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. opi

    when in Rome do as the Romans

    April 11, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  2. jamie

    How ridiculous. These woman want to be able to walk around with slits just to show their eyes. Let them move to a predominantly Islam country and they can do what they want. Way to go France. Muslim=turds.

    April 11, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  3. abouttime

    @Abd al-Latif: Stuff it. You want to talk about racial/religious abuse? How about the cartoonist who exercised his right to free speech and was killed by a Muslim terrorist? How about the South Park cartoonist who had to go into hiding in their own country because of death threats (very real, obviously) from Muslims? Funny you don't mention that when you speak of ignorance. We are not ignorant about Islam. We recognize the abject evil that it is. I guess you Islamists get your own sense of superiority from strapping on a suicide vest and taking out people in a marketplace. The pot calling the kettle black? There is no kettle as black as Islam.

    April 11, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  4. WHat?

    OK genesis! So what happens when the next law is no Crosses can be worn in public? "OH, THAT'S DIFFERENT THAT IS OUR RELGION, AND NOT THEIRS". “Ours” ,”theirs”, if you live in that country it’s your country. Religion is a choice not where you are born.

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

      don't worry its still allowed to wear a burka neclace....dumb @$$

      April 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  5. adfdf


    April 11, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  6. snickering

    you have to admit, with all of those buqas around its like watching kung fu theatre from the late 70's, Im waiiting for creature double feature now

    April 11, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  7. jc

    this law makes all the sense in the world.America needs this law! I'm american and tired of feeling that we're gonna get over run by these kind of folks.We need to teach AMERICAN values to some here,that are just here for the money!Americans stand proud! our fore fathers fought for what we are slowly letting go to hell!!! Wheres the pride today??

    April 11, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  8. tinb

    Phew. They've averted a terrorist catastrophe. Terrorists can no longer macquerade as covered women. Ban female modesty. Force all women to wear bikinis all the time. That's showing them. It's a good thing we live in such an advanced civilized society.

    April 11, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Clayton

      As long as I can walk down the street with my ski mask on then they should be able to wear their religious things. I'm not doing anything bad yet am I? 🙂

      April 11, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  9. Buns Mccallister

    What about condoms? They are a full body covering of the little man..

    April 11, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  10. Judge Dredd

    You cannot wear that, it's against the law!


    April 11, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • rob

      you however CAN be replaced

      April 11, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  11. abouttime

    It's a matter of public safety, plain and simple. This woman who complains and states she's not causing trouble belies the fact that far too many people who observe her "religion" are willing to kill indiscriminately in the name of Islam. If you don't want to assimilate into a society, don't live there and please do go back to your homeland and make it a better place for all of your people.

    April 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  12. Serge M.

    I heard of a story where a woman wearing burqa scared all children at the kindergarten, just by walking in...

    I'm from EU-Lithuania and I don't have nothing against this costume. It's interesting and mysterious.
    I think most people living in France agree with this law. They don't care about your religion, your race or gender. You have to realize that the majority of the people around you find your costume threatening. It makes them feel uncomfortable. You have to consider what the majority of the country thinks is right or wrong. You can always relocate to a rich, secure, freedom loving muslim country or stop wearing that mask and enjoy the sunshine.

    April 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  13. Buns Mccallister

    Gee I hope they dont ban the sweat band. Such style, though its covering of the forhead area could become an issue.

    April 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  14. jmsdh

    Freedom of expression is eroding in the West. When a Koran was burned in Florida, President Obama condemned it instead of defending the act as something you can do in a free society. Now France is banning burqas even though other kinds of concealment remain legal there, and the law is obviously targeting an unpopular cultural practice. These are not small matters because they open the door to greater intolerance. When you let freedom of expression slide, a society begins to lose its dignity.

