it's presence is appreciated or not. The most important and immediate action to take for a reconciliation of the Western and Muslim worlds and for a far more moderate Islam to prevail globally, is to take Turkey into the European Union as full member. This will have immense and immediate effect for the stabilization of the global community. It would save many lives, and concerning the costs of absorbing Turkey into the EU, it is far more palatable relative to the military expenditure which can potentially be avoided. As many nations start following the Turkish model, increased trade with these countries will promote global prosperity and stability. Shelfing the issue is being extremely shortsided and denies the whole world a very important and real opportunity.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  256. Margo

    I, as an American, feel it should be banned here in the United States and agree with the French president to have it banned in France. We need to make our countries as secure as possible. A government must protect its citizens and if that entails banning certain garb so be it!

    January 25, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Reply
  257. Scouse Roberts

    Certainly it should be banned,I just wish our Prime Minister Gordon Brown had the same courage as Sarkozy and the French People.
    The only people demanding this Law be repealed,are the Muslim Males who want to keep their beautiful wife's faces hidden behind these ridiculous pieces of Black Sackcloth rags.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  258. Jose

    I believe that people should be allowed to wear what ever they want!

    January 25, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  259. Michelle

    If they are being forced by husbands or fathers to wear the full veil, then a freedom is being taken from them yes, but does that give the gov't the authority to take away ANOTHER freedom, i.e. to wear the burqa at all? The problem is not with the burqa, supposedly, but with the social conditions the French thinks accompany it.
    However, in the context of French secularism, I do think it is okay for them to ban public displays of religion.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  260. GD in NJ

    I'll welcome Burqas here when I can bare my knees in Mecca.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  261. Big Joe

    Ban the thing! I think it really lowers women, I mean those men already make the women walk like 20 feet behind them. I think they should at least let them show the goods.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Reply
  262. Bob

    Bravo France! Someone in the free world needs to step up and do the right thing.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Reply
  263. Penelope Ribbecke

    I am totally agree with the French Govertment, if they want to wear the Burka, better to go back to their land, europe and such other countries should not permit such of dress code.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  264. Ben

    When you live in a country that is not of your origin you need to live by their rules. Australia's Prime Minister said it best when it comes to Islam. "Live by our rules and laws", or leave.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  265. Olga

    You know why they do not use their left hand for any contact with others?
    Because they do not use toilet paper, but wash their behind.
    How naive some comments sound!
    Read Kuran and understand the serious threat that muslims impose to all other religions.
    There is no radical interpretation.
    There is only one: if you cannot convert, then kill the infidels!

    January 25, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  266. Liz

    the burka has no place for women.It degrades us by medieval old men out of touch with modern world. we are not dogs & have the right to show our faces & be seen. Its an ownership thing by stupid old fashioned men. Cover the faces of the muslim men & see how long it woild last! Good on you FRANCE get rid of it!!!!

    January 25, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  267. M H

    Yes! please ban it. The burqa is a symbol of oppression of woman. I do not understand why any woman would willingly wear it, however if they choose to do so they should remain in a country that prefers its women to be clothed from head to foot (e.g. Afghanstan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc.). How can we support the wearing of the burqua here when our young men and women in the military are risking their lives to grant freedoms to people living in oppressive regions like Afghanstan? It is an insult to us that women willingly chose to where these garments in public in our country. These garmets are also a security risk in public areas including planes, trains, etc. and banks! I applaud the French for their courage to maintain their culture and freedoms and for not being swayed by the over the moon 'politically correct'.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  268. Ban the Burqa

    Ban the stupid thing in France.

    It's interesting how anyone who wants to fight for their right to wear them would never attempt to do so in a Muslim country. Perhaps if they want to wear them that badly, they should move to a Muslim country.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  269. Marc

    I have a comment to James: you state:"French society is not as tolerant as US society". If there is a country in the world that is tolerant it is without doubt France. If there is a country where people are free it is France. In this country there was no slavery, bigotery, Klu Klux Clan, racial murders, sexual repression, and so on as there were and are in the US.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  270. Trevor

    Burka's are important ...for ppl living in Muslim majority countries......

    However if anyone chosses to leave those countries...they have to respect the laws of the country that they intend to move to.....

    NO EXCEPTIONS....PERIOD.....!

    January 25, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Reply
  271. cal bouma

    I have seen lots of people wearing burqas, they are shown on store video tapes with guns in their hands.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  272. marlo

    When in France do as the French do. If you left your country. Don't bring the baggage with you. Why would anyone want to wear that hot degrading. costume.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Reply
  273. s. Ahmed

    The Niqab should be banned. It is not Islamic, nor did early muslim women wear it, therefore it has no place in religion & no place in modern time.
    Those who claim its modesty, it is not, its just pleasing for weak men who feel their women treat their words as divine.
    Modesty has nothing to do with Niqab, many women are able to cheat & fool around wearing the niqab, because no one identifies thema woman who wants to cover her face can simply go to another country where they welcome it, but to continue to defy the country you live in & antagonise further toward a religion that never said wear it is a terrible thing.
    .

    January 25, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  274. Stefani Smirnes

    The burqua should be banned in the West. This garment contradicts all that the governments of the West stand for. This is a garment of dominion and subservience in women. Perhaps within the religion this is not the case but to the FREE women of the West, those who are allowed education, those who can speak, those who can not be divorced merely by speaking words, this garment is a testimony to the disdainful way in which women are treated in this FALSE religion.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  275. JJ

    Don't many tourist conform to the laws of the muslim world when they visit. I've seen Hillary Wear a head scarf when she visited the muslim countries.....this isn't just about 9/11 . it's about crazies committing suicide bombing in the name of religion. I hate for freedoms to be taking away from anyone, but something has got to give. When you have millions of immigrants and you see a number of these murder suicides, in which they are happening London, France Untied states and other parts of the world......I want to see your face when I walk the streets. Whether or not you're a terrorist.....and if you are, I want a chance to read your face so I can get out of the way.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  276. Caryl

    Each country has the right to make their own laws. If you do not like the laws of a country, move to one whose laws you DO like !!

    January 25, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Reply
  277. Sheila

    The burqa is an expression of cultural, not religious, identity and in modern, western countries, it can be banned exactly the same reason that public nudity is banned: because it's against the cultural norm and the sight is unnatural and disturbing to the native population. I may wish to express my personal religious beliefs by going about in public naked, as god (or allah) created me, but if I live an a country where this is not the norm, I simply do not have that right.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  278. Tim

    Ban it!!
    I have to ask, what is so wrong with the countries they came from that they must move to western countries. Only to arrive in the west and keep their same traditions and unfounded religios practices. Do they not realize that these religious principles may be why they left their country in the first place? So instead of joining the western culture for the better life and opportunity it provides, they would rather slowly convert it into the crap they left???

    January 25, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  279. anonymous

    It should be banned not only in France but, everywhere in the world. Muslims should adjust to the world where they are living. This is the reason why there are clashes everywhere in the world where there is a noticable population of muslims.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  280. Sheila Glendale, AZ

    Yes, France is a soverign nation and it is there right to do so. I also agree that it is demeaning to women to be forced to wear it in any nation. If it were being worn to protect the skin from the sun then it is a choice, but religion was never the real reason.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  281. Emerald

    Here is an adage to ponder on "Your right to stretch your arms, stops when your arms are in the direction of my eyes"

    Human rights is not one sided, its reciprocal. You are also infringing on the other person's human right by insisting on your belief to the dislike of the other!

    The couple that were caught on the beach in Dubai were punished for their 'unacceptable' behavior over there. This could have been 'acceptable' in another country.

    When you are in Rome, please behave like the Romans or find another city to live!

    January 25, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Reply
  282. Brianne

    As a western woman living in a muslim based country, I would not be tolerated in the dress I feel apprpriate for my beliefs. Therefore, they aren't allowed to wear a burqa in my country.

    For that matter, since muslim men are so week they can't help but want to assault verbally or physically any woman with her hair or body uncovered, they shouldn't be allowed in my country either. It's like setting myself up for assault by allowing them in......

    January 25, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Reply
  283. Lauren

    When in Rome, DO AS THE ROMANS, when in France RESPCET FRANCES TRADITIONS. What would happen to US NOT wearing one in the other country???? Don't we have to wear one there or risk??? Also, hidden identity, go to a bank in this country like that, pick up a child ?? opens all kinds of avenues. Nope, in our country, respect OUR rules. You expect the same from us

    January 25, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Reply
  284. maryann

    The Berka is not a religious symbol...it is a symbol of oppression.
    do away with it in Western countries at least.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Reply
  285. Jay

    I agree with Sandi & many others. It should defintely be banned in public places. France is making the right courageous decision in not yielding to islamist pressure. Face is what human beings are communicating with everyday at least in our civilized world. To cover itis an offense to the manority: it says I am not intesret in anyone of yo: if a woman wants to protect for the outside world,she can move to a cavern in Pakistan. He are Sandi's argument: "For security reasons I do not think they should be allowed in any public place...they can still practise their religion within their community and mosques etc, but in this day and age, covering your face puts everyone in danger.....the jewish Kippah is on the top of a persons head, it's not hiding their face so I don't see why they should be banned, yes I know muslims are going to say they are being victimised, but it is mainly people from their faith that has caused all the trouble in the 1st place and they have to accept the scar it has left and the stigma attached to islamic faiths."

    January 25, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Reply
  286. Sol

    Ban the Burqa! Plain and Simple. If only the United States wasn't as tolerable.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Reply
  287. fielval

    I'm French and I Think that the Religion in france Can't said anything and I'm Proud Of it. but, it's Impossible to understand for strangers ( From Us or Other Country ) Because what we call " Laïcité " is impossible to translate. Only French or People who leave in France. Burqua For Most of the French is in first the denial of the feminity and the evidence of religious integrism, fanatism etc... but actualy I think It's just for the french and the governement to show religions that's in france they can be use but just at home and not impact in the ' French Live Together "

    January 25, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  288. Mike

    Ban it! Don't like it, then leave!

    January 25, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  289. Soren michaelsen

    If a western woman goes to Iran she has to wear a Hijab then why can't France say: If a woman comes to france they have to loose the hijab/burqa/etc.

    Why is it us (Western ppl) who has to adapt to muslims when they come to our land?

    I respect people and their religion but I also think that religion belongs in your own house not in public – weather it's a christian cross or a hijab/burqa.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  290. sam west

    Absolutely ban it!

    January 25, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  291. Joseph De Angelis

    YES!

    January 25, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  292. dave

    Religious Freedom is a good thing. How many Baptist Churches are open in Saudi Arabia? What about Political Cartoons in Denmark? As far as I am concerned, wear a burqa, fez, turban or anything else. But do not exercise that right and deny it to others in your home land.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  293. Tom

    Ban it. It's an invitation to terrorist suicide bombers and an example of man's power of his woman.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  294. Joseph De Angelis

    Yes,absolutely!

    January 25, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  295. Arlene

    I believe it is within a country's right to ban the burqa and anything else they deem offensive or dangerous. If you want to dress that way go live in a Muslim country. there's plenty of them around.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  296. RVT1000

    Ban it.

    I wish Obama had the guts to do the same here in America.

    It is a filthy symbol of a filthy ideology that needs to be eliminated from this Earth. There will be no peace on Earth as long as islam exists.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Reply
  297. dwnlow55

    Ban it!!! Women should not be hidden like that, it is a violation of civil rights and not a requirment of the Curan. The US should follow suit!! It's just another way for muslim men to control women by lowering them and making them feel less equal. What if that woman was hidding something or comitted a crime, would you be able to identify that person if caught on camera? I don't think so! Wear it in your own home and not in public if you have to feel less equal!!!

    January 25, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Reply
  298. James A F Compton

    Veils and burqas have no more place in public life in a modern, civilized society than do ski masks on men. In addition, Burqas transcend the religious issue and becomes a matter of public safety when operating machinery or motor vehicles, or when riding on public conveyances such as buses, trains, or aircraft.

    Besides, a woman's being swathed from head to toe announces her as somebody's chattel property. We do NOT live in a 7th Century AD Bedouin society. The rest of the human race has progressed beyond such nonsense.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  299. SirReal

    Religious symbolism aside, the Burqua is a disgrace for Muslim women to have to endure. Were it not for the threat of being beaten, most would throw it aside. Islam simply needs to modernize just a little. I ask you, can you tell a Christian or a Jew from their looks? No, because those faiths don't require anything to publicly denote themselves as being a member of said religion. Why then does Islam require this of its women?

    Exactly.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Reply
  300. Barbara

    The French know when to draw a line toprotect the citizens. Now with Al-Queada trying to recrute women to be bombers, they have a right over religion to protect. We herre in the U.S. want to be "politically correct" before we want our people to be safe.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Reply
  301. Tunatofu

    Yes, religious freedom is all fine and good but is it not also the right of a government to pass the laws WANTED by the majority of the native population? Frankly, I think that MOST forms of overt or inflamatory religious expression should be reigned in – the freedom of religion comes with the responsibility of acceptable use. Do Catholics prevent all of us from eating meat on Friday? No. Do Jews ever demand that stores be closed on Saturdays because it is THEIR sabbath? No.

    Assimilation is NOT a bad thing. If the wearing of a burqas et al was THAT important and overt expression of Islam was all that important to the immigrant populations, they COULD have chosen OTHER countries to go to – they chose countries with different languages, cultures, and flourishing, existing religions. We have this view here in the US that the Muslim immigrants in Europe are being "excluded and persecuted" when in reality they are secluding THEMSELVES from the natives and forcing their beliefs and practices on their new country. They ARENT learning French (or German, or English) and arent trying to COEXIST but to turn their new cities into pockets of "Little Riyahd."

