Commentary Magazine


French Critique of the Burka Ban

Two French students decided to produce a critique (I think that’s the word one must use among the educated elites) of the ban on the burka in their country. They thus dressed themselves in a burka and skimpy clothes underneath, and walked around upscale Paris streets and in front of French ministries (mostly in upscale Parisian areas) to bemuse the crowds and show off their long legs under the burkas. They did it, they say, to criticize the French law banning the burka. Clearly, judging by the reaction they got, they certainly made an impact. But, as critique often goes, there isn’t much critical thinking behind it. For clearly, had they really wished to test their theory, they should have tried their outfit in slightly different parts of towns. And one is left to wonder: If, instead of strolling past austere French policemen at the Defense Ministry or at Police Headquarters, they had walked in some predominately Muslim Parisian suburb, preferably near a mosque, possibly on a Friday morning, would their movie look different?

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