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. shamgar50

    Women who wear the veil are pitiful fools. It has nothing to do with respecting god. Only Mohammed's wives were ever meant to wear the veil, and that had more to do with their position in the community, than respecting god.
    Besides, the veil predates islam by centuries. It is nothing more than a sign of ownership and control. It's a man's way of saying "Not only do I own you, but I own and control everything about you. Even your ability to be looked upon.".

    April 11, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
  2. Lizzy10

    Wow, for a country founded on freedom of religion, the comments here are pretty intolerant.

    April 11, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  3. Den

    Ah those crazy muslims- every day is Halloween to them. Plus that outfit is really good for carrying explosives.

    April 11, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
  4. Lee

    This is so stupid...letting people immigrate who don't wish to assimilate.

    April 11, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
  5. Cori

    what the heck is up with the time line on this discussion? It keeps going back and forth thru the hours and it's very irritating.

    April 11, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  6. Islam is a stinky fart

    Let's be perfectly honest. I live in Europe. These Muslims are NOT forced to wear anything in European countries. They CHOOSE to wear it, only to incite the local population because they know the locals don't like it at all. Everytime you drive by a welfare office in Europe, its mostly these kinds of people, ignorant of the local language, ignorant of skills, and too lazy to work. They take complete advantage of the welfare system by combining benefits and living in one household, which is for the most part, forbidden. Their only goal in life is to incite hatred and to bring the rest of the world to their knees to pray to the garden gnome they call a God. It's just as simple as this, you want to enjoy freedom, then do what your host country says by the law or get the F out. But that is not their goal...their goal has always been to outpopulate Europe, and history has shown this. It does not take a rocket scientist to see this. Go to a welfare office in Europe...you will see a mother of 4 or 5, only 1 year each in between in age, the mother does not speak the local language, refuses to learn it, and wants cash. If you ask me, they should FORCE them to learn or FORCE them out. Kudos to France for taking a step in the right direction by banning this ridiculous mockery of freedom.

    April 11, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  7. Mateo33

    This law is ridiculous. I thought the US/Europe was all about the freedom of choice. These women aren't doing anything to harm me. Why are we so threatened by a piece of clothing?

    April 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • shamgar50

      Mateo33, it's what the cloth represents. Repression, subjugation to the males in your life. The veil is a mark of slavery to ignorance. It should be banned everywhere!

      April 11, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  8. Den

    It's too late- the world our country included is polluted with muslims. Good job by France. Attempt should be made to control
    the subhuman misfits.

    April 11, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
  9. Cori

    I think the French gov't is doing the right thing if for no other reason than public security. As a retail manager here in the US we are not even allowed to let little kids wear masks in our stores on halloween. It's about security and safety; not bigotry.

    April 11, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
  10. SK

    All I have to say, GOOD JOB FRANCE!

    April 11, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
  11. Studious

    I wrote a very reflective comment which considered both sides of the issue... and yet it's awaiting moderation. I'm trying to figure out what could have possibly triggered the moderation filter... any ideas?

    April 11, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
  12. America

    Dear France,

    I rescind 'Freedom Fries' and re designate them 'French Fries' once again.

    Keep up the good work.



    April 11, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • boogie

      wow...France shows more bravery on a security issue than the good old U.S is willing to...:)
      Who'd of thought?
      If they start executing child molesters and rapists...I might just have to learn French and move...lol

      April 11, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
  13. miami 65

    well this is the world we live in, Nobody should be allowed to cover there face and work the streets anywere in the world, the only people that are complaining are the ones's that were it, if they don't like the laws of countries then they need to go back toher there home country or live by the rules in the country you live in.

    April 11, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  14. Don

    There seems to be a lot of violence in these comments, so I would like to put a small historical spin on this. If you roll back time a little bit you would that people throughout history are made and or shaped or governed by the "morales, principles, and deep rooted beliefs" that are within every nations leaders. Be it may they are elected, or placed into those positions by birth, etc. Either way those leaders (weather you are religious or not) receive those "morales, principles, and beliefs" from their upbringing which typically is some sort of religion; and if not a religion, then those that are so-called "non-religious" are then shaped or molded by all those around them that "are religious". Psychologically speaking for those of you with an education, or only want to listen to "science", then you could call this conditioning. Long story short, your freedoms, your nations, your people, your government, and basically your whole way of life is driven by these elected/placed/chosen leaders who are internally driven by religion be it directly or indirectly. Now take that knowledge and then read up on the worlds major religions and see which one you would feel best to be "governed" by.

    Now with that knowledge, my opinion is this... I know the Islamic history, and I know the Judeo-Christian hisotry, and I know that it's a no-brainer on which I would choose. I also know the behaviors of each. One is built on love and reaching out, and the other is built on invasion and oppression. You will see if the so-called "west" continues to allow Islamic intergration, then they will begin their "slow invasion process" that is like a disease or cancer. They can't with a typical war against the west, but they can slowly invade over several decades and generations. Once they are here, they will slowly populate, utilize our "freedoms" to infiltrate, change, adapt, and slowly "replace" our rules with their own. Then one day before you know it... the "west" will be one-gynormous "east". Watch and see! The writing is on the wall people... you're just to blind to see it. Then Christians will be continually persecuted and eventually usher in the so-called "end-times" that everyone also refuses to believe. Oh well can't say I didn't try... this is really really long, and most probably won't read it all, and if they do, they will try to formulate so type of rebuttal about how it's only from a Christian view-point, but truth is I don't care, because the Islamic invasion will not only wipe out Christian freedoms, but also the entire secular world's freedoms, and re-write our entire nations "Declaration of Independence" and then you'll be like, DAMN, what happened?!?!? So, don't say we didn't warn you.