    In that context, it is easy to see why the French (et al) are being so defensive and rebuffing what they perceive to be invasive and oppressive.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  302. Pierre Lamontagne

    To me it’s a matter of security plain and simple. We should ban any garment such as the burqa and niqab that hide a person’s identity not to mention one that offers the possibility of concealing an arsenal of deadly weapons. Bank robbers would have a field day under their tent-like clothes by carrying big guns and defeating the purpose of security cameras. This tribal desert fashion has no place in the Western World.

    If you want to wear your tent while shepherding a herd of goats in the Empty Quarter, be my guest, but I don’t want to rub elbows with a phantom in a bank line-up.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Reply
  303. Ray Genet

    The burqas and even the headscarf is seen by French women as a challenge to their feminity and their hard fought and won rights to equality. No-one should ever go to France and try to challenge their republican values.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Reply
  304. Ajit N

    Yes the ban is justified.

    Many women are now training to be suicide bombers and it would be very hard to identify/isoate these women terrorists if they continue to ware the burqahs.

    If the community gives up terrorism the ban should be revieviewed at that time.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  305. Eileen

    I am always interested in opinions that refer to "religeous" beliefs...so, I can go Iraq or any muslim country and parade around in a bikini because I am from the "western world" and anyone telling me I can't is infringing on my rights? People, people...when in Rome, do as the Roman's do...just that simple...you want to live in a country that has different rules, you must abide by their rules...or don't live there!

    January 25, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Reply
  306. Ebug

    I think it is a violation of personal choice to ban the burqa. Although the Q'ran does not mandate the burqa, it is a woman's individual expression of her belief. How does a woman wearing a burqa negatively affect anyone else, other than the fear that comes with the ignorance of not understanding why it is worn? It is sad that the French government has chosen to go to war against religion because they struggle to win the war against extremism. If burqa's are banned, I say ban the wearing of the crucifix, yamakas, anks, dred locks, beads in the hair, Bindi, tatoos and anything else we all do to display and celebrate who we are.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Reply
  307. Johnny

    Religion is a means of control, period. The burqa is just another symbolic means in which those in power can levy control. These are extremists, and take the Koran to a level of their own definition. If a woman is in another country to live, work, and raise a family, they should not be required to wear the burqa. It's an embarrassment to mankind. Wear that crap in your own country, and if you don't like what the Western world feels about your burqa, then stay in your own country.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Reply
  308. Darin

    I believe the burqa should be banned. Islam is a backward religion. They claim to be an improvement and fulfillment of God's purpose as compared to Christianity when in actuality Islam is a reversion to the harsh rules and laws we find in the old testament. The burqa is just one example of how Islam disrespects women and any others who dare to disagree with it. The sooner the lunatic fringe and their bizarre practices (i.e burqa wearing) is banned the better, in my opinion

    January 25, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  309. Chris

    Living near Washington, DC I see lots of women (particularly at malls) wearing the full head to toe 'gear'. From what I understand (and I may be incorrect), there is nothing in the Quran that says this is mandatory. Therefore this is a choice. For me personally, I don't like it and think it is a sad commentary of subservience...please don't say it isn't because it is... However, it's a currently a freedom those who wish to can. Let it be known though that if and when it comes up for a vote in the U.S., I will vote against allowing it and any outwardly religious signs... I always thought religion was supposed to be a deeply personal thing, not something you eschew upon everyone in your midst... Sorry if that offends you but it's how I feel.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  310. Andrew

    In general if people really have to wear symbolic costumes, as if they made one iota of difference to their human destiny, they should be free to do so. However the burqa is a shamefully demeaning costume and should be banned.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Reply
  311. Mireille

    France is a very secular country not like the US where religion is part of everything we do and seperation of church and state is a talking point – but NOT reality.
    Very religious people really should not be emigrating to such a secular society. To enjoy the benefits of living in a Western society, you must be willing to compromise. Otherwise, you should stay in your countries with others who would have no problems with the burqa.
    Also, as a security standpoint, a woman can be hiding anything under a burqa and no1 would no and now that we also have female suicide bombers, it is something to be concerned about.

    To women who say they choose the burqa, I really believe they don't even realize they have been brainwashed to believe this is the only way to be pious. Are men such animals that they cannot control themselves if they see a woman's face. If so, those men need to be jailed like animals.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  312. JimfromNewYork

    Ban it.

    And ban religion while you're at it; it serves no purpose.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  313. Eileen Howard

    When in Rome................When foreigners enter islamic countries,they must conform to islamic laws,ie; women covering their heads, no hint of Christianity is allowed etc;. If we must conform to their laws in thei r countries, why do they not have to conform to ours? If they don't like it , they can go back where they came from. Political Correctness is going to be the death of Freedom.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  314. Cheryl

    Burqa is just another way of putting women in their place. It makes men feel more in control. The men in the middle east and particularly muslims seem to want all of the modern freedoms for themselves but not for "their" women. The woman that are part of the muslim world need to get a grip and think about where they are compared to where their grandmothers were. It seems that they haven't made much progress at all. Tell those insecure men that until you have the same rights that they do...no food....no sex.....no kids.
    Watch how fast things change then.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  315. Chris

    BTW, the 'protect their modesty' argument is weak. Just don't dress like a music video vamp or wear multiple layers of heavy makeup and your modesty is protected... If you don't wanted extra attention then don't dress like you want the attention... It's really very simple.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  316. Mike

    Why step on the rights of others, when we fight so hard to keep our own rights. What we need to crack down on is the illegal practices that the this "faith" dictates now. Outlawing the Burqa will not take the women out of harms way. If anything, it will make it worse for all.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  317. Mariv

    It is their hate propoganda. French president's heart is filled with hatred towards Muslims and this action is result of this. Did he surveyed the burqa observing modest women, if they feel oppressed. If not he made up his mind based on his ignorance. You should mind your own business as to how others dress.
    I'm sick of phrases like no place in West etc. Who are western people? Just White Christians? And were from the west starts after Turkey? Think about it, your comments are just racist.
    What if the French feel if their president wanted all of them wear Burqa? This decision impacts the French nationals who observe burqa.
    As the counter measure Muslim countries should make the rule that French nationals should walk naked in their country. I know this is mean, but that is how shameful for a burqa observing woman to go to public without burqa.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Reply
  318. Bruda

    Ban it!! No place in Western civilization and by the way, one cannot "smile at their neighbor" if they cannot make eye contact.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Reply
  319. Judith L Carr

    I am all for banning the burka. I agree it is a sign of subserviance. Women in the western world have fought for equality and civil rights for over one hundred years. We do not need a belief system that promotes lack respect for women within our western societies. If women want to submit to such rules for themselves then they should live in countries that promote such beliefs. And the men who need laws and customs to keep their wives and women under control should go where they are accepted. As a woman, it infuriates me to see women submit to such repressive customs. And I believe it infuriates the women who are forced to wear them.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Reply
  320. The truth and nothing but...

    The real truth is when you live in someone else's country you abide
    by their rules and their law. I really wonder how people can justify the Muslims coming to France or America or anywhere else and demand that we bow to their religious demands while they try to destroy our lifestyle.
    I believe they should be more concerned about the terrorism that is purpertrated on the western world by Muslim extremists and before they demand their rights be honored they honor our traditions and religions by living within our rules in our countries and by policing their own people by helping us to root out terrorism around the world.
    As an American I am outraged at being told we cannot display crosses in a country that was created with God in mind.
    Where have our rights gone America? we all better wake up or someday sooner than we think we will wake up to Sharia law in America and our women will be walking around in Burqas.
    Think i'm crazy? Better think again. Europe is now 25% Muslim.
    In Detroit they recently had a Muslim faire that you can see on Utube and it wil make your hair stand on end.
    I am for everyone to live their lives and strive for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...by following our laws and culture if you want to live here.
    If you want your laws to be the way go back and live in your country.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Reply
  321. Rob

    Ban it! The French President hit the nail on the head when he said that went against the values of the secular republic. Religious freedom is not religious freedom when its being used to marginalize and oppress a group of people.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Reply
  322. conniesz

    It's not the burqa that should be banned, but anything that covers a face to a degree that prevents the person from being easily identified. Do it that way and they won't be targeting a single religion, but any covering that prevents facial identification.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Reply
  323. Jacintha

    Why do we keep comparing the burqua to the bikini? Nobody rational wears a bikini to work or to the supermarket.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Reply
  324. Richard Hubbell

    Muslim countries feel they have the right to dictate the way Western women dress when those women visit their countries. Thus, Western countries should have the same right. It is a matter of security to have your face uncovered. I don't give the slightest damn what some fake child-molester like Mohammed supposedly said hundreds of years ago. When his followers stop blowing people up, then maybe we can trust them to wear masks.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Reply
  325. Cris Bucknall

    Religious freedom should be promoted as much as possible, however when a religious practice is offencive to the majority of a society then it makes sense for it to be banned. French society is very proud of their rich social and cultural heritage and people choosing to live there from elsewhere should respect this. In my opinion as secularism is enshrined in France's constitution and the Burqa is particularly out of step with modern western society and is a symbol of fundamentalism then the french are right to ban it.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  326. Jacintha

    Also - if the burqa is banned in France, will this result in some women being forced to stay home by the men in their family?

    January 25, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Reply
  327. Joe

    Only if France also bans nun's habits (Roman Catholic Burqas), too.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Reply
  328. Dean

    I agree that it should be banned and all Islamic practices in France should be banned. If you want to move to France don't bring an entirely different culture to the country adapt to the French culture... France has had long differences with impending cultural differences... Look at their language for example... they have maintained a heavy stance on keeping their own language, which is French. They don't want their people just speaking English. The French want their own culture, not that of others, especially Islamic culture

    January 25, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Reply
  329. Jacintha

    @Marc - Don't be ridiculous. France had slave colonies all across the Caribbean just like most of the other Western European powers. One of them just got hit by an earthquake.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Reply
  330. Ann Blackburn

    Three cheers for France. As a female citizen, born and raised in the US I find the burqa an outrage. I think there comes a point where human rights supercede so called religious practices. It speaks of second class citizenship, female circumcism, and other backward cultish practices. If I have to wear a vail in a 5th century cultured Muslim country, no woman should have to cover herself in a 21st century minded, First World nation. Why act is if this a practice worthy of anyone's respect?

    January 25, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Reply
  331. Brandon Alaska

    It would be wonderful it the same Muslim ideas that teach women that a full veil is the best way to shelter themselves from the harm of the outside world, and the best way to protect their modesty, spent more time teaching Muslim men that it's their responsibility to respect a woman's virtue, rather than expecting women to hide their beauty because their men haven't been taught to value of women.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  332. Susan

    There is no choice. For security reasons, you MUST be able to see a person't face. ANYONE or ANYTHING could be hidden by a full body covering: a man, guns, bombs, etc. It's important for more than just moral reasons.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  333. deputygirl

    Don't ban the burga. If France is worried that the women who wear them are being oppressed then ban the men who make them wear it. But the women should have the right to reflect their religious beliefs just as Jewish men can wear yamakas, or Christians a cross with a tortured man nail to it. Come on, who's really uncomfortable here the women or Sarkozy

    January 25, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Reply
  334. Paul

    If you wanna wear it...live in an Islamic state.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Reply
  335. Peter Harrington

    I am a muslim but I live a any other westerner. I am happy with this decision. Every year, islamist radicals are creeping up their agenda and imposing their views as "normal" on our societies. It is not normal and it is not in the Holy Qu'ran or in the Hadith. It just says that a woman needs to be modest. Make no mistake, the goal for them is to take over your countries. They can't by the sword for now but by using your laws against you.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Reply
  336. Peace

    What else you can expect from a person whose wife was a Nude model. He talking about dignity to Muslims?! Laughable.

    Islam wants women to dress modestly. Quran does not demand burqa. But pious women choose to do it.

    Statistics show more women than men converting to Islam. May be they are dumped girl friends.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  337. Al

    Ban it! it is without a doubt absurd for a woman to cover her face.
    Abide by their rules, and if not satisfied, go back to your countries and you can celebrate Halloween all year around. I couldn't go to Saudi Arabia and wear what I want because I would probably get hurt. So you should leave your beliefs at home when in another country.

    "When religion ruled the world, it was called the dark ages"

    January 25, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  338. John Horan

    How does one know if a burka is not being worn by someone who wants to wear a burka? And if they do have such a wish why should a government prevent that person the freedom to do so? Seems like a slippery slope for a government attempting to enforce its values on society. If it becomes a security/terror threat then that is a different story. If women in burkas start blowing themselves up while hiding explosives under their garment then, for a security reason, the subject should be revisited. Otherwise it is just discrimination against a specific group of people.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  339. Kal

    Yes this is a great move. I believe deeply in religious tolerance, but I am tired of the intolerance that the majority of Muslim countries have towards non-Muslims. The EU and USA are Christian countries, and WILL stay that way. We have been tolerant enough, and now it is time to re-claim our countries identity.

    If they don't like it, they can go back to their or their ancestors countries !!

    January 25, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  340. karlene

    By not wearing a burqa you are exposing the woman's face to the evils of the world? Really! I agree that the ban is absolutely justified – this is the 21st Century and there is no need to hide. The ban is a matter of security – for everyone, including the Muslim community.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  341. tom

    if it alright in Muslim countries to have to adhere to a dress code, it should be alright for other countries to mandate the same. They have religious police in Iran and equivalent in other Muslim countries, so let them show the same tolerance for others belief system that they wish France to show them.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  342. katrinanyc

    Ban it.

    If you are in a host country, and it is not the custom there, for heaven's sakes, adapt. Or live elsewhere.

    Orthodox Jewish women adapted over the centuries, in Eastern Europe for example, by using wigs as headcoverings. Why? So that they would not stand out and draw too much attention or suspicion to themselves.

    The burqa and full-body covering are not required by the Koran, it is a custom, and a custom that is not required by the majority of the muslim population. If you belong to the minority that uses it, you should adapt and quit whining. And yes, it is degrading to women, as you only need to look to the countries that follow this custom for examples on how they treat their women.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  343. Omar A.

