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Islam: 80% of French public favor tougher anti-veil laws


Islam: 80% of French public favor tougher anti-veil laws

Intellectuals sign online petition after Supreme Court ruling

(ANSAmed) – PARIS, MARCH 25 – The Islamic veil is still very much a national controversy, data from a front-page BVA survey in Le Parisien newspaper showed on Monday.

More than 80% of respondents favor toughening the country’s 2004 law, which bans religious dress and insignia in schools, nurseries, and anywhere that involves the care and education of children. Another 83% is in favor of extending the ban to the private sector, and 16% is against.

Socialists, intellectuals, politicians and humanitarian NGOs signed an online petition launched by Marianne weekly, calling on the government to enact a new, tougher law in defense of secularism, one that will explain with ”pedagogy and clarity” where and when the principle of secularism is to be applied.

Prominent signatories include philosophers Elisabeth Badinter, Alain Finkielkraut and Jean-Pierre Le Goff, Socialist Party secretary Harlem Desir, and several former ministers. For influential think tank Institut Montaigne, the existing law does not need reforming. The debate flared when France’s highest court on March 19 vacated the dismissal of a woman from a Chateloup-les-Vignes private nursery school for refusing to remove her Islamic veil in the workplace. School authorities cited the principle of secularism and the school’s ”philosophical, political and sectarian neutrality”, but the Supreme Court replied that since secularism does not apply in the private sector, the dismissal ”constitutes in this case an act of discrimination on grounds of religion”. Interior Minister Manuel Valls hotly criticized the ruling, which he said ”brings secularism into question”. Since 2004, French law bans ostentatious wear of all ”religious insignia” in public schools. A law banning women from wearing the full-body Islamic veil (burqa and niqab) in all public places, including the street, was enacted in 2011. Women defying the ban risk fines of 150 euros. (ANSAmed).

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  • Leftwing_Muslim_Alliance

    I agree totally Géji . Its up to the indevidual themselves to declare their belief .No one has the power to read nothers mind apart from God ( assuming God exists )

    Sir David

  • Leftwing_Muslim_Alliance

    exactly George . One needs to be very clear in the question asked in order to have meaningful results unless you are trying to proove a political point 😉
    Sir David

  • George Carty

    I thought that even the headscarf was often referred to as “voile” in French, although “foulard” would be the correct word.

  • Rights

    I am not clear on the French rationale for banning the veil, niqab, hijab, or whatever like garment the Muslim women wear. Obviously it has nothing to do with the garment per se, nor with secularism, nor with religion in general; if it did, the French would have banned long ago the cornette, wimple, habit, and kippah. No, it obviously has to do with the Muslim aspect of the garments.

    At one point in Germany a court had ruled that the headscarf ban extended to nuns as well. I don’t know what came of that later. On the other hand, the European Human Rights Court ruled that the French ban on headscarf in schools did not constitute a violation of rights. All this becomes very confusing, but only because of selective and biased judgments and applications of jurisprudence. We all know very well that court decisions do not necessarily justify the fairness or unfairness of laws.

    The headscarf bans do not aim to restrict any piece of cloth; they aim to restrict what the cloth symbolizes, and who wears it. And that is what makes the opponents of the scarf bigots.

  • Géji

    I’m stressing that under Islamic law, no one can declare “a Atheist” without him/herself declaring so. We cannot portray someone as “Atheist” just because they aren’t behaving how the “should” behave or “practice”.

  • Leftwing_Muslim_Alliance

    Unfortunetly in France there are no accurate statistics about how many people consider themselves muslim , christian or even Jedhi Knights as there are no official records of any kind . I have been told under the constituion they are not allowed to collect ethnic or religious statistics as everyone is ” french ” and religion is there own private matter .
    Its complete bollocks of course and a free pass to the haters.
    Sir David
    Not French

  • Géji

    “Its worth noting that almost a third of the alleged “Muslims” in France are Atheists who were raised Muslim… or simply “non-practicing” Muslims.”


    A “non-practicing” that are non-self claimed him/herself to be part of “Atheists” (total denying of God) ? is not an atheist, but simply bad at “practicing” what s/he supposed to. Non-practicing may mean not-praying, not-fasting, or not-paying charity ect, or even engaging/committing the act of non-marital sexual activities, drinking activities, doing drugs activities, OR even worse selling those mischieves, but doesn’t make them “atheists”.

  • Leftwing_Muslim_Alliance

    Sorry Steve but I live in France and I have never seen anything about Nuns being the victim of attacks because they wear a scarf over their heads . I am certain any such attack would be big news here . Front page headlines in the rightwing local press I asked my GF and she looked at me in a puzzled way and asked if it was an April fools joke .
    I know one of the “chief ” nuns here in Angers I will ask her if I see her next week . We sometimes have a cup of tea together in town .
    Sir David

  • Zakariya Ali Sher

    Well, you must bear in mind that France is (and historically has been) a Catholic majority country. Its still something like 85% Catholic, and back in the day it was even higher, and the Church occupied a position of power in society. When the French Revolution rolled around, it was fairly anti-Church, anti-clerical and even anti-religion at one point. I think that has left a deep imprint on French society.

