From today, it is illegal to wear one in public. To leave your home while wearing one is an intention, therefore, to commit a crime. Police will not have the power to remove it, nor will they insist that it be removed by the wearer. They will simply ask the wearer to accompany them to the station. Creepy, I say.
|For those who don't know the variations on the theme.|
Implications for street mimes, people on their way to fancy dress parties, commedia dell'arte troupes, Zorro and Batman impersonators, and the like, are still being worked out.
|Clearly a security risk|
(Which begs the question: when did my right to ponce about like the Lone Ranger get eclipsed by national security imperatives? Not that I do...)
The Preach-for-Food solution: better latex-based masks. Any actor knows about the wonderful efficacy of foam latex to produce life-like flesh and facial features totally unlike our own, Mission Impossible style. If the problem is that the burqa/niqab prevents a view of a woman's face and hair, a view which would otherwise drive men wild with unrestrainable lust, simply ugly up, thus:
|If, on the other, hand the mask on the right also drives you wild with lust, you may need to seek professional help.|
But I jest and I digress.... A story from life, 'cause you couldn't make it up:
As many of you know, I live in a predominantly Islamic part of Manchester, the "Curry Mile" as it's called. The other day I was standing in a queue with a small group of Muslim women, dressed in full, black burqas. My sense was that they were related, as there was a small squad of kids running around between them, playing, seeming to know each other well. One very little muslim girl, shy at first, was clinging to her mother in all this mayhem, and gradually joined in the running around.
|The Curry Mile: The Lahore of the North.|
A Muslim man and I had watched this exchange, and he smiled at me as if to say--"happens all the time in our world".
And in that moment I kind of got how stupid and reactionary the burqa ban is--what the hell do I know about the complex and subtle daily negotiations around the burqa such folks go through every day? How do I know, for example, the sexual politics around it--that the woman under the burqa is actually being coerced into wearing it. How do I know that it is not a conscious choice which has costs and inconveniences she's prepared to deal with?
Come to that, living on the curry mile, I've felt a lot more threatened by the EDL thugs that roam the Muslim quarter looking for trouble, than by any of the demure, polite, courteous muslim men and women I meet every day.
Security risk? Anyone can hide anything anywhere, if they want too bad enough. I mean, people sneak knives into jails, and in jail they look in your a**. As a security measure, the burqa ban, therefore, is a blunt instrument, and cannot in itself prevent a single terrorist act.
What it WILL do is further polarise an already intolerant social order, quietly demonise muslims, and perhaps prop up the fortunes of an unpopular President de la Republique, by taking support away from the far right Le Pen goons. It is populist fear-mongering travelling incognito.
|How many Muslims do you think he included in his focus-group discussions?|