    It goes against Freedom of Religion to ban the burqa. Burqa does not lower women's status, It raises it.

    –Oh women of the believers when you go out of your homes cover yourselves with an outer garment that should not be thin or tight so as to reveal your beauty– Also another rule in the Quran says,– when you go out of your houses take one edge or part of your overgarment and cover your face with it–. Burqa is a version of this. Women are making a statement that I don't want to be dancing with you in a bar. My body is of no concern to you, and that my body will not be displayed for you to gawk at it. The opposite is look I am in a bikini and this is a beach body. The animal part of humans will of course prefer the latter. However, that is temporary, life will end. How will we answer our lord on Judgement day. This question is of no concern to those who have already decided that they are saved in one way or another.

    One woman in the news said, she will not be able to go out of her house without a burqa. So how is she going to work. go to school, college, the hospital when she gets sick. She will die. That will be because of the Burqa Ban Law, which itself is suppression of women and back to the Dark Ages. If they want to wear burqas let 'em wear it. If they don't then whatever.. What is next? sorry no trousers. No pants near the floor level. No shorts, No jeans. No long skirts, What? Next they will tell nuns not to wear the stuff they wear.

    Those who say when in Rome do as Romans do. that is a mistake. No prophet of God did as what their cities did. Not Abraham, Not Jesus, Not Mohammad, Not Moses, Not Noah, , none of them did as Romans do. Their mission was to Excel and to encourage peopel to follow their path. The right path.

    I hope some of these points answer some questions and raise some questions also. May God Bless You All, and Peace be with us all !

    January 25, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Reply
  344. TheMadCelt

    This isn't right and what's more, it's dangerous on many levels in my opinion.

    This is discrimination, plain and simple. What's more is it's giving violent radical Muslims even more reason to lash out, not to suggest that excuses it. This would be a very bad decision on France's government's part as it not only would invite more trouble but it also is making a clearly discriminatory decision that removes choice from Muslim women.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Reply
  345. Brau

    It must be banned, not from France, from the entire planet ! It's gross, ugly, demeaning and against the fact that God created us in His image !

    January 25, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  346. Kalisiin

    Mike: "I think France needs to rethink this if they are worried about the women, after all, the radical Muslim males will fault the women over this and place them between the law and an Ass of a husband. What will they do when women start getting assaulted for not wearing what the country says is illegal to wear???????"

    @Mike: We will throw the men in jail, and, if necessary, cut their balls off. No more tolerance!

    See how long Muslim MEN would tolerate being told they had to cover up from head to foot!!

    Screw them. It is as Jean Luc Picard, a Frenchman, said about the Borg in "First Contact:"
    They invade a little bit and we say nothing, we stand aside and let them...at some point we must draw the line and say "This far...and no farther!!"

    January 25, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  347. eric of Reseda

    BAN THE BURQA INDEED! Religious freedom! Nonsense. Those of you who invoke this idiocy are ignorant of the fact that Islam is NOT merely a religious system, but a legal one as well. And France absolutely SHOULD say, "Not in my house!". But, OK, those of you who want to cite "religious freedom", we should allow Sharia Law in the French-Muslim community as well, right? So...when do we start amputating the hands and feet of thieves? Or hanging homosexuals? Or stoning to death those who practice adultery? (That'll go over REAL big in France!). To deny those penalties is to deny religious freedom!

    January 25, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Reply
  348. Jon

    I believe if the majority of the French people do not approve of the burqa then it is their right to ban it. Personally i do not agree with it but it is not my country and not my place to say what the French should or should not do with their own countries policies. In my opinion though, it should be looked at just the ame as a yarmulke, crucifix, or any other religious parafanalia. It shows how many western countries other than the US are racist to muslims and this is the reason to escalate the violence that continues to take place.

    January 25, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Reply
  349. Cliff

    Covering of the face should be banned not only in France, but also world-wide. It presents security risks that allow anyone who would like to avoid detection to disguise themselves. I suspect it is used by terrorists around the world to move about without detection.

    January 25, 2010 at 11:04 pm | Reply
  350. John

    Ban it. If western women visit the muslim countries, they have to wear coverings so if they can make a law requiring it, we can make a law that says you can't. No place for it in a civilised country anyway.

    January 25, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Reply
  351. Norman Lee

    I think the appropriate way to couch this is to ban wearing masks in public. Such laws are already on the books in many locations in the United States to curb robbery ala old-west style bandits or KKK rallies.

    Although I am a Christian, I can respect the a reasonable desire by Muslims for modesty. Although I drink alcohol, I can respect their dsire for temperance and not drinking.

    Forcing your women to wear full body, face covering robes – black ones-even in the desert heat, goes way beyond any reasonable standard of modesty. Doing so is about destroying women's identity an subjugating them to a lower than human standard.

    We do not have a requirement to have unlimited tolerance for antisocial behavior under the color of "religion" in America, or France.

    Did you know that Christian religious text, including the bible, are banned from publication in most Muslim countries???

    January 25, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  352. John S`

    I firmly believe that all western countries should ban not only the burqa, but every aspect of the muslim religion and culture. If they want to come here they should leave their unappetizing 12th century ideas at home. Or better yet, stay the hell in their third world hell-holes.

    January 25, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Reply
  353. Wolf

    In some Islamic countries visiting western women are required to respect the local traditions and at least cover their hair. That is accepted. So equally why not expect Muslim women to respect western traditions and not cover themselves where it is unacceptable to the local society?

    January 25, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Reply
  354. Brian Clark

    I agree with President Sarkozy about a total ban on the imprisonment of women in the Burqa and also the Security risk it presents. Moreover I don't think it is a healthy garment to wear and it has it's own Health and Safety risks in fire or accident !!

    It belongs in History like the caveman's outfit !!

    January 25, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Reply
  355. Rico

    Anything hiding one's face should not be allowed to wore in public places.

    January 25, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  356. Curtis L Mease

    When people of a different culture move to a country not originally their own and then try to dictate to their hosts how to re-form the visited society to the liking of the visitor, it is the height of arrogance! These visitors are an invading horde of insidious cultural nematodes many of whom are sworn to annihilate any and all non Muslims. Banning the Burqa is an excellent step in the right direction. These people are using our freedoms of speech and religion to deny us these very freedoms. If calling Muslims insidious threats to peace is "profiling," then so be it. You don't call an enemy a "friend" just to escape accusations of profiling. I fear the term "profiling" is from Orwell's NEWSPEAK vocabulary.

    January 25, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Reply
  357. Steve

    Unfortunately it has come to a point where banning it is prudent. Al Queda's response to this is evidence of why we need to be able to identify these people who have declared war on society.

    I'm sure that most of the Muslim world is harmless but the radical Muslim has caused this. It would not be an issue if they behaved like normal members of society.

    They should look to themselves for why this is happening. It's called fighting back.

    The world has genelarally lived by the principle of "for the greater good."

    This doesn't quite match the indignity of mass murder which the Muslims seem not to elevate to the indignity of the burkah restriction.

    We have still never seen the moderate Muslims fight back against the radical Muslims. Perhaps it is because they are not so very far apart.

    January 25, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Reply
  358. lloyd

    i feel the burqa should banned EVERYWHERE.i applaud the french for their aggressive stance.those burqas spell slave to me.while we are on this topic....ban ISLAM...the world would be far better off if mohammed had never been born!!!

    January 25, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Reply
  359. Anna

    YES, I strongly believe that the French government is right on banning burqas. This is a secular country and if the people of this country believe that burqa does not belong in France than the immigrants (and here I just want to say that I am an immigrant myself) from Muslim countries should follow and respect this country rules if they want to live there, instead of trying to change the image of this country. How the Arabs would feel if we, the western women would move to their countries and parade there with our breasts visible, bikinis, wear short mini skirts and die our hair with crazy colors? I don't think that they would like the fact that we would try to change the image of their counties. I think that if someone decided to immigrate in the first place, than he/she should make sure that he/she melts into the culture of the country that he/she immigrated to. I immigrated to USA and even though that was a cultural shock for me, I try to adopt the values of this country and the culture.

    January 25, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Reply
  360. melody

    yes i think they need to ban the burqa..there could be a terrorist under the clothing.and there in another country.they need to live by the french rules.there not in there country no more.the muslins need to respect the
    way of the country.if its there religion.then wear it in church or home ..not in puplic.i feel there a shame to have people look at them.sad.they hid there face.i respect good muslims.but covering there face in puplic in another country no..go back to your country if you want to wear your burqa.
    and theres alot of terrorist that wear the burqa.and blow themselfs up.stupid.and nuts..so ban the burqa i am all for it.i am half french.
    and france has there laws.respect there laws and show your face,,

    January 25, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Reply
  361. Craig Eyles

    G'day Becky
    My point on this debate is on the side of terrorism. Christian necklaces & Jewish kippahs (presumably the caps) do not conceal ideintities from CCTV's in cases of identifying terror suspects & the profile of such acts doesn't fit Jews nor Christians in many cases. The French may have a point from that side.
    How about banning youths wearing jeans where the wasteband is at their thighs?? It's all a matter of dressing respectfully.

    January 25, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  362. Jason

    Now I'm gonna add in my two cents, this has nothing to do with religion, it has everything to do with the lowering, humiliating and control of women. There is no reason why a woman should have to cover herself from head to toe. I applaud the efforts of France and I should say there should be more lawmakers around the world take a stand aganist this especially in the U.S. I refuse to believe women in the middle east grow up just waiting and wanting to be hidden from the world, this practice coming from the very people who stone women to death and cut off people's heads for drawing a cartoon about there god. It's time the world realizes that there is little to nothing good about muslisms or islam.

    January 25, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Reply
  363. Juan Carlos

    To be exact, the burqa is not religious but cultural, but it becomes sort of a distinction without a difference.

    Would I ban it? In a way, most adult women in France, with the exception of a few very oppressed by their families, have the power to refuse to wear the burqa, and most in fact reject it.

    Nevertheless, the ban is a step in the right direction, against obscurantism even when it claims religious exception.

    Now, if they could go against male circumcision just as they go against the female type, I would be the first one to stand up and sign la Marseillese and shout "vive la France!".

    January 25, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  364. AM

    France is allowed to ban what ever they wish, its their country. It doesn't matter what other countries do, be it the US or any other country. Each country has the right to do what it wishes. I'm not all pissed of because there's still Muslim countries that force women, even westerners to be covered and there are Christians in Muslim countries that have to hide their faith.
    As far as any argument of the rights of French born Muslims, its time to choose God or country and if you choose your God and for one moment lament over it then its your fault for not having enough faith in your choice and your God and that choice was just a huge waste of time and energy.

    January 25, 2010 at 11:39 pm | Reply
  365. gena

    Being able to see a face of a person next to you is our fundamental need. Hiding one's face is a sign of danger in the eyes of a European. Not this "new" terrorist danger, but generally speaking. Be it a man or a woman, if I see someone on my street wearing black robe with a face covered, my first thought is not about what she believes. It is "Why would anyone want to hide his or her face?" We need to be sure of who is around, be able to greet, smile, talk to people... This is how people live together.

    Our military salute comes form the gesture of medieval knights, when they opened their helmets to show who they are.

    If you come out with your face covered, you are challenging my right to know who you are.

    January 25, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Reply
  366. Ginger G

    Call it what it is – nationalism – which is fine. I wish we had a little more of it in the US. But cut the rhetoric about liberating women. Some of these women find it humiliating to appear in public without their traditional clothing. And those women who are being forced to cover themselves will suffer further isolation because they won't be permitted to leave their homes at all. Have to admit I'm not all that worried about the woman in the grocery store wearing a burqa. It's the fanatics who are working hard at blending in that scare me.

    January 25, 2010 at 11:43 pm | Reply
  367. Rose

    If these Muslims chose to live in France then they must respect their host country. They should dress in the same manner as the French dress. The burqua does not only show the disrespect for French culture and society but also poses as threat to security as well. If these Muslim women want to wear their burqua then they should go back to their Muslim countries. They can cover themselves like the mummies there. Just go back home and be happy.

    January 25, 2010 at 11:51 pm | Reply
  368. Jeff

    Some food for thought:
    Can a person walk into a bank wearing a ski mask in the name of "self-expression"? What about covering your face on your ID or drivers' license? How about security cameras in stores and public buildings? Or students taking exams while wearing masks to hide their faces? Who is it that commits murder in the name of their "religion"?

    January 25, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Reply
  369. Karen

    Women should have the freedom to choose what they feel comfortable wearing. Banning the Burkha will not automatically abolish female subjugation and oppression.

    What you will accomplish is the forcing out of any people who will not be willing to give up this cultural form of dress. If that's your goal, then by all means, vote for the ban but don't pretend it's for an altruistic reason.

    Immigrants should learn the language and customs of the countries they move to but they should not be expected to completely expunge all remnants of their cultural upbringing (even if that were possible).

    January 25, 2010 at 11:57 pm | Reply
  370. andre CORBUSIER

    try to dress has you want in muslim contries , in the arabic : try to drink alcool in public place and you will be sent in jail , the problem with the muslims: they mix public and private life and I don't want to change my live in my country because they are asking a little now (the burqua ) and they will ask more later ... Muslims should adapt and show little external signs or go to Mecqua and enjoy the country .

    January 25, 2010 at 11:57 pm | Reply
  371. Faye from Nevada

    Ban it forever. The reasons are simple and the people wearing them should realize it's for the safety of their own loved ones also.

    1.The burqa should be banded and it should have been long ago. These poor women need everyone's help to gain their freedom because they don't have enough strength on their own.

    2. Being anywhere a person is wearing a burqa as it is possitively scary. It should scare everyone! A person wearing a ski mask or a bandana over their face is the same thing, it's scary. It's a danger to everyone.