    April 11, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • pat carr

      Well you are a christian with rose colored glasses on. The history of christianity is far from peaceful, in fact it really matches islam for violence

      April 11, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Dan

      "Now take that knowledge and then read up on the worlds major religions and see which one you would feel best to be "governed" by"

      I don't want to be "governed" by any religion, but especially not by those two. You realize there are other religions in the world, right? Give me Buddhism over either of those militant religions any day.

      April 11, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Don

      I am not saying that those "religions" should be used as governance.... I am saying the leaders put in those positions are "shaped" by them. If you add Christianity and Islam together you cover a mast majority of the worlds population in regards to religion, therefore those two are going to influence leaders decisions the most. I am firm believer is separation of Church and State, but my overall point was this..... if you continue to be "tolerant" and/or "compromising" to Islamic ways then they will slowly take over.... and when they do, they will abolish separation of Church and State, and they will instill "Sharia Law" and you and I won't even be able to debate such things are this.

      April 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  15. kid

    nt i find my other coommentsss/

    April 11, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
  16. kid

    you are posting comments too quickly slow down

    April 11, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  17. Jim Weix, Palm City FL

    Today it is burqas and niqabs; tomorrow it will be stupid little jewish skull caps and underwear sticking out. We are making progress, even the catholic nuns no longer look like rejects from a "Happy feet" movie.

    April 11, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
  18. Sasha

    A lot of countries in Europe have outlawed (many decades ago) the "covering of the face", period. It was done for security reasons. Europe has had many more problems with violence than the US (until recently). It has nothing to do with religion. France is only doing what they believe is correct. If you run around with your face covered, even prior to this law, you would have been given a citation; this law simply makes the "religious" garment a part of this. That's it; this is not "anti" islam; it's a security thing.

    April 11, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • SCOTO

      Good point. Its like wearing a motor cycle helmet in a bank here in the US. Not allowed for security reasons, not because of that Harley Davidson worshipping sect

      April 11, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
  19. Nobody

    correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't women supposed to cover up in most muslim countries regardless of whether they're native or not or even muslim or not? in that case it's a cultural difference enforced by law. now we have France doing the opposite based on a cultural difference that is now enforced by law. seems to me that both or either wrong or both are right, but seems arrogant to me for muslims to expect it to have it their way regardless of what country they find themselves in.

    i really don't care what God a person cares to believe in, but with the state this world is in, I personally don't feel comfortable when a person can walk around in complete disguise unchallenged. sorry to condemn a majority for the actions of a minority, but 9/11 happened and its not a stretch to consider a person walking into a crowded area and wreaking havok. a task that becomes exponentially more difficult to spot or follow up on when a person is completely hidden under the sort of garb that France just outlawed.

    if you also want to also ban clown noses and rainbow afro wigs as well, feel free.

    April 11, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • Sandra

      In every other culture/country, when you move there you are the one to adapt to that country's local laws and customs. It's not supposed to adapt to you. The full burqa is a form of enslavement, or marks women as slaves, and slavery is against French law. It also prevents identification, which was another facet of this law.

      Maybe you should have read *why* the ban was put in effect before spouting off after just reading the first few lines, yes?

      April 11, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  20. Matt

    God Bless France and thank you for the law!!!!!! This should be in all of Europe, U.S. & Canada!

    April 11, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Edka

      Why bring cave laws to the modern society. You want to leave under the cave law go to one of the cave countries and enjoy it. Cant have it both ways.

      April 11, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • mcccccccc

      Edka, by cave laws do you mean Sharia law? I think they should just get it over with and ban all religions except for maybe Buddhism because that isn't really a religion anyways. If we don't abolish all forms of religion soon the world will be doomed. It is getting easier and easier for people to get their hands on very powerful weapons and all it takes is some mentally defective religious wacko to wipe the entire planet of humans.

      April 11, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Mata

      Absolutely agree!

      April 11, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Don

      Totally Agree with you! I am glad SOMEONE has enough GUTS to stand up for what they want. Never thought it would be the French, but hey, why not. God Bless the French. Keep it up!

      April 11, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • Eddy

      We are going backwards as a society by the looks of your ignorance.

      April 11, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • Justin

      they could have taken it further and made the only type of clothing a woman can wear is a bikini, unless it is too cold, or they are ugly...

      April 11, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • anthony Dyer

      Completely agree! Now if the US will get off the politically correct bus, we can get back to what this country was built on, which was not sharia law.

      April 11, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • MoodyMoody

      mccccccc (or however many c's you use), I appreciate your feelings about religious wackos. However, the wackos that scare me the most are the atheistic Kim family of North Korea.

      April 11, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
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