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Глава I. Политическая корректность в современном английском языке
Раздел 1.1. Определение политической корректности
Раздел 1.2. Классификация эвфемизмов
Раздел 1.3. Прагматический аспект эвфемии
Глава II. Бытовые эвфемизмы в британских и американских публицистических изданиях
Раздел 2.1. Бытовые эвфемизмы
Раздел 2.2. Политическая корректность в США и Великобритании
Раздел 2.3. Сравнительный анализ бытовых и национальных эвфемизмов
Список использованной литературы
Приложение 1 Тексты британской прессы
Приложение 2 Тексты американской прессы
Фрагмент работы для ознакомления
A more often touted objection though is the claim that the French law stigmatises the Muslim community. However, the act of singling out a group is not always done with bad intentions and knee-jerk consequences. The fight for women’s rights should be fought the same way in Mosques as it is in Churches, Synagogues, schools, factories and boardrooms; without pulling our punches.
People who say otherwise, who champion it as another attempt to demonise Islam, serve only to fuel the basest political punditry. The public is more intelligent than that; they can distinguish between policies designed to recognise the plight of women and the vitriolic racism spouted by Le Penn, the BNP or the Tea Party.
Concerns with the practices of minority groups shouldn’t be dismissed simply because they belong to minorities. A group of 10 religious zealots are just as capable of oppressing female Muslims as a capitalist structure is of dismissing a pregnant employee, and there should be laws to prevent both.
If anything it is within these smaller communities that the states help is most needed. Through countless misguided social policies we have continuously encouraged racial and religious isolationism, and in so doing have isolated the mistreated and vulnerable amongst them. It has created ghettoised pockets of towns and city’s that are able to internalise cries for assistance from the helpless within them, and it has been done with our passive acceptance.
The emancipation of women has progressed, and 50 years of sexual awakening has encouraged huge leaps and bounds in modern gender roles. But around the world our mothers and daughters continue to be forced to live in the shadows, to hide their light under a bushel and their face behind a veil, and all because of the megalomaniacal insecurities of a dwindling number of ‘divinely appointed’ patriarchal societies. Long may we see the fight against it continue.
Europe shuts its eyes to the migrant challenge
Europe is engaged in a repellent exercise in hand-washing over the fate of migrants fleeing North Africa. For six hours on Sunday, the French authorities blocked trains containing Tunisian refugees from crossing the Italian border. This was disgraceful behaviour from France and a blatant breach of the Schengen agreement, which guarantees free movement across continental Europe.
But Italy's conduct has been just as bad. The Italian government, desperate to see the 25,000 or so migrants who have arrived in the country from North Africa in recent months move on, has issued thousands of temporary residency permits, which allow the recipients to travel freely across Europe. They know that many of the refugees from Tunisia have relatives in the former colonial power, France, and will head in that direction given an opportunity. Both nations want to make these migrants someone else's problem.
What makes all this especially reprehensible is that France and Italy each bear a large measure of responsibility for the chaos in North Africa. The Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, got very close to the Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, who has since turned viciously on his own people.
France was similarly friendly with the Tunisian regime of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali before it imploded, setting off a succession of Arab uprisings. If France and Italy had not supported repressive regimes in North Africa for so long, it is possible this crisis would never have reached such proportions.
Further, the French government of Nicolas Sarkozy has taken a lead in the military intervention in Libya, which is destabilising the nation and threatening thousands of lives. Aerial bombing has a humanitarian justification, but it creates consequences. And outflows of refugees are one of them. It would seem that France is not prepared to deal with those consequences. The French president's enthusiasm for bombing Gaddafi is only matched by his determination to stop Libyan refugees crossing the Mediterranean.
Europe needs a united approach to the problems on its southern frontier. All nations need to do their bit, whether that means offering to resettle refugees, or contributing to the costs of doing so. Those nations closest to the turmoil, such as Italy and Malta, clearly need special support. The resources of the Italian island of Lampedusa, just 25 miles off the Tunisian coast, have been stretched beyond breaking point in recent weeks. But migration flows, crucially, must be treated as a common European challenge.