    January 25, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Reply
  372. Letizia

    1. The burqa is not a religious indument: it is not dictated by the koran.
    2. It is a way to control women: an instrument to segregate and differentiate.
    3. The western world has fought for freedom and equality. Women have fought for the right to vote, the right to work, the right to abort, the right to go topless. It is not the time to be politically correct and try to accommodate other people's beliefs and in doing so start chipping away all the freedom we have created for ourselves.
    4. Women in arab countries, where the burqa is required by law, are denied basic rights.
    5. Allowing the burqa in our society is a slap to our beliefs, such as: men and women are created equal.
    6. The population affected by this issue in France is mostly comprised of immigrants who have come to France as guests. Now that they have implanted roots they demand that their costumes be accepted even though this makes the majority of the population uncomfortable.
    7. Unfortunately we live in a time of uncertainty and security is a major issue. The burqa completely conceals a person's identity and pauses infinite security issues.

    This is a delicate issue and I am proud of the French government for going down the hard path and make a stand. Precisely because we live in a free country, where women are allowed to express themselves because they have fought for that right, should a burqa ( a non religious indument) not be allowed to be worn in society.
    This is not a government trying to impose on a minority but a government trying to preserve the rights of liberty and equality that they fought for in 1789.

    January 26, 2010 at 12:13 am | Reply
  373. Shelia B

    Good for the French. Someone has to be the first to stand up and say no. The wearing of the burqa is an Arab custom that varies from country to country and region to region. It has no place in the western world. The religious conatations came later and adopted by Islamic fanatics.To me wearing the burqua tells me the woman prefers to adhere to her Arab culture rather than assimilate and adopt the culture of her new country. What kind of citizenry is that? If I lived in Saudi Arabai, I would have to wear a burqa by law. France has always wanted its people to be French. If you don't like that then don't move there. As an American, if a woman wearing a buqua entered my local bank, I would leave just as I would if a man entered wearing a mask. I am not going to take a chance.

    January 26, 2010 at 12:14 am | Reply
  374. paco

    try to be a christian in a muslim country and see what will happen to you

    January 26, 2010 at 12:15 am | Reply
  375. Alex

    People can wear the burqas at home, but not in public. No advertising of any religious symbols should be allowed in public including western religious symbols. Wearing such symbols has nothing to do with religious freedom, its a form of public advertising showing to everyone around you were you stand, that's really all. It is my right not to like such advertising. If the majority of a country rejects such advertising it will be law, like it or not.
    There are many opinions about what religion is and it would be wise for everyone to be at least neutral about it. It would avoid so many conflicts. For the people who insist that you must wear religious outfits, please move back to your country of origin, were you can enjoy total freedom of wearing such cloths. If you plan to move to a new country be prepared to blend in with the locals as much as you try to blend in with people in your home country. If you can't do that, don't move anywhere else . You will not be appreciated.
    Remember the locals in a host country have traditional rights too and one of them is to refuse foreign attempts to change their unique society. If my wife runs around in the streets with a balaclava over her face, she will possibly be stopped by police and seriously questioned. A burqa is not much different in the eyes of people who have no association with Islam.

    January 26, 2010 at 12:18 am | Reply
  376. Wayne Brown

    Ignorance, fear, arrogance, and paranoia make an ugly combination.
    How can you say you value freedom, democracy, and respect if you support oppression of the innocent?
    The extremists who commit acts of terrorism do not represent the Muslim community, the vast majority of whom are decent, peace-loving people.
    I am a Christian, and have many friends of other faiths, including Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus. They respect my freedoms and beliefs, and I respect theirs.
    There's enough hatred in the world. Don't add more to it.

    January 26, 2010 at 12:19 am | Reply
  377. Paul

    Make it a crime to weasr the Burka in all of united Europe.Ban it!!!!! It has No place in the western society.
    The Burka indicates a woman with no personal rights or freedoms.

    January 26, 2010 at 12:21 am | Reply
  378. Peter

    I'm all for banning burqa. I second the motion. Regardless of religion, no decent human being should hide their face under burqa. They owe it to the society and the community they live in. I hope the law will pass!!!

    January 26, 2010 at 12:36 am | Reply
  379. Nicole

    It's a tough question. I feel though, that when people choose to move to the West (or any country foreign/new to them), they should adapt to a certain life style that goes with it. I am not saying they have to give up their religion, but certain aspects of it – and I feel the burqa would fall under that – should be adjusted to their new place of residence. Just like I would – if I moved to a foreign country, I would certainly find a way to honor their way of living – even if in means wearing a shawl. I'd never move to a place where I'd feel I could not live with whatever laws they are imposing.

    January 26, 2010 at 12:39 am | Reply
  380. JoeOvercoat

    The burqa is a object of oppression. Yes, some women embrace it, but many more are forced into it. It does not appear to be part of Islam, but rather something dreamt up by men to imprison women, with excuse that it is the only way to protect women from men....so, by extension, if you are not wearing the burqa it is the woman's fault.

    The oppression of women in burqa-dominated societies is more than enough to make a lie out of the assertion that the burqa is for the woman' benefit.

    Ban the burqa on public property, and some will lose, but many more will gain.

    January 26, 2010 at 12:41 am | Reply
  381. Gatewayron

    T here are certain cultural imperatives that change over time and with a change of location. We have seen how people can be browbeaten and beaten to conform to some so called religious dictates. The west does not tolerate this extremism. We have fought for women's rights for a long time. There are Muslim Countries that hold with slavery and use a religious justification for it's existene. The Burqua is nothing more the refusal to conform and fully participate in an open society. It is indeed a form of slavery, no matter the religious justification. Ban it. This is 2010 not 700.

    January 26, 2010 at 12:45 am | Reply
  382. Serendib

    Can France prescribe a dress code for all its citizens? Just attacking a segment of the population wont do. Thats what happened in Germany.

    January 26, 2010 at 1:02 am | Reply
  383. KIM

    If the French fell it is the right thing to do so be it. Who are we to judge another country

    January 26, 2010 at 1:06 am | Reply
  384. Robert

    A student at the high school I teach at pointed out to me that the burqa is not Moslem, it is cultural. She follows Islam, but dresses as anyone else would.

    In this day and age of radical Islamic extremists, the burqa must go.

    January 26, 2010 at 1:14 am | Reply
  385. chuckmartel

    WOW! These PC comments are very scary. The fact that the majority of these fundamentalist muslim imbeciles are allowed to immigrate into France or the secular West is bad enough, now the secular West is supposed to have their disgusting muslim ways forced on them. The muslims can wear all the burqas they want in their backward muslim toilets, where there is no separation of church and state. If they feel that strongly about burqas, they have no buisness forcing themselves on Western civilization.
    Talking about tolerance, the muslim notion of tolerance is to kill or try to kill filmakers, authors, cartoonist and politicians who they see as unislamic. And they do this in the countries that foolishly take them in.
    The subhuman burqa wearer is not only a terrorist security issue, but a general threat from armed robbers posing as muslim wackos. Try walking into a lot of stores Halloween night (or other times) wearing a mask and see what happens.
    Advocating continued importation, in the name of maintaining a tolerant society, of these mass murdering religous fundamentalists who do not believe in separation of church and state boggles the mind.

    Regardless of who was killing who 10 centuries or so ago, justifying islami terrorism because of these conflicts is beyond stupid. Since muslim terrorist attacks across the world kill and maim mostly muslims, justifying their subhuman behaviour because of percieved mistreatment of muslims centuries ago is a new level in PC retardation.

    In addition to having no understanding of history, these PC morons are incapable of logic or rational thought. Tolerance of this PC filth and its imported muslim brethren will be the death blow for what is now left of Western civilization.

    January 26, 2010 at 1:30 am | Reply
  386. Hena

    Is it not oppression to restrict someone from wearing what they choose to wear, and in this case something very modest and elegant? A Muslim woman has the God-given right to decide to cover up from head to toe. This is the freedom that the Muslim woman has or that any woman should have, to not be seen as a sex object but as a person of high intellectual capabilities, creative imagination and integrity. Sarkozy knows what he's doing and he knows what exactly the "burqa" or the veil or the jilbab or the long coat really is all about. He has manipulated the whole situation and is creating a dictatorship govt.

    January 26, 2010 at 1:33 am | Reply
  387. mike

    Terrorist in afganistan , iraq and pakistan have used this as a disguise to flee capture. Some women have become suicide bombers no doubt wearing these using their religion as a shield to avoid being searched. Commonsense must be used these cannot be allowed. These terrorist continue to be recruited I do not see the other so called peaceful Islamist doing enough to combat the extremist. Perhaps they are more sympathetic to the terrorist then they admit.

    January 26, 2010 at 1:41 am | Reply
  388. NewsHound

    If there are countries today that require women to be covered more at some degree, by hair or body then why not a country that require they NOT be covered?

    January 26, 2010 at 2:05 am | Reply
  389. Bobby

    They should not be allowed in public, because of our new era of terrorism. Who knows who is HIDING IN IT.

    I do not think they should be allowed they can still practice their religion within their community and mosques.

    January 26, 2010 at 2:10 am | Reply
  390. dave

    I support and applaude the French for banning the burqa. If muslims want to force their women to wear such oppressive clothing, then leave Western Europe alone and move to Saudi Arabia – that is what it is there for.

    January 26, 2010 at 2:17 am | Reply
  391. Simon

    it has no place in the time and world we live in. People get with the times.

    January 26, 2010 at 2:21 am | Reply
  392. John

    Absolutely ban it now!
    Stop the political correctness bs*
    The covering of the face is not a requirement of the religion and if you move to France be ready to adapt to the French way of living!
    Radical islamists use the burka as a political tool and if they want to keep using it move back to Pakistan or wherever they came from!

    January 26, 2010 at 2:30 am | Reply
  393. John B

    I think they should just ban religion in general.

    January 26, 2010 at 2:30 am | Reply
  394. Amused Muse

    Someone here asked, "Do you see Muslim countries banning jeans, bikinis, etc.?" YES! Saudi Arabia, for one – if you even wear a skirt that comes below the knee, you will be harassed by the religious police and sprayed with irritating chemicals, if not actually whipped. Iran, for another! Even in Egypt, western tourists have been harassed and even bombed because "our women" are "whores." Have people forgotten these facts? Why would anyone move to France and then insist upon forming their own closed society? Why are there so many people from the United States on this board championing "religious liberty"? The Quar'an mandates that a woman cover her "bosom," nothing else. This is tribal culture, and it is retrograde and ignorant. Women in Afghanistan go blind because of the burka, because their eyes atrophy. Women get hit by cars because of eyesight impairment. When women can indeed wear jeans and bikinis in Saudi Arabia, then the western world can tolerate burkas. Not until then!

    January 26, 2010 at 2:57 am | Reply
  395. Jason

    Well I think it's unwarranted. Who are we to say what people can and can't wear? Whether it's cultural, religious, or any other thing, it doesn't change the fact that they should have the right to wear what they may, where they may.
    I can understand that the women are oftentimes oppressed, and many people are against muslims in this moment to begin with, but that doesn't give anyone the right to make them change who they are and what they where, simply so we can feel "more comfortable".
    Changing their clothes won't change the way they are treated, or their values, or anything of the sort. If anything, it'll make them more bitter towards the French, because they are oppressing them in what they do. Let them wear what they may.

    January 26, 2010 at 3:03 am | Reply
  396. gail

    Interesting that in France you can pretty much bare any part of the body you want to, but you can't cover it up. Everything is upside down.

    January 26, 2010 at 3:27 am | Reply
  397. Sue

    Head scarfs ok – Burqas NO! They have no place in Western Society. Our ancestors came to America and were proud to adapt to Western ways and dress as they integrated into society. I also feel strongly against men wearing Turbans! It not only is offensive to me as a Westerner, but I agree with the security risk. Anything OR anyone could hide or be hidden under a Burqa or in a Turban.

    January 26, 2010 at 3:29 am | Reply
  398. Susan

    Ban it. Not for religious reasons but because the person is hidden. You dont see the public going out wearing ski masks. Its a security precaution. I see society bowing down to the muslums, trying to appease their customs and respect their religion. A child at my sons school brought in a Koran for show and tell, i called the school and asked if my son could bring in a bible and was told NO, that there is a seperation of church and state.so i went to the principal and he told me that they have to provide the muslum students a place to pray several times a day.....We dont see other cultures/religions who move around from country to country trying to dictate their customs under the name of their religion...When in Rome!

    January 26, 2010 at 3:31 am | Reply
  399. m booker

    Absolutely! It is ridiculous in the year 2010 –not the 6th century! – that WOMEN and WOMEN only are required to wear that hot, filthy, sweltering item of clothing. ENOUGH with all this political correctness and tiptoeing around the injustices of the islamists' belief system. Women in head to toe blankets!? CARTOONISTS who are threatened to be killed??? What a lovely, lovely, lovely religion to aspire to.

    January 26, 2010 at 3:31 am | Reply
  400. melody

    if they complain about the law you can not wear a burqa in france.then go back to your country.france has a right to make the law they want.no wearing burqa's in puplic or schools,or anywhere.in your home and church yes.i believe muslims trying to change the laws in every country,
    no that is not going to happen.

    January 26, 2010 at 3:43 am | Reply
  401. Brian

    These women are choosing to wear the face covering because of their faith in God. They are doing it to be modest. But apparently the French government wants to "liberate" them by making them stop. The truth is, they will never stop, because these are strong women of faith. No fines or man made laws will stop them from their faith in God! Masha Allah to my niqabi sisters! You can't take away a persons faith. You can take their money, even lock them up, but their faith in God is theirs to keep always.

    January 26, 2010 at 4:10 am | Reply
  402. sondra varco

    I agree with the French governement and hope they ban the burqa.It will be a start to the freedom of Muslim women who are treated like property. Then on to Saudi Arabia where they just ordered 90 lashes for a teenage girl who got caught with a cell phone. Let's get these people out of the dark ages and into the 21st century!

    January 26, 2010 at 4:11 am | Reply
  403. confused

    but – then- when Western women visit islamic country they are forced to cover hair, face? They "have" to cover even when it is not their habit to do. Double standard?

