Christophe Caresche, PS (Socialist Party) deputy of Paris, has positioned himself against a law banning headscarves in public places, seeing it as an arm which could accelerate “an already marginal phenomenon.”
While claiming that wearing the burqa and niqab “call into question women’s dignity in the public sphere,” a ban being pushed by UMP deputies “risks to play into the game we think we’re battling against.” He also noted that legally it seems doubtful that such a ban could pass alongside the current constitution.
André Geron’s commission on the topic is set to make its recommendations at the end of January 2010.
French ministers Eric Besson (minister of immigration), Brice Hortefeux (minister of the Interior) and Xavier Darcos (minister of work) were recently auditioned by the Parliamentary Mission on burqa and niqab use in the Republic. They did not share a common method of how to dispel the “radical and rare” phenomenon. According to Le Monde, they had strongly differing positions. Besson is for a law, Hortefeux claims it is possible legally, and Darcos is more restrained.
Key Words – Eric Besson, Brice Hortefeux, Xavier Darcos, Parliamentary Debate, Niqab, Burqa, France, André Geron
Ismahane Chouder and Monique Crinon of the Feminist Collective for Equality (Collectif des féministes pour l’égalité) explained to the parliamentary commission led by André Geron that they say the burqa in France is hostile to women’s rights. However, Chouder and Crinon did not advocate a burqa ban, noting that “We have a tendency in our societies to punish the victims.” Both voiced a characterization of the burqa in the Republic as a “sign of stigmatization.”