On goal, and the second, equality between all

OnMarch 15th 2004, France was the first western country to introduce aban on the headscarf and any other religious symbols in state schools, in theattempt to become a more secular state. Following this, in 2011 France becamethe first European country to ban the full-face Islamic veil in public places”The burqa will not be welcome on the territory of the French republic.

” TheFrench President Nicolas Sarkozy argued that by imposing a law that banned theburqa “such a law is necessary to uphold France’s values and secular ways,viewing the burqa as a sign on subservience rather than an expression ofreligious belief.”iThe ban outlines that no woman, French or foreign, is able to leave their homewith their face hidden behind a veil, within France, there is an estimated 5million Muslims, however of those 5 million, only approximately 2,000 womenwear the Burqa, thus the law being far more symbolic than practical. Franceargues that legislators and administrators were trying to balance two goals,the first, maintenance of neutrality in public institutions as an essentialentailment of goal, and the second, equality between all basic beliefs.

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iiAlthoughthe law France does not single out Muslims or Islam, the symbol is associatedwith the religion of Islam,  “The lawconstitutes a restriction of a practice adopted only by women associated with aparticular religion with the effect of impairing their enjoyment of fundamentalrights”iii France believed that bybanning the burqa or hijab that it would increase equality throughout thecountry, “Given the damage the full-face veil produces on those rules whichallow the life in community, ensure the dignity of the person and equalitybetween sexes, this practice, even if its voluntary, cannot be tolerated in anypublic place.”ivThere is a €150 fine for any woman covering her face, and anyone forcing awoman to cover her face risks a €30,000 fine. The Data from 2015, four yearsafter the ban was enforced showed that 1,546 fines had been imposed.v President Sarkozy in March2011, argues that the reason behind banning the Burqa in public places wasbecause: “I do not want a society where communities coexist side byside… France will not welcome people who do not agree to melt into a singlecommunity. We have been too busy with the identity of those who arrived and not enough with theidentity of the country that accepted them”vi France’shuman rights Humanrights are fundamental to every individual regardless of their “Nationality,place of residence, sex, national or ethic origin, colour, religion. Languageor any other status”viiNations have to abide by these basic rights, as part of international law. TheUniversal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was established in 1948, and isdevised into 6 categories.

The banning of the Burqa breaches two of thefundamental rights, the first being the freedom of liberty and the second, the freedomof religionviii The UNHCR outlines that”Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, eitheralone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest hisreligion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance”* Article29 of the UNHCR limit the fundamental rights, by outlining that “Everyone shallbe subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for thepurpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms ofothers and of meeting the just requirements of reality, public order and thegeneral welfare in a democratic society”ix Background The French principle of Laicite, has been a law within Francesince 1905, which requires separation between the church and the state. Laiciteis the idea that: “Franceshall be an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic. It shallensure the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction oforigin, race or religion. It shall respect all beliefs. It shall be organisedon a decentralised basis.

“xLaicite developed during the Frenchrevolution (1789-1799), and is based on the idea that France should promote”unified national identity and ignore religious and ethnic differences”xiThe law within France, outlines that French Citizens are not obliged to followany religion as France does not promote any specific religion, they do howeverhave to show loyalty to France. The Burqa Ban can also be described as going against the keyprinciples of the French Revolutionary Trinity: Liberty, Equality andFraternity. The Burqa ban is an example of how the three principles contradictthemselves.

xiiThe principle of Equality demands that there must be equality between alldifferent citizens, faiths and basic beliefs, where no single religion ordemographic is more important than another. The banning of the burqa can beseen as being in conflict with this main principle. It can be said that bydefinition, a demographic and religion (women of Islamic faith in religiousdress) are being directly targeted and treated differently by this law.The banning of the burqain France is a clear example of how western society has become less tolerant toIslam and particularly Islamic symbols.Germany, Belgium and Austria are amongst other western countries that are lookingto impose the ban, suggesting that there is a spread of Islamic intolerancewithin western Europe. i . 2018. Mckinneylaw.

iu.edu

edu/iiclr/pdf/vol22p93.pdf>accessed 9 January 2018 pp.94ii 2018. Mckinneylaw.iu.edu

edu/iiclr/pdf/vol22p93.pdf>accessed 9 January 2018 pp.98iii  2018. Mckinneylaw.iu.edu

edu/iiclr/pdf/vol22p93.pdf>accessed 9 January 2018 pp.98iv 2018. Mckinneylaw.

iu.eduaccessed 9 January 2018 pp.

98v “The Islamic veil across Europe”.2018. BBC News accessed 9 January 2018 vi Kern, Soeren.

2018. “Debate Heats UpOver Muslims In France”, Gatestone Institute

org/1969/muslims-in-france>accessed 9 January 2018vii Associates), DARA(Development Assistance Research. 2016. The Humanitarian Response Index(HRI) 2009 (London: Palgrave Macmillan UK)viii Associates), DARA(Development Assistance Research. 2016. The Humanitarian Response Index(HRI) 2009 (London: Palgrave Macmillan UK)ix Associates), DARA(Development Assistance Research. 2016.

 The Humanitarian Response Index(HRI) 2009 (London: Palgrave Macmillan UK)x Winkler,E. (2018). Is it Time for France to Abandon Laïcité?. online NewRepublic.

Available at:https://newrepublic.com/article/127179/time-france-abandon-laicite Accessed 8Jan. 2018.xi Kern, Soeren. 2018. “Debate Heats UpOver Muslims In France”, Gatestone Institute

gatestoneinstitute.org/1969/muslims-in-france>accessed 9 January 2018xii Butler,J. and Mendieta, E. (2011).

 The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere.New York: Columbia University Press. Pp39

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