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Burqa Banned in France:

The 'hyjab' is a veil that is worn by many Muslim women throughout the world. There are lots of different kinds of hyjab--some only cover the head, some cover the head and neck, and some cover other parts of the body as well.

In France, it is illegal for children to wear a hyjab (or any other religious symbol like a rosary or a yarmulke) while they are in public school.

Why are they not allowed to wear their religious symbols?

The French government thinks that it is very important that children are not exposed to any religious teachings or culture, because not everyone shares the same religion.

What do you think?

Should school children have the right to wear their religious symbols to school?

Should students who don't want to be around religious expression be able to go to school without seeing any?

In the fall, the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, passed a law that made it illegal for anyone to wear a certain kind of hijab in France-- the burqa.

The burqa is the most extreme kind of hijab there is. A women wearing a burqa is completely covered by the veil--it goes down to the floor, she wears gloves to cover her hands, and even her eyes are covered by a fabric she can see out of, but no one can see into.

Should the French government be allowed to tell women that they cannot wear the burqa?

Some people think that the government has noright to tell people what they can and cannot wear, and they believe this law is religious discrimination.

Other people think that this law is good, because it stands up against the unfair treatment of women.

Most of the countries where women wear the burqa, places like Afghanistan, it is because they are forced to. In these countries, if a woman does not completely cover herself up, she often loses all of her friends, is abandoned by her family, and is not respected by society.

The French President believes that the burqa is not a religious symbol at all--just a symbol of the unfair treatment of women.

Some people have other concerns about the burqa; in a time when people are very afraid of terrorism, many people are uncomfortable with people walking down the streets all covered up. There is no way to tell who is underneath a burqa, or if they are carrying any kinds of explosives.

People are also worried that burqas will be used as disguises for spys.

What do you think?

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