France bans burqas

The French Parliament passed a bill banning women from wearing burqas and other full-body robes in public. International Relations professor William Keylor gives some historical perspective on the issue.

“The great irony of this whole affair is that the deeply felt sentiment in France against public displays of religious affiliation originated in the anti-clerical campaign waged in the 19th and early 20th century against the Catholic Church.

“The church was seen as the enemy of republican secular values and a defender of the aristocratic, monarchical, anti-democratic tradition. Now it is the Muslim religion that bears the brunt of this historical obsession with (no pun intended) keeping religion under wraps.”

Contact William Keylor, 617-358-0197, wrkeylor@bu.edu

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