France To Ban Veil In Public Buildings: France Niqab / Burqa Ban
Call it the Niqab, Burqa, or Veil, but whatever term you use to describe the face and body covering some Muslim wear, France is clamping down, banning their use in many Public Buildings..
The president of a parliamentary committee that has been debating what limits should be place on the veil or niqab released the report on Tuesday with its recommendations expected to pass in a few months..
The report prepared by a 32 person group of lawmakers, that will ban the veil from being worn in Public Buildings. The six month inquiry into was launched to investigate the role of full covering veils (as opposed to the more common head scarves) in France. The Associated Press reports the following
Andre Gerin, a Communist lawmaker who heads the multiparty panel, said the report contains a "multitude of proposals" to ban such garb in places like schools, hospitals and other public buildings, but not private buildings or on the street. He said the proposals would cover "domains that concern everyday society," a phrase that would seem to include public transportation, although he did not mention that specifically.
Abut 6% of France's population is Muslim. Only a tiny portion of the 6 million french muslims actually wear the full veil or burqa. Nonetheless, the Muslim dress is seen as a very "visible" issue in France especially after French President Nicholas Sarkozy said that the burqa was a sign of "subservience" and was "not welcome in France."
Supporters of a Women's right to cover herself told CNN
"You are going to isolate these women and then you can't say that it is Islam that has denied them freedom, but that the law has," said Mabrouka Boujnah, a language teacher of Tunisian origin.
Boujnah, who at 28 is about to have her first child, says she came to wearing a full veil gradually, after wearing headscarves as an teenager. She believes a law like the one being discussed will take away fundamental rights of Muslim women.
Some observers say that french muslim women are forced to wear the veils by the male members of their family, brothers, fathers, husbands.
France banned the wearing of the more common head scarves in public schools several years ago.
Fiercely secular, France has struggled in recent years to maintain a balance between its non-religious secular principles and toleration and open expression of religious views.
No word yet what the consequence will be for the wearing of veil or burqa in a public building.