Last week, the European Court of Human Rights upheld a French ban on face veils. The court ruled that a 2010 ban on wearing full-face veils in public does not violate the fundamental right to freedom of religion and expression. The case was brought to court by a 24-year-old French woman who argued that that she wore the niqāb – which covers the face, leaving only the eyes exposed – for religious reasons, and that the ban violated her right to private and family life and freedom of thought.

The court, however, ruled that the ban “was not expressly based on the religious connotation of the clothing in question but solely on the fact that it concealed the face” and that “the face plays a significant role in social interaction”.

What do YOU think about the French ban prohibiting full-face veils in public spaces? Does the ban discriminate against the beliefs of religious minorities? Or is it a way to include everybody equally within an open society, something full-face veils prevent by discouraging social interaction? Should other European countries copy the ban?

In recent years (and particularly following the rise of the anti-immigration Front National party) public debate in France has taken a much harder line on upholding secular values. Secularism (or laïcité) is seen as a cornerstone of the French Republic and is enshrined in the French Constitution.

France (with the largest Muslim community in Western Europe) was the first European country to ban veils that fully conceal the face, followed by Belgium. In addition, local bans on face veils have already been implemented in Barcelona in Spain, Ticino in Switzerland and in some cities in Italy.

Do you think a ban on face veils violates the fundamental right to freedom of religion and expression? How far should states be allowed to go in prohibiting religious signs in public spaces? Should other countries copy France and implement a ban on face veils? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below and we’ll take them to policy-makers for their reaction!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Leena

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Debating Europe will not tolerate racist or xenophobic comments in our debates. We want to encourage different views on this issue, and intend to include your comments in interviews we will arrange with supporters and critics of the ban. However, if you take part in this debate then you agree to our Code of Conduct. Any comments in breach of this code will be removed.

151 comments Post a commentComment

What do YOU think?

    • Scott Alexander

      When did it become your country, and not theirs?

      You do realise the majority of French Muslims are from French Algeria and West Africa, right?

    • Metra Mehran

      It is a clear violation of freedom of choice, expression, religion,etc.. Why the veil be banned if one wants to wear it?
      Law makers are not there to do whatever they like, they should demonstrate the well of the people. It is an embarrassing act to prohibit people from what they want to do in 21 century.

    • Yvetta

      Metra, the court has already given an answer to your question.

  1. Gerasimos Laios

    Of-course. They can wear a head-scarf if they want, but wandering around with their facial-features covered is a security risk.

    • pam parlin

      I agree most of us who choose to leave our country to live in another are eager to fit in, but these people have no intention of doing that, instead they expect us to change to their customs, I say if you don’t like it go back where you come from

  2. Ben Symak

    I’m offended by clown costumes, therefore I think they should be banned.

  3. Matthijs Overhaal

    It is just another classic case of the clash between choices of individual freedom and rule of law in countries and/or EU. If EU is to embrace the values it claims to be build upon, I think you have your answer.

  4. Rob Riley

    Yes. It’s not the clothes that is the problem, it’s what those clothes represent, that is the most un-European of values.

    • Dimitar

      People can believe in everything they like, however I believe that the Muslim women are a collateral victims in a society that represses them. Not asking only on the Burkas. What if the next Einstein was a woman who by chance was born in a Muslim culture but wasn’t able to develop her cognitive skills because she was beaten with whip because she wants to study.

      Above in the comments I read one which says that EU is the freedom land and I see things so how ppl are running from home’s because there can rape you on the street because you don’t support some dogma from a book which was writen ridiculously long ago, was heavily filtered to fit the needs of the power having at the time (will give the christian example here… First Council of Nicaea the first bible filtering. The books that had depicted Jeasus as human where out of the game). Many interpret the writings in those “holy” to fit they needs now. Just turn on your TV and check. Don’t forget to turn the TV off after that because some brain damage can occur :-)
      So I don’t think that getting the veils out will solve the problem. However I think it’s a security risk.
      Anyone who had been robed from a guy with a mask on his face and try to identity it with the police? Preshious moments that no one can say who actually stole your stuff.

  5. Julian Nicolas Georgiou

    bilateral agreements should be reached on mutually protecting freedom of expression between EU countries and muslim countries, especially for religious groups.

  6. Barbara Regatia

    No… freedom of choise is the way. And respect. We need to star respect cultures and religions has a personal choise

  7. Ibrahim Uzun

    Why we are interfering on somebody else’s private life ,
    We are not in a position to tell somebody else what to wear , for century’s these people have been wearing the veil and it hasn’t been any problem why today ? France has been on list for discriminating people for so long don’t forget the Romans were kick out from France just last year , the French mass murders in Algeria so we shouldn’t expect much more from France today .

    • Alex

      Actually that was the country who first proclaimed human rigths in Europe…

  8. Dogaru Adrian

    Well..we know that E.U is “a bastion of freedom”..for those people who are coming from countries where muslim religion is the capital law..About veils,well is a complicated matter,but i believe that the answer stands in the hands of european and muslim countries and their reaction when it comes about right of freedom.I Europe,nobody will take action if you will wear a veil in public,but you will have trouble if you will wear christian marks in the countries where muslim religion is a majority.And this is not quite fair.There should be a policy of conciliation between all countries.About freedom of religion and expression,i might sound odd..but i think that a solution might be that everybody keep his religion believes for them,in their own private spaces,and not show off in public spaces.But even so..i don’t think that someone will have something to say if you will wear a necklace or a bracelet (or some sort of other things)…with religious markings.There should be a ban law,but not to be exaggerated with.

  9. Borj Delbai

    Yes. One has to take the origin of the practice in consideration to judge its use here. Appealing to a western principle like the freedom of religion won’t do. In many countries the government tries to level out the differences between men and women (for example, equal pay) because there exist power structures in a society that are systemic and should be mediated by law. To ignore the oppressive nature of the face veil is to measure with two standards, i.e., being hypocritical.

  10. Timeea Vinerean

    Let’s ban for “security reasons” also clown costumes, bandans, hats, helmets…So much for Liberté, Égalité and Fraternité… Can’t imagine how challenging the winter season is in France for the security forces. Imagine all those people fully dressed. You can see only their eyes :P

  11. Keivan Hadji Hossein

    Burqa and Niqab should be banned all over Europe! They’re just oppression tools to women, justified by some integralists who carry on a tribal tradition (not really related to religion) which is against the fundamental values and rights of freedom and equity Europe is based on!

  12. Malcolm D Bush

    I say no maybe more of a chose to wear would b cool but to take it away would b crazy, can’t strip ppl from there beliefs

  13. Juls Jay


  14. Nando Aidos

    Ban the facial covers.
    As a EU citizen I cannot walk around with my face covered.
    Rightly so people would suspect my intentions (have you tried walking into a bank with your face covered?).
    In any part of the world, a person with a face cover is suspect.
    Religious reasons are not a justification.
    Ban the darn things!

  15. Malcolm D Bush

    It’s almost like banning a Christian from wearing the cross bc we are in a diff “territory”
    Either way it goes you can brake a person of pull them away from wat they believe our choose to do or wear. Now they can take it off for a ID just so government know who they are

  16. Stanley Clark

    but Christians ARE banned from wearing their religious symbols in muslim countries. That’s the thing. Hardcore muslim countries should I add.

    • Scott Alexander

      Your comment is fundamentally wrong in that it assumes that France is a Christian country, and that countries with a Muslim plurality are both hardcore, Muslim and that they ban Christian symbols, none of which is true.

