Jezebel carries interesting news about the proscribed behaviors:
The bill does, however, create a new offense: “Inciting to hide the face.” Under the proposed law, anyone forcing a woman to wear a veil would be charged with a far higher fine ($18,555) and could even be jailed.
Okay! This does actually address the problem facing veiled Muslim women, or at least moves in the right direction. So here’s a further question for the French government: how will that part of the law be enforced? How will the authorities figure out which men are forcing their wives/daughters/etc. to cover their faces, if those men respond to the burqa ban by simply forcing those women to stay at home as much as possible?
TNC mulls it over:
I always think the way to win this fight is to have confidence in the strength of the culture, as opposed to the strength of the law. Put differently, I don’t know that you can force integration. It has to hinge on the organic magnetism of your values.
The way the French government under Sarkozy has decided to “uphold traditional European values in the face of an increasingly visible Muslim population” is to decrease the visibility of the Muslim population in order to create the illusion of forcing integration. They don’t have confidence in the strength of their culture. They feel that their values are losing out, and rather than tackle the challenges of diversity, they will sweep French Muslim women under the rug. Out of sight, out of mind.