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

      Sorry it disturbs you that we are reluctant to tolerate an element (Islam) in our world that has clearly, repeatedly, and unquestionably proven beyond all doubt that it is rife with radical, murderous, intolerant beasts that would not hesitate to kill even themselves if it meant they could also kill those that "offend" them. Tolerance is one thing. Willfully laying your neck across the chopping block while someone is standing there with an axe is a completely different story. Come back when you can guarantee that Muslims have completely given up their barbaric, murderous, intolerant ways.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Dave

      The reason why Obama went against it is because the Muslim extremist's would use it as a reason to attack Americans and our allies, that pastor didn't burn the Koran on 911 like he wanted too, he waited awhile and did it and guess what, the nutcases used it as an excuse and killed others for it, pretty pathetic. Go burn a bible and see what happens.... Nothing, no one cares

      April 11, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  15. Buns Mccallister

    Assimilation is futile..

    April 11, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  16. Donna

    I feel France is on the right track with this law. Living near a Muslim community I have seen every form of these coverings. I questioned why it is all right for the men to where American clothing and swim wear while their women have had to sit beside them fully covered in black, in the hot sun. This has nothing to do with religion, it is a form of control. I feel that it is abuse to make these women hide from the world. I see nothing wrong with wearing the scarves, but if you live in a country where women are respected then follow the rule of law. America should have such a law!!

    April 11, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • abouttime

      I could not agree more. It's about control, not about religion.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • timothyn

      @Donna: America will never have such a law as long as we have freedom of religion in this country. As for muslim males showing their bodies in public, that is actually not allowed either (although some may do, and some women may wear swimsuits as well). Muslim women that wear it, do not want their bodies to be oggled by men or be seen as a piece of meat (which I think you will agree is very common in the West).

      April 11, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • rob

      Because musilim men who make their wives follow these practices are a bunch of self concsious possesive pu$$y$ who are like little children gaurding their favorite toy.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • abouttime

      @timothyn: You're confusing freedom of religion with freedom to do whatever you want, which is a fallacy that is being pushed by the politically correct to the detriment of western society as a whole, as it relates to Islam. In the US we have freedom of speech, but you cannot yell "fire!" in a crowded theater if there is none. Neither should you promote behavior (wearing a burqa in public in a non-Muslim nation) that facilitates murder and terrorism and makes it virtually impossible to identify criminals committing vile acts of mass murder against the general public. It's as simple as that. And hey – if they don't like it there's always the alternative of going back where they came from or moving to where their custom is the norm. Not absolutely everything fits here and you need to recognize that.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  17. booboobear

    I always believe the purpose of the head covers were because of the frequent sandstorms in the deserts. Make sense to wear them to shield your face from the sand.
    Oh, they should probably ban any masked/hooded Halloween costumes and full-fledged ninja outfits too... so the burqa ban won't be seen as "racist".

    April 11, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • hoofleau

      No it's not for protection from sandstorms. It's to prevent lusting from other men, after all, a mid-east man must guard his property.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • timothyn

      @hoof: there are women who wear them who do not have any husbands or fathers. CNN aired an article on that last year. So your argument about property is simply mute. They are protesting out on the streets for their rights - do you think their husbands had them protest too?

      April 11, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • hoofleau

      @timothyn: The reasons that I stated are a historical fact. That's where the burqa came from regardless of what CNN reports and regardless of what modern day Islamic women practice. Plus, at some point these women all had fathers. 🙂 Peace, not trying to argue, but my point was not mute.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  18. alben

    The public safty makes it necessary to ban the covering of the face in public whether it is the Klu Klux Klan or pious religious women.

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

      @alben: they are not banning it for public safety reasons and Those women still have to show their faces at banks & airports. Shall we ban glasses? halloween? ski-masks? I could name hundreds of disguises.... please use a little common sense.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  19. Greg

    Then, once they force them remove the mask, France will realize it wasnt such a bad idea to let them cover their face LOL

    April 11, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • MO4


      April 11, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  20. meme

    There is one thing that not everyone knows, and that is some muslim women think their mouth width is the same size of the other size of their body(V..) Therefore if the mans sees their mouth, they would know alot about them....

    April 11, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • K.C.

      And when those women see the size of their men's parts, they know how tiny the men's brains are, also.

      April 11, 2011 at 2:23 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.