Yet Europe's leaders are ignoring it. The continent seems to be turning in on itself. The breakthrough for the anti-immigrant True Finns party in Finland at the weekend reflects a broader trend across Europe. David Cameron's speech last week pledging to reduce immigration to the UK also reflected that mood. The International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, said yesterday that Britain would be funding the evacuation of 5,000 migrant Egyptian and Bangladeshi workers trapped in the Libyan city of Misrata. But if those workers were eager to come to Britain, it is a safe bet that our government would not be so keen to rush to the rescue.
The flows of desperate people across the Mediterranean have been a response to political instability in the Arab world. But they are likely to be followed later this century by environmental refugees, as runaway climate change spreads chaos across Sub-Saharan Africa. Europe needs to get its act together when it comes to dealing – efficiently and humanely – with refugees from the south. What we are witnessing now could well be merely a taste of what is to come.
Приложение 2 Тексты американской прессы
France Enforces Ban on Full-Face Veils in Public
New York Times
VÉNISSIEUX, France — France on Monday formally banned the wearing of full veils in public places, becoming the first country in Europe to impose restrictions on a form of attire that some Muslims consider a religious obligation.
The ban, which came after a year of debate and months of preparation, is viewed by supporters as a necessary step to preserve French culture and to fight what they see as separatist tendencies among Muslims. But the ban set off protests in Paris and several other cities, and it has left many Muslims, including those in this heavily immigrant community near Lyon, worried about their rights as French citizens.
Karima, 31, who was born in France and asked to be referred to by only her first name, has worn the niqab since the age of 15 as a sign of her devotion to God. She says she feels as if France has betrayed her.
“It’s as if I was married to a man who mistreated me, but I’m still in love with him,” she said. “It’s as if he had an identity crisis, and I would still stay with him after 31 years of marriage.”
The police do not have the authority under the law to remove full veils, only to fine or require citizenship lessons for those who violate the new law. They also showed few signs of moving quickly to enforce the new rules for fear of causing unrest in big cities with Muslim communities.
“The law will be infinitely difficult to enforce, and will be infinitely rarely enforced,” Manuel Roux, a union leader for local police chiefs, told France Inter radio.
Patrice Ribeiro, general secretary of Synergie Officiers, a police union, said the law was “a source of trouble more than anything else.” In areas with large immigrant populations, he said in an interview, the law cannot be carried out strictly: “We’ll create riots.” He said the matter would need to be handled with the help of religious authorities.
The issue was set alight in April 2009 by André Gérin, then the Communist mayor of Vénissieux. Half of the town’s 60,000 residents are non-French citizens or their French-born children, and the niqab has been a relatively normal sight here. Mr. Gérin said at the time that the full facial veil, which is known in France erroneously as the burqa, should be banned in the name of the liberty and equality of women in a secular country.
On Monday, in his office, Mr. Gérin said the burqa was “just the tip of the iceberg” of the spread of Muslim radicalism and separatism that threatened the French Republic.
The law does not mention Islam or women. It bans the covering of the face in any public place, including shops and the street, as a security measure. A clause says that anyone who forces a woman to cover her face can be imprisoned for up to a year and fined up to 30,000 euros, about $43,000.
But the law is “a point of departure,” said Mr. Gérin, who retired as mayor but remains a member of the National Assembly. Speaking of young Muslim women who refuse to participate in school sports, or Muslim men who refuse to allow a male doctor to treat their wives or who allegedly compel their wives to wear the veil, Mr. Gérin called the law “a wake-up call,” a means “to eradicate this minority of fundamentalists, ‘the gurus’ who instrumentalize Islam for political reasons.”
Polls show that the law is broadly popular in France, and it passed the lower house of Parliament with only one vote opposed. But many Muslim women say it feels like an outrage. To them, it singles out and stigmatizes one gender of one religion.
Karima, who runs a business and uses public transportation, said she would lift the veil if required for an identity check, but added, “I won’t remove it, I’ll have to be buried in it.”
Her husband supports her, she said, and she wants her daughter, 11, to respect Islam, too. She is thinking about buying a scooter so she can wear a helmet instead. But frankly, she said, the metro is much faster.
She cannot sleep with worry, she said. “From now on, I’ll be treated like an illegal worker, an outlaw, a person wanted by the police, even though the only crime I’ve committed is to show myself as I am.”
