April 10th, 2011
01:19 PM ET

France's controversial burqa ban takes effect

Paris (CNN) - French police arrested two veiled women protesting the country's law banning face-hiding Islamic burqas and niqabs Monday, just hours after the legislation took effect.

The arrests outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris were not for wearing the prohibited garments. Police say the women were instead arrested for participating in an unauthorized protest. But the incident reflected the high passions the ban has incited among some Muslims.

One woman who disapproves of the ban said no one forces her to wear the niqab, a full-face veil with an opening for her eyes, and she should be left alone.

"I've not committed a crime," said Hind Amas, who was not among those arrested. "I'm walking peacefully in the street. I've not attacked anyone."

Read about American women who wear Islamic headscarves

The ban pertains to the burqa, a full-body covering that includes a mesh over the face, as well as the niqab.

The hijab, which covers the hair and neck but not the face, and the chador, which covers the body but not the face, apparently are not banned by the law.

Read about two Tennessee sisters who wear the hijab

"The ban does not target the wearing of a headscarf, head gear, scarf or glasses, as long as the accessories do not prevent the person from being identified," the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Read the full story about France's burqa ban taking effect
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Europe • France • Islam

soundoff (1,962 Responses)
  1. gman21

    Great job, France. It is about the dignity of women.

    Can US follow the same? Not when our congressmen are owned by the middle east.

    April 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
  2. LB Colorado

    Go to where you can wear your stuff the way you want to. We can't go to a muslim country and wear a tank top or anything that shows your skin, my thinking for me is to stay the hell away from them. Hoping that they will stay away from us for the very same reason. You have freedoms to live as you want in the muslim countries.

    April 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • AmericanInfidel

      Agreed 100% They force tourists and foreign visitors to cover in THEIR countries, because it's THEIR way and law, they won't abide by other countries laws.... They are very self righteous.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
  3. Muslim

    Burqa is a choice, the majority of women who wear Burqa in France are "pure souche" french people, pure french ! so in a country that pretend respecting individuals rights, and human rights, that's pure oppression

    April 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
  4. Huh?

    If you agree with this and call yourself Christian, I got news for you buddy: You are a paranoid HYPOCRIT -period -point blank -end of story -full STOP

    April 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • AmericanInfidel

      I agree with this 101% and call myself an Atheist. And proud of it. Religion is the number 1 cause of bloodshed, death and human suffering.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Philosopher

      Yup, Stalin and Hitler were among the most conservatively religious persons on the face of the planet. Everyone knows that. Right?

      April 11, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  5. Ronnie

    I don't blame France. These morons give Muslims a bad name. They look like Ninja's or Casper the Ghost.

    April 11, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  6. g00gles

    just goes to show you, you cant go into another country and do whatever you want. There are rules and laws...and just like whatever country you come from , your not going to like them all.....

    April 11, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  7. Bresson

    This ban could never happen in America. Thank God.

    April 11, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  8. Lola

    I do not agree with burqas, but I can't support this ban. It's one thing to ban burqas in public schools, court rooms, public transportation...but to ban them everywhere is not right. France is trying to secularize being out in public. It's a slippery slope where all forms of religious expression will be banned.

    April 11, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  9. Doug

    This statute represents one of the fundamental challenges with Liberalism and a pluralist society. I am a strong proponent of Liberalism and the ideals that it upholds. However, when we reason based on the utilitarian concept that this statute benefits all, we oppress and silence those groups and individuals that allows a diverse society to operate. This statute defines a pedagogical concept of what the good life entails. By doing so, we sacrifice individual rights to freely practice our own individual conceptions of the good life and silence the voice of a people who are different from the majority. It saddens me to witness how oppressive, myopic and vain so many individuals can be who have responded to this blog.

    April 11, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • NYPrincessTt

      Really, Doug? If that were the case, then people would not be FREE to leave the country at will. Why don't you go spend a little time in the Middle East, specifically in a country that is predominately muslim, and see if you have a change in your liberal heart.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  10. AmericanInfidel

    Good for France! Take a stand!