    January 26, 2010 at 4:33 am | Reply
  404. Jim

    Good for France, that garment is not religious freedom, it is oppression by Islam, and good for the French to put a stop to it. I am sick and tired of all Western goverments catering to the middleeast, we are Christian countries, and if they don't like it then go home, try wearing a cross in Saudi Arabia or better yet Iran, yea so much for freedom and civil liberties there. It is time people stop catering to these groups and stand up for what you believe in, they don't care about us so why should we care about them. Viva La France'. Maybe if more countries would stand up for there republics like France then maybe this world would not be in the mess it is in.

    January 26, 2010 at 4:34 am | Reply
  405. Adam A.

    These replies are a cess pool of ignorance and intolerance. What happened to religious freedom? To religious pluralism? What happened to acceptance and willinginess to understand? What happened to the fundamental values of equality and freedom of self expression that were so central to the ideology of the United States? If this is really what the world thinks, then boy are we in a sad state of affairs...

    January 26, 2010 at 4:36 am | Reply
  406. Goose

    How am i suppose to know if the woman is attractive if she's hiding herself behind a Burqa?

    -Giggidy-

    January 26, 2010 at 4:38 am | Reply
  407. mil kobrinski

    when jewish men are asked to wear a kippah covering their face from the world then that should be banned as well

    January 26, 2010 at 4:40 am | Reply
  408. TylerPorth

    In France – the mullet is a bigger issue.

    January 26, 2010 at 4:57 am | Reply
  409. Anne

    As far as I'm concerned, there's only one place for a burqa: the trash can. If they want to wear that hideous garb, they should go back where they came from.

    January 26, 2010 at 5:07 am | Reply
  410. sickofitall

    I agree BAN IT!!!!
    In Ohio now you can't go into a bank with a hat and sun glasses on. I know they can't say it's about religion...I'm SICK of that excuse!

    January 26, 2010 at 5:08 am | Reply
  411. Lisa San Diego

    Viva La France!!!

    January 26, 2010 at 5:11 am | Reply
  412. Heilla

    I think banning the burka will subject the women to house arrest! Especially for the women who are forced to wear them. The burka is not the problem the problem is the mentality of making someone subservient alright whether it's religion based or not. This mentality is all over the world! The burka is just a symbol of this problem that people think will be solved by banning the material. Get a clue folks! The source of the problem is the mentality not the material!

    January 26, 2010 at 5:11 am | Reply
  413. JMikey54

    I don't think they should ban the Burqa. If they did would they also not have to ban the catholic nun's habit?

    January 26, 2010 at 5:12 am | Reply
  414. melissa

    The burka is a disgrace, it covers the woman's whole face and body to make them less attractive to men. So really what that means is men are the weaker sex because they force women to hide themselves because men cannot control sexual impulses.

    January 26, 2010 at 5:22 am | Reply
  415. Kat

    The hypocrisy here induces a cynical laughter. They say the burqa is suppressive, but Parliament is the one who wants to tell the women what not to wear. France must think it knows better than Muslim women what subjugation is.

    As long as the burqa isn't worn in public schools and other places that ban all religious symbols, France can still maintain its secular gloss. Singling out any group in particular is an erosion of human rights. We homo sapiens live in a global community, and should learn to respect each other's differences.

    Meanwhile, Al Qaeda gets an excuse to grab our attention and pretend they are good for anything.

    January 26, 2010 at 5:32 am | Reply
  416. marge

    I agree that people should not cover their faces in public, so why not have a law that simply bans that rather than focus on a particular religion's symbols or styles?

    January 26, 2010 at 5:39 am | Reply
  417. Ron

    I support that each woman has the right to wear burqa when and if and where she so chooses. It should not be denied her and it should not be forced upon her. It is the woman's choice. Not yours. Leave her alone.

    January 26, 2010 at 5:40 am | Reply
  418. Jacquie

    Given the amount of terrorism around the world I say ban it. They can be modest without the Burka. It is a sign of subservience which has no place in the western world. I don't know about you but I want to be able to see the faces of people around me. The fact that Al quida says it will revenge against the country proves that it should be banned to help with the war on terrorism.

    January 26, 2010 at 5:49 am | Reply
  419. Jeremy Penn

    It should absolutely be banned. It is the equivalent of putting a leash on a woman. Religious freedom? Shall we allow public stoning/executions for those who violate sharia law in France? It is high time to clean Europe up!!!

    January 26, 2010 at 5:57 am | Reply
  420. Carl Sagerquist

    The burka is degrading to women. Islam and other religions including Christianity and Mormonism are degrading to women. But the burka is also a serious security issue. What if the burka covered face was allowed on a driver's license? Think of the crimes an anonymous person can do in a burka, and then run amongst others in burkas to hide and confuse the ensuing police! If burkas are legal, why do I need a license plate on my car? If burkas are legal, why do I need an ID badge at work? BAN THE BURKA! It's a security violation and an insult to women.

    January 26, 2010 at 5:59 am | Reply
  421. Daz (Australia)

    Islamic Scholars seem to be in disagreement as to what extent the Quran advocates the wearing of burqa's.

    It does however urge both men and women to dress and behave modestly in society – not just women. The Quran does not specifically mention the Burqa or dictate that women have to wear such extremely confining clothes.

    These days, muslims seem to base their authority regarding the Burqa on the Hadith or collected traditions of life and times of Muhammad the prophet.

    My objection to this is that Hadith describes a life and times in the 7th century which should not be imposed on anyone Muslim or otherwise in 2010.

    I support the French government and would encourage the Australian government to consider the same.

    January 26, 2010 at 6:05 am | Reply
  422. Equality

    If they don't abide with this rule kick them out to Saudi Arabia. enough is enough for this fanatics who are trying to impose their beliefs through terrorism and intimidation

    January 26, 2010 at 6:36 am | Reply
  423. Alex

    If my wife (a woman of the west) has to cover herself up and respect the rules of the middle eastern countries, why can the women of middle east not respect western rules and reveal themselves.

    January 26, 2010 at 6:39 am | Reply
  424. J.K. Antony Samy

    Its good to ban this. Those who talks about religious freedom for muslims should think about muslim countries. There is no muslim country where there is a religious freedom for non-muslims.

    January 26, 2010 at 6:39 am | Reply
  425. eman

    i think France has the right to do this and if women do not like this let them live in their original countries , we cant go to Saudi Arabia without cover the hair

    January 26, 2010 at 6:43 am | Reply
  426. Melissa

    Muslim women who wear the burqa should respect France's law; just as western women here in Saudi respect their law by wearing the abaya and covering their hair. France has its reasons and rights to do this. Its not paranoia towards Muslims, its simply giving those women a chance to show their individuality.

    January 26, 2010 at 6:45 am | Reply
  427. Funmi

    The use of this covering clothing need to be BANNED in the western world because other religions are not allowed in muslim countries. Moreso, they have cause too much havoc to the world ' Terorist acts'. The religion also need to be reassessed.

    January 26, 2010 at 6:45 am | Reply
  428. Mario Luiz edeiro

    I respect every reigion but I don,t agree they have to do everting the do in they contry sach dress codit . They kem use in side the home in the Mosque, Sinagoge, Monastery ourrever But not in public place.

    IF DONT agree they shoud go back were they come from

    that my opnion . I tinkthat wey the integration of the people is better

    regards
    Mario

    January 26, 2010 at 6:47 am | Reply
  429. Mark

    Absolutely – Ban it !!

    We cannot walk into a Bank or even a Deli with a general Bike helmet on never mind a black one that complete hides the face. Frankly a lot more can be hidden under a robe. Why should these Burqa's be allowed ? Because of soft minded Politicians who think it is politically incorrect to stand up for the country they have been voted in by, and should be defending. Look at the mess in France and Italy, and even the UK. Because of soft politics and soft immigration.

    Bottom line, the West needs to wake up and wind back to a position strength because we will be trodden down through weak political decisions.

    January 26, 2010 at 6:54 am | Reply
  430. sabaidee

    As a Frenchman, I totally agree to this ban. Pretending that ban is to protect women who are forced to wear it is a way to make it sound much more politically correct.

    France has long been a melting pot (over one third of the French have at least one grand-parent born overseas) and we managed to accomodate the religious rights of orthodoxic, jewish, armenian christians, protestants in a catholic country through assimilation; why should muslims be treated differently?

    The French position is summarized in "thoughts on the Jewish question" wrote in 1791 by Abbé Grégoire: "What rights should we grant to the Jews? As individual citizens: every right; as a people: nothing".

    By wearing a hijab, these women just scream to the rest of the population, that they refuse the French culture and they don't want to interact with "infidels". Then why would they stay (or want to become) French? If one considers that the French way of living cannot allow him/her to follow the cult-like wahabist islam, then maybe one should find a more tolerant country for his/her beliefs.

    Then I assume that staying in France is just a mere question of the social benefits the French welfare state provides you; basically, the society has to pay huge benefits (BTW, who would hire a "faceless" employee?), even though by wearing a conspicuous clothing you just "self-discriminate" yourself from the rest of the population?

    As a taxpayer, who is glad the State doesn't subsidize any religion, I'm shocked by the idea we would indirectly subsidize a cult which refuses to be an active part of the national community.

    I am ready to accept a multicultural society as long as communities don't live in parallel societies.

    After all wasn't "separate but equal" the motto of apartheid? Everybody's welcome in France as long they don't force their customs to the rest of the population and in Western European culture, one sees the face of other persons.

    PS: I find it odd that those against this ban in the name of "multiculturalism" don't get that "multiculturalism" leads to acceptance of the fact that the French culture doesn't accept hijab. How come that in the name of "multiculturalism", Western European culture is to be criticized, whereas everything which is not Western European has to be praised?

    PS': to those who are muslims how come you want West Europe to accomodate your beliefs and never ask Saudi Arabia or any other Muslim country to respect other faith or atheism?

    January 26, 2010 at 6:54 am | Reply
  431. Ramy

    i don't agree to interfere in other people choice for themselves, a muslim woman who chose it, it was because she felt it's more pious according to her faith.. so i think it would be offending if she was obliged to remove that niqab that she chose by her own choice and will.. security reasons are not enough, any criminal person who wanna commit a crime can disguise in any shape, even as a military person, would we then ban military uniform if someone use it to commit a crime?!!

    January 26, 2010 at 6:56 am | Reply
  432. Juan

    Saood, you speak of religious freedom an yet Saudi Arabia won't let Jews Or Christians practice their faith or build churches or temples in the country. If you live in a democracy, Islam is not compatible with it. I say if you don't like the laws, you have the freedom to leave, something most muslim countries don't have. Muslims who become christians are marked for death...am I right? We don't kill christians who become muslim and that is the difference between your religion and ours.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:07 am | Reply
  433. Henry Bahr

    100% Yes ,How it can be allowed to cover your face ?
    I believe , only bank robbers have to do that ! It`s not allowed to tint
    your windows of your car ! But a burqa is Ok ? How ?This is a matter, what is far above ANY religion ! The ban shut be done all over Europe !
    There go to Franc, and want to change the law of that country ?
    I believe, that this people don"t any respect for other people in this world, because all the others, have the wrong religion ! We are the bad
    people on this planet. Ban the "Burqa" ,that`s the best the Paris can do !
    Do it...........................................
    Henry

    January 26, 2010 at 7:19 am | Reply
  434. Helen Queen

    I think a country has the right to assert their laws on citizens–if and when it comes to that. A burqa is an article of clothing. It is definitely a sign of subservience and when you consider the sum of Islamic laws that are another and additional kind of clothing that mounts to a stifling of Islamic womens' lives. That they want to put up with it is their affair–they can always leave the country.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:44 am | Reply
  435. shahiar

    get rid of that oppration tool.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:48 am | Reply
  436. shahriar

    Yes,get rid of that tool of oppration

    January 26, 2010 at 7:52 am | Reply
  437. raco

    If immigrants chose a country they should be ready to adopt its cultures not the other way around.
    When our female reporters go to some of the muslim countries they must cover with veils even if oppsed and not their religious beliefs.

    However, they come to Western Countries and expect it's citizens to conform to their culture.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:53 am | Reply
  438. Tom

    I thought we were supposed to be the government that is morally better than all the others! A lot of people are saying we shouldn't give freedom to those who's governments don't show freedom to them. Don't you think that might be why they left? This is why the US doesn't have a national language, sure the majority of us speak english but it's not in the constitution. This is the government that protects the free speech rights of the KKK and we can't let a few women choose what THEY want to wear? I agree with the above suggestions that there should be restrictions like in banks and airports, but in public.. everywhere? I don't think that we should ban something just because it makes us uncomfortable. African Americans in a grocery store or a restaurant used to be seen as disgusting, now we have one in the White House. Gays used to be (and still are a lot of the time) looked down upon, but now we are arguing about their right to marry. Should we really ban something that makes us uncomfortable? SERIOUSLY? I thought that by now the American population had learned a thing or two... I guess we should just make some internment camps to throw all those Burqa wearing women in so they can't be a public menace anymore.

    I hate that the burqa represents such evil, but if the woman say they aren't being forced to wear it, than why does the government need to step in and "help" them. They are informed PEOPLE, they can make up their own mind.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:54 am | Reply
  439. Silvestro

    I see this more as an immigration issue: You must live by the laws of the new land, every knows this. But I think you must also embrace the new culture. A country doesn't invite immigrants, immigrants ask for permission to enter. France is not the New World. France legally promotes French culture. If you want to move to France, you need to live like a French person.

    And if you need to practice fundamentalism, go back to a Muslim nation, where you'll also live without the rights and privileges of Europe. Or better yet, don't leave that sort of culture.

    Immigration is a life-altering decision: if you choose to move, do so, but don't think you won't be altered by the experience.

