World 15 September 2010 The burqa was banned in France . . . and then there was light Will Sarko’s veil ban improve life in France? Yeah right. Print HTML From the BBC website: France's Senate has overwhelmingly approved a bill that would ban wearing the Islamic full veil in public. The proposed measure was already backed by the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, in July. The ban will come into force in six months' time if it is not overturned by constitutional judges. . . . On Tuesday, the Senate voted 246 to 1 in favour of the bill. Now that the nation's legislature has tackled, head-on, the "threat" posed to the country's constitution and to French "values" by 2,000 veiled Muslim women, I guess France will finally become the secular, integrated, cohesive, liberal utopia that the burqa's opponents have always wanted it to be. In fact, I am convinced that this historic vote will, overnight, solve the problems of poverty, unemployment, discrimination and racism which blight the nation's various minority communities -- but, in particular, the Muslims in the banlieues. Oh, and 246 to 1? Good to see there was a proper debate . . . ! UPDATE: I see that the burqa ban will apply to foreigners, too. What will happen to all the rich, veiled women from the Gulf who come to shop in Paris along the Champs Élysées and the rue Saint-Honoré? Will French tourism take a hit? › New Statesman cover | 20 September 2010 Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12. Subscribe More Related articles Welcome to South Africa’s new political lanscape Where the Yazidis fled next After his latest reshuffle, who’s who on Donald Trump’s campaign team?