I am myself against the veil and the niqab. I don’t see it as representing the religion. It is more of a cultural off shoot in backward and closed societies such as those of Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. But the state has no business telling its citizens what to wear. It is a matter of strict individual preference. People must be free to make these decisions for themselves, not have them imposed by governments or enforced by the police. These kind of rulings only increase Muslim phobia in Europe and serve the propaganda purposes of the extremists in the Islamic world.
Friday, January 29, 2010
The French folly
The French President Mr. Sarkozi has unleashed an unnecessary debate about French identity and its relationship with the Muslim population prior to the regional elections. Muslim-bashing has been a potent vote-getter for French far-right politicians, most notably Jean-Marie Le Pen. It seems like the current government is trying to cater to the right wing members of the society by promoting hatred. The a French parliamentary panel recommends barring women who wear the burqa and the niqab from using public services, including schools, hospitals and public transportation. The Muslim head scarves have been banned from public school classrooms since 2004.