    January 26, 2010 at 8:01 am | Reply
  440. MarkNolan

    If the French don't want women walking around in burqas in their country then so be it. It's about time that Muslims realize and accept that France is not 'their country." It belong to the French and has for quite some time. I hate to sound simplistic, but if they don't like it, they can go back where they came from. I don't know why we don't ban them here in the States.

    January 26, 2010 at 8:03 am | Reply
  441. rogerhrabbit

    Of course it should be banned. If they don't like the law, they should go back to their own backward countries they came from. Most of them left their own country because they had no freedom at all there
    . In France they have some...and now they want to force their silly ways on France. The next thing they'll want is sharia law. Send them all back, they are all trouble makers.

    January 26, 2010 at 8:13 am | Reply
  442. Darius

    Well, I think we should ban nuns too. Or rockers. Those guys are outrageous. See my point?
    It's OK to have satanist Black Metal bands in Scandinavia, or naked whores in shop windows in Amsterdam, but not muslims, no sir!
    The western world pretty much gets what it deserves. And it will get worse. And worse. And worse....
    I'm just a humble christian guy from Eastern Europe. I remember the time, before my country joined the EU, we were treated like garbage, anywhere we went in Western Europe. We still are. And we're hard working, tax paying europeans too, right? In the mean time, milions of africans, muslims and other non-european people were living la vida loca there, and were allowed to move and work there.
    I'm not particularly fond of the burka, nor a big muslim fan, but I think this will cause a lot of useless tension.
    Did it ever occur to you that those women want to wear the burka?

    January 26, 2010 at 8:20 am | Reply
  443. free2view

    Burqa is never part of Islam,those who wear them few hundreds years ago are prostitutes to let the public know who there are.Woman has proven to emerge from the shadow of man and some are even bread winner of the family.But to a muslim man this is ego things and they cannot accept that woman can be better than them.Thus they will continue to impose such discrimation upon the opposite sex.Let the muslim woman decide for themselves and give them a platform to voice their desire.

    January 26, 2010 at 8:37 am | Reply
  444. Vilma

    When we can castrate men freely, we could allow the women to wear something like a burka. When a man can be hung for raping a woman instead of the other way around, I could consider the burka. The burka is just a way for a woman to be hidden away from all the bruises she has been given. That way nobody can tell she has been beaten.
    A burka is just another way of men making women worthless, not worth to be looked at, because it is too shameful to look at her face.

    January 26, 2010 at 8:42 am | Reply
  445. dannyboy

    A state's imposition of "personal freedom" is quite the oxymoron. Muslim women are free to choose their religion, which includes the burqa. If for no other reason, France is just encouraging attacks from al Qaeda.

    January 26, 2010 at 8:43 am | Reply
  446. vijay

    I think the comment made by PACO says it all in one line –" try to be a christian in a muslim country and see what will happen to you ". Ironically some muslims only want to impose themselves and their thoughts on the whole world and keep blaming the west for the same..

    January 26, 2010 at 8:52 am | Reply
  447. Sara

    I think every human being should have the right to express their feelings; whether it is through speech, fashion or art. My only problem with the burqa is the false perceptions it builds in the minds of those who are not aware what Islam is all about. I don't think it is mentioned in any verse in the Qur'an that a woman should look like a black ghost. A woman is basically supposed to wear long sleeves, and cover her hair. Why? It is simply for her own protection because women are a lot more seductive than men are. Any form of extremism should be discouraged but at the same time we should learn to coexist and accept each other. My heart also aches for the women who do not chose to appear like that; a lot of them are forced to.

    January 26, 2010 at 9:21 am | Reply
  448. dave

    you ban niqab, you permit micro mini skirts and topless shirts. what double standards! pple should be free to dress anyhow they wish as long as its not causing injuries to others.

    why would you encourage women to get more naked but prevent those who want to get more covered???

    January 26, 2010 at 9:42 am | Reply
  449. Andrew

    Who do the French think they are to control an entire culture that doesn't belong to them? It doesn't make sense that the parliament is even considering a form of religious oppression to try and "free" the women dedicated to Islam. Modern Muslim women have the choice to wear the burqa in democratic nations like France, but not in the Arab countries. Small things like these are the ones that provoke more resistance to the invasion of Western ideology. We have influenced the Muslims enough. If Western nations are synonymous with the principles of free choice and equality, then let them keep their choices to wear burqas or not. By imposing such laws, you are not making equality or women's rights any better.

    January 26, 2010 at 9:49 am | Reply
  450. Marc

    The French have spent a lot of time on the separation of church and state. Catholic/Christian kids can't wear crosses to public schools, Jewish kids can't wear their kippas or star of david. The article says the ban of burqas will stop the people who wear it from receiving certain public services. I doubt if someone wears a burqa they won't receive medical treatment, or aren't protected by the police.

    That person who wears the burqa can still go to the market, and live their life as they would, but they should be aware that if they want to participate in France's government services, that they should respect France's strict separation of church and state.

    January 26, 2010 at 9:52 am | Reply
  451. georgy_it

    masks are ok on carnival otherwise they scare children

    January 26, 2010 at 10:11 am | Reply
  452. Lionel

    France does have freedom of religion(s), freedom does not mean though that religion can exempt anyone from abiding to civil laws which are the same for all, this applies to every country and I believe that visitors comply with Saudi regulations when visiting or living in the country. The slightly ridiculous part is that this matter is growing into a political debate with head of state involved and commenting. France has enough laws specifying that head covers cannot be worn in school, admistration offices and certain public areas there is no need for amendments targeting burqas or any other attire whether for religious reasons or otherwise, just apply the existing regulations.
    Would Americans consider acceptable for some to go around wearing KKK's "burqas" at school or going to the mall, isn't a provocation.

    January 26, 2010 at 10:16 am | Reply
  453. Ajwad

    It is my right to choose what to wear. Where would the world be, if they banned white shirts? or Black underwear?

    January 26, 2010 at 10:22 am | Reply
  454. andrea

    It is not the burqa to be banned .. but all the religions in the world!
    ateism is the only way for a better world...

    January 26, 2010 at 10:52 am | Reply
  455. Jason

    This being done in the name of "women's freedom and dignity"? Oh yeah, it is much more digified for a woman to feel she should wear uncomfortable high heels, a skirt just short of her private parts...throw in a see thru top and in France your diginity is restored as being a true piece of male funstuff. No double standards here...

    January 26, 2010 at 10:58 am | Reply
  456. Caf

    I believe it should be banned, though we should be careful of what liberties we impose restrictions on. The right of expression is one of teh core values of western societies, but when religious dogmas and values based on mythical beliefs impose themselves upon our society we need to act.

    Secular society thrives becuase we do not adhere to religious dogmas. Islam is a religion of control and thus we need to be weary of the 'freedoms' we give to muslims in the west (As with other religious groups). Also note that the islamic immigration we have in Europe and in part in the States is made up of fairly uneducated people with strong tribal beliefs that do not adhere with our long fought fundemental values of democracy and secular governance. The case of the Muhammed Cartoons was so sickening to me that it changed my entire perception of immigration. After seeing 5000 demonstrators crying for blood and revenge in the name of religion you have to be scared.

    BAN THE BURKA.

    January 26, 2010 at 11:02 am | Reply
  457. Joe

    If Muslims want to pretend it is the 11th Century, let them. But they can not do this AND expect the 21st western cultures to embrace their every whim. If they must wear a burqa, let them live in a place where it is customary and not controversial. The issue is not the burqa, but the refusal to assimilate in the slightest way, along with some pretty bad and murderous behavior in the name of Islam. To wit: the threats of revenge on France from al qaeda. This is not making Islam any friends.

    January 26, 2010 at 11:14 am | Reply
  458. Peter

    The burqa is a sign of female slavery, and should be abolish, along with all the other unjust muslim laws towards women.

    January 26, 2010 at 11:14 am | Reply
  459. Veleno

    Guess, if each country cna do what they wish ignoring religious freedoms, then many asian,muslim and other non "Christain actholic" countries should also ban the Catholic preists from making conversions from other religions, as most of these conversions are forced.

    January 26, 2010 at 11:47 am | Reply
  460. maureen rudnicki

    Banning the burga...insane. Think about it. What will come next..removal of all crosses around ones neck, everyone not a citizen of France required to wear a yellow star on their clothing.
    Reglious freedom....a thing of the past?
    I think France has a lot more to worry about than the clothing one wears. Someone is France's goverment has a little to much time on their hands, and maybe should be transferred to a foreign post, say Cape Horn to watch the ships.

    January 26, 2010 at 11:56 am | Reply
  461. Magesh

    Banning or not is the decision based on the government of the respective country keeping their culture and style of living. If French bans, let them. Thats French style.
    In Saudi Arabia, shorts, jeans etc are banned. That is their rule. Obey them. If not do not stay their.
    In India, hundred of religions are their. You can even worship devil also. Everything is allowed. That is the rule in India.
    Every country have their own sets of rules. Others have to follow that too. That is how it works.
    No country in this world can claim to be 100% democratic and free....
    ..."man is born free, but lives in chains.."

    January 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  462. Marja Nikkila

    NO TO BAN! This eventual decision would be the ultimate sign of the Western hubris! As I have understood for many women in the Muslim world their clothing is also a very much valued (by themselves) cultural as well as religious sign and symbol.
    Who are the French politicians to decide what is right for the women to wear or not to wear. There is not so much difference between burqa and the clothing of the Christian nuns. And nuns have also submitted their lives to serve a man, Jesus. Are the French also going to ban their clothing in hospitals and public transport. How can you know that all the burqa wearing women have been forced to use them and not nuns? Have you questioned all French nuns?
    In one respect this ban though would be interesting. It gives every right also to the Muslim fundamentalist forces to say how Christians should behave in their countries. Everybody who has studied even a little pit of history knows who have been the most arrogant and exploitative towards Muslim world, also Muslim women. Take a look for example at the fate of Palestinians. After this decision it is all the more clear that the only logical next step would be the Western withdrawal from Muslim lands! If Muslims do not have cultural and religious rights in the Western world then Christians do not have them in the Muslim world.

    January 26, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  463. Rich

    I guess that means no dark sunglasses either. *wink*

    I don't agree with the proposed law. But, I'm not French and I don't live in France. It's their country, so they get to define their culture and society.

    January 26, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  464. Amiton

    I have seen ur various comments; some are premptive, some are fill with emotions, some are rational while others are irrational. A muslim woman should be allowed to dress the way she wants as long as she is not going beyond the bounds of her religion. In my opinion, these women are not forced to wear the burqa. Most of us are christians. The bible preaches of modest dressing especially in public places. Modest dressing involve not wearing tight fitting or transparent clothes in public places. For a woman, most part of her body is seductive so she needs to cover them.

    If we agree that a muslim woman who covers her body completely from head to toe is opressed and barbaric and this is extremism from one angle, then it also means a woman who goes nude or semi nude publicly (as seen in the west) is also going to the extreme from the other angle. From what i have seen in the west, is women's nudity regarded as freedom or women's liberation? Nudity is more of barbarism than being over clothed. it is far far better for u to be over clothed than for u to walk naked publicly. Then what is the difference betwen lower animals and humans? Yet the west is civilised! if the women who fought for women liberation many yrs ago had known that the women of this generation would rubish their good intention/work, they would have prefered to remain "opressed" . In my candid opinion, part of liberation of women or freedom is to allow women wear what they like. The western women choose to wear tight fitting/ or transparent clothes with mini skirts and pants(extremism), the eastern women should also be allowed to wear complete clothes (extremism). If i am a woman and i hapen to live in a society where i happen to see that at age 12 and above, i have already "slept" with uncountable number of boys without recourse to morality and i dress almost nude publicly, then i had rather being fully clothed from head to toe and remain chaste and presentable before God and man.

    The so called western dressing remind me of stone age. May God help us and in God we trust.

    January 26, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  465. Mohammed

    Covering your face in public can not be accepted anymore simply because of security issues, amongst them are threats from Islamists. The same ones going we will blow you up for banning the burqa.

    The burqa has only been banned in PUBLIC places. That's not a ban, it's a regulation. Simple as. There is still religious freedom since you are allowed to wear out on the street, but it has no place in the public. You can not communicate with somebody that has a burqa, can't see their facial expression. It is simply not practical anymore in the public sphere.

    January 26, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  466. Missy M

    The western world has no idea about Islam or a free country. A bunch of ignorant human drones with big vacant holes for a mouth and the western world is so worried about controlling their nation with fear- you can't even see past your own nose versus the burqa in front of you. Get a grip. You want to bring terror to a country, ya- stir it up with a big Finger to the masses.

    January 26, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  467. Deborah

    Saudi requires all women be covered–regardless of their religion–it's their country and they make the law. And everyone complies. Why would anyone question what law France can make and enforce? If they prohibit face coverings so be it, shouldn't even be a question–or an argument.

    January 26, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  468. Anette

    It seems that people are missing some of the main points here. They can still wear the burqa in public or in private but when they need a public service, interacting with government agencies or security they have to show their faces. This has nothing to do with religious persecution.

    January 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Reply
  469. tony

    THERE IS NO PROBLEM OF PPL ADHERING TO THE TENETS OF THEIR RELIGION OR DOING WHAT THEY HAVE TO ACCORDING TO THEIR BELIEFS AT HOME. BUT THE MOMENT THEY BRING IT TO A GOVERNMENT INSTITUTION, OR PUBLIC PLACES, THESE HABBITS SHOULD BE STOPPED. JUST LIKE SMOKING. IT IS OK TO SMOKE IN YOUR HOME OR NOT PUBLIC PLACES, BUT IT IS FORBIDDEN TO SMOKE IN GOVERNMENT PLACES AND IN INSTITUTIONS. SIMILARLY WEARING BURKA OR NIQAB SHOULD NOT BE PERMITTED IN SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, IN GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS AND WORK PLACES. THERE SHOULD BE A DRESS CODE WHERE PPL FEEL COMFORTABLE, NOT DISCRIMINATED AGAINST. MUSLIMS ALL OVER THE WORLD, ALWAYS LIKE TO SHOW THAT THEY ARE DIFFERENT FROM THE REST. LIKE THEY WANT TO WASH THEIR FEET IN BASINS WHERE OTHER WASH THEIR FACES. I THINK THESE HABBITS SHOULD BE STOPPED AND THEY SHOULD BEHAVE IN A DECENT MANNER. HIJAB, NIQAB, BURKA SHOULD BE ALLOWED ON THE BEACH FRONT, JUST LIKE OTHERS ARE ALLOWED TO WEAR A BIKINI. IMAGINE THIS WORLD IF EVERY ONE IS MUSLIM, WE WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO EMPOWER OUR LADIES. ALL OUR WOMEN FOLK WOULD BE LIKE CATTLE. MEANT ONLY FOR THE BEDROOM, LIKE A RUG ON THE FLOOR OR A MATTERESS ON A BED!!! OPPS.

