In writing her article in the Seattle Times (Rethinking France’s Burqa ban http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2016417207_joni06.html), I believe Ms. Balter is guilty of lumping several different issues into one and over-simplifying them all. It also appears to me that while she may have spoken with a few Muslim women who were liberal, she did not appear to have made the effort of talking to some conservative Muslim women who did prefer the coverings.
First, the matter of burqa and niqab. I agree it is not right for men to force women to wear these coverings, but at the same time, there are many Muslim women who willingly wear these coverings and I personally know many who would feel that being forced to take off the coverings is tantamount to being disrobed in public. Ms. Balter appears to take the position that the coverings are because men are forcing women to cover up. Frances laws are geared to punish the MEN for women wearing the coverings, is that not placing men in a position where they are forcing women to NOT wear coverings even if they want to? Continue reading