Archive for Face Veil

Belgium’s Lower House Bans Burka

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2010 by loonwatch

woman-in-face-veil-file-pic

Around 30 women wear the Burqa in all of Belgium.

Belgian lawmakers pass burka ban

The law would ban any clothing that obscures the identity of the wearer in places like parks and on the street. No-one voted against it.

The law now goes to the Senate, which is also expected to approve it. It would then become law by June or July.

The ban would be the first move of its kind in Europe.

Only around 30 women wear this kind of veil in Belgium, out of a Muslim population of around half a million.

The BBC’s Dominic Hughes in Brussels says MPs backed the legislation on the grounds of security, to allow police to identify people.

Other MPs said that the full face veil was a symbol of the oppression of women, our correspondent says.

The ban would be imposed in all buildings or grounds that are “meant for public use or to provide services”, including streets, parks and sports grounds.

Exceptions could be made for certain festivals.

Those who break the law could face a fine of 15-25 euros (£13-£27) or a seven-day jail sentence.

The Muslim Executive of Britain has criticised the move, saying it would lead to women who do wear the full veil to be trapped in their homes.

 

Belgian Committee Votes to Ban Face Veil

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on April 5, 2010 by loonwatch
BelgiumBelgium

Belgium is home to about half a million Muslims, around a dozen or so who wear the face veil, but feels threatened enough to move to ban the veil.

Belgian Committee Votes to Ban Face Veil (via. Islamophobia-Watch)

A Belgian parliamentary committee has voted to ban face-covering Islamic veils from being worn in public.

The home affairs committee voted unanimously to endorse the move, which must be approved by parliament for it to become law. Such a vote could be held within weeks, correspondents say, meaning that Belgium could become the first European country to implement a ban.

The BBC’s Dominic Hughes reports from Brussels that there are about 500,000 Muslims in Belgium, and the Belgian Muslim Council says only a couple of dozen wear full-face veils.

Several districts of Belgium have already banned the burka in public places under old local laws originally designed to stop people masking their faces completely at carnival time.

The wording of the draft law approved by the parliamentary committee says the ban would apply to areas accessible to the public – which would include people walking in the street or using public transport – and would be enforced by fines or even prison.

Denis Ducarme, from the Belgian centre-right Reformist Movement that proposed the bill, said he was “proud that Belgium would be the first country in Europe which dares to legislate on this sensitive matter”. A colleague, Corinne De Parmentier, said: “We have to free women of this burden.”

BBC News, 31 March 2010

See “Europe’s Paranoia on Veil”, MCB press release, 31 March 2010

 

Study Shows French Muslims Hit by Bias

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , on March 29, 2010 by loonwatch
Muslim and patriotic at the same time?Muslim and patriotic at the same time?

Is this the reason that France is so focused on the face veil debate? To deflect attention away from the every day discrimination that French Muslims face?

Study Shows French Muslims Hit by Bias

French Muslims face considerable discrimination based purely on their religion instead of their country of origin, according to a study released Thursday by French and American researchers.

The study, “Are French Muslims Discriminated Against in Their Own Country?” found that Muslims sending out resumes in hopes of a job interview had 2.5 times less chance than Christians of a positive response to their applications. It also showed that monthly salaries of Muslims was on average euro400 less than Christians.

“The discrimination Muslim candidates endure in the French labor market therefore seems to have concrete repercussions on their standard of living,” the study says.

The study bills itself as the first to isolate Islam as the source of discrimination in the labor market.

The work was conducted by two Stanford University professors, David Laitin and Claire Adida, and a colleague at the Sorbonne University, Marie-Anne Valfort. It was carried out in conjunction with the French-American Foundation and a grant from the US National Science Foundation.

To determine whether Muslim French citizens of immigrant origin suffered specifically religious discrimination, the researchers fabricated nearly identical resumes for two single, 24-year-old women from Senegal.

Immigrants hailing from sub-Saharan Africa are “less spontaneously associated with Islam” in the collective mind, the study explains.

Batches of resumes for the two women, Marie Diouf and Khadija Diouf, plus a third woman with a typically French name, Aurelie Menard, were sent out in response to published job offers in hopes of getting an initial interview.

Marie’s resume showed a period of work as an assistant accountant at Secours Catholique and volunteer work with French Scouts of France. Khadija’s showed the same accounting work with Secours Islamique. and volunteer work with Muslim Scouts of France.

Marie received 21 percent of positive responses, Khadija received 8 percent.

Another study looked at 511 households of Senegalese origin and found that Muslims made euro400 a month less, on average.

France, with Western Europe’s largest Muslim population, has been wrestling with how to better integrate citizens of immigrant origin, particularly its estimated 5 million strong Muslim population, mainly from former colonies in North Africa.

There is, in particular, widespread concern that some Muslims are compromising secularism, a value inscribed in the France’s constitution and meant to assure that all citizens are equal.

Laitin said the study suggests that “the goals of secularism (have) not been fulfilled …,” Laitin said. “At present, their own ideals have not been fully met.”

 

Quebec Predictably Follows France’s Lead

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2010 by loonwatch

niqab

The Niqab issue has hit North American shores. Is it a result of the divisive dialogue and law slated for spring in France that will effectively ban the face veil? This seems likely as Quebec, the French speaking Canadian province seems to be headed in the same direction.

The veil is a hot topic of debate even amongst Muslims but one point that both sides of the debate, those who do and don’t find the face veil to be an obstacle can agree upon is that it is not the job of the government to legislate what women can and cannot wear. It seems to be the height of intrusiveness for a government to inject itself into the wardrobes of women. Western nations who pride themselves on being democracies and valuing freedom should know better then to do that.

Quebec Body Rules Against Right to Wear Niqab

A woman wearing the niqab cannot demand to be served by another woman when dealing with the Quebec Health Insurance Board, Quebec’s human-rights commission has ruled.

Concluding that religious beliefs cannot stand in the way of gender equality, the commission found that when a woman wearing the Islamic face covering is required to identify herself and proceed with the photo session needed to produce a health insurance card, the Health Insurance Board has no obligation to accommodate her request to be served by a woman.

“Since freedom of religion was not significantly undermined, there is no obligation to grant an accommodation,” the order states.

The health board had previously agreed to such requests. But last fall critics argued that the health board was acceding to religious fundamentalism.

The decision was greeted with approval in Quebec’s National Assembly yesterday by MNAs of all political stripes.

Immigration Minister Yolande James suggested the ruling will form the basis of new guidelines on religious accommodation for public services, following on the action taken last week to bar a woman from attending a free French language class for immigrants unless she agreed to take off her niqab.

Globe and Mail, 17 March 2010

Not the best video from the Young Turks but interesting nonetheless. I particularly agree with the guy about how speaking with a face veil is not an obstacle in understanding or learning.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/user/TheYoungTurks#p/u/9/_1D_0CLBZVY 350 300]

In the end this is about free choice, a choice that does not effect anyone else, a choice that does not hinder a woman from going about the normal activities of daily life. Next we are going to be hearing about grocery stores not allowing people in who wear the face veil.