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. sapsxy

    Finally a nation has guts to stand up against a terrorist race! all western nations should realise that people form this
    background eventually will become a problem-they shouldnt be allowed in any "western country".

    April 11, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  2. G the Muslim

    Time to compromise muslims. In Chicago, you can not go into any business with your face covered. Not even during a blizzard. Not even on halloween. Once your inside, take that scarf off. In some places, you cant even wear a hoody. Its not about religion, its about public trust. If you dont like it, feel free to re-locate to someplace wear the wearing of veils is permitted. We have nothing against you. Its just that, in the western world, we like to see each other face to face.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  3. Bye-Bye Burka

    I hope France does not back down on this. THis is a message to any religion. Obey the laws of the country you are in>.....PERIOD!! If you don't like it....get the F*** OUT! I support France and any other country that wants to enforce this rule. Religion is the root of all evil.....if it isn't, then what is all the fighting and wars about? The Devil is in the book you read from whether it is called a bible or koran. Aren't Jews and Muslins seperated by brothers? Does that make sense? it they would back up one generation, those brothers have a common father...why not start religion there? Then 90% of the population could stop fighting.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  4. YouAreSoDumb

    I like little boys.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • YouAreSoDumb

      And sheep too! they are much more attractive than women in burqa.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  5. YouAreSoDumb

    I hate all you Nazi sympathizing redneck haters!

    April 11, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • capt_dragon

      hate the game not the hater.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  6. Shadow

    Not good for Face Book if you cant show your face!

    April 11, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  7. Barnacle Bill

    "YouAreSoDumb – I can think"


    Sure you can, zombie sheep.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  8. Supportive

    I fully agree with the ban and wish they would do it in the US. Woman are required to wear the masks when visiting Arab countries, so if our country has banned it then they must support the law as we are required to do in their country. OR DON"T COME HERE IF YOU DONT LIKE IT!!!!

    April 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  9. Kunwar

    The Burqa should be banned in India too. Its an ancient dress, should find a nice place in a Museum.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  10. sharky

    Good for you France!!!! Keep it up!!

    April 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  11. max

    you are all very frightening people. far more frightening than an anonomous woman behind a burqa. there used to be a common saying in the US. "I may not agree with what you say but ill defend to the death your right to say it". If you add "as long as you agree with me" it is updated for modern american thinking.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • sharky

      Yeah I guess you forgot what happened on September 11, 2001 that changed the WHOLE world forever. Don't blame us. We didn't start it, but it is called not putting up with it either. You can bend over and take it, others will not.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Reason

      Sept 11 changed YOUR whole world forever. Yes it was terrible, but that was nothing compared to the holocaust or Hiroshima. If we stoop to their levels of persecution in our country, then we are no better than them. I refuse to be afraid when I go out, and I lived in NYC for 5 years post 9/11.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • ZeeMan

      @ Sharky, completely biased saying they started it, or we didn't start it. It only shows either lack of understanding, or worse intentional misleading. 911 didn't just happen out of the blue. If America did not support the Israeli occupation and daily murdering of palestinians with US weapons and money and political cover, I guarantee you there would not have been a 911. People the worldover have seen the plight of the palestinians and out of frustration some arabs have taken to terrorism. I don't agree with the terror tactics but THOSE are the facts. Each abd every Muslim country (save Syria during the cold war) has been a US ally, but increasingly muslim countries populations have turned anti-america because of our one-sided foreign policy. It seems like we are held hostage bv the strong Israeli lobby that will not let America do the right thing even if most Americans wanted it. They tried to marginalize and redicule the peace loving Jimmy Carter because he spoke the truth.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • capt_dragon

      LOL @Max: he said "bend over and take it".

      April 11, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • max

      Yes, okay i do like to "take it from behind", okay... very much so.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  12. Robert

    Wow. This is a tough one for me. On one hand, I believe that we all should have the freedom to do whatever we want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else and this law flies in the face of that belief. On the other hand, Western men and women have to abide by laws when they're in Middle-Eastern countries. It's a tough one to swallow but I enjoy reading the comments. I feel both sides have really good arguments. I just can't pick a side on this one.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Geeta

      Me too and I say exactly as you do if you go to a Muslim country as a female u are asked to follow their rules n in some cases asked to cover your heads!
      So then when Muslim women go to other countries surely they should follow that country's ways if not don't go there or don't ask ppl to follow ur rules when they come to your country

      April 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  13. Sal

    Yes the 9/11 hijackers did come in this country under a veil of deceit for your information D! 

    April 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  14. Jason

    Here's the thing....

    Having traveled several times to and from France, and having lived in Europe, laws are being put into place to protect others. When I went though airports in the UK, they made everyone in line remove their hats and anything that covered their face. In France, it was the same thing. I see nothing wrong with this.

    This law doesn't interfere with any kind of religious practice as the Qur'an doesn't require women to dress this way. It only says to dress modestly. You can dress modest with a long sleeve tee and sweat pants.

    End of story.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • max

      and the bible doesnt say you should pary the rosary or confess to a priest or priests must be celibate so these are, with the same logic, not religious issues. abortion either... its real simple when its not your religion being persecuted. may you get what you wish on others.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Jason

      @max Chill out dude. I don't "wish" anything on anyone. A priest and rosary are Catholic items. I'm not Catholic, so that doesn't apply to me. It would be totally different if modern day Catholics were the ones blowing themselves up or were beheading people or crashing planes into buildings for instance. If a rosary could be used as a deadly weapon or to hide an explosive, then it's likely they would be outlawed as well. This law was brought on to protect citizens, including other Muslims, and shouldn't be thought of as an attack on Islam itself.

      Like I said before, the Qur'an never mentions that a woman has to dress like this. It's just traditional.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  15. willy

    "I've not committed a crime," It appears that they only acknowledge laws with which they agree.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • GregG

      Don't you?

      April 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  16. tewrobert

    If they start using suicide vests France might pass a law making them go naked in the streets 🙂

    April 11, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  17. NoTax

    Muslims alwaysare looking for exuse in the violence

    April 11, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • capt_dragon

      They are usually looking for their limbs in the ruble.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  18. Soulf1re

    I I tend to have a problem with anyone running around with a mask on. To me it doesn't matter whether they are women, men, religious or not. Someone who is running around with a mask on can do anything they like then drop the mask and get away easily. It is not merely for protection against terrorist attacks (although that is part of it), but for all crimes in general. There are criminals that would take advantage of this eventually (if they haven't already) and dress up in a burqa just to commit a crime with an easy means of escape.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Amy

      You are absolutely right. If they hide their faces, we can never recognize criminals. Plus how do you know there is a woman underneath that tent?

      April 11, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  19. TJ

    Finally, France is getting the guts to stand up and defend its country from sharia.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  20. Shak

    Half the people complaining about radicalism on this board are radical themselves, however it is hard to looks at things objectively when you are biased yourself.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • DR

      The only difference is that our radicals do not behead people when they are insulted. we do not burn down city streets or call for the murder of anyone who opposes our viewpoint. Your attempt at moral or any other equivalence is sad and will not work here! Sorry!

      April 11, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Bye-Bye Burka

      Then why do people call to have someone killed because they drew a picture of Alla? Seems pretty drastic to me.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • capt_dragon

      Half of the people are cannot see objectively because they are biased about the other half of the people... and vice versa. Vicious circle. Let's just start world war III and get it over with.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:11 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.