Monday, June 22, 2009

Niqab ban in France: my thoughts

In case you were unaware, French President Sarkozy is calling for a ban on the niqab on France (they already prevent Muslims from going to school with a headscarf), i.e a ban in total. Nowhere in public can you wear a niqab. Except the man (my sister, a non-muslim, exclaims, "the ignorant tool!") doesn't even know the right word for the Islamic facial covering.

He is calling for a ban on the "burka". Now I understand that some people call the Pakistani chador with a mesh screen and more pleating (more pleating is typical of Aghanistan's "burka") the "burka." They do so in error. This garment is a chador, and is purely cultural. Having worn one, yes, I own one, I can say for a fact it is not an Islamic garment, as Islamic clothing is meant to make a woman's life in public easy. In an Afghani chador I cannot see my feet or to the side of my face. I do not have free hands as I have to HOLD the garment closed, whereas in my niqab and my abaya I have free movement of my limbs and no impediment to my sight. Also, in the sunnah Aisha R.A (may Allah be pleased with her) never covered her eyes in total with fabric. She always had her sight free. So the Afghani "burqa" and Pakistani mesh chador are not Islamic garments. If that is what President Sarkozy meant when he said "'The burkha is not a religious sign, it's a sign of subservience, a sign of debasement. It will not be welcome on the territory of the French Republic.' " I would have agreed with him. It is not welcome in my life for sure. I like the use of my hands and arms, and I like to see where I am going. That's halal for a woman, ya know?! Anyways, and so.... he still would have been using the wrong term. You think if you are gonna pass a law, you'd use the right name for it. Ya know, to stop confusion?

If you are going to put it in writing that women in France are not allowed to wear burkas then this is what you are banning: A Gulf mask worn to keep the sand out of the mouth resembling a falcon's beak. Hmmmm..... Or, if you still think that Afghani thing is what a burka is (cuz we already know you're ignorant and can forgive you for that) this: Yeah, besides some pervy dude who likes to dress up in latex under this Afghani ebay find and take lots of pictures of himself while creepily storing Muslim women's photos on his flickr site, WHO ELSE IN FRANCE IS WEARING A "BURKA"?!!!!!

"The president was supporting a weekend call by dozens of French politicians for a parliamentary commission to study whether the burkha, which is growing in popularity in France, should be banned. He laid out his support for a ban even before the panel has been approved - braving critics who fear the issue could stigmatise Muslims in France. "

Of course, we know you mean niqab, Mr. Sakozy. But niqab is this http://ilovehishmatheblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/in-progress-types-of-niqab.html. Sure, of course, you do have the words in your vobaulary to ban all of these, but can you truly ban scarves, and face coverings? Because niqab:

...is very similiar to this:


It'd really hurt the Paris fashion industry, ya know. For example...
Christian Lacroix:
Alexander McQueen:
John Paul Gaultier Christian Dior:
Givenchy:
Karl Lagerfeild over at Chanel:
LOL, tell it to Lagerfield, Dior, Lacroix, Givenchy, McQueen, and Gaultier Mr. Sakozy: "'In our country, we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity,' he said to extended applause in Versailles, at a joint session of France's two houses of parliament. " I doubt they will applaud you truly decide to pursue banning facial covering for ALL women citizens of France. You only intend to ban it from Muslim women, and it is obvious, dahhhhhhhhhling.

If you ban my niqab, I'm just going to wear two of Mr. Gaultier's bridal veils. Because unless you want to ban hats, high colars, and bridal veils, good luck. You HAVE TO OBVIOUSLY attack the muslimeen. And if you decide to, only Allah subhanhu wa ta'ala alone can help you. Good luck with that Mr. Sarkozy. France has Western Europe's largest Muslim population, an estimated 5 million.

My niqab does not cut me off from society. You're the one that wants to seperate your country "women" from niqab but they don't want freedom from it. They have the freedom to take it off in France, and since they don't they obviously want to wear it. You oppress them by forcing them to leave the country like refugees, banning them from workplaces and schools because of their beliefs.

