Guest Author - Stephanie Romero
If you are not aware there is a bill attempting to be passed in France that would ban Muslim women from wearing a burqa, which is a full-length veil worn to cover their entire bodies. Spain is apparently debating the same type of ban.
I have different thoughts on this. My first thought is that itís an infringement on religious freedom. This is not a fashion statement that Muslim women are wearing, its part of their religious beliefs. Would a Christian woman in France be told she canít wear a cross around her neck? Where does the line get drawn?
Yet on the other hand there has been the suggestion that women who are totally veiled pose a potential security threat to others. If I showed up at my local airport dressed from head to toe in garb that completely covered me, some flags would be raised. I canít show up at the airport wearing a bandana around my face, a hat and a trench coat. So I see a valid point here.
However I have another thought and my intentions are not to offend Muslims in any way, shape or form. But what if some of these women would welcome the ban? I am in the middle of reading a trilogy about a princess from Saudi Arabia. She tells her life through an American writer. Her identity is to be kept secret; however, the details that are provided in these books makes it seem impossible that she wouldnít be found out.
The real point is that this princess is tired of the way women in some Muslim faiths are treated. They have no value. They wear these coverings because they have no rights. I understand that many Muslim women wouldnít change a thing. That is the great thing about religious freedom. However there are other Muslim women who would.
This type of ban could create a lot of controversy, as it already is in its stages of being considered. I guess where you stand depends on what your religious beliefs are, concerns about national security, how you feel Muslim women are treated and your level of respect for religious freedom.
Nonetheless it will be very interesting to watch this unfold. I have a feeling that if bans are put in place many women will be protesting their rights to practice their religion but some women will be raising their fists in victory.