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The Female Face of France: Banned Beneath the Burqa
by Phyllis Chesler
All across Europe, government leaders are deciding whether to fine, restrict, or ban the wearing of the Islamic veil. France's President Sarkozy wants a full ban—one that will also apply to Muslim tourists. Belgium wants one too–although it has been warned that doing so "will violate the rights of those who choose to wear the veil and do nothing to help those who are compelled to do so." (That vote has not taken place due to the collapse of the government). Recently, a Madrid school expelled a girl for wearing hijab; the government is backing the school, but four of the girl's classmates have been coming to school wearing hijab "as a sign of support for her."
Of course, Tariq Ramadan has condemned Sarkozy's attempt to ban the burqa. On his recent American tour, he said:
Clever, isn't he? Ramadan adopts a soft and peaceful tone, one which lulls us into believing that he, personally, will undertake the "job" of educating Muslims that the burqa and niqab are not religiously mandatory.
Really, will he? And, how long might such an educational process take? And, why is he suddenly opposed to the rule of law and its educational potential? Is he willing to spurn Shari'a law as well and for this same reason? Or is it only certain—not all–Western laws that he opposes?
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