Nelly Moussaid, 28, a former national karate champion, has been wearing the niqab for two years “as a sign of faith.” She lives in Marseille with her husband and their 4-month-old boy. While Marseille is a tolerant city with many immigrants and Muslims, she said, “those who keep wearing the niqab will go crazy,” asking: “Will they manage to catch all of us, arrest us at every corner of every street?”
The mood in France is aggressive, she said. “Before, on the street, I got only stares. But now people look at us as if we had killed their mothers.”
The Interior Ministry estimates that only about 2,000 women wear the niqab in France, while Mr. Gérin, who helped write a long parliamentary report on the issue, believes that the number is higher. But with an estimated six million Muslims in France, the action taken seems large compared with the problem, critics say, and they accuse PresidentNicolas Sarkozy and his center-right party of playing politics with a generalized and unjustified fear of Islam and immigrants.
Mr. Sarkozy has responded that Islam is not the problem, only radical Islam, which does not respect French values and separation of church and state.
Naima Bouteldja interviewed 32 women who wear the niqab for the Open Society Foundation, a nongovernmental organization. She found none who said they had been forced to wear the veil, and 10 said they started wearing the niqab as a response to the political controversy. Eight of the 32 were French converts to Islam; a third said they did not wear the niqab all the time.
“Some were angry, and some said that many ‘niqabis’ had already left France, and many of them talked about leaving France,” she said. “Most of the women confront verbal abuse on a daily basis, with a lot of the abuse coming from Muslims.” Her report, “Unveiling the Truth: Why 32 Muslim Women Wear the Full-Face Veil in France,” was released Monday.
In Paris, a protest over the ban near the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, organized by a Muslim property developer, resulted in the arrest of two men and three women for an illegal gathering, the police said — not for the women’s wearing of the full veil.
Two new french crimes
New York Times
On April 11th the French Republic will give birth to two new crimes: hiding one’s face in public and encouraging another to hide her face. On March 2nd the prime minister sent a circular to the head of each of France’s regional departments to explain the rationale of the new law. “The French Republic,” he proclaimed, “does not live with a hidden face.”
While the French president has made it clear that Muslim women who hide their faces are not welcome in France, the new law is not limited to Muslims. For the French government now believes that “to hide the face breaches minimal needs of social life.”
So on April 11th hiding one’s face in public will become a misdemeanor, with a €150 fine and/or civic training to teach the criminal the need to show her face. The prosecutor must prove that (a) the face was hidden and (b) the person was in a public space. He need not show intent to violate the law. If one encourages another to hide her face, one risks a year in prison and a €30,000 fine, two years and a €60,000 fine if the person encouraged is under 18.
The whole matter could be taken as farcical. Yet if the triviality of the law is evident, the trivial, as Holmes told Watson, often holds the key to a deeper problem. Even though it is drafted as gender neutral, the new law clearly targets the few Muslim women who wear the niqab. Its rationale is that women who hide their faces wear a badge of inferiority that is “incompatible with the principles of liberty, equality and human dignity affirmed by the French Republic,” according to the prime minister’s circular.
Disquieting flaws exist in this rationale. Putting aside the fact that it is by no means clear why forcing a woman to show her face will make her feel more equal, the law violates a premise that underpins all law in a free society.
“A free man,” as Thomas Hobbes wrote in the 17th century, “is he that ... is not hindered to do what he has a will to.” Of course no one is free to act however he wishes. Laws regularly impose restrictions, but in a free society the state hinders a man from what he hath the will to do for reasons of public security, safety or health. In a free society the individual should not be crushed by the weight of majority opinion. A free society allows full expression of individuality, even of eccentricity.
Veils may offend some, as tattoos, piercing and a myriad of practices may offend others, but if they pose no danger to public security, safety or health, they should not be forbidden. Neither the French president nor French legislators have suggested that public security is the rationale underlying the new law; nor have the French police come forth with evidence that women who wear the niqab pose a threat to public security.
The greatest exponent for protection of the individual from the weight of majority opinion was John Stuart Mill. His short essay “On Liberty,” published in 1859, lucidly exposed the few axioms that define liberty: Each person is the best judge of his or her own happiness. It is not the business of the state to tell people how to be happy. People need not respect the views of others, but must tolerate conduct to the extent that the conduct does not harm others. “The only purpose,” Mill wrote, “for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant.”
