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» 09/15/2010
ISLAM - FRANCE
French Senate passes law banning the burqa in public
Moderate reactions - so far – from the Islamic world. Appreciated by women, who see it as a choice for modernity. The law provides for a six-month period of "education", then a woman who chooses to defy the ban will receive a fine of 150 Euros, a man who forces a woman to go veiled will be fined 30 thousand.

Paris (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The French Senate approved the law prohibiting the wearing of the burka or the niqab in public, which completely covers the face. So far reactions from the Islamic world have been quite moderate.

The law, already approved by parliament two months ago, yesterday passed by 246 votes in favour and one against. In general, the left abstained considering it "unconstitutional" and for fear of losing the support of the Islamic world.

The prohibition on covering the face in public (without precise references to Islam) now has six months of "mediation" and "education" to help women understand its value. As of April 2011, every woman who covers her face will be fined 150 Euros. Those who force a woman to cover will be fined 30 000 Euros.

Similar laws are under discussion in Belgium, Spain and parts of Italy. It is estimated that 1900 women wear the burqa in France.

So far the reactions of the Islamic world have been rather tepid. Some individual comments on Arabic sites defend the use of full veil as a personal and religious choice, which the state has no right to intervene. But comments by some (Muslim?) women welcome the decision as a choice for modernity. Michele Alliot-Marie, French Minister of Justice, advocate of the law, said that it is not against religion. "France - he said - the home of secularism, guarantees respect for all religions, but hiding one’s face under a full veil is against public social order, whether it is forced or voluntary”.

The President of the Indonesian Ulema Council, Amidhan said he is against the law, but that it is not very important, not even for Indonesia, where there is no tradition of the burqa.


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See also
04/22/2010 FRANCE – ISLAM
From Paris to Brussels, move to ban the burqa
07/14/2010 ISLAM-FRANCE
Muslims say the total veil ban violates human rights and religious freedom
02/08/2010 ISLAM - EUROPE
An anti-burqa law to renew Islam in Europe
by Samir Khalil Samir
07/26/2010 SAUDI ARABIA
Islamic scholars: if the veil is banned, Muslim women may uncover their face
01/17/2004 islam - france
Veil crisis divides mainstream and fundamentalist Islam

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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