Argument: Women should be able to wear what they want, including burqa

Issue Report: Ban on Muslim burqa and niqab


A Guardian Op-Ed sites a French woman named Kheira as saying, “France is supposed to be a free country. Nowadays women have the right to take their clothes off, but not to put them on.”[1]

President Obama said: “In the United States our basic attitude is that we’re not going to tell people what to wear.”[2]

Monty Self. “Burqa Ban Will Erode Mutual Understanding.” Ethics Daily. April 7, 2010: “Banning the burqa on grounds of women’s liberation is dangerous and self-defeating. This would only replace one form of bondage with another. We would do the same thing we claim oppressors have done – telling women what they can wear, what they can do and who they are. True liberation is the freedom to choose one’s own life, be it as a homemaker or the secretary of state, whether it involves wearing a burqa or a pants suit.”

Bill O’Reilly said on Fox News in May of 2010: “France is a — it’s a catholic country but a very secular government. But you know, a veil is a cultural thing. Not all Muslim women wear veils. You have to choose to wear one. So you can make an argument that look, this isn’t a religious expression. This is cultural. I want to be modest. And I don’t want to show my face because I’m a Muslim woman. And you Sarkozy have no right to tell me what I can wear and what I can’t wear. But there’s a reason why Sarkozy is doing this. Do you know what the reason is?”[3]