French burqa ban clears last legal obstacle
October 7th, 2010
03:39 PM ET

French burqa ban clears last legal obstacle

France's law banning the burqa and other Islamic face coverings in public places is legal, top constitutional authorities in France ruled Thursday, clearing the final hurdle before the ban goes into effect.

The ban passed both houses of the French legislature by overwhelming margins earlier this year, and is scheduled to come into effect in the spring.

The law imposes a fine of 150 euros ($190) and/or a citizenship course as punishment for wearing a face-covering veil. Forcing a woman to wear a niqab or a burqa will be punishable by a year in prison or a 15,000-euro ($19,000) fine, the government said, calling it "a new form of enslavement that the republic cannot accept on its soil."

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church and state • Courts • Culture wars • France • Islam • Religious liberty

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. sustanon

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    December 1, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  2. Michelle

    Kate, Muslims have killed over 100 million worldwide, including the ongoing tyranny in Darfur. The Rwandans were not Christians, they didn't kill anyone int he Name of Jesus. They were Hutus and Tsutsis, and they have had tribal warfare for 4000 years. Why are you lying?

    October 16, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
  3. Helen

    I'm tired of hearing people say that Islam & Christianity is equally dangerous. What nonsence! Societies founded on Christianity are by far the most civilized, accomodating, advanced and compassionate in existance...EVER! The crusades (still being used almost 1000 years later as an point of argument), were the response of Christian Europe to the Islamic conquest of the Middle East, and the forced conversions that took place. If modern atheists and haters of Christians keep shredding all values and principles on which this country was founded, get ready for a major change, and not for the better!

    October 12, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
    • Kate


      I'm guessing you were on vacation on another planet during the Rwandan genocide – 800,000 murdered in, what, 30 days – by Christians.

      Then there's Bosnia.

      Native Americans & Australian aboriginals if you want to go back a little further but not as far as the Crusades.

      Maybe it was just your head that was on vacation, gone down under did you?

      Just sayin'

      October 12, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  4. Muslimahlala

    That's hate breeding propaganda. The opinions are not what people speak of, it is the words of the Quran. Try again when you can speak Arabic and read thoroughly the Quran. There are radicals, and the one in the clip happens to be a well known radical, not a normal peace loving anybody.

    October 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  5. Muslimahlala


    First of all, "encase" I'm assuming should be "in case". Christianity is a religion identical to Islam in that some followers tend to take their beliefs to extremes. The media has covered many assaults on abortion clinics by extremist Christians. Think back in history, Crusades. There were many violent acts in the history of Christianity. I am an American, and I am a Native American and as well, I am a Muslim. One instance of a Muslim that belongs here more than many closed minded individuals.

    What door would that be? The door that your white ancestors kicked in when they took over this country?

    This country was founded on FREEDOM. Including Freedom of Religion, which includes Judaism, Islam and Christianity. I can read the Quran, and unless you can read the Quran as well (Not the Koran or the English Transliteration), then you do not know what you are talking about. There is no right to violence and no right to murder in the Quran. There is no right to make a woman bow at your every desire in the Quran. The Quran is a very peaceful book, and Islam is a religion of peace.

    October 10, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
    • honestanon



      October 11, 2010 at 12:08 am |
  6. Muslimahlala

    These women do not wear the Burqa because their men make them, they wear it as a symbol of respect. To whichever of you believe that you must "conform" to come to other countries, you are wrong. Go to a Muslim country and you will find Churches and Synogagues along side of Muslim Mosques. You will see Christians freely wearing their crosses. It is not okay in their culture for a married woman to go around showing her body, that is a choice by her and her alone. There are few countries in which men can make their woman wear a burqa. American has freedom of religion, which includes Christianity, Judaism and Islam. There is One God. Muslims respect and believe in Jesus as well as their own prophet, why is it so hard for everyone to be respectful of the beliefs of others?

    October 9, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
    • honestanon

      *points* to the door

      October 9, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Because, encase you haven't noticed, there a lot of times when 'some' (not all) muslims, the ones who are radicalized extremists like to stone people to death and behead others, among other atrocities.

      Some of us find it hard sometimes to reconcile these practices with a religion of peace. Not to say that christianity and other religions have their nut-jobs too, but when it comes to Islam. We do wonder about the radicalized ones' intentions.

      October 9, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  7. Mark from Middle River

    There has to be a way to be able to identify people if needed and article of clothing, that is not required by Islam finds itself on the wrong side of public safety

    October 8, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
  8. Mark from Middle River

    A few years ago a male dressed in a full facial covered outfit attempted a terrorist attack in Europe and a few years after 9/11 one of the uk bombers attempted to flee the country while dressed in the same. Why the artlcle writers choose to leave that part out is on them. 

    October 8, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
  9. Mark from Middle River

    Frogist – I forgot I was responding to frogist to whom research into a topic, even in the least, must be foreign concept. I love this section of CNN but I am aware of the game that is in play often. Tell me frogist, did you click on the link to "read full article " or did you just read the snipett and run with that? 

