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Muslim Woman Can't Become French Citizen Because of Burqa

Muslim Woman Can't Become French Citizen Because of Burqa

A French court has decided to deny citizenship to a Muslim woman because her practice of radical Islam, including the sporting of a burqa, conflicts with French values. The woman lives in France with her French husband and three French-born children.

Urban Affairs Minister Fadela Amara, a Muslim member of the French government, has voiced her support of the decision, calling the burqa poison, a straitjacket, and a prison. Amara thinks the choice could dissuade "fanatics from imposing the burqa on their wives." She also said:

"It is not a religious insignia but the insignia of a totalitarian political project that advocates inequality between the sexes and which is totally devoid of democracy."

While I would feel oppressed if I had to wear a burqa, I can't see how the court's decision to deny citizenship helps this woman, nor am I sure it will liberate other women. Perhaps France is justified in encouraging assimilation, but I can't help but think the decision simply punishes this woman for her own oppression. Do you think the man will allow his wife to stop wearing the burqa so she can become a citizen?


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PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 7 years
Tio, if what you say is true that would be the equivalent of punishing the victim of a domestic abuse situation or a devout, fundamentalist Christian who believes that a women is subservient to the man. They are beliefs and opinions or situations that occur to a women...have a problem with the issue not the person. Like love the sinner and hate the sin. So long as they are not enforcing their belief or situation on others they are practicing their faith in private. Otherwise, France should launch an immediate campagin to deal with the equality of the sexes. Aren't Frenchmen kinda sexist anyway?
ana77 ana77 8 years
I just can not understand any of Arabian people??? They "want to be citizens of any European country" but in fact what they want is just to have European paper. Arabs' requests are just beyond than anything. They act in our own country like it is theirs own. Just imagine if a European woman or man could practice their own tradition in any Arabian country. No way!!!! Even European journalists when they go to Arabia for business issue, women are covered because it is required to do that, which means they respect Arabian tradition and rules. So what Arabs do not do the same when they coma to Europe. It is Europe not Arabia. If you want to be French, you have to respect and accept the tradition of this country otherwise go back where you come from. The judge was really a smart guy, and this should be applied in all France because of the France the whole Europe is suffering from Arabian invasion.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 8 years
Jude, I absolutely agree with your comment # 31. I had the same thought when I first read the story. France has presumably come to realize that they have a foreign subculture living in their midst, and it's not a happy and healthy situation. While it may be true that the immigrant populations aren't assimilating, I've also read for some time now that they are not accepted by those of French heritage. Even French-born and -educated people have difficulty finding employment, for instance.
omigosh omigosh 8 years
I think an important point is being forgotten here (I didn´t read all the comments in depth though, so excuse me if it was mentioned). France is a secular state. It has made the decision to separate the church from the state. Therefore, all religious symbols that are shown are banned in public places. This includes a woman wearing a headscarf to school, but also a person wearing a Christian cross on a necklace. I´m not saying I agree with this policy, but the judge was following the French principles. This women was clearly making a statement by wearing her burqa that she did not respect the French policy of secularism. Therefore I can understand that they did not grant her French citizenship. This is not discrimination, it is abiding by French law. It would be the same (I´m hoping) if there was a similar situation with a French person.
Lilie Lilie 8 years
Oh God, so much hatred there... While i mostly do not agree (at all) with this government i believe they (well, the judge, supposedly they're not related) took a right decision. There's of course cons (but i think i remember she can stay in the country, she won't be deported), but France's motto is "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity". Believing a man is superior to a woman is in full contradiction with the "Equality" thing, which is VERY important to us. It's something we learn everyday since the first day of school. One country simply cannot grant citizenship to someone to then condamn him for his beliefs. It's that simple. And no - while i hate to defend them - i don't think this is a xenophobe decision. Fadela Amera kinda proved that.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
Good point. I'm always torn between what I think someone should technically and legally be allowed to do and what I think they should do. I think it's shady that they denied her citizenship, but that doesn't mean it should be illegal.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
The French have a perfect right to do whatever they think best, but I absolutely do not agree with their decision. In fact, I find it offensive. I wonder how much the problems France has been having in recent years with Arabic and North African immigrants played into their decision against this woman?
True-Song True-Song 8 years
What? I could be armed in a ball gown. This doesn't seem like a good reason to deny citizenship to me.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 8 years
I feel that while the court had an issue of the burqa, it was her views on being less than equal with men, the privacy, etc... that got her denyed. I believe she creeped everyone out to the point of them denying her want to be a citizen. However burqa's while it may be their religious right, it is also a safety issue for the rest of us. If it was just a wrap that showed the face/covered hair & neck, well that is okay; however when you cover everything except the eyes, well how are we supposed to recognize her and know that she isn't armed? Anytime people were extremely covering clothing I cannot help but wonder if they are carrying a weapon, I have safety issues with any person of any race, religion, etc.. when they wear out of place clothing. And I believe the court saw it the same way.
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
This is why keeping church and state apart is a good thing.
CheekyGrapefruit CheekyGrapefruit 8 years
These Muslim women leave their native countries and move to the Occidental world because they are not happy with the status quo. However, once they move they want to maintain their identity which in their case is both religious as well as cultural. Bravo to France for maintaining their own values in all this hubbub. If they don't like it in France, let them go back to their native countries. No one is forcing them to move to France. When in Rome (or Paris)... I wonder if the Islamic governments would be as accepting of a french woman moving to their country and insisting on not being covered up. Honour killings anyone?
amybdk amybdk 8 years
I agree Stephly and syako.
syako syako 8 years
I agree steph. It's the whole issue of becoming a citizen isn't a right. It's more of a privilege if you aren't natural-born.
stephley stephley 8 years