    • nehal osama

      Not all muslim countries. Some extremist like iran and those not sunny muslims ban them bs in egypt for example ot’s not banned and btw my friend is muslim and in Catholic school so I guess that means that not.muslims are extremist and in islam the religion itself god told us about freedom and how everybody is free to believe in what he wants . It’s just some extreme muslim countries are so stupid but that doesn’t define islame

  17. Malcolm D Bush

    And I think that’s the most attractive thing is the eyes. I just thick weird like that tho try to b open minded

  18. Jaume Roqueta

    if you bann the vel… i am going to use it!… i use to do whatever is baned.. so up to you!… banning something usually gives more publicity to it…..

  19. Carlos Trocado Ferreira

    … forget the cloths. … Simply ban and forbide anacronic attitudes, anacronic behaviours and proliferation of anacronic ideas. Burkas and veils are not islamic recommendation (there is not any recommendation on that on Coran). It is more a ‘criative’ formula for oppression of women.

  20. Malcolm D Bush

    Well I ain’t Christian I don’t believe in sacrifice. Yea we sacrifice daily but we aren’t hanging ppl on crosses asking “god” to take our men, all the religions tie together in the first place that’s wat makes it illuminati we just create war to keep the devil a secret at the in of the day we all will b looking into a worm hole with a worm with a collection of skulls from the biggest “Mother Nature” to the smallest the worm itself.. So really it wouldn’t matter wat somebody wears or do as long as they were happy and their for there fam

  21. Jaume Roqueta

    I read most of the people here belief they own europe… you dont own europe!… and also… for security reasons we shoud know which are the really intentions of politicians… really in this post i see a lot of European Stupidity and nationalism… you are ruinning europe and not the muslims!… right… and for security reasons in few years you will have to walk naked in the streets.

    • tony

      What a stupid claim. Face coverings such as crash helmets are banned from banks. The face is the window to the world when we speak to other people we hear half of what they say and the rest comes from facial recognition. If there was a strong religious ground perhaps but there is not. If they want to wear it let them in there homes .Also do not forget the terrorist who his behind the mask and dress. We need them removed for public safety.

  22. Malcolm D Bush

    Shit I wouldn’t mind that’s how it should have been in the first place, no fear in our hearts

  23. Alvaro Gellon

    As much as believe in respecting the personal freedoms of people, they should not be allowed if they pose a security risk to the general public. I have no problems with the Kippot or turbans. But I’m not in favour of Niqats or Burkas (the only two types of headgear that cover the face) Last year an extremist escaped police custody in the UK because he was completely dressed in full Burka.

  24. Andreas

    Since facial contact is essential to social integration life, veil should be banned. It’s very rude to hide your face.

  25. Miriam Boccia

    I am fully convinced that respecting the beliefs, both personal and religious, is a precise duty we have one to another. However, since we Western women must wear a veil while traveling across the Islamic Countries, also Muslim women should uncover their hair and face during their stay in the EU. Reciprocity, it’s all a matter of respecting the principle of reciprocity.

  26. Tamás Sófalvi

    Face is the primary symbol if individuality, therefore it should never be hidden for religious reasons. Beacause individualism is what makes Europe to be Europe.

  27. Alex Lexva

    Yes, they should be banned. Full faceveils have a functional aspect in dusty locations but not in Europe.

  28. Ion Alexandru Virtaci

    Yes, it should be banned. There is absolutely no reason we should encourage this practice that is ultimately detrimental to the women following it. In a way it may look like we’re enforcing our culture, but I look at it more like defending civil rights.

  29. Adrian

    Veil Banned! Those women are not free.

  30. Ines Dantas

    It is a very delicate topic, since it concerns religious freedom, women’s rights, clothing codes, and security issues. It cannot be allowed whenever identity checks are necessary, like in airports. In what concerns women’s rights it would have to be a top-down measure such as a ban, however it could have negative consequences in the sense that in fundamentalist families women would not be allowed to leave the house anymore when in Europe…

  31. Breogán Costa

    I recommend to all of you read the comment of Ines Dantas, it is the most intelligent comment I’ve read about this in a lot of time.
    Also interesting to see the comment of Keivan Hadji Hossein, I guess he is or he has Muslim origin (due to the name and surname)…. as well as Miriam Boccia comment.
    I agree with all of them.

  32. Lee Tong

    What if I rob a bank like that or do some crime ? Its a security risk and it has nothing to do with Islam as some might think… If a policeman ask them to put it down to check their identity will they do it ? It should be banned for security reasons not religious.

  33. Akos Tarkanyi

    I wish muslim men and women understood that a modest way of clothing as an aim can be reached many ways not just a few, very extreme and traditional ones. And I also wish European and American men and women valued modesty more in their own style.

  34. António Rocha

    Ban Financial Mafias not modest ragdolls! Turkish helped to build Europe since the 50s,they are guilty for that…

  35. catherine benning

    The veil must be banned across the whole o Europe especially in respect of direct abuse toward female children. They do not ask to be veiled as babies and sent to school in shrouds whilst being brainwashed into believing God insists their bodies, hair, faces are an evil that instill in men the rampant desire to rape. They must be free to walk and play as nature or ‘God’ intended them to be as when they were born. To do otherwise is to collude with a sect that deliberately and with intent condones female child abuse. And not just in the veil but in so many other horrific ways. FGM, forced marriage, honour killing and on and on, ad infinitum.

    This is a sickness condoned by our politicians to make children suffer in European lands. Why? Once they are eighteen and they want to adopt this code of covering themselves, then that is their choice, as long as they don’t impose it on women of European culture. Just as a woman takes up the vows of a Catholic nun she wears what is called a habit but does not impose this on others. Hers is taken up by choice not by force or indoctrination. Sad little Muslim girls are never allowed to know how it feels to be a human being, to be free to run and move as we are intended to do. This cannot be acceptable in Europe and be allowed to pollute our children with such brutality as normal. It is not normal it is deviant and goes against the laws of equality.

    And, if a group of people want to perpetrate forceful vengeance on girls and women, they must leave European countries where such an offensive lifestyle terrifies and insults human beings born female. They must go and live in a country with a community that finds this treatment acceptable. Islam has no right to be here carrying out this aggressive act, threatening Western women with their life. Which is what they are now doing in the UK.

    It is extremist politicians who brought this into our countries and it is these politicians who must be held to account in a court of law for the harm they have done to our society by taking the steps needed to bring this about. This is one of the reasons we must have ‘Direct Democracy’ right across Europe in every state. So that ‘never again’ can ideologist politicians get away with imposing such criminal activity on our people in the European community. This is not what a Unied Europe was set up to do.

  36. Inês Beato

    Completely against the law, nothing more than islamophobia. Anyone can commit a crime or terrorist attack. Anyone can walk around the street with a scarf on the neck and cover their faces. Or a hat and sunglasses. How many attacks in the western world were made by women wearing face veil?
    If the woman are being opressed banning the veil won’t change a thing. They will still be opressed in private. Want to help these women, give them opportunities and support to leave and get away from abusive husband or community and if they still want to cover the faces let them be.

  37. Inês Beato

    Completely against the law, nothing more than islamophobia. Anyone can commit a crime or terrorist attack. Anyone can walk around the street with a scarf on the neck and cover their faces. Or a hat and sunglasses. How many attacks in the western world were made by women wearing face veil?
    If the woman are being opressed banning the veil won’t change a thing. They will still be opressed in private. Want to help these women, give them opportunities and support to leave and get away from abusive husband or community and if they still want to cover the faces let them be.