    January 26, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  470. tony

    NO NEED TO ARGUE. DEBORAH IS RIGHT. ACT LIKE A ROMAN IN ROME OR FIND ANOTHER PLACE/COUNTRY TO LIVE – NOT FRANCE, BURKA WEARERS. SAUDI ARABIA WOULD BE THE BEST PLACE FOR SUCH ATTIRE.

    January 26, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  471. Mike M.

    Personally, I don't agree with the burqa. However, banning it goes against every grain of my democratic soul. Banning it under the guise of "women's dignity" is even worse. Why should someone - men especially - tell a woman what and what not to wear? Where's the feminism in that? If a woman wants to wear the burqa, that's her choice and she should be allowed to. Banning it - and not banning other religious symbols such as the cross - amount to nothing more than racism and bigotry.

    January 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  472. flexdoc

    Absolutely. If they dont like the laws let them gp back to where they came from.

    January 26, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  473. IPmajor

    While this is a freedom issue, it is a issue that belongs to France and how they see fit to interpret their freedoms. When in Saudi Arabia one cannot walk the street in Western clothes as a woman. A woman cannot mingle with men whom she is not realted to. So western women must obey these laws, wheather they agree or not.
    This is the exact same . While in France, one may not wear the burqa.
    The veil is ok. One could argue that France is making a compromise. This will change the idea of religious freedom in France. It will set precedent for other things to follow. Will jewish black hats also be banned?
    It has nothing to do with terrorism. It has to do with cultural assimlation. (But Honestly why can the muslim world expect everyone to adhere to their versions of morality?)

    January 26, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  474. KW

    @Saood "this whole 9/11 thing"

    Maybe that dismissive thinking is why people don't say hi to you. Apparently you don't think targeting and killing innocent civilians is a big deal. Get lost.

    January 26, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  475. Mike

    The burqa should NOT be allowed in PUBLIC places. If you wish to practice your religion in such a fashion in your home then by all means do so. All of you talking about infringing on their religious freedoms, well do you guys realize there is nothing in the Quran specifically talking about women wearing burqas anyway? Its a cultural construct that they've decided to insert, not a fundamental aspect. Its just a method of control men use to dominate their women.

    January 26, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Reply
  476. Mary Sheldon

    They say the burka protects women an is a sign of their
    'modesty'. These are the most prolific reproducers on the
    planet, some have scores of children and grandchildren.
    My question: WHAT MODESTY?
    Protect them from whom? Western men do not pretend
    that they 'cannot help themselves' like animals, as
    Middle Eastern men do in order to degrade and
    control women. The West was won by freedom-fighters,
    feminists transformed a hellova lot of patriarchs into
    women-respecting people. Get the freaks out.

    January 26, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  477. David

    The Burqa should be banned in the Western World.It is Islamic defiance.I dont like foriegn and minority groups who try to stand out like that.Its rediculous for someone to be dressed like that.They should go back to the Muslim world if they want to dress like that,but would they want to go back?

    January 26, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  478. Troy

    It does not have anything to do with religious freedom. If someone believes that they should run around nude since this is how God made them, they still cannot do this on the metro. So if society decides that a costume that makes you totally unidentifiable is not acceptable in public locations, this also is within the relm of acceptable policy.

    January 26, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  479. GoodJobSarkozy

    I know people in the military deployed to Afghanistan
    and was told that the gay Mujahideen use burkas to
    hide their identitied whilst performing un-Islamic
    services on one another.

    Perhaps this is the real reason Al Qaeda is so riled
    up - they don't want their cover "blown"....

    January 26, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  480. John

    Great move France! France is doing the right thing to protect its values and culture and has a right to. If you want to live in Rome do as the Romans! If you want to live in any Western country, you need to accept Western values, it is that simple. If you want to live in the U.S., learn English, no difference. Practice religion privately in your own home and do not force it on others. Let's learn from France.

    January 26, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  481. Filomena

    What a silly question to ask in 2010, you'd think people would be more enlightened by now. That "sack" should have been banned ages ago.

    And that crap about religious freedom..how convenient for men to invoke the religious freedom argument when they don't have to go around under with a sack over their heads and it's 100 degrees outside.

    Good for France, good for Sarkozy!

    January 26, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  482. Troy

    This is not about Muslims. If some other religion decided that they should wear outfits that covered their face and made them unidentifiable, I am sure they too would fall into similar restrictions. This is about public safety and the general right of people to have some discerning identifiable features of those they come into contact with in public places.

    January 26, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Reply
  483. Jennifer

    No – personal dislike of a cultural practice is not sufficient grounds for prohibiting competent adults from dressing the way they please. Sarkozy's insistence that he's saving women from 'oppression' by telling them what to wear is insultingly paternalistic.

    January 26, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  484. journeyon

    I think what most people fail to realize time and again- it that the burqa DOES NOT represent relligious identity. It is a form of repression simply meant to deter a man's sexual desire. Just cover her up from head to toe so as not to display even her ankles- all in the attempt to make men not interested in her sexually. What they can't see, they don't want. Although I feel that a woman should essentially be able to wear what she wishes, I strongly believe that the vast majority of Muslim women do not want to wear this outfit. And if given the opportunity and freedom, would shed these horrible head to toe masks and create an identity they otherwise would never have. These burqas are horrible and degrading and teaches children that women are invisible and meaningless. However, these hardened Muslim men would never agree, and because of fear for their lives, women will continue to cover up. The choice, even if handed to them, does not belong to these Muslim women, nor will it ever be. And it is truly heartbreaking...

    January 26, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  485. Nancy

    To all who say the burqa should be banned b/c of people should blend in: no change has come from society remaining homegenous. Had our forefathers remained "British", you would not be giving your thoughts as an "American". Secondly, when Saudi Arabia required women in the US Army to wear headscarves, everyone was up in arms and upset. Why is it that a Muslim country cannot force you to wear a scarf but a non-Muslim country can force you to removed religious apparel?

    Secondly, the French have shown time and time again that they are intolerant of the Muslim faith and all under the banner of "secularism". This is garbage. Secular government means that religion has no role in the legal and judicial systems of a country; it does not equate to a lack of religion in society nor a lack of tolerance.

    If one looks at the treatment of Jewish, homosexual, and gypsy communities in Germany before the Holocaust, you see the exact same trend. Wake up people.

    January 26, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  486. d474r637

    Ban it. No place in the modern world.

    January 26, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  487. Canada

    Is it part of the French culture? Need i say more?

    For crying out loud WHEN IN ROME DO AS THE ROMANS – very simple

    January 26, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  488. Omar A.

    Scholars in Islam do say that a driver's license photo is "perhaps" ok. The system in Islam is based on logic and around natural cues. Of course to make the whole thing rigid an ridiculous would be an extreme.

    There are ways around this for sure.

    Overwhelming symbol of religion in a secular country; you see burqa clad women on the streets everywhere and you don't like that and want to remove this religious imagery in a secular country; if a law is passed that achieved this then, be aware, does this mean removal of the big huge churches, synagogues and some mosques that were built centuries ago. They are also overwhelming symbols of Religion in a secular country. The secular country does not appear now to be that secular any more. May be it is Mr Sarkozy who is secular.

    As far as security goes, and burqa being considered a threat, then that is real. It is possible that people with negative intent could hide themselves like this, and they are to fault partially for this situation also. I don't know how rigid on should be on this matter. Some people I know will just not budge an inch. Others are flexible and understanding. Nothing in Islam says be illogical and stupid. In fact is is about the opposite. Be smart and logical, reasonable. That goes for all of us.

    January 26, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  489. Sally Sue

    Ban the burqa!

    France is correct in protecting its sovereignty, its way of life and its freedoms. It appears when a person is Muslim she can be nothing but Muslim. What’s more, women in burqas are not women but merely shadows of women. And in their refusal to embrace freedom, women in burqas become symbols for dominance and control by others. (I almost become physically ill when I see a woman in a burqa.)

    If these women cannot become French, then why live in France?
    I commend France and hope it can stand strong in its refusal to be bullied by burqas.

    Sally Sue
    USA

    January 26, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  490. M G

    It is reasonable in a secular state such as France to begin to ban religious clothing, especially the Burqa, as it keeps citizens and law-enforcement from identifying those wearing one. In a world where religious people seem to live day-to-day hiding behind anti-blasphemous societal views and laws it is refreshing to see a country taking a stand against public displays of religion. Religion as a whole should not be displayed in public, it is a personal choice and does more harm than good to publicly declare a religious viewpoint. If someone does not like France's laws they can choose not to live there, just as they can choose not to follow or partake in religion (which is a much better decision).

    January 26, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  491. Dee Kinck

    Sure is correct to ban the burqa! How can anyone tell who is behind the voluminous cloth? Store owners tell of thefts connected to all that cloth. Police cannot tell one roll of cloth from another as there are no identifying marks. Plus there is absolutely NO good reason for the bulky item, not religious certainly!

    January 26, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  492. Laila

    In Denmark we have the same debate among politiciens, but my opinion is that the state should not interfere with religion or religious beliefs. Though we in the western world are christians we have to respect and accept other religions. I am not pro burqan, but is not against it in a way that the state should make laws about them.
    I think that burqas is NOT a choise of free will, because all religious beliefs takes away your free will with all the dogmas in it, but still people must and have to have a choise of freedom when it becomes to religion.

    An ateist

    January 26, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  493. Geoff

    Most definitely, ban the burqa. Contrary to what the condescending (to Jews) people at CNN believe, banning the burqa is not like banning the kippah or other religious garments that are worn by nuns, monks, or Orthodox Jews. The burqa covers most of the face. It is not an essential religious garment (see Wikipedia for more info on the burqa). France is not an "Islamic nation". Furthermore, If I walked around wearing a ski mask in downtown Paris in the summer, I would be at least receiving some strange looks if not getting locals to call the police or something. The issue here is security, and knowing who is behind the "mask", especially when it comes to situations involving banking, shopping, and traveling. If people can justify removing shoes in the unsanitary conditions at airports for security reasons, then these same people can also justify the banning of the burqa in public. By the way, I can defend the latter, but not necessarily the former, for health reasons. Furthermore, as plenty of others have said here, strict dress codes are enforced in many Moslem-dominated countries. I wore long pants in Morocco and Tunisia in public as "required", even though I tend to wear shorts often elsewhere, especially in summer in the heat. I happen to feel more comfortable in shorts, and so my clothing choice should not be perceived as a "dumb American" tourist issue. Comfort is important when traveling. Why travel if you must follow a certain script that should dictate your every move and mood to the point of making you sick? I would wear long pants and well-sleeved shirts when hiking in high sharp and poisonous brush and plants or in areas dominated by mosquitoes that carry malaria or dengue. I would wear them when visiting palaces, temples, and other active religious sites. Of course, I would also wear them at business meetings and at formal gatherings and restaurants. There is logic to these circumstances and situations. By the way, I used to wear long pants exclusively, and would have even done so in the gym, if I could, because I was more comfortable wearing them. Why? Go figure. Why should I sweat in Morocco or Tunisia wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants in summer? I would do so because they require it by cultural "law". They can and do justify the need to show as little skin as possible in public. Of course, they also state that women must cover their hair, even though I did see some women in Morocco without their hair covered. If Moslems in France want to cover up and not follow the cultural mores there, they should go back to their original countries where they can dress as they please.

    January 26, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  494. Lionel

    We should not be fooled, the burquas is a provocation to western cultures. The same women also refuse (or their husband) to be treated by male doctors in hospital, never mind giving birth. Cases of husband agressing personel in ER that dared undress his wife to try to save her life. they just provoke an over-reaction to justify the next bomb.
    Blend in or find a better place to express yourself

    January 26, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  495. Canada

    When they allow mini-skirts in Saudi Arabia then let them have their burqas in France?? how is that... ?

    That's like the East Indians coming to Canada and trying to make our police change their head dress to allow theirs.... utter and stupid nonsense, you don't see us going there and changing their rules.... absolute rubbish and ignorance – caveman like behaviour!!

    January 26, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  496. Tha Realness

    Why ban it? Why don't they ban alcohol or things like that which are real problems, rather than a burqa? Why is muslim women wearing the burqa a problem? It's a PIECE of clothing! It's not going to kill anyone (like alcohol and other drugs that should be banned). Let them wear whatever they want.

    Y'all stupid ignrant people kill me with your crap.

    January 26, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  497. Michel

    To all the Muslim readers:

    Please do not take it personally or as an attack on Islam that people of the West are uncomfortable with the Burqu.