    Its worth mentioning the French are by no means unique in that regard. Mexico is still overwhelmingly Catholic majority, but you can find anti-clerical laws preventing priests from holding office in some areas, for example. Again, its because someone (either the people in power or the masses) feared the power of the Catholic Church.

    Ironically, you can find the same sorts of things in some Muslim countries, particularly those influenced by modernizers or reformers. Turkey is the prime example but plenty of other Muslim countries have sought to ban women from wearing hijab.

  • Zakariya Ali Sher

    I disagree. I don’t doubt that there are some Muslim women who support anti-veil laws, but as far as I’m aware, nobody has gone out and tried to collect the data. Its worth noting that almost a third of the alleged “Muslims” in France are Atheists who were raised Muslim… or simply “non-practicing” Muslims. I’m not sure they should be included, any more than Atheists from a Christian background should be called “Christian.”

    I also think its worth noting that far, far too many of my co-religionists in Europe have taken the attitude of burying their heads in the sand and going with the flow. They don’t speak out against Islamophobia, especially the institutionalized, government-backed Islamophobia, out of fear that they will become victims. It does us all a disservice, because even after they ban the hijab and halal and building new mosques, they will STILL continue to go after us. As long as there are “brown people” in Europe they will have someone to victimize, and giving them so much as an inch is like giving them a yard.

  • Seeker

    Really? That’s news !

  • SarahAB

    I think that’s about right Ilisha – the coercion argument probably connects with the saying ‘hard cases make bad law’.

  • Ilisha

    I agree with your point that it doesn’t matter which freedom bans infringe upon. I think it’s a person’s right to choose his or her own clothing.

    I also understand what you mean about people feeling pressured. But I don’t think we can regulate that, with regard to niqab or anything else. There are parents and spouses–and society itself for that matter–applying all kinds of pressures. Are we going to start legislating to avoid that? Maybe it will be illegal to tell your kids to save sex for marriage, or that they should go to university? Where does this regulating of other people’s lives stop?

    One thing we shouldn’t lose sight of is that hardly anyone wears niqab. Why make such a huge deal out of something hardly anyone chooses to do anyway? Is there really some huge problem of niqabi hordes unleashing havoc in European capitals? I think not.

    Whenever they start trying to ban the niqab, I feel like wearing one. 😉

  • Seeker

    Do the secularists in France also target the nuns’ headscarf ?

  • Leftwing_Muslim_Alliance

    There is in my humble opinion an attempt to distract from the economic situation by the usual suspects mainly because quite a few people have sussed out the political elite in france believe paris = france . The only politition not based there is dear Marine Le Pen who appears to be based on another planet . So they blame all the political elite for the current sluggish economy
    As for the real situation economically only the President really knows I suspect and he says its ok but then he would wouldnt he. Certainly the economy is less based on manufactoring and banking and more on agriculture than either Britain or Germany and the french do buy french at every available opertunity ( even to buy crap stuff )and go on holiday in their own country to a greater extent than most of the northern european countries, so lots of stuff is “in house” economically .
    I would be very interested in finding out the exact question asked for this survey .
    If it was how many people object to the veil and the implication in france using that word would be anything covering the face then I am not surprised at the 80% figure
    However if the question was how many people objected to the headscarf then I suspect not nearly so many would have any objection at all .
    Sir David

  • Seeker

    That figures. 😛
    No, but seriously. I saw a comment on the link Garibaldi referenced that stated that the reason France is getting into all this silliness has to do with the poor economical situation.

  • Leftwing_Muslim_Alliance

    Oh you cynic !

    I of course had not noticed any economic problems from my chateau here on the banks of the Loire. It helps having a big big wall and gatehouse mind you
    Thats me waving at the crowds from the top of the wall,
    but yes the secuarists are in a tizzy over case case Garibaldi outlined
    Sir David
    The big house by the river

  • Seeker

    Is France doing badly on the economic front ? ( Yes, I am ignorant of this.)

  • Talking_fish_head

    i found a very prolific video from one of my favorite horror actors: Vincent Price were he talks about racism and bigotry

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    This reaction is targeting the headscarf, a backlash to a recent ruling in France that found a private employer discriminated against an employee just because she wore the headscarf:

  • Talking_fish_head

    I agree, people should be using this time and money to restore the economy, or fund medical research or some thing

  • mindy1

    Why waste time on things that do not effect you? If she wants to wear Hijab, let her

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