The new French law does not mesh well with those principles, and Mill would no doubt have declared the new crimes as oppression of a minority whose behavior, seen through the eyes of a majority, is deemed eccentric. Mill’s axioms form the foundation of what we mean by a free society. Punishing a few women who want to hide their faces in public when their conduct presents no danger to the public violates a basic tenet of life in a free society.
Banning burkas in the land of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity
Dark and hooded, she was a stark contrast to the barelegged women in the crowded subway. As her painted eyes met mine, I reacted the way everyone around me did: with painfully transparent fear and unease. This exchange marked my first and last encounter with the burka, an already rare sight in the Paris Metro that may soon become extinct.
On July 13, the Assemblée National, France’s lower house of parliament voted on a draft bill banning anyone from “wearing any clothing intended to hide the face” in French public space.
The burka is a sacred garment used by some Muslim women to cover the entire female body and face with an opening for the eyes. Many claim that the war on the burka, worn by less than 2,000 women in France, is nothing but a means to distract the French public from the more complex issues with which politicians are struggling, such as raising the retirement age.
Nevertheless, “the burka debate,” as it has come to be known in France, has become a particularly aggressive campaign to redefine the French secular model, known as laïcité.
The concept of laïcité straddles a middle ground between an authoritarian government's protection of the public space from all religious influence and the acknowledgment of religious and state sovereignty. Laïcité boils down to a question of freedom of religion versus freedom from religion.
Although the notion of separate spheres proved to be efficient in a dominantly Catholic France, the mass Muslim migration that it has experienced in recent decades is blurring the division between both spheres that was once so sacred.
France now is home to an estimated 5 million Muslims, the most in western Europe. Many issues like the burka are no longer in the domain of either church or state. Rather, they are complex and require multidimensional responses from both spheres.
There has thus been a reversal of the historic secularism employed in France, from a separation of spheres to a general governmental rejection of religion altogether. The government has focused its attention on eliminating what it perceives as ostentatious religious symbols, including the wearing of large crucifixes in state schools.
It is in this context that the burka has become a symbol of Islam and its incompatibility with the French secular system.
Camille Froidevaux-Metterie, a religious scholar, has actively campaigned against this notion, arguing that Islam is not at all incompatible with French laïcité. “We simply must accept the notion that the secular space, as it was prior to the presence of Islam in France, has to evolve. After all, our system is not only secular; it is also, to a certain degree, Catholic…To put it simply, we must rehabilitate the open laïcité, characteristic of our founders.”
But the transition to a more open laïcité could be much tougher than anticipated. The overwhelmingly unanimous results of this month’s vote on the burka bill indicate that it will indeed become a law in September, when the final vote is cast.
And France is not alone in its apparent backlash against Muslim symbols. Belgium has also banned the wearing of burkas in public and Switzerland has banned the construction of minarets.
And while the Spanish parliament recently rejected a bill that would ban the wearing of burkas in all public places, the Socialist government favors banning them in government buildings. That proposal will be considered after the summer break.
Through the burka law, the French government has chosen to frame the burka debate as a national security issue. According to them, in an age where the threat of terrorism is ever-present, the burka makes the public space unnecessarily vulnerable to terror attacks.
At the same time, as it provides potential attackers with anonymity, the burka also creates an additional stigma, further separating an already-alienated community.
Froidevaux-Metterie agrees that the burka embodies exclusion. However, unlike most French pundits, she makes a careful distinction between the burka and the hijab, or the head scarf.
Unlike, the burka, I saw the hijab on a daily basis in Paris. It is so common among the large Muslim community that it doesn't warrant a second glance in the Metro or in the park.
Unfortunately, the hijab and the burka have been lumped together recently in the burka debate.
“Wearing the veil allows [Muslim women] to take on their lives in the public arena while de-eroticizing social space,” Froidevaux-Metterie argues. The hijab can therefore have the opposite effect of the burka, acting as an emancipator for these women, who are able to take advantage of the otherwise inaccessible public sphere while asserting their ties to their religious origins.
