As of three days ago, burkas have been banned in France – meaning the five million Muslim’s who live in the country have got a new enforced new-dress code… at odds to their religion.
Is it right? That questions been hotly debated for a year, since this idea was first suggested. And whilst the French government obviously decided yes, not everyone is in agreement. Are you?
Last June the burka was branded a ‘sign of subservience’ by President Nicolas Sarkozy. ‘It will not be welcome on French soil,’ he said, ‘We cannot accept, in our country, women imprisoned behind a mesh, cut off from society, deprived of all identity. That is not the French republic's idea of women's dignity.’
Now any woman who wears a burka in public could now face a 150 euro fine, whilst a person who forces a woman or child to wear one could be sentenced to up to two years in prison.
But critics of the new reform argue that ordering a woman not to wear a burka is just as emancipating as forcing her to wear one, and that it’s wrong for the government to take away free choice. Others worry that, now women are unable to wear burkas in public, they will become prisoners in their own homes – the only place they can practice their beliefs.
We want you to weigh in with your thoughts on the burka debate – women’s liberation or just another form of repression?
- Amy Molloy