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Ban on Wearing Head Scarf in France

12 December, 2003

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Presidential Commission has backed the hammock ban over wearing Head Scarf by Muslim female students in educational institutions in the name of 'sustenance of Secular identity of France'. Head Scarf is already forbidden in public sector.

Few days back President Chirac told a group of high school students that wearing a veil in France is seen as "a sort of aggression."

Muslims represent 7 percent of France's total 60 million population, while the country's Jewish community is about 1 percent of the population --Both Western Europe's largest.

Do you think such bans in France would strengthen or weaken the secularism?

What do you think about this interposing on Muslim students' wearing Head Scarf in France?

How do you see the French President’s remarks over this issue?

Is there any surety Christian and Jew minorities will not be banned from wearing Skullcaps and Crosses in future?

Reader Comments:

Weak secularism and Strong Islam

I hardly know of any secular state in the world which would impose such a ban, so obviously it would rather weaken the concept of Secularism in France.

French President's remarks would only strengthen the,notably perceived, notion world wide, that West is against Islam.

I don't forsee any bans being imposed on Christians and Jews in future anywhere in France or elsewhere in the westernworld. In contrast, I predict more restrictions upon Muslim community in that part of the world.

Western world can't seem to digest the popularity Islam is getting in the west by becoming the most fastest growing religion. Such bans and their media, driven by hatred, is only making the minds of non muslims to become more curious to study Islam and accept it by heart.

Islam is Peace,Truth and Ultimate source of guidance towards rightehousness.

Ijaz, Pakistan - 12 December, 2003

Till when will they supress the Identities of minorities in the name of Secularism?? Secularism is a way of governance where all religions are treated on the same level. if this is so , righteously, in future other minorities are also endangered ones. I was thinking these things are common in just third world, but this permanent member of security council is also under future-blind advisors. Come on let us talk about peace, Can you supress some nation forever? why not to do what u wil have to do in future? to give freedom to live at own, of own ---atleats

ahmad bilal, Pakistan - 12 December, 2003

Just read this , then u will get the answer why they ban the headscarf .

Some 50,000 French have accepted Islam since the 1950s, a French intelligence report revealed, saying that most of those who converted were heathens.who embraced Islam to fill their spiritual vacuum. The report, parts of which published by the daily Le Figaro said converting to Islam “has become a phenomenon (in France) that needs to be followed up closely.” It is said that L'Essonne, 17 miles southeast of Paris, has the largest number of those who accepted Islam, with 1000 to 2000 out of a total of 50,000 converted in 50 years' time. On the future of Islam in France, despite the problems facing Muslims in France,they are integrating with the French society

hamayun, Pakistan - 12 December, 2003


Muslim countries must raise this issue in the UN generaly assembly. Over and above, what is OIC doing on this whose objective is to safeguard muslims interests.

Sunny, Pakistan - 12 December, 2003

headscarf ban

You will find that the (proposed) ban covers ANY
overtly religious or political symbols, including Jewish skullcaps and crucifixes.
Small religious badges will not be banned.
A 1999 ruling by the Council of State said scarves, skullcaps and crucifixes
should be banned when they are of an "ostentatious character".
They now feel a law banning "obvious" display of religious symbols would be simpler.
Extra public holidays have also been proposed for Eid and Yom Kippur.
Turkey banned headscarves in government buildings long ago.
Not too much opposition about that over the years.
France is a secular country, ie. church and state are separated.
State schools are government buildings and should not be used for
the promotion of religion.
MJ Fletcher. UK.

MJ Flecther, United Arab Emirates - 12 December, 2003

An Act Of Cowardness

This is an Act of cowardness by France. A 'SCARFE' is something which gives a Muslim woman courage and strength and keeps her head high in front of her male counterparts. This does not affect the community of France in anyway. But this instead is an act to make the Muslims stay away from their Faith. If this is what the west side is planning for us then I suggest that all the foreigners in our Muslims Nations should forced to wear a scarfe and a Veil.

Imran Agha
Karachi, Pakistan

Imran Ali Agha, Pakistan - 12 December, 2003

they done wrong

french govt.done wrong,but we should question ourselves that we are able or we want to practise Islam.originally we are hipocrates.we cover our heads and make coorutipn as much as we want.we want to make this all world messy with our wrong actions.if we want identification like scarf we must practise Islam.we want special food(vegitarian food in air planes but we drink same time alcohol???we believe in muhammad but dishonesty is our policy all over the world.ALL ARABS wear scarf but their husbands are the most popoulation who go in night clubs and marry hundreds wives.
French prsident did wrong
they will not stop jews because they obey their religion and they are honest with their faith.

mansoor hassan, United Arab Emirates - 12 December, 2003

I dont believe at all that 50,000 French ever converted to Islam. That number doesnt makes sense at all. The only reason muslims are increasing in France is because of muslims entering and living in France illegaly. In Pakistan Afghanis brought heroin and AK-47, same in France, North African muslims are setting up terrorist camps and recruitment centres in France. To control this extremists in France, Govt has to show that they are running the show. If Christians can not wear big cross or Jews cannot wear skull cap so whats wrong with Head Scarf. A Christian can not even pray openly in Saudi Arabia and no one minds that. Its funny Islamic countries dont give freedom to minorities but demand all the freedom from Christian countries that they immigrate to.

Sammy Jabareen, Canada - 12 December, 2003

If French were scared of Islam they would stop immigration of muslims completely. Its the growing islamic extremism they want to control. Which arab country allows immigration? French want to live in peace with their secularist values.

Asif Khan, Pakistan - 12 December, 2003


The issue of being secular and non secular is very old. It has both strict and loose meanings and implications. Do we know Azan, the Muslaim way of call for prayers is banned! Non can hear the call for prayers outside the premises of Mosque. Why bother about scarf. You ban wearing of cross, which muslims must not do the christian world will tear you apart. It is a very unequal world.

hayat, Pakistan - 12 December, 2003

Cool Heartedly

Banning wearing of head scarf is against the tenants of basic human rights.This ban would neither strengthen French secularism nor contribute to racial harmony.It will only promote and create bad blood within the French society.It is up to the Muslim leaders and French Muslims as to how they would like to address this issue in a concerted and legal manner.I believe the ban will also apply to the display of cross and wearing of the skullcaps by Christians and Jews and therefore may draw strong reaction and opposition to this from these two communities also,while the government will try to project itself as being even handed on the issue.

President Chirac's comments can only be termed as unfortunate and far from the reality.However,this is reflective of the Western perception of the Muslims in general.

Muslims form about 5 to 7 % of the population in France as the largest minority.They should use this as a leverage at the time of the local as well as national election time and cast their vote curiously to individuals sympathetic to their cause.Their aversion and opposition to the imposition of this draconian rule should be handled cool heartedly and politically.

M. S. Hassan, Pakistan - 13 December, 2003


1. It should be neither. France is non-secular anyway. It would do neither. The idea is to expose whoever it is and not hide the face. Makes sense.

2. Muslims need to wake up and realize that they are getting the boot in all "so called" western-developed economies. Muslims in these countries enjoy the bounties of that country, but still think they are above the average citizen of the same country. This is hypocracy in living.

3. Not surprised.

4. Nothing is sure in life. Is their any surety that Muslims won't be kicked in the future, just like they are being kicked today in Iraq, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Czhechnia, America, Phillipines, India, to name a few.

General Comment: Muslims are not above any other nation. They need to realize that. Example: Pakistanis should be Pakistani first, and Muslim then. And, same in each, so called "muslim country". Collectively, muslims have too many cultures which have hodged-podged the religion. Islam is a simple religion. There should be no confusion between the religion and the local cultural way of life. Don't buy it? OK, look at Pakistani weddings and you won't see much Islam in it, but culturally, you will see many Hindu rituals, especially followed by the "Muslim women, wearing Hijabs" ------ Absolute Hypocracy!

Imran Ishaq, United Kingdom - 13 December, 2003


My friend(Sammy Jabareen) said that she doesn't think that it's true(50000 accepted Islam). Heathens are irreligious people, they are among Pagans and Nazis(both have many Gods and Godesess).

Saudi Arabia is the Holy land thats why minorities are not allowed for there prayer openely, Jews are only 1% of total population of Russia and muslims are about 15 %,I am not saying that only muslim has more rights ,every minority has the right to live according to there religious teachings. Terroists camps etc ,Non Muslims thinks that Mosques are the terrorists camps not only in France all over the world just because of western media.

Sadia shah, Pakistan - 13 December, 2003

An Eqally Dealt Table

I feel that since the ban is on the muslim head dress, The Jewish Skull cap and crosses and any Large publicaly displayed Religious Icons,The French president has been very fair at maintaining his secular policies.
This follows very well with the French identity of secularism, and the separation of the French state and any and all religions.

Ali S.Janjua, Pakistan - 13 December, 2003

If only

It's rather ironic that Muslims get so upset over any perceived 'threat' to expressing their religion, and they always say they are the victim in any situation, yet in Islamic countries the suppression of other religions is horrendous!
When Muslims stop acting like they are the "Master Faith' maybe others will stop feeling threatened by them.

I don't accept fascist ideas such as a "Master Race" or "Master Faith".And will never accept the notion of dhimmitude.

Radical Islamists are killing,oppressing,maiming people all over the world, muslims and non-muslims, and all the Muslim community can do is scream about supposed discrimination against Muslims.

Stephanie Anderson, United Kingdom - 13 December, 2003

HeadGear ?

France should ban all types of headgear,as each one is provocative to the individual
in the society.

Khalid Rahim, Canada - 13 December, 2003

Ban on Head Scarfs

Before 9-11 I had no bad feelings for Muslims. However now whenever I see anyone in the traditional Muslim attire I feel a sense of uneasiness. To me and many Americans the attire represents the worst of Islam. It is the same feeling I get if someone would wear a Nazi uniform. Many people seem to blindly follow the leaders of Islam as if they are living in the middle ages again. I am a Catholic, and if the Pope himself told me to strap explosives to myself and detonate the device on some street I would tell him I don't care what he says.. It is the 21st century, wake up.

Joe Pritz, United Kingdom - 13 December, 2003

Banning the scarfs

You guys have it right. Islam wants to keep oppression on non Muslims and women going on. I am from the South in the USA. I wish we did the same thing here. We would still have black slaves and our women would not be able to vote. We could have keep all the Jews, Catholics, Niggars, Dot Heads and other undesireables out of our country. What a great country this would be. Keep up the good work.

Bobby Joe Mitchell, United Kingdom - 13 December, 2003


First of all it realy baffles me the way they make hue and cry over something which is not that important its up to the individual how he or she wants to dress up why head scarf has to be a matter of concern. the govt's indulgence into these trivial matters is hilarious .its been a famous notion that banning of anything never helps it only aggravate the sustaining problem because in the name of secularism govt cannot get away with every thing .it is very peculiar of west to form a generlized view of islam and attribute its soul with all these trivialities .

Aisha Sana, Pakistan - 14 December, 2003

Joe Pritz!

America is truning out to be a begger nation who can beg and kill innocent Muslims for Oil. But mind you, Muslim are emerging as one big Power, and one day it will become difficult for you all to use our OIL.

Imran Ali Agha, Pakistan - 14 December, 2003

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