Mr. Sarkozy "declared that the full-body religious gown is a sign of the 'debasement' of women. " This is what I consider the debasement of women Mr. Sarkozy:
Your wife's body sold magazine covers, clothing, perfume, music.... She danced naked like a piece of meat for the cameras and I guarantee you men besides yourself jerked off to the sight of her naked flesh. I don't think bad of her for this. That some abuse something she made in art or need of finance is their sin not hers but MY body is not a commodity, though I don't doubt I could sell it for a small fortune IF I wanted to (I just don't believe in doing so---Muslim women do not hide because we are ashamed---we do not hide at all but reveal WHAT IT IS WE BELIEVE IN AND THAT IS INTREGRAL TO WHO WE ARE). I won't even put it (my body/face) on display even on the street, before your eyes, because what have you done to guarantee my protection? What have you done to see the curves of my body? I am not attracted to you. You don 't have ideals I share. You have never offered anything up that made me happy, so what makes you deserving of my lips when they smile or share frienship in a look of understanding when you have offered me neither? What right have you, as my oppressor, to see the sorrow of my oppression (BY YOU) on the taut lines of my face? At least, let me keep that. Or have you no mercy, that you take away my education and means to earn a living already? You are the same as the Taliban with their "burka".
Yes, Mr. Sarkozy, "the full-body religious gown is a sign of the 'debasement' of women" and that is why your wife, and representative of the country of France, no longer poses naked on magazine covers. Because she is more worthy than that, held to higher standards. If I were to use your line of thinking, that would be oppressive. In your style of thought she should have "no standards". But I do. I believe EVERY single woman out there deserves the same standard, and that standard is, that every woman is representative of power, the power of mankind. BEYOND THAT OF A COUNTRY. She has a responsiblity to women, and that means at the core, to herself, to be valued for more than her face and figure. To contribute to society, with more than that.
Yes, Mr. Sarkozy, "the full-body religious gown is a sign of the 'debasement' of women" , that is your wife wears more clothes now than she used to. You don't really care about women. You don't want to ban "facial covering". You want to ban Islam. I will pray for you. InshaAllah you will be guided.

53 comments:

iMuslimah said...

BRAVO sister, BRAVO!

Habibti said...

i wore a comment about it in lemonde. i was gettin so frustrated. ya cant imagine. i was boiling mannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn i cannot take this! soubhanallah. you say there are 5million muslims there. what are they doing? nothinggg a part from complaining. if them there dont take action and we support them, how is that gonna help in any way? like just complainin. i hate complaints without action. and i hate disguised islamophobia like this. its not even disguised. i cannot stand watchin this guy face on the news anymore. it makes me mad. and i cannot stand hearing the name france. it makes me mad. ok bye im sick of it

bellyache said...

Assalamu3alaikum. As usual, an overall good post. Although I sincerely thought that there was no relevance in you bringing up the fact that you could, hypothetically, have sold your body for a small fortune, or that your face is that of a model's. I do not doubt that a sister as yourself is beautiful outside as well as in, but for anyone reading that post, it did seem like you were boasting. Allahua3lam. I am sure that was not your intention. But some points CAN be made without the necessity of drawing attention to these facts.

I look forward to more posts such as these, they offer a very refreshing perspective !

Aïsha said...

Assalamoualeikoum wa Rahmatoullah wa Barakatouhou, thanks for this message, it touch me to see that sisters in others countries are aware about our situation. I 'm a french muslima and in this time, i really think about the hijra. I wanted to stay here for fight, i was thinking that its not courageous to leave. But now, life become more and more difficult: too hard to find job with hijab, hijab not allowed in a lot of places (school and others), things of each days are difficult. If they dont allowed the niqab, when the hijab?
sorry for language mistakes,
SwRwB,may Allah bless you InchaAllah
Aïsha

*~Ange~* said...

yah its pretty sad that he cant handle a woman covering herself, but is fine with his wife prostituting her body.

double standards.

mawaddah said...

masyAllah! nice one sis:) we hijabees are the modern ones and the nn hijabees are the outdated !

ellen557 said...