“In a way quite paradoxical indeed, one may consider the hijab as a means for emancipation from fathers and husbands insomuch as it reveals the emergence of a female individual, thinking of herself as a holder of rights and getting involved in a secular life,” she wrote in a recent essay entitled "The Ambiguous Position of French Muslim Women: Between Republican Integration and Religious Claims.”
The distinct implications of the hijab and the burka for Muslim women must be acknowledged in the burka debate in order to better understand the French Muslim community and eradicate widespread generalizations of Islam as a radical religion counter to the French national identity.
The argument against the burka has also stemmed from a feminist perspective. French women have a tradition of fighting for social rights.
In the wake of the May 1968 social revolution, the powerful feminist movement pushed the government into legalizing abortion and contraceptives. It is therefore not surprising that those same women are making the argument that the burka is absolutely intolerable in a state of sexual equality.
Aurore Monet, a feminist student at the Sorbonne, sees the burka as a personal attack against women. “The burka is an aggression for me as a human being and as a woman. Everything that represents a woman is hidden. It is as if their very conception of a woman is something that has to be covered,” she said.
The economic and educational isolation of many French Muslims is evident to anyone living in Paris. For a large number of Muslims, their presence in the center of the city is limited to low-skilled jobs as bus boys and taxi drivers.
At night, they retreat to impoverished neighborhoods outside of Paris.
The burka ban, while applicable to a small number of women, will serve as one more reminder of the differences that separate this already ostracized community.
French limits on muslim veil use defined
PARIS - Mass transport, hospitals, post offices - these and all public services in France would be off-limits to Muslim women wearing face-covering veils if a parliamentary panel’s recommendations, released yesterday, become law.
A leader of the panel predicts such a ban by year’s end.
As envisaged by the 32-member multiparty panel, a woman seeking unemployment benefits or other state aid, for instance, would walk away empty-handed if she refused to uncover her face. She would also be denied entrance to the local town hall, the bus, the Metro, and the university classroom.
A panoply of recommendations aimed at dissuading Muslim women from hiding their faces is contained in the report, which was drawn up after six months of hearings from specialists, Muslim leaders, and others. One of the other recommendations: denying resident cards and citizenship to women who wear all-encompassing veils.
The panel, however, was bitterly divided over recommending a ban on face-covering veils on the street, and that proposal was not among the 15 recommendations retained after a vote.
President Nicolas Sarkozy put the issue before the French in June when he told a joint gathering of Parliament that face-covering veils “are not welcome’’ in France.
Only several thousand women in France are thought to wear burka-style garments, usually pinning a “niqab’’ across their faces to go with their long, dark robes.
Such veils are widely seen as a gateway to extremism and an attack on gender equality and secularism, a basic value of modern-day France.
French government planning to study trend of burqa wear
PARIS - France wants to study the small but growing trend of burqa wear, with an eye to possibly banning the Islamic garment from being worn in public, the government’s spokesman said yesterday.
Luc Chatel told France-2 television that the government would seek to set up a parliamentary commission that could propose legislation aimed at barring Muslim women from wearing the burqa and other fully covering gowns outside the home.
“If we find that use of the burqa was very clearly imposed [on women] . . . we would draw the appropriate conclusions,’’ Chatel said.
In France, the terms “burqa’’ and “niqab’’ often are used interchangeably. The former refers to a full-body covering worn largely in Afghanistan with only a mesh screen over the eyes, whereas the latter is a full-body veil.
Chatel’s comments have helped revive debate about whether wear of Islamic garments is appropriate in France, a country with a long and proud secular tradition.
In 2004, a law banning the Islamic headscarf and other highly visible religious symbols from French public schools sparked a heated debate on the issue. Proponents insisted such a ban was necessary to ensure France’s schools remain strictly secular, while some Muslims countered that the law specifically targeted them.
French Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said that having a parliamentary commission study the issue would be a “good way’’ to find out how extensively burqas and niqabs are worn in France - and what response might be adequate.
Woman ticketed in Paris suburb for wearing Islamic face veil under new ban
PARIS — A woman has been ticketed in a suburban Paris shopping center for wearing a face veil, in the first reported sanction under a new ban on the garments, police said Tuesday.