It does seem odd on some levels - Le Monde newspaper said it is the first time a Muslim applicant had been rejected because of personal religious practice. But on the other side, if you are deciding whether someone can become a citizen, wouldn't you wonder how someone who is totally immersed in living as if women are naturally subservient to men would be a 'good' citizen of a country that values equality? Again, it's hard to come up with comparative examples. You can't stop born citizens from doing things, but do you have to let outsiders join the club? To be honest, I think she creeped the court out.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
Zeze, thanks for telling me where to look, I found it on the Time website. After reading that, I can see what you are saying. I am pretty sure that if she hadn't turned up in the interview wearing a burqa, she would have "passed the test". I think the French gov't is saying that she didn't assimilate ENOUGH. I have a two good friends who married French citizens, and they had no problem getting their French citizenship. And one of them is a very fundamentalist Christian who believes that God places the man at the head of the family and all family members must bow to his wishes (which seems to be one of the French govt's complaints about this woman!)!!
tio tio 8 years
"if France would just admit their intolerance of other beliefs" The secular law was passed in 1905.France was mainly a Catholic country with no Muslim immigrants so it isn't xenophobia as you said before. "what I don't get is are they rejecting her based on the fact that she has a different opinion then them?" The French newspapers say the reason why they didn't give her the French nationality is because she has a sexist mentality. So,they are rejecting her because she doesn't respect our laws and beliefs which is a fair decision. "And does this mean no one in France is sexist, do they give sexism test" LOL of course no but this person said publicly that she doesn't think women are equal to men.And it's against the law.
zeze zeze 8 years
"Regardless of why she believes it, if she insists that men and women aren't equal she would be turned down, as I understand what I read. So she's not assimilating to France in her public religious display AND inequality of sexes. I think." The story really doesn't have any details but they say something about beliefs, regardless of what they are, what I don't get is are they rejecting her based on the fact that she has a different opinion then them? And if that's the case do they reject people who don't like French food? People who think fashion is waste of time (mild sarcasm here) ... I just don't get the basis at all. What would public religious displays be, does she have to join a wet t-shirt contest to show men and women are equal, or would that disqualify her as well? And does this mean no one in France is sexist, do they give sexism test to all men and women before admitting them people who believe girls should only play with doll houses while boys should learn something practical such as putting them together. ...I know I'm rambling a bit, but do you see how this is slightly shady?
KerryG KerryG 8 years
I'm opposed to burqas, especially when they're enforced on women by their male relatives or society, but I'd be very concerned about the effect this would have one the women. I can't speak to the French situation specifically, but it seems to me that it's likely that many of their husbands are already denying them access to citizen's rights the rest of us (or French women, in this case) take for granted, and now the state will deny them the same. It seems like it would make it even harder for a woman to escape her oppression, if that is what she wants to do. My husband comes from one of the more secular Muslim societies. They don't do burqas, but a lot of the men (and, sadly, women) still have the attitude that the man rules in the family, especially among the less educated people. I've seen some very iffy situations in the immigrant community here, including an unhappy pair of newlyweds in an arranged marriage where the husband forced his wife to lose her student status so she would be entirely dependent on him to stay in the US. Then he used that as a threat every time they fought - a double threat, in fact, because she not only would not have been allowed to return to the US (because she'd lost her status), she would have been disgraced in her home country. They don't do honor killings there, but the entire city would automatically consider her a slut and her future prospects would be very low. I am pretty sure the marriage was abusive in other ways as well, but never got any proof. It would have been a great pleasure to get that a**hole tossed behind bars and deported himself. :(
stephley stephley 8 years
Zeze, its the men and women aren't equal thing that the court is focusing on - it doesn't sound like it's based on her being Muslim. Regardless of why she believes it, if she insists that men and women aren't equal she would be turned down, as I understand what I read. So she's not assimilating to France in her public religious display AND inequality of sexes. I think.
zeze zeze 8 years
tio: I am not sure I am understanding your point here. If there is freedom of religion so long as it is private, why would they reject her when she has never challenged any French law or value and wishes to practice her religion mostly from the comfort of her own home? You mention private practice, but in fact the articles cite her wanting to stay at home all the time and not leave the house as one of the points against her in her case. And secularism seems like it would be the opposite of this - Secularism is not letting religion influence policy, but the fact that they are granting citizenship based on people's beliefs shows that religion (which one they like and which one they don't like) very much shape French society and policy. I just don't see how this is anything beyond prejudice. And like I said before, if France would just admit their intolerance of other beliefs and take the criticism in stride like other intolerant countries I would not be nearly as offended, but their campaign as a "secular" country with tolerance and freedom is almost patronizing.
stephley stephley 8 years
Are citizenship applications often turned down on similar grounds? I think it's hard for an American to separate the religious aspect but would we/do we grant citizenship to people who would try to live in a manner that denies the premise that everyone is equal? It's hard to think of a valid comparison - would we grant citizenship to an open slaveholder?
tio tio 8 years
laïcité=secularism zeze= They didn't refuse to give her the French nationality because she is a Muslim but because she thinks men are superior to women. And the French Republic doesn't share her opinion. "You have the right to practice your religion but it should stay private." This part is about the secural(laïcité)concept.
zeze zeze 8 years
"You have the right to practice your religion but it should stay private." ...umm..wasn't the fact that this woman wanted to stay home all the time and not leave her house one of the reasons she was denied citizenship? That seems super private to me.
mini_pixie mini_pixie 8 years
you know, tio, telling us to read a book isn't useful.... when you drop words in what is to most of us a foreign language, it's helpful to define them at least a little bit. care educate us plebian english speakers for a minute?
tio tio 8 years
You guys don't understand the laïcité concept.. Read a book,i can't believe someone said "France is following in the footsteps of Nazis". You have the right to practice your religion but it should stay private.
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