Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Broadening the Ban on Veils in France

In 2004, France banned headscarves "and other “ostentatious” religious gear" in public schools. In 2011, France banned full-face veils in public spaces. Now, France is contemplating a law that could restrict headscarves from private companies.

Why the alarm?  A French court recently reversed a lower court decision that banned a woman from coming to work with a head scarf.  Now French President,  Francois Hollande wants a new law to extend restrictions on what Muslim women wear in the private sector.  Both the New York Times and the Huffington Post have stories about these attempts to further restrict headscarves and veils.

Are these really attempts to ensure secularism, as many French argue?  Or, are they attempts to further restrict a particular religion they fear?

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