Another woman in another Paris suburb was stopped for wearing a veil, but was let go with a warning.
he inconsistent response illustrates the challenge for towns with a large Muslim community in enforcing a law that some view as Islamophobic.
Though such veils are very rare in France, many of the country’s at least 5 million Muslims see the ban as a stigma. Islam is France’s second-largest religion after Catholicism.
The ban also has been criticized by Iran’s government and activists in Jordan.
President Nicolas Sarkozy says such veils imprison women and wanted a ban to uphold French values of equality and secularism.
A 27-year-old was stopped by police in the mall parking lot in the town of Mureaux, regional police said. She was handed a ticket that requires her to pay a €150 ($216) fine or register for citizenship classes within a month.
Police said the exchange was brief and calm. The incident occurred Monday, the day France’s ban on veils such as the niqab and burqa came into effect.
Another woman was stopped Tuesday for wearing a veil in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis. The 35-year-old was brought to the police station and reminded of the law, police said.
While these were the first publicly reported incidents, it was unclear how many women have been stopped so far nationwide. The French government has estimated only about 2,000 women in France wear such veils, and a few vocal wearers have said they will defy the ban.
Moderate Muslim leaders in France and elsewhere agree that Islam does not require women to cover their faces, but many are uncomfortable with banning the veil.
The ban has also drawn criticism from other countries.
In Tehran, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday the ban is a “wrong method and it will not bear a good result.”
“Any kind of bar on observance of the veil means a lack of freedom and rights of Muslim women,” he said in his weekly news briefing.
Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood chief Hammam Saeed said the ban “is totally contradictory to the human rights principles claimed in France.” He said in a statement that he considers the move “a new crusader behavior targeting Muslims everywhere.”
The Brotherhood’s political arm, the Islamic Action Front, is Jordan’s largest opposition group. The Brotherhood is a fiery critic of the government’s moderate policies, including close ties with the United States and diplomatic relations with Israel under a peace treaty signed in 1994. The brotherhood advocates the introduction of strict Islamic Sharia laws in Jordan.
Some other countries have restrictions on face veils or headscarves in schools or other public buildings, but France is the first country with a law designed to forbid the veil anywhere in public.
Jamal Halaby in Amman and Nasser Karimi in Tehran contributed to this report.
French ban on Islamic veils enters force, inspiring defiance and determination
PARIS — The world’s first ban on Islamic face veils took effect Monday in France, meaning that women may bare their breasts in Cannes but not cover their faces on the Champs-Elysees.
Two veiled women were hauled off from a Paris protest within hours of the new ban. Their unauthorized demonstration, on the cobblestone square facing Notre Dame Cathedral, was rich with both the symbolism of France’s medieval history and its modern spirit of defiance
While some see encroaching Islamophobia in the new ban, President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government defended it as a rampart protecting France’s identity against inequality and extremism. Police grumbled that it will be hard to enforce.
“The law is very clear. Hiding your face in public places is cause for imposing sanctions,” Interior Minister Claude Gueant said Monday at an EU meeting in Luxembourg. He said it defends “two fundamental principles: secularism and the principle of equality between man and woman.”
The law affects barely 2,000 women who cloak themselves in the niqab, which has just a slit for the eyes, and the burqa, which has a mesh screen over the eyes, and it enjoyed widespread public support when it was passed last year.
But it has worried French allies, prompted protests abroad and has come to epitomize France’s struggle to integrate Muslim immigrants in recent generations.
France is a traditionally Catholic country where church and state were formally separated more than a century ago, when Muslims were barely a presence. Today, it sees itself as a proudly secular nation: Few Catholics attend church regularly and small-town churches are crumbling — while growing demand for prayer rooms means Muslims pray on sidewalks and streets.
Though only a very small minority of France’s some 5 million Muslims wear the veil, many Muslims see the ban as a stigma against the country’s No. 2 religion. Many have also felt stigmatized by a 2004 law that banned Islamic headscarves in classrooms.
About a dozen people, including three women wearing niqab veils, staged a protest in front of Notre Dame on Monday, saying the ban is an affront to their freedom of expression and religion. Much larger crowds of police, journalists and tourists filled the square.
