Muslim Women in France To Be Undressed in Public Places

France may soon ban the public wearing of traditional garments for Muslim women – hijab headscarves, niqab veils and paranja robes. The announcement came from the report prepared by the committee of the national parliament. Thirty-two deputies of the committee studied the issue of wearing traditional Muslim clothing in public places due to numerous complaints received from native citizens of France. The native French are concerned with the growing number of women dressed in dark overalls in the streets.

The members of the committee came to conclusion that hijabs, naqabs and paranjas symbolized women’s subordination. The deputies decided that the garments violated the principle of sexual equality and were therefore incompatible with the norms of France.

The report recommends the French government to pass the law regulating the wearing of traditional Islamic clothing in state institutions, hospitals and in public transport. The members of the committee believe that the controversial measure must be taken for security reasons too: female suicide terrorists always hide their bombs underneath their robes.

It is worthy of note that the deputies condemned Islamophobia and urged everyone to respect this religion.

The document has all chances to become a new law in France. French President Nicolas Sarkozy stated recently that the wearing of niqab or paranja was humiliating to women and could not be accepted in France.

The new law, if approved, may lead to unpredictable consequences. The Muslim community in France is the largest in Europe – about 5.4 million people, or 9 percent of the nation’s population.

Arabs make the majority of the French Muslim community. The percentage of conservative Muslim people among them is higher than that among Turks, Kurds or Islamic nations of the former USSR.

The living standard of French Muslims is considered to be extremely low. They mostly reside in suburbs of large cities. The criminal level in those towns is a lot higher in comparison with other settlements inhabited by the native French.

There are many of those French Muslims who do not visit mosques very often and do not make their women wear even headscarves.

France is a secular state – any religion in this country is completely separated from the state. However, many Muslims share a different point of view. Many Muslims protested against the law prohibiting the wearing of headscarves in educational establishments in 2004. The law has not been canceled, though, and is still in effect.

The issue of the relations between native Europeans and immigrants from Muslim countries gradually becomes a headache for all countries of Western Europe: Arabs, Turks and Kurds are everywhere. However, the problem is especially serious in France.

Vadim Trukhachev

Read the original in Russian

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov