France's form of Islamophobia

April 13, 2011 - 0:0

The first day of France's ban on the veil hasn't gone unnoticed; two women were arrested for defying the ban, which came into effect yesterday. The new law stipulates that anyone wearing the veil in public could now face a fine of €150 (Dh797) and French citizens are being advised to call the police if they see a woman refusing to uncover her face.

The decision to go with the veil ban puts into question the very freedoms (like religious freedom) that represent France, and Europe for that matter. That this has come at a time when France's ruling party has called for a debate on the role of Islam in French society makes this ban all the more problematic. In that sense it's not difficult to assume this law is another form of Islamophobia. France has five million Muslims, and singling them out as potential troublemakers is wrong. This attitude towards Muslims may ultimately damage France's international standing, especially in this part of the world