France says no to "cultural" gender suppression.

France’s upper house is set to debate banning the “Islamic” Burka (full face and body veil) in public places. I put “Islamic” in inverted commas because, while I know the Q’ran directs women to be “modest”, I don’t believe it requires them to go fully covered from crown to toe.

Full story on the BBC News site

One thought that did occur: Isn’t wearing a Burka in a Western country the exact opposite of “modest”? They’re so outlandish to Western sensibilities that they cause some people to stop and stare.

I do like the fact that the penalty for wearing a Burka is intended to be quite low, while the penalty for pressuring a female family member into doing so is set to be “much tougher”.

What do you think? Is France being culturally and/or religiously intolerant? Or are they protecting decades of gender emancipation?