MashAllah, MashAllah, MashAllah! This is so beautifully written Pixie... When will Sarkozy learn?
The most ridiculous thing is the flimsy "hijab" his wife wore to Tunisia (or Algeria, I can't remember which one...) out of "respect". Why don't they show some respect to the people in their own country first?
If he bans it, it is exactly the same as those who make it mandatory. For each way, women have no choice and forcing things on a woman that she may not want is disgusting. Alhamdulillah that we are not living in France.

Anonymous said...

A'salaamu alaikum sister. I enjoy reading your blog and share your sense of indignation at the marginalization and degradation of ALL Muslims in France regardless of gender. However I do have two points I would like to address.

I do not think it is fair for you to say the Pakistani or Afghani garment is debasing. I know some sisters that live overseas that are very happy for it. It is culturally their answer to the more traditional niqab and jilbab but in itself is not debasing. Only for those sisters who are forced to wear them do I feel it is wrong.

Secondly I have to say I found your reference to masturbation to be unnecessary. Insha'allah most of your readers are mature adult women and as such we KNOW what men think/do when confronted with wanton displays of nakedness. That does not mean we need to be reminded of it ukhti.

I had just told one of my friends about your blog and how it enjoins the halal and forbids the haram (in regards to Islamic dressing) and also showcases fun Islamic fashion. I recommended she allow her teenage daughter to view your website to encourage her in modest yet fun Islamic coverings. I would not want her or any other young Muslimah exposed to that type of language/thought insha'Allah.

And Allah swt is the best judge.

Umm Aaminah

Pixie said...

iMuslimah: should we start bannning French products?

Pixie said...

Habibti: There are some sisters working very hard to fight it. But yeah, Sarkozy and even Carla I have trouble looking at in a way that takes them serriously now.

Pixie said...

Anonymous French Citizen: I am ethnically French, from Normandy, but I am pretty happy I don't have a French passport right now because the French government is racist and sick. Yeah, the majority of Germans were okay with forcing the Jews into ghettos too. If a woman in niqab is in a government welfare program it is because the French government took away her oppurtunity to go to school or to work. They started the issue dahling.

BTW, anonymous comments aren't published at all on this blog by antone unless you use a fake name at the end or something or have a profile. Sign it like this -Pixie

Of course the majority of people in France don't wer niqab or pose naked, but if your President's wife is allowed to pose naked, shouldn't a woman also be allowed to do what she wants with her body, like wear niqab? You only want to ban facial covering for Muslim women. You don't care about non-muslims who practice it. That is prejudiced and racist.

Pixie said...

Bellyache: wa alaykom e salaam ramatullah. My intention was not to brag. I don't like such compliments in general but many people think Muslim women who choose to cover do so because they are ashamed or unhappy with their looks, either that or they must be forced, and it simply is not so. I knew a gorgeous African sister, mashaAllah, who was asked ot be a model by a famous company and she said she'd rather keep her job scrubbing floors thatn work in an industry that further enslaves womenkind to stereotypes about their bodies, mashaAllah. The women that tried to hire her as a model, I don't know what kind of impression that made on them.

Pixie said...

ALL: I know this post was written in a place mainly Muslimahs will read it, but it was written to non-muslims that support the band, not us, in its content.

Pixie said...

Aisha: Wa alaykom e salaam ramatullah wa barakto. I understand you entirely sister. May Allah guide you to the correct course of action and give your strength and courage, ameen.

Pixie said...

Ange: I don't think she is a prositute (more like a courtesan---in a society where women are enslaved by a standard being available to many rather than defined by one is the only sort of freedom/power available). Alhamdulilah for Islam! That gave us rights to have a say, own things, have money, and choose and leave our marriage partners, before any other religion or government.

Pixie said...

ellen557: so oooooooooooo sad.

Pixie said...