  38. Angie

    Well , I have always been in favour of freedom of conscience including freedom of religious, political etc believes. However, in many cases I am afraid that we put freedom of conscience before our safety something that can proove very dangerous!! France did not ban Muslims to express their believes they just draw a line between express of religion and security. This is why I strongly believe that other countries should follow their example.

  39. Rick Shay

    Should European countries ban face veils that block idenity? Yes. Wear a veils at home, private religous meeting, etc… but in the public domain, faces should only be covered for exceptional reasons, unique police actions, especially those involving terrorists like ETA, etc…

  40. George Top

    I have a friend who wears a full-body veil in her own volition. I don’t think it is the government’s prerogative to dictate to her what she may or may not wear.

    I also understand that most women do not voluntarily wear full-body veils. In this case the root of the problem is not the veil, but the person who forces the woman to cover up. Banning full-body veils only addresses a minor symptom without any effect on the actual root of the problem.

    The ‘we must do it for security’ argument is ridiculous and unfounded. There are no reported instances of people committing crimes or hiding from justice covered up in a full-body veil in Europe. The very idea of it is preposterous.

    • Yvetta

      the government can control what you wear in public places, it is called public order and is necessary for a society to continue to exist. likewise, it is against the law to be naked in a public place.

  41. Inês Beato

    About ETA, the european court of human rights ordered the release of many ETA terrorists from prison… Around 70 terrorists released up now. Those are apparently not a danger to society. LOL :/

  42. Josefina Placé Estêvão

    European have its own culture, different from country to country but common at the core. If Muslims wants to live by their own laws and rituals, go to countries ruled by their own principles. You are the ones who want to benefit from all that Europe has attained so you do all you can to come to Europe…no one asked you to come!

  43. Clémence Albrecht

    Everybody seems to think it’s a ban on the VEIL. Well no, it’s only the one that hide the face. And it’s for EVERYTHING that hide the face (balaclava also for example). It’s not against Muslim traditions. It’s about living together. The Coran never oblige women to hide their face. And at schools all religious signs are forbidden (crosses/kippah/…).

    So, we have a law that ban all pieces of cloth that hide the face in public places. Because we live together. So we should be able to see each other. Why adding more barriers between us? There are already so many…

  44. Savas Ozyurt

    Debating Europe European Parliament Europa in Nederland Well, if the veil is allowed to cover one’s face permanently why do we still have passports with our face on it? Shouldn’t we take care of that either? Instead of my face on my passport I’d like to put a nice picture of my elbow in that box, can we arrange that too?

  45. kristiyan

    Yes absolutely its not their countries its ours so they will have to live by our rules if they want to live in europe if dont go home nobody say you stay here END.

  46. Петър Божинов

    Yes, European countries should ban face veils that block idenity. Nobody shoudn’t block the identify it’s not a question for religion, mode etc., it’s a question of low, if you cant’ identify you are nobody, so you have no rights, because you can’t be identify like a concrete person.

  47. Kevin

    .Banning what people wear is not dealing with the real problem of integration of different cultures into a western one . If these people really do feel they cannot integrate they should be encouraged to find a country where they can integrate into that society
    That not only goes for burka wearers but all immigrants .

  48. Michalis Pillos

    Europe is famous for diversity, art and culture! Don’t allow religion to ruin all that! Let people dress as they wish to dress! Respect!

    • S.K

      Ah you believe in diversitiy & respect Mr.Pillos, im guessing you are Greek, what would you do if you saw two chinese about to chop a dog up to cook him sweet sour?, afterall you believe that all other cultural things must be accepted & respected, and we have no right to intervene and stop them not even when they are doing it in Greece,France,Italy,Switzerland etc., so just keep your mouth shut while the dog is screaming in pain and about to be cooked & eaten, just shut up, but we both know that you would not shut up, no no, you would call the police or go over there and stop them yourself as killing dogs is not something compatible with European ways I say the same thing about the full veil.

  49. Paolo Pedone

    You’re wrong my dear..Frederick Dooley.., this isn’t so it in Italy..,’cause the ” Reale’s act ” of 1970 ( one of the ” not terrorism laws ” ) doesn’t forbid ” burqa ” but just and only all the mask and the coverings ( like a crash-elmet ) , used during public demonstrations if it stops the identification by the ” public official ” ( like Cops , judges , or Policemen..) . Actually the ” burqa ” it’isnt forbidden.., even if ” Lega Nord party ” proposed in 2012 the same..act against all ” the muslim’s coverings “..outdoor..!

  50. proactive

    The problem is a bit bigger than just banning the face veil! Congrats to the EUHR- court who waltzed around this issue diplomatically!

    Europe needs to reflect if the mixture of it’s “extreme liberalism, corporatism,
    multi speed integrationalism,” & EU immigration “do gooders” policies- ,

    rather than “Islam”, is the main threat- to its stability & its Christian foundations?

    Quote: “Jurgen Habermas, the atheist German philosopher, declared after a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI: “Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization.”

    One does expect that all immigrants adjust entirely to the values and the rights & obligation system of their host country “within a reasonable time”- and not the other way around!

    Look at the “down to earth” Swiss:

    All “do gooders” need to “immigrate” to certain Muslin countries first and demand their- taken for granted- EU constitutional & religious rights there & see what “euphoric” reception awaits them:

    Happy to be back a thousand years?

  51. Rui Duarte

    Burglars cover their faces; Bandits cover their faces. There should be NO PLACE in my civilization for desert bandits and their ways.

  52. Cécile Haupt

    The fact is not banning the veil per se. The fact is that most of women (I’m french, I live in a district in which most of people are muslims) who wear it are constrained to. If it was a conscious choice, it would totally disagree to this law but the fact is that it is an imposed choice on the way of living of some women. If banning the veil is the way to safeguard them and to make some (I’m not generalizing on muslims ! do not misunderstood me) people understand men and women are on an equal footing, I cannot say anything but a huge YES!

  53. Aleksandros Ho Megas

    NO! What someone wants to wear is none business…
    This doesn’t only go for “muslim” veils, but to all masks and clothing…

    It is about right of the individual to chose freely what he/she wants, and clothes should not offend anyone; even lack of them!

  54. Dave Dillon


  55. Antonio Pinto Caldeira

    When living in Rome behave like a roman. Behind closed doors do as you please as long as no harm is done to others. Enough said!

  56. Matthew Mikelson

    I think one should be free to wear as little, or as much as they want, anywhere.. life is too short to live with restrictions.

  57. Gabriele Mogni

    I don’t think the veil should be banned unless for security reasons. Afterall, freedom of religious practice is one of the pillars of democracy!

  58. Gabriele Mogni

    I don’t think the veil should be banned unless for security reasons. Afterall, freedom of religious practice is one of the pillars of democracy!

    • S.K

      Would you say its ok for Chinese people to go and kill & eat dogs in your country(im guessing youre Italian)?
      If a cultural practice from foreign lands is imported to Europe there often is the question of place, is it the right place for this, can it be accomodated or is it too much, and even if it is not too much we must ask if it violates our principles, if you say the full veil is ok then eating dog meat in your house must be ok too, and next islamic wife beating will be legal as it is in some muslim countries and after that jews will have dark days but this time it wont be the nazis, this time they will be killed to chants of ”allahu akbar”, what you are advocating is the concept of pink glasses, THE WORLD IS NOT PINK GABRIELE.

