The move to ban the burka has no doubt grabbed global attention and perhaps has even caused some to question the ruling of the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy. Now while President Sarkozy may have been attempting to be honorable in his decision, I am one of those who say he does not have the right to make such a ban.
True, the burka is not part of religion, but it IS an item of clothing that many Muslim women choose to wear, or at least that’s how it’s supposed to be. It’s a shame that there are those who make it difficult for women to live their lives and impose customs upon them by force. It isn’t surprising how the French President’s views on the burka come as ill informed, causing him to tackle the issue from an unnecessary angle, as noble as he’s trying to be. But there is no nobility in saying that the burka is a “sign of subservience and debasement,” and “is not welcome in France.” The President is clearly overstepping his boundaries in dictating what one should wear and should not wear. It makes him no better than Hamid Karzai who had the audacity to go as far legislating a law that interferes in the sexual life of a marital couple.
I agree many Muslim women have been unfairly oppressed due to extremism, forced to conform to something regardless of their choices. However it doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, for instance the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is believed to demonstrate an outstanding example of freedom for women. Their Muslim women have excelled to the highest levels of society without compromising their faith, and yet the covering of their body has played no part in deterring them from keeping their active, recognized and valuable roles in society.
The burka is a garment that is symbolic to women, it provides protection and allows people to respect them. How can President Sarkozy think it is acceptable to make women feel vulnerable, because that’s what will happen by taking away their garment and not allowing them to cover themselves. France was supposed to be a secular state that didn’t interfere in religious affairs. I see no freedom here, just ignorance of other people’s feelings. If France truly is a democratic state, then it will respect the values of their citizens and preserve true freedom so that it can reign.