French president Nicolas Sarkozy said in a speech last week that burkas are not welcomed in France. The Parliament is preparing for a law that bans the wearing of burkas in France.
I have a major problem with that.
First, they are banning something because they do not like it. A woman who is shopping or walking down the street is not taking away the freedom from anyone else. She is minding her own business. We should not lock people up because we don't like how they look, otherwise we'd be locking up men covered with tattoos, fat people wearing shorts and Nadia Al-Jundi from existing.
Secondly, they're doing the same thing that the religious police is Saudi Arabia and Iran is doing, chasing women and giving them a fine or locking them in jail because of something they are wearing (or not wearing for that matter). It's exactly the same concept. The French government would lower itself to the level of Saudi or Iranian government in interfering with the woman's own freedom to wear what she wants to wear.
Abuse is another excuse the French have for banning the burka. They assume every woman wearing the burka is being forced to do so by her husband. This is actually true in a few cases. However in France a woman can get a divorce is she is being abused by her husband, and there are shelters everywhere for women who suffer from domestic abuse.
Integration into the society is another concern, but you cannot enhance that by forcing a woman by law into wearing what you want her to wear. Besides, passing such law would cause many women covered with burkas to stay home rather than go outside their house.
If you want them to be integrated you have to influence the way they think, if possible, by many other methods that do not violate personal freedoms. It has to be their own decision to put on or take off whatever cloth they want. You will not suddenly open up their mind by dropping a piece of cloth.
Do not treat a cough by a cough suppressant. Treat it with excising the cancer that's causing it.