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. Doug

    Well, I for one am glad to see some of the rest of the world, especially France, the most spineless of them all, stand up to these Muslim Terrorists. yes, I said Muslim Terrorists because that's what they ALL are. Their women are afraid to step away from these stupid traditions of hiding their face and hands and skin. Yeah, Arab women are pretty fugly.. I gotta say.. and maybe that's why their men cover them up. They don't want other men laughing at them. "you slept with THAT?!?! Ewww!!!" So, while I'd rather see them all covered up myself, I think it's a stupid tradition and shows the ignorance and caveman-like mentality of a 2500 year old or older culture that refuses to mature. I say turn the whole place into a glass bowl and let the few Muslim stragglers around the world figure out what to do now that there is no one fueling the fires. I think you'd see a permanent and total decline in the interest and population of Islam.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Freemaan

      Wow. What a mentally deficient and racist tirade.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • saresudog

      Too much time on your hands today Freemaan?

      April 11, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  2. Brian Macker

    "The ban has been opposed on the basis of religious freedom. "

    Yet, Islamic apologists claim that the burka is not about Islam, but is cultural. One thing is clear we cannot have large portions of the adult population walking around in disguise 24/7 365 days a year. It makes it too easy to commit crimes, like those burka bandits who were robbing the jewelry stores.

    It is also oppressive of women to force them to walk around in a potato sack. Which was exactly why apologists were claiming that it is not part of Islam. Apologists say, " Oh no, Islam is not oppressive, that's a cultural thing and no where in the Qur'an does it say to wear a burka."

    April 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  3. Osman

    They should ban or could ban burqa I applaued their actions.
    Because no muslims in their right mind would ever disagree .. See the Islamic law states based Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. teachings that muslim women are strictly to cover:-

    * Their hair .. therefore they wear hoods or whatever.
    * Their body or their body shapes .. (from head to toe) .. Cover them with lose and not body hugging or tight clothes.
    * Their hands .. (from shoulders to their wrists only)

    Reason being is for their own safety from the ever lurking eyes of bad intentions.

    So you see there is no need for burqa is Islam .. people only use them to protect themselves from dust storming from the desert .. That's all.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  4. Chris

    I applaud France in having the courage to pass and enforce the ban on burqas and niqabs. This is a security measure, you can never tell who/what is under this clothing. There have been cases in the US where a burqua/niqab wearing woman has been refused a driver's license or photo ID because they refuse to remove the them, even when accommodations are made to prevent males from seeing their faces. I have been told the reason for the full body coverings is so that women do not "tempt" men, whether that is true or not I don't know. Of course, it doesn't say much for Muslim men if they cannot control themselves in this regard.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  5. waterman

    Large sunglasses with a hat can certainly make person hard to identify. Is that banned too?

    April 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Freemaan

      You'll never win the argument by using LOGIC, those that support the ban only act on EMOTION.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  6. Lavi W

    Why does this article have links to the stories of women wearing hijabs when France clearly was not banning hijabs? You are misleading the reader. The Muslim religion in no way requires a women to cover her entire face, just her hair and her arms and legs. The burqa is a cultural requirements and not a religious one.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  7. mattmchugh

    CNN's word filter baffles me. I can't quite figure out the logic of what goes through or what doesn't. Names of specific religious figures or works seem to get blocked sometimes, but not others. Profanity, obviously, but that's easily gotten around with a space, hyphen or capital. Sometimes, it just seems as if the length of a comment in itself can cause a problem, as if people who go on for a long time are more likely to say something offensive. Personally, I don't care about it all that much (commenting on CNN articles is just alittle lunchtime distraction, not a serious attempt at crafting arguments), but it still bugs me that their filters seem so arbitrary. With some of the astoundingly offensive, borderline prosecutable stuff I see people here type in, it always makes me wonder if there's any logic to what the block. Ah well. Just typed this for fun, to see what would happen.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  8. John

    Double standards here.
    When in Muslim countries, people must abide by their culture and norms.
    And when in Rome...

    April 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  9. sam

    Some women here don't cover anything at all especially in summer. Muslims want to cover everything.
    Ban both!!

    April 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  10. Jules Mom

    Yay France.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  11. NP

    I think this is good - If I can't see your face I don't know if you want to talk to me or mug me. Bravo.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Freemaan

      I'm pretty sure they don't want to talk to you.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  12. Jimbo

    Muslim men that live in France, you have to realize what is going to happen now. These women will have their faces visible and their eyes, this way we can use our imagination to picture the rest of the body naked. We will essentially be fornicating with your women in our brains. What are you going to do about it?

    April 11, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  13. Sikhead47

    ... All by the will of Allah, so what's the big deal? I'll you what is a big deal... Trump just hired a PI firm to look into the birth-certificate of Mohammad, make sure he is who he says he is. Trump is on the brink of the largest hoax in history! YOU GO TRUMP!