  59. Cleo

    Many intertwined levels are at stake here, in my opinion. To start with, this is a question of model of integration and religious freedom. France, here, is the exact opposite of the USA. In the USA, all religions and beliefs can be exposed in public spaces. Total, unrestricted liberty – with the excesses it can lead to (the famous: no liberty for the enemy of liberty, otherwise liberty for all…). In France, the basic principle is “at home, do as you please this is your private space, however public spaces belong to every body and therefore to nobody in particular, so no distinctive signs are to be displayed”. So here, clearly a model of regulated liberty with the explicit goal to accommodate everybody. So this principle, opposite to what is often thought, has nothing to do with Muslims, since it applies to Jews, Christians and Muslims – to name the big religions of the book. A century ago, school teachers would tell kids to hide their crucifix hanging around their neck while at school: let’s not forget that the origin of this principle is France’s own problems with it’s home dominating religion – Catholicism. A tolerance has evolved over time for small, not too visible signs of religion (kippa, chain hanging around the neck with a cross, a David star, or any other sign from any other religion). This model has worked fine for decades – in other words, no big clashes between religions in the public space or between religious people and atheist people (who are also part of the equation, since they have the exact same right to be in a religiousless environment, than religious people to be surrounded by religion – so why should atheist people have to bear the sight of religious signs everywhere??? Exposing them to such signs is a violation of their rights as well.).
    The veil poses a problem, most probably because it is much too big (so it’s almost like propaganda – but I agree that the limit between too big and “OK size” is difficult to identify) and because you have no idea whom you are talking too if the whole face is covered. This last aspect clearly gives the impression that women are put under male domination and treated like lesser beings, since they cannot do as they please.
    A last aspect hardly ever mentioned is the issue of public health, more precisely, the health of women – which is not respected here. Humans need sun exposure to maintain sufficient levels of Vitamin D. This is a vitamin which is not available directly from food (unlike other vitamins), but requires sun rays to transform into vitamin D. Covering up women from toe to hair when they go out prevents them from having sufficient sun exposure and increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency, which is damageable to their health. The more Northern you live in Europe, the less sun you get all year long, hence the more increased the risk for vitamin D deficiency, hence the more it is important to get sufficient sun exposure at each opportunity, hence women should be have the possibility to go out and expose their skin to little sun that is available “up there” and/or during the Winter.

  60. Ercan Karaduman

    I think, the matter must not rest here. A better way is, to leave this as a top issue of the self-determination process of muslim the women.

  61. Nikolas Kalaitzidis

    Fisrst of all the veil! BUT. Not only! ..any protective or disguisive mean of facial characteristic -in what is widely regarded as public place- either the carrier of mask is a private subject or…. public!

  62. sofia

    I think everybody should be free to wearwhatever it express him.But veil hides everything,a criminal could be hide back of a veil or an old woman but how can you be sure?Even my dog is scared in the view of a woman in veil.So i say yes it should be banned!

  63. Luis Sancho

    The veil is one thing, modest and perfectly reasonable. The facial covering is not acceptabke.

  64. proactive

    Sorry Debating Europe, but the question as formulated above has been simplified, popularized is rather misleading and adds to confusing its citizens!

    The question should rather be: ASSIMILATION OR INTEGRATION? That subtle difference in immigration policy will have devastating effects for EU’s future!

    While the EU Council enacts INTEGRATION- many Europeans expect & would accept ASSIMILATION!
    That is the crux of the EU’s immigration policy- a cause of discourse, would need thorough explanations & be put to a referendum in each members country!

    The difference is:

    ASSIMILATION means absorbing minorities into the ways of the majority – requiring them to adopt the majority’s language, customs and ‘values’ (while fully preserving the host nation’s cultural identity)

    INTEGRATION by contrast, only requires acceptance of a country’s laws, of human rights such as freedom of speech, and of basic democratic rights, but does not require the eradication of all cultural differences or group-identities; it is conceived of as a two-way process, through which both the majority and the minorities influence and change one another, and in which differences can be peacefully accommodated as long is there a common commitment to living together. “
    This model allows “enclaves” of the strangest cultures sprouting within the heart of the host country! I reject that. It is wrongly portrayed by a discussion about a strange piece of cloth! More articles on that subject: ethnic_relation

    • George Yiannitsiotis

      Great comment. However, what one can do with people that can not or do not want to be integrated in a society? What to do if such people constitute a threat to laws, human rights such as freedom of speech, and basic democratic rights disobeying or (worse) turning against them??

  65. catherine benning

    In order to try and understand the abuse of the female in Islamic society from birth to death, read this paper fully on the expectation of what women must suffer if she is not to face torment or jail, or, worse, death, simply because she was born a female. How can this torture be seen daily and found acceptable in a European society where the human right of every human being born into that society is ‘equality under the law.’

    Therefore to condone it, by turning a blind eye to what is happening in front of our faces, is a criminal act.

  66. Al

    Head scarf ok, face covered up is not. Aside from being a security risk, its anti-social; creates a lot of tensions. They may argue its their right to wear what they want. This is a very selfish opinion as the vast majority of the European population are against it.

  67. Millie Douglas

    As European citizens, we have the freedom of religion. In Islam, it mentions that Muslim women ought to dress modestly, but dressing modestly isn’t just one, solid definition; modesty is different to each individual. For some, it means wearing loose clothing and for some it means they only want to show their face/body to their husband/family. If a Muslim woman, who wears the burqa or the niqab, was told to remove the clothing from her face in places such as, airports or in court, a lot of Muslim women would do so because they understand the law. We live in a society where women expose a lot of skin and then they get the blame for being raped because ‘they’ tempted the rapists. When really, the men should be controlling themselves. However, especially in the UK, a lot of women dress provocatively on a night out and wonder why men won’t stop bothering them. These women, who wear the burqa, abaya, niqab and hijab are being targeted for dressing TOO modestly. It’s totally unfair. I can see the point that a lot of people have made about not being able to see their faces for security reasons, but like I said previously: there are a lot of Muslim women who will abide by the law if they are told to remove the burqa/niqab in airports, etc. So, no. The burqa should not be banned.

  68. Al.

    Covering the face is an advantage for any criminal activity; not just in airports or Courts. Not all people are criminals, but by default a percentage are.

  69. ironworker

    It’s that simple ” Love it or leave it !” I mean Europe, but of course there are alternatives as Bosnia and Albania. Otherwise, no I’m not agree with veiled heads in most public places like airports, railroad stations or shopping malls. They should wear it in their homes or at their mosques.

  70. Darcy Brás da Silva

    This is a tricky and messy subject, so I will attempt my best to be brief.

    short answer (see argument bellow):
    Ban the EXHIBITION of ‘obvious’ religious of accessories of all religions in public institutions (NOT SPACES). Including cruxes.

    We have came to terms with defining grounds of fairness across EU. We defined rules which attempt their best not to discriminate against gender, skin color, political ideology or even personal belief.

    My proposal is that of the ban IN PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS because they need to address people in a neutral position, one that can serve all citizens.
    Therefore we need to address things based in the commons. The most common denominator being that all individuals are born naked and without usable knowledge (if any) or belief.