Two of the veiled women were taken away by police for taking part in an unauthorized demonstration, Paris police authority said. They were released later Monday after questioning. Amnesty International condemned the detention of the women and others at the protest.
It was unclear whether the women were also fined for wearing a veil.
The law says veiled women risk a $215 (€150) fine or attendance at special citizenship classes, though not jail. People who force women to don a veil are subject to up to a year in prison and a $43,000 (€30,000) fine, and possibly twice that if the veiled person is a minor. The ban affects women who wear the niqab and the burqa.
The law is worded to skate safely through legal minefields: The words “women,” ‘’Muslim” and “veil” are not even mentioned. The law says it is illegal to hide the face in the public space, but makes exceptions to allow for motorcycle helmets, traditional ceremonies such as weddings or Carnival costumes.
Laws on Muslim veils and headscarves in different countries
Here is a look at legislation and debate about face-covering Muslim veils and Muslim headscarves in various countries:
— FRANCE: France on Monday became the first country to enact a law designed to forbid face-covering veils such as the niqab or burqa anywhere in public. Violators risk fines or citizenship classes. A 2004 law bans Muslim headscarves and other “ostentatious” religious symbols from classrooms.
— BELGIUM: The parliament passed a measure banning veils in 2010 but it has languished since the country has struggled to form a new government for the past several months. The mayor of Maaseik banned face-covering veils in 2004.
— BRITAIN: The issue of full-body veils has largely faded from the spotlight since then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair called it a “mark of separation” in 2006. The coverings are more visible on the streets of London than many other European cities.
— ITALY: Has a law requiring people to keep their faces visible in public, dating to Italy’s crackdown on domestic terrorism decades ago. Representatives of Italy’s Muslim community say it’s rarely applied in the case of women wearing veils.
— NETHERLANDS: The coalition government installed last year said it is aiming to ban the burqa, but has yet to present any concrete plans or draft legislation. A previous administration considered but abandoned legislation in 2006 for a total ban on Muslim veils, after lawyers said it would likely be unconstitutional.
— UNITED STATES: There are currently no laws banning veils or headscarves in the U.S. There is a move in some states to ban Sharia law, though these attempts have not succeeded so far. The sponsor of such a bill in Oklahoma wanted to prohibit women from wearing headscarves in driver’s license photos. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 2010 banned veils that obscure the face for security reasons, but later changed it to accommodate Muslim women.
— TURKEY: Islamic-style headscarves and full robes are banned in schools and in government offices. A similar ban for university students was recently relaxed.
— EGYPT: Egypt allows some institutions to pass partial bans on wearing the face veil where necessary, like in the armed forces. Universities have attempted to impose rules that ban women wearing the face veil during exams — a notch up from a widely accepted procedure that demands women wearing the face veil reveal their face to a female official to confirm their identity before beginning exams. At least one institution, Cairo University, has banned one woman from teaching students while wearing a face veil.
— TUNISIA: Headscarves and full veils are banned from public buildings and schools. After the longtime president was ousted in a popular revolt this year, some Islamist protesters have demanded that the rules be relaxed.
— SYRIA: Syrian President Bashar Assad last week reversed a decision that bans teachers from wearing the niqab, the full Islamic veil that reveals only a woman’s eyes. The move is seen an attempt to appease religious conservatives in the Sunni majority as Assad faces down a popular uprising challenging his authoritarian rule. The government had banned the veil in July 2010.
— GERMANY: Several states in the country, which has a large Muslim immigrant community, have banned teachers from wearing headscarves in public schools. The state of Hesse decided in February to bar public employees from wearing face-covering burqas at work.
— SWITZERLAND: Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said in 2009 the government could “study a possible ban” of face-covering veils if more Muslim women begin wearing them. She said they make her feel “uncomfortable.”
— SPAIN: Several Spanish towns have begun processes to prohibit the use of face-covering Islamic veils in municipal buildings but not in the street. There have been a handful of incidents involving schoolgirls wearing headscarves but they are not banned under any legislation.
— AUSTRIA: There are no laws banning headscarves but Muslim community officials say women are at a disadvantage professionally if they choose to wear one. The far-right Freedom Party has slammed headscarves and face-covering veils saying they “promote the oppression of women” and last summer called for a referendum on the issue.
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