Tuesday, July 13, 2010
France lower chamber passes Islamic veil ban
By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network Correspondent
In Iran, a woman who does not adhere to a dress code prescribed by the Islamic government could face imprisonment. Soon, a woman in France could face a fine for not adhering to a dress code imposed there.
Ironic, isn't it?
The France Parliament Tuesday passed a measure that would forbid the wearing of full Islamic veils in public. Supposedly it will free women of control by dress. But in freeing them, it imposes restrictions of its own.
France's Senate will vote on the measure in September. It will likely pass there as well (75 percent of the people in France - among them President Nicolas Sarkozy support it). Then it will become the law of the land.
But it strikes me that, once again, women are being treated as less than complete humans.
In nations like Iran, they aren't allowed to choose to show their hair. In France, they won't be permitted to cover up, if they so choose.
How can one be liberated from constraints by being - well - constrained?
By the way, under the French law, if a woman's husband permits her - or requires her - to be covered in public - he can face jail time.
France's justice minister frames it a bit differently - calling it a victory for those who value freedom and against the humiliation of women. Something, which he says, is "against those who push for inequality and injustice."
But is this true equality and justice? Or is France just as guilty as is Iran, in its control of women?