July 13th, 2010
02:24 PM ET

Burqa ban passes French lower house overwhelmingly

France's lower house of parliament Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a ban on any veils that cover the face - including the burqa, the full-body covering worn by some Muslim women. The vote was 335 to 1.

The measure must still go to the French Senate before it becomes law. The Senate is expected to vote on it in the week of September 20.

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Politics

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. antoine

    It's about time to tell them it's enough. I admire the French president and his government to take such decision to defend the essence of equality and freedom. This is not a religious sign but political.

    September 15, 2010 at 12:13 am |
  2. Vanessa

    The full faced covering is very scary to a lot of people. If these people don't want to be seen they should not come outside to be among the general public. If a woman wants to cover her hair and body, that is fine, but if everyone walked around in society covered head to toe and their face covered in a black veil, it would cause havoc. No one could be identified for committing a crime, people just could not function. The same rules apply for a woman walking down the street naked; in most countries she would be arrested. We live in a world where we have to find a happy medium and balance on the way we conduct ourselves in society to all walk together on this earth. These choices for covering this way have nothing to do with religion. There is no where in the Koran that says a woman has to dress this way.

    August 12, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  3. Nabihah

    please check out http://www.islamicsolutions.com/unveiling-the-truth-behind-the-veil/

    July 16, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  4. TheRationale

    Is there some place to read the whole bill? I find this to be horrible because it's not about religion, but about the right to wear and do what you want. The fact that it targets a specific group of people doesn't help. The entire point of freedom is being able to do whatever the heck you want so long as it doesn't bother anybody else. This is not the answer. The only thing I've heard is their statements about "safety."

    As Benjamin Franklin said, "Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither."

    July 14, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
  5. sarah

    I believe tat people have a right to practice whatever religion they want, whether it be Christianity, Islam, or Satanism (I do not rank them in that order). However, as soom as one man's religion infringes on the life, liberty, or pursit of hapiness (or as they say en France: Liberte, fraternate, et equalite) of another, then they are doing something that should not be permitted. I think that a muslim woman should be able to wear a full face veil in any place other than a government building.

    July 14, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  6. morgan

    Personally, I am in two minds over such a ban..


    Maybe it will be to OUR benefit NOT to have to look at the faces of some of the ugliest females on this planet. That is from someone with a good few years experience in the middle eastern regions.

    That said, I strenuously object to a primitive, if not exactly antediluvian, religion, coming into MY home territory and demanding it carries on, regardless of OUR ten or more centuries of progress to the present near secular social order.
    Our ancestors fought for many centuries to keep Islam and it's pernicious habits at bay, and here we are giving it licence to do what it has ambitiously endeavoured to do over all those centuries.
    Were the sacrifices of our antecedents all in vain?

    When over in the middle east, if I ever made, or heard being made, any comment about the way of life, I was sharply reminded that where I was at the time was NOT my country, and what practices I got up to, legal or otherwise, in my own country, was to be put aside in favour of what was the situation there.

    I demand the right to make then same requirement for these religiously fired up nutters who are on track, by their very birthrates, to overtake our political system in then not too distant future, and regardless of our objections, impose their nasty methods of control, via Sharia etc, on to our regions and states.

    We may think it oh! so liberal to allow these practices and customs at the moment, but our successors will not be so thankful for our liberality in maybe fifty or so years time, once the damage we do to future generations comes into play.

    July 14, 2010 at 11:28 am |
    • MahJ

      Your ugliest female comment gave me a good laugh.
      You DO know that the official most beautiful woman in the United States (Miss USA) is Muslim/Middle Eastern?

      July 14, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  7. Holy Quran

    Its really bad to ban burka as its Islamic culture. everyone has his own rights. Keeping people away from their religion or stop them from doing what they want is against human policies.

    July 14, 2010 at 7:11 am |
    • Reality

      Holy Quran? Give us a break, there is nothing holy about the quran/koran. It is simply the worst book ever written and contains the biggest fraud ever pulled on humankind i.e. the mythical revelations of a mythical angel named Gabriel to a warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), illiterate Arab named Mohammed.

      July 14, 2010 at 10:16 am |
    • Ozzy

      Reality you are completely misnamed, as you lack any perception of it, and anything otherwise.

      July 16, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  8. Linda

    LUKE, 99 percent of these women are NOT forced and CHOOSE to cover themselves!! More power to them for doing so! And instead of concentrating on what people are wearing, which is COMPLETE NONSENSE, we need to focus on things like young children who are starving all over the world!!!

    July 14, 2010 at 2:03 am |
    • Ali

      Exactly, Linda. And Luke talks about womens' rights. What is it about womens' rights that denies Muslim women from doing what they want and decide to do of their own free will?