Wa alaykom e salaam ramatullah wa barakto Umm Aaminah:

My blog is for Muslim women old enough to wear hijab so it is for Muslim women who are old enough to be married/have sex. "I would not want her or any other young Muslimah exposed to that type of language/thought insha'Allah."
The Prophet sallalahu alahi wa salaam never left out the subject of sex and often gave examples of bad and good behaviour. I know alot of Muslims are culturaly inclinded not to do in discussions, but Islamically I am inclinded to do so, as for some it is something they would not have known, and this post in sincerly addressed to non-muslim readers, anyone searching in support of the niqab ban. You might not find it necessary to point out, but I do. People need to be blunt sometimes. And Muslims shouldn't be scared about the subject of sex. It isn't taboo, and should be spoken about more to ummah as it is sunnah to have knowledge about the subject.

I said I personally find the meshed chador suppressive. #1 even at its most strict one eye must be left free to see the way to have an Islamic facial covering of the sunnah. In a mesh chador I cannot see my feet, or to the sides of my face, so it is restrictive and not safe for general public use.

#2 The hands are not free. Aisha R.A had her hands showing. So this is, again, not a garment of the sunnah. It is a cultural one, that was meant to show off the status of a man who had wives so well off they didn't need to do ANYTHING. Status symbols of the like are no Islamically appropriate as jilbab.

I think the garments have beautiful embroidery, but they aren't proper jilbab, that's FOR SURE> They ARE cultural, and not Islamic.

If you want to wear one, go ahead, but don't call it Islamic dressing, because it had no origins in Islam.

Since it is NOT an Islamic garment whatsoever (though if you took off the face mesh you COULD use it as a prayer garment which is what I wanted mine for) nor a useful garment beyond bleding in culturally in some places, I personally do not want Muslim women to wear it. Nothing in Islam of the sunnah says impede your sight or become physically useless when you go out.

Arfy Majeed said...

Sarkozy comments have made my blood boil.

Not all women are like his wife, yet that is where he wants to take the status of women to in his country. Whats the racist git going to ban next? Clothes??

mirele said...

I am a feminist, not a hijabi or niqabi and I find the thinking of Sarkozy and the French government profoundly wrongheaded and appalling. It's as if they think Muslim women who choose to wear niqab are children that need to be guided by the all-powerful State to embrace the State's way of thinking. Hello...we women are human, we can think, we can reason, we can make decisions and if we choose to wear a hijab or niqab, as women, our choices should be respected!

Additionally, there's an amazing amount of cultural imperialism at work here. The French culture is not the end all to be all (and I'd say the same thing about my own culture here in America).

Sarah Plain & Short said...

Salam Aleikom,

Well you made a very good case mashAllah. I have been to France several times and I can't believe how 'loose' their culture is. It is also affecting the muslims out there. InshaAllah they become strong again and resist these silly rules that are being made.

Also, whoever said that Pixie is bragging, I know her (in person) and she is mashAllah a beautiful gal inside and out, Allah protect her Ameen.

Milda Spin2liux said...

Salaam!
I was quiet shocked about the hush hush correction on the subject of masturbation. In Islam just because sex (or as i prefer to call it love making )is supposed to be shared between a husband and a wife, does not make it a taboo to talk about it, and the halal and haram ways to go about sex. Hijab does not take away the sexuality of a woman, it merely protects her of the sexual attention which is not pure or harmful. Yes, a woman can enjoy sex as much as she wants to with her husband, sex is a wonderful thing, it is a blessing and a pleasure which can be enjoyed to the fullest within a marriage. Just because there are rules in Islam, this does not mean Islam denies us our needs. It actually directs our behavior so our needs could be satisfied in the way that is most pure and protects us from harm.

I really have a problem with Islam being practiced based on a culture and not vice versa. It really sometimes gives the wrong image of Islam as being something opressive and to certain extents even inhumane! That goes mostly for the way men are treated as absolute masters over the women, while the women are silenced.

Yeah, so sorry lol had to get my word out. STOP OPPRESSING MUSLIM WOMEN WHETHER YOU ARE A FRENCH MAN, A TURK OR AN EGYPTIAN.

I will soon post on how muslim woemn are oppressed and discriminated in muslim countries regarding hijab, so keep in touch!

Salaam!

CareMuslimah said...

I'M SO EFFING PROUD OF YOU SISTER!!!! mashallah..

