Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And they wonder why we hate them?


PARIS — A French parliamentary panel recommended on Tuesday moves to curb the wearing of Muslim veils in certain public facilities and suggested that lawmakers should pass a resolution condemning the garments. But it stopped short of pressing for a total ban.

A report from the panel said that lawmakers were unable to unanimously agree to an outright ban “at this stage,” even though many favored one.

The report, however, called for legislation to ban the covering of the face in public services.

Presenting the report, members of the panel suggested that this could include hospitals, public transport, schools, post offices and even banks — areas where identification is important.

Instead of recommending a total ban of the veil, the report from the 32-member panel, which crossed party lines, said the Council of State, a body which provides the executive with legal advice and acts as a court of last resort, should examine whether legislation should be introduced.

Lionnel Luca, a lawmaker from the governing center-right party and a member of the panel, said the report was a “missed opportunity.”

“We’ll study the issue, we’ll have a resolution — that’s all great,” he said after the release of the 280-page document. “But what we really need is a clear text that outlaws the burqa.”

“We need to go further and we need the political will. At the moment I don’t see that,” he said.

The opposition Socialist Party boycotted the panel’s vote on the report because the issue had become embroiled in a simultaneous debate on national identity initiated by President Nicolas Sarkozy. Mr. Luca said only 14 members of the commission voted — eight for and six against.

The report was the culmination of an inquiry into the wearing of all-enveloping burqas, a full-length garment with a grill over the eyes, that began after President Sarkozy said in June that the burqa was “not welcome” on French territory. Mr. Sarkozy called for a resolution by lawmakers condemning veils, to be followed by a debate on legislation.

The panel’s findings were also directed at the niqab, which leaves the eyes uncovered.

Critics of the veils have described them as a tool of extremism, a hindrance to women’s rights and an affront to France’s cherished secularity.

But the debate raised concerns about the constitutionality of state mandates on dress and the possibility of aggravating tensions among France’s Muslims, many of whom feel alienated and excluded from social and economic progress.

“I don’t think an ideology should be fought through constraining measures but through ideas,” Mohammed Moussaoui, the head of a national coalition of Muslim organizations, told The Associated Press on Monday. “It’s very difficult to talk about the liberation of women through a law that constrains.”

He said, however, that it was legitimate to ask women to remove their veils in all “public services” like post offices and schools “where identification is necessary.”

In 2004, the government banned head scarves and other signs of religious affiliation in public schools in France.

France has largest Muslim population in Western Europe — the majority with roots in North Africa — estimated at between five and six million. But fewer than 2,000 women wear the full veil in France, according to the Interior Ministry. France would become the first European country to adopt legislation on restricting the full veil.

The center-right Danish prime minister, Lars Loekke Rasmussen, said last week that his government was also considering restricting the burqa and niqab. And in November, Swiss voters supported a referendum to ban the building of minarets on mosques.

The leader of Mr. Sarkozy’s rightist grouping in Parliament, Jean-Francois Copé, has already presented a draft bill that would make it illegal, for reasons of security, for anyone to cover their faces in public. Violators would face fines, according to the draft, which is not due to be debated until after regional elections in March.


p/s: My history professor is right: Sarkozy is crazy.


Rassyid said...

they (europeans) will never change. they were once anti-semites, and now they are anti-Muslims.

elly said...

dude, sarkozy is just all sorts of wrong.

ChEsZa said...

for sure, elly.

beb mentoot said...

sarkozy initially didnt mind teh veil u know but then since he wanted to become president, he had to adhere to what everyone wanted

still, theyre stupid

ppl there can get naked but if they wanna cover tak boleh


Syaza said...

hahaha that's "European Value"!