    With all the above said, is only fair to access that as with all choices we are confronted with consequences, one being that if ones religion symbol is represented through the exhibition of accessories they might not be allowed to be exposed when obviously representing a personal belief in a neutral place. After all it was a personal choice of adhering to that philosophy which may not be imposed towards others the same way others cannot impose theirs.

    Regarding to the particular case of the face veil. Is only fair to accept that even though it is mainly used as a religious demonstration, can also be seen as clothing, hence why my proposal specifically addresses the ban in public institutions and not spaces in general.

    Face is and has been from very early of our society the most common widely used form of identification, which is usually accompanied with extra methods.
    Since is hard to distinguish a face veil as clothing from a personal belief (specially when removal is a problem), is far neutral to impose a restriction on it’s use on these institutions. The inability to enter or join such places due to personal belief need to be considered that of personal responsibility since the individual made his/her choice, not being states responsibility of accommodating one religion versus the other.

    Same ends up applying to nudism, which even though has followers, most understand that it prevents disease spreading and provides environmental protection to the individual himself becoming societies best interest that is not allowed even in public spaces except were marked specifically as so, e.g of a marked place would be nudism camps and beaches which inform on entrance.

    The complete ban of the veil in public spaces is and should be unacceptable because it is in ones right to privacy, personal life and personal belief. After all clothing is also a form of expression and has always plaid such role in society (jeans as an example), to which point that is in ones right freedom of expression.

    Removal should be required when dealing with state representatives (when these are on duty) since these need to represent a neutral position and their own personal beliefs may differ from yours served citizen, hence both’s right should be respected. (example, police officers, medics, firefighters, politicians, just to name a few).

    The exception for allowing the presence of symbols in public institutions should be granted in cases of emergency, as example, hospital urgency where time constrains may not allow the individual to remove his/her personal belongings that represent obviously their religion.

    Public institutions need therefor to contain a space where the removal or conceal of this symbols can performed in private, on entrance. It is up to the individual to carry the necessary replacement( example specific clothing ).

    PS: the argument that this “helps” certain religions because they don’t have as strong symbols is invalid since is your religions choice to symbolize items to represent itself and is the individuals choice of such religion.

    I also have my two cents in private institutions, but lets leave that for another time.

    • catherine benning

      @Darcy Bras da Silva

      You want to play the clothing symbols game in order to tell us we cannot and must not ban anything people decide to do as it would mean taking away freedom from those who want to use the symbol to advertise their beliefs. Even though to give the right to wear a symbol of clothing that is proud of its physical and emotional abuse of 51%? of the population is their daily mantra? Now can you please explain why you feel the right to openly expose a belief of this abuse is right for those who wish to use it? And at the same time ask why you accept the ban of another symbolic clothing of fear and violence we have, but not that of fear and violence carried out today under the auspices of being good ‘religious’ following? Especially if you are the credo follower that happens to be female.

      Here we go then, and think about this very deeply. Thousands of people throughout Europe have this last six months decided to wear the ‘Nazi swastika,’ and cover their bodies and face with it, as a symbol of their belief in Hitler as a ‘God’……Now, when you walk down the street and are confronted by this new open religion, every day, by more and more people who are taking up this practice, do you get a sense of doom for your society? Do you feel comfortable with what you are witnessing at a pace you never believed would be possible? And if not, why not?

      Because, the religion that promotes this wearing of symbolic clothing of this kind on women, still today in 2014, calls for as much abuse and death towards its fellow man, especially if that fellow man is a woman, than Hitlers regime ever did. His was plain and simple murder, quick to all he wanted rid of. He did not raise the idea of amputation for theft, beheading in the street, stoning for adultery, burying alive, self mutilation, burning alive and so on, that the symbol of the Hijab professes is right to flaunt in front of this ‘Christian’ peoples society as a put down to them and their way of life as human beings, in their own lands these newcomers have infiltrated.

    • Darcy Brás da Silva

      I will try to address each point at the moment they happen since this is long and might lead to confusion without proper referencing.

      “You want to play the clothing symbols game in order to tell us we cannot and must not ban anything people decide to do as it would mean taking away freedom from those who want to use the symbol to advertise their beliefs. “

      I never mentioned “allowing people to do anything they decide to do”, nor do I want the government dictating everything I can do or cannot do. Hence, why I carefully stated public institutions and not spaces.

      “Even though to give the right to wear a symbol of clothing that is proud of its physical and emotional abuse of 51%? of the population is their daily mantra? Now can you please explain why you feel the right to openly expose a belief of this abuse is right for those who wish to use it? “

      This statement is a little confusing. Lets start by asking who is this 51% you are talking about ? I mean where do this studies come from ? All across European Union ? Where are they published ? This is peoples lives, we can’t start trowing figures like that without data to back them.

      Secondly, you mention “physical and emotional abuse” again to whom ? If you mean the people dressing it, I have to add that perhaps they don’t perceive it the way you do. It’s worth remembering that not a single country in the European Union mandates anyone on dressing like so, making it a 100% personal choice for them, reinforcing that they might have a different perspective from yours.

      If you mean to whoever watches them, then I don’t quite understand the physical harm, and regarding the emotional side of things, is just like any other thing that is legal that may ‘injury’ anyones feelings. There needs to be a line between PERSONAL MORAL and state defined morality. So it’s not like for example “I condone smoking therefor nobody can drink in the streets now because it may harm my emotional status.”

      “And at the same time ask why you accept the ban of another symbolic clothing of fear and violence we have, but not that of fear and violence carried out today under the auspices of being good ‘religious’ following? Especially if you are the credo follower that happens to be female.”

      The bans that exist are very minimal and usually don’t outlaw usage of particular items but rather the caring of such items under a violent message and intention. Regarding this fear and violence I already addressed in the previous point, it’s worth to remind that this is YOUR perspective.

      “Here we go then, and think about this very deeply. Thousands of people throughout Europe have this last six months decided to wear the ‘Nazi swastika,’ and cover their bodies and face with it, as a symbol of their belief in Hitler as a ‘God’……Now, when you walk down the street and are confronted by this new open religion, every day, by more and more people who are taking up this practice, do you get a sense of doom for your society? Do you feel comfortable with what you are witnessing at a pace you never believed would be possible? And if not, why not?”

      If such thing happened context should be applied, for instance symbols often change meaning. There was a time where a crux also meant barbarian things for tribes or other countries that were colonized. Legislation should be something that once is set is suppose not to change for a long time, so is only fair require proper consideration and to be just in its writing.

      You ask if I feel comfortable, I guess like again depends on which meaning is being carried through with that group. I mean currently law allows for participation in groups even when they are right wing extremists. Heck they even have their representation held in parliament and its their RIGHT.

      I might disagree with peoples views, as long they don’t ACT under those views in ways that damage and or endanger others, I am fine with it. And as much I condemn them, it’s their right and I respect it. In fact I have passed through many times of discrimination myself and I still hold this position, because it’s in the way I see the only fair position to take.

      “Because, the religion that promotes this wearing of symbolic clothing of this kind on women, still today in 2014, calls for as much abuse and death towards its fellow man, especially if that fellow man is a woman, than Hitlers regime ever did. His was plain and simple murder, quick to all he wanted rid of. He did not raise the idea of amputation for theft, beheading in the street, stoning for adultery, burying alive, self mutilation, burning alive and so on, that the symbol of the Hijab professes is right to flaunt in front of this ‘Christian’ peoples society as a put down to them and their way of life as human beings, in their own lands these newcomers have infiltrated.”