Gosh.. I think I hate Sarkozy, I already thought it was bad enough banning Hijab from schools.. but Niqab from EVERYWHERE?!... W-T-H???!.. what is he scared of?? :S.. that we're different?... Can't he see he's the one oppressing Muslim women in FRANCE??!....


I mean seriously.. we can do EVERYTHING we wanna do!!.. the fact that some arab cultures mistreat and oppress women that doesn't mean ISLAM does!!.. Islam is FREEDOM.. arghhh I'm so mad at this stupid attempt-of-human-being!!!!

He doesn't even know what he's talking about!!!!.... stupid STUPID!!!!! arghhhh..... :(:(:(...


I'm so sad for my sisters in France, I'll make duaa for them inch'allah!!

Pixie said...

Afry Majeed; and yet his wife (as a president's wife) chooses to cover more now. Her status comes from hi ststaus, whereas before it came from her beauty. Alhamdulilah for Islam where our status is not based on our beauty OR our husband's job description and earning power.

Pixie said...

Mirele: I wish Saudi and Iran would stop enforcing dress codes too. I intend to ifnorm and teach over there as much as I can. Many Saudis have abandoned the sunnah in favour of culture.

Pixie said...

CareMuslimah: We should be careful not to hate people, We may hate their actions, as Allah hates their actions, but we cannot hate them, because we should want for our brother men (all creation of Allah), what we want for ourselves, to be guided when we are wrong inshaAllah. Not to sound motherly:D

Pixie said...

Sarah: ahhhhhhhhh, Jazzakallah kheiran sister. BTW, Boxie has yet to get me your phone number so you can, like, leave it in the comments here, and I promise I won't post it. May Allah protect us btoh, and our sisters in france, ameen. So many duas for the ummah!

Pixie said...

Milda: Say it loud and proud sista!

Aalia said...

Subhan Allah I just read the article in the news and I came to ur Blog and here it is!!

I was like, "who is wearing a BURKA in France?!" and then I thought, "how stupid that they can't even get the terms right... a burka is what the eldery Emirati ladies where, and the garment Sarkozy is trying to say is actually a Pakistani/Afghani head-to-toe outfit... um, get your facts straight dude!!"

Good post, as usual :-D

CareMuslimah said...

Yeh sis, I'm sorry.. it's just so fustrating.. maybe I have too much in my head and then I come and see this.. it's just disappointing. I guess there's a reason for everything that happens.

It's just annoying that he doesn't even know what he's talking about. It'd be interesting if he bans "burka" because Niqab is fine :P

Btw.. is it illegal to be a Nun too? No offense, but people assume that wearing Hijab/Niqab is oppressive, degrading, etc. But they think Nuns are respectable women. idk how it works in France, I just wonder if they'll ban those ladies from being Nuns too, or it's just Islamophobia.

Sarah Plain & Short said...

or it's just Islamophobia.


oh yeah is it ever! when my dad was growing up there (he moved there when he was 12) he was constantly harassed just based on his background. They won't ever stop. Their big old hypocrites, screaming how unfair the Jews are to Palestinians yet at the same time they treat muslims worse than animals. I'm surprised they banned hijab first, and not the other way around. Also, they have this big fear their going to be outnumbered in the next generation, because most of the white europeans dont want to have kids, so now the muslims are basically taking over. lol. it wont make a difference if there are 1 million cultural muslims or 5 million cultural muslims living there unless the muslims there hang onto their deen. that will have a bigger impact. thats what the french are afraid of. Allah guide them inshaAllah

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Not only it was great, but also... I laughed a lot! thanks!

-Samira

Blah said...

I think the person who was talking about keeping your comments clean is right. There's one way to point out that it is vulgar that Sarkozy's wife shows herself off to men, and in a much more tasteful way. Truth be told, this site is about Islamic fashion, and I know many 10 y/o girls, even younger, who are beginning to start hijab and running into such subjects on such a site is vulgar. I don't care if a child has reached her menses, she's not mentally ready nor mature enough to hear about men masturbating to pictures. Heck even western society knows better despite their crookedness to keep it PG on such a website that younger children can potentially come across. The general subject matter on this site qualifies for young, starting hijabi girls, but I don't think it's appropriate for them to read something about sick men masturbating to the president's wife's photos. Theres a much more dignified way of talking, you just come off as ranting instead in that aspect. Any person who's hateful of Islam can point that out your folly, despite it being off subject. I don't care about all the Muslimahs who are reading this and agree with this post; you are already coming in with the mindset that this is wrong, and it is... but the person coming in reading this that does not understand the situation can take offense to the wrong thing meant to be correct if said in the wrong way. I'm not saying don't say it, but there's a much more dignified manner in discussing such issues.