      July 14, 2010 at 9:34 am |
    • Ozzy

      Exactly what Ali said. This is the kind of hypocrisy that is driving America down the deep end.

      July 16, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  9. MahJ

    They're shot dead without burqas,too. What about in France?

    July 13, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
  10. Andrew

    Wow. I'm an atheist and certainly not a fan of Islam, but this is going way too far. It should be illegal for a man for force a woman to wear a burqa, but I certainly think that if a woman wants to wear one she can.

    July 13, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
    • Frogstomp

      The muslim women who wear the full burqa are not the kinds who get to decide for themselves what they want to wear. Some may want to cover everything including their face because their screwed up culture has taught them that they have to, but most are simply required to wear it by their husbands and community. Failing to ban abusive religious practices is the same as sanctioning them, in my view. We can't just let groups do whatever they want to to each other, just because they claim it is part of their culture or religion.

      July 14, 2010 at 12:02 am |
  11. Reality

    What does this accomplish? Hmmm, how about being sure there are no explosive vests under said burka? Keep in mind that Islam has been directed by the koran i.e. the mythical musings of one warmongering, womanizing (11 wives) Arab named Mohammed to dominate the world by any means.

    July 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
    • MahJ

      ^ Please do provide statistics for number of said explosive vests under burqa in the past month – or even year – in France.

      July 13, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
    • Reality

      Keep in mind that burkas can also be used by men posing as Muslim women. Burka bomb vests apparently are used in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. Google the topic "burka bombs" to get added information.

      July 14, 2010 at 10:13 am |
    • Reality

      Once again, why there should no burkas (and no mosques) anywhere in the USA- Two burqa-clad suicide bombers on Saturday struck a food distribution camp for people displaced by anti-militancy operations in north-west Pakistan, killing 41 people and injuring 65 others."

      July 14, 2010 at 10:40 am |
    • MahJ

      Oh reality, please do read my comment carefully before replying. I was certain you would launch into your Pakistan/Afghanistan/Burqa tirade, which is why I ask again, where are the statistics for men in burqas bombing France?

      You cannot justify racism by an unexistent security threat.

      July 14, 2010 at 11:39 am |
    • Reality


      We learn from history. Obviously if burka bombs are used in other countries, they most assuredly could be used in France.

      Terrorists have repeatedly donned burqas in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as in the United Kingdom, Iraq, the Gaza Strip, India, Somalia and Mauritania. In the United Kingdom, one man who tried to set off a bomb in July 2005 in London was able to escape by wearing a burqa. The use of this clothing makes counter-terrorism more difficult because female police, which are in shorter supply, must be used to search those wearing it. The police chief of Iraq’s Babil Province in August 2008 complained about this after two burqa-wearing females attacked Shiite piligrims.

      More information on burka bombs:

      July 14, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  12. Paul

    Really, what does this accomplish at all?

    July 13, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
    • Luke

      How about women's rights in a secular nation?

      July 13, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
    • TammyB

      Reply to Luke.....What if they WANT to wear veils,etc? Shouldn't they have that right also?

      July 15, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  13. Linda

    Why does anybody care what they choose to wear? Why should they be punished for choosing to cover themselves, I don't see anybody punishing women for wearing bikinis! Shame on you France!!

    July 13, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
    • Luke

      No one is forcing you to wear a bikini 24/7 at risk if death, Linda.

      July 13, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
    • Gwen Canada

      Covering of the face has little to do with religion; rather it is a form of control. I applaud France in making covering of the face unlawful.

      July 14, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  14. Michael

    First it's the Burqa, then it'll be the Hijab, then Mosques and then Islam altogether. This religion simply is not compatible with Christian society.

    July 13, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
    • MahJ

      ^That leaves us no better than the Saudis or Iranians who we persistently villainize.
      And fyi, western is not Christian. Most of the west supports secular democracy. Wake up dear.

      July 13, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
    • dutchblitz1

      If that puts us in the same category, why are mosques allowed to be built here but churches are not permitted in Saudi Arabia and Iran?

      July 14, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
    • Ozzy

      Dutchblitz you totally misread the point. I recommend rereading the comment to fully understand, or just develop some reading skills.

      July 16, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  15. Joe

    Here! HERE! Now if our muslim loving president would do this too.

    July 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  16. Reality


    July 13, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • Ozzy

      I would understand this if there were any attacks that were related to wearing burqas, much like gang colors, but no, nothing, this is as much as a pointless slap in the face as the Swiss Minaret ban (There were only 4 minarets in all of Switzerland for god's sake!) All this accomplishes is making western hating extremists even angrier, and adds to the propaganda terrorists groups can use to change moderates into extremists in hot areas. Shame on you France, this is another case of European islamophobia. Shame on you.

      July 15, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.