      This is now full of personal feelings and in my opinion such stances shouldn’t be taken in law writing. One needs to be neutral when writing them since it will affect many peoples lives.

      From your writing seems that you attribute a large group of behaviors to this Hijab. I personally don’t know enough about this religion, to assert if such claims are true or not.

      However I can easily see many passages in the Catholic bible that could be easily seen just as cruel violent and or damning. These are not banned, because people tend NOT to practice their religion following a literal interpretation. Which makes me only understand that states have been acting on actions rather then written text in a book, from which case one needs to apply the same rules for other religions as well.

      As another point, you mention “newcomers that infiltrated your society”, this again falls into many assumptions.

      First you assume that only foreigners adopt such religious beliefs.

      Secondly, you mention this “Christian” society, well most states do separation between state and religion, meaning that state has no religion in its law writing. I personally am Agnostic, would that mean that I am not part of this society you speak of ? This is us talking about law, not my personal liking or yours.

      Hopefully I got everything covered, hope you understand my points better now.
      Thank you for reading and participating in the debate.

    • S.K

      @Darcy Brás Da Silva, a Chinese man is in his House in Paris,London,Lisboa etc., basically in Europe, and hes cooking, yes hes cooking something really good, want to know whats in the pot?animalia, chordata, mammalia, carnivora, canidae, canis, familiaris aka DOG.
      Imagine it, this Chinese man is Living in the middle of Western Europe and he goes to the pet store and buys a nice dog, and then he goes to the asia store, he gets nice seasonings, herbs etc., he comes home, and gets ready to prepare a nice dinner, you who seem to believe that we must allow every foreign cultural practice no matter how extreme it is for us, you should have no problem with it, you should say no word about the fate of that dog, afterall the chinese mans rights to live out his culture even in the heart of Europe must have presedence over our beliefs of what is right/wrong and acceptable & unacceptable, well you are WRONG, W-R-O-N-G, when someone wants to import a foreign cultural practice, tradition, clothing etc. then the automatic questions that arise are ”is this the right place for this” and ”does this fit in here?”, I have no doubt that most people in Europe would tell this Chinese man that here we do not eat dogs, and I am saying to those wo advocate the wearing of the face veil that here in Europe its customary to shake someones hand and look in their face (its a sign of respect), if someone is wearing a face veil they will be going against our European culture & values, it is a provocation, I mean seriously even if you advocate Pro Burka you must be honest enough to admitt that this is a provocation in our Society, we can discuss this over and over but lets keep it simple ”the face veil is too much!”, if a muslim girl wants to be all respectable in the view or islam then she can cover hear head with a scarf, she can wear thick clothing that doesnt show her boobs etc., but again the face veil is too much!

    • Darcy Brás da Silva

      @S.K You propose an excellent point in not importing/allowing every single cultural import. I think it’s important that we integrate communities and that we don’t get Chinatown like you USA has. (Nothing against china or chinatown, but rather against single culture in one location segregated from the rest of the society ). In other words, I don’t think multiculturalism works, but a flexible culture is required.
      Our human rights allow the face veil, our law defends those animals, so it shouldn’t be acceptable to perform such actions.
      In fact, these ban is being done in the pretext that it has nothing to do with religious beliefs, however there are other cases that haven’t been addressed.

      What does it mean to ban the face veil with the argument that the face is important to our society and that it doesn’t have anything to do with religious motives?

      Does it mean, that when a police officer of a intervention team is using their helmet or protection or head-hood for whatever reason is not illegal ?
      Does it mean that when you protest and cover your face because of fear of retaliation in your work or fear of inhaling gas is now illegal ?
      Does it mean that it’s cold and you have a large scarf, a hat along with sunglasses (pretty common in snow time) is now illegal ?
      Does it mean if I have scar in my face I am forced to show it to everyone ?

      If none of the above are illegal, where is the fairness and equal rights and justice in this ban ? I just can’t see it.

      I personally have no use for the face veil, nor has any of my relatives or dear friends. However I like justice and believe that we have good strong values. We need to stick to them. This is an unfair ban, and has religious biases, no matter what you say, is the plain truth.

  71. Tarquin Farquhar

    @Darcy Brás Da Silva
    So you want to ban ALL religious clothing?

    While your at it, why not ban ‘hats’ too? Even the non-religious ‘hats’.

    I mean ‘hats’ get on some people’s nerves both physically and mentally.

    ‘Hats’ can be offensive and frightening to some people too.

    Finally, ‘hat’ producers are forever being associated with a sinister NWO.

    Please add ‘hat’s to your risible BAN LIST!

    PS: Please look up the definition of the word ‘brief’ as your last post illustrates a possible misunderstanding on your part.

    • S.K

      Can I go and eat a ham sandwhich in Saudi Arabia?, can I enter Saudi Arabia with my Bible?, can my wife wear a tight skirt and a tight top which shows a lot of cleavage(and she has big BIG boobs!)?`
      Just like you would not feel comfortable with certain European/Western behaviour we Europeans have the same right to have an issue with foreign cultural and religious things which go against our European Western culture, surely you are not so ignorant to refuse to accept that in Europe the face is very important, so important that hiding it becomes suspicious, negative etc., or are you so fanatical with your religious views that everyone else must bow down to your islamic religious traditions regardless of where you are and what the year is. GET REAL!

    • Darcy Brás da Silva

      @Tarquin Farquhar
      I know the definition of brief, perhaps you didn’t read carefully what I wrote. Because If you did you would have found that I presented an short answer:

      “short answer (see argument bellow):
      Ban the EXHIBITION of ‘obvious’ religious of accessories of all religions in public institutions (NOT SPACES). Including cruxes.”

      And then provided an argument, for anyone wanting to know WHY, I back that statement. Also worth reminding that this is a meticulous subject from which consideration needs to be applied, therefor I preferred to be more verbose and avoid rebuttal instead of just providing empty blank statement.

      Maybe you also didn’t notice that this ban was suggested for public institutions and not spaces. Meaning you would still be able to use your hat in the street but not in lets say a public hospital.

      Sorry for taking long to reply I did not received the notification in my email.

    • Darcy Brás da Silva


      The fact that we embrace difference, and base our values around mutual respect and cooperation of people, non discrimination is why we prospered so much. I don’t think that doing something damning (eye for eye) makes us any better then them.

      I mean, if you don’t like the fact that when you go there you don’t have such freedoms, why doing the same on your own land ? Just seems hypocritical.

      Is also worth reminding that western civilization has benefited immensely in the multiple times of history from their lands as well, so simply denying them the entrance on our lands, doesn’t feel right either. Heck we are better then that ? Aren’t we ?

    • catherine benning

      @Darcy Bras da Silva:

      So, you don’t know who the 51% of the population are they want to cover from head to toe? Pleeease, if you are not aware of what you are addressing, you cannot make a judgement. And don’t come back with ‘it’s not all women’ they want to force into shrouds. It is ‘all’ women and they are trying hard right now to do so in my country.

      However, to make sure you are on topic, here is the situation for a ‘section’ of the population in the equality stakes of modern EU. We are barely one step away from a symbol of the swastika covering vast areas of our cities. To clarify, women make up 51% of the population. Give or take in the state you are in.