    April 11, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  11. amirah1825

    To Sassan:

    So if this comment is stupid than why do we have identification. This world runs on id. Passports, diver's licenses, etc. How do we anyone is who they say they are. Or is it this only a problem for muslim women.

    April 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • NYPrincessTt

      Ummmm...really? because we look at their ID and compare it their FACE. If the picture on the ID does not match the FACE of the person who presented the ID, then it is fraudulent. Come on. It's pretty obvious how that works. If I can not SEE the face of the person presenting the ID, I have no way to validate the identification quickly. Can you follow me?

      April 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  12. Mr. Disney world

    FRANCE..hmmmm.... How do you tell this to disney characters?

    April 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  13. Phil

    Enveloping outer garments, such as the burqa, are believed to cause or worsen medical conditions in some individuals. In particular, they contribute to a predisposition for hypovitaminosis D, which can lead to rickets or osteoporosis and may increase the risk of seizures in infants born to affected mothers.

    April 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  14. everteta

    Very interesting. 1) France conquered and oppressed many Muslim majority countries in North Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries. 2) France lost her colonies. 3) France felt bad. 4) French women stopped having babies. 5) France allowed citizen of former colonies to come to France to work to a) appease their guild and b) to have workers for their economy because there are not enough French people anymore (France has one of the lowest birth rates in the world). 6) France thinks they are losing themselves. 7) France reacts in typical racist fashion. Conclusion: they did it to themselves.

    April 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  15. GoFrance!

    With an increasingly agressive Muslim population in France & their will to 'conquer' Europe from the inside, it is a necessary security concern that has prompted France to create this needed law to keep the radical Muslim population in check. Let's face it, if buildings were not being blown up, subway systems not being attacked, and city burning riots not happening in France due to radical Islam, this law would not have happened. It's like a school enforcing a no bullying policy, only on a national level. Good job France!

    April 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Lola

      Why not just kick them out? Get rid of their welfare system and maybe many of them will leave on their own.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • everteta

      Perhaps the Muslim population is France would be less inclined to riot if the French themselves were less racist toward them.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  16. See Novak

    The full-on burka is the most iconic symbol of female oppression in the world. It's too bad some of the hard-core Muslim women are too undereducated and beaten down to realize this. Not to mention how miserable this garb must be in 110-120 degree Sahara desert weather.......

    April 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Breal

      Same thing with conservative women. I just don't get it.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
  17. WHODAT

    The world is a different place. Law enforcement agents need to see faces. The need to ID people quickly.
    Sorry to say, most importantly conservative religious groups. They have historically been responsible for
    a great number of violent crimes and mass murder. The garment being banned is a garment that has been
    used to conceal the faces of women who have had explosives strapped to their bodies, then walked into
    a movie theater and committed the most horrific and deplorable acts of the last 500 years. So, what do you
    have to hide. I don't understand, they have to murder 40 Innocent Virgins to Receive 40 Virgins. What? It
    jjust doesn't pass as a religion to this LIBERAL anymore. Murder, THOU SHALT NOT KILL, (except when virgins
    are involved)? Show you face, show you face, live in grace. May God Bless Mankind/Womankind, if we deserve
    his blessing.

    April 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  18. mitzy

    The burqa has nothing to do with religious piety. It was conceived by men as a subterfuge for men, allowing them to easily disguise themselves as women for penetration within and escape from their enemies. It is why Osama Bin Laden –a very manly and hirsute man-nevertheless meticulously grooms his eyebrows in a delicate, feminine arch.

    April 11, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • JeanPaul

      AS I understand, the Koran, Holy scripture of Islam, does not state that anyone should cover their face. Having said that, is there any record of men disguising themselves with a Burqa and committing crimes?? I mean Osama at 6" 5" would look obvious as a man in a burqa right???

      April 11, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
  19. Jeepers

    I can see the French argument. It would be easy for a man to hide under one of those...and have weapons too. I can also see the other side. I mean...bad hair day...looks like a burqua day.

    April 11, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  20. usurytiger

    Believe me Europe...You don't want to see faces of those 150 women.
    Better to keep them hide.

    April 11, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Believe101


      April 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41
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.