OhSoMuslim said...

Masha'allah Great Post!
There is definately a double standard here.

Theresa said...

I'm not muslim, obviously not a hijabi, but support everything that you've said. When I heard this on the news last night, I was shocked that he couldn't even get the terms correct, the BBC who were repoting it didn't seem to know the difference either, typical. This is so obviously anti muslim, but anti religious feeling is growing all over Europe at present. I'm from the UK and find this way of thinking infecting here to. There is this crazy notion that to expose ourselves is to gain freedon, it does nothing of the sort, it enslaves women and debases society.

malizea said...

mashallah good post!! even if I do not wear the niqab this law is against the muslim Ummah sarkozy started with the hijab ban at school then the niqab everywhere maybe he will prohibited muslim to live in france soon, I live in france and since he ban the hijab at school it's just impossible to find a job, or to go to the booling in my city beacuse hijab is forbidden there!! subhanallah, france is the most intolerant country I know but the worse in this story is we are just enable to do something... may Allah helps us amine

Pixie said...

Aalia: exactly, the use of wrong terms is HIGHLY idiotic. Salaam alaykom ramatullah wa barakato sis.

Pixie said...

CareMuslimah: it is just Islamphobia, though nuns cannot attend public schools either or certain government buildings.

Pixie said...

Sarah: yeah, so sad that the ummah, despite it numbers it less effective than three hunred practicing Muslimeeen.

Pixie said...

Samira: it is such an ifuriatiing subject we just kind of have to laugh, and know that if we are true, Allah will help us.

Pixie said...

Blah: what other kinder way is there to put it? The Prophet sallalahu alahi wa salaam was very blunt and visual when it came to describing things, alahamdulilah. I'm sorry, but children, yes, should be wanred, as soon as they of an age Islamically when they could have sex. The languauge is typical of the society that corrupts them and I AM puting it into an Islamic perspective. I am not going to protect anyone to the point I keep them ignorant. Ignorance is not protection, and knowledge doesn't stop one from maintaining their innocence. It is only cultures that look at anything to do with sexuality this way, not Islam.

Pixie said...

Oh SO Muslim: jazzakallah kheiran sister.

Pixie said...

Blah: rephrase it how you think it would be better said and if I think it remains as effective I'll edit it, k?

Pixie said...

Theresa: thank you for seeing the injustice, realize I too see the injustice of those who do no beieve or understand hijab being forced to wear it in "Islamic countries". This has no basess in Islam.

Pixie said...

Malizea: may allah make is easy on the practicing Muslims of France, ameen.

Sarah Plain & Short said...

salam aleikom

okay so a muslim lady i know (she speaks arabic) was explaining to me that every country uses a different word for face covering, like the words isdal, burqa or niqab. its too confusing. but what would be the right word for the blue burka from afghanistan? isnt that just a burqa?

Amber said...

This is another case where it's: 'you can be free, but only if you agree with us, and do just like we do' otherwise, you're oppressed, and we have to save you from yourselves. Morons.

They play on peoples fears and ignorance, it's really disgusting. And all those conservative Christian types I run into who are all for banning aspects of other religions just don't realize that eventually, they're going to be on the radar too.

His wife wears more clothes now becuase it's not dignified, or fitting for the wife of an 'important figure' to dress like a skank or strip or pose nude. So why is it okay for anyone else to do those things? It's not dignified no matter who you are.

umm muawiyah said...