    "Lawmakers also cited security reasons for forbidding people from covering their faces in public."

    October 8, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
  10. Tirone

    Now all those nudist beaches are safe from violation.

    October 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  11. nd

    How awful. citizenship classes? So this is assuming that simply because someone chooses to express their dedication to god, they are not a citizen? that's like saying that female orthodox jews would have to take citizenship classes for wearing a wig.
    If it's a legal issue – bring in a femail cop etc to see her face. Otherwise, stay the heck out of peoples religious practices. It harms no one.

    October 8, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
    • Frogist

      @nd: Women who wear their traditional clothing already take off their headdress for police and for identification purposes. But that doesn't seem to matter to a fearful people.

      October 8, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  12. Mark from Middle River

    Sorry for the misspell, it's the hijab not e'jab. There is a website that I tried to post that showed jpegs of differences between hijabs and burkas but I recieved the waiting for moderation message. Frogist, do a image google search on burka vs hijab and you will see the difference.

    October 8, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
  13. Mark from Middle River

    Frogist :"Hope you've banned nun-habits as well."

    Once again Frogist you need to research the facts before you lay fingers to keyboard.

    RTT News [The legislation specifically targets two Islamic traditional garments – the burqa, a full-body black cloak that includes a mesh over the face, and the 'niqab,' a full-face veil that leaves a narrow slit only for the eyes.]

    Now where have you seen Nuns with face covering Habits? I did a Google image search and I did not. I will help you out Forgist, if they ban the e'jab then what you posted would make sense, but most folks around the world do know there is a difference between a e'jab and a burka.

    As some one said on another thread, I wait. Or just thinkin' 🙂

    October 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Mark: I know exactly the difference and it makes no difference. If they are concerned about public welfare by people who could conceal weapons beneath their clothing as was posited by people on this topic, nun habits fit the bill. If they want to ban things that cover the face, then they should ban all masks in public places as well. But they do not. They claim it is a win for women's rights... except women want them. It's not like there have been a rash of burqa related crimes lately. They are specifically targeting muslim garb for no good reason, and that's not ok.

      October 8, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  14. Frogist

    Well thanks France for fighting your sad war on a culture that is different from yours. Hope you've banned nun-habits as well. And how's that expulsion of the Romani going? There was a time when you fought against those who would curtail the freedom of your people. Now you look exactly like them. Thanks France... I thought I knew you.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:09 am |
    • honestanon

      @ Frogist

      You said
      {There was a time when you fought against those who would curtail the freedom of your people}

      That's exactly what they're doing. Likely it won't stop there.

      October 8, 2010 at 11:49 am |
    • Frogist

      @honestanon: You are going to have to explain what you mean. Because it seems this is a fight only against muslim women.

      October 8, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  15. me

    Hey.......when you come to the West, you have to conform. If we go to the Middle East, we aren't allowed symbols of our faith or our society, so get over it!!!! Pull yourself out of the Middle Ages.....the reason the Middle East hates us is that they're still 400 years behind us, and resent us for it!!! If you wanna wear yer burqa, STAY HOME!!!! No one will hassle you there for wearing it!!

    October 8, 2010 at 9:02 am |
    • Nonimus

      "when you come to the West, you have to conform."

      Thanks for you support of freedom and liberty.... oh, wait...

      October 8, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  16. David Johnson

    Is it just me, or is that girl in the burka, in the picture, sort of hot?

    Hmm...maybe these Muslims are on to something.

    October 8, 2010 at 8:41 am |
    • Luke

      Hey dude, Persian women are incredible looking. I'm looking forward to the dismantling of Islam. Their women need to be seen.

      October 8, 2010 at 9:12 am |
    • Tirone

      Give me the ones without a unibrow! There's more than one reason for those coverings!!

      October 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  17. GSA

    I think it's great to ban Burqa's on photo id and they should have to remove them for any police matter (ie being pulled over) or in gov't bldgs or private businesses if the owner so wishes but you just can't ban something like this in all public places it won't work. Also so much time, money and effort into a law that effects maybe 0.001% of the population worldwide.
    I saw a group protesting funerals, Westboro, i'm sure you all have heard of them, well when I saw them they were carrying crosses and praising Jesus, this must mean that all Christians are as horrible as them and the doctrine of the religion is one of violence, stupidity and disrespect....oh no we have to stop the Christians, hehe.
    Americans are getting dumber by the minute and the fact that Americans see this ban as some kind of victory, OMG, hilarious. The fact is that the politicians and media run the USA and the people have just bought into it, not one person thinks on their own anymore and every issue is black or white, right or wrong and left or right.

    October 7, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  18. Reality

    Finally, common sense rules!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
    • Serutan

      Don't hold yer breath. Statistically, this is such a tiny fraction of what is needed that it's criminal. Just criminal.

      Common sense is always the exception and never the rule.

      October 7, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
  19. Luke

    Why do I get the sudden feeling that free republics all across the globe are taking notes.

    October 7, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
    • peace2all


      Yep.... Had similar thoughts....


      October 7, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
About this blog

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.