    April 11, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • salvatore

      Lol you just brought up my favorite part of the birther conspiracy, namely that Obama's middle name is actually Mohammed. Like 'Hussein' wasn't Muslim-sounding enough for you bigots. He decided to conceal the fact that his name had Mohammed in it and left Hussein in. LMAO

      April 11, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
  14. Bernard

    I think that if you want to wear a Burqa in public go back to your country, If it is so bad why did you move to France and wear your countries clothing for religous reasons? In France do as the French......
    I am happy that France has banned the burqa!
    Good luck France.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Freemaan

      If they are one of the Millions of Muslims born in France... Then they ARE in their own country.
      Or were your making a case for 'racial cleansing' in France?

      April 11, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • saresudog

      I say we make a case for Freemaan cleansing

      April 11, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  15. JackInNH

    Thank you France. Religious freedom can be exercised any time, but people cannot walk around hiding behind a mask. If people don't like it, they can always relocate.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Freemaan

      Except for the thousands wearing surgeon's masks on buses and subways. But of course, that's *Different*, right?

      April 11, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • JackInNH

      France is making a statement, akin to "love it or leave it". You can bring your surgical mask with you.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Freemaan

      "Love it or leave it", eh? So wearing a Burka means you hate France?
      It seems you have trouble distinguishing between a nation of people, and their laws. You can love the nation, and disagree with the law. That's an idea that America's founding fathers were pretty keen on. I don't think you'll find a quotation from Jefferson or Adams saying "love it or leave it". Thats usually just code for "All ethnic, non-white people, please leave."

      April 11, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Doug

      True, what you said, and that's fine in THEIR country. If you have laws in your country, then abide by them when you're in YOUR country. When you go to a different country that doesn't tolerate ancient, medieval practices, you have to abide by THEIR laws... like it or not. In America it's against the law to use a computer to defraud someone of their money. In Nigeria it is encouraged by the government to steal as much as you can get your hands on.. who's law is right and where?

      April 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  16. sweatyburka

    Don't worry. This is all for the better. You need to get some Vitamin D on your faces. Not healthy covering yourself up like that. God didn't intended for you to walk around hiding under carpets. Unveil yourself and experience god's creation. The world is a beautiful place, meant to be experienced. Only through experience can enlightenment occur.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Freemaan

      Next you'll be talling orthodox Jews to remove their yamaka's because their heads were meant to breathe. Long as it doesn't infringe on YOUR rights, I guess its ok?

      April 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Doug

      Damn right.. as long as it doesn't infringe on MY rights. I'm tired of everyone telling me what rights I'm going to give these terrorists, so I have no sympathy for it. And you Mexicans with your drivers licenses who are not citizens.. I'm gonna RAM YOU!! Get out of my country. Make money in your own country instead of sloughing off of ours.

      April 11, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • stejo

      yep, let's all get nekkid!

      April 11, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  17. kk

    i agree with France. keep it up.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  18. Abd al-Latif

    I'm glad I live in a country where no one tells you what you can and can't wear (U.S.). On the other hand, I do think these full-face coverings are ridiculous. Islam is not about covering your face, it's about what's in your heart. Full facial coverings only produce mistrust. Believe it or not, most of us Muslims are uncomfortable being around women with fully covered faces, except those of us who are recent immigrants from countries where that's a usual practice (such as parts of Afghanistan).

    April 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • saresudog

      This is a statement I can concur with, but it's completely opposite of something you stated before.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  19. Freemaan

    So much hatred towards Muslims in some of these comments.

    April 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Jason's Gay Lover

      Muslims express their hatred by killing people over cartoons and book burnings.

      How tolerant of other humans they are.

      Humans...tsk, tsk.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • saquita

      Why not? Their preaching is always hatred towards christians and jews and a vow to destroy us! Whats wrong with self defense? Have you heard of one muslim condemning the 3000 deaths at the world trade center? The silence is deafening (and sad!).

      April 11, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Doug

      You bet there's hatred in these articles. I hate anyone or anything that imposes itself upon those who know their path and tries to steer them away. It's like a drug dealer on your corner, but he doesn't covertly try to sell your kids drugs, he forces them to use it at gunpoint. Islam has been in our faces and thumbing it's nose at the world ever since 9/11. I think all muslims should be evicted from America if their intention is to spread more of this 'death to infidel' crap in our country. It should be a felony to be a muslim extremist in America. Round 'em all up and send 'em all to gitmo.

      April 11, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Freemaan

      To use the logic that the people who replied to my post use, then we should hate all white male Americans. "White male Americans have declared war on America as evidenced in the shootings of Virginia Tech, Arizona, Northern Illinois University, Westroads mall in Omaha, Columbine, etc, etc. "

      Terrible crimes have been commuted in the name of Islam, but that does not excuse open hatred and racism against all Muslims.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • stejo

      @Free – VA Tech was an asian american, not a white american. nice try.

      April 11, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • salvatore

      There are 1 billion Muslims in the world. I think if a sixth of the world's population was actively out to destroy all the non-believers, we'd be goners by now. There are 8 million in the US, I don't think Gitmo would hold them all. And yes, Muslims have condemned 9/11, open your ears and take off the tea goggles.

      April 11, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  20. Jason's Gay Lover

    Stay away from him, biatch!

    April 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • vburto1014

      dont cuse on here

      April 11, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
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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.