    The West has gone through its fare share of growing pains. Not too long ago some (but not all) Christians in North America owned slaves. This was and is repulsive. It was even written into some state laws i believe. Women also were seen as belonging to their husband. Growing up my father expected my mother to do everything around the house while he sat on his behind. My mother worked full-time and than came home to serve him. She got fed up and they divorced. My mothers grandmother was part of the movement to give women the right to vote in the 1920s. The west has evolved to a point where everyone should be treated equal regardless of race, religion or gender. The Burqa and what surrounds it is in direct contradiction with this. I'd also like to add that the west also goes to the other extreme of using women to sell sex. The West is not perfect either but i think it is at least open-minded to evolve and openly talk about these issues. Countries where the Burqa is, more or less obliged seem to us as places where women cannot defend themselves.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  498. karlo

    is it a burka?
    i thought it was a ninja. why don't they stay in their country and where this ridiculous thing. how can fashion evolves whit this slavery clothing? how can imagination flourish with this lack of imagination. even in canada where it is cold we don't cover like that. how can you love someone when you force her to disappear in public.

    the ku klux klan where the same outfit, different colors same hate message.

    we should ban muslims in all civilized nations. what does it take to show the world that all they want is war. i say draw mohammed on every walls.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  499. karlo

    Do you think it's fair that the French government is considering a ban on the burqa?
    yes it is fair for security,freedom,fashion, common sense and women.

    Do you think that Muslim women should have the right to display and practice their religion as the please?
    in their country yes i do. in ours no i don't. what stops any idiot out there to do any stupid thing and imply that their religion oblige them to do it. what stops the ku klux klan to say that it is against their religion to be served by a black man?

    Should other religions be subject to a similar ban? yes, they should ban statues in catholics churches. after all idolatry is a sin.

    Should people of the Jewish faith be prohibited from wearing a kippah in public? yes

    January 26, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Reply
  500. Essgee

    Burqa had nothing to do with Muslim religion this was introduced by the Saudi waab community many Muslims across the world don't realize this and think it would be unmuslim if they didn't cover themselves from head to toe, it's really a pity.

    January 26, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  501. Ejiro Daramola

    I think the only question a moslem woman should ask herself is why did God give her a face. If he did not want her to show her face, I am sure he would have found a way to conceal it. This is the greatest disrespect to God they show, by hiding what he has given them. If men decide that a woman should be modest, there are many other ways this can be achieved. But to go so far and hide thier faces, they are actually questioning the creation of our bodies by God. And why he has given us each part that makes up the body.

    I call all women to start thinking very seriouly about this. I am no moslem, but I do have a koran and I shall be looking for where and what is said in the Koran about this. Did the Koran talk about covering oneself and actually name these articles of clothing or did it just say a woman should cover up and these poor ignorant things have literally translated it as covering themselves with a cloth. Rather than appropriate dressing which can still be achieved.

    On the other hand the Hypocrisy of the west is once more on the prowl. When the western woman exposes all her body I do not see any comments from the governments about this. How hypocritical. After all, the increasingly distressing way women dress these days only feeds the ease with which men prey on such women. IN most cases when a woman is violated, it is alway almost her fault. I do not seen any government giving women guidelines on this issue and making it a law.

    January 26, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Reply
  502. Ahmed

    Islam does not preach a dress code.it only preaches to cover from nudity.Burqa is an Arab thing.Its more like a condom than anything els.Under the protection of a condom you can have safe sex. Under the protection of Burqa one can hide love bites,have same sex relationships,same sex marrages and in todays world hide the terrorist and the suicide bomber. The usefulness of the Burqa is more than ever before.I have seen a beer mug go empty in one shot under a Burga making it look like a David Copperfields magic.The perverted preachers has made the religion as the sexiest religion among religions of the world.So lets look at it the way we look at condoms and its not a big deal after all.Hail the Burqa!

    January 27, 2010 at 8:18 am | Reply
  503. Mathew David

    If Saudi Arabia can force women to wear burqa then France can force women not to wear burqa....

    January 27, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  504. Roberta

    Personally I think they should be banned. But, if it were to come up for vote here in the US and a ban were passed, the next voices you hear would be the ACLU butting in – AGAIN.

    Here's an idea, Burqa's can be welcomed in the western world, just as soon as Bibles and bikini's are allowed in Saudi. Deal?????

    January 27, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  505. Lionel

    what a strange thing to say that men 'prey' on woman, barring some deranged individuals, women have always been and will remain the main interest and source of pleasure for a man, AND vice-versa. Nothing can be more natural than sexual attraction and should not be refrained. burqas are male made to hide their woman from others, either by shame or fear of losing her. Go and multiply.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  506. JENNIFER

    i dont think that it should be banned at all my religious beliefs are my own i am not forcing it on anyone and i am not badgering people who wear a cross around their neck or in their car etc. i am one who wears the nikaab i am not forced to wear it as many people think by my husband i am a converted Muslim who made the decission to wear it on my own to get closer to Allah and to protect me from satan i am keeping myself for my family and husband only why do i have to share my body and face with the world. i think people should let my religious freedom be after all parliment is not going to be judging me at the end of days it will be Allah (god)

    January 27, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  507. Richard Fusilier de la Claire

    Practicality and thought out common sense says that the Burqa should be banned when a woman is out publically.

    January 28, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  508. Johan Frans Vandorpe

    Ban it as quickly as possible. Should have been done long ago. It 's an insult to women.

    January 28, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  509. Maggy

    A lot of the controversy and debate could have been avoided by ruling out the burqa under a blanket ban on facial covering.

    How about a little less talk about what women should wear and a bit more talk about how men should behave?

    February 3, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  510. Merle Hiebert

    The burqa is an invention of very conservative male dominated societies which have no interest in giving women equal rights. Those countries that advocate Burqa's are the same ones that deny women the right to vote, drive a car, travel freely without being accompanied by a male relative, etc. The burqa is not a symbol of freedom, but of bondage. Those who promote the Burqa also believe that a woman's testimony is worth less than a man's. They are the same ones that allow a man to own three wives (as well as slaves and child brides). They are the ones that believe that a man nearly has to say "I divorce you" three times so that he can rid himself of an unwanted wife and take a new one. Maybe these men should wear the Burqa for a few years along with their wives. This way they could get a feel for the freedom they are promoting for their wives.

    February 4, 2010 at 3:25 am | Reply
  511. tony

    ALL AMERICAN & WESTERN COUNTRY MUSLIMS SHOULD HAVE THE COURAGE TO SPELL THEIR NAMES CORRECTLY IF THEY BELIEVE IN ALLAH. COWARDS DO NOT BELIEVE IN ANY BODY BUT THEMSELVES. IT IS OK TO HAVE AN OPINION, BUT IT IS COWARDLY TO FEEL FRIGHTENED OF YOUR NAME AND EMBARASSING OPINION. ALLAH IS MERCIFUL AND BENEFICIENT AND DEFINITELY DOES WISH TO SEE HIS FOLLOWERS IN TROUBLE. THIS BURKA SHIT WAS INVENTED BY THE DIRTY MINDS OF THESE SO CALLED 'MUSLIMS' FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT.

    February 4, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  512. Rosemarie

    PEOPLE DON'T YOU ALL REALIZE THAT ALL OF A SUDDEN, WOMEN WANT TO WEAR BURQA'S AND WHAT HAVE YOU, EVER SINCE THE WAR AGAINST THE RADICAL MUSLIMS BEGAN..TO ME THIS IS A SILENT WAR AGAINST THE WESTERN WORLD.
    A VERY GOOD FRIEND OF MINE WHO WAS THE BROADWAY PRODUCER OF THE MUSICAL HAIR, TOLD ME WHEN I WAS ONLY 22 YRS. THAT IN THE NEAR FUTURE WE WOULD HAVE TO BE AWARE OF THE CHINESE AND MOSLMES...WOW HE SURE WAS WISE,..HE DIED 2 YRS AGO AT THE AGE OF 79.
    A FEW YEARS AGO, I WAS WALKING THE STREETS OF PARIS AND DO NOT RECALL SEEING WOMEN WEARING THE BURQA.MOST OF THE RADICAL MUSLEM WILL WEAR THEM.. REGARDLESS OF THE DOMINANT HUSBAND ETC. EVEN FRENCH WOMEN WHO BECAME MUSLIMS, NOW WEAR THEM, WHICH TO ME IS MERELY A PROTEST TO THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT... BECAUSE OF THE REJECTION OF THE HEADSCARVES IN SCHOOL AND NOW THE BURQA. ALL I CAN SAY IS TO THOSE PEOPLE WHY NOT GO LIVE IN THOSE COUNTRIES, WHERE IT DOES NOT DISTURB ANYBODY!!

    BUT IN VIENNA, THE VERY RICH MUSLIMS FROM THE ARABIAN WORLD ALL HAVE HUGE MANSIONS IN THE AUSTRIAN CAPITAL , WHICH THEY VISIT DURING SUMMER WHEN THE HEAT IS UNBARABLE IN THEIR COUNTRY. ONE DAY WHILE I WAS SITTING IN THE CENTRAL PARK OF VIENNA, I OFTEN SAW WOMEN COMPLETELY HIDDEN BEHIND THOSE BLACK BURKAS.. ONE OF THEM, SHE WAS VERY OPEN TO ME, HAD 3 CHILDREN AND EACH HAD A PHILIPINE NANNY. THE MOTHER WANTED TO SPEAK WITH ME, SHE WAS SO FASCINATED BY MY GORGEOUS LITTLE SON, AND THOUGHT I WAS FROM ARABIA.. i AM MIXED LIKE OBAMA.
    WHEN I AKSED HER, WHY SHE IS WEARING THOSE CLOTHES, SHE TOLD ME THAT IT WAS HER HUSBAND'S DEMAND, TO WEAR THE BURQA. SHE HAD SOME KIND OF WOODEN MASK IN HER FACE, AND FOR ME. SHE DARED TO TAKE IT OFF, WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN HER HUSBAND WALKED TOWARDS US....DRESSED AS A BUSINESSMAN, BUT IMMEDIATELY STARTED TO ATTACK HER VERBALLY, .. SHE WAS SHAKING WHEN SHE PUT THAT MASK BACK ON HER FACE AND ALL I REMEMBER SHE GAVE ME A VERY SCARY AND SAD LOOK. I FELT SO SORRY FOR HER AND REGRET UP TO THIS VERY DAY,THAT IT WAS MY FAULT, WHO GOT HER INTO BIG TROUBLE, ONLY BECAUSE I WANTED TO SEE HER BEAUTIFUL FACE, HIDDEN BEHIND THIS TERRIBLE WOODEN MASK AND THE LONG BLACK CLOTHING.. EVER SINCE THAT INCIDENTM, DO I HAVE NO RESPECT FOR MEN OF THOSE RELIGIONS ,WHO TREAT THEIR WOMEN AS IF THEY HAD BOUGHT THEM ON A MARKET. EVENTHOUGH SHE LIVES IN WEALTH ETC... SHE TOLD ME SHE WOULD INSTANTLY CHANGE WITH ME... ,Zurich, Switzerland

    February 9, 2010 at 11:04 am | Reply
  513. islamic girl

    to get respectt you have tp give respect! noo dont bann niqabs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! very rude and disrespectfull

    February 18, 2010 at 12:08 am | Reply
  514. abba

    This is a matter of choice, women should be allowed choose for themselves.

    February 18, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  515. anna

    Everyone has there own point of view so..

    February 24, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  516. rain

    BAN IT!!! I am an American living/working in South East Asia. The Muslims in this predominantly Muslim country EXPECT me to dress 'modestly', not eat in public during Ramadan fasting, and be quiet during their hours of prayer even though every mosque in the city blasts everyone out of bed at 5 am. I am expected to conform to Islamic views here, and THEY should MOST CERTAINLY expect the same things that they IMPOSE on people in their countries. You conform or GET OUT!!!! Go SARKOZY!!! Message to Muslims- TOLERANCE IS A TWO WAY STREET!!! Look at your own countries before you look at the FREE world, which is a MUCH better place to live!

    August 15, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  517. Anto

    Mr Rafay says "The burqa or niqab is a way Muslim women protect their modesty. If they choose to wear it, it is because they want to keep a curtain between themselves and the intruding and invasive cold world around them." Does the intrusive and invasive cold world means MEN? Our men are not perverts and rapists and we need no curtain between us and them! Please ban burqa. If our civilization is so disgraceful, they can always go back to their country of origin!!! I believe in integration and no integration is possible when you are covered from head to feet and cannot exercise a profession!

    August 16, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  518. Karl

    NO!!!! You can't tell me what to wear or force me what not to wear. People have the right to wear whatever they want.

    Also I think the burqa looks fashionable.

    August 29, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  519. Kev

    There is no place for the burqa or nihab in any civilized country when we are out in public in a public place. Cctv cameras are unable to see the wearers face rendering them useless. But whilst in their own homes or indoors if anyone wants to ear it then it is ok.
    It is not correct to say we can wear what we like anytime we like as we cannot, try going in to a bank with a crash helmut on and see what happens, or turn up for a job interview dressed as Zorro. Logically it shouldnt even be open for discussion,
    Get it banned asap.

    September 10, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Reply
  520. BlueEyesFr

    I think most religions are sexist and a lot of sexism still exists in the world but of all religions and of all societies, Islam and muslim countries are the worse when it comes to gender equality and freedoms and equality of rights for women

    I think that Islam should be banned from every country and the Niqab and all sexist principles, habits and customZ should be banned and severly punished by law whether it is sanctioned by religions, practices, societies or cultural mores.

    Gender equality and equal representation of women should be granted in all aspects of the public, private and religious lives in all countries. If laws are not created to protect women's rights and freedoms and to ensure equal representation, the abuse, crimes and other unfair treatment against women will only increase until the time when women are forced to take arms to defend themselves because the law of the land will have failed to protect them.

    October 27, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  521. ruthie

    it can and should be banned as it poses security risk in our modern world. i also agree with those who say that if u travel to France, u have to obey their laws as to dress code. In Nigeria, some states practice Sharia law, Although i'm a practicing christain, i have to adjust when i travel to such states. Why can't the muslims do just dat if they truly want to leave up to their claim of being peace loving and law abiding citizens.

    December 17, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  522. Zafar Ahmed

    Freedom says when you have a right to run naked on the streets, someone must equally have the right to cover her body with niqab or burqa!

    March 22, 2011 at 2:39 am | Reply
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