      You also claim not to know these women are abused. Can you tell me if you live on this planet, or, are you in some kind of ‘Moksha.’ Being forced to wear body covering that conceals the identity and persona of any individual, on the grounds that same individual is a risk to the sanity of male sexuality, is in and of itself abuse. It is offensive to all women to witness such symbolism and the subsequent gross submission to it by our laws. However, it goes further than that. As well you know, although pretending not to know is a low cunning of a female who wants to pretend her male subjugate’s are doing it for her own good. As in the beaten wife. ‘He really loves me, and is only doing this to prove he cares. ‘ Here you can clue up on what the women of Islam are responsible for because they were born with vagina’s.

      Their duties as women, we are being told, is to accept slavery. Which goes against European law. Therefore, the symbol of this slavery worn as a shroud over the female of Islam from childhood, means, under European law, the wearing of such garment goes against the principle of anti slavery. Therefore, It should never have been tolerated at any time on any level.

      Additionally you have the audacity to ramble on about this being a personal feeling. I assume you mean my personally feeling? And we must not take into account personal feelings. Oh, really? What do you think Gay marriage is? Not about personal feeling or the perception of inequality? Get real, you are an air head. Most social law is based on mass ‘personal feeling.’ Even the laws against theft are based on personal feeling. The personal feeling that to take from another goes against the ‘well being’ and ‘feeling’ of ‘fairness’ in the community.

      But to round this stupidity of yours up, Europe, whether you like it or not, was set up with laws and still is, regardless of what they tell you about secularism, based on the premise of right and fairness, under the ethos of Christianity. And therefore, Europe is a Christian model or bolthole. And, the wearing of the Hijab/Burka was brought to this continents streets by mass immigration. As, before the opening of our borders to this slavery symbol was rarely seen in our states except on those who were visiting. You must be sixteen and therefore without personal experience of Europe as little as thirty years ago. As a result, without you even being aware of it, you have been robbed of European history and culture by the ruling traitorous politicians who sold you out to the corporate wealth they covet in their own pockets.

      You are in desperate need of historical research and an understanding of what you write. As, yes, it is ‘foreigners’ or ‘Ausländer’ who have brought this symbol of slavery into modern Europe, along with the reality of slave trading, here in our midst now. Had the border not been indiscriminately thrown open to social and cultural communities with such abandon, by uneducated greedy politicians of limited intelligence, Europe would not be facing these dilemmas in such vastness today.

      And more importantly, how did this happen in what we call democracies, when the voter made it very clear over decades it was not in their best interests to do this and that they didn’t want it?

      PS: If you want to talk about being confused by the writing of English text by a born and bred native, you really need to take a lot more lessons in it as a priority. As, you barely have a grasp on wordage. However, the insult you threw my way doesn’t register with me on any level. Being a bulldog Englander eliminates me from foreign insults regarding my heritage.

  72. S.K

    Everyone that lives in Western Europe knows that here it is customary to shake someones hand and to look into their face, it symbolizes ”hello”, ”I respect you” ”lets talk”, if someone shakes your hand and looks to the ground youl ask yourself if hes rude, if someone is wearing a mask you will not even want to shake their hand because you cant see who the hell you are talking too, and thats the point of the full veil, its basically a censorship bar like from the old movies, I dont care if someone is Christian,Muslim, Hindu,Orisha, Atheist etc., but in the case of a foreign cultural & or religious tradition like the full veil we must say that this is a clear provocation because it goes against our European culture and values and the people who wish to wear this know this very well, they refuse to be sensitive to European culture but instead expect to impose their culture on European Societies and they do this with a unashamed arrogance, look I know usually we never thought about the face, but now that people want to dress up like ghosts we have come to realize how important the face really is in our Western Societies, ofcourse we want to respect other cultures, religions and traditions but if e.g a African was cutting a goats neck on the banks of the river Seine in a religious ritual I am sure the french public would have a problem with this(animal rights,cruelty against animals etc.), and the animal rights people in the Green party would have a big problem with that anyways, my point is not every thing from foreign cultures will fit in here 1to1 and if you wear a mask on your face you know exactly that you are doing something that doesnt fit in here, we have a right & a obligation to forbid this as it goes against our European culture and values. Make no mistake, the growing muslim population will bring up much more questions for Europa than some veil or a minarett, afterall these things are just symbols, the real issue that should concern us much more is the extremist views that many muslims carry within their minds, views which legitimize hatred towards jews,christians,gays etc., views which legitimize acts of violence even murder,terrorism and outright barbarism(beheadings,bombing etc.), ofcourse people will say it has nothing to do with islam, if that is so then how do you all explain the fact that over 100000jihadists constantly quote quran verses to legitimize their evil deeds?, are we to believe they are all blasphemers?, and lets just say for conversation that their actions are a pervesion of islam, wouldnt this be proof that islam needs to be reformed just like christians did with the reformation?, I am calling for all the legitimizations for intolerance and violence against christians,jews and other people which are in the quran,hadith and sunnah to be declared invalidated and or for them to be removed outright from these scriptures, shurely any muslim who claims islam is peace should have absolutely no problem with this, or does he/she have a need for intolerant and violent verses?!?

  73. Darcy Brás da Silva

    @S.K please read my answer to @Catherine Benning as it answers many of your points.

    And besides that I would only like to reinforce that how people practice their religion in here matters. I haven’t seen this extremism happening in our countries. why ban act on such things now, directly like so without plausible reason? Lets get some Real Concrete arguments to do so before taking such an imposing stance.

  74. Tarquin Farquhar

    @Darcy Brás Da Silva
    You clearly do NOT fully comprehend the meaning of the word ‘brief’ old chap and too how to use “the indefinite” article correctly. Evidentially, it almost goes without saying [but I shall say it anyway] that you also appear to have trouble understanding the word ‘meticulous’.

    BTW, your proposed ‘ban’ in response to what is merely a passive aggressive cultural sartorial idiosyncrasy is somewhat TOTALITARIAN – exactly what some people accuse some [a minority of fundamentalist] Muslims of being.

    Quite simply, your proposed ‘ban’ is the weapon of the ‘blind’ and the ‘toothless’.

  75. catherine benning

    This website is a political hypocrisy, the amount of censorship can only be described as akin to North Korea. Although, I do notice thousands of Americans have to resort to comments on British newspapers to have their voices heard. We are bombarded with the US views on all our main big sellers, day and night. Darcy I have answered your posts to me several times.

    Anyway, lets see if this one is also banned for revealing what is really going on and that this entire situation and the danger brought to the citizens was and is caused by our politicians. Collectively.

    • proactive

      In the absence of any explanation there are reasonable indications that if certain words appear in a post (foremost critical of the EU) a program might automatically block it with the remark “Your comment is awaiting moderation”- for ever! A la NSA/CSS.

    • catherine benning


      Yes, and don’t I know it! The message is interminable. The paranoia of this brigade is as bad as those who have a mental disorder. How sad it is that such an intelligent and talented population as Europe has, they are led by imbeciles. George Orwell was so right.

  76. Val

    I personally feel that the covering of a woman’s face for religious “freedom” is gender oppression and hate against women – because you certainly don’t see the men having do do it. As a woman who lives in Canada where women fought to become recognized as a “person” less then 100 years ago, I find the niqab and burqa extremely offensive, as it definitely hinders social interaction and completely takes the person’s identity away. One has to remember/learn the rest of the restrictions put on the female in this religion to confirm that it’s a gender thing. They are all brainwashed into thinking that this is religious freedom, but it’s not… it’s turning a person into a thing/property of the man – not to mention that it is a security risk and crimes have been done using face coverings to hide their identity. Sad shame if they don’t want to feel the wind in their face or the sun on their skin – but it should stop at covering the entire face as a woman’s face should not be “immoral”… it’s pretty damn terrible actually.

