Monday, August 01, 2005

'Italy bans burqas'

According to a piece in The Australian the Italians have just banned burqas. I hadn't realised that this was in the pipeline. It is part of wider anti-terrorism legislation, which prohibits anyone from covering their face in public.

I have a feeling that some in the Middle East will interpret this as yet another Western attack on Islam. I'd point out that it doesn't ban chadors, only burqas, and that the burqa is more of a cultural thing than a Muslim thing (they're not the norm in all Muslim countries, after all). I'd also point out that it seems to be primarily a security consideration, given that it's a blanket ban on face coverings.

Somehow I don't think it will make any difference, though, particularly as there will inevitably a small minority of xenophobic nutcases in the West who will applaud this move because of its effect on the burqa, further fuelling Muslim fears.

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