As usual, the person who wrote the headline didn’t bother reading the story, which talks about banning the much more conservative face veil in public spaces, like the metro (subway) or government buildings.
This affects considerably less people (approximately 1,900 versus millions). If it had been the headscarf in general, I would have expected rioting in the streets. Though the Muslim community accepted the ban on headscarves in the public schools much more quietly than I expected.
I don’t think that this even could be considered in the United States (U.S.) without there being instant demonstrations and lawsuits filed in court, and I thank God for that. But I have to remember that this is France and not the U.S. Their laws and philosophy for government are different there. However, I do feel very sorry for the women who are caught in the middle.
The reason that the French government wants to ban the full face veil is that it promotes “radical religious practice,” and it is oppressive to women. They do not feel that women should be forced into that visually subservient position. That would not be my first choice either, but I see a problem.
The policy will punish the victim. Women, possibly being oppressed in their families and homes, potentially will be refused access to the government that is supposed to protect them. I applaud the goal of the French government, but I hope that they find another way to achieve it.
Note: Since reading this original story, France has refused citizenship to a man on the basis that he "compelled" his French wife to wear the full veil. Very interesting indeed.
References: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8480161.stm, http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe/8494860.stm, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_law_on_secularity_and_conspicuous_religious_symbols_in_schools
Please, see my next entry, which will feature an unmarried working Muslim woman living in England. She chooses to wear the headscarf in her daily life as a sign of her faith.