  77. Alex

    I dont get this idiology like personal freedom stuff anyway.We should just make “Realpolitik” beeing more pragmatic and think”what kind of society do we want?”,”how do we get there”.
    Well if the answer is a mixed and multicultural then obviously we should just bann signs of segregation.The veil turns people into “the others”.Bann the vail and other aspects that separate ethnicities from each other and we have a better ,more integratet,multicultural society that want talk about “them” and “us” but about a bigger new “us” only.

  78. les templar

    People should be able to wear what they want – what will people want to ban next balaclavas, hats and scarves, a nuns habit – anything that hides the face?

  79. Abo Seagull

    I do agree that banning veils is a clear violation of religious freedom. However, the people for banning do make a good point of the veils being used to keep identities a secret, and that veils degrade the word “Socialism.” Honestly, I think that veils should be discouraged, but not banned.

  80. Peter Vile


  81. Lou

    It should definitely be banned. Islam poses the biggest threat to western countries and it is impossible to see who is hiding behind all that garb. If they are that passionate about Islam they should move to a Muslim country where they will undoubtedly feel more comfortable and able to integrate.

  82. nehal osama

    If we were in a good world I would say it’s okay to wear nikab *hiding the face * but I guess really for safety reasons it should be banned I guess but viel *just covering the hair and body should never be banned and I’m a muslim by the way

  83. Jenny Hughes

    I’m in my 50s and all stories about robbers when I was growing up had them wearing something over their face so people of my generation automatically think of robbers when we see face covered and only eyes showing.

    When we CCTV footage on TV of robberies often those committing the crime wear balaclavas over their faces to hide their identity: in our culture identity is your face, that’s how people know who you are, same in passport and on all photo ID such as driving licence.

    But since my brain injury I have trouble with seeing faces and hair, at start couldn’t even recognise neighbours, much better now but still not right at all. So I now try to recognise/remember people (when I don’t forget) by looking at their teeth, body shape, distinguishing features, but this sometimes doesn’t work. But still, it’s mainly the face I look at.

    In our culture we are used to reading (or trying to) people’s expressions, smiles, and what they mean or want us to see. We delight in seeing a laugh aswell as hearing it and often can tell the difference between a fake smile or laugh and a real one: mixture of sight and sound.

    Since my brain injury my eyes and how I understand (or not!) what I see is worse and at start I had trouble with sounds and knowing what they were. My ears are more tuned to sound now I think because my eyes and visual understanding is poorer, maybe.

    But in other cultures perhaps they are used to women covering their faces and use sound and body language to try to know what the woman is feeling? Or maybe women’s voices and feelings and facial expressions aren’t as important as men’s? I think very few men cover their faces, I think desert people do (history of veil?) against sand and sun. And those living in very cold areas (at the poles) cover their faces to protect against the cold.

    So I think veils/fabric has been used, and still is, for protection from the elements which is very wise!

    But in our culture brides traditionally wear a veil over the whole face (semi-transparent so she can see to walk), perhaps this is to signify that they belong to their husband = are their property, as was the case in law in europe in past times. The husband is allowed to raise the veil and kiss the bride and claim his property rights.

    Humans find the semi-transparent covering of the human body and face more alluring than bare nudity. The temptation of what is beneath, the only part seen and one wonders at the rest, the truth in all its nakedness – or not if aided by make-up and plastic surgery!

    Many people in our culture find normal naked bodies on display (for example on a naturist beach) disgusting and in the UK (and other countries) there are laws forbidding public nakedness except in particular designated areas.

    Oddly in carnival the most usual area to cover is round the eyes with a mask that hides all except enough place to allow vision, the opposite (negative) of the veil almost. Carnival was (and is?) a special time when the rules were turned topsy turvy and what was usually forbidden became allowed just for a short time,not just tolerated but encouraged.

    The Jester and the Fool were allowed to make fun of even the king, anybody else doing the same might be punished by beheading or torture. But it was their job to criticise and make fun of pomp and ceremony just as cartoonists (and others) do today. They wore ‘motley’ = bright coloured garb as a uniform for the job they did.

    Is the veil a uniform for women? Do they truly choose to wear it? Are they conforming to an ideal as so many of us try to? What exactly is choice? None of us really have free will or enough info to choose anything without being persuaded by others and having our own bias about what we feel comfortable wearing. For many the outward show is more important than comfort: we all make statements by what we wear, how we cut our hair,the shoes we wear and so on, is the veil any different, a visual form of speech,of our identity?

    But those wearing motorcycle helmets are asked to remove them (in the UK) going into a bank. Are those who wear a veil asked to remove it? If we decide identity from our faces what about identical twins or sometimes sisters or brothers who look very similar? What exactly is identity and how easy is it to put on a mask even when we do not wear a veil?

    I was asked to use my fingertip to sign an ipad the other day but I felt uncomfortable doing so:my fingerprints. Silly me: they are on everything I own and touch wherever I go and can be easily lifted, a cast made then a rubberised version and transferred to anything. This could then be used as ‘evidence’ against me and would stand up to scrutiny in court as part of judging me.

    DNA out of the body degrades over time and even the DNA in or own bodies (I think?) can be degraded and change during our lifetimes depending on how much nuclear radiation and other toxins we’ve been exposed to. Or am I wrong in that?

    What I’m trying to say (but sorry, going off in all directions) is we must look at why we feel what we do when we see a person (usually a woman) covering her face when it is neither very warm nor very cold. Let’s examine ourselves and our beliefs, opinions, outside pressures, and expectations and talk to the women themselves, ask about their beliefs, outside pressures, opinions before we judge them.

    Me? Instinctively I don’t like anyone (male or female) covering their face, I prefer openness. I used to remove my very dark sunglasses (That I wore in summer before my brain injury) when speaking to people because I felt they weren’t getting ME and I liked it when others removed theirs to talk to me. I don’t like police wearing shiny dark or mirror sunglasses, to me it feels threatening!

    I remember a moslem man who came to stay with me to learn english. He was young and this was his first visit to a western country and he was shocked and astonished at what he saw. He thought if people were walking down the street holding hands they were married. He picked up a prostitute’s card from a phone box and called her,I don’t think they met but I’m not sure, he had b=never heard of such a thing although I’m sure prostitutes existed in his own country but were (are?) more hidden and less accepted. He was amazed to see women in bikinis and even topless on a beach! All these things are now ‘normal’ to us but it wasn’t always so.

    When I asked this young saudi man about how women were treated, the veil and the rules he told me that it was because they were so precious and valued. The way he said it was delightful and charming but I thought: owned and controlled. Some people hide what they value others flaunt it. Some share their possessions and others hide theirs.

    I think we would probably more easily accept face veils if their husbands and other men from their culture also wore them because in our culture we believe men and women are equal which is silly because although the law says we are that is certainly not the reality!

    All too tricky for me but I’d say wear what you want and if really necessary to remove helmets and veils for banks (how big is the risk?!) then all must do the same. Or not? Exceptions tothe rules? Nobody should ask ME things like this because I try to see all sides and can’t come to a conclusion! Maybe the fewer rules the better but how to decide when a rule is really needed, proportionate to its aim, created by whom and for what purpose and what the exceptions are?

    See, all those words (and will have forgotten lots I’d want to put) and no real answer, sorry!

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