The French Senate approved Tuesday a law banning any veils that cover the face — including the burqa, the full-body covering worn by some Muslim women — making France the first European country to plan such a measure.
The law passed by a vote of 246 to 1, with about 100 abstentions coming essentially from left-leaning politicians.
The legislation was overwhelmingly approved by the lower house of parliament in July and will go into effect next spring.
French people back the ban by a margin of more than four to one, the Pew Global Attitudes Project found in a survey earlier this year.
Some 82 percent of people polled approved of a ban, while 17 percent disapproved. That was the widest support the Washington-based think tank found in any of the five countries it surveyed.
Clear majorities also backed burqa bans in Germany, Britain and Spain, while two out of three Americans opposed it, the survey found.
The real victims of this law are the ninjas.
I don’t really have a problem with burqas. If it’s their choice to believe in something silly then I have no objections provided that some common sense is used (like removing the burqa for a driver’s license picture, or at a bank, etc). But just walking around with your face covered shouldn’t be a crime. I guess the spirit behind this law is an attempt to liberate women from the more fundie part of Islam but my first reaction is it will do the opposite and just keep them from leaving the house at all.
I dunno. My gut reaction is that a law passed restricting freedom to give freedom does more harm than good. What do you think?