France had been talking about banning the burqa for a while now and on Monday it became the first Eurpean country to officially ban "wearing of the Muslim niqab face veil in public." (via) The debate in this clip is one of the most interesting I've seen on the subject:
I can definitely sympathize with the complexity of this issue. Even though I have a visceral reaction to the niqab, I think Hebah makes an excellent point. Telling women they can't dress a certain way under the guise of being concerned reeks of sexism. Of course no one should be forced to wear anything, but if a woman freely chooses to wear the niqab then they should be allowed. It's really rather simple.