Unbelievably, France has today outlawed the wearing of burkhas in public, including headcoverings (but! notably, excluding hats and sunglasses and western-type stuff). Women can be fined €150 for wearing them, and two women were arrested at the protests today.
Men can face up to a year in prison, and a €25,000 fine for forcing their wives or daughters to wear one.
Many of these women really don’t have much choice in wearing traditional dress (although some do, and there are advantages). It is grossly unfair that women can be subject to fines or arrest, when most really do not have much choice. Particularly as this outlawing is supposed to be about ‘protecting’ women from subjugation and a second class status – hardly legitimate when you arrest and fine them. This certainly is not the way to go about improving the life of Muslim women.
France has a history in religious persecution (Huguenots), and I suspect this might be at the root of it, although they have not outlawed the male Muslim attire (the jim-jams I call them), although many Muslim males do wear western clothing as well.
This whole thing is very anti-woman.
Edited to add some handy graphics that I nicked off the DM or somewhere: