From the Associated Press:
France’s lower house of parliament overwhelmingly approved a ban on burqa-like Islamic veils Tuesday, a move that is popular among French voters despite serious concerns from Muslim groups and human rights advocates.
There were 336 votes for the bill and just one against it at the National Assembly. Most members of the main opposition group, the Socialist Party, refused to participate in the vote — though they support a ban, they have differences with President Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservatives over some aspects of it.
The ban isn’t law yet. It has to go through the Senate in September. According to the AP piece, it is unlikely to counter much resistance there.
But after that, the law will be reviewed by France’s constitutional watchdog. Some legal scholars say there is a chance it could be deemed unconstitutional. AP thinks this may be the laws biggest hurdle.
Personally, I don’t see this law passing the review. Mainly, because it goes squarely against the EUnion and its opinions on non-discrimination and the threat that is posed by ‘islamophobia’. (h/t Sheik Yer’Mami)
But that would put France on a collision course with the EUnion, which in and of itself would be fun and more then a little interesting to watch.
In the mean time, support for the burqa ban comes from some unexpected quarters. Via EuropeNews we learn about Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian-born journalist who calls herself “a liberal, a Muslim and a feminist”. And a staunch supporter of the ban:
I support banning the burqa because I believe it equates piety with the disappearance of women. The closer you are to God, the less I see of you — and I find that idea extremely dangerous. It comes from an ideology that basically wants to hide women away. What really strikes me is that a lot of people say that they support a woman’s right to choose to wear a burqa because it’s her natural right. But I often tell them that what they’re doing is supporting an ideology that does not believe in a woman’s right to do anything. We’re talking about women who cannot travel alone, cannot drive, cannot even go into a hospital without a man with them.
Mrs. Eltahawy could teach our home-grown ‘feminists’ (which for all intents and purposes are just the female variety of cultural marxists hell bent on the destruction of Western Civilization) a thing or two about what it truly means to stand up for women. Are you listening, Anja Meulenbelt?