A French fairy-veil, sans happy ending

Blog entry posted 07.17.2010 in France

Europeans are more sensitive than Americans when it comes to religious expression in public spaces. Many Europeans are averse to any public showing of religion. Nowhere is this more true than in France, where the lower house of parliament just made it illegal for Muslim women to wear face veils in public, and where Muslim school girls have been forbidden since 2004 to don headscarves.

These measures, which target Muslim women, are the product of three cumulated reasons; the first one specific to French politics, the other two shared by Europeans.

The first reason is the radical character of French secularism that has been hardening with the presence of Muslims.