French Parliament Debates Controversial Burqa Ban

By Yi Yang, Epoch Times
July 6, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

Women wearing head scarfs walk in Barcelona on June 16, 2010. (Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images)
Women wearing head scarfs walk in Barcelona on June 16, 2010. (Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images)
[xtypo_dropcap]T[/xtypo_dropcap]he debate on the ban of the burqa and all other Islamic veils covering women’s face and bodies began on Tuesday in the French Parliament.

President Nicolas Sarkozy had ordered the Parliament to pass a bill in April banning Islamic veils that hide women's faces.

“The all-enveloping veil represents, in an extraordinary way, everything that France instinctively rejects. This is the symbol of the enslavement of women and the banner,” he said before the lower house.

The conservative government in France is encouraging a “moderate, state-sanctioned” Muslim that respects the French values, reported Associated Press.

Back in 2009, Sarkozy had already stated that "France is a country that has no place for the burqa,” but backed off from a complete ban when officials told the deputies that a ban could be anti-constitutional, counterproductive and impossible to enforce.

French officials have stated that even if the bill becomes a law, it will be difficult to enforce.

"We can't impose a state of permanent control on citizens," legal expert Remi Schwartz told the panel. "That would mean everyone should be identifiable at all times, which would make public space into a vast zone of video surveillance."

France, whose five million Muslims make up Europe's largest Islamic minority, has been criticized in the Muslim world for considering a burqa ban. French Islamic community leaders have warned against passing a law that would stigmatize Muslims.