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. ultimate guest

    Im starting to think its time for people who believe that there rights are being taken away in europe,should move to places that respect there way of life. The u.s.a. is way to mixed to enforce stuff like this. European countries have there own sovereign.

    April 11, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  2. Delmar

    I'm glad there are simplistic people like most of those posting here who care to make their simple-mindedness so public. It makes me feel a lot smarter...although not as smart as the people who are bright enough to avoid engaging with idiots. I guess I'm so addicted to easy wins when it comes to logical arguments that I can't avoid bottom-feeding with the losers.

    April 11, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  3. rhinoqlit1

    They need to ban what's inside the burqa.

    April 11, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  4. Delmar

    The guy posting as Epiphany is just an idiot. I guess you have a problem with people eating sushi too, right? They're apparently "changing" a culture because they're eating their traditional food outside their country? Logic buddy, get some.

    April 11, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  5. Jen

    To the comment "Westerners trying to force our view on the Middle East": It's your damn government that let's our media and ideas come into these countries! Take your complaint up with them; not us freedom loving people. There's discussion about the deplorable Sharih-Law becoming a law here in America. I don't think so! I will look at whomever I damn well want to. I have my own beliefs and they don't involve being oppressed by men or someone else's thoughts and beliefs. God (the father of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior) Bless America!

    April 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  6. Cubist Tut

    In Islam, the protocols for a woman in public are too numerous to mention here. Many Qur’anic admonitions stress the woman’s responsibility to submit in public in both gaze and dress:

    “And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty.” (sura 24:31)

    Clearly, a woman protected is a woman hidden from the lustful gaze of men. In sura 33:59, Allah instructs Muhammad, “O prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons [when abroad].”

    April 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  7. Cove

    I Love U French !!! YE!!!!!!! & that the way it is.....................

    April 11, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  8. Steve

    I think it's great that a First World country is standing up for what it sees fit. Also, it's the French people's country, so they can do with it what they please as long as noone is hurt. It's fantastic, and is what America should do more of and can take a lesson from the French.

    April 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  9. Abusabtain

    French people should protest against this injustice. They should show the world, they love their freedom.

    April 11, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Steve

      Did you watch the video? 80+% of the French support it. I think it's great that the French are asserting their democratic system!!

      April 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • SconnieGuz

      nice brainwash attempt...don't mind all us crazy muslim freaks infiltrating your free societies...until we get enough numbers to try to change your culture to be more like ours. Everybody wants that!! Islamic countries are the greatest!! Whatever...shove your burka up your ass

      April 11, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  10. Tuf

    Go back to your country .......................

    April 11, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  11. Tuf


    April 11, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  12. neptonomist sentry

    If you do anything I find wrong, I will behead you in the name of peace!

    April 11, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Tuf

      We all should do the same.Go back where u came from..................

      April 11, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  13. JJ

    A law prohibiting women from wearing a burka is no more just than one requiring it.

    April 11, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • tidbits

      Thank you, at last one intelligent comment!

      April 11, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  14. 77Observer

    A burqa no doubt will get a lot of attention in a bank.

    April 11, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  15. tiff

    I love Americans! We are soo funny!! I think it is totally hilarious that this wont be an issue here because the KKK already made such a$$es of themselves that a mask ban has been in effect for a long time!

    April 11, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  16. Dora Jones

    There is nothing in the Koran that says a woman must wear a burqa. The only requirement is to "dress modestly". Women in this country wear them as a political statement. If people live in this country they should try to fit in. Wearing a burqa shows that a woman has no intention in integrating. It seems these people are happy to accept all the benefits living in this country offers .... free health care, free schooling, child benefit for their brood of children ...., but are quick to criticise it's "evil" ways. Well done France! I wish our country would do the same, but the wet namby pamby political correctness brigade will never allow it.

    April 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Abusabtain

      Think before you speak. You do not know your bible yet, how you can know QURAN.
      You people just live to eat food and pay your bill and know nothing about the world. They make you suffer whole your life.
      People coming from other countries, they are intelligent. They get better jobs. They live better lives. They contribute to the American economy. They have the right to get the benefits ans enjoy to practice their religion freely.
      No offense.

      April 11, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  17. Misoislamic

    Kudos to France! It's time to stop the infiltration of islam into other cultures. If they want to maintain their culture and religion they are free to do so in their own home. Don't force it down my throat. Respect the customs, laws and mores of the country in which you live. All the original immigrants including Irish, Germans, Poles and Italians respected our country while be able to maintain their heritage and culture. Muslims are not special and should not be treated as such. They are forcing their way of life in any country in which they chose to reside. They must learn to assimilate..oh, yeah, and stop killing innocent people in the name of one more ridiculous religion.

    April 11, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Sam McNell

      Amen! If you don't want of be part of our culture, then please, please just shake my hand... Maybe even a hug, and just leave. Very simple. No harm, no foul.

      April 11, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • tidbits

      Yeap, you should not have invaded other countries and made those your colonies, what goes around comes around, you'll meet your maker

      April 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Delmar

      I don't know where Islamic culture is infiltrating any other culture more than anyone else. Wear what you want, eat what you want, practice whatever religion you want. How are they getting special treatment? We do have Human Right Legislation to abide by. Any argument you make contrary to the law is invalid. But again, I am not seeing where any Muslim is getting accommodations other cultures aren't.

      April 11, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  18. aaron jewett

    you cant walk around with a ski mask on so why would you think this is ok? maybe in a different time.... but these days nope

    April 11, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • grimaud50

      You can't? I live in Alaska and people walk around with face masks of various types all the time...

      April 11, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Tyler

      grimaud – then let's herd all the Mudslimes in the West to Northern Alaska. Everyone wins!

      April 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • Delmar

      Tyler, you're worthless. Have fun flipping burgers at 45.
      Anyway the person who posted this is right, the law is about concealing your face

      April 11, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  19. Paul

    It is about time that Western countries end the abuse of women in Western countries as per Muslim culture's where women are treated like second class citizens in their own countries, and forced to wear ridiculous medieval garb by radical muslims using the Koran as their justification somehow. What is happening in the middle east right now is that the old feudal Chieftain culture of dictators is breaking down due to the new internet savy generations of the middle not want to take this bs anymore.

    Catch up to the West and democracy and I hope you do.


    April 11, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Bangash

      This Western assumption that all Muslim women are oppressed, repressed and depressed is inaccurate. Westerners are now trying to force their views on Muslim women.

      April 11, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • slukic1972

      Agreed. I am so proud of French.

      April 11, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Annunaki

      Bangash, if Muslim women are not feeling oppressed or repressed by wearing their niqabs and burqas it's because they have been conditioned to believe that...which indicates an even deeper rooted oppression. Ever heard the saying, "When in Rome?"

      April 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • tidbits

      Western form of democracy -> show your jugs! After that they go to church to pray with the women who are covered. Yay paganism!

      April 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Delmar

      Annunaki, that's your interpretation. Culture is what it is, you can impose your view as an outsider but it is not legitimate. These people live this way. It is oppressive if a woman wanted to dress differently and was not allowed to do so.
      I was born into a country with a capitalist society and democratic government, am I oppressed? No, that's just the way it is. If I want to leave, I can leave. I'm I wasn't allowed to leave but had to stay and practice a lifestyle I hate, then I'd be oppressed

      April 11, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  20. cpc65

    Should have let the ugly ones continue to wear them.

    April 11, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • epiphany

      Way to go France! Don't let anybody come in and try to change and take over your culture.

      April 11, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • tidbits

      you should cover your tongue

      April 11, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
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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.