Asalamu alykum sis,

mashallah excellent post, u know what upsets me is all the comments in newspapers and stuff, they all mention that if a women is a niqabi she is forced to do so, why dont they ever ask the niqabi who contributes to society and chooses it!!

aisha said...

quasi ''first lady'' cos even in western terms its shameful that the first lady can be seen naked just by googling her with few clicks,i dont think sb with sarkozy's taste of morality can understand the meaning of islamic clothing and he is not powerful enough to dictate people what they should wear,of of course nobody clever enough shares this opinion,e.g. mr Armani underlined women should be let to wear what they want!i cant comment more cos have exam soon but after that will be able to enjoy Pixie's masterpiece,congrats!!!!!beautifull,inspiring,right,on time whats that?i love hishma blog!!!!first thing i read when enter net

Justme said...

I didn't read the entire post because it was extremely long, but as an American in France (but on vacay with my family in Cali!), I did notice a few misconceptions in your post.

You're right, he is speaking of the burka/niqab...whichever word we choose to refer to the garment. (We should remember that what we call a "vest" in the US is not at all a "vest" in the UK. This is not due to "ignorance" on the part of Americans, per se, but because that's just what happens when different countries/cultures absorb vocabulary from their global counterparts.)

In France, their approach to religion is not at all the same as in the US. France though considered a largely "catholic" country (it is the dominant religion there) is, like most of Europe, primarily "humanist". As an American, this idea was very foreign to me, but Frenchmen (and Germans...I used to live in Germany, as well)tend to have a humanist perspective.

For example, in Germany, headscarves are not allowed in the classroom. However, crosses are not, either. There is to be no religious symbolism in the classroom.

While Muslims may perceive that as a personal affront, so could Christians.

Sarkozy doesn't want the full face covering being worn by women in France and I'm inclined to agree...though for different reasons. His reasoning is that a woman shouldn't be forced to wear it. However, he does not realize that what he is doing, though well-meaning, is also "forcing" something upon women. What about women who actually WANT to wear the face covering?? Should they be forced, by Sarkozy, to NOT wear it? Either way, women are going to be "forced" to wear or not wear the garment. This is a dilemma that I feel he has not realized.

Headcovering, etc. are allowed to be worn freely outside of the school, of course. This is demonstrative of the very French, relatively strict idea of the separation of church and state. While this exists "in theory" in the US, we place the word "God" on our currency, monuments, and use bibles to swear in witnesses in courts and to swear in our presidents. In France, this would not at all fly. This is why religious symbols are not allowed in schools...you can't wear a big cross there the way you can in American schools.

I don't perceive this as an attack on muslims. While I am not muslim, my mother is. (My father is Christian.)

I see this as a well-meaning act that wasn't thought out well enough.
While I don't agree with your veil analogy, because they're usually worn, especially in France, in the confines of a church and fashion runways are usually forums for experimental and avant garde "art", I do wonder what they feel about catholic nuns. They wear everything but a face covering...I wonder if they see that as the oppression of women, as well.

Pixie said...

JustMe: everyday french brides wear veils over their faces, in french the word for veil is "voile", so do catholic girls for the catacisms. Muslims cannot remove their hijabs in front of men so it is forcing them to not be part of society. Such laws suppress practicing Muslim women. Non-practicing women might be forced to wear a garment. Why not set up support programs to help them leave a bad environment instead of forcing others' into a bad environment? No, the word burkha is sued by American and French and Canadian medias all in unison in ignorance. It is the wrong term and they should be careful to use the right one. The face veil often in black is niqab. The blue Afghani garment is a chador with mesh, and the gold cultural mask worn by older generation khaleeji women is called a birqa. It isn't a different word because it is a different country. it is a different world because Imperialistic countries never bothered to find out what the real word for it was. They heard burqa for face covering once and believed that covered all kinds of garments. It doesn't.

Huda Merchant said...

AMAZING!! this is soooo right about what you have written..I'm only 13..Im inspired by what you have written!!

K.C. said...

I like this post very much. You are right, a female's body is to be respected and not " danced naked like a piece of meat for the cameras ".

Wanita Bertudung Hitam said...

i came across the entry n couldnt help but read it thru, just wanted to say this is a good writting..

Salam from Malaysia