Burqa and niqab ban upheld by ECHR

Judges at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) have upheld France's burqa and niqab ban, accepting Paris's argument that it encouraged citizens to 'live together'.

A law made in 2010 says it is illegal for anyone to cover their face in a public place. The ban also covers balaclavas and hoods and similar face and head coverings but has been criticised as it allegedly targets Muslim women.

The case was brought by a French citizen of Pakistani origin. She wears a burqa that covers her whole head and body as well as a niqab, which leaves only her eyes uncovered.The government asked the ECHR to throw out the case. They stated that the law is not aimed at burqas or veils but applies to anything that covers the face in a public place.That also applies to hoods and helmets when not worn by a motor cyclist or any other kind of safety head and face cover.

Estimates state that less than 2000 women from the over five million Moslems in France wear the burqa and niqab. It is a culturally very loaded issue but one that unfortunately plays into the hands of the FN and anti-Islamic groups.

What do SFN members feel about this? Is the ban right or wrong?

Were you in the RNR?? I was in the WRNR at HMS President!! Only a Third Officer for a few years but had a ball!!

Nothing against the army (although I personally prefer the Navy!) as long as they are reasonably willing! It gives many people some direction and discipline that was otherwise lacking and at school. It also gives many a trade. Unhappily some who go through the mill cannot adjust to civvy life and there are those that suffered stress or trauma. I would recommend the Territorial Forces to those unwilling to make the full commitment (exactly what I did a very long time ago). I've always been attracted to some sort of civilian "force" that was not military but which taught positive social responsibility not just allowed utter selfishness. It may be judgmental but there's something about bearing and presenting yourself in a way that makes other people think "yes I want to give that guy a job, or my business". I'm afraid I'm of the generation where manners and consideration were considered important not something just to laugh at!

Your description is perfect! Love your comment about Putin!!! Re the PRU kids, they are the ones expelled from state school for many reasons. Just getting them into a classroom was/is a battle of wills at times, getting them to sit down and stay in the class, another battle, and so having them wear school uniforms would have been pushing our luck although I take your point! Funnily enough, though, many of the older boys were really attracted to army life so they would have to toe the line at some stage if they followed that route!

Something very strange happens to people wearing baseball caps and hoodies. As soon as they put them on they become furtive, untrustworthy, sullen, always looking down never directly in the eye. Some manage this without the fashion accessories, like Putin........I'm afraid that these are often the people that if given any alternative you would not employ so the situation becomes worse. In your example there is a great deal to be said for school uniforms.

Your comment about hoodies reminds me of a time when I worked in a Pupil Referral Unit and we absolutely banned the "young people", as they were known, from wearing them with the hoods up in class. The reason for this was that they used to hide their iPod or phone in their pocket, pass the earphone wire up under the hoodie and have one earpiece in an ear, hidden by their hood, so they could listen to music while we tried to teach them! It was almost impossible to have a whole class with hoods off...!!! But this story does reinforce the view that things can be hidden by whole body or head coverings which is not great for building a trusting and secure society.

Ditto all that!!

Just because this seems to be getting a bit too one-sided, here is a picture I took quite recently at the Mont St. Michel. Maybe not quite so prevalent as strange Islamic dress, but then some might think that suicide is preferable to celibacy…!

Something to hide perhaps? There again if that was the case they would probably want to keep the face covering caper as it was. Therefore I am just as confused as you. Perhaps a lack of technical expertise?

I believe, but cannot quote it or who, it may have been Eugene O'Neill, but anyway somebody did say something about the oceans could be filled with the blood spilled in the name of god.

I have made a livelihood out of trying to change things for the better. At least for children and thus by default for the benefit of the adults they become. All I personally have from it is that I am mortally tired.

So it seems like most if not all SFN members are in favour of faces being shown except here on SFN. I'm confused. Anyone care to explain why that is!

God only knows that. It was done as a joke, being kind here, but it makes a valid point about the inability to work out just who is hiding in there. I toyed with changing my profile picture to this but thought you might not like it as it would turn me into yet another black square. I can assure you I am not square, far from it, I am very rotund.

Who proof read that ?

Me too.

Totally agree.

I'm joining this conversation rather late, I realise. I have to agree with Véronique, to think that women in the Middle East fought for generations for the right to NOT be hidden, and now? At my university 30 years ago, these women would not have been caught dead dressing that way, even if they were practicing muslims. Now, a professor colleague reports to me, quite a few are veiled in one way or another. Is this a retro fashion look? No, she tells me, it is an expression of religious freedom and, more than that, a feminist statement. Well, I'm as feminist as any of them, going back to childhood, and so was this colleague, so this is a new twist of logic for me. My first thought: so it's feminist in an IRONIC way? A satire? Like when the Monty Python troupe were in drag? My colleague is not amused by my comments and defends these women adamantly. She says that her students are making a statement (ah! so it's political and not religious?), the statement is that they don't have to dress like prostitutes as current society dictates. (Wonderful: let's see the world in black and white, instead of its infinite shades of grey.) I find it depressing. After being away from Montreal for some time, I ran into a couple of women clad in burqas, for the first time. My first instinct was to say to them, on the pavement: "You know, HE'S not allowed to make you dress like that here if you don't want to." But then I decided to shut my mouth and not risk getting hurt. P.S. When I see these women, their men are dressed "western" style, especially in summer. Bermuda shorts, shirt open to reveal gold chain on the chest, Nike sandals, etc, strutting along, 10 steps ahead. I'd like to make that man wear a chador for a day and see what it's like. It makes me angry. I can't help it. On the other hand, none of the other cultural/religious groups in my city who have ALWAYS had their traditional dress, disturb me one bit. I'm not sure why. They go about their business and they fit into the fabric of life of our city. They didn't go inventing a costume to provoke people (which a face covering tends to do).

Stop Sto

WOW What a woman, making my knees tremble

Dead right there!