A large majority (86%) of French Muslims say they oppose a law regulating the wearing of a full veil, according to a survey conducted by French site oumma.com.More than half (59%) say that wearing the burka or niqab is a Koranic injunction and many more (77%) reject the idea that women who war the veil are coerced. 54% of respondents say that the full veil is a “hallmark of religious commitment,” 35% say it’s a cultural practice, and 9% say it’s a “demand of political nature”
80% of the respondents say the creation of a parliamentary commission on wearing the burqa is a “stigmatization of Islam”. 15% says it’s ‘useless’ and 5% ‘useful’. The poll was conducted via Internet. According to oumma.com, the 1,545 people aged 18+ who participated in the survey represent all socio-professional, denominational and cultural aspects of French Muslims.
Christine Defraigne has announced a proposal to ban the burqa in Belgium almost five years after a similar text was brought by the MR to parliament. The proposal suggests that wearing a burqa in public in a way that masks or hides the identity of the person under the veil should be prohibited. Violations of this law would result in a penalty charge of EUR 15 to 25 and/or imprisonment of between one and seven days.
Defraigne said that women were under no religious obligation to wear the burqa. “The Qur’an does not mention it. Banning women from wearing these items is not refusing Islam as a religion. The burkha and the niqab personify the subjugation of the individual and social dehumanisation.”
Dutch Muslims have criticised a government proposal to ban women from wearing the burqa or veils which cover the face in public places. Dutch Muslim groups say a ban would make the country’s one million Muslims feel victimised and alienated. The Dutch cabinet said burqas – a full body covering that also obscures the face – disturb public order and safety. The proposed ban would apply to wearing the burqa in the street, and in trains, schools, buses and law courts in the Netherlands. Other forms of face coverings, such as veils, and crash helmets with visors that obscure the face, would also be covered by a ban. Critics of the proposed ban say it would violate civil rights. The main Muslim organisation in the Netherlands, CMO, said the plan was an “over-reaction to a very marginal problem.”
The Dutch immigration minister says she will look into the legality of banning the burqa, the robes worn by some Muslim women to cover their bodies. Rita Verdonk made the pledge after a majority in parliament said it would support such a ban. The proposal was put forward by independent politician Geert Wilders. “That women should walk the streets in a totally unrecognisable manner is an insult to everyone who believes in equal rights,” he said. “This law is a comfort to moderate Muslims and will contribute to integration in the Netherlands,” he added in a statement. His proposal is supported by two of the parties in the governing centre-right coalition, as well as the opposition right-wing party founded by the late Pim Fortuyn. Mrs Verdonk did not say when she might complete her investigation. If the Netherlands does decide to ban the burqa, it will be the first European country to do so.