The Corner

Islamist Apparel Banned in France

With a new law, the French salvaged an aspect of Western civilization.

The law prohibits “concealment of the face in public, especially by wearing a full body covering” (“dissimulation du visage dans l’espace public, en particulier par la pratique du port du voile intégral”). In other words, it does not explicitly mention the Islamist gear known as niqab (which covers a woman’s body except for the eyes) and burqa (covers the entire body).

Clever. But “concealment of the face” takes place routinely. Large, dark sunglasses hide the eyes. Surgical face masks (worn to fend off contagious diseases) cover the nose and mouth. Fire-retardant hoods obscure the neck, ears, and hair. Worn together, sunglasses, mask, and hood, such as sported by actress Faye Dunaway last year at LAX, might be illegal under the new French law, even though it is not a problem.

One can discern plenty about Ms. Dunaway, including her gender, her approximate age, and what she is carrying. She looks odd but does not threaten fellow passengers.

Niqabs and burqas, in contrast, are not veils but head-to-toe coverings that envelope the entire person. They routinely present security challenges by hiding males, guns, and bombs. They cause Vitamin D deficiency in women and breast-fed children. They obstruct communication, disrupt family life, dehumanize women, and undermine individualism.

Legislation should focus on full-body coverings; these cultural atrocities must be banned everywhere.  

Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.

Daniel Pipes — Daniel Pipes is president of the Middle East Forum. A former official in the U.S. departments of State and Defense, he has taught history at Chicago, Harvard, and Pepperdine universities, ...

Most Popular

Culture

Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More
Immigration

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More
U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More