The controversy over the banning of the burka and niqab in France epitomizes the problematic nature of the separation of church and state. There is no possible manner to completely separate the two considering they are both forever entwined in society. The sentiment amongst most Muslim women on the issue tends to stem from the ban eliminating their choice in the matter. Despite the significant Muslim demographic in France, they are clearly a minority when compared with the larger population in France. Serving as roughly 10% of the French population, Muslims do not possess the numbers to overturn the majority of French support for the ban.
Another aspect of this controversy that struck me as particularly shocking was the various punishments that were intended for those who violated this ban. What exactly do the “citizenship classes” that could be assigned entail? By saying that a person who wears a burka needs to learn what it means to be French entails that the two are completely separate and opposite with no middle ground. The clear distinction felt by some people that being French and Muslim cannot exist reinforces the separatist motion that this ban is creating within this country.
The problem within France concerning the Muslim population is also taking on another political manifestation. The woman in the video below was denied French nationality based on her “radical” religious practices, yet the particular beliefs or actions meant were not specified. A clear factor in their decision to deny her of this was her appearance and manner of dress.