France Bans Veils

A French law that has been two years in the making has passed as of today: Muslims (or anyone else who cares to) cannot where veils that cover their face.

I am at a crossroads with this one.  On the one hand I can see the point that Nicolas Sarkozy made when he said  the veils “imprison women and contradict this secular nation’s values of dignity and equality”.  On the other hand, I am confused as to why it is his right to tell people what to do regarding their garment choices.

It is one thing if the veils are forced on Muslim women by their partner or family member, but another thing if this is what they choose to do.

The fist time I ever seen a niqab (veil) was while I was touring Paris.  The image has forever been engrained in my mind.  An Arab man was dragging what I presumed to be his wife down a gorgeous Parisian road forcefully.  She appeared like the Grim Reaper, covered from head to toe in black, only her hands and eyes were visible.   I must admit it made me feel very uncomfortable, I was for the most part, concerned for the woman herself and I questioned the subordinate position she appeared to be in.

I am confused about where I stand on this one.  I am unsure of the role I believe a government should play in dictating what religious attire a person may or may not wear.  At the same time, I feel extremely uncomfortable with the idea of a woman having to shield her face in order to conceal her attractiveness from male predators.  Quite an archaic idea if you ask me, but at the same time, is it any of my business if these consenting adults choose